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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 17, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Cain and Abel circa 2017

Ninfa Leonardia           Is this the story of Cain and Abel being reenacted in the 18th century? The world was shocked yesterday with the report that  the half brother of the leader of North Korea had been assassinated at an airport in Malaysia. The news bulletins said Kim Jong-Nam, who must have been about to depart from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was killed by two women, who immediately fled the scene.

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          What made the report more interesting is the fact that Kim Jong Nam was able to talk and complain that someone had grabbed him from behind and splashed something on his face. But there are also speculations that poison-tipped needles had been stuck on him. Whatever took place, it was clear that what had been administered on him was so potent, that despite the fact that he was taken to the clinic he suffered a seizure. He was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead there.

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          Now there is a mystery that other countries and their leaders will try to analyze and make conclusions on. It was also reported that Kim Jong Nam was expected to become the leader of North Korea, but some misdemeanors on his part  had eliminated his chance. It has also been hinted that his half brother, the present leader of NOKOR, Kim Jong Un had something to do with his elimination and had even ordered it, but who will confirm that? Will Kim Jong Un, like Cain, also tell his people, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

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          If it is true that New People’s Army rebels were the ones who strafed the convoy bearing aid to the victims of the powerful earthquake in Surigao, then they must really be heartless people, indeed. They knew how much the people in the stricken areas had suffered, and what the aid meant  to them, and yet they attacked the team bringing help. Are they still Filipinos, the members of this group, and do they feel any sympathy for their countrymen hit by calamities?

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          Now the anti-gambling war has  been declared, and, so far, we have already heard reports about raids taking place in several provinces, towns and cities, but mostly in Luzon. The raids and arrests were done in such places as Quezon City and Northern Luzon, Tarlac, Orani, Bataan, and we  may be hearing about more soon. Nabbed, the reports said were those collecting gambling bets, and players of card games that we call here “panguinge” and a Tagalog one called “sakla”. I haven’t seen any news involving mahjong, though.  Is it included? We know that there are families who make a living by holding regular mahjong sessions in their homes.

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          Anyway, gamblers need not worry.  It is not likely that the war on them will be bloody. The most they could fear is the confiscation of their bets and equipment, and the shame, in case they are hauled to the Police Station for blottering, and then maybe get charged in court later. I remember a time when we had neighbors who regularly held “panguinge” sessions. Every now and then policemen would come around and the players would all scamper away, leaving their money and the cards in view. But I don’t recall that anyone of them got apprehended, the cops were too kind and understanding –  maybe their own folks were players, too.

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          Meanwhile, I’d like to do a little nagging again about vehicles, not only jeepneys but private ones as well, rushing through intersections when the light  has already turned red. It will not  be surprising if a  major accident happens because those waiting for the green light may be rushing forward, too. Why doesn’t the officer in charge of traffic assign someone to stop such scary practices? If  they cannot apprehend them, at least, they can take down their plate numbers so they can be noted and reported.

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          And there are now so many jeepneys who stop right in the middle of the road to pick up or unload passengers, scaring the wits out of other drivers behind them. Even if the former traffic jams have abated somewhat, these two types of traffic violations should be acted on at once, if only to prevent some passengers from being hit by those following their jeepneys, or falling when they start to move. Maybe passengers themselves can report these violations to the Land Transportation office themselves.*

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