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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 23, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

A sad week for Brussels

Ninfa Leonardia What a gruesome start to the Holy Week was the incident in Brussels, Belgium yesterday. The entire world was shocked by the early news that a bomb attack was made at the Maelbeek Metro subway of the city, causing the death of at least 10 passengers. Almost immediately after, another news broke through about another bombing incident at the airport, where 13 were killed and 35 injured.

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How could anyone not immediately conclude that the bombings, later confirmed by the Federal Prosecutor as the work of suicide bombers, were the work of ISIS terrorists? Only the other day, reports said that the police had finally arrested the leader of the gory shootings in a Paris theater, another inhuman attack where innocent people, out for a night of enjoyment at a concert, were mercilessly gunned down, without rhyme or reason. And now, five months after, when the leader was finally caught in Brussels, the evil group had to retaliate against the people of Brussels.

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The country's Prime Minister, as well as some of its top officials, including the Federal Prosecutor, faced TV audiences yesterday, and one cannot help sympathizing with them as they looked quite shocked and, somehow, helpless against this assault on their people. They also bemoaned the fact that there are so many foreigners in their country, known to be a very peaceful one, and that some of those killed or injured could just be visitors.

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Indeed, there is a great concern over the unreasonableness of this group called the ISIS. Why do they hate the rest of the world so much? And why are their members so senseless as to just attack people unknown to them, as if they want to rid the whole world of those who do not subscribe to their beliefs? I think we need to do a lot of praying this Holy Season, for such people to see the light, and for other countries, especially ours, to be spared from their hatred.

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People have still not stopped talking about the recent debate among the four contenders for the presidency, and whichever way you look at their comments, it looks as if the big loser there was Vice President Jejomar Binay. Not only could he not react swiftly and cuttingly to the things hurled against him, he was sulking like a spoiled brat most of the time. That must have been because he could not get his way when he insisted on using his “documents” during the exchange.

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But his opponents were wise in insisting that his presentations should not be allowed. Indeed, how could they dispute them when there would be no time to look up the credibility of those papers? One report said one of them called him a “prima donna”. But the worse was to come, for shortly after the debate, one of the big groups he had relied on in Cebu, junked him. The One-Cebu group of the Garcia family which controls a lot of votes in the province, formally announced their change of mind, citing “infidelity” and “cavorting with the enemies”. Now, the infidelity could probably apply to Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has virtually boasted about that trait. But what did Binay do?

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Meanwhile, Grace Poe says she will build a different prison for grafters. I hope it will not have features of the cells in Muntinglupa, uncovered by recent investigations which were not only airconditioned and spacious, but had all the amenities, like television, refrigerators, expensive drinks, drugs, and all the comforts of their own homes, including, as reported, sex toys! Because, of course, most of them are millionaires and used to all the best. Say it isn't so, please.

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We are approaching the holiest of days in the Christian calendar, and will therefore desist from concentrating on the sinfulness of this world. So let us focus more on the traditional practices and rites of the Holy Week and meditate on the sufferings of Our Lord and Saviour that we are recollecting these days. And let us also rejoice on the day commemorating His resurrection from the dead, that should be the start of a new life and renewed faith for all of us.

An advance Happy Easter to all our readers and friends, and May the Good Lord bless and protect us all. Amen.*

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