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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 1, 2016
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with Ninfa Leonardia

An inspiring win for the Azkals

Ninfa Leonardia The big sports news yesterday was about the victory of the Philippine Azkals against North Korea in their game held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Wednesday. Now that is not just a “one-of-those-things” happening in the football field, because Nokor is a former champion of the World Cup, so it is no mean feat. For sure this will inspire the Azkals to work harder and gain more winnings to enable them to compete with other international teams who will see them with more respect after this. Good luck to them!


Why is it that until now there are still a lot of people, and organizations questioning the Supreme Court decision on the qualification of Senator Grace Poe for the presidency? Doesn't this make some members of the Supreme Court uneasy? Anyway, there are a lot who claim that, even before the decision was released, they already knew the outcome from the comments of the Chief Justice herself. What about those motions for reconsideration, will they still have any hope of a reversal, or are the petitioners only baying at the moon?


Anyway, we should be glad our election process is not as complicated as that of the United States where people are split between the Democrats and the Republicans and party members seem to have a bounden duty to vote for the person chosen by their party. So now, many Republicans are in a quandary because they do not like Donald Trump, and even party officials are dismayed by his pronouncements. Will they have to swallow hard and vote for him anyway?


It's a much different story with Myanmar. Because she is prohibited by the Constitution adopted by the Military Regime that had ruled the country for decades, and is till in existence, Aung San Suu Kyi cannot herself run for president, despite her popularity and accomplishments. So she has settled for the election of a close friend, some reports call her “driver”, to the position, while she has been appointed Foreign Affairs Minister. But one can easily guess who will be the power behind the throne, and that seems to be good enough for her people.


During his speech at the Bacolod public plaza as guest of the Grupo Progreso opening salvo, Senator Tito Sotto managed to remind his audience that undoubtedly included some people from the concerned cities, that he had sponsored the bills that created the cities of Kabankalan, Silay and Talisay in Negros Occidental. No wonder he is one of the most productive members of the Senate. He is not only possessed of very good P.R. as a TV personality, he also knows his job as legislator. I guess that is a cue for residents and officials of those cities to remember him on May 9.


No to be outdone by their terrorist counterparts in Europe, the Abu Sayyaf also staged another kidnapping operation, this time having, ten Indonesian sailors for their hostages. It seems strange they would do that, though, because those sailors are surely Muslims, as most Indonesian are. Maybe kidnapping of white foreigners is no longer productive? But perhaps they will understand each other better, being of the same faith. An Agence France Presse report says the ASG was organized with the help of the unlamented Osama Bin Laden who, himself, was accounted for by American undercover men.


Oh, oh. Now it is the former mayor of San Juan, and now Senator J.V. Ejercito , who is facing trouble at the Ombudsman. JV has been charged, together with 18 other former members of his city government, with graft over the purchase of P21.1 million worth of guns that the Ombudsman says was paid with the city's calamity funds, and done without public bidding. Why do so many officials dare to make purchases without the required bidding? Do they think it is easy to explain that failure away? Ironically, among those charged with him is then vice mayor Francisco Zamora who, I understand is now challenging his mother, incumbent San Juan mayor Guia Gomez, for the mayoralty in San Juan. The old friendship between the two families has apparently gone to the rocks, but they are still united in this case. What an irony it is.*

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