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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 17, 2018
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Why Digong didnít vote

Ninfa Leonardia

It is disturbing to note that several winners in the barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections are said to be linked to illegal drugs, whether as users or traders. What happens if these new officials, after they have been proclaimed and have assumed office, are later found guilty of charges involving their past activities that may be filed, or are already pending against them? Can they be removed outright, or will such removal take so long a process that judgment could come after their terms are over?

***

Meanwhile the President has explained why he did not exercise his right to suffrage and did not vote during the recent elections. The media quoted him as saying that most of the candidates were his friends or supporters, so he did not want to pick any one of them, to the disadvantage of the others. But do we all not have a lot of friends, even relatives, who were also candidates, and yet we went to the polls and voted for one because this is supposed to be our sacred duty? I hope people will not use the same excuse next election for not voting at all.

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I heard a lot of eyebrows were raised at the report that Justice Teresita de Castro refused the position of Ombudsman when it was offered to her. She reportedly said she wants to finish her term as Supreme Court justice which is ending soon. But malicious minds are suspecting that she could be hoping to take the place from which Ma. Lourdes Sereno was ousted. Wasn’t she among those who were against Sereno and had moved for her ouster? So it looks now that the next Ombudsman will be Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. who will take over when Omb. Conchita Carpio Morales retires in July.

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Truer words were never spoken, is what I can say about President Duterte’s statement that he could never be a person like the late former senator Edgardo Angara. This was after he described Angara as a “humble and quiet person”. Indeed. Angara was his opposite, he was the perfect example of the silent water that runs deep. Filipinos will always remember him for the many laws and changes that he had authored and achieved, and senior citizens will always thank him and pray for him as the main proponent of the Senior Citizens Law that they are now benefitting from. By the way, I had often wondered why it was so easy for me and my folks to be close to Senator Angara and I knew why when I learned from reports on him that his middle name was Javier. My greatgrandfather was also a Javier, and could we have been relatives? I hope so, what a relative to be proud of!

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Who was it who first said that lightning does not strike the same place twice? It does, indeed, if you liken it to the case of a man in Sydney, Australia, who won more than a million in Australian dollars on a lotto bet on Monday, last week, and then won another one million-plus on Saturday of the same week! Of course he could hardly believe his good fortune. It was a very rare happening, and lottery experts say the odds of winning even once is one in 1,845 million. That’s kind of lightning one would not mind being hit by.

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Speaking of lightning, that was quite a thunderstorm we experienced in Bacolod Tuesday. It seemed as if the sky was cracking up with lightning streaking through it and the thunderclaps following them were not only deafening, but also fearsome. The day before had been extremely hot, and it was a wonder we did not hear of any deaths by heatstrokes, but I guess we Pinoys now know how to keep ourselves safe by staying indoors and take advantage of man-made coolers.

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One particularly loud and earsplitting burst of thunder immediately brought on a blackout with all electric lighting, fans and airconditioners, also going out. Mercifully, however, power came back within a few minutes, and things got back to normal. The accompanying rain also helped a lot to cool things down, thank God. This is, I think one of the hottest summers we have experienced in so many years. I bet the usual Boracay summer habitués continue to curse the one who ordered the resort closed with his own cuss words.

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The elections are over and now the officials of the Commission on Election are settling down to the next phase of their job which is to run after violators of the election laws, which are virtually the same ones they had encountered in previous elections. But how many will be charged and penalized? So far, we have heard reports of vote-buying, flying voters, but we also heard of those before. I wonder if there had been convictions for such crimes in previous voting exercises? I don’t remember hearing about any, so far.*

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