Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Front Page
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events
Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Trump and his neighbors

Ninfa Leonardia

As expected, sports media continue to be full of write-ups on the Pacquiao-Broner fight that held audiences spellbound on Sunday. And I guess most of those reading up on the fight must have concluded that, this time, Manny Pacquiao had for an opponent a real sore loser, who still cannot accept his fate. Adrien Broner still goes around claiming he was the winner, while, our Pambansang Kamao has kept his peace, as usual, gaining more admirers and fans. Aside from being a consummate athlete, he is a real sportsman.

***

What audiences, and even people close to him did not know, was that Manny Pacquiao was suffering a cold he contacted while training in the freezing area, against the advice of his trainers. I thought former Governor Chavit Singson was only making sip-sip when I saw him wiping Manny’s face, but it was later reported that he was making the boxer blow his nose. Fortunately, Manny didn’t sneeze in the middle of the fight, or while aiming a blow. Despite his not being in tip-top condition he still managed to beat Broner, who boasted of becoming a legend after the fight. And indeed, he became one, but a legend for unsportsmanlike behavior.

***

For those who are still hoping to see another Pacquiao-Mayweather encounter, I think they should give up their dreams. A spokesman of the undefeated one had curtly answered questions about it curtly, saying it will never happen, because Mayweather has decided to really retire from the ring. And who could blame him? Why risk your title as “undefeated” by taking on any more challengers? He obviously wants to rest on his laurels. Still, he could not resist being at the MGM Grand to watch the Pacquiao-Broner fight, as were several other noted “alumni” of boxing.

***

Somehow, I cannot fathom the motivations of those who are seriously considering the lowering of the age of criminality for children from the present 15 to only nine years old. Are they lowering the so-called age of reason as well? It may be true that there are cases where such young children have been used in the commission of crimes, like making them carriers of illegal stuff, or engaging in gambling activities, but, being involved in such are usually due to instructions of their elders, i.e., their own parents, who should be the one to be penalized, not them.

***

What are they going to do with the nine-year-old children to have violated the law? Put them in prison? Even if there are detention centers designed for children, will they reform their ways, is there assurance that will happen? Or will it rather put them in the company of others who could even influence them further into becoming hardened offenders upon release? I think only Vice President Leni Robredo has been talking sense in this issue, when she suggests that Congress, instead, craft a law to strengthen support for children “in conflict with the law”.

***

Even the United Nations has opposed any plan to lower the age of criminal liability and described the move as “an act of violence against children”. It pointed out that studies have shown that maturity is attained by a human only at age 16. The Commission on Human Rights also opposes the idea, pointing out that we already have the Juvenile Justice Welfare Law to deal with the so-called children in conflict with the law. This may even lead to overpopulation of detention centers with children, who may be easier to apprehend than the hardened adult criminals. I fully agree with that person who described the proponents of that bill as “Herods”.

***

Remember Herod? He was the one who sent out his men to kill all the babies in his kingdom when he learned that a baby boy had been born in Bethlehem, who would be a greater king than him. Fortunately St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary were warned and they were able to flee, and escape the massacre. I admit the analogy is a bit far off, but wouldn’t the arrest and detention of such young children, despite any misdeed they might have committed seem like it?

***

Meanwhile, the American federal government is still on “shutdown mood” with the President and Congress still at odds over the former’s plan to build a $5.7 billion wall to keep out illegal migrants from Mexico, its neighbor. One would think they are all being childish over this issue, but think of the thousands of workers who are not being paid, because their government is at a stand-still, as well as a shutdown. President Trump has reportedly offered a “deal”, but unfortunately for him, Congress is now controlled by the Democrats, who will not deal with him. The situation reminds me of Poet Robert Frost who wrote the line “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” with the poem ending, “Good fences make good neighbors”. Will Trump’s wall do that?*

back to top

   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com