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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 1, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The Speech of the President

Ninfa Leonardia Those who watched the inaugurations of the new President and Vice President of our country said they were practically appalled at the way Ferdinand Marcos Jr. seemed to be cheering the winning president that they interpreted to mean he was sure he would get help from that sector in pushing his protest against the People's Choice, Leni Robredo, who also took her oath yesterday. The protests filed by Marcos Jr., I recall, also asked that Leni's inauguration be stopped.

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Anyway, the rites went on yesterday, and it was reported to be a solemn and dignified activity where the new Vice President, showed her maturity and wisdom by not referring to the snub made to her by President Rodrigo Duterte, who did not even invite her to his inauguration. The other day, we also had reports that Marcos Jr. is even including Negros Occidental and Bacolod City in his quest for a recount of votes, indicating that he felt he was cheated here! Doesn't he have any idea of what ghastly memories our people have of those days of Martial Law when even charges of murder were trumped up against members of the clergy?

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Anyway, reading the report on the speech delivered by President Duterte made me wonder if that was himself speaking. Did someone else write it, and how were they able to convince him to deliver it? Did they feed him with tranquilizers to tone him down. I almost missed the cuss words that have been associated with him for so long. It was such a goody-goody speech that seemed unbelievable coming the mouth of the same man.

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What was more interesting to hear was the announcement that the new President will start his working day at 1 p.m. everyday and also will be going home to Davao later. Will that not cost the country a bit of money for the ride, and what about other regular flights that may have to be delayed because that is always done when a presidential plane takes off or lands? Well, who is to complain when the regular passenger commuting to work is the President?

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Meanwhile, it looks as if it will be “tuloy ang ligaya (On with the fun)” as far as the office of the Ombudsman is concerned. Among the latest to be indicted is former TESDA Chief and Iloilo congressman Augusto Syjuco, for graft and malversation involving P43 million. The charges say he allegedly used the amount to finance his chicken business. This was done by entering into a contract with the Tagipusuon Foundation by the Ilonggo Chickboy Corporation which he also controlled.

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Also in trouble is former Cebu City Mayor Margarita Osmeña who has been ordered by the Commission on Audit to explain a P6.2 Billion deficit during her administration. Four others are also included in the COA reports and perhaps, the city accountant and treasurer can explain this yet as it is still at the COA level. By the way, isn't she the wife of the incoming mayor of Cebu?

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Worse is the case of another former mayor, Caloocan City Enrico Echeverri where the COA allegedly found irregularities in a project implemented without a specific ordinance authorizing it, and without approval of the city council. With the mayor in the charges are the accountant and the treasurer who are facing a case of grave misconduct, graft, and falsification of public documents that could lead to perpetual disqualification from public office. We still have to take note of how the new President will coordinate with the two graft offices.

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It was both amusing and heart-warming to note that the Queen of England, whom many consider as very formal and correct in her words and action, can also reveal a naughty sense of humor. When she visited Ireland recently, one of those who welcomed her was the new deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness a former IRA paramilitary man. Probably not versed in the usual greetings made to the Queen, McGuiness blurted “Hello, are you well?” And Her Majesty's response? “I'm still alive, anyway”. And she laughed. Maybe she knew what McGuiness was thinking, that for a 91-year-old lady, would she be feeling well after traveling that far? Of course the international media lapped the story up.*

 

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