IT WAS the perfect formula for another uprising. Factors and forces that conspired to oust a previous president surfaced again to threaten yet another one out of power: a familiar pattern of titillating scandal and media overkill; congressional investigation and official cover-up; street protests and digital demonstrations.
THERE WAS no saying no to Ramon. He invited me to his one-room apartment one day in the middle of the holy month of Ramadan. There was no work for a week and most shops were closed during the day. There was nothing to do but watch television. Ramon, a Filipino who had worked in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, was my driver, guide, and friend. He said he wanted to show me something that I would enjoy.
IT WAS hard to take Marlene Garcia-Esperat seriously. Each time she came to our office to report yet another corrupt government deal, she wore mini skirts, stiletto heels and tight dresses with low necklines that revealed more than concealed. Every visit from her was a sartorial shock. You could say she was a colorful person, as each time she came, her hair was dyed a different shade (her preferred hues were light brown and red) and her eye shadow was inspired by the rainbow. Once, she even came in fishnet stockings.
PAGADIAN CITY — Newspaper editor and publisher Hernan de la Cruz may own several guns, but that has not made him feel safer living and working here. Four journalists have been killed in Pagadian since 2000, making the city the most dangerous in the country for journalists.
PAGADIAN CITY — Shops close in this southern city by seven in the evening, and the streets are soon almost empty after that. Once known for its farm produce and fishing industry, Pagadian and the surrounding towns of Zamboanga del Sur are today a melting pot of crime syndicates from all over Mindanao.
THE MEDIA have always been a major player in Philippine elections, more so now with the pervasiveness of television. But there is a twist in this year’s elections: the increasing influence of the entertainment media and of showbiz celebrities in the campaign. And that, of course, comes with a price tag.
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