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A Great Debate in the offing?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Watch out for The Great Debate! That will surely take our minds off this pandemic. Even just anticipating it is exciting enough, how much more would the actual show be? Oh, everyone has heard about the challenge of President Duterte to Carpio to a debate. I guess I had missed their exchanges recently that may have led to this dare for a debate. That is surely something that will take our minds off  this pandemic that has been occupying both our minds and media spaces recently.

***

Now, what actually caused the President to be so enraged as to make the challenge? How did I miss the meat of this development? Oh, but there is something good that will come out, even before this exchange of views come out. People will worry less about the pandemic and focus on how that two debaters will fare. I think even people from other countries will be interested to watch, or listen to it. It is seldom that a President engages in a tit for tat with one of his people. En Garde!

***

On what subject will they be debating? Seems it will be the question of the Chinese virtual occupation of the West Philippine Sea. Over and  we have heard reports about how  Chinese fishing companies have been hauling tons of fish from that area that is supposed to belong to our country. Why our government has not been protesting indignantly against it has also puzzled me. I understand Carpio is among those prodding the President to speak up in defense of our territory. But it also seems the latter does not seem inclined to do so. For what reasons, the debate may reveal. So look out and watch out for it.

***

At the outset, I feel that Carpio will get applause from the people for his stand on this issue. Why, indeed, have we not protested against such intrusion virtually robbing us of natural resources that we are the one supposed to enjoy and take advantage of? Reports  have indicated that hundreds of tons of fish are collected by Chinese fishermen, probably every day. Meanwhile our people are deprived of what we should be the ones enjoying. Fish do not mean only food, they also supply our bodies with elements we need, to say nothing about the income  the fishermen could derive from the area.

***

As I write this, news flashed on TV that 194 thousand doses of Pfizer vaccines are expected to arrive in our country soon. I hope that more will be forthcoming so that one hundred percent of our people will be immunized. It does seem that the vaccines are effective, but there are reports that some Pinoys still refuse to submit to it. Let us try to convince them to submit as soon as possible so that we can attain the so-called “herd immunity”. Can the government make vaccinations obligatory?

***

Our Health officials really have reasons to prevent the entry of travelers from India. The news report just flashed  said that five travelers from that country immediately tested positive upon arrival. Since it is obvious that India is among the hardest hit by the virus, their people should not resent our precautions. They would be doing the same to us, if the situation would be reversed. But there are encouraging reports about possible treatments for this COVID that could be successful. So, instead of griping and shivering with fear, be thankful for such development.

***

Good news for Bacolod City officials is the dismissal by the Office of the Ombudsman of graft charges against the mayor and two other officials. It took quite a lot of time before the decision came out, but that does not lessen the relief and thankful responses of those concerned. Well, those are risks of their jobs while trying to improve the city and the lives of its people. At least the Ombudsman has seen through the motives of those filing those cases, and may they be the ones to be accountable for what they did, when they finally meet their Maker. Meanwhile, congratulations to the officials cleared, and don’t let that hinder your desire and plans for the good of our people. Congratulations!

***

Is this good or bad news? Seems the much-awaited Olympic Games are pushing through from July 20 to August 8. That is an activity the whole world  is anticipating, especially now that one can actually watch the competitions going on via television. I wonder, though, how prepared athletes are for the competition. Have they been holding their practice while masked and maintaining social distancing? Most of all, how prepared are our own athletes for this international jousts? Well, anyway, one can look at its continuance as a sign that normalcy is expected when those days come around. Let us all pray for it, and also for our participating athletes to be ready to compete.*

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