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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 8, 2019
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The fears of Bato

Ninfa Leonardia

A very unusual piece of news in a national daily yesterday was about the act of former National Police Director Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa who reportedly sought forgiveness from a bishop for the death of Filipinos in the anti-drug war, of which he was the kingpin. He was reported as telling the bishop that the incidents bothered his conscience. He also reportedly sought spiritual guidance every time a person is killed, and people called him a “murderer”.

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Well, it is finally good to know that he has a conscience that can bother him, and I hope the Bishop was able to cleanse him of those “sins” he admitted. He also said he is a God-fearing person. Well, that is good to know, too, and I hope the good Bishop was able to wipe his conscience clean. Apparently “Bato” happened to be in the Diocese because he was guest speaker at the Naga College Foundation. I will not be surprised, though, if some people now look at him as an “election fearing” person, as he is now running for a Senate seat.

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I could have said “I told you so”, but nobody was listening. As soon as I heard the reports that suicide bombers with some Indonesians were the suspects in the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral, I immediately commented that it would be “case-closed” soon. For what case can you build when the respondents are dead? Dead men tell no tales, they won’t even get conscience-stricken and send their spirits back to apologize. Meanwhile, I hope members of the Jolo Diocese will soon get their acts together and work towards rebuilding their beautiful Cathedral named after Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

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We received only yesterday a letter from a British national living in Bacolod who, with his British friends, was requesting the DAILY STAR to publish an item on the Superbowl at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, February 4 in Bacolod. Alas for our so-called “snail mail” around here, the letter came in only yesterday! The writer, who identified himself only as “Paul” had hoped to “join the Yanks and have a beer and learn the rules of the National Football League, while cheering the teams”. We are sorry for disappointing them, but hope we can accommodate their group another time – with a lot of sufficient time for notice.

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If you were President Duterte and you had seen those impersonators of yourself and President Kim Jun Un of North Korea, wouldn’t you be alarmed? The resemblances were so uncanny, that it couldn’t have been the result of make-up or photo-positioning and retouching alone. I’m sure his security people will be doubly alert about the possibility of such impersonators successfully passing themselves off as the President and giving orders as if they were the real Digong!

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Cigaret smokers, en garde! Don’t ever think of migrating to Hawaii, or taking chances with smoking out there. Well, this is not yet applicable now, but it seems they have very stringent laws against smoking, so that certain ages have been set for people to be able to buy cigarets. And there are already proposals, (maybe already passed into law by now), that would restrict the age of those allowed to purchase them to 100. I really found the news surprising, I had always thought of Hawaii as a very liberal state.

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This should warm the hearts of Bacolod City government workers, especially those in the Treasurer’s Office. My dear friend, Edouard Garcia, now a resident and homeowner in Paris, France, comes home very often and among his regular tasks is to pay his taxes properly. I need not make conjectures on how much Edouard pays, but everyone knows it could not be peanuts. But the point of this revelation, which might make Edouard blush or pinch me, is that he got a very big surprise when we went to pay his dues this year.

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He said the person who attended to him informed him that, perhaps, by some miscalculation, he had paid double what he should have paid last year! Therefore he needn’t shell out anything more, and even got an apology! So he is very happy that there are still honest and concerned people among our city workers, and asked me to tell this to Mayor Bing who will, surely be pleased with such information, but will doubtless look into the reasons for last year’s error.*

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