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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, August 12, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Will it be ‘Remember
Guam' this time?

Ninfa Leonardia “Remember Pearl Harbor!” That was the battlecry of Filipino and American troops when they reacted to the treacherous way that Japan had attacked, an act that led to World War II. Now there is a possibility that the cry could be again, “Remember Guam!” because North Korea is now boasting about its capacity to target Guam in its first salvo against the United States. Will Nokor actually do this?

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But the U.S. led by the volatile personality that is Donald Trump, seems to be taking the bait being set by the bellicose North Korean leader, who should have been dismissed for his immaturity and lack of prudence. Why, he started focusing on the development of deadly missiles even when nobody was goading him, and he appears to think that waging a nuclear war is a game he'd like to play – and win. What kind of leaders is this generation breeding?

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But our greatest concern, if ever the immature Nokor leader goes on with his plan, will be our compatriots who are now based in Guam, some of whom have been living there all their lives. Reports show that there are no less than 43,000 Filipinos in Guam, and what will happen to them if Kim Jung-un's missiles suddenly start falling in their midst? Can we evacuate them now, and where do we settle them? That is why we cannot say that we are safe from the projected nuclear warfare. Our people will have a lot to lose, too.

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Why don't they just get into a word war like the way the leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines and our President, and lately, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Eduardo Año are doing? You know, all that blah about sticks and stones? For instance, CPP head Joma Sison is saying that Año and his men are plotting to kill him, and Año hits back calling Sison a congenital liar, who needs psychiatric help. Now, who get killed or even just wounded there? But NoKor is of a different mind, and must be enjoying the feeling of being feared.

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Meanwhile, Año is also known for another order he has reportedly given to his men, and that is for them to go and kill communists and terrorists because they will be rewarded P100,000 for every one they kill. How can he say that when he is not the president? We know President Duterte has given similar orders, but he accompanies them with the promise that he will pardon them if they are convicted. What about if he gets killed, as he also says he wishes, who will pardon them? Take such orders with a tablespoonful of salt, boys.

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Is it karma? The SandiganBayan has issued an arrest warrant for Senator Gregorio (Gringo) Honasan in connection with his alleged misuse of his pork barrel, or Priority Development Assistance Fund, as a senator. The warrant notes that the SB had found sufficient cause to charge him for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act involving P29 million of his PDAF. Now Gringo claims he will fight this, like the way he fought Marcos in the EDSA Revolution – and maybe also the way he made life difficult for President Cory Aquino because his idol has always been Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who, like him, is also facing PDAF cases now.

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I know it's not my problem, but I can't help worrying about it. This is about the law that would give free tuition to students of all state owned universities and colleges. So far, all we read or hear about it is that officials of various departments are cracking their heads thinking of where to get the funds to implement this ambitious gift. And also, will the free tuition be available even to those whose parents are well-off and can well afford to pay for their education? That has not been clear, I think. What happened at the University of the Philippines where, it is said there are more wealthy students than poor ones, will happen in the new order for SUCs.

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But the Philippines and, particularly our province, has much to be happy about sports-wise because of the recent glowing victories of our basketball and football teams against foreign opponents. Gilas Pilipinas beat formidable China 96-87 Wednesday, while Ceres Negros trounced the Singaporean team in football. Such showings make the prospect of missing the 2019 hosting of the SEAG sadder, don't you think?*

 

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