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Diphteria in Zamboanga

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Diphtheria, a highly contagious disease, is on the rise here and has claimed the life of a 2-year old boy of Cawit, with two more suspected under observation.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer made the confirmation, at the same time announcing the city government declared an outbreak of the ailment. Accordingly, the boy had come in contact with at least 60 people before he died.

“This kind of disease is fatal especially among children under five years. It’s highly contagious,” said Agbulos, who pushed for the declaration.

Suspected cases, Agbulos said, were being reported in the villages of Mampang and Recodo.

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection transmitted from one person to another by droplets spread through sneezing, coughing and close personal contact.

While diphtheria can be prevented through vaccines, a person needs to get another shot after 10 years, Agbulos said.

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The Death Penalty reimposition move hit a snag yesterday when Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin M. Drilon brought to fore the issue of an international convention on Human Rights the country entered into and ratified by the Senate in 2007.

In view thereof, Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights headed by Sen. Richard J. Gordon suspended its public hearings on six bills relative thereto.

Gordon asked Richard Anthony Fadullon, senior deputy state prosecutor of the Department of Justice (DOJ,)  to submit a position paper on whether or not the Philippine government can get out of its international commitment.

The possibility of President Duterte being impeached and members of the Senate held liable if the government reimposes the death penalty in contravention to the international treaty is strong. Gordon expressed the view that government should be careful in entering into treaties, and should be on the lookout for ways out, as well as not to sign treaties headlong, least it finds itself handcuffed in the future.

In a talk with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III the other night on how members of the Senate might vote on the bill, Gordon said there are 10 senators in favor while more than 10 are against the reimposition of the death penalty.

So, as that is the case, the bill is moribund in the committee.

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Unleashing a profanity-filled rebuke of erring Metro Manila policemen at the Malacañang gardens yesterday, Pres. Duterte ordered their deployment to Basilan as punishment for their offenses.

Ese pa (So, that’s what we get.)

Deploying errant police to Basilan is punishment not only to delinquents, it is punishment, too, to Basileños. As if they deserve it! Heck…

The President said they could either accept a two-year reassignment in Basilan or resign from the police force.

Rogues as they are. Them resign?

Next to impossible. Grueso sos! (They are made of thick stuff)

After berating them, the President told the policemen to stay in their places while he held a Cabinet meeting inside Malacañang. Speaking in Pilipino, he said, “Stand there. Wait for me to finish and then I will talk to you again. Don’t leave. If I see someone relaxing, I will kick him),” he said.

Around 226 policemen implicated in criminal and administrative complaints were brought to Malacañang by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and other senior police officials.

Dela Rosa, in a media interview at the Palace, said some policemen face charges for robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug involvement, while others face administrative complaints. The cases were filed in 2014 and 2015.

Huh! “robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and drug involvement…) Yesterday, dela Rosa described their cases as minor infractions. Cosa ya tamen (Such folly.) Minor infractions? Whew..!

To think WS apologized for what was said to be a premature comment for them - as in the threat of Duterte - to eat water lilies from the Pasig River.

Along that line, whatever happened to that threat?

Except for the reported tongue-lashing, the rowdy cops were not even made to clean the river passageway of the Duterte tugboat, much less the hyped eating up of water lilies.

Now, being sent to Basilan is truly kid stuff. Even more of a punishment to Basileños!

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Fittingly, Pres. Duterte formally ended peace talks with communist rebels on Tuesday after the government served notice to the National Democratic Front to end the 22-year Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which guarantees free and unhindered passage to communist negotiators.

The agreement, formalized in 1995 under the Ramos administration, mandates the government to send the NDF a written notice of termination of the peace talks that would take effect only 30 days after the NDF’s receipt of the notice.

So, that accounts for the safe return here of the Tiamzon couple, et al frfom from ythe Rome talks,

But Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that communist negotiators who are facing court charges cannot invoke immunity under the Jasig, saying that the courts granted temporary liberty to NDF negotiators due to the bail granted at the behest of the government’s request for them to participate in the peace negotiations.

And the Justice Department was set to issue an immigration lookout bulletin and to revoke the bail bond of 17 NDF consultants who were temporarily released to join the peace negotiations.

NDF legal consultant Edre Olalia, however, insisted on Monday that political consultants released on bail cannot be arrested again even if Duterte ordered it.

Olalia pointed out that the peace negotiations have not been properly terminated so the consultants are still guaranteed “immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive actions due to any involvement or participation in the peace negotiations.”

WS does agree. So decrees the pact, “…  termination of the peace talks… would take effect only 30 days after the NDF’s receipt of the notice.” It rightly means then, JASIG is still in force.

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As all these things unfold, the government on Tuesday stepped up its offensive against communist guerrillas, announcing an “all-out war” against the New People’s Army (NPA) and canceling safe-conduct passes to all rebels involved in the negotiations. (Hop, hop,easy does it. The thirty-day notice has just begun)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters in Malacañang that the military operations against the guerrillas would be conducted through “surgical operations” to avoid casualties among noncombatants.

Per Duterte’s pronouncements, they are now considered terrorists, Sec. Lorenzana said.

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Malacañang on Tuesday maintained President Duterte was just making up stories about his health when he disclosed that a doctor went to see him in Malacañang after he felt pain in his heart.

But Ernesto Abella, Mr. Duterte’s spokesperson, gave a vague statement on the President’s real medical status, telling reporters to just “go by” the explanation of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Trust Martin on this. Or should we?

Andanar, whose office had been criticized for providing bum steer to the media, claimed the President just “made up a story” when he said in a speech on Monday that a certain Doctor Del Rosario had visited him to check on his health condition.

There truly seems eerie in the Abella stament. Repeatedly, he had said, “So let’s go by that (the Andanar version of a joke). Nothing dramatic… He is generally aware of the interest that his statements make,”

Really mysterious, hugh? (By Jimmy Cabato)




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