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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, October 11, 2018
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There’s a prophet beside him

Ninfa Leonardia

The puzzle became a mystery when yesterday, only one of the three major national dailies carried the headline where President Duterte was quoted as saying “I HAVE NO CANCER”. What about the others, didn’t they have access to him, or if they had, they did not think it as headline stuff? But maybe they did not carry the story because they wanted to hear the results of his tests from the doctors themselves, or look at the printed or hard copies before passing it on as news.

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Well, that is his prerogative, and we can take it or leave it. But of course he knows that, under the law, he is supposed to square with his people whatever his state of health is. Since that was what he shared, let’s take his word for it, and be happy for him. As for that sudden trip to Hong Kong, let’s also believe him when he says he had to go shopping for new clothes as his old one no longer fit him. That one may raise noises from local shops who may feel slighted that he is not patronizing them, and does not believe in the slogan “Filipino First”.

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The alarming thing, as far as our democracy is concerned, is the recent development where his closest aides seem to be preparing something that is beyond our Constitution, meaning they are not willing to follow the prescribed line of succession to the presidency IN CASE. Me, I suspect his cohorts in Congress have something up their sleeves as regards who will take over, and apparently want somebody other than the elected vice president to assume. So we better pray for the continued good health of the President, unless we want a rape of our Constitution and Election Law to occur.

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But the Filipino people, with their history of knowing when the breaking point has been reached, and their rights are abused by greedy wannabes will know what to do. In the meantime, let us stop all speculations about the President’s health. If you want to be assured, just listen to his Special Assistant “Bong” Go, who insists that his boss has no serious illness, and is in “tip-top” condition. He also predicted that Duterte “will serve his full term until 2020 and live beyond that year”, as reported in the Inquirer. With prophets like that in his administration, for sure President Rodrigo Duterte will outlive as all.

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Why are some media entities making a lot of the departure of the song and dance performer and, until lately, an undersecretary in the Duterte government, from government service? Maybe the woman herself has decided she has no business being in such office. But she seems to be mad at some people and is now threatening to get even by running for either the House of Representatives or the Senate. And she must believe that it will be a cinch for her.

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Well, some people are probably unintentionally pushing her into it be continuously talking about her. For all we know she is actually encouraging it, because she knows that the more she is talked about, the better her chances of getting what she wants, and that is to become one of the country’s lawmakers. So, as our Miss International from Bacolod, Aurora Pijuan once said in a letter to the editor, we should stop talking about a person if we don’t want to promote him or her.

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Mocha Uson was also reported as complaining that some people had been writing “fake news” about her. I thought that expression came out first in connection with her? Anyway, Au-au is right. Let’s just stop mentioning someone if we don’t want them to take center stage. When it comes to getting attention, there are people who don’t mind what is being said about them, so long as they are mentioned. As an English philosopher once said “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about”. So there.

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By the way, I hope some readers remember that when it was suddenly announced that President Duterte, his partner, and their daughter were already in Hong Kong with even his spokesman not knowing about it, as it was a hush-hush trip, I mentioned in this column that I was sure some enterprising reporter would surely be there ahead of them to get a scoop. It was no surprise, therefore, to learn later that it was my old friend in the Manila media, Ellen Tordesillas, who surprised the President and party by already being there and ready to take photos and report on them. Viva Ellen!*

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