The I.D. time has come!

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Wow! ABS-CBN has a fan and supporter in The European Parliament. I heard a report saying that it is appealing to our government to grant a new franchise to the network. Remember when it was suddenly divested of its franchise and silenced for seven – or is it more – months now? But while fans and avid listeners of ABS-CBN rejoiced, believing they would be watching their favorite programs soon, they did notreckon on the intensity of the grudge the Palace apparently had against it. I did not catch the exact words of spokesperson Salvador Panelo, but in effect, it was something like “Mind your own business”! So there we are.

***

As if rebuttal to the Panelo statement, although I don’t think it was referring to the ABS-CBN affair, Etta Rosales, a former chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, said in an interview that “The Philippines is not the property of President Duterte!” Well Etta has always been known for being outspoken and I guess the years have not managed to charge her, no matter which President she is talking about. Dear Etta, please be a bit more prudent, though. Think of Leila de Lima and Maria Ressa.

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There are only about a month and a half left before the American will hold their presidential elections. Donald Trump, the incumbent seems to be swaggering in his confidence that he will be reelected. But his opponent, Joe Biden, seems to be slowly but surely gaining more admirers with his simple approaches, compared to the flamboyant incumbent. Well, the American people must have made their decisions by now, so let us just wait and see how they will vote come November. Anyway, we no longer have any ties with them, unlike those years before 1946.

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Is it true that a vaccine against the coronavirus will be tested in the Philippines on October 1? And who are the volunteers who have come forward to be the guinea pigs for it? Will it be an official, or some impoverished citizen who will offer “if the price is right?” Of course we all agree on the need for a vaccine, but I wish the testing is done in some other countries who have the facilities and the expertise to have a counter solution once the volunteer shows some adverse reactions.

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I was happy to note that both the media and the professionals in medicine are now referring to the space required of people during this pandemic days as “physical distancing”. I used to squirmeverytime I heard or read a reference to it as “social distancing” that has an entirely different meaning. I guess somebody who knows his grammar and the language well, finally realized the inappropriateness of the term, and shifted to the right one, because it is not “socially” that we have to keep apart, but only physically. And I hope everybody is observing that until now.

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This is quite an innovation but I don’t know if any other country has adopted it, too. The United States Supreme Court has reportedly began hearing arguments of litigants by phone! That is really, really something new, because it used to be that litigants had to show up or there is no hearing. I wonder, though, how they are able to identify and confirm whether the persons the justices are interrogating are the real ones, but then, with the latest gadgets in communication, I guess they have managed to make such “hearings” foolproof, too.

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What amuses me is that, I didn’t have an idea how such hearings go on. Do the lawyers the litigants and the judges still say “Hello! Hello!” before they start talking? Well, that would be friendly-like, and should ease the anxiety and fears of those involved. Will that system be adopted in our country, too? And will it mean that if you live in Kabankalan and your case is being tried in Bacolod, you can avail of telephoned hearings, too? What a novel idea!

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Soon no Filipino will be a nobody. The requirement for national identifications cards has been approved and ready to be implemented. My, I think that will be a big job for those implementing it. How can they trace all the inhabitants of this country? How many years will it take census workers to complete the listing, with people dying and being born maybe by the hour, even by minutes? But of course those who proposed it have thought of these problems and have offered solutions. The main problem I anticipate is the loss of the I.D. especially by forgetful seniors who are the ones who may need them most. But let us not cross the river before we come to it, as another saying goes.*

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