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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Is Bongbong hounding Leni?

Ninfa Leonardia

So I am not the only one. Yesterday’s reports said some senators are also suggesting a “staggered” shutdown of Boracay for its supposed rehabilitation. And why can’t we be heard in this? I think it is the most logical, practical, and economical plan. Doing the work in phases, say, one Station at a time, would ensure that some parts are still open and can continue to accommodate tourists and visitors. That way, both local businesses and workers are benefited, as well as visitors, some of whom have long planned and made reservations at the place.

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I wonder why nobody influential has suggested this to the President, who seems bent on doing this his way, drastically and without regard for his own people who will be disadvantaged. Did he have a bad experience in Boracay? I wonder? Or have some of the biggest operators there stepped on his toes? If this had been set for any other part of the year, maybe even during Christmas time, it might not be so bad. But in summer, when all the world, save for the frigid countries, are on vacation, how could he? But as a columnist in one of yesterday’s national daily said it: “What Duterte wants – Duterte gets?” Ah, he really does.

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But our President is now in China and while that makes our Chinoy billionaires and top guns happy, it also makes some of us wonder what enticements his friend Xi-Jinping will offer that could make us frightened about our claims on the disputed seas that we had always thought our own. Will he sign up for “joint exploration”? Will they convince him it is really theirs? All we ordinary people can do now is pray that he will be guided in his decisions and commitments by the Greatest Power in Heaven, and not by those sycophants out there who are only good at “Clap, clap bowing”.

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One can really see how much power and influence the Marcos family still holds on to despite the shameful expulsion of their patriarch from this country by the strategy that became known and imitated throughout the world as “People Power”. And it looks as if the son and heir of the dictator and Martial Law administrator has more than enough of his father’s guile and cunning. Note how quickly, as soon as the vote recount he had demanded – and got – started, he already had some “wet ballots” to present. Of course someone must know who did the wetting, and the discovering.

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And it is not only in the Philippines where his clout has penetrated. A news report from London says that when Vice President Leni Robredo had speaking engagements there, one of her speaking appointments was at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, and before Filipino Communities there who were excited to listen to their Vice President whose late husband also happened to be one of the country’s most respected and productive officials.

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But even before she could speak at the LSEPS, what do you know? A group of Pinoys, said to be supporters of both Bongbong Marcos and President Duterte, rallied against her, carrying placards with statements against her, and asking her to step down! See how far the Marcos fangs can reach? Need we ask who is supporting rallyists and paying for their placards and posters? They even had the gall to call her to step down from the office the people had voted her into!

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But ever educated and refined lady that she is, VP Robredo would not even give a nasty comment, but simply told the media interviewing her that Filipinos should channel their energies into something positive, because “We will progress through collaboration, and not through division”. Attagirl! That’s it, keep your dignity always and show up those power-hungry characters to whom more than two decades of looting our country was not enough.

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I hate to be echoing myself, but I would like to remind our Education officials again of the need to include swimming in the curriculum of our schools. We have Physical Education classes where it can be included. I keep repeating this because almost everyday lately, we hear or read, or see reports on TV about deaths by drowning, not only of children but even adults. Had all those victims taken a modicum of lessons in swimming, they could not only have saved themselves, but perhaps others as well.*

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