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One-way Success

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By early afternoon yesterday, Baliwasan Tanods said they received reports that traffic at Cawa-cawa or what is now RT Lim Blvd, was in a snarl. So by a little before 5 pm, in motoring to our evening watering hole, purposely skipping Camins rd. to Canelar going town, we cruised by Lim Blvd to observe traffic. Although nearing PPA, we turned left to Alejo Alvarez, as we were bound for Lotus, Astoria in Jaldon st. we failed to observe how things were in the Magay area. But from WMSU all the way to PPA, vehicle movements went smoothly, grossly unaware of the situation in Magay. But logic says, if Magay was in shambles, it would have been felt in Lim Blvd. It was. And if ever, it’s the contrary, our planners can always devise solutions to whatever may ail the system; under experiment yet as it is.

Thus, we can safely say, the one way traffic structure is a success.

X x x xX

Oral arguments on the petition of Sen. Leila De Lima to nullify her arrest on illegal drug charges in the Supreme Court is set at 2 p.m., 21st March.

And government lawyers boast of springing a surprise during the hearing.

“We have several points in mind, procedural as well as substantive. But you will be in for a surprise. We have a killer punch,” Solicitor General Jose Calida, speaking in mixed Pilipino, said.

Calida said they have prepared evidence that will show how “devious” De Lima really is.

“This is like the left straight of (boxing icon and Senator Manny) Pacquiao. They will not know what will hit them,” he said.

Calida is expected to argue for Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa and Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero who ordered De Lima’s arrest on February 23.

X x x x X

Manila dailies today extensively played up President Duterte’s description of European lawmakers as “crazies” in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while valiantly vowing again in public that all traffickers will be killed.

No wonder the play up, folks. Duterte fired his broadside in a late-night speech Sunday in Myanmar a day after pronouncing the same in Davao City prior to his departure.

The European Parliament had issued a resolution last week condemning “the high number of extrajudicial killings (EJKs)” in Duterte’s drug war.

Duterte, who frequently uses swear words and other abusive language against his critics said, “I don’t get these crazies trying to impose on us. Why don’t you mind your own business… Why do you have to f–k with us, God damn it.”

Covering up for the harsh public warnings, Duterte rhymed, his issuance of death threats against criminals was out of rage, emphasizing that he will not go far as tolerating extrajudicial killings in the country.

“There will never be a time that I will condone killing a criminal or a person arrested with up straight arms begging for his life,” he added.

Duterte explained that some drug suspects were shot by policemen because they violently resisted arrest and put the lawmen’s lives in danger.

He advised crime suspects not to fight with lawmen and just surrender peacefully.

Reacting to criticisms that his drug war targeted the poor, Duterte said he had to “destroy” both small-time street peddlers as well as the big-time drug lords to cleanse the country of drugs.

Desolately, however, it appears really true, so few drug lords have so far been reported neutralized. It’s for him to shift target objectives - the big guns. the small ones just dissipate by their lonesome selves. No supplier, no pusher. That a fact. Right?

X x x x X

Pres. Duterte did have a point in saying this, “What do you want me to do? Declare war against China? I can’t. We will lose all our military and policemen tomorrow and we (will be) a destroyed nation.”

But Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio, too, has several valid points of his own. The Armed Forces headed by the President Duterte as commander-in-chief are constitutionally mandated to defend Scarborough or Panatag Shoal as part of Philippine territory, he said.

He was part of the Philippine delegation that argued before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2015 and has been tapped by President Duterte as consultant in the territorial issues with China.

Read on. “Since the Philippines is no match to China militarily,” Carpio said the President can fulfill his constitutional duty “by doing any, some or all” of the following:

1. “File a strong formal protest against the Chinese building activity. This is the least the President should do.  This is what the Vietnamese did recently when China sent cruise tours to the disputed Parcels.

2. “Send the Philippine Navy to patrol Scarborough Shoal. If the Chinese attack Philippine Navy vessels, then invoke the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty which covers any armed attack on Philippine Navy vessels patrolling in the South China Sea.

3.“Ask the United States to declare that Scarborough Shoal is part of Philippine territory for purposes of the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty since the Shoal has been part of Philippine territory even during the American colonial period. The US has declared the Senkakus as part of Japanese territory for purposes of the US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty.

4. “Accept the standing US offer to hold joint naval patrols in the South China Sea, which includes Scarborough Shoal. This will demonstrate joint Philippine and US determination to prevent China from building on Scarborough Shoal. And

5. “Avoid any act, statement or declaration that expressly or impliedly waives Philippine sovereignty to any Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea. This will preserve for future generations of Filipinos their national patrimony in the West Philippine Sea.”

Such very well placed suggestions, we can very well appreciate. Intelligent laid down. Say you?

But sad to say, with the latest Duterte pronouncements, those counsels of A duly-designated consultant have become impracticable

Speaking before the Filipino community in Myanmar on Sunday night, said he was “okay” with (US Pres. Donald) Trump and was eyeing a better working relationship with his US counterpart, adding, however, a conflicting view, Duterte said he was ready to “give all, whatever it is” under the Trump administration - except for military alliances.

Goodness gracious, “except for military alliances,”? That is exactly what is needed under the wisdom-filled Carpio proposals.

To think, his other declarations were truly praiseworthy. Here goes. “President Trump and I are on good terms. And I can assure him also of our friendship and cooperation.

There’s no problem with that,” the President said, noting that Trump gave his support to his administration in addressing the drug menace in the country, unlike Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.

“For the previous president, I was evil. The crazy man was planning to jail me. This other one (Trump), he said, ‘You’re right,’” Duterte said.

Military alliances, “I don’t like that. We can’t handle those,” he added.

The President stressed that the Philippines could not afford to get involved in conflicts, especially since its military is not as well-equipped as that of the US.

Mr. President, ill-equipped as we are, there lies the need for the US military ties, especially so, with the existing age-old the Phil-US Mutual Defense Treaty..

Duterte again lashed out at Obama, the US State department, and the European Union for raising concerns over his bloody war against drugs.

The President said the US and EU were “trying to be a dictator,” which he said was “not acceptable” to countries like Russia, China, Korea, Japan and the rest of the Asean nations.

Then again, Mr. President, Sir that was under what you say as the “crazy Obama administration.” It’s a Trump leadership now. Things are different.

Time for Pres. Duterte to re-think his position. Think so, too?

X x x x X

Pres. Duterte speaks out on Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

He branded Robredo as an enemy who was in a hurry to claim the presidency, while describing Trillanes as “a barking dog” who turned out to be a coward.

Speaking again before the Filipino community in Myanmar, Duterte tore into his critics, mocking Trillanes and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who filed an impeachment complaint against the President.

Duterte said Trillanes robbed a hotel during the Manila Peninsula takeover in 2007.

“Look at this idiot. He launched a mutiny then cowardly surrendered to the police. What he did was to steal all the towels in the Manila Pen - the bed sheets and silverware. He didn’t fire one shot. You’ve seen how he behaves - like Sen. Leila de Lima,” he said in Filipino.”

Duterte also chided Alejano for saying he had “secret deals” with China and said the lawmaker - also among the mutineers that Trillanes led - should go to the disputed waters and fight the Chinese.

Duterte hit Alejano’s Magdalo party-list, accusing them of doing nothing for the country apart from mounting failed coups d’etat.

“You had your chance to show your bravery. Do not s*** with me. There were times when you should have fought, but your balls got stuck in your throats, and you call that bravery… You are actually a shame. The government put you through school, and this is what you did to the country.” (By Jimmy Cabato)




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