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Bramovich: Merry Christmas Mr Duterte, you bloody hypocrite

In a very brief Christmas message to his country, “The Punisher” president shared his hopes for peace and progress as the Philippines moves into 2017. The entire “greeting” – delivered in an oddly-soporific monotone – lasted a little over 40 seconds. “My beloved countrymen, as we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ,…


Bramovich: Oy, Bono… be like James Taylor and boycott the Philippines!

Let’s talk about James Taylor’s recent decision to cancel his Philippine concert (as we recently reported here). The American singer-songwriter said the reason for his decision was the bloody and pointless war on drugs being waged by self-confessed murderer and former fentanyl abuser, Rodrigo Duterte. “I don’t think of my music as being particularly…


Bramovich: Excuse me, Teddyboy? What did you just say?

In a backflip worthy of the nation’s president, the incoming ambassador to the United Nations has condemned both the death penalty and the war on drugs. Step forward Teddy “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. A former television anchor and journalist, who has a reputation for being none too careful of what he…


Bramovich: What is Duterte’s problem with the USA? Or is he just high?

President Duterte has expressed shock and horror at the USA’s Millennium Challenge Corp’s decision to withhold aid funding, due to concerns over his bloody war on drugs. (See my recent article on this here). He has further threatened to terminate the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) and so end the longstanding presence of…


Foreign aid: Be careful what you wish for

The Millennium Challenge Corp, a US-led agency that has previously awarded substantial grants for infrastructure projects to the Philippines has deferred a vote on giving more money to the country, citing rule of law issues. Duterte has repeatedly said that he wants to cut ties with the US which has…


Boom! Fireworks or firearms? Why I’m staying indoors this New Year’s Eve

Traditionally, officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have had the muzzles on their guns taped over for New Year’s Eve to discourage the indiscriminate discharge of their firearms. This year, it has been announced, they will be trusted to keep their guns functional and resist the temptation to fire them off…


Duterte and Trump: The beginning of a beautiful friendship?

THE prevailing view among many political commentators is that Trump’s foreign policy is a disaster waiting to happen. They like to portray him as a rampaging orange toddler throwing some very expensive toys from the national pram. Already, he has offended China, stoked fear in Europe with his lukewarm support…