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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, November 10, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Who is not with me…

Ninfa Leonardia He said it. President Duterte himself was quoted as telling the Philippine Marines during their recent anniversary celebration that we remain “the best of friends” with the United States. Better than China? I would suspect otherwise, because when a Philippine team tried to build a hut in a sandbar on area that is supposed to be ours that China is claiming, the Chinese authorities complained, and our President immediately ordered our men to stop and leave the place. And that is supposed to have been declared our land by no less than the international court.

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I guess he just does not want to rock the boat, figuratively, while China is being extra-nice to us by promising to build bridges and stuff in our country. But let's remember – when the Marawi siege was at its peak, it was the U.S. that sent us the most help. I have not heard of any pistol or even slingshots coming from China. Well, maybe our president believes in the saying “He who has a hundred friends has got not one to spare, but he who has an enemy will meet him everywhere”.

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Now it is senator vs. senator. Senator Antonio Trillanes has filed serious charges against Sen. Richard Gordon before the Ombudsman for alleged irregularities committed when Gordon was head of the Philippine National Red Cross. Now, that is rather shocking, because the PNRC is supposed to be beyond reproach in its noble mission. If true, the charges against Gordon could be classed among the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. Well, Gordon will probably not take that sitting down and will move all forces to clear himself. Otherwise, what a disappointment.

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Those who were wondering why Dangerous Drugs Board head Dionisio Santiago had resigned (or was ordered to resign) thought that the guy had been doing a good job, must now know that it was because he had opened his mouth about the rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija, apparently a pet project of the president in his war on drugs. Santiago, who probably still believed in his existence of the freedom of speech in this country, dug his own grave by noting to the media that he believed the rehabilitation center was impractical and a mistake. The President believed he should have told him directly and not made chismis to the media. Hence the “divorce”. Another saying: “He who is not with me is against me.”

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Girls in the Philippines cheered on that woman who bravely complained to the station officers about the action of two policemen who, she claimed, made “catcalls” to her when they passed her walking on the street in Metro Manila. She said the two policemen in a police van, followed her then stopped now and then to leer and whistle lewdly at her. One of them even had his tongue hanging out like a dog, she said. Bully for her, I'd say. Such actions would be reprehensible enough from teenagers or drunken men in tiendas, but policemen! For shame.

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Maybe they were taking their cue from news item telling about the acts of Hollywood producers, and even politicians, who have lately been exposed by the women they had molested. After those revelations from movie personalities, more and more women have come out and disclosed their own experiences with such men. Even old former President George Bush, Sr. has been accused of touching the behinds of women who happen to come near him. But for police officers themselves to behave that way, why, they should not only be penalized, but removed from the service. No wonder there are stories of women inmates being raped!

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It is very demoralizing to hear about the shenanigans policemen in this country can get into that make citizens often lose respect for them. Of course we are not generalizing, but when you hear about cops who serve as protectors or bodyguards of drug dealers and suppliers, of those who disrespect women, or steal the money of people they arrest, how you can trust them fully when you call them? That is why our authorities should not spare the rod when it comes to misbehaving cops. They should immediately be charged, or booted out.

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Meanwhile, let us not forget to pray that the bellicose leader of North Korea sees the light and realizes that his words and actions could lead, not only to danger for all those in the Asian region but also to his own country and people. If he has a death wish, let him indulge himself, and not go on threatening and challenging others. The way it is, he seems to find a soulmate in America's Donald Trump who seems to be playing into his hands by giving as good as he gets, word-wise. I believe only prayers can shut up both of them now, or may God have mercy on us all!*

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