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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 5, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

The President's medicine

Ninfa Leonardia How would you like to have a twin who is born in another year than yours? The wire reports have focused on a case in Glendale, Arizona where one twin was born at 11:21 p.m. in December 2016, and the other at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2017. Were the parents not wishing that the doctors had not been so meticulous in recording the time so the boys wouldn't have to write different years in all their school and professional records?

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Another case reported was in San Diego where twin girls were also born in different years. One was born at 11:51 Saturday, 2016, and the other on Sunday, at 12 midnight 2017. Well, those are certainly unusual occurrences, but not as unusual as the former reports of quintuplets years ago. When we were kids, I remember hearing about the Dionne Quintuplets – five pretty little girls, who became celebrities and earned their families a lot of money as endorsers for children's products and other advertisements.

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Speaking of unusual births, another unusual report was about some Filipino women who were stopped by immigration officers at the NAIA, when it was found out that they were on their way to some foreign countries where they had been hired as surrogate mothers for some apparently childless couples. The four women were to serve as breeders for a German, a Nigerian, an Australian and a Chinese, who were to pay them $8,700 each! How much would that be per month of the nine months they would be breeding? What a detestable arrangement.

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There used to be a story about a man who was so poor, he had no money to buy his food, much less for his pet dog. One day, in pity for his starving pet, he asked it if he could cut off his tail to feed to him. I was reminded of this when I read the news about the President hesitating to sign the bill that would grant an increase to the pensions of the country's retirees, because of its effect on the finances of the Social Security System. The solution being offered, is to increase the contributions of SSS members now, in order to raise the pensions.

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Why is the media now so obsessed with the drug called Fentanyl? The national dailies yesterday carried reports about it, all of them pointing out the dangers it poses to users. The report attributed to the New York Times, says that it is an anesthetic commonly used for surgery, but in Long Island, U.S.A., it has surpassed heroin and has become the deadliest drug, that has killed 220 people there in 2016. It also said it is 100 times more potent than morphine, fatalities from its use have been more than those from heroin in several parts of the country!

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Now, why do our ears perk when we hear about Fentanyl? The first time we learned about such a drug was when our President himself revealed that he has been taking it to ease pain. But shouldn't these warnings stop him from using it? He himself has also disclosed to the media that his doctors have warned him against its use, but how can they stop a President? Especially one like Rodrigo Duterte? The NYT item also says that Fentanyl is used to treat cancer pain, and is an anesthetic for surgery. But it warns: “Even small amounts of it can be deadly”.

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What's the score about this guy called Edgar Matobato, the confessed member of the Davao Death Squad, allegedly operating in Davao City during the time of now President Rodrigo Duterte? In yesterday's reports, he is quoted as saying that he had personally seen the mayor kill eight persons, but can only identify one. The President's men were quick to cry that the statements were “incredulous”, “ridiculous”, “incredible”, and so forth. But what about the president's own claims that he had even pushed out a kidnapper from a helicopter? Maybe that was a “joke only”?

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On the lighter side of the news, it was fun to see after the replay of an NBA game, where a young Filipino, challenged to make a shot from midcourt with a $95,000 prize at stake, easily managed to do it, with a relaxed throw that amazed the crowd. Maybe Gerald Acoba (his name) could outshoot some of the NBA greats? Alas, the guy is rather short, even for a Pinoy, so he should just enjoy the dollars he got. For how could be contend with the likes of Lebron James, Stephen Curry, or my now retired favorite, Kobe Bryant?*

 

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