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Victorino Dennis M. Socrates


The “sin” of “admiration”

There is, of course, something laudable in the effort to accord social recognition to virtue or excellence.  The honor serves as an incentive, and the awardee as a model and inspiration, for people to strive to acquire the highlighted virtues.  The problem, however, is whether or not the honoree truly deserved the recognition; or worse, whether or not the character trait recognized were truly virtue in the moral sense.

POTUS, Palaweños, and the Upsilon Sigma Phi

A few weeks after Donald Trump was elected 45th President of the United States in 2016, my dear friend, political strategist par excellence Gilbert Baaco (may he rest in peace), quipped that it was the group, “Palaweños of the U.S.”, that made Trump POTUS.  Besides the common acronym, we had a good laugh at the allusion to a familiar tendency for people (ourselves included) to overrate their own contribution to the election of a candidate for public office.

The Nilo Tayag case revisited

The Bill of Rights of the 1935 Constitution then in force—as does our present (1987) Constitution—provides: “No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted.”  While ex post facto laws are statutes that make an act criminal retroactively (i.e., the act was not a crime at the time it was committed but is sought to be penalized by the subsequent law), a bill of attainder is a statute that imposes a penalty without a trial or judicial process to determine guilt.  Both kinds are considered antithetical to the concept of “constitutional due process” or the demands of reasonableness and “fair play”. 

August cerebrations

August 28 is the feastday of Saint Augustine, patron saint of the town of my birth, Cuyo, and I take this opportunity to wish my fellow-Cuyonons a blessed Purungitan Festival—the official (secularized) name of the celebration. 

The death penalty and Blessed Bartolo Longo

“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future,” is a line from A Woman of No Importance, a now obscure play...

The disaster month of July

There is a joke I heard from a friend, about two lady LCEs (Local Chief Executives) who had their faces Belo-fied. LCE1 turned out...

Beginning again (and again)

By Constitutional and statutory fiat, the terms of our elective (except Barangay) officials begin at noontime of June 30 following their election (held every...

Independence and solidarity

Am writing this piece while on leave from office, shortly after watching Quezon’s Game (starring Raymond Bagatsing and Rachel Alejandro as President Manuel Quezon and...

“The merry month of May”

The just-concluded May 13, 2019, electoral exercise reminds me of the phrase, "the merry month of May." Indeed, our legal system fixes the triennial...