Reihana Mohideen

President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong-armed response to the COVID-19 pandemic contrasts with its failure to deliver basic public services, including healthcare, to the people, writes Reihana Mohideen.

The burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani — LNMB) was hurriedly and secretively carried out, with military-style logistical support.

Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 until he was overthrown in the Peoples Power EDSA Uprising of 1986. He died in exile in the US three years later.

Comparisons must be made between the impact of the September 5 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the quake that hit Haiti in January. In Haiti — with a population of about 9 million — about 250,000 people died in the earthquake. According to government figures, 200,000 were injured and 1 million were made homeless. Eight months later, disaster still grips people’s lives. Fortunately, but in staggering contrast, no lives were lost in New Zealand, although the earthquake was of a similar — but slightly more powerful — magnitude (7 on the Richter scale).
Despite the fanfare about Asia’s “miracle” economies, the problem of “missing women and girls” is actually growing, the United Nations Development Program-sponsored 2010 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report said.
There is a revival of socialist feminism in Latin America, spearheaded by the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions.
According to recent Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) figures, another 40 million people were pushed into poverty and hunger in 2008 as a result of spiralling food prices. he total number of people suffering hunger and malnutrition has reached 963 million worldwide.
The Wall Street crisis seems light years away from the side streets of Manila’s urban poor slums.
When history is denigrated, such as in these times, Renato Redentor Constantino’s book of essays, which brings together an array of little-known facts about the history of imperialism — from the Philippine-American war, World War II, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq — is a welcome and refreshing read. The sharp analysis is delivered with passion, humour and style. Underlying his writing is the commitment of an activist involved in the struggle for social change.
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