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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, March 25, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

They're moving to the UK!

Ninfa Leonardia Is it England's turn? After the terrorist attacks that had caused such fears and apprehension among residents of Paris, France, it looks as if terrorists are now also setting their sights on the United Kingdom. Proof of this is the brazen attack near the British Parliament that caused the death of five and injury to 40, as of last count. There seems to be no doubt that the ones who perpetrated it were Islamists. But the main suspect was also killed so there is still a lot of sleuthing to be done to determine if he had other cohorts. Anyway, as of late yesterday, the news had announced that the suspect, who was also killed, was a certain “Masood”.

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The President's men are up in arms against the New York Times for its publication of article titled “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman” by Richard Paddock. They have all come out with diatribes against both the NYT and the writer, but, so far, I haven't seen any reaction from President Duterte himself. Maybe he even liked it? Anyway, I don't think his loyal defenders would have been so annoyed if the entire item had not been reprinted by at least two national dailies, making it recommended reading for most Pinoys.

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Seems to me, the article did not say anything that hadn't been told before, except for the quotations from his own kin, that spiced it up so much. One of President's defenders raged that the details were given to the NYT by the President's detractors, but as we have seen, the most quoted were the President's own brother and sister. Have they been interviewed by the complainers, and have the siblings denied what were attributed to them? That could prove whether the writer was lying or making up the quotes on his own.

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Meanwhile, I owe an apology to tenor Nic Tugaff for calling him “Eric Tugaf” in yesterday's column. That was the way I heard it when I asked someone at the ASEAN affair, where he was featured, for his name. Anyway, I am sure those who heard him and appreciated his performance had gotten his name right, he was that impressive. He was also featured in the latest induction program of the Circulo de Negros and, if I recall right (again), also at one of the birthday celebrations of Tia Meding Orola.

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I attended at least four social activities this past week and, indeed, Bacoleños seem to be taking the boycott against cola drinks seriously. Even if the hosts understandingly provided the once popular soft drinks, most asked for juices and other alternatives instead. I guess that should send a strong message to their manufacturers that the people of the sugar-producing provinces must be taken seriously. We will know more when the Panaad Festival takes place, especially how the company will react to it.

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So that is why the barangay elections is not being held this year! The move, if you read between the lines, is to declare vacant all the positions of barangay heads – and maybe their kagawads or councilmen, too – so that their replacements will just be appointed. By whom? There is some merit in the allegations that this is being done because the president does not want candidates for barangay officials being backed by drug money. But isn't the law clear on the need for their election? A deterrent could be the identification, or even the filing of cases against those who are suspect, so their constituents will be warned.

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Recently, the names of the world's top billionaires were announced in the media, and it included 14 from the Philippines. Even if almost all of them had Chinese-sounding names, I assume that they are all Filipino citizens already, because they were listed as Filipinos. Speaking of billionaires one of the wealthiest, and coming from a line of billionaires as well, David Rockefeller, died recently at the age of 101! David is the grandson of the intial Rockefeller, oil magnate John Rockefeller. I don't know how old John R was when he died, but David's case seems to show that having all that money could lengthen your life, too.

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What about billionaire Donald Trump, who is now president of the United States, but still being hounded by reports that Russia had something to do in his victory over Hillary Clinton, who got the popular vote? Can he expect to be a centenarian, too? Anyway, those who do not like him can console themselves with the thought that he can only be president for a limited term, and since he is only in his 70s, they are not likely to have a doddering billionaire for their head of state.*

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