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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 22, 2018
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OPINIONS

Was Digong flirting?

Ninfa Leonardia

Oh no! Now the American President is reported to be adopting the methods of our President in dealing with their drug problem. Does this mean that the Americans will also start seeing bullet-riddled bodies in their streets, and their policemen declaring that the victims “fought back”? All along, we had regarded America as a country to emulate, now they have a leader who wants to emulate us. I know Donald Trump has been called many names by his own people, but I have not heard them call him a copy cat. Yet.

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But it seems it is not giving to be exactly like that. What he is said to be contemplating is the imposition of the death penalty, because drugs really kill people. But the death penalty still exists in the U.S. Well, it actually does in our country, despite its being not allowed by our Constitution, but, as the saying goes, there are a 100 ways to kill a cat. And we got rid of thousands of suspected drug users, pushers, dealers, suppliers and protectors with penalties imposed swiftly and completely by the local police.

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I noted, however, that the opioids mentioned along with other synthetic drugs like heroin and fentanyl, have killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016 as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But one item immediately caught my attention in the report that came from two of the most reliable international news agencies in the world: Agence France Presse and the Associated Presse. This was “fentanyl”. Isn’t this the drug that President Duterte has disclosed he is using? And is he still using it? Shouldn’t the people know?

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Meanwhile, is President Duterte flirting with Vice President Leni Robredo? If what I saw and heard on TV yesterday was an indication, well, he did sound as if he is trying to win her over now. I can no longer recall all the flattering things he reportedly said, but I did remember clearly the program host saying that the president said: “I love to see my vice president”. I hope the lady did not simper, but of course she is not the type. I hope that was not fake news.

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So it’s not “unli in da Pilipins”. It is said to be happening in Russia, too. Aha, where did they copy it from? I hope they don’t say a Filipino taught them. Note that shortly after the news reports came out that Vladimir Putin had won reelection by a landslide assuring him another six year term, out came reports from various sectors telling about such alleged irregularities as “ballot stuffing” and people casting multiple votes for him!

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But it was not only chismis or gossip, or even the new fangled “fake news” syndrome. The irregularities were reportedly documented via videos tapes and photographs. An Associated Press report said people who were taking photos were dragged out by policemen and threatened. In areas where voting was poor, people were brought in by buses so they could vote. Some election officials dared to say that the votes in the areas where “stuffing” had occurred, would be invalidated. Will that reduce the “landslide”? What has Putin got to say to that? Can any reporter ask him?

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I have always admired Barbra Streisand, not only for her singing, but also for her openness, so my admiration increased with her comeback to a question about the #MeToo movement in the United States started by women who disclosed having been molested by prominent Hollywood personalities. Asked if she had also experienced being sexually harassed, she quipped (as reported by AP): “Never. I wasn’t like those pretty girls with those nice little noses”. Of course everyone knows, or have found out that she is also very conscious about her very prominent nose. But see, it saved her from being groped or assaulted by those Hollywood maniacs who had attacked so many of those beautiful actresses, especially aspiring ones.

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But I have been wondering why, despite the copycat mentality of a lot of our people, none of our local movie stars, or even aspiring ones, have so far, ever disclosed any incident of #MeToo happening to them in Movielandia here. Maybe they are just too ashamed to reveal their experience, or perhaps the randy producers were too afraid of being exposed or blackmailed. Maybe, too, our movie stars are mostly well-educated, some even coming from “Buena familias” who would not hesitate to “punish” them if they dared. And not by suing them, of course, as that would be a slur on their daughter’s reputation, but in a harsher form of revenge from their male relatives.*

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