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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, December 7, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The man accusing Sereno

Ninfa Leonardia Now they are hitting priests. A most shocking report in yesterday's media was the killing of a retired Catholic priest in Jaen, Nueva Ecija. And the modus operandi of his killer was the very familiar one called R-I-T, or Riding in Tandem murderers. What could the Padre have done to earn the wrath of his killers? Reports said that Fr. Marcelito Paez was involved in campaigns for human rights and probably considered a dangerous activist by some sectors. One of the speculations about the motives for his murder was the fact that he had facilitated the release from jail of a suspected communist rebel!

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The reports on his death also noted that the man he helped had been released on bail. Now if the court allowed his bail, doesn't it mean that his charges were bailable, and not too serious? Maybe the good father was thinking of the statement in the Holy Bible saying that “I was in prison and you visited me”. The suspects in his killing, therefore, could be rightists who did not want him to help anyone imprisoned on suspicion of being a rebel. On suspicion, only, as what the report said.

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Meanwhile, President Duterte has declared the New People's Army and the National Democratic Front as terrorists. What does it imply for us ordinary citizens? I hope and pray this will not lead to sporadic fighting, ambushes, attacks, and other terroristic incidents in our midst. Marawi's case was an isolated case, involving only one city. The declaration could involve the entire country, and we strongly hope our military and police are up to the task of protecting us all.

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How can we stop worrying over the after-effects of the Dengvaxia, or anti Dengue vaccinations? The statements coming from the company producing it seem to be confusing. We hear that it is dangerous for those who have not been exposed, or gotten sick with dengue before. Then it also says that the risk of dengue to uninfected people is only two in 1,000 people. But that would be two too many if it happens to your family. Now the committee on Health says that the Department of Health has reported that between March 18 and August 20, 2016, there were 997 adverse effects of the immunizations, but it apparently has never been made public. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

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Who was it who told the accuser of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, to “Shut up!” Obviously, some members of Congress are now realizing that they are being taken for a ride by this lawyer, Lorenzo Gadon, who has been mouthing accusations he cannot support. It seems this Gadon is fond of making up stories, and one of his latest is that someone is going to offer P200 million to the senators to acquit the Chief Justice. Now, that is one tall tale, in addition to several others he has parlayed that has made the panel probing the case to doubt his credibility.

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But the guy seems to be a publicity seeker who must be basking in the attention he is getting by daring to accuse, no less than the head of the highest court in the land. Now he is in danger of being cited in contempt for the run-around he has been giving the lawmakers, if not for wasting their precious time with his histrionics. I am glad to note, however, that even the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines appears to be batting for the beleaguered Sereno, who has, so far, maintained her equanimity and dignity.

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Meanwhile, in the United States, the Supreme Court apparently believes in the claims of President Trump against the entry of Muslims to the country and has backed his ban on the entry of Muslims from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Some sectors claim that the ban violates their Constitution, but if the Supreme court says so, I guess it goes through. Meanwhile the ban also includes North Korea, which is not surprising, because of the threatening stance of its warmonger leader. Still the ban is being questioned is some lower courts, and the results we still have to see.

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An item in World Briefs caught my attention yesterday. It was about the results of a study by Harvard University researchers that reported that those who were taking opioids, were four time more likely to die now than 15 years ago. The findings were published in the Health Affairs Journal. Now Opioids are said to be mainly fentanyl – does that sound familiar? Is that not the medicine our president is reportedly taking? That is surely something to worry about, and let us hope he has stopped taking it, if he ever did. He still has to deal with the terrorists he has named, you see. Let us pray for him.*

 

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