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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

What had prodded the “bombers”?

Ninfa Leonardia

That was a horrible example of man’s inhumanity to man! I am referring to the senseless killing of people who were worshipping in their church when their lives were snuffed out by explosions, obviously set by those who were against their faith or who were targeting some of their personal enemies within. The incident that shocked, not only Catholics and members of religious orders, but apparently the whole world, was something that will never be forgotten in the history of church persecution.

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Imagine a church, I mean a cathedral, full of Sunday massgoers, earnestly praying for themselves and their loved ones, suddenly blasted into kingdom come! Was it because there were supposed to be some soldiers among the massgoers? If so, why couldn’t they wait to have an encounter with the soldiers, and not engage in the cowardly act of setting off a bomb and killing more civilians than their intended victims?

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It was indeed a disgusting act that should cry to heaven for punishments on the perpetrator. Even if they do not believe in our perception of heaven, their own version would surely not tolerate such a cruel act. By the way, the Sulu Cathedral, as pictured in the news, is truly a beautiful one, that I believe is very conducive to prayer and worship for the faithful. It must have been a labor of love for its designers and builders, and a tourist attraction for Sulu. If there is one thing to be grateful for, it is the fact that its façade has not been damaged. Surely the people and the Catholics of Sulu will work to rehabilitate its interiors where the most damage had been done.

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The “Palace” – is that the President or his spokesman? – has declared that there will be no mercy for the perpetrators of the crime. As of yesterday afternoon, I heard that the fatalities had gone up to more than 25 people! Again, what a dastardly deed that was. As for the statement from the “Palace”, whether that was spokesman Salvador Panelo or President Rodrigo Duterte himself, maybe they, or “it” should also feel a bit guilty because of all the things that “it” had been saying about the Church, the religious, and even the bishops, that might have encouraged the culprits to do their thing.

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On the lighter side, Filipinos are again excited over the performance of another international beauty contestant from the country who won the Miss Intercontinental title held in Manila on Saturday. Ms. Karen Gallman, a mestiza, no doubt, judging from her surname, was adjudged winner over 82 competitors. She reportedly impressed the judges with her answer to the major questions during the pageant. So now we have a reigning Miss Universe, and a Miss Intercontinental.

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What other titles will spring up in the months and years to come? The popularity of Miss This-and-That contests has become so widespread and so many such tilts are being held that it is not far-fetched to predict that there may be a Miss Mercury, Miss Pluto or any planet, if not a Miss Interplanetary contest in the future. One can’t blame the promoters, such contests mean big bucks as well as any other enterprises they may have. Anyway, earthlings love beauty, and as a poet had said “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.

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I congratulate those private school teachers who have reportedly volunteered to perform election duties after news came out that many public school ones are balking against it. Perhaps those teachers had some unpleasant experiences while forming such work, but then I understand that they had been chosen for it ever since the country starting the practice of elections. It probably was because the officials then believed that schoolteachers were more trustworthy, reliable and knowledgeable to do such a sensitive job.

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After all, election duties only last for a day or so, unless some serious problems come up. And voters regarded them as very patriotic for assuming the task. Now some of them do not want to do so, which is why some of their counterparts from the private sector have volunteered. I am sure their offer will be very much welcomed, and will earn them a lot of gratitude and admiration, if not consider them as patriotic and truly concerned citizens and professionals of the country, God bless them!”*

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