Agra said being in the headlines and pilloried by angry protesters were taking a toll on him and his family.
He said it pained him to see the name “bequeathed to me by my father” made the subject of snide wordplay—a reference to placards with the words “Agra-biyado” and “Agra-be” held up by protesters at the Department of Justice.
“That hurts me because I am a family guy,” he said."
So were many of those killed. In denying their families their day in court, in purposefully ignoring and subverting legal jurisprudence, Agra has effectively made a farce of our legal system. He’s exemplified why the Philippines, as a nation-state, is no longer looked upon with respect, but pity. And in some international circles, outright disgust.
If Agra really and truly stood by his decision and believed that it was proper and correct, he would not be crying. The backlash would not be affecting him. He could point to the law and say, “What I did was perfectly legal, look at the legal history upon which my decision is justified.” But there is no such legal history, there is no such defense. So, instead he has to use emotional pleas and justifications to defend and obscure his initial unethical, immoral and illegal decision.
By any other name, whether from the father or because Agra is a crybaby, they are crocodile tears.
By the way, love the nicknames.
When Fidel Ramos came to power in 1992, the main agenda of his technocrats was to bring down all tariffs to 0 to 5 percent and bring the Philippines into the World Trade Organization and the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), moves that were intended to make trade liberalization irreversible. A pick-up in the growth rate in the early years of Ramos sparked hope, but the green shoots were more apparent than real, and they were, at any rate, crushed as a result of another neoliberal policy: financial liberalization. The elimination of foreign exchange controls and restrictions of speculative investment attracted billions of dollars in the period 1993-1997. But this also meant that when panic hit the ranks of foreign investors in Asia in the summer of 1997, the same lack of capital controls facilitated the stampede of billions of dollars from the country in a few short weeks in mid-1997. This pushed the economy into recession and stagnation in the next few years.
The Estrada administration did not reverse course, and under the presidency of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, neoliberal policies continued to reign. New liberalization initiatives in the next few years were initiated on the trade front, with the government negotiating free trade agreements with Japan and China. These pacts were entered into despite clear evidence that trade liberalization was destroying the two pillars of the economy, industry and agriculture.
Radical unilateral trade liberalization severely destabilized our manufacturing sector, with textile and garments firms, for instance, being drastically reduced from 200 in 1970 to 10 in recent years. As one of Arroyo’s finance secretaries admitted, “there’s an uneven implementation of trade liberalization, which was to our disadvantage.” While he speculated that consumers might have benefited from the tariff liberalization, he acknowledged that “it has killed so many local industries.”"
Usually, I post stuff that I need to remember, or that just irritate me so I can respond to them in a ranty sort of way.
This is one of the few articles that I think everyone should read. In point, it offers an authoritative, balanced and well-researched counterpoint (something very different from me) to the domestically destructive free-trade pushings of Magno. Well worth the read.