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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 7, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

What can Little Leni do?

Ninfa Leonardia Now that the International Court of Arbitration is about ready to release its decision on the Philippine complaint against the Chinese incursions into our territory, the President himself has announced that he is willing to “sit down and talk” with the intruders. Isn't that what the Chinese had been saying all this time – that they don't want intervention even from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but only to “talk”?

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I believe most of us know what is going to happen once we give in, withdraw our complaint and agree with their plan to sit down and talk. What is going to happen is that our representatives and their delegates will sit down and talk, and talk, and talk and talk and talk, while they continue building structures, and even airports in the area, while we are listening to the talking and talking and talking, as they ply our diplomats with feasts and gifts and sweet nothings.

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The International Court has announced that its decision will be disclosed this month, July 12, to be exact. So this shouldn't be the time to back-track and agree to a gab session that is not likely to end in our favor. What will the “talks” consist of? That they will buy, or pay rental for the area? That they will allow us to land our planes and boats there? I have very strong doubts about that happening. I know the Philippine President is tough talking, but can he scare them off with his p-i-ms, and worse?

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Meanwhile another multi-killing took place in Quezon province where 13 persons suspected to be involved in illegal drugs were gunned down. The Commission on Human Rights is set to probe the incident, but if the perpetrators were policemen of soldiers, never mind. Do they not enjoy impunity for killings where drug suspects are involved? And, of course the President has quite a few times called those Human Rights people idiots, or worse.

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It has been reported that President Duterte has asked Vice President Leni Robredo to help him during their second meeting. However, he did not offer her a cabinet position or any job at all having to do with governance. What do you think he had in mind? Maybe to change the colors of the curtains at the Palace, change the menu, relocate the furniture, supervise the changing of flowers in the reception rooms, or mind the gardens? These are homely tasks, and maybe he still thinks they're the only ones women are good at.

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What a shame! The President did not mince words when he denounced and identified five generals, he claims to be involved in drugs as protectors of its traders and syndicates. Yesterday, the front pages splashed the pictures and names of the generals who were identified as Retired PNP deputy director general Marcelo Gardo Jr., Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz and Chief Superintendent (retired) Vicente Loot. What faces could those officers show to their subordinates with this exposition? Suppose one or two of them turn out to be innocent, would they dare file slander or whatever appropriate charges against the President, to clear their names and reputation, including those of their families?

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I wonder what steps the incoming officials of Bacolod City will take against the shameful looting of the Government Center offices of equipment, supplies and furnishings? I was told even telephones were yanked out of their attachments. Computers, copiers, and all other office equipment and supplies had disappeared. The fully equipped and furnished offices turned over to the Puentevella Administration had been stripped clean and the area even dirtied! That should not go unpunished, maybe more Commission on Audit checkings, and more Ombudsman charges are in order.*

 

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