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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 28, 2019
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OPINIONS

It started with Adam and Eve

Ninfa Leonardia

Why does President Duterte look so glum in his recent photos coming out in the media? Is he angry, or is he sorry that he fired his Vice President, not expecting what the reaction of the public would be? Or is he not feeling well and just trying to keep up a front? If it is the latter, he should not hesitate to undergo medication for whatever he is suffering from. The people now are always concerned about his well-being and what they see is not very reassuring.

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Maybe they will blame VP Leni Robredo for getting him upset. The lady seems to be keeping her cool, but giving as much as she gets, for once. For a macho man like RD, that is not at all acceptable. He obviously wants women to be always meek and humble and kowtowing to him. Sir, the females of today are no longer like the ones you grew up with. We even elected two women as Presidents already, and they both were none the worse for it. One could even say, they survived, with flying colors, too.

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Yesterday, November 27, was the 87 th birthday of Benigno Aquino III, a.k.a. “Ninoy”, who could have been the best president we never had. But he can be credited for stirring up his people with his martyrdom at the airport now named after him. But the Filipino people showed that they would rather have someone with the same principles as he did, and therefore elected his wife as president, over her protests. So his death was not in vain, because it made the dictator flee from Malacañang, to die in a foreign land.

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It’s about time. The House Committees on Government Reorganization and on Overseas’ Workers Affairs has approved a bill that will create a department solely for the interests of overseas workers. And it’s a wonder they thought about this only now when Pinoy workers are flooding so many countries, some of which are not treating them fairly, because they are left to bargain on their own. Since it will be a long time before we can boast that our workers no longer need to seek for work in other countries, at least our government officials should see to it that wherever they are, they are appreciated and afforded the privileges due them. Will this new department have offices in countries where we have the biggest number of workers? I hope the proposed law will see to that.

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One has to give it to former Leila de Lima. Despite being under detention, for reasons many do not think commensurate to what she is charged with, she still manages to keep her cool and comment on current issues fearlessly. That is why I doubt if she will get any concessions from the incumbent administration to whom talented and outspoken women do not seem to be appreciated. But don’t let that stop you, girls, from the beginning women have always gotten their way. Remember Adam and Eve in Paradise?

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There have been so many reactions published about the appointment and subsequent firing of Vice President Leni Robredo to the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, or ICAD. But the most encompassing one came from Rep. Edcel Lagman, a former journalist, who said, as quoted in the national media, “The president would not let her succeed in a campaign where he dismally failed. That’s why he fired her”. Apologies to Edcel, a co-member of the Philippine Press Institute, but there are many others who think that way, too.

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What is it that their own president calls “France’s Shame”? Believe it or not, it is domestic violence, which refers to women physically abused, or even killed by their husbands or partners. This year alone, the report from the Associated Press says, at least 130 women had been killed by their present or former partners. In fact the government has set up 1,000 places where battered women can be sheltered. Another step they are taking is to disallow abusive men to own firearms, and to disarm those who have them.

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In the Philippines we do have cases of abusive husbands, but I think they are getting fewer now. This could be because our women know their rights and, generally, will not put up with such treatment. There could be women who like to be martyrs and provoke their mates to hurt them, but they could be minimal in number. Our women today are well educated and know we have laws to protect them. In fact, no offense meant to the males, but I know more henpecked husbands than battered wives in my circle of friends and kin. That’s right, girls. Set the terms as soon as you get hitched. Or maybe learn judo and other self defense tricks.*

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