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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 11, 2018
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

When the Koreas meet

Ninfa Leonardia The way things are moving, it looks as if it's a done deal, and Con-Ass it is going to be. That means they will form a constitutional Assembly and its members will be the ones who will draft the amendments to our Constitution that will now include the adoption of Federalism, the pet project of the President, as our form of government. Any hope you and I may have had of having a say in it are fast fading away, if not completely erased already.

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What seems to be an assumption also with the Con-Ass formation is that No-El is also an almost done deal, too. Well, having no elections could save the country a lot of money, but it will also deprive a lot of people of the joys of running for office. Elections can be counted among the “most fun” activities in the Philippines, but also the most expensive. So the poor would-be candidates or reelectionists should be happy, but the moneyed ones, who hope to become richer, will be sad. You can't please everyone, not even with such activities as elections.

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Is he or isn't he? Is presidential son Paolo Duterte still vice mayor of Davao City or is he not? The news about the resignation of the president's son from his position as vice mayor to his mayor sister, Sara Duterte-Carpio hit the headlines just before Christmas and a few days ago, it was also reported that the President himself had accepted the resignation. But yesterday, questions arose about the issue, because some Davaoeños reportedly do not believe the resignation is already final, and that Paolo is still in office.

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Perhaps today the President himself will issue a statement clarifying the matter. If that had been any other elected official of any local government unit, no such questions or problems would arise. But this is the son of the President involved, so there is a different complexion to the case. By the way, if it is true that Mayor Sara is being enticed, and may allow herself to be convinced to run for the Senate, who will head their turf that is Davao City? The other son does not seem politically inclined, but can probably be convinced to take over for the sake of the family. And so the line goes on.

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There have been reports of scheduled talks between North and South Korea to be held in the Peace Village called Panmunjun. If the talks concern the development of nuclear weapons by the North, I think the whole world should cover them with fervent prayers that the war freak of a leader they have will see reason and desist from threatening, much less, firing his nuclear toys. I believe the talks between the two Koreas are likely to be more productive than if it were between NOKOR's Kim Jung-un and the equally bellicose Donald Trump of the U.S.

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Meanwhile, if you, like me, had thought that the suspected inroads being made by China on Philippine territory with its latest friendliness with our leaders, were all in good faith, think again. Now it has been found out that China is building an airbase on the territory it had reclaimed over our protests, and for what purpose, your guess is as good as that of our president. I thought all those reports of encroachment had been settled with the very friendly stance shown by China recently, helping us with infrastructure and such. What about the United Nations decision over that disputed territory, isn't China minding that?

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Back to America's Trump, the hottest news now is that several groups are thinking of fielding Oprah Winfrey against him in the next election. Well, that is not an impossibility, considering the popularity of Winfrey. But the lady does not seem interested, saying she has no dreams of being president, while showbiz personalities claim that they can convince her if they tried hard enough. Well, maybe Oprah, who has never claimed to be a “genius” despite her unbelievable success as a TV personality, will do better than any billionaire who is suspected to have more money than brains, anyway. As for being a showbiz personality, look at Erap Estrada, the movie star. He became president, too, didn't he?

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The national dailies were full of accounts of devotees to the Black Nazarene of Quiapo and about the favors they were granted that they attribute to the image. I am sure these will further increase the number of people who will join the procession next year, especially because of reports also that this time it was faster and more orderly. But there are devotees who do visit the Quiapo Church to pray before the image every Friday, and other churches as well on certain days of the week. My dear late friend, Redempta Medel, who helped ease my homesickness while working in Makati, used to visit all year through seven churches named after seven saints every day of the week. And I know her faith kept her through the problems in her life. I am sure her favorites watched over her all the time.*

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