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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 26, 2019
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OPINIONS

But why not 13?

Ninfa Leonardia

The latest on the very controversial issue of the acceptable “age of criminal liability” has boiled down to 12, which the Senators have reportedly agreed on. Well, that’s an improvement over the age of nine earlier proposed. Me, I still hope both houses will settle on 13, which classifies the person as a teenager, rather than a child. At 13, one could say that the person has a better perception of right and wrong, rather one who is only 9, or even 12.

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As for the President’s position that reportedly wants parents to be made responsible for the acts of their children, perhaps that would be more acceptable if the age of liability is set at nine. For the older ones, it could be unfair, because by that age – 12 or 15 – they already have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. Those of those ages who get involved in criminal activities usually get into them against the advice, or without the knowledge of their parents. I believe this is an issue that needs more discussions and consideration before a decision is made.

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In the United States, meanwhile, President Donald Trump has to delay, or postpone his delivery of the traditional State of the Union Address, or SOUA, because of the existing “shutdown” in his government that had virtually stopped it from working or delivering services to his people. This was caused by his defiant stand over his insistence on spending some $5.7 million to build an American version of the Great Wall of China to keep migrants out. Since Congress refuses to approve the plan, things are now on a standstill in the country.

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But it is not only the migrants who are troubled, Americans themselves are suffering because the “shutdown” means the Federal government is not moving, its employees are not paid, and work has stopped altogether. But he himself is also affected, because he cannot even deliver the president’s piece d’resistance, the annual State of the Union Address, his report to the people of America about the achievements of his administration. Some may crack jokes about that and say “What accomplishments?”

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Wow! A report in the Sports section of a national daily said that Manny Pacquiao’s take in his fight with Adrien Broner is likely to reach the P1 BILLION mark! And that is not just from his purse in his recent fight, it includes his shares from pay per view sales and other sources related to his crushing defeat of Broner. Well, he did earn that, after all those weeks of rigorous training, and that encounter in the ring where one never knows if one’s opponent can sneak in a shattering blow. The Bureau of Internal Revenue, both in the Philippines and in the United States must be licking their chops already, because Pacquiao is also known for being a good taxpayer.

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An item in the news yesterday that got my attention was one that was about a development in the city of Makati involving politics. It was about a candidate for that city who was allegedly “kicked out” of his party that used to be the United Nationalist Alliance, or UNA. It was the candidate’s name that caught my eye, Monsour del Rosario, who, if I remember correctly, is a member of the Lizares-del Rosario family in Bacolod. Monsour, a former sports champion, with Taekwondo as his field, is running for vice mayor of Makati, in the ticket of Junjun Binay, who is running against his own sister, Abigail Binay.

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Seems Monsour had been councilor of Makati twice before and is now running for a higher post. And he is caught between the sibling rivalries there, the son and daughter of former Vice President Jejomar Binay, or what may, perhaps be called the Binay Dynasty. Well, there are many Bacoleños who are now Makati residents so Monsour will probably get their votes. Let’s wish him luck, and see what our “kababayan” can do for a cosmopolite city like Makati.

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Bacolod City is buzzing again as the Bacolaodiat, or Chinese festival of the city is nearing. Already, colorful lanterns hanging over Lacson Street, now known as the city’s Tourism Strip, are calling attention to the celebration that has been growing in attractions and number of visitors every year. Who does not love a festival? Everybody does, but perhaps, not as much as Bacolod residents who always go all out in supporting such activities. Now everybody wants to see what the Filipino-Chinese community is cooking up to make this year’s version more colorful and enjoyable than all the previous ones.*

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