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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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OPINIONS

A Cory, not a Carrie

Ninfa Leonardia

When will the protests in Hongkong end? It has been more than two months now since its people have been massing on the streets, and now even in the airport area. Their numbers multiplying as thousands want to send the message that they do not want to be covered by the so-called extradition law that will require those accused of crimes in Hongkong, to be tried and penalized in Mainland China. Actually, Hongkong does belong to China, but it has been enjoying privileges and rights unknown to their fellow Chinese in the Mainland, so they want the status quo to continue.

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Today, even the airport cannot accommodate flights because it is flooded with human beings, thousands of them, who are risking their lives to keep their island free. I guess most of them have already forgotten that they had been handed over to China by the British, and, of course, there is a great difference between the British type of governance and that of the Chinese. Of course we people from democratic countries sympathize with the Hongkongers who must be feeling miserable at the thought of being under the thumb of China. But do they have a choice?

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Maybe they are thinking of how we, Filipinos, liberated ourselves from a tyrannical rule, under a megalomanic leader who tried to tame us with Martial Law. But can they do it? They now have a woman head of government who does not seem too eager to stand up for them. They have no EDSA, and they have no Cory to rally around. Their leader, Carrie Lam, except for her name that is euphonious to Cory, does not seem to have the guts nor the following of Cory Aquino. I only hope China does not use an iron hand to keep them in line.

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What comfort is it to the public to hear an announcement from the Department of Health that it is not true that there is a new type of dengue in the country? The old type is giving everyone a big problem already. The DOH reportedly said one of its officials had been misquoted when he said that. Maybe those people should put their acts together so as not to terrify others. By the way, Baguios has a very practical way of avoiding dengue-causing mosquito bites. School children are advised to wear stockings that cover their entire legs, as well as long-sleeved shirts to prevent mosquito bites. So simple, but it could be a life saver, too.

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I am sure policemen are now referring to Senator Kiko Pangilinan as a “killjoy”. It was Pangilinan who contradicted the generous statement of President Duterte that it was all right for them to receive gifts as reward for any good they have done. I am sure, though, that many Filipinos will side with Kiko, especially when he said that time may come when the police will not act if they cannot expect anything from those calling for their help. I hope people listen to Kiko this time.

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I am sure travelers by land, both in Negros and in other parts of the country are relieved that, at least, for the meantime, there seems to be a “ceasefire” among the members of the family that owns and operates the major bus company based in Bacolod. The cessation of operations, albeit not prolonged, did inconvenience many, among them students, office workers, businessmen and women and even government officials. For sure everybody is hoping that the members resolve their differences soon because they provide very vital services to their fellowmen.

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Meanwhile, however, the Ceres name remained popular because of its football team that has been winning game after game, as if the feud was not affecting their morale at all. I guess that is the real spirit of sportsmanship – the show must go on – whatever is happening in the family. Their frequent appearances in the Sports pages must be quite a consolation for other groups involved in the company. And they are also giving quite a name for the province with their performances.

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Is it true that nurses and teachers are now opting to join the Philippine National Police rather than seek teaching jobs because of the higher pay in the military? Indeed, they will also not have to reckon with lesson plans, unruly kids, meetings, and all the things mentors have to do. And, a joker, commented, teachers, especially, usually end up as old maids because they are too busy with their work load, whereas in the army, there are more males than females, so their chances are better.*

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