December 2017
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European Union assistance

can have conditions – with audit, policy or business reasons. Much comes from public debate over here. Audit has to do with not wanting EU money to disappear without helping anyone except a few third-world politicians. I am pretty confident that modern audit practices in the EU keep things from happening like what some pro-Duterte […]

Congratulations, Iloilo City

– not only have you defended your Mayor and your reputation (link), you got a real drug lord (link). You did have to kill him, which is unavoidable at times, but the entire story of month-long leads and tips from Ilonggos sounds more plausible to me than all the off-the-cuff declarations of Duterte. That includes […]

Smart and Strong

have a different meaning for some Filipinos. Sandra Cam might be seen as smart and Antonio Contreras as strong. Devious and thick-faced Bongbong Marcos as both. Ethics of people who I think don’t believe in fairness, civility or honesty – possibly because they have never seen much of it in their lives. “Those who have […]

Hanggang Pier Lang

ang mararating sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko – sabay paninira sa iba. Dahil walang magbabago sa ganyan. Walang tren o riles o elektrisidad ng MRT na maaayos. Walang mahihirap na mabibigyan ng hanapbuhay at pag-asa sa buhay. At hindi rin aasenso ang isang administrasyon na umaasa sa proyektong nasimulan ng iba. Buti pa si Presidente […]

The Kinetic Energy

of colonial discovery hit the Philippines in 1521. The billard queue is long gone but the balls keep moving. Just a preview of a new movie about Lumads in Mindanao shows this (link). Loggers come into the hunting grounds of the Manobo, who finally get sucked into the middle of armed conflict. Uniformed men bullying […]

What 2017 holds

For the USA, Donald Trump. For Germany, elections. For the Philippines – hopefully not Marcos.

The world – seems crazy nowadays. Questions are many, for the moment good answers are few.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 31. December 2016


A Nation adrift

is what I see when I look at the Philippines today. For sure the Filipino capacity to play it by ear is a strength in many situations, and might have been one of the things President Duterte was a master of when he ran his City of Davao, if one is to believe the stories […]

The Big Picture

still evades me after 1 1/2 years of observing the Philippines and writing about it. True, more and more is coming out. Good, bad and ugly. True, false and in between. Everybody believes what they want to believe. There is the recent testimony of alleged former assassin Matobato in the Senate. There is the House […]

Trust and Predictability

are two important factors in all human interactions. Both seem to be wanting in the Philippines. People are so often unpredictable – my head spins at times when I look at Philippine politics. Trust is also a rare commodity – the enormous distrust shown between different sides in politics shows it. I am trying to […]

Changing the Countryside

could be a job for incoming VP Robredo. Never mind that Duterte does not want her in the Cabinet. She is planning to save money by not using the Coconut Palace, set up Branch Offices and use the Vice Presidential funds for projects of her own. It could be a continuation of the grassroots work […]

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