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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, January 9, 2019
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Action from ACT

Ninfa Leonardia

“Fuel prices up” the headlines declared. Back to normal, is what that means. What is worrisome is that these could only be the first round of such “rises”. The next few weeks will tell how far they will go, while drivers and all vehicle owners will be palpitating while expecting the worst. What is sad is that we cannot even think of calesas as substitutes, and even the tricycles require fuel, too. I hope this will not mean the further proliferation of pedaled trisikads!

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The people of Malaysia may not see this is in the same perspective, but I think this is another romantic story involving royalty. The king of Malaysia has abdicated, establishing a first in the history of the country. Reports have come out that he had married a Russian former beauty queen. But before his declaration of abdication, he had taken what was referred to as a “medical leave”, for two months. Maybe his people did not know that he was only love-sick!

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But he is not the first monarch in history to give up a throne for love. There was King Eduard of England, who also gave up his throne to marry an American divorcee, a choice that had shocked his subjects. I recall seeing pictures of the object of his affections and I wouldn’t even call her a beauty by any standards. But then they say that love is blind. Some wags add: While the besotted lover cannot see, others can.

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Another love story, a local one at that, is the one about a councilor of Cebu City who is in trouble with the SandiganBayan that is going to try him for graft. The Cebuano council member allegedly made an employee of his office work as a cook in the eatery run by his girlfriend. This went on for six months until the victim himself spoke up, and charges were filed against the councilor. The office of the Ombudsman called the case “peculiar”, but I am almost sure this is not the only case of its kind in the country. As for the concerned councilor, he seems to have brushed off his predicament as “fabricated and politically motivated”. Of course the SandiganBayan will have the last say.

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I know a lot of Pinoys are traveling to Las Vegas for the Pacquiao fight next week. In the meantime, his scheduled opponent, Adrien Broner, is reportedly fighting two other boxers before that date! Doesn’t it look as if he is telling the world that he can afford to waste his power on small fry before facing our champion? Or could it be that he is fighting lesser pugilists he can easily beat, to offset what he may lose to Manny? I read somewhere that Manny is getting $25 million from this fight, while he will get only $5 million.

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But it’s not only from the fight promoters that the fighters will earn a lot. Yesterday’s reports said Manny gets paid by advertisers whose companies are printed on his trunks. In fact wags called his shorts a “walking billboard” because the companies with the names on them are willing to pay millions. So whether he wins or loses a fight, financially, he still rakes in more than his opponents.

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What does “profiling” really mean? Why has it caused such a furor among the teachers? Well, those who are implementing it claim there is nothing to fear about the gathering of information about some teachers groups because it is part of their job to do so. The question, however, is that it seems the teachers being “profiled” are particularly those who belong to the organization called ACT, or Alliance of Concerned Teachers. Seems that the Police just want to gather information about those who are members of this group who are now protesting the focus on them.

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They apparently do not believe the “Malacañang” explanation that it is because the President loves the teachers and they may even be given a salary increase soon. Apparently the teachers concerned do not believe that because they had discovered that there has been a memorandum issued directing the police, to, well, “profile” them. Who wouldn’t be suspicious that something not favorable to them is going on? Of course they will not be known as ACT members if they don’t take ACTION.*

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