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Prayer – still the best cure

Is Donald Trump’s goose cooked? If no miracle takes place before this day, the group that is said to include people from his own party, will have proceeded with their plan to file impeachment proceedings against him. This is supposed to be the second impeachment move against him, but this one looks more serious. To his credit, Vice President Mike Pence, who will be the successor in case that happens, has refused to initiate the move, so it will have to come from another source.

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Until now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still probing that uprising at the White House where four people reportedly died. The FBI had reportedly warned about a plot to overthrow the Trump administration, but, apparently, it was not taken seriously. Now what they are investigating is the financier or instigator of the riot. As of Tuesday, 70 had been charged, and I bet that was not difficult to do, I mean, identifying them, because of the presence of CCTVs in most government offices. Let us see how many more will be identified and charged.

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This will, however, give a cue to future rioters that they must remember to cover their faces so identification will not be easy. Not that I am abetting such moves, only, it seemed very obvious that they would be recognized. So what the FBI is concentrating on now is to identify the organizer who must be someone with a motive and the wherewithal to sponsor such a big and fearless crowd. I have doubts, though, that the FBI, with its efficiency and facilities, will soon be able to identify all, or most of those who had participated in it.

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But would you know what came to my mind after watching the uprising at the American Capitol? People Power! That is something the world learned from us when our people finally got to the end of their tolerance for a dictatorial type of  government under the unlamented Ferdinand Marcos. Remember how Filipinos gathered in determined groups composed of people who believed they have had enough of what they called the “Conjugal Dictatorship”? The Marcos family was lucky, someone had warned them of the massing of people determined to attack Malacañang, and forthwith, fled the country for Hawaii!

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So the rioters who were nearing Malacañang were not able to see them there, and one cannot imagine what would have happened if the angry crowd had come upon them. And that is where Ferdinand Marcos died and was buried. My late sister Perla and I went to see his grave during our trip to Hawaii, and it was a simple elevated plot covered with grass. I took pictures of it, but, unfortunately they got burned together with my collection when our room caught fire three years ago. They transferred his remains to the Libingan ng mgaBayani in Manila later, and, by some coincidence, I also saw it when my cousin, Orlando Ramos, a military officer, was buried there, a very worthy “resident” being a war hero himself.

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Prominent in the news these days are the attempts of our country to acquire the vaccine against the ongoing  pandemic that has affected almost all parts of the world. The latest to be reported as hardest hit are China, Luxemburg and Oman. In the U.S. last Thursday, 9,300 died in one day. That means the vaccines were not able to catch up with them. I heard that the Philippines is in line to buy vaccines, but the amount available will not cover even half of our population. Maybe we should call back the “siruhanos and siruhanas” or even witch doctors to come to our rescue?

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I get worried when I see people who seem so carefree when they walk down the street, or go into stores  and malls. Although all are wearing masks – one can get arrested in Bacolod for going barefaced – they do not seem to mind the rule on distancing. I think it should be emphasized that the virus can hit, not only your mouth and nose, but could also stick in your clothes, or maybe “fly” under your shield! That is not being paranoid, just being careful.

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But our family has reason to be thankful that COVID is not a fatal ailment all the time. We are very thankful that our prayers for my aunt, my mother’s sister, Maia (full name Ma. Dolores Ramos), recovered from the COVID after weeks of hospitalization, which must have been agony for her because we could not even visit her. But I talked with her over the phone several times and wondered how she could stand being confined, heaving been a college dean at La Salle, and, naturally, used to giving orders. But thank God, our prayers for her were answered, and her brother, my uncle Toti, promptly called me to announce the good news when she tested negative at last. Truly, More things are wrought by prayer….*

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