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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 11, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Digong has a ‘crush'?

Ninfa Leonardia Tomorrow we will know. That is the date given when the Permanent Court of Arbitration will release its decision on the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China that involves areas historically known to belong to the Philippines, on which China has constructed buildings and other structures that appear to be military holdings. Other Asian countries also have claims to such territories, but only the Philippines has taken the initiative to seek arbitration from the international court.

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China, that has always ignored the calls for hearings by the Court, has also made it clear that it will not respect the decision to be made, probably aware that it could only be in favor of the Philippines. It is therefore not surprising that its reaction to the report about the decision is to go into saber-rattling, by holding military drills and exercises with the use of live missiles, and showing footages of its military aircraft, submarines and helicopters landing or surfacing. This does not augur well for peace and justice in the region because it indicates that Might is trying to insist that it is Right. But let us see how the international community will react.

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Meanwhile, let's relax a bit and listen to what the jokesters are doing, trying to see “something” in the relationship between the President and the Vice President of our country. First, it was the comics characters who made cracks about the “chikboy looks” President Duterte was making at Vice President Leni Robredo. Then yesterday, columnist Ramon Tulfo, a Duterte diehard from the word “go”, began hinting something when he quoted (in toto, I believe) what, and how Duterte spoke to Robredo when he offered her the HUDC chairmanship, where he kept calling her “ma'am” repeatedly, and, according to Tulfo, who apparently was present, blushing, with his eyes “twinkling,” like a schoolboy with a crush. And was Tulfo pulling legs when he said Duterte also said to Leni, “I'm a bit bashful, Ma'am”? That does not sounds at all like the brash-talking and cussing Digong Duterte.

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Now it's Britain, too. After their Prime Minister David Cameron resigned on the decision upholding Brexit, the country is due to elect a new P.M. and guess what – the two leading candidates are both women. They are Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom who is said to be pro Brexit, or exit from the European Union. Maybe she can solve the problems it has created.

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Be careful whom you give gifts to nowadays. An official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, perceived to be buttering up their new chief, sent a basket of fruits and wine to the new BIR Commissioner. It may have been a welcome gift, but obviously it was not welcome to his boss, who not only sent it back, but also sent him to the “freezer”, in other words, a distant assignment. Poor guy. He could have waited at least for Christmas. Even then, I'm not sure if that isn't covered by the BIR Memorandum Order No. 40-2016 that embodies the agency's “No Gift Policy”.

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What is the latest on the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections? There are reports saying they will take place in October, and that the Commission on Election officials, except for the chairman, are in favor of the date. Chairman Andres Bautista has claimed election fatigue as the reason for postponing the polls, but his commissioners seem to be gung-ho for the October affair. And now comes another development, a proposal to hold the barangay, SK, and the Constitutional Convention all at the same time. Well, why not? Could save us a lot of money, too.

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What can the police organization do about moonlighting cops? I heard before about policemen sharing their duties as bouncers of eateries and clubs within their beats, but the latest news from Pasig City takes the cake. A policeman was caught moonlighting as driver of Asian vans at night and was relieved from his post. But his superior officer was also penalized for command responsibility. I am sure the cop will plead he had to do it because his family cannot survive on his pay.

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Jeepney owners who have been chafing at the proposal to get them off the streets when they are at least 15 years old may find support in this. In Paris, cars dating back to 1997 are being banned from the street between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. A fine of 35 euros will be imposed on those who violate the rule, because old cars are determined to be causes of pollution in the city. But those cars may not have been traveling as much as our simple, hardworking jeepneys.*

 

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