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The elusive truth on Yolanda's death toll


LIFEíS INSPIRATIONS: ì...Now listen, you who say, `Today or tomorrow we will go to... make money.í Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow... Instead, you ought to say, `If it is the Lordís will, we will live and do this or thatí...î (James 5:13-15, the Holy Bible).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY! How do you celebrate the 81st birthday of a father who, just almost a month before, suffered a second stroke from which he is prayerfully trying to recover? By engaging in prayer and Bible reading with the birthday celebrant, thatís how.

Well, at least that was how my father and my namesake, Melanio Pauco Mauricio Sr., celebrated his 81st birthday on November 24, 2013, by the grace of God. On top of the usual celebrations for an octogenarian birthday, my father spent moments immersing himself with the Word of God, and in communing with Him through prayers.

THE ELUSIVE TRUTH IN YOLANDAíS DEATH TOLL: Will someone please tell us the elusive truth? What really is the exact body count now of those who died from Yolanda? I mean, it is very clear that someone seems desperately engaged in manipulating the data pertaining to this, for one reason or another. And what is even scary here is that, even the media seems to be of little help, wittingly or unwittingly, in disclosing the truth.

Why am I saying this? Well, one major Philippine newspaper which prides itself with printing the truth seems inexplicably confused as to the actual and truthful body count. In its Internet version for November 24, 2013, for example, one of its headlines read: ì5,000 dead, P22B damaged property.î

Yet, the very first paragraph of that particular headline was saying another thing: ìThere seems to be no end in sight to the trail of devastation in the Philippines left by Supertyphoon ëYolandaí (international codename: Haiyan) as disaster authorities announced that the dead or missing has risen to 7,000 people and P22 billion worth of crops, homes and infrastructure have been destroyed.î Huh?

PACQUIAO & THE ìKAYA NATINî SYNDROME: It was 7:55 a.m., November 24, 2013, Philippine time, as I wrote this column, or about three to four hours before Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring with his Macau title-fight with Brandon Rios, and yet, I found myself thinking, ìwhen will Pacquiao ever learnî, as I read a news story where he was supposed to have said to his countrymen ìNever again will I fail youî.

If he really said those words, and intended them to be a promise that he will win against Rios, it lacked something that made me shudder. I mean, the Filipino champion was very much prepared in his last fight with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, and yet he lost shamefully, after being knocked down cold by Marquez last December 08.

And now, here he is again, acting as if he could win by himself alone, pursuant to the ìkaya natinî syndrome. No, Manny, you will not win by your own self alone, or by your own strength or by the power of your punches alone. No, you cannot win without God. You should have said, ìif God allows it, I will winî as James 4:13-16 of the Bible instructed all believers to do, when they want something.

WAY TO RISE FROM THE TYPHOONíS RUINS: Lest we fall into a false sense of complacency with all the aid and assistance being given to Yolanda victims by the world, it must be repeated here: there is only way to rise from the death and destruction brought by Yolanda, and by those to come yet. It is by our people across the nation returning to God, reading His Bible once again, and obeying His commands once again.

REACTIONS? Please call me at 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0922 833 43 96. Email:,, and -30-

By Batas Mauricio

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