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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, August 18, 2016
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with Ninfa Leonardia

Let Leni talk to him

Ninfa Leonardia Between the devil and the deep blue sea. That seems to be the situation of the Judge in Surigao del Norte, who was among those named by the President when he released his “list” recently. Judge Exequiel Dagala was one of the seven judges included, and latest reports say he tendered his resignation the day after the list came out, to the Supreme Court. But alas for him, the High Court is not letting him go, because it wants to do its own probe on him. I wonder which agency he would rather face, charges from the executive or from the judiciary.


Meanwhile, I think we can be proud of our judges here, none of whom have landed in the President's list. Of course we cross our fingers, while hoping that none of them will ever be included. So far, we do not know of any rumors involving them, as users, or just coddlers, and let us pray that will continue to be true. If there is anything we hear people say about our courts, it is just the usual – too slow movements of cases, but that seems to be the norm in this country.


“Can Leni sway Rody on FM burial?” That was the head of an item in the Philippine Star yesterday. The accompanying story said Vice President Leni Robredo has indicated a plan to talk to the president herself about her views on the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. But she admitted that she has no power to change his mind, but will just give it a try. If she will listen to me, I have a suggestion that might work.


I remember that when President Duterte spoke to the soldiers at a military camp, he not only enthused about his vice president as “ladylike, kind and beautiful”. But he also said that he got distracted from his speech once when she was present and her skirt edged up a little bit. You know what, Ma'am (that's what he calls you, isn't it?) Why don't you go see him wearing a mini, or maybe a long-sleeved dress with a low-cut neckline? I bet he will not only listen to you, he will say “Okay,” immediately. And the whole country will thank you and love you forever!


It should not be surprising, even to our sports officials why Mary Joy Tabal, despite her determination, could not make it to the top three in the 42.2 kilometer run. When you look at the names and nationalities of the top three, you will understand. The three winners were from Kenya – gold, Bahrain – silver, and Ethiopia – bronze. All of them come from countries with very hot temperatures, and running under the hot noonday sun must have been ordinary for them.


Meanwhile, disturbing news continue to come out in the media, especially in the national dailies. In the past two days alone, we read the following heads of news items:

•  5 suspects slain in drug sting in QC, Manila.

•  7 more drug suspects killed in Luzon, Visayas.

•  Summary killing in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.

•  2 soldiers, cop killed in anti-drug operation in Midsayap, Cotabato.

•  3 drug suspects slain in Bulacan.

•  2 drug suspects killed in Malabon, Manila.

Do reports like this not give you the shivers? The word I find most bothersome is “suspect”. What if they are just that, without confirmation?


At the same time, the office of the president has announced that another “list” is forthcoming, and this time it will include public officials. We already know some of those, as names have been revealed. Let us just hope that a very thorough checking and real validation is made before the revelation because the harm it could do those who are innocent is immeasurable. We are happy to hear that the number of users, pushers and traders has been diminishing, as is the supply of the illegal stuff, but we do not also want an increasing number of people mistakenly condemned.*


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