Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

30 October 2018
Notes on Chantal Mouffe's Lecture ‘Linker Populismus’

By Francis Isaac, Government Watch (G-Watch)

SO36 is a large music bar in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, known for hosting punk rock concerts and has been a fixture of Germany’s counter-cultural scene for the past four decades. But on the evening of 3 October 2018, this rebel hangout (that once featured Iggy Pop and David Bowie) was converted into a lecture hall that could accommodate close to three hundred people.

16 July 2018
10 Open Government Myths

As I attend my 3rd Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Tblisi, Georgia, I am hoping to see progress in this network in breaking what I refer to as "open government myths." 

Let me share ten of my most favorite:

6 July 2018
Duterte's ChaCha Committee is Accountable to the Public

By Joy Aceron*

It is reported that one of the members of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution created by President Rodrigo Duterte thinks that the Committee does not owe the public a copy of their proposed Constitution. According to him, this is because the Committee only reports to the President and because he thinks the public is not capable of studying Constitutional Change proposal. Confidently, he argued that unlike him, the public did not study the Constitution and laws for years.

4 June 2018
‘Para kanino tayo kumikilos?’: Planting the seeds for a new social movement

“What can we do amidst these concerted efforts to strike down accountability? The people in the roundtable ask. What can we do against the overwhelming arrogance of power?
“The suggestion, coming from Government Watch — an action-research organization embedded in various civic groups all over the Philippines — is to revive the power of social movements. Or more specifically: revive the movement-building approach, especially in light of a society that feels more divided and fragmented than ever.”

11 May 2018
Implications of the Recent Philippine Supreme Court Decision on Accountability

By: Joy Aceron*

The removal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno from office is a serious blow to accountability. Sereno has been one of those calling out the abuses of the Duterte government. In doing so, the President has singled her out, like he did opposition Senator Leila de Lima, who is now in jail.

20 February 2018
Pinagbuklod na mga Pananaw sa Pananagutan

By Anna Bueno*

May ‘pananagutan’ ba tayo sa sarili nating gobyerno?
Can Filipinos still take their government to account?
Do Filipinos still know how to make their gov’t officials accountable?
For Filipinos, what does accountability in government look like?

1 February 2018
Not As Good As it Seems: A Closer Look at the 2017 Open Budget Survey Result on the Philippines

By Joy Aceron, G-Watch/ Accountability Research Center

The result of the latest Open Budget Survey (OBS) is certainly encouraging for the Philippines. Since the Report has come out, the report has been covered by media (‪ and has been hailed by the government as an affirmation of its efforts on budget reform.

29 January 2018
Another Threat to Accountability - This time on Public Procurement

By Joy Aceron

As we continue to confront the threats to press freedom, the danger of an exclusive and fast Constitutional Change process that attempts to remove certain human rights and accountability provisions in the Constitution and the prevailing impunity in the implementation of the government's Drug War, there is another challenge that democracy defenders concerned about the Philippines must also contend with: a possible threat to open, transparent and accountable public finance management, specifically procurement.

27 November 2017
A State of Impunity

By Joy Aceron, Government Watch (G-Watch)

Corruption, sexual harassment, use of violence, unresponsive and flawed policies.

What is one bottomline of these core problems we face today?

IMPUNITY. Politicians steal money, powerful men harass and rape women, the poor get killed, decisions made that affect all our lives are wrong and detrimental because those in power, those who have money, those who are well-connected, occupying positions of unimaginable influence, think they can get away with it.

And they do. The powerful get away with anything.