By Rey O. Arcilla
I BELIEVE it is a bit premature, if not unfair, for some segments of our society to urge President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong to “stay away” from US President Donald Trump whom they claim is more “alarming” than his predecessor because of his “in-your-face kind of imperialism”.
In his inaugural address, Trump said:
“From this moment on, it’s going to be only America First. America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”
I see nothing wrong with that. It’s nationalism, not imperialism! Isn’t that what is expected of any national leader?
It is the same sentiment that Digong has been expressing from the start of his administration. In other words, “Philippines First”.
I take that to mean that whatever decision Digong makes in our relations with the US or any other state from here on will be based solely on what will be best for our country and people. I trust him to do just that and am willing to give him time to prove it.
Trump also said:
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar too? Digong said something in a similar vein during his inauguration or at least on several occasions.
Before Digong, this country has been ruled by the privileged few – the oligarchs, the elite, the big businessmen, the political dynasties, the “trapos”, ad nauseam, whose only aim has been to promote and protect their personal interests – to the detriment of the vast number of the underprivileged in our midst.
Further, Trump said in his inaugural address:
“For too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”
Familiar? You bet! Particularly the last one which Digong has been addressing with great intensity knowing that the very future of the nation depends on it.
With the two seeming to operate on the same wave length, there is a good chance Trump will deal with the Philippines fair and square. That could result, hopefully, in better relations with the most powerful nation in the world, ultimately benefiting all the segments of our society.
As Digong has been saying on numerous occasions, an independent foreign policy does not mean ditching old friends for new ones. What it means is improving existing relations and at the same time cultivating other ties – both geared toward promoting and protecting our own national interests. No more, no less.
I didn’t know that the US has a federal law barring former military service members who have been out of uniform for less than seven years from holding the defense portfolio?
On his first day in office, Trump had to sign a bill passed by the US Congress granting his nominee for secretary of defense, General James Mattis who retired in 2013, a one-time exception from the law before he could be confirmed by the US Senate.
The law is intended to preserve civilian authority over or, control of, the military.
I believe it is a good law and our Congress should consider passing one.
Digong has asked the Catholic Church hierarchy (there are really good ones in its ranks, I’m sure) what it has done or, for that matter, is doing to help in his war against illegal drugs.
A fair question, if you ask me.
Isn’t the Church supposed to minister to the poor and the downtrodden? Isn’t that one of Christ’s teachings?
Instead of criticizing Digong’s sincere efforts to fight the drug menace which has now engulfed ninety percent of our barangays, shouldn’t it be asking how it can help solve the problem?
No one could put it more succinctly and in plain language than Digong himself. Here is what he said:
“May isang simbahan pa roon ipinapakita ‘yung mga extrajudicial. Anong ginawa ng simbahan? Kayong simbahan ng Katoliko. Milyon ang kita ninyo linggo-linggo all throughout the Philippines, karaming simbahan. Saan ang pera ng tao?
“Kami, ‘yung pera namin, ine-explain namin sa tao. Kayo? Kayong mga pari, mga Obispo. Ang gaganda ng suot ninyo, mga kotse. Meron ba kayong isang bahay lang maski limang kwarto para rehab? Anong ginawa niyo sa simbahan ninyo?
“Nagbibilang kayo ng pera instead of going around the neighborhoods explaining to the people why they should not be in that industry because they will die. [Ngayon] gusto ninyong matapos ang patayan? All you have to do is to preach kasi karamihan dito Katoliko.
“Kung mahusay ka na pari, ipaintindi mo, ‘Mamamatay ka. Umalis ka sa droga.’ Eh di nakakatulong pa kayo. Hindi instead na maghintay kayo na may namatay na, you criticize the police, you criticize me. For what? Kayo ‘yung may mga pera eh.”
Of the many sins of commission and omission of the Noynoy Aquino administration, I believe the worst is the unnecessary loss of the lives of 44 gallant members of the PNP Special Action Force in the so-called Mamasapano Massacre two years ago.
It will be recalled that both the investigations conducted by the PNP and the Senate concluded that Aquino was ultimately responsible for the gruesome incident.
It is only proper that a resolution of the case be arrived at before it goes the way of the so-called Maguindanao massacre of 58 people more than seven years ago without justice being rendered to the victims and their families up to now.
In reviving the case, Digong said he has only one question:
“Akin lang is bakit hindi pinapasok ‘yung – sa Awang, sa Davao City, Gen San – bakit hindi tinawag ‘yung air assets?… Karaming helicopter diyan… Bakit hindi ninyo tinawag ang AFP Chief of Staff, ang Tactical Operations Group of the Philippine Air Force?… Iyon lang.”
Today is the 272ndday of the tenth year of Jonas Burgos’ enforced disappearance.
The family and friends of Jonas hope that the Duterte administration will not be part of the continuing cover-up. The Burgos family implores Digong to haul the perpetrators to justice and bring Jonas back home even with the appointment of Gen. Eduardo Ano as AFP chief who was implicated in the abduction of Jonas almost ten years ago.
From an internet friend:
Why do strokes often happen in the bathroom?
This was written by by a UiTM Professor with the national sports board. He has been advising people not to wet the head and hair first when showering as this is the wrong sequence. This causes the body to adjust its temperature too quickly because we are warm-blooded. By performing this incorrect sequence, blood rushing up to the head may cause capillary or artery breakage, hence, a stroke and a fall. The way to shower is to start wetting the body from the feet up to the shoulders slowly. A sensation of vapor coming out of the crown on the head or bristling of body hair may be felt for some people. Follow this procedure then shower as usual. This is especially useful for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even migraine.
Please share, it could save a life!