Opinion: Caught with our pants down

Have we been caught with our pants down?

When US President Barrack Obama arrived in the Philippines on Monday, I was engaged in a rather interesting discussion on what happened at the town hall meeting with young ASEAN leaders in Malaysia the day before.

The topic, which has flooded my Facebook newsfeed that day, revolved on the supposed weakness of the questions thrown at the US President by those who were dubbed as “future leaders” of the region. A Yahoo article, for instance, highlighted the supposed wasted opportunity when questions about happiness and regrets were asked instead of directing the conversation towards US foreign policy and interests in the region.

There were those who echoed the sentiments aired in the article, and there were those who defended the so-called “young leaders” and the questions that they asked. A colleague from Malaysia, who also expressed her disappointment on the set of questions, provided an insight on what happened – “Some people just want to learn more about him. That’s really understandable when you take a closer look at who the questioners were, how the program itself was packaged and promoted, and the aims of the town hall… This was a town hall for young leaders on leadership. Expect some young (read: naïve) questions on leadership.” Read more of this post

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Wiki pages of Napoles, pols defaced

First published in The Philippine Star, 27 April 2014

The Wikipedia pages of Janet Lim-Napoles and at least 10 politicians, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, have suffered an increase in vandalism at the hands of netizens this week, The STAR discovered yesterday.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Wikipedia pages of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV were defaced to include references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lord of the Rings.

A link to a defaced page of Binay, which included personal attacks against the vice president, also circulated on the social media site Facebook yesterday.

Upon further examination of the history of different Wikipedia pages of top government officials, The STAR learned that seven other incumbent senators have suffered the same fate since April 21: Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Alan Peter Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Antonio Trillanes IV, Grace Poe, and Cynthia Villar.

Most of the vandalism cases were personal attacks, with the exception of the pages of Estrada and Revilla, which suffered changes that allude to the pork barrel scam. Read more of this post