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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 2, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

A computer as memento

Ninfa Leonardia That was quite a sentimental welcome that his Times Street neighbors held for outgoing President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr. The now historic street in Q uezon City where two presidents had lived, had its trees and houses decorated with yellow ribbons, and big “WELCOME” posters. Credit it to his poise and manliness that he did not break down and cry upon seeing the signs so associated with his late father, on whose tragic homecoming yellow ribbons had also been strung.

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Anyway, Noynoy, or PNoy, as he had wanted to be referred to in the news, can look back to a presidency that had left his country in a more stable condition than when he came in, and respected by other countries, as indicated by the increase in investments from international business organizations. Like his own mother, President Cory, PNoy had not planned, maybe not even dreamed of becoming president, but fate decided it for him. It is sad to note, however, that the man who willingly gave up his own presidential plans for PNoy, has been denied the chance to attain the position again. Maybe it was not written in the stars for Mar Roxas. Who knows what is in store for him yet?

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I am sure PNoy left Malacañang with no regrets, having done his duty and served his people well. What about the new occupants of Malacañang? Are they going all over the place, bursting into Ohs and Ahs at its grandeur? I am sure they found it exactly as it had been when his predecessor left, with every art piece and all furniture intact. Alas, that was not what the returning administration of Bacolod City reportedly found when it checked the New Government Center yesterday.

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The Mayor's Office, especially, that had been turned over in 2013 to the now departed gang, complete with all facilities, computers, copiers, office machines, etcetera, was found to have been stripped of everything, even telephones and cables, except a decrepit computer. What an irony! Was the computer a stark reminder of the anomalous purchase of overpriced computers that could end with the guilty persons in prison? Maybe they should encase that computer in glass as a reminder that “Crime does not pay”.

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The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague where our complaint against the intrusion of China into our territory is due for decision now and it has been announced that the result will be released on July 12. This early, the Chinese government has already strongly indicated that it will not accept the pronouncement of the international court, as it did not even send representatives to the hearings on it. Now, it is not only the Philippines that is complaining about these incursions, other Asian countries are also protesting, but only the Philippines had the gumption to actually bring it to the international Court.

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China has also indicated that it will not respect the decision. And then what? Can the Court demand it to do so, and what sanctions can it impose, when China is now breathing fire, pretending to be the dragon of the East? How will other countries react? Will they boycott China, or will they just look the other way? By the way, the ICA is said to be the oldest Court, having been set up in 1899 yet. Filipinos should start praying now that we get justice for this case, and that other countries will realize what mischief China could get into because of its size and wealth.

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Just after some people were wondering what happened to presidential candidate Grace Poe who seemed to disappear from the scene immediately after the election, a news report comes out that she is now pushing the bill on the Freedom of Information. One can only wonder what her thoughts may have been on the recent inauguration of the once virtual unknown Leni Robredo as vice president of the Philippines. Do you think Grace ever wonders how she could have gotten that position so easily had she not aimed too high so early in her political career?

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What a shock it must have been to her to land only third in the race when she had seemed to soar to such heights before the day of reckoning. Like many others, I also believe that had she agreed to run as vice president to Mar Roxas, she would have been a shoo-in for the post. Anyway, she is still a senator and who knows when another opportunity will come along?*

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