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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, October 3, 2014
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Only a judge has been punished

Ninfa Leonardia Alleluia! The Philippines has a gold at last from the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. After struggling for 13 hapless days, a biker finally made it, and now nobody can say that our teams came home without a single gold medal. Let us thank Daniel Patrick Caluag for saving this country from the ignominy of still being gold-less on the 14th day.

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There is some hope, they say, as far as boxing is concerned, because we have two or three pugilists who have already gotten themselves bronze medals. Who knows, their opponents might be intimidated by the fact that we have a native boxer who is the only one in the world to have won eight boxing championships in different categories. Perhaps they should have asked Manny Pacquiao to give the Pinoy boxers a pep talk before sending them off?

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But we have not been so lucky in basketball. One wonders why, because even during the recent FIBA Cup, our cagers got noticed as a hardy team. But they fell to their first three opponents, and, alas, won only the last against Mongolia, a fight that was somewhat like a consolation one. Isn’t it strange that our basketball team only won the last, but meaningless encounters in both the FIBA and the Asian Games?

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There is a problem that could deprive our boxers of victories, though. This far, complaints have already risen from competing countries against the judging of the boxing bouts. Pinoy Ian Clark was believed to be winning his fight against a South Korean whom he had already sent to the mat, but two of the judges scored the fight for the Korean. Even in the women’s boxing, the girl from India and her group also believe they got a bum decision. The feisty Indian girl refused to accept the bronze medal and strung it on the neck of the one declared winner instead. What guts!

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Meanwhile, let us root for the local teams who will be fighting for the top three places in the ongoing UAAP games in Manila. Tomorrow, the Bulls and the Tamaraws will show who is superior, while erstwhile topnotchers, the Archers and the Eagles, will vie for third place. What a come-down, but, as many sports buffs here are saying, it’s about time, naman, that other schools get the top places. But one can imagine how sore the Ateneans and the La Sallians must be, because even their alumni here are very unhappy over this development.

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People in Texas, U.S.A. are now almost panicking because of the discovery that a man who arrived there from Liberia has been confirmed to be suffering from the dreaded Ebola. Now they are on a massive search to locate those who had traveled with him, who the people were he had contact with since arriving, and who his family members are. We share the anxiety of the people there, but they should be assured by the fact that at least three recoveries from the supposedly fatal ailment have been recorded in their hospitals. Of the four health workers from the affected countries who were brought home to the U.S., three have recovered, and others are responding to medication. It has been noted that Ebola was more difficult to cure in the African areas because of ignorance among those in impoverished sectors.

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Reports also said that Americans are more careful about their health and have better resistance to disease. I recall that in the earliest reports about the Ebola virus, the complaint of health workers was that some of the patients were very superstitious and would rather submit themselves to rituals and treatments from “healers” than to be treated in hospitals. Let us hope that they will be able to contain the spread of the virus in the U.S., especially in Texas, and that our own Health officials will also be able to protect us with their vigilance at airports and other entry points.

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How short our attention span really is. Just a few weeks ago we were all focused on the pork barrel of PDAF cases, and everybody was talking about Janet Lim Napoles and all the lawmakers she had entrapped in her NGO webs. Well, several people have already been arrested and detained in the case, among them Napoles herself, three senators, and some of their staff, but no headway yet. The funny thing is that, in the Napoles case, the first and only one convicted and meted a sentence so far was a judge – a Sandiganbayan Justice, no less!*

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