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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Can cakes be subpoenaed?

Ninfa Leonardia Now it's Bongbong's turn. Seems the Junior of the late Ferdinand Marcos of Martial Law fame, or infamy, has been cited by the Commission on Audit for allegedly passing on some P10 million of his pork barrel largesse to a bogus foundation run by now whistleblower Benhur Luy. The project on which the money was supposedly spent was determined to be in Nakar, Quezon Province. Now the COA is demanding that Bongbong return the money to the government coffers.

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If you are wondering why Bongbong's supposed misdeed was disclosed only now, perhaps you can go over the list of wannabes for the presidency who have already confirmed their plans. See what happened to Vice President Jejomar Binay? And to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano? I wonder why they have not pounced on Senator Antonio Trillanes yet. Maybe they do not believe he is serious? Well, they should all have let themselves be guided by the saying that “a city built on top of a hill cannot be hid”.

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The proliferation of articles, features and recollections about murdered presidential wannabe, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino recently, proves that what he did for his country has not yet been forgotten, despite the 31 years that have gone by since that historic day at the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport. Newspapers have been publishing pages and pages of photographs of his life, but the most poignant ones are those on his death. The picture of Ninoy's body, prone on the hot cement of the airport, is one that is not likely to be forgotten.

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Several times in the past, I had suggested that our airport officials set a lasting memorial to that incident by tracing out his form on the very spot where he fell, for history to recall. But I guess the administration then, and even the later ones, were not keen on the idea. Also among the most moving of the pictures published were those of the hordes, the millions of people who dared identification by the spies of the government then, to join the funeral march that took about eight hours to reach the Memorial Park. From Bacolod, I know one intrepid lady, staunch admirer of Ninoy, who traveled to Manila to join the funeral rites. Maybe I can mention her name now, it was our own Lucy Ponce, who later told us she had to cover her face with a scarf, and brought sustenance for the long trek.

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Few of the younger generation will understand this, but after the event, we learned that none of the national dailies or radio and TV outfits dared to give full coverage to the event. In fact one daily, associated with the administration, had for its headline next day the electrocution of a worker. But your DAILY STAR managed to have detailed write-ups, with an international tang, at that, thanks to our friends working for the international news syndicates, among them Joel Palacios, then of Reuters, who furnished us with beautiful, detailed descriptions of the event. The STAR got sold out very early that day, and we found out later that hundreds of copies had been flown to Manila for people there who wanted to know what happened.

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Meanwhile, didn't your mouth water upon seeing all those cakes exhibited at the Senate that there were used by the opponents of Vice President Binay to prove how much more overpriced were those his administration supplied senior citizens on their birthdays? That was probably the first time in the history of any country where cakes were “summoned” as evidence in a case against an official. Now the Makati government is trying to debunk the overprice claim. When will it debunk also the rumors that the cakes were supplied by a shop linked to the Binay family?

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Several times, we have advised our readers to have their views published to always identify themselves, complete with addresses, and phone numbers for verification. No matter how reasonable their requests, or demands, we will not accommodate them as we have a policy against anonymous contributors. If necessary, and reasonable, we can withhold their names, but the first requirement is they must be known to us. As of this writing, I have three such communications at hand which, sad to say, will not see print until their writers are brave enough to come out.

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Last night, the two American doctors who had caught the ebola virus while working with the victims in Africa, came out on TV report on their stunning recovery after being administered the experiment drug called ZMapp. Dr. Kent Brantly announced his miraculous recovery and asked for prayers for the others also affected, who may not have the opportunity to also avail of the new cure that cannot yet be produced in enough quantities to help all the affected ones now. Indeed, we should pray for them, and also that the medicine that had worked for the two doctors, can soon be available in sufficient quantities to help the others.*

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