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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, March 15, 2019
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Narcolist now with Ombudsman

Ninfa Leonardia

I bet 46 hearts are thumping like mad these days after the revelation that 46 incumbent government officials have been charged before the Office of the Ombudsman on orders of the President for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs. But none of the 46 is from our province, Negros Occidental, while five are from the Western Visayas. The ones from Western Visayas were from Iloilo and Antique.

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That was, indeed, a fearsome revelation. Of course those named and charged will still have their so-called day in court, but if they are now running for reelection, what a travesty being named could be. The Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary has explained that the so-called narco-list has been thoroughly studied and verified by several agencies. One cannot help feeling sorry for those named who, if you look closely at the reports, they say these had been checked by several agencies before the listing.

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One can only sympathize with the people in Manila who are now suffering from what seems to be a drought, with the lack of water, even for their basic needs. But we must not be complacent, because there are warnings that the dry season, that somehow got baptized as “El Niño”, may also come our way any time. I wonder what our water supplying firms are doing now to anticipate such problem. As for worried residents, could some of them be digging wells to supply their needs? And will such wells respond positively? Is this scarcity of water what they call La Niña, the opposite of El Niño?

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But another distressing report is that several of our overseas workers have returned bringing with them the HIV virus, whose full name is human immunodeficiency virus. Records show that there are now more than 6,000 Filipino workers from abroad afflicted with this dreadful disease. For some time, we have not seen reports or heard news about AIDS cases, but this confirms that it remains a dangerous threat to families of those OFWS, who come home to the country.

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And again China comes to the rescue! I am referring now to the offer of China to build a dam that could solve the water problem of Metro Manila. Of course deprived residents will welcome any help to solve their water woes, but is this going to come from another loan for our country? The proposed dam is supposed to cost P18 billion so one wonders how much, so far, do we owe this giant of the East? Will the next generation be able to cope with it?

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That was a truly horrible crime committed against a 16 year-old girl in Lapu-Lapu City, in Cebu Monday. The girl, who had gone to their church early in the morning because she helped in the mass collection, was later reported missing. When her body was found, it was in such a shocking state, with the skin on her face peeled off, showing the bone, and her intestine also removed! What beast could have done such in an inhuman deed? The police are focusing on the search for the criminal, but haven’t gotten him yet, at least as of yesterday’s reports. But with so many residents shocked and horrified by the act, it does not seem likely that the beast who did it will escape for long.

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Reports also said the girl was not molested, and that’s a consolation. But why did the criminal remove her innards? I will not be surprised if some superstitious people start thinking of witches, or aswangs, who are said to do that. But please Lord, help and aid the police to apprehend the killer and mutilator, so he can be meted his just desserts. I am sure that if civilians, especially those who know the girl and her family, are the ones who get him, they will not be content with having him arrested and tried, but will mete him what he truly deserves. And I hope the police will look the other way! And God forgive me for such thoughts!*

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