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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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OPINIONS

Where Pinoys can shine

Ninfa Leonardia

In the past few days, I noticed several advertisements on TV about missing children and also a few of adults, especially men. In the cases of the men, it was often mentioned that they were suffering from some mental disturbance, but this was not so with the children, almost all of them boys. Then yesterday a news item reported that the Philippine National Police chief has issued a warning to parents to be careful and watch their children because of a rash of kidnapping cases being reported to the police.

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This seems to jibe with previous reports, that some had dismissed as just rumors, about children being snatched by gangs who reportedly sell them to wealthy people requiring human part transplants! That may sound unbelievable, but can such stories be dismissed as old wives’ tales, or horror stories? But the warning of the PNP chief was reported together with an incident about a man who had been apprehended by the police for allegedly trying to snatch a girl, and witnesses identified him as the one behind child kidnapping cases in Rizal Province.

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The police are now trying to find out if, indeed, there s a syndicate involved in such abductions. The PNP Chief has assured that they will respond immediately to any report to prevent them from happening. Well, we have not heard of any similar incidents in our city, but parents should not take chances, and should give their schoolchildren warnings against strangers who may try to befriend them or offer them rides home or to their schools. One can never tell what criminal minds can think of, or concoct.

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I was surprised to see the news report saying that President Duterte is against the divorce bill. Is it not true that he is a divorced man, and no longer living with his ex-wife, but with a “partner”? Maybe he realized later that his family life and his children would have been in a different situation if their parents were together? The way his statements on the bill that the House of Representatives seems to be in a hurry to pass, sound, I even suspect that he might veto it – if the Senate does not beat him to it.

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But what is going to happen, now that President Duterte has declared that we are pulling out of the International Criminal Court that is bent on investigating him, but the ICC insists that it will go on with its probe, nonetheless? Can it impose any sanctions in case it finds evidence that our president has violated human rights laws? It can hardly depose or sentence him, can it? And even if the case gets international condemnation, I doubt if Mr. Duterte will care. But how will all this reflect on us as citizens of this country?

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It was no surprise to see the report that Filipino immigrants outdo those from other countries in the United States. A recent survey showed that our Pinoys there have higher education, higher income and lower poverty rates. The statistics confirming this reportedly came from several agencies, among them the American Community Survey. They also noted that Pinoys are more proficient in English compared to other immigrants. I could’ve vouch for that, having been an English teacher, after my experience in conversing with people from other nationalities in the U.S.

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Also, it was noted that most of our countrymen and women who go there are college educated, degree holders, even. It also said 50 percent of the Pinoys there have college degrees, compared to U.S. natives, of which only 32 percent do. And most of them are employed in management, business, science and arts, compared to other immigrant groups. I could’ve told them that, too, as haven’t I bragged before of my niece, Peachy, daughter of brother Pros, a cute little girl, who was a vice president for communications of one of the biggest banks in the U.S., in New York City?

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That is why it is sad to think about our people, referred to as OFWs, or Overseas Filipino Workers, who go to Middle East countries to work as domestic helpers and get exploited and subjected to indignities and abuses, which was why a ban on sending Pinoys to one of them has been imposed. But, alas, those who go there are mostly poorly educated ones willing to bear such treatment so they could earn for their families. That is why America continues to be the Land of Promise to many of our people, who go there, ready to compete with the natives, as far as education, intelligence and capabilities are concerned.*

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