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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 16, 2016
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

At least there's Leila de Lima

Ninfa Leonardia Congratulations to the new Senator, former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for sticking to her guns and insisting on conducting a probe by the Senate on the rising number of people being killed on suspicion of being in drugs, and without the due process our Constitution assures us. My apprehension is, will other members of the Senate oblige her? Seems to me all of them are mesmerized by the goings on in the new administration and nobody is questioning how often the news headlines duplicate each other, saying the same unbelievable stories.

***

Yesterday alone, I noted, in one newspaper only, the following statements after an announcement of a killing or killings. And these were “killed in a shoot-out”, “shot in an encounter”, “opened fire at the police”, “in a gunbattle with the police”, etcetera. We even read incredible stories about arrested and handcuffed suspects managing to “grab the gun of the police guarding him” and shoot himself. Is that a case of fiction being stranger than truth?

***

It's a bittersweet gift to Philippine veterans of World War II. Very recently, the United States Senate approved the granting of Congressional medals to the surviving ones, and possibly to the families of those gone. I don't know what else are entailed with the imposition of the medals, but the report on it says there are now only 15,000 out of the 260,000 who could have been entitled to it. It was also noted that earlier, the U.S. had also granted $15,000 to veterans living in the U.S. and $9,000 to those in the Philippines. But if the granting of the gold medals is not accompanied by cash, maybe the veterans can sell or melt them down to be made into jewelry for sale.

***

Some people are asking why so many losers in elections resort to filing protests seeking recounts even if they must know the results could hardly be changed with the present method of voting. I have heard others say that it is all just a matter of face-saving, so their supporters will still believe they have a chance. I understand it will take a lot of expense to file a protest and seek a recount, but let those who want to do it have the consolation of trying. As for the winners, they are not worried because only one vote is enough to win.

***

President Rodrigo Duterte had hinted earlier that he knows of five mayors who are into drugs. It was not specified whether they were users, traders or coddlers. Now Senator Ping Lacson has also announced that he knows of five mayors who are in the narco business. Are they the same mayors who are known to both the President and to the Senator? If not, then there must be ten of them?

***

What a to-do they made out of the accidental meeting of Vice President Leni Robredo and Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista at a party. Immediately, social media took up the canard that the two had a secret meeting, because this was right after the time when Bongbong Marcos filed his protest with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. It turned out, however, that the two merely greeted each other with no more than “Hi” and “Hello”, and that was reported as a “secret meeting” already. One guess as to who started the speculation? Doesn't it remind you of the saying, “All is infected that the infected spy, as all look yellow to the jaundiced eye”?

***

No wonder young basketball players in the United States are all dreaming of joining the NBA someday. They have probably heard of the millions those seasoned athletes are getting or demanding. That, aside from the ego-tripping they enjoy when they become idols of fans who follow their careers, and root for them every time they play. Very recently, NBA player James Harden renewed his contract with the Rockets and guess how much he is getting for a four-year engagement? A cool $118 million! Isn't Harden that hirsute guy whose face you can hardly see? And he is only 26 years old. Most of the big ones retired near 40.

***

More on athletes: It is final, Floyd Mayweather has again refused a rematch with our Senator Pacquiao. Of course, he will never agree to it. Why risk his record another time? I was told by some relatives in the U.S. that during their fight many Americans, as well as people of other nationalities and colors in the audience, were rooting for Manny Pacquiao, and couldn't believe he was beaten. They said Manny should not have agreed to fight in Las Vegas where the Mayweathers always get what they want.*

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