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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 12, 2018
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OPINIONS

On Digong, women and God

Ninfa Leonardia

“I won’t step down for Leni”. That was what President Duterte was quoted as saying and as headlined by the national daily, the Philippine Star. So it’s true, he must have this secret fear of women, which is why a lot of people have accused him of misogyny. Soon after Vice President Leni Robredo was announced as having accepted the role of leading the opposition, that was his reaction. But why shouldn’t she be considered the leader of her party? She is, after all, its highest elected official.

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Me, I am inclined to blame his mother for this attitude of her son. Remember, he was also the one who repeatedly told about how often he was physically punished by his mother, who probably did not realize or understand what a maverick she had for a son. So she resorted to imposing severe punishments on him in an attempt to make him conform, which turned out to be an impossible task. His mother was also said to be a very religious woman. Which could also be why he is also mad even at God!

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I guess he must also be a bit sore because the latest survey of the Social Weather Station showed his ratings dropping from “very good” to only “good” now. He and his spokespersons will refute this, of course, but it does seem as if some of the responders to the surveys had been affected by his blasphemous statements recently. And, see, just after he had seemed to reconcile with the churchmen – remember the pious-looking president bowing over the hand of Archbishop Romulo Valle, and reportedly promising to stop attacking the Catholic Church, he went off again slamming the church. One wonders how come the Church came into question when he was supposedly addressing a crowd in the Clark Freeport in Pampanga. Was the occasion appropriate?

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Meanwhile, let us sympathize with our neighbors like Japan where floods and landslides swept away home and people with victims already 156 in yesterday’s report. The floods, especially at the place called Kurashiki, were so intense, and deep, that people had to climb to their rooftops, to wait for the rescuers. An Agence France Presse report said rescuers had to go house to house to check if there were victims in them and hope is dying for some missing persons. Ironically, firefighters are among the volunteer rescuers going through the searches.

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While it is flooding in Japan, the opposite is happening in Canada where an intense heat wave has caused 70 people to die, so far. The scorching heat began early this month, while we in the Philippines, especially in Bacolod, are confused over getting heavy rains one moment, and very warm weather the next. But, at least, they neutralize each other’s effects. Apparently the worst hit are the big cities of Montreal and Quebec. Since the only two times I have been in Canada happened on a very pleasant season, I can hardly imagine how hot it can ever get there. Are these – the Japan and Canada problems – part of what had been anticipated as “climate change”?

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The President is eyeing a budget of P3.757 TRILLION for next year. My, are we truly that rich? Then why are we borrowing some P1.9 Trillion in 2019? Can we afford to pay that? But they say that is even less than this year’s, which is P3.767. Anyway, this will supposedly be announced by the President during his State of the Nation Address, or SONA which, by the way, is said to be delivered extemporaneously and will last only 35 minutes. This I’ve got to see, I mean, hear, to believe.

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Meanwhile, was it really impossible to move the acacia trees along the Abuanan highway without “killing” them? I heard that some officials had said they could not be transferred as they were already big. But I remember, during a visit to Singapore for the wedding of a relative, that they were uprooting and moving huge trees to other locations quite easily. We were surprised to see some of them loaded on trucks and were told they were to be transferred to other locations. Couldn’t our road builders try to learn how they did that in Singapore? Even if they planted trees along the newly-widened highways, alas this generation may not even get to see them grow to provide the beautiful canopy those old trees had presented. Maybe the ones who lopped them off never heard of the poem, “Woodman, spare that tree!”

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In sports, the Big Man of the Cavaliers, Lebron James, made the right decision to pick the Lakers for his new team. It did seem as if he had been doing all the work in his former team but the championship always evaded them. With the Lakers who had been winning championships over and over, he could join the ranks of its big shots who earned names for themselves in basketball history. The Cavs will surely miss him, but it can’t be said he did it for the money, having gotten bigger offers from other teams. As they say, it’s not the cash, it’s the company.*

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