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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 14, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Don't call him ‘Sir'

Ninfa Leonardia The Philippine National Police has announced that random tests have found 20 policemen positive for shabu. It said nine were found in Mindanao, six in the Visayas, and 5 in Luzon. Is that all? If there are five generals involved, the ratio seems unbelievable. But it seems the generals identified by the president are not into shabu use themselves, perhaps they are only coddlers or protectors, but not users. I wonder if the five had been submitted to tests before they were shamed before the public.

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More and more harsh words are coming from Chinese officials about their stand on the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration favoring the Philippines in its bid to stop China from claiming and building on territory that belongs to it. I guess it is because they have already spent so much in building those illegal structures with warlike insinuations that they are so adamant. In fact their officials are already hinting at conflict, knowing how pithy our defenses would be when push comes to shove. They no longer care about their international reputation, and indicating that they can exist as a pariah. Well, there is also a saying, “No man is an island”. In this day and age, no country can stand alone, no matter how wealthy and populous.

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Incidentally a news item yesterday reported the seizure by the Philippine police of a floating shabu laboratory and the arrest of four Chinese nationals manning it. It was found out that they were manufacturing the illegal drug right in the vessel, and the police seized P1.5 billion worth of high grade shabu and raw materials for manufacturing it. See how ingenuous they can be? They probably thought the cops would believe they were any ordinary fishing vessel.

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But there is a problem that a foreigner friend brought up with our group yesterday. This is the need for adequate rehabilitation centers for all those users, and pushers who have allegedly surrendered themselves to avoid being “neutralized” by the apparently empowered police in the country. In Negros Occidental, it seems there are only two such centers, and they are no longer accepting more as they do not have the capacity to do so. So where will those who want to be rehabilitated go? There is no known home-based program for their anguished families to follow. And there are thousands of them now.

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How I wished I were in Manila during the time when Engelbert Humperdink held a concert, one of several he had held in this country. Humperdink, who marked his 50 th anniversary in the music industry, is a big favorite of Filipinos who go for his singular style of singing. I was first introduced to his songs when a former officemate of mine in Makati, who had gone to work in the U.S. sent me an LP (long-playing, for the young people out there) record which immediately fascinated me.

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But my friends and I were much amused by the singer's name which was very unusual, sounding like that of dwarfs in fairy tales. Only lately did I learn that his real name is Arnold George Dorsey and it was in fun that they had made up the name that made him famous. I heard that he still had a lot of fans at his concerts and he regaled them with his hits that included “The Last Waltz” and “Release Me”. Seems his fans cannot release him, and he keeps gaining more.

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It was very interesting to note that Vice President Leni Robredo was given a very warm welcome from the other members of the cabinet at their first meeting. Well, who could resist a very lady-like woman who seems to be always smiling? It was also noted that the President himself welcomed her – this after he had claimed he was not giving her a cabinet position – no longer “cordially”, but, well, warmer. And when she addressed him “Sir”, he reportedly protested, “Don't call me Sir”. Oh? What did he want her to call him? “Dear”?

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It does look as if VP Robredo is going to be a vital cog in the workings of the cabinet, and will get along very well with other members, despite being an “outsider” from another party. But isn't she outranking them all, being the Vice President, and next in line to the highest position in the land? That is why Bongbong Marcos is so disappointed and determined to find something wrong with the voting, even if he may have to spend a great deal of money (sourced from where or whom?) in doing so.*

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