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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, September 10, 2016
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Saved by the migraine!

Ninfa LeonardiaPresident Duterte missed two important summit meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane because he had a bad headache. I thought only the frail young ladies of the 16 th century used headaches for an excuse against avoiding something or somebody? But, really, the President was said to have an attack of migraine and could not get up to attend the meetings. It had been announced before that migraine is one malady he suffers from.

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The truth is, I sympathize with President Duterte this time. I was a migraine sufferer myself before and I can still remember how debilitating and painful it could be. Aside from the throbbing temples and the nausea, one also suffers from partial vision, as well as brilliant scintillating flashes of light crisscrossing before your eyes! I remember driving through EDSA once during the 4 p.m. traffic when I got a sudden attack, and could hardly see the vehicles around me. I think it was only my fervent prayers that enabled me to reach Magallanes, where I was staying, and where I fell into bed, with all the curtains closed and the lights out.

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Of course we don't know what triggered His Excellency's migraine, because it surely could not have been the fact that the meeting was between India and the United States. For sure, U.S. President Barack Obama would be there, and how would you greet a man you had called a son-of-a-whore, and might even kick, when he had not done or said anything bad about you? As far as I can recall, the only thing Obama had called him was “colorful”, and that's not very bad, is it?

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Until now I don't know which reports to believe, some say he and Obama “exchanged pleasantries” but nobody knows if they even said “How do you do”. Most of the reports I read only told of what Obama said, not what our President told him. Nobody said there were “colorful” exchanges, and if Mr. Duterte was able to say what he told reporters back home he would. Was it because he wanted to be reported positively and, for once, held his tongue? Obama was very lucky, the migraine struck when it did!

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The admirers of the unlamented Martial Law dictator have reportedly secured a million signatures from people who want him buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I say, pass a petition of those against it around and I am sure it can collect several millions within a day. But signatures are not going to decide it, the Supreme Court is now hearing the case filed seeking its opinion and decision on the matter. And we will probably know before his birthday, which is September 11, whether the court will believe he is a hero who deserves to lie there.

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Shortly after Ferdinand Marcos died in Hawaii, my sister Perla and I, who were homebound after visiting folks in the U.S., were prevailed upon by a former STAR employee, married to an American and living in Honolulu, to drop by Hawaii for a quick visit. Luckily, it was not so difficult then to rearrange your flight schedules, and we were able to move our departure to another day, with a stopover in Hawaii. Elvie Ureta White, who excitedly met us at the airport, quickly took us around, and we were able to see Pearl Harbor, and other famous tourism sites there.

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The most interesting was the burial site of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, which was located on a hilly area, with his grave in an elevated place that had a roof over it. I thought then that it was a very beautiful place and that his family may want to keep him there all the time. But, alas, the Libingan ng mga Bayani was, I think already created, and after the government allowed the family to return to the Philippines, the idea must have entered the head of his ambitious first lady that her beloved deserved to be interred there also. Hence our present predicament, that has even the Supreme Court spending time on it.

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I almost laughed when I read the news item saying that Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa was urging the members of the Police Force to observe human rights. This was reported after other items announced that thousands of drug suspects had already been killed. The operative word here is “suspects”. Didn't they have entitlement to human rights, too? We refer to those who were shot dead a la EJK. That is the new term for the oft-repeated word in the news,
“Extra Judicial Killings”. See? Another abbreviation for the media dictionary.*

 

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