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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, April 6, 2016
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The rising star of Leni Robredo

Ninfa Leonardia What is the real “Big Political Surprise"? I think it is the soaring ratings of vice presidential bet Leni Robredo, who is now making her opponents really uncomfortable with the way she is connecting with Filipino voters. For someone who used to be among those in the lowest bracket of contenders, she is now nearing the top, with more and more influential people batting for her. So it was really a wise choice of candidate for president Mar Roxas, and President Aquino to pick her.

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But because of the desperation of some candidates, it is now becoming obvious that some of them are resorting to fake surveys showing that they are winning, or at least rising in them. Well, people with mental dishonesty will always do their tricks, but will somehow be discovered. A recent survey released to the media, allegedly by Pulse Asia, had been denied by that agency. But are the candidates who sought them ashamed or embarrassed? Of course not, they are only quick to deny they had anything to do with it.

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Another new boon for Leni Robredo, endorser Kris Aquino has gone all out for her, and, as reports showed, all the sisters of Kris are for her, too. The Aquino sisters say Leni Robredo reminds them of their mother, Cory, who found herself thrown into the highest office of the land. Despite her lack of experience in politics and governance, Corazon Aquino acquitted herself creditably as president, and became an icon of democracy.

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Meanwhile, who's telling lies? Candidate Duterte has been announcing that he had written to Pope Francis his apologies, which he claimed had been accepted and that the Holy Father had replied, and forgiven him. Yesterday, the alleged papal letter apparently came only from one of the Vatican secretaries, and in no way does it say that Duterte was “forgiven” for cursing the Pope. All it says is that the Holy Father appreciated his sentiments and will pray for him. How does one read “forgiveness” into that? Maybe there is a “personal” letter that only Duterte knows of?

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When he was asked about his reaction to the display of the jewels accumulated by his profligate mother, the “Imeldific” Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was quoted as dismissing it as just “politics”. The jewels, said to cost more than a king's ransom, or almost a billion pesos, had been focused on by the media recently, and many were awed, others shocked at their shapes and sizes, and rarity. There were rings, earrings, necklaces, coronets, tiaras, bracelets, probably also anklets, that were of all colors and designs. But they must seem ordinary to her only son, who must never have seen his people's poverty.

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Voters in Manila are reportedly happy to learn that voting will be allowed in several malls there. I am sure most of those who are pleased with that development are senior citizens and the women. I am sure, too, some enterprising mall operators will have special offers for voters on that day, and even time their sales, so those waiting to cast their votes will be entertained. What about Bacolod? Has the Comelec already decided to hold votings in Malls, and which ones have been chosen?

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Whoever thought up the idea of making Commission on Election employees wear uniform on election day should be asked to finance them himself or herself. Just imagine spending millions of pesos for an outfit to be worn only on election day! What is more, it will only identify them to disgruntled candidates after the counting is done, and expose them to danger. Also, when else will they be required to wear those uniforms? Will they be good only for election day? A foolish idea, if you ask me. I am glad it met so many objections that they have decided to junk it.

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These bits of news should put more fear and caution in the hearts of motorcyclists. A report from the Metro Manila Development Authority shows that motorcycles have been determined to be the “deadliest” vehicles in 2015. The report recorded 519 deaths and 17,103 injuries last year. How much bigger would the figures be if that were a national report? Even in the media, we have noted that motorcycle accidents seem to dominate reports from our police blotters. And yet, nobody seems to be seriously implementing even just the helmet law, or that about multiple passengers on one motorcycle.*

 

 

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