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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, July 17, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Heaven watch the Philippines

Ninfa Leonardia Oh dear! Who was the cross-eyed culprit who displayed the seal of the Office of the President of the Philippines upside down when he spoke in Davao Friday night before Filipino-American tourism ambassadors? The affair was covered not only by Malacañang TV, but also all the major networks – Presidente yata ‘yan – and therefore was seen all over the country and maybe, even abroad.

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Now Malacañang apologists are all over the place apologizing for the faux pas, that will surely be the object of jokes and even grim superstitious comments. How could it have happened? Wasn't there anyone incharge of checking such things over before the speaker comes out? Maybe the President himself had not noticed it, and maybe he was wondering why some people in the audience seemed amused when he was not even joking. One can only sympathize with the culprit, whoever he or she is.

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What can we say, but Girls! Girls! Don't forget you are supposed to be lawmakers! Did you also see the report about two women members of the Taiwanese Parliament clutching at each other's throats during an argument at their session? The international news report said the two were virtually chocking each other while the men tried to pull them apart and themselves also got into the fray later. The beef was said to be an infrastructure project that was being taken up when they came to, er, throats.

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Our women in the Senate and the House of Representatives have never been known to be so aggressive. We have not even heard them cussing at each other or insulting a fellow member. Do the Taiwan parliamentarians also call each other “The Honorable Gentleman or Gentlewoman?” Perhaps not, because they have shown they are not gentle. What do you think would happen if the ladies of our House of Representatives also got to choking each other? But don't try it with the former president, now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, please. Don't forget she had that neck trouble that saved her from jail.

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In the United States, meanwhile, what has been billed as “the first case” of impeachment has been filed against the new President, Donald Trump. Does that imply that more will follow? The man who dared was identified as a Democrat representative from California who cited “high crimes” and “misdemeanor, as well as obstruction of justice.” The latter is related to the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Chief James Comey, who apparently could not, or would not agree with him. Sherman has pointed out that the cases being filed are similar to those that had kicked Richard Nixon out of the presidency.

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Meanwhile, in gratitude for her act of returning to, literally, the scene of the crime, to allay the grief and shock of the victims of the Manchester bombing while she was performing, there is now a move to grant performer Arianna Grande an honorary citizenship of Manchester. Remember that a few weeks after the bombing, Arianna returned to the same place to perform again and comfort those affected. And, as if to also show the same courage that she was exhibiting, the second concert gathered about as many, and raised millions to help those affected.

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Deeper and deeper – that seems to be the way the involvement of Russia in the latest United States election, is going. Not only the son, but also the son-in-law. And not only with a woman, who, the son has said, did not reveal anything, but, as also discovered lately, also with a Russian lobbyist, who has come out and confirmed that he, too, met with Trump Jr. Now, what is the American Congress, as well as the American people, to make of that? For all the supposed enmity between the U.S. and Russia, here comes a presidential family who love to play footsies with the Reds!

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I think many people, like me never thought they'd hear this. I am referring to the report quoting President Rodrigo Duterte that we had been receiving help from the United States in resolving the war in Marawi. From his earliest statements, we thought our new president was totally anti-American. But it looks as if the U.S. did not mind at all what he had been saying. They still consider us friends with whom they have a bond to fulfill, and when the chips were down, they delivered. I couldn't help thinking of the post war song, “Heaven watch the Philippines,” the closing lines of which were, “Friendly with America, let her always be, Heaven watch the Philippines, And keep her forever free!” And once again America has shown itself a friend, indeed.*

 

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