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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
“KIDNAPPER gets life.”
The kidnap took place in 2007. It has taken six years for the Philippine system of justice to convict one man for the kidnapping of another. Six years. What chance of convicting the multiple murderers who slaughtered 58 individuals in the Ampatuan Massacre of 2009? I'd say not a chance -- that snowball in hell again.
“Supreme Court allows plebiscite for Davao Occidental.”
It's nothing to do with the good of the provinces and all to do with carving up Davao del Sur between the region's most powerful political clans but that's not my point here - the Supreme Court is to allow a plebiscite, a referendum, each and every registered voter allowed to cast his or her lot. Whether or not to permit the creation of a new province. A simple one-off vote. Yea or nay, the will of the people. Easy. And it occurred to me, why can't the people vote for or against the pork barrel, the notorious PDAF, in the same way?
A similar idea, the People's Initiative, has been proposed but it seems to have an awful lot of strings attached - so many percent of the voters of each bloc and so forth - and in practice will be nigh on impossible. So, next national election time - don't worry, it'll come around soon enough - why not print another couple of boxes on the voting form, pork barrel, yes or no? What could be simpler?
Moving on and I'm a tad concerned with the amount of fawning and flattery in the newspaper lately - prose paeans of praise in favor of this or that personage, blatantly partisan and some enough to turn your stomach. Current idol - an editorial and handful of items in as many days - is Leoncio Evasco, mayor of Maribojoc on the island of Bohol, and a complete unknown to most of us but, oh, how he's scoring in the popularity polls.
Outgoing police chief Senior Superintendant Ronald dela Rosa received the same treatment, openly referred to as “the darling of the press,” who could certainly work the media with his televised “walkabouts” and some days near monopolize GMA's and ABS-CBN's early evening news but is there less crime. Was the man professionally effective? Also, and regrettably, fellow scribbler Arnold Alamon up there in Cagayan de Oro has caught the bug coming up with “The sheriff” in praise of Davao's Mayor Rody Duterte.
We're well used to lifestyle scribblers telling us how wonderful their rich friends and relatives are but ordinarily sober columnists? Please!
Lastly lastly, (And because I haven't reached the obligatory 2500 characters) I thought I'd witter on a bit about the book I'm browsing at the moment (Like to write more about films and books but...). It's called The Dangerous Book for Boys (Published in 2006), a sort of compendium of the stuff we lads used to know about before the invention of iPods or the Internet thingy. How to make a paper aeroplane, play marbles, catapults, fossils, famous battles, all sorts of good stuff and I've just reached the chapter about the origin of words - chortle is a word invented by author Lewis Carroll, a combination of chuckle and snort, known as a portmanteau word, a term also coined by Carroll.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 29, 2013.