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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 29, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Like a hot seat

Ninfa Leonardia Was it just coincidence, or did someone do it on purpose? When the members of the Senate, both new and holdover ones, convened for their first session, Senator Nancy Binay found herself seated next to her family's “favorite” senators – Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes. Did she just grin and bear it? Not this lady, reports say her immediate reaction was “Nakakaloka!”

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Who can blame her for calling it something that would drive her crazy? The two guys were members of the Blue Ribbon Committee that zeroed in on the cases over the allegedly overpriced construction started by her father when he was mayor, and finished by her brother who was next in the dynasty (after their mother) to become mayor of Makati. Note that the mayor now is her sister Abigail, still also named Binay, despite the fact that both of them are married and should have different surnames. Well, she would not stand (or sit) for it, and complained to the Senate official responsible for the seating arrangement.

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Hurrah for Senator Leila de Lima. Not even the faint smile that President Duterte allegedly gave her before his SONA has shaken off her mind the determination to probe the rampant killings of suspected drug pushers and traders which she believes to be illegal. Of course it's about time somebody spoke up, even if those supposed to have a hand in ordering them seems to be deaf to the cries of human rights advocates. And, lately, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is also getting into the picture, and let us see what their teamwork can accomplish.

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The teenagers of Manila, Navotas and Quezon City scored one in their complaint against the ordinances on the curfews in their cities that they raised to the Supreme Court. Well, what do you know, the SC listened to them and issued a temporary restraining order against the imposition of the ordinances, while it ordered the administration of the concerned local government units to submit their comment on the case. The mayors who are the respondents are Joseph Estrada of Manila, Herbert Bautista of Quezon City and John Ray Tangco of Navotas.

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In the meantime, both Mayor Estrada of Manila and Mayor Bautista of Quezon, who are apparently displeased by the order of the Supreme Court temporarily stopping the implementation of their curfew ordinances, are finding a way to go around it. Both have announced that their barangays will be the ones to implement a curfew in their areas. Let's see what the young people who sought the temporary restraining order that the court granted, will do about that.

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Nine Filipinos got sentenced to life imprisonment in Malaysia for having participated in a siege in Sabah. Are our people so fond of rallies and protests that they would join them even when they are in other countries? This happened in 2013 yet, and maybe they are lucky because terror-related offenses in Malaysia are punishable by death. This time, though, the judge must have been lenient because, as their lawyer told the media, the judge decided on a lesser penalty because there was no evidence that they pulled the triggers or committed any murders. They were lucky, indeed, because about 70 people had been killed in that siege.

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Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who has been released from hospital arrest and is now going around attending official functions and looking very well indeed (Look, ma, no more neck brace!) is reportedly planning to file a bill that would grant amnesty to rebels. Maybe she considers that a payback for her own release, or she may have made a vow to do that if she gets acquitted. And that's a very shrewd plan, because pardoned rebels will make up a lot of voters, and who knows what her plans for the future are?

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I would like to appeal to the management of Riverside Hospital to tell their staff, particularly in the laboratory, to be more considerate of their patients. The other day, my sister and I had our regular blood check-up and everything went smoothly, even if there was a queue of people with the same purpose. The problem was that when we asked when we could get the results, we were told to come back at 6 p.m. But when our representative went there, she was told one of the tests results was not yet ready and to come back at 12 noon next day. Now, our house is rather far from the hospital and with the traffic and all, it was quite an inconvenience. What if we were from out of town, say, Bago, or Pontevedra, or farther? Would we have to drive back and forth for that single result?*

 

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