Mercado: Boycott Air Asia

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Sunday, March 17, 2013


THE Muslim communities of the cities of San Fernando and Angeles advocated a sustained boycott of Air Asia Philippines as a token protest against Malaysia’s low regard of Filipinos.

“This is the only way to get back at a country whose security forces have been brutally treating our brothers, and whose officials demonstrated a low regard for the Philippines,” Jubaira, a leader of the Muslim traders groups said.

Malaysia’s mistreatment of Muslim Filipinos has been going on for a long time, the trader reported, citing the 2002 massive expulsion of 64,000 countrymen in North Borneo.

The migrant businessmen deplored our national officials for their weak and feckless response to the brutalities done to Filipinos. He assailed Malaysia in rejecting the appeal of Department of Foreign Affairs authorities to meet with detained Filipinos in Sabah.

“Even senatorial candidates, who should raise an outcry over the killings and persecution of the Muslims in Sabah are quiet,” the migrant trader noted.

The trader leader said they will wage a campaign for a boycott on AirAsia Philippines. Hundreds of air travelers from Mindanao regularly fly on this airway which is 40 percent-owned by a giant Malaysian firm, AirAsia Berhad. Filipino businessmen own 60 percent of the airlines.

The boycott leaders appealed to Central Luzon AirAsia customers to cease patronizing this aircraft to express collective Flipinos’ disgust of Malaysia’s bad treatment and arrogant attitude towards our officials.

--oo0oo--

I admire the Archbishop of San Fernando for his kindly and diplomatic handling of the Reproductive Health issue in this area.

Apu Ceto is fortunate that the four Representatives of Pampanga are against the RH measure. He has four thorns less on his side, thus making it easier for him to promote and defend his supreme advocacy.

His expert and effective handling of the RH issue is in deep contrast to that of the Archdiocese of Bacolod. The controversial political tarpaulin there dichotomized candidates into Team Buhay and Team Patay. This has boomeranged on the Catholic officials in Negros.

Concerned advocates of Team Patay have come out swinging and blasted the Diocese for its “Team Tatay.” The anti-RH movement had opened a Pandora box of sorts as the third “Team” exposed and identified certain high church officials and priests who had sowed wild oats in the Negros countryside.

It is to the remarkable credit of Apu Ceto that while he is passionate and coming very strong against the RH law, he had the patience, charity, and discernment in not creating hostile reactions by assaulting pro RH people in publicly.

Otherwise, he could have triggered a devastating spectacle. Like that of the Bacolod City honor roll, Pampanga’s Dean’s Listers of wayward “reverends” are well known.

--oo0oo--

Local fans of basketball star kabalen Arwind Santos lost respect for the fearless player in the hard court for his instant forgiveness of an import player who squeezed his neck. After the assault Santos led the Petron team in asking a full pardon from the PBA, that the black American cager who went berserk be given a “second chance.”

If he was ordered by Petron management to swallow his pride and forget his being maltreated, it is the height of corporate grossness and insensitivity. That would tarnish the good image of San Miguel Corporation honcho Mr. Ramon S. Ang.

If he did it on his own volition, Santos has done a disservice to Kapampangan pride and honor. If you hurt a Pampango, he will get back and fight. Unlike Santos, he would not beg mercy for his strangler.

--oo0oo--

IC Calaguas, brilliant strategist of Rep. Lazatin reacted to my recent column on Balibago politics. “Kailan man hindi po nakialam si Cong. Lazatin sa laban ni Kapitan Mamac kahit noong 2007. He respects the capability and the leadership of the former police officer.”

IC, however, did not guarantee that the Cong, as future mayor, will not support his candidate for Balibago chairman in November.

--oo0oo--

The Team Pinoy campaigners declared that all their senatorial bets will sweep vote-rich Pangasinan in May.

If there is one UNAC candidate who would make it in Pangasinan, it would be Juan “Jack” Enrile Jr. A convention of all the Liga ng Barangay, some 1,200 of them from the province, proclaimed Jack as their collective bet. The village leaders met at Clark’s Oxford Hotel Friday, to seal their pact of support to the lone aspirant-advocate for Food Sufficiency for Filipinos.

Jack Enrile, while underrated and burdened by a not salutary public image, has convinced local media of his expertise in farming, agricultural productivity, and for protecting the farmers’ interests.

Let’s watch the election results in Pangasinan for Jack. I am sure local TV princess Fatima Khokhawalla will vote Enrile, Jr. She filed an exciting and persuasive report about him at News Force TV. It’s a pity Jack has not quite reached the farming villages in Pampanga, otherwise he will emerge as a winner in Pampanga, eh, Fatima?

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 18, 2013.

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