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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, March 20, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Sorry, no deal

Ninfa Leonardia A newspaper head yesterday said: “PH expects 2M tourists from China”. Relax. It's not an invasion. YET.

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And then another headline said: “Du30 better pause, review China ties”. Still another: “PI urged to rethink China ties”. Why are those writers so wary of our country's. i.e., our President's friendship with China? I'm sure they will become more frantic with the reports about China's supposed constructions at the Panatag Shoal. And also about the alleged presence of China ships doing “research” in the area called Benham Rise, which is believed to be very near the Philippines. Could those reporters and columnists be thinking of the old bromide saying “In the long run, China will win”?

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Back in our country, are we seeing a tit for perceived tat when supporters of the President are hinting about also filing an impeachment case against Vice President Leni Robredo? Since the Speaker of the House is not exactly known for any affection or admiration for the good-looking VP, admirers of Leni Robredo have reason to worry. The impeachment case, if it gets to that, certainly has more chances of getting through Congress than the one against the President. Don't forget how the House Speaker was able to make a great majority (the faint-hearted ones?) approve the death penalty. What strategy will he use on the case of Leni R?

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Unless they believe that they have the courts in their pocket, beverage companies that have shifted to the use of high fructose corn syrup, or the HFCS, have reason to worry. Aside from the protest rallies slated today that are being staged by defenders of the sugar industry, there are growing signs that the people are realizing what that means to the lifeblood of our provinces here, and even the country as a whole. In this case, even the labor groups are participating and ordinary citizens are starting to react, too.

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In the past week, I attended several gatherings where the hosts emphasized that they were not serving bottled drinks like cola products that are perceived to be using HFCS. In two of them, coconut water with bits of coco meat was served, and it proved to be, not only delicious, but refreshing as well. In another, that was held in a restaurant, all those present order fruit juices or fruit shakes, which they are sure do not contain HFCS. I hope the young ones get into the habit of taking these, because they are not only healthful, but also tastier.

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However, everybody laughed when, at a catered party, the caterers served only the rival of coca cola, thinking it was not involved in the HFCS controversy. So we told the waiters to inform their manager to ask the party-givers their choice first before catering. But there are people who seem to be addicted to the colas already, and take them in secret as if they were prohibited drugs. Me, I am grateful to my doctor who had prohibited me from coffee, tea, chocolate and coke, so that even if do admit to cheating now and then, I always suffer repercussions. Now I can brag to be one of those who are not suffering coke withdrawal symptoms.

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Anyway, I hope our people, particularly those in the Negros Island region, support fully the protests against the users of HFCS because they are killing the sugar industry softly. Think of the thousands of our people, both landowners and laborers, who will lose, in case the entry of that substance continues. And let us not underestimate the “enemy”, they can hire the most popular lawyers to stand up for them, and also their clout to stifle even media members they can influence.

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I have proof of the latter contention – the DAILY STAR writer who has concentrated on the HFCS affair recently received a letter from Coca Cola FEMSA inviting her to an all paid trip to Mexico, supposedly to see their plants and enjoy their hospitality. I am very proud of my staff, who can say NO! to such beguiling strategies outright. Maybe they thought that a Mexican sortee will distract, or even turn our ideals around? Sorry, No deal.*

 

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