THE INCREDIBLE LANDSCAPE

By: Ben Emata

Pres. Digong Duterte is going to China and sadly one of his agendas is to ask the Chinese government to allow Filipino fishermen to do fishing in Scarborough – – a ground within our territory. If we recall, the Chinese has been harassing our navy and fishermen in the area for no other reason except the communist China is strong and a superpower. If what Duterte is doing not begging of sort, asking for the things we own, then there must be intended error on our part. If we were a strong nation, the bullying of China is enough ground for war. It is so painful to think we have the backing of the world, including judgement of the international tribunal, but we are lost within our own shadow. The most that Duterte can get in China are smiles, assurance, pledges of help, perhaps loan and nothing more. Vietnam warned us against having ties with China – – it is a trap.

I was laughing hard that Pres. Duterte needed emergency power to solve traffic congestion in the entire archipelago. If the president wants to stand up at the Plaza Miranda to direct traffic that flows into the main thoroughfares at Espana fronting the University of Santo Thomas towards Cubao, UP Diliman, Project 4, Project 6, Project 8, it is okay. But the plan includes alleged traffic problem even in Mindanao when people there can sleep soundly at the center of the road since there is rarely motor vehicles passing, it is really confusing and it involves more than P1.3 trillion pesos to establish. The government has to create a department complete with personnel, vehicles with drivers, etc. to do the works. In short, it is a waste of public funds. My formula to solve traffic congestion is to hire more diligent traffic officers, educate the drivers before they are issued licenses and the people at-large must know regulations.

I am so afraid the daily killing in the country might develop into a habit and get stuck. Then the people would accept it as a way of life and would even miss it if a single day there is no tears from the eyes of relatives. Then everybody would not even give a second look at victims lying along the streets, in the highways in the market place and everywhere. Honestly, my heart breaks at news reports of killings because I have doubts that all of a sudden the alleged victims are armed and begin the fight. What troubles me even more is perhaps even Pres. Duterte cannot stop the killings anymore. Such situation has truly alarmed other countries.

I am wondering how come Erap Estrada could say the Philippines can stand with its two feet. Does this mean he is innocent of the debts we had with foreign banks more especially he was once president of the country. Does Erap know that we are enjoying loans and grants from the United States of America or he was not concerned of things around the country. I have been saying people who are not knowledgeable of the facts and figures of our country better keep their mouth shut. I understand Erap was trying to prove something to show to the public he is still terrific.

With former president Fidel Ramos now a critic to Duterte’s administration, I can see some changes to take place soon. Ramos must have felt the guilt because it was him who went to Davao City several times to convince Duterte to run for president. At first Duterte rejected the idea but later changed his mind and indeed ran. Ramos is a straightforward and disciplined person, a product of the West Point Military Academy that won him the rank of Major General in our military. He was a son of then Ambassador to USA Narciso Ramos. I personally interviewed Ramos on TV newscast at Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro and also in San Francisco, California.

A Dutch national who was believed to be a pedophile was shot dead in a Mindanao City. It will definitely aggravate the situation of our county as a killing machine. I urge the police to organize a massive manhunt to arrest the gunman. Unless we can prove our country is safe to foreigners, we surely will be losing tourists and foreign investors. I have been saying no man is an island and entire of itself, a beautiful quote that stuck in my mind for quite a long time. We need friends and investors from foreign lands.

I have not heard of a gunfight between our soldiers and the New Peoples Army. I hope the truce that was reached by the parties in Oslob, Norway will stand true and firm and peace will eventually come in the country. Welcome back to the fold of the law the rebels who have been displaced for the last 47 years and living in constant fears of fighting. We are brothers and one nation under one Almighty God, flag, religion and advocacy.

New year’s celebration is still more than two months away but the problem of firecrackers and explosions have already taken place in Bocaue, Bulacan where at least two people got killed and scores others were seriously injured. Wait in a few weeks, firecrackers will dominate the streets around the country.

Two congressmen, Pechay and Barbers, nearly exchange fist blows while discussing the issue of amending the 1987 constitution of the country. This is normal to Filipinos to fight whenever possible to stress a point. In the instant case, I really wished they fought to see whose nose bleeds more and who was the better fighter. In fighting, nobody wins. Both protagonists suffer the pain. I knew it because I fought numerous times during my younger days when I was in the elementary grades and in the high school. One time my wife bought a pair of gloves for me to teach my two sons how to fight. I believe husbands must know little in fighting to be able to protect their family against aggression or simple attack.

Winter time is around the corner as the winds blow with intense cold atmosphere and the nights in America are pretty chilly. I can predict a colder winter this year especially in December and January. I saw people wearing coats, jackets and other protectors for the environment. Cars are now using full speed heaters. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service (ben-emata.com)

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