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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 5, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

A raging fatal epidemic

Ninfa Leonardia There is an epidemic raging in the country today. The victims died 100 percent, and no cure has been identified for them. What are the names given to this spate of deaths in the country? I noted that they have different names, but the same effects, and they are called: “killed while resisting arrest”, “found dead”, “Shoot-outs”, and “clash with police”. The carriers of this disease must be complacent because their leader has promised that if a thousand potential “patients” do not “obey doctor's orders” and get eliminated, he will defend them.

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I believe this epidemic will continue to spread further and claim more victims after seeing the news item saying that the Communist Party had promised to support the new President in his drug campaign. And they have said that they will nab or kill pushers they identify because this was ordered by the Communist Party leadership. They also said, as reported in the Manila Standard, that President Duterte had sought their cooperation during the turnover rites of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

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Raffy Alunan had a brainstorm which I think the President should think about seriously. He said Duterte should make Vice President Leni Robredo a de facto First Lady, who will represent him in functions that he may be too busy himself to attend, or has no interest in. A good plan, but will Duterte agree? I think his other advisers will whisper in his ear, that he may be giving her a big chance of expanding her political base and make her a shoo-in bet for the presidency later. The ones who are likely to do that, naturally, are those who are dreaming of the office themselves.

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By the way, the most that those who had access to the Vice President after her courtesy call on the president at Malacañang yesterday could say was that it was “cordial”. Wasn't that how they described the first meeting at the AFP affair, too? So the situation had not yet graduated from “cordial” to “friendly” or even just “relaxed” or “warm”? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense that Du30 is a bit intimidated by Leni, who seems very prim and proper, while she also appears to be very careful of what she would talk about that would not elicit one of those famous cuss words he is known for. Well, let's see what this “cordiality” will develop into. Cross your fingers.

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A member of Congress has filed a resolution seeking the testing of all members of the House for drugs. That must have been a shocker for those whose records are not exactly clean when it comes to that menace. The proponent wants the test to be done before assuming their posts, and also suggests sanctions like withholding of salaries and benefits. The tests should also be done on their staff. Me, I thoroughly endorse the resolution of Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, and hope it is approved.

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Isn't the United States delegation to the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, worried about the refusal of several top athletes to join the teams to represent their country? Especially in basketball, some of the superstars, like Lebron James and Stephen Curry, are reportedly not going. Now they are the stars most people who travel to the Games from various countries, want to see in action. But the athletes have given various reasons, among them fear of the Zika virus. We have not heard yet about the attitudes of other countries, but perhaps Brazil should do a little more convincing that their country is safe, and the participants as well as the expected audiences will be safe from the virus.

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His name is Oscar Moreno but he does not seem to be related to the former Pinoy movie idol with the same name, who was the father of a film beauty named Boots Anson (Oscar's real name). This Oscar Moreno happens to the mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, and I think he was even a resource person in a Philippine Press Institute seminar once. But Mayor Moreno is now in trouble as he is being charged for graft by the Ombudsman for an allegedly anomalous contract for the rent of office space for Professional and Amateur Boxing without authority from the city Sanggunian. Aside from the case to go to the Sandiganbayan, he and his fellow accused have also been found guilty of simple misconduct and suspended for three months without pay.

***

I still cannot understand the rationale behind the protest of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against elected Vice President Leni Robredo and his claim that the LPs did some cheating to make her win. If they had done it for Leni, why hadn't they done it for Mar Roxas, in whom the party had more at stake? If Marcos had collected some 14 million votes, and he claims he was cheated of three million, is he claiming also that he should have gotten almost the same number of votes as Duterte? Who can believe that?*

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