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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Duterte and the three ladies

Ninfa Leonardia Now we know why President Rodrigo Duterte and his National Police Chief Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa, click. They have the same tendency to say harsh words that shock people and to apologize later for what they had uttered. When he was in Bacolod last week, General “Bato” raised the hackles of many people when he ordered the drug addicts to kill the pushers who had brought them to their present condition. According to those who heard or read what he said, they could hardly believe he actually spoke that way.

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But when he got to Iloilo, his next stop, he was reported to be apologetic about the things he said in Negros Occidental and said “Sorry” for them. He explained that he was angry at the sight of the addicts who looked like zombies and seemed lifeless, that he could not help himself. Does this mean that the Philippine National Police also needs to create a Department of Explanation and Interpretation? Anyway, it seems he also charmed a lot of people by his friendliness and sincerity. Let's hope he learns to hold himself in check when angry next time.

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A report from the wire services recently said that Japan had allocated about $90,000 each for the South Korean women who were made sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War II. For those who have already died, $18,000 will be given to their families. This is because the Japanese government had reportedly provided $9.9 million to the foundation that will help the women and compensate them for what they suffered during the war. Now, what about the Filipino women who have been clamoring also for some compensation for having been snatched from their homes and made sex slaves, too? I hope they are covered by the same grant and, if not, it is time for them to make demands again.

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The news about Koreans called to mind the fate of the Korean tourist who died when he fell from a cliff while trying to scale the area in Mambukal leading to the Sixth Waterfall. Now, it has always been a challenge to visitors to Mambukal to try and reach the Seventh Fall. The family of the victim came to Bacolod to bring home his remains, and fortunately for us, they accepted that what happened was really an accident because the two companions of the victim assured them that there was no foul play. In fact the children reportedly said they were coming back to Negros Occidental next year.

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Meanwhile, I hope one of our councilors will remember to sponsor an ordinance that will regulate the noise made by motorcyclists in our streets, especially at night time. It seems some of them really do it on purpose, that is, they rev their engines while passing through residential areas, perhaps to call attention to their antics. I am writing about this now because several people, even those living in subdivisions, tell me they often get annoyed by the noise being made.

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I wonder how the state of affairs is now between President Duterte and the three gutsy ladies who have dared to comment on the goings-on in the early days of his presidency? First there's former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima, who reportedly got his goat when she dared to look into the stories about death squads in Davao. Later, it was Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno whom he scored for talking about due process and such, but who wisely clammed up when he was starting to get livid. Now it looks as if he might be picking a tiff also with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who of course, may give him tit for tat. Is a three-cornered fight developing?

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The new speaker of the House of Representatives has a brainstorm and he says he would like to abolish the Sangguniang Kabataan rather than just postponing their election. Well, he has a point, because the members of the SK are supposed to be students, and it is very likely that they will concentrate on one role and neglect the other. In other words, a dedicated SK member may spend more time on his tasks there and neglect or miss his school work, or vice versa, will devote his time to his studies, especially if he or she is running for honors, and have little or no time for political work in the SK.

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Another congressman's brainstorm is to put up a “Humor Ward” in hospitals to amuse patients, citing the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine. The ward will show films, programs, books, games and puzzles that could make people laugh. But they also say that people could die laughing. One suggestion: Include live coverage of sessions of both houses of Congress, some of which are really laughable, and could make the patients forget their aches and pains.*

 

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