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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, April 13, 2018
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OPINIONS

History and Prince Harry

Ninfa Leonardia

Can you call it a catfight no matter who are involved? If the protagonists happen to belong to the exalted office of the Supreme Court, that is? Seems to me that is what took place in Baguio City where Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro had what was described as a shouting match. Now, now ladies, you are supposed to be members of the most honorable body in the land. Why had it gotten to this? Why is Justice de Castro so vehemently against Sereno?

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I heard or read somewhere that this all started when then President Benigno Aquino III picked Sereno over De Castro who was said to be the one with an eye on the seat she got. Seems she has not forgiven Sereno for that, and, for that matter, it seems as if Sereno has less “friends” in the SC than De Castro. But Sereno does not seem or sound like a patsy, and she is fighting back. What now that the President himself has ordered that her impeachment be speeded up, or something to that effect, before he flew off to China?

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I think that was because Sereno had reportedly commented that “unseen hands” were behind the moves to impeach her. Someone must have whispered to the President that he was the “unseen hands” and he promptly took the bait. Me, I believe that Sereno could be referring to her non-fan in the Supreme Court. But now some people, among them writers to national dailies, saying that by his order, the President is proving that he now has all three branches of government – executive legislative and judicial – under his thumb. Is that healthy for us?

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In the meantime, President Duterte has just ended his visit to China where he was hosted by his friend, Chinese president Xi Jinping. Seems Xi rolled out the red carpet for the friend he had made during his visit in the Philippines for the APEC. Now they are palsy-walsy, and it looks as if China is going to send us a lot of aid, or maybe loans, to improve our infrastructure and other projects. Also, Xi hosted a lavish dinner for President Duterte and his daughter, Davao Mayor Sara Carpio. Where was Honeylet? And what did they eat? I bet not only pancit.

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Reports on the China visit also said that the members of the presidential party were quite eager to reveal their Chinese ancestry. Bong Go disclosed that his grandfather was Chinese, and President Duterte also said his great-grandfather came from the province of Fujian. But I think “Duterte”, which sounds more Spanish than Chinese, did not come from that great-grandpa. With Go, there is no doubt, it is a Chinese-sounding name, all right. But I guess, one loses nothing by identifying with the Chinese nowadays.

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They say a fool is born every minute. But the worst fools are those who are greedy and easily fall for promises of easy and fast money. A few years ago a great scandal was blown up with the stories of several people who were enticed by the so-called pyramiding scam where one’s money can increase in about two weeks’ time. So many fell for it, and are regretting their gullibility to this day. And yet recently another similar scam was uncovered, and this time a young couple have been apprehended after allegedly making about P700 million in a few days! One of their alleged victims, interviewed on TV, claimed to have delivered to them some P46 million of his money! How do they get it back from the two schemers who looked so young and credible, one would never suspect them of being such daring operators?

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I guess nobody is surprised anymore when critics of the administration dub it as a dictatorship. It does look as if the Executive Department no longer listen or gives way to the two other branches it is supposed to be co-equal with. There is the president ordering the fast-tracking of the impeachment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. There is a report, too, about the Palace dismissing the resolutions of Congress to look into the order to close Boracay. How must the members of those two other bodies be feeling and thinking now? With the President just back from China and probably getting tips from Xi Jinping, what can we expect?

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From the international media, all reports on the coming wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and his Hollywood actress and divorcee fiancée, Meghan Markle, seem to show that the Britons are all agog about the marriage and about the movie actress who will join the royal family. But the biographers of the bride to-be seem rather harsh, or too truthful about her past that not only includes being divorced, but also having some relations with another man. But I suppose nothing the royal family can do can stop Harry, he is just living up to tradition. A past relation, a former king, even gave up the throne for a divorced woman also. It is just history repeating itself and the very prudent Queen Mother hasn’t said any words for or against the union.*

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