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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 22, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Remembering EDSA

Ninfa Leonardia The Edsa Season has began and we can expect a lot of reminiscences on those wonderful days when our people showed their best to the whole world, as they exhibited their willingness to die, rather than continue to live under a heartless dictatorship. Of course some of the stories we will be reading in the print media, hearing on broadcast, or seeing on TV may be repetitious, but they will all serve to remind us that never again should we tolerate dictatorship in our country.

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It was a wise move of President Aquino to issue Executive Order 201 increasing the pay of government workers. As some of them have commented, it may not be enough for all their needs, but it is something that could improve their living conditions. I really admire those people who have that attitude. There are some for whom nothing is ever enough. And the President has, wisely also, omitted the workers of GOCCs, or Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, who are already receiving much more than the ordinary workers. The new increases will level things up a bit.

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But there will always be crabs who will complain, and some of these come from Congress who gripe that the President issued the EO without their approval. Of course they all wanted to get some of the pogi points for supposedly having something to do with the new benefits. Well, PNoy beat them to it, and if they take some move to stop the increases, they will be the ones on the losing end.

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Isn't it funny? Our former first lady, now a congresswoman, Imelda Marcos was notorious for having some 3,000 pairs of shoes. Now the son of Grace Poe has been slammed for allegedly wearing a pair of shoes that cost $19,999, or just one cent to make $20,000! How much would that be converted to pesos? And how many pairs of tsinelas (slippers) would the amount have bought for barefoot schoolchildren in the barrios? But then, Grace Poe and her husband are not paupers, maybe the shoes were gifts from his equally rich grandmother. And, also his family does not own (as far as we know) jewelry worth billions like the other shoe lover we know.

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Now even Malacañang is calling for the health records of candidates to be made available to the public. Indeed, why not? Maybe it is all right for candidates seeking office in the provinces, cities, towns and barangays, because they only serve three-year terms. But the higher offices of the president, the vice president and the senators allow them six years. Will a candidate who is suffering from some ailment, life-threatening ones, that is, be sure of lasting that long?

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Well, there is Madame Senator Miriam Santiago, who had openly declared before the Senate that she was suffering from Stage Four cancer of the lungs, but also assured that she had been cured by some magic drugs. And yet she is one of those who are not very willing to provide that record. So how can we gauge whether she will last the full term or not? Is that why the son of the Martial Law author was so willing to be her vice president? All the others look too hale and hearty, but note, Roy Señeres, the former ambassador, who was probably younger than most of the others, died even before the start of the campaign period.

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What have Manny Pacquiao and Digong Duterte have in common? Both got into trouble by speaking out their minds. Remember how Duterte got the ire, not only of Catholics, but of all decent people when he called the Pope “P.I.M.”, the Tagalog equivalent of the vulgar “son of a bitch”? Until now he has not yet gone to Rome to apologize personally as he had announced. Then there is Pacquiao, who, forgetting to be diplomatic, spoke out his mind about gay people, and not only got cussed from all over, but even lost a big endorsement contract with shoe producer Nike.

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Six officials of the National Printing Office have been dismissed by the Ombudsman. Now, what had they been printing, or what was their crime? Surely they were not printing counterfeit money. Or maybe it was pornography? I have the feeling we will be hearing more about officials being dismissed, or convicted, before election day. And I surely hope so, in order that the bad weeds can be thrown out before they return to commit thefts of the people's money.*

 

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