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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 8, 2018
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OPINIONS

Who won in the U.S. polls?

Ninfa Leonardia

The American voters very clearly showed their displeasure with their current administration that they voted for more Democrats in Congress after the election that was said to have a very high turnout of voters this time. But Trump himself is not grieving, he still brags that he has got the Senate sewed up, and so they just had an election where both contenders have declared victory.

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So both the Democrats and the Republicans are claiming victory, but how will these results will affect the performances of both Houses in the months to come? But I guess Trump has more reason to cheer, because this could mean that the talks of impeachment that had been hurled around before the election are surely bound to stop – with the Senate still with him. This is said to be the first time in almost a decade that the Democrats have been able to get a grasp of the lower house, but I guess that’s victory enough for them.

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Early reports on the elections showed that there were many record-breaking and history-making events, during it that could be considered “firsts” in the U.S. history. These include the election to Congress of two native American women from Kansas and New Mexico to Congress. Two Muslim women were also elected to Congress. And, like the Philippines, this time the Americans also voted into office a professional hockey player. But we have preceded them in this – look at our Manny Pacquiao, who is now being lionized in London as guest speaker of two of the world’s greatest universities, Oxford and Cambridge. This while he is soon to start training again for another big bout.

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Well, we will soon be electing our own top officials, bar the President and Vice President, and then the excitement will move to our country. What do you think about the 152 persons who have filed certificates of candidacy for senator? Hasn’t the Comelec run them through its fine sieve yet? Imagine having the ballots containing the names of so many senatorial bets when we are supposed to pick only 12. Hasn’t the cleansing process started yet?

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Although some media people say derogatory things about our president’s spokesman, I think they should sympathize with him instead. Just imagine how many embarrassing moments he experiences everyday when he issues statements that are later belied or has denied something that is proven to be true. We are not saying he is already, as the punsters say, “kapalmuks” or thick-in the face, after working with this kind of boss for so long.

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Take that incident when President Duterte endorsed folk-singer Freddie Aguilar. Duterte raised the fellow’s arms in public. When critics zoomed in on that premature endorsement, Panelo quickly issued a statement saying that there was no endorsement because the President did not “categorically” endorse his candidacy. Panelo insisted that Duterte did not say people should vote for Aguilar. But when videos and even Malacañang transcripts showed the President saying “Vote for Freedie Aguilar”, what do you think did Panelo say? He said, “He may be referring to an election”!

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Now what? After all the denials that the Chinese were not influencing the present administration, here comes a report that Malacañang itself has confirmed that a Chinese businessman is the consultant of the President of the Philippines. And he is being consulted by our President on economic affairs. I remember an item where President Duterte frankly admitted that he is no expert on economic matters. But why take a Chinese consultant, identified as a certain Michael Yang. Actually, the real name of the consultant is said to be Yang Hong Ming, but the Michael must have been adopted to “westernize” it. And the “consultations” are actually covered by contracts.

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I admire the guts of Baguio city’s education officials. The city has passed an ordinance prohibiting students, especially schoolchildren, from using profane words, or cursing. The Councilor who proposed the ordinance noted that cursing has become ordinary and commonplace, with even young children getting into the habit. But a high school principal was a voice of reason. She asked how teachers can stop pupils and students from cursing or using profane language when no less than the President of the country prides himself in blurting out the worst of the common curses in our country, and he is quoted for them in the print as well as in radio and TV? I’m afraid that if you scold a child for cursing, he or she might tell you, “But the President always talks like that!” So it is “Follow the leader”?*

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