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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, November 27, 2017
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OPINIONS

Time slams Trump

Ninfa Leonardia           Nakakahiya! Or, for our American readers, “How shameful!” This came to mind immediately after reading the news that U.S. President Trump declared that he rejected or “passed” on the offer of TIME Magazine to name him their Man of the Year again. Time promptly clarified that they had no intention at all to give him the honor, they only wanted to interview him and get a photo shot. But Trump had disclosed to the media that Time had called and that he would probably  be named man of the year, and he said he would “pass.”

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          But Time would not let that “pass” either, and corrected him saying they do not reveal who gets the award  until it is published. A former Time editor was even more direct. He tweeted, according to an Agence France Press report, “Hate to tell you but that PROBABLY means you’re NOT the Person of the Year”. He also hinted that Trump was keeping a fake TIME cover that had been reported in Washington in June. In fact, the AFP also said, Trump was named Person of the Year after his election, but the title was “President of the Divided States of America”!

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          Meanwhile, we have our own version of name-calling with the self-exiled head of the Philippine Rebel movement who is ensconced in the Netherlands accusing President Duterte of being the country’s  “Number One Drug Addict,” and of planning to become a “fascist dictator” like Marcos, and even charged Duterte and his family of being into drug-smuggling and of protecting drug lords! Those are fighting words, indeed, and let us see if the President will pay him any attention.

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          Jose Ma. Sison, a.k.a. Joma is probably bristling because Duterte has called off the so-called peace talks with him. That is why his minions in the mountains and countrysides are also getting more aggressive in attacking camps and even civilians, to show that they are still a force to reckon with. Maybe they believe that the President is  confident that he can deal with them as he did with the Marawi marauders. But a lot of people do believe Duterte when he pooh-poohs their leaders as already old and disconnected with their men on the ground. What we are afraid of, however, is that in this exchange, the innocent may be the ones to suffer. And may the Good Lord prevent that!

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          Meanwhile, President Duterte has been warning about deadly encounters between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and those of the New People’s Army because of his declaration to stop the peace talks that have been getting nowhere, anyway. This time he has his rangers to boast of, and he has even been seen wearing their uniform himself. But if this conflict does take place, it will be far different from the Marawi affair, because that was isolated to one city, whereas the rebels of Joma Sison continue to roam the countrysides of our towns and even cities.

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          At the same time, the world is again mourning the atrocity that occurred in Egypt when men believed to belong to the groups of Islamic State terrorists, exploded bombs and went on a shooting spree in a mosque in Egypt, killing more than 300 worshippers an injuring about 100 others. Egypt had to use its air force to also attack and kill the attackers, but probably those people believe that they deserve their own version of heaven after having wrought such damage and deaths.

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          By this time, the new Miss Universe will probably be known already, and I am sure Filipino fans of Rachel Peters, our bet, are already palpitating with excitement and anticipation, especially with reports from Las Vegas that she is among those touted to land among the top winners. Well, they say lightning does not strike twice in the same place, but who knows? We have a very well qualified contestant, and she has all the moral support, not only from Filipinos in the U.S. who will probably be flocking to Las Vegas for the event, but especially from her own family who are reportedly also there to cheer her on.

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          But have you heard about the 20 beauty candidates for Miss Georgia 2017 (in Russia) who were billeted in the luxury hotel that caught fire that killed 12 people and injured 21 others? But all 20 candidates survived, unscathed, by climbing down an escape ladder! Gutsy girls, they were. All of them should be given special awards for bravery and gameness as well as grit in self-preservation. Bravo for the Russian lasses!*

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