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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 8, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Happy days

Ninfa Leonardia It has been reported that there are more policemen and police officers in the list of President Duterte believed to be involved in the illegal drug business. Go ahead, denounce and name them all, so they can come out and try to clear their names. They are, at least, better off that the petty pushers and users who did not know that they are suspected and have already been “eliminated”. It's different when you are a general or a high ranking officer, you see.

***

One of the police officers initially named by the President (or by his spokespersons) was a certain Vicente Loot. What an incriminating name for someone who is being accused of a crime. Well, they have already met with the new Philippine National Police Director Ronald de la Rosa, who admits that he feels sorry for them, but obviously will spare them no mercy. He has to do his job, you know, and must be as tough as his new boss. What about the ordinary cops who are also found in similar circumstances, will they have a chance to talk with the Police Big Boss?

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Meanwhile, the first bill to be filed in the newly assembled House of Representatives is the one that will seek the revival of the Death Penalty. I am strongly not in favor of this bill, but I am afraid that with the present mindset of the new administration, and the perceived tendency of most of the new officials to do clap-clap bowing to it, the chances of its passing are very possible, indeed. There are some who justify it by saying it is better to be killed after being judged and sentenced, than to be shot in the streets like a dog on mere suspicion.

***

I hear the new administration is bullish about the Freedom of Information Law and may even take a short-cut by issuing an executive order without waiting for the process of passing a law. But Freedom of Information seems to be an irony, when the media cannot even address the highest official of the land, because he refuses to talk to them, and only relies on spokesmen to “pass the word” to them. That does not sound like a lot of information freedom to me.

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There were so many beautiful and reassuring sights during the inauguration of the newly-elected officials of Bacolod City Wednesday. Despite the rain, that caused the celebration to move into the New Government Center building and not outside as originally planned, the affair went on very smoothly in an atmosphere of friendship, rejoicing, and victory. For wasn't it a wonder to see three very important members of the Senate come together as joint honorees and speakers, despite the fact that they had all belonged to and worked with different political parties during the election?

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There was Franklin Drilon, as great a friend of the city as ever, whom we all know to be a stalwart of the Liberal Party. And there was Aquilino Pimentel Jr., better known as “Koko”, who is considered among the frontliners in the campaign of Rodrigo Duterte. Also there was Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, who worked very hard for Jejomar Binay, the initial frontrunner in the campaign, but who fell by the wayside at the final run.

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There they were, marching into the NGC Hall – all smiles, and then, seated near each other, were all friendliness and bonhomie! Who, or what could have brought them together, and make them give up an appointment at the American Embassy that afternoon to come to Bacolod, but their affection and respect for its people and its officials? That was why all the guests seemed to absorb the friendship and enjoyment in the atmosphere, and appreciative of the program that went on at a fast clip, without a lot of incidentals, enabling the Senate Trio to leave for further engagements in Manila later.

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As for the local officials, how could there be tension or animosity when, for the first time, supposedly in Bacolod history, the three top officials: mayor, vice mayor and congressman, and eight councilors all coming from the same party? Of course this augurs very well for the city, so long wracked in opposition and destructive rivalries that even led to deterioration in recent years. As all the speakers underscored, happy days are back again!*

 

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