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Edsel Tupaz
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Entries by Edsel Tupaz

The Missing Marcos Billions and the Demise of the Commission on Good Government

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 9:07 AM

The recent seizure of works of art believed to have been acquired through ill-gotten wealth by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos are a reminder of the enduring political legacy of the Marcos family. Leading the seizure were representatives of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, whose mandate to recover the Marcos...

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Will Peace in Mindanao be Held Hostage by Politics in Congress?

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 11:12 AM

President Aquino has taken some bold moves during his presidency in an effort to achieve peace regarding the decades-long dispute over autonomy in Mindanao. This week the Aquino Administration delivered a 122-page "final draft" of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to the Philippine Congress. The question now is whether Congress...

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Aquino Challenges Filipinos to Reject the Status Quo

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 11:57 AM

Following relentless attacks and a string of impeachment charges against Philippine President Aquino for having allegedly instituted his own "presidential pork barrel," we argued in a recent article that even with majority support from Congress, political dynamics may drastically change once Aquino delivered his fifth State of the Nation Address...

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Circus Politics Is Alive and Well in the Philippines

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2014 | 11:26 AM

Anyone familiar with Philippine politics will recognize the circus-like atmosphere that prevails on an ongoing basis, and how that often manifests itself in the judicial arena. We previously questioned whether the plunder charges leveled against former Philippine President Arroyo would ultimately stand, or be torn apart by a combination of...

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Can the Peace Dividend Last in the Philippines?

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 1:25 PM

In February we questioned whether the newest power and wealth sharing agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over resource-rich Mindanao would ultimately be meaningful and lasting. The primary issue was the absence of inclusivity with other rebel political actors in Midanao. The MILF have...

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Can 'Peace' Last in the Philippines?

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 3:56 PM

When the Moro National Liberation Front declared independence in August last year, many thought that President Aquino's latest peace deal with the Moro insurgents in Mindanao would need to be scuttled. Just a month after the declaration of independence of a "Bangsamoro Republik," MNLF leader Nur Misuari tried to hoist...

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Mindanao's Rebellion: Aquino Is Running Out of Time

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 7:13 AM

Since serious negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) culminated in the signing of the Framework Agreement between it and the government of the Philippines in 2012, the government had hoped that its decades-long battle with rebel movement in the southern Philippines was drawing to a close. It had...

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Does The Philippines Deserve Its Investment Grade?

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 5:42 PM

Over the past decade the Philippines' sovereign credit rating oscillated between "negative" and "stable", reflecting concern about the ability of the government to collect sufficient tax revenue, manage its budget, and sustain a high rate of GDP growth. Three years ago, President Aquino embarked on a long overdue path to...

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Does The Philippines Deserve Its Investment Grade?

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Over the past decade the Philippines' sovereign credit rating oscillated between "negative" and "stable," reflecting concern about the ability of the government to collect sufficient tax revenue, manage its budget, and sustain a high rate of GDP growth. Three years ago, President Aquino embarked on a long overdue path to...

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China, the Philippines and the Rule of Law

(3) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 9:57 AM

As a rising global power, and being the largest and most important economy and military power in Asia, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has had the luxury of being able to do more or less whatever it wants in challenging its neighbors over disputed land and oil and gas...

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With Russia, America Should Embrace the 21st Century

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 8:30 AM

The U.S. Congress has had the option of waiving the restrictions placed on trade relations with Russia as a result of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment since 1989. Each year since that time, U.S. lawmakers have chosen to waive the trade restrictions. But earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted...

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Monkey Business as Usual in the Philippines

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 3:30 PM

In July we pondered whether and to what degree former Philippine President Arroyo's release on bail would be indicative of the eventual verdict in the electoral sabotage and plunder charges against her. We also wondered to what extent public perception of the prosecution's evidence in both cases will...

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Arroyo's Release on Bail: A Bad Omen for the Philippines

(3) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 3:14 PM

After nearly eight months under hospital arrest, a trial court judge this week ordered former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo released on bail, on the grounds that the evidence against her was 'weak.' Having been charged with electoral sabotage and plundering of the national treasury, Arroyo and her husband were arrested...

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How Not to Achieve Foreign Policy Objectives With Russia

(3) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 1:01 PM

In December 2011, the World Trade Organization approved Russia's membership, which had been sought since 1993. In April of this year, just three weeks after then-President Medvedev submitted a new draft Civil Code to Parliament, the Duma adopted in its first reading, and virtually verbatim, a new Draft Law which...

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The Magnitsky Act and Implications for Russia-U.S. Relations

(7) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 5:38 PM

Throughout the Cold War the U.S. Congress sought to penalize the Soviet Union for its human rights record. Legislation such as the Jackson-Vanik amendment became a long-term influence on bilateral trade between the two countries. That tradition was reinvigorated this past week, when the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved...

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A Long Awaited Day of Justice in the Philippines

(8) Comments | Posted May 30, 2012 | 1:17 PM

The Philippines experienced a judicial milestone on Tuesday with the conviction of Renato Corona, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, for failure to declare several high value assets -- including US$2.4 million in foreign currency deposits -- on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN)....

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China, the Philippines, and the Scarborough Shoal

(143) Comments | Posted May 20, 2012 | 6:46 PM

Last week, the USS North Carolina -- a Virginia class fast attack submarine -- took Chinese and Philippine authorities alike by surprise after resurfacing in Philippine waters and docking in Subic Bay -- the economic free port zone in the Philippine province of Zambales. Subic was once the largest U.S....

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The Fall of the Mighty and the Rise of Justice in the Philippines

(17) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 2:59 PM

In bombshell testimony in a packed Senate hall today, the impeachment trial of Philippine Chief Justice Renato C. Corona took a dramatic turn. Citing a 21-page confidential report issued by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales Morales -- an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III -- testified that...

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Of Saints and Hypocrites in the Philippines

(11) Comments | Posted April 9, 2012 | 12:30 PM

Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona is the first high court justice to have been impeached by the Philippine House of Representatives on allegations of breach of the public trust, and is currently being tried by the Senate. Corona is the third person in high office to have been impeached by...

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India Should Look to Hong Kong's Example in Its Fight Against Corruption

(2) Comments | Posted February 2, 2012 | 11:09 AM

The legislative showdown currently underway in the Indian Parliament over the Lokpal bill -- intended to put some boundaries around India's legendary corruption -- is unfortunately not unusual. Political gridlock has gripped nearly every potential significant reform since Prime Minister Singh's reelection in 2009. It is a shame that the...

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