Issue of January 7, 2018
     
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OPINION
 

2017
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Starting the year on the wrong foot

The year 2018 is barely a week old, and already talks are being floated to extend Duterte’s term beyond 2023, and that there may not be an election next year, therefore, extending the terms of local elective officials in a holdover capacity, in effect gaining their support.

All these coming from the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, known Duterte allies.

I am sure Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque, albeit “atat na atat” to become a senator of the land, shares the same sentiment, and I guess some others who kept themselves busy during the holiday break making big plans for their boss.

Nice try guys, but no thanks.

* * * * * * * * * *

Senator Kiko Pangilinan is right. Addressing the poverty problem must go hand-in-hand in the war against drugs.

For the bitter, hungry, and desperate, drugs is a way out to a seemingly better world, even if temporary, and peddling drugs is a lucrative trade.

Now, if you are a law enforcement officer receiving a salary of say P15,000 a month, you can double, triple, even quadruple that amount by the stuff.

The bad part is that many policemen are not into the business individually, but working as a syndicate, providing protection for their couriers.

This is the biggest war that Duterte needs to win – wiping out the syndicates and the suppliers, after which he can put all their victims on rehab.

* * * * * * * * * *

Hey, here’s good news and bad news. Two of the world’s biggest bluffers are threatening to wipe out their respective wantries off the face of the Earth. Great. When the buttons are pushed, no more term extensions, no more Filipino politicians, no more Filipinos enjoying the good life, and no more suffering countrymen.

Tabla-tabla tayong lahat.” And there is nothing the Chinese can do about it, and neither can Putin.

Hopefully, a brand new civilization will rise from the rubbles, and realize that the cause of it all came from greed, ambition, power, and the lunacy of man.

The second coming of Christ is just a button or two away.

* * * * * * * * * *

Global surveys say we are the third happiest people in the world.

I think they have it all wrong. We are not a happy people, but we do laugh a lot.

We hide our grief behind laughter and it doesn’t need much to make us laugh even at the expense of others.

A limp slipping on a banana peel elicits laughter rather than pity. A fat guy with dark glasses and wearing a yellow shirt makes us snicker, and a classmate with failing grades is the butt of jokes among his classmates.

In sum, we laugh even for the wrong reasons, but we are not a happy people.

* * * * * * * * * *

It’s just like the city of Baguio. The John Hay and Country Club visitors are all agog over Baguio’s beauty with its pine trees and greenery.

But for Baguio residents, the city has become ugly, and if not for its cool weather, would prefer living somewhere else.

A beautiful tourist spot? A happy people? Look again.

* * * * * * * * * *

Politics: 2019 (kung matuloy)

Expected to run for mayor are Ed Bilog, who seems to have mastered the game just to have mastered the game just like Domogan; Ed Avila, hoping to ride on the support of the so-called intelligent voters, given his academic and professional background; and Jun Yangot who expects to inherit not only Domogan’s office, but before then, his mass base ala Three Musketeers – “one for all, all for one.”

But wait up. Joe Molintas is still up and about, and he feels that 2019 is his time. Now if he can hold on to the 25,000 or so who voted for him last time, his chances appear to be okay.

The “good” thing is that it will be a no holds barred battle, and even the winner will come up nearly mortally wounded.

And there’s Peter Rey Bautista, toying in running in tandem with Tonyboy Tabora.

In a free for all, money has the edge, but nothing that the others can’t match.

Malamang, magiging pulubi ang talo, or at the least, masasaktan.

Like the Las Vegas Greek puts it – “never mind the flowers, I will take the bread.”

On the other hand, it is the bread that is tempting – or the reason for running.

One step back, two steps forward. Spend a lot, recover more later – that is, if you get lucky.

Later on, the interesting three-cornered congressional battle.

We end this column with a line from a song of my yesteryears. “May all your troubles be small ones, and your fortune ten times ten, and may the Good Lord bless and keep you till forevermore.”

Happy New Year!

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