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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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OPINIONS

The earth is moving

Ninfa Leonardia

She maybe full of bravado but I am sure Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno knows even now that her goose is cooked. Before flying off to China to hobnob with his friend Xi Jinping, President Duterte made it very clear to all his subalterns that there is no other way for the lady Chief Justice but OUT. He has ordered the House of Representatives to rush the impeachment. It will not be surprising if the other Justices also got the same idea, since they, too, do not seem to be very friendly with Sereno.

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Where will she go? Looks as if all three branches of government are pouncing on her. Congress, the High Court, and the Executive are now openly against her. As the President himself was quoted in the news in addressing Sereno: “I am now your enemy”. The lady continues to give the impression that she is unfazed, and bully for her! But where can she go? People often say “You can’t fight city hall”. And what if all three branches of your government are fighting you?

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But the lady was also quoted as declaring that she will not bow down to “the powers that be”. Actually all those powers are obviously after her now, and only a few of her fellow Filipinos are brave enough to stand up for her. She says friends and well meaning colleagues are advising her to “compromise”, but she has refused. Well, few believe that she will survive this three-pronged attack, but let’s give it to the lady, she is ready to go down, if she must, fighting.

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The world is round, indeed, as my late grandmother used to say. Now we have reports that China is offering jobs for Filipino teachers and domestic helpers. The teachers are to hold classes in English, which means that the Chinese people realize how important it is for the citizens to know English which is a language spoken by more people in the world now. Well, they must first assure our teachers not only of good pay, but most of all of civil treatment. Anyway, our teachers will not stand for hanky-panky, they are well educated and know their rights.

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I am quite concerned about the domestic helpers, however. How do we assure that they do not get treated like those who went to, say, Kuwait, and other parts of the Middle East? Will we also discover them in freezers or starving in stockrooms? By the way, I wonder about the status of our workers in Kuwait, are there several of them left there, despite the call for them to come home? Well, those who insist on staying must be comfortable with their employers, but those who have been maltreated must pipe up and demand to be released. The day of slavery has long been over.

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I mentioned my Grandma’s favorite saying about the world being round, because I remember that once upon a time, Filipinos were the ones recruiting helpers from China. Most of them were hired to take care of babies and were called “amahs”, but the Pinoy term is “yaya”. A lot of wealthy families sent to China for the yayas of their babies and some of them stayed until the kids were grown up and never left. Now it is the other way around, the Chinese are the ones asking us to send them domestic helpers!

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One can only imagine the concerns of Boracay’s business establishments, its residents and transportation facilities, with the plans being cooked for it by this administration. First, their resort will be closed, completely, for at least six months for supposed clean-up after the President discovered that the sewage in the area was not being properly disposed. Now he has this brainstorm about the entire area being subject to land reform! Can you think of Boracay being portioned off to the people there, most of whom were not even residents before it became the tourist drawer and money earner that it is now? The people there should pray that the President will not get another brainstorm like that.

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As if the world is not facing so many terrible man-made problems now, Mother Nature also continues to give reminders that she is still in command of everything. Note how many reports on earthquakes, floods, and typhoons we are getting from all over. The latest report from Japan says that the temblor that struck its western area was of Magnitude 6.1! Of course Japan is not unfamiliar with earthquakes, even on an ordinary day in Tokyo, you could suddenly feel the earth tremble, but 6.1 is rather fearsome, even to them. And it’s not only in Japan, other countries have been experiencing quakes, too. The earth is moving, indeed, what can we do to stop it?*

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