Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Front Page
Negros Oriental
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events

 

Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

A rare kind of woman

Ninfa Leonardia I felt very sad when I saw on TV that former diplomat and senator Leticia Ramos Shahani had succumbed to colon cancer. The announcement was made by her daughter Lila who resignedly described her feelings as “bereft, and full of grief, but strangely peaceful in the knowledge that she is now from all suffering.” Yes, that is how all who have known her should feel, realizing that she had also given more than anybody's share to her people in the 87 years of her life.

***

I only met with then Senator Shahani a few times but we always felt a sort of bond, because of my middle name which is also Ramos. In fact, that is why I continue to call her elder brother, former President Rmos as “Tito Fidel” even when he was not yet president and was heading the Philippine National Police. Whenever Senator Letty came to Bacolod, she would look for Carla and me as we would accompany her to her engagements in the city. We got quite fond of her because she was such a friendly and simple person, no airs, no pretensions, and very understanding.

***

Few women in the country, even those who had been president can boast of having made such impact on our foreign relations as she had done. Her practical, no-nonsense approach to problems was appreciated everywhere. As a diplomat he had been ambassador to several countries in Europe, and was also involved in United Nations work, occupying various positions. A statement has been issued by Malacañang, but it was the “de cajon” type that could be issued for any personality. I like best what Senator Franklin Drilon said that must have come from his heart.

***

Senator Drilon's statement went: “Leticia Ramos Shahani represented the very best of Filipina skill, intelligence and determination. She remains a shining example of a public servant who our present and future leaders must strive to emulate”. Where can we find another woman today, who can measure up to the gifts, the humility, skills and diplomacy of the one who just passed away – Leticia Ramos Shahani?

***

Why did President Duterte say, as quoted in the media, “I can't stop China in Panatag?” This was after reports internationally aired said that the giant of Asia is starting to build on Panatag, an area supposed to belong to our country. If this happens it will not be the first encroachment of China into our territory. Like most Filipinos, I had hoped that we would protest more strongly against this, since we have a supposedly no-nonsense head of state. Is he surrendering meekly to the Chinese? And all along, we thought he would be the one who can make China regard us with more respect, since he seemed to be very chummy with its leaders.

***

After Panatag, what about Benham Rise? This is an area believed to be rich in minerals and other natural gifts. At least, President Benigno Aquino Jr., or PNoy, who, some political foes have tried to picture as a wimp, had the guts to file a complaint before the United Nations against such incursions. Even if we haven't gotten back our territory despite having won our case, at least, it is on record that we have the right to those places. President Duterte, please do not surrender to them our territory. Our country's land area is small enough for our burgeoning population, let us not allow any country to bully us this way.

***

If the Coca Cola people continue to ignore the reactions of our people to their attitude towards the sugar industry, I guess the thousands who joined the rally and protest against them in Bacolod City alone yesterday should make a dent in their stance. Seems they are now threatening us that the planned boycott or their products will harm us more than them. Of course, they are multi-nationals and we are not their only “victims” but surely such attitude can influence even our Kababayans who are abroad.

***

Maybe it is perfect timing that a bill is being proposed to ban soft drinks in schools. This one is being backed by the Department of Education, and should help the cause of the sugar producers, if passed. But it could also have an off-side, which is, the ban may also lead to a reduction in the use or purchase of sugar, since the production of sodas, and other carbonated drinks will also be reduced. Let us hope this problem will not end in an impasse.*

 

back to top


   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com