OF BLACK AND WHITE

By: Ben Emata

The Philippines won first place this week as “The Most Corrupt Country in Asia” according to the latest survey conducted by the prestigious New York Times. Adding salt to injury, it seems everything is normal as people go on with their usual ways, sidewalks filled with bystanders and traffic congestion are the talk of the town. Nobody seems worried or surprised, not even a single politician or government leader was startled a bit for such shocking development. No one ever protested for such dishonor – – a sign of acceptance and perhaps even an expression of pride. To the minds of many Filipinos, corruption is ordinary and if it does not come out in the top ranking survey, it would mean big deal and top news story. I still hope, though, that the few good leaders would do something to reverse this horrible image and let the world know that we are doing something.

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Pope Francis who was visiting Mexico yesterday particularly in Juares near El Paso,
Texas nearly fell to the ground after several people, due to over eagerness to touch him, pulled his sleeves. A TV clips showed the pontiff utterly angry and shouted in Spanish to one man “not to be selfish”. Had it not been of the swept action of his security, he would have kissed the ground. Certainly, there was no intention or malice to hurt the pope but it only showed that some people are excessively fanatics and could not behave well in public specially with special guest as the pontiff.

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Manny Pacquiao was definitely guilty beyond doubt when he compared the gay and lesbians who indulge in a same sex marriage by saying they are worse than animals. He has hurt a lot of people. I agree Pacquiao has the right to express his opinions just like anyone of us but such right has its limitations. It is not absolute and by his actuation, he exposed his ignorance, hypocrisy and lack of education and culture. This guy loves so much to open his mouth without knowing he is like a parrot. Or maybe he did it deliberately for people to notice he is on his way to the twilight zone.

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Internet headlines disclosed Communist China has deployed surface-to-air missiles in the disputed seas. Such development only showed the Chinese is planning to use force to assert its unlawful grabbing of lands in the territory that is part of our country and also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam and others. This is bullying and a clear disrespect of others’ right. The irony is China once said the Philippines is the trouble maker in the region.

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My sincere congratulations go to the new set of officers of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club. I expect Mons. Elmer Abacahin, with his dynamic and courageous leadership would make the media group more powerful in its crusade for good government. We must strive harder to dismantle the spirit of corruption in our government. We must uphold the sanctity of press freedom and let it ring everyday.

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I am glad to hear about the continuous drive by government agencies
against drug lords around the country. The campaign must include everybody regardless if one belongs to powerful and affluent or have some attachments to our system. These illegal drug business people should not be treated lightly because they have done so much damage to our society. If they choose to fight with their weapons, they should be sent to the ground dead. Drug addictions must be defeated the sooner the better.

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Let us all pray that things will be normal in Saudi Arabia and countries in the Middle East where thousands of Filipinos are working. It was reported that mass lay off or termination of workers are taking place for some reasons. If they come home without job, it would only mean one thing – – hunger and more deprivations.

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Of the presidential candidate, there is one who is a thief and who can afford to buy votes. I wish every voter should watch or we will all end up in extreme poverty. You may vote for a vampire but please never the thief. BEN EMATA

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