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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 22, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Why FVR is the choice

Ninfa Leonardia Are the Arroyos rejoicing too soon? After the news broke out that the Supreme Court had dismissed the plunder charges against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Office of the Ombudsman announces that it has other fish to fry against her. And, I understand they also involve plunder. But maybe that will no longer scare the former president, because she knows the thinking of the new one. Maybe her lawyer will even tell Conchita Carpio Morales: Do your worst, Madam, and see where it will bring you.

***

Almost everyone I know says that former president Fidel V. Ramos is the best person to represent the country in talks with China, or Beijing, as the media refers to it, in connection with the decision of the Permanent Court on Arbitration that called its claim to the West China Seas illegal. But the ever logical and reasonable FVR has reportedly expressed reservations about accepting the task because, first, his health is not at its peak now. At his age in the late 80s already, he also has a pacemaker installed because of his heart. He says he can do it (the patriot that he is), but also adds, “What if I conk out?”.

***

It happened in 2008 yet, but the so-called long arm of the law still caught up with former mayor Alex Jajalla of Madinag town in Camiguin who has been indicted for graft because of the privileges he gave his brother, who was the administrative officer and also security officer of his town. After his brother got involved in an accident, he was allowed to go on a rehabilitation leave with full pay and benefits. But the Ombudsman says this violated both Civil Service and Department of Budget circulars, because no medical certificates, or police reports on the alleged accident had been produced, all of which showed manifest partiality to the employee who was also his own kin.

***

The Special Action Force of the Police has been ordered to replace the present officers manning the New Bilibid Prison. My, that would be setting the cat among the pigeons. For sure the once privileged inmates will have a hard time trying to make friends with their new guards who will also want to impress their new boss with their efficiency in cleaning up the place. Will it be goodbye to the special quarters, the appliances, the facilities and privileges they have been used to enjoying? No wonder there are talks of some hit-men being readied to “do the job” on the head of the new cops.

***

Is it true that Manny, I mean, Senator Pacquiao, is fighting again in October? His unrelenting promoter, Bob Arum, seems to be unwilling the accept that Pacquiao has already lost his devotion to fighting, and does not believe he should stop yet. Of course another fight will mean another purse for Manny, and another for Arum. Despite being in his 80s already, Arum still is not giving up on his fair-haired boy in the ring. Arum is supposed to have announced this in Las Vegas, but let us wait and see what the Senator himself has to say on the matter.

***

Oops! Her attempt to campaign for her husband seems to have backfired for Melania Trump. Maybe without realizing it – but how could that be? – she opened her campaign sortie with statements that were found to be picked up from the speeches of another first–lady-wannabe, and now really a first lady, Micelle Obama. What a to-do the media made out of what they called plagiarism on the part of Melania. Poor woman, maybe she did not write the speech herself and should fire her speech-writer at once. I'm sure she will never hear the end of this all throughout the campaign.

***

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is said to be upbeat about Chinese arrivals in the country. Oho? Can we be sure that their purposes are all tourism related, or could there be ulterior motives like the promotion of Chinese interests, with the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration dousing their hopes of owning areas of the sea that are ours historically? I admit having a malicious mind in this, but I remember some stories told by my elders after World War II about how the Japanese so easily invaded our country and held us for almost three years.

***

The elders said that before the war broke out, more and more Japanese workers were coming to the Philippines as carpenters and other occupations, especially in Mindanao. They were well accepted as employees because they were hardworking, honest, and uncomplaining unlike the Pinoys. But when war was declared – Lo! The humble, hardworking Japanese laborers suddenly donned military uniforms and were found to be officers of the Imperial Japanese Army! As I admitted earlier, I have a malicious and suspicious mind, but that is only because I love my country and want her to be forever free.*'

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