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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 21, 2019
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OPINIONS

The blind men and the ‘caldero’

Ninfa Leonardia

A woman with less guts than Vice President Leni Robredo would probably sulk and toss her appointment papers back to the one who issued it. Already, the “whisperers” in Malacañang must be doing their thing against her. Now they are saying that Robredo, just by talking to foreign institutions and personalities, could have jeopardized the administration!

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Now why is the “Palace” – read that as spokesman Salvador Panelo – so sensitive or suspicious about the moves of the Vice President? Have they been seeing signs that the people of the Philippines have not, about her being too ambitious and anxious to unseat the incumbent? The lady had been quietly doing her own thing before they titillated her with the appointment as co-chairman of the agency against illegal drugs. Now that she is seriously getting into the act, they suspect her of being “chismosa” or a gossipmonger, who would reveal state secrets to anyone who would listen. Is that fair?

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After all the fuss about the need for a national Identification Card for citizens of the country, with the President himself prodding Congress to pass such a law, we were told that the law had been passed. And then? Now we are told that there is such a law, but alas! there are no funds for implementing it. Note that this law was passed in 2018 yet, but did not provide the funds to implement it! Has President Duterte not blown his top yet? I think that was one of his pet projects. Anyway, you can use your SSS, GSIS, Senior Citizens, Student IDs, until that dream of a national ID comes true.

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So they are still harping on the proposed shortening of the work week to four days? And the reason being given is that this new work schedule will reduce traffic on the roads. Whose brilliant idea was that, anyway? Have they conducted a survey on how the working people, in general, feel about it? So far, I personally, have not heard anybody say something good about the scheme. But let us see what our geniuses in government think.

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A wrong to right a wrong? That seems to be what happened in San Jose, California, when a prosecutor’s 13-year-old daughter told him she was molested by a man. To lure the offender back so he could record the incident, the man set up his daughter at the spot where the molestation happened so he could video-tape it to use as evidence. His scheme worked, and the suspect, a 76-year-old man with an Arabic-sounding name was arrested. But now the father is also in trouble with the law for “endangering” his child!

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This is good news, indeed. The Department of Trade and Industry has announced that it will join more trade fairs in Europe to showcase the products of the Western Visayas. And the first international expo they will brought to this year is the Salon International de l’alimentation, a food product expo to be held in Paris next year. The DTI is excited over this because of the success of its exhibits last year in European markets where our nuts and dried fruits were best sellers. The only drawback is that the products from our region still need better and more attractive packaging. But that is easy to achieve, isn’t it?

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Can you imagine the force of a 5.9 magnitude earthquake? I do not recall ever having experienced one of that power, but that was what the people of Bukidnon went through on Monday night, causing terror among residents and destruction to some homes and commercial buildings. While earthquakes are plaguing the people in some provinces, floods are also inundating others. A report on TV yesterday said that a certain town had floodwaters that were neck-high! How could schoolchildren cope with that?

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So what should we think about that P50 million “caldero” supposed to symbolize our country during the Southeast Asian Games? The originators of the idea insist it is a work of art and worth the cost. Others think it is a waste of funds that could have been put to better use. Well, perhaps we should refer them all to the story of the six blind men and the elephant, each of whom was able to touch a part of the beast, and concluded that was how it looked. Remember? That was in my generation’s textbooks.*

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