sitemap Daily Star Opinions: From the Center with Rolly Espina
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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, April 24, 2009
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with Rolly Espina

The healing touch
relieves children

Rolly Espina

One never realizes the restoration of a life of confidence to children who are undergoing surgery for cleft palate and lip repair surgeries.

Only those who had been subjected to years of derision could appreciate the boon they receive after their repair surgeries by Operation Smile. As pointed out by Edith Villanueva, a trustee of the organization Operation Smile, over the years the facelift which children had undergone changed their lives for the better.

There’s nothing worse than years of deformities when one goes around with full awareness that others tend to consider one as not normal. Worse, often their speech suffer from major defects and sometimes make them difficult to understand.

But, shortly after their surgical operation by Operation Smile, the children gradually recover their speech, although some still have to undergo post-operative therapy.

Still, one can just imagine the joy and the thrill of the youngsters rescued from a life where most of them find themselves unable to mingle with their peers because of their deformity.

Thanks a lot to members of the 22nd Operation Smile – Hope Foundation mission that ended up treating 75 children and gave them a new lease in life.

Our appreciation to Dr. Lutgardo Caparas, BG Alcantara, Bong Paltriguera, Yang Yuseng, and Zhang Yong. Special thanks to Operation Smile Philippines president Bobby Manzano who personally visited the Teresita L. Jalandoni Hospital in Silay City were he talked with some of the children patients.

Kudos to Operation Smile and Hope Foundation, especially to Edith Villanueva.

* * *

I concur with Vice Governor Emilio Yulo and Board Member Adolfo Mangao in their insistence on the enforcement of the SP ban on the entry here of genetically modified corn.

True, the Bounty Agro Ventures had closed down their feed mill in Bacolod City because of the interception of two shipments of GMO corn from Iloilo. But that does not mean that corn should now be modified too so that feeds could be made available to local hog raisers and others needing them.        In the first place, the shipment of GMO here was done with the full knowledge of the existence of the SP approval ban.

And the fact that Governor Isidro Zayco had them shipped out of the province upon discovery was not the reason for the closure of the feed mill. Rather it was because  the ban was violated. It is conceivable that the Bounty Agro Ventures could not have found locally grown corn outside the province.

They had two years to prepare for the entry here of non-GMO corn. So, why did they not exert the necessary effort to source locally-grown corn? But that also shows the GMO must have invaded a lot of areas of neighboring Panay, something which the government must be able to monitor and study.

One thing I noticed with GMO corn was that once one grows them, it means virtual dependence on the provider of the seeds for the continuing patronage because GMOs do not allow for seeds from the produce. In short, you become completely dependent on the multi-national firm that had bred them for supplies for corn seeds.

* * *

Senator Mar Roxas is an angry man. And he has gone to the extent of calling Ilonggo Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez “crazy” for the latter’s having allegedly blamed the slow progress of the department’s progress in the handling of the Legacy mess probe on the failure by the Senate to submit to his office pieces of evidence needed for the preliminary investigation pending before the DOJ.

Roxas said the Senate panel had transmitted copies of the transcript of its March 9 public hearings and the affidavits of former Legacy Chief Executive Carolina Hinola and former chief finance officer Namnama Pacetes-Santos. Both reportedly detailed how corporate funds were spent by the intermingling with the personal funds of Celso de los Angeles.

At the rate things are going, it seems that De los Angeles may end getting off scoot free from the many charges filed against him and Legacy officials by the BSP and the Securities and Exchange Commission based on their probes into the anomalies at Legacy.

Something must be done to accelerate the probe. For that matter, government must be worried with the warning by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that the 12,000 AFP members who had invested their hard money in the pre-need plan of Legacy may no longer find themselves able to enjoy their benefits.

It could precipitate something worse, commented Enrile.

That should be reason enough for Gonzalez to act more expeditiously, to once and for all file the cases against De los Angeles before the courts.*


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