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Former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo wants to strengthen and enhance the use of the English language as the medium of instruction (MOI) in our educational system, from the preschool to the tertiary level.

To this SS fully agrees. Humbly, not to claim good command of the English language, he will relate to you two of several episodes of his in California, at a time he had the chance to go to the States.

First, seeing an ad that a technical school was offering free computer courses to the jobless, he went to apply. When there, he was attended to and interviewed by a young lady who was with the registrar’s office.

Probably seeing a Filipino, her first statement was, “In this course, one has to be proficient in English.” She then fired away a series of. SS answered all until she asked for my passport. Browsing over it, she quipped. ‘Your only one month here?”

“Yes, Ma’am was SS’s answer. She concluded, “You’re in... - but repeat with stress, ‘Humbly not to claim good command of the English language’ - continuing, “For a month old visitor here, you have a good command of the English language.”

SS shot back - justifying along the way GMA’s move - “In my school days back home, starting from the grades and on the college, we spoke English. That was our medium of instruction back then.

SS, however, SS joined their classes for only a day, wrongly  thinking that the course was in computer technology and repair, it was after all only in encoding, that began with typing lessons... Hmmm, not my cup of tea.

Second episode. Still jobless, SS got hold a Filipino-owned tabloid for Pinoy circulation. Read it over, and the following day headed for its editorial offices in La Mesa district.

It happened, the publisher was Delfin Quesada, husband of movie star Divina Valencia who both held offices there.

“Sir, with due respect, would you allow me to make some comments on your paper, which you may find adoptable for your tabloid - if you find them worthy?

“I am listening,” he said. SS requested for a copy of their issue that SS got hold of a day before, and requested for a red-inked ballpen. Having already read  the paper, I made the corrections turning their paper into what the late Rene Fernandez, one of the most respected editors in Zamboanga, described as a “Christmas tree” meaning adorned with corrections.

Publisher Quesada went over it, looked at me and said, “Anong ginagawa mo dito ngayon?” (What do you do here now?)  Wala, (Nothing,) was SS’ civil reply.

“Report ka for work bukas, (Report for work tomorrow,) “...You’re hired.”

But the  experience that turned comic did not end there. Reporting for work the next morning, I anxiously set for work. “Boss,” I inquired, “Where’s your typewriter.”

Surprised, he curtly replied, “Anong typewriter? Puru na computer ditto.” (What typewriter, It’s all computer/s here.”

Shyly, SS said, “Boss, in Zamboanga, I never experienced using even an electric typewriter. Puru lang manual.” (Everything was purely manual.)

He then called his secretary, and pointing to me, said, “Turuan mong magcomputer - the works” (Teach him to encode and the rest.)

She did, and when actual work started, it was only then that SS came to know, in 1975 it was already the age of internet there. That was how they we researched for news and even transmitted laid out paper editions to the publishing house - the net.

Concluding, SS repeats - the GMA initiative is much much worthy. If we are to  build productive English-speaking youth, revive the English in our educational system as the country’s medium of instruction.

X x x x X

The pronouncement of PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa does make sense, and is probably not truly an escape mechanism to justify the drop in killings during buy-bust operations since the resumption of Oplan Tokhang Alha Reloaded.

An armed drug pusher was killed in a shootout between policemen amid a buy-bust operation in Sitio Salum, San Roque here on Good Friday.

A police report disclosed that at around 3:20 p.m., men of the Sta. Maria Police Station led by Chief Insp. Joseph Ortega, conducted a buy-bust operation targeting Sarri Sali y Igasan, who was armed with a .45 caliber he The raid proved positive of the illegal drugs trade.

Meanwhile, Two more drug suspects were arrested in a separate buy-bust operation conducted in Lunzuran last Saturday.

Divisoria Police Station Commander Chief Inspector Arlan Delumpines said that a .45 caliber pistol with ammunition was also recovered from the suspects’ possession.

It’s a good thing, even if one was armed with a hand gun he did resist arrest, otherwise - bang.

X x x x X

The Sta. Maria police now has a suspect in the killing of a woman whose body was found decomposing in an abandoned structure in Pasonanca.

Chief Insp. Joseph Ortega of the Sta. Maria Police Station said, the suspect was the last person seen together with the woman, but withheld the name pending further investigation.

Recall, the decomposing body of Clarisse Faylona, 23, of Pasonanca, was found in Lantawan two weeks ago.

Relatives were able to identify the body as that of Clarisse thru a tattoo at the lower portion of her nape.

Ortega advised young girls to refrain from dating with their boyfriends in isolated areas.

He also called parents to advice and guide their children especially in choosing their friends.

X x x x X

Region 9 must be wary of the abundant existence and operation of tricycles. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-9 (LTFRB-9) records reveal that there are still no applicant for the 250 taxi slots intended for the region.

With tricycles flourishing everywhere, who would? Say you?

X x x x X

Hundreds of Barangay officials and leaders from various sectors of society here in Zamboanga City are flocking to the folds of the ruling administration party of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) has organized a one-day seminar workshop and general membership here on Wednesday, Zamboanga City on April 19,2017,, which will be facilitated by the PNP-LABAN National Party organization in coordination with the local party officials.

Personalities from the PDP-LABAN National headquarters will spearhead the whole day activity which will be conducted in Royce Convention, Grand Astoria Hotel.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) hade earlier expressed its opinion that for barangay officials to join any political party, except during or in the conduct of barangay elections, is not a violation under the existing Local Government Code of the Philippines.

X x x x X

With the kind of a US president now, do you think North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un will still keep to his displayed arrogance of power? Read on.

In the wake of North Korea’s failed medium-range missile test this weekend, President Donald Trump is willing to consider ordering “kinetic” military action, including a sudden strike, to counteract North Korea’s destabilizing actions in the region, said a person familiar with the White House’s thinking.

But Trump’s very strong prevailing preference is for China to take the lead in dealing with North Korea, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

In another development, US President Donald Trump took a moment at the White House Easter egg roll Monday to deliver a terse message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un: “Got to behave.”

Think he has to? You tell me.

X x x x X

Pres. is reported to have slipped some in the latest Pulse Asia popularity ratings.

But that would not matter one bit for he has won the spot in TIME Magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Duterte received the most number of votes in an online poll that asked readers who should be on the list.

TIME did not say how many people voted, but said Duterte received five percent of the total “yes” votes in the poll which closed Sunday night. The trailing rivals all got three.

With those percentage marks, our president is not only a cut - but two cuts - above the rest, that included big names such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg .

US Senator Bernie Sanders won the reader poll in 2016 while Russian President Vladimir Putin took the lead in 2015. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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