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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, September 8, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Now it's cannibalism!

Ninfa Leonardia The camp of President Duterte, grasping at straws to soften the impact of the snub by the U.S. president, has been telling the media, Barack Obama is a “lameduck president”, since his term is already ending. But, gentlemen (are you?), his term will end in November yet, and that's lot of time for a lameduck to quack, you know.

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Anyway, why are they so defensive? Duterte himself has reportedly, or allegedly, issued a statement expressing regret over his statements. So they do not have to protect him by claiming that the Americans do not understand hyperboles, or that they were over-reacting. Would they themselves allow their president to face a man who has sworn he would curse him and even kick him? And insult even his mother? Some people I know are wondering what Duterte had learned from studying at the Ateneo and San Beda.

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But I am sure a lot of people retched when they heard or read about him saying he would eat an Abu Sayyaf member alive if he catches one. Just give me some salt and vinegar, he reportedly said, and I will eat his flesh. Aha, he is a cannibal, too? It seems this president is bent upon giving his people shock after shock after shock. But let's wait and see what the DEI has to say about this. I bet it will say something more palatable. By the way, DEI is the unauthorized Department of Explanations and Interpretations of Malacañang.

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Don't blame me if I can't agree with the editorial of a Manila daily saying that there are great prospects for tourism in the country now. For one, they are changing the slogan “It's more fun in the Philippines.” For another, would you, as a tourist, opt to visit a country where you can't tell if it is in a “state of lawlessness,” a “state of national emergency,” or a place that allows “warrantless arrests”? The latter is one in the eye for the Supreme Court that has been questioning the manner of dealing with drug suspects. Now it is a reality.

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That was frightening news confirming the incidence of ZIKA in Iloilo that was in the national news yesterday. The report came from Department of Health Undersecretary Gerard Bayugo, who also said this is the sixth case found in the country. The latest we heard was that the virus had been found in Singapore, which was why warnings were made against traveling there, especially for pregnant women. Pictures of children of women exposed the virus show them with small, somewhat pointed heads, and it has also been determined that the child could have some brain problem. This means that we should all the more be wary of the aedes egypti mosquito that also brings dengue. Zika is obviously more dangerous than dengue.

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Apparently, it is not all over yet for Brazil president Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached by her colleagues recently. The first woman president of that country, Rousseff was suspended from office just before the start of the Olympic Games that the country had hosted. It was her vice president, Michel Temer, who did the honors for the country at the international sportsfest. Shortly after the games ended, however, the parliament voted to impeach her. But it seems many people do not want Temer and have started rallies and demonstrations seeking her return. It could be an exercise in futility, but must be balm to the hurts of Madame Rousseff.

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Meanwhile, in what state are we really in? They say we are not under Martial Law, only in a “state of lawlessness”. But the other day, another terminology came up, and it says the country is now in a
“state of national emergency”. Whichever it is, one could see that our people are now in a state of apprehension and insecurity, and how long this will last, nobody knows. And it does not help that some people try to add further to this by posting fearful messages through social media, which has become both a blessing and a bane lately.

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President Duterte has accepted an invitation from its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who told him that he is “quite a famous figure in Japan”. Note that he said “famous”, not “notorious” which I think Duterte would have enjoyed more.*

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