Playing with Fire

Duterte at LNU Feb. 16

Gonz Duque

By Gonzalo Duque

 

WE join the millions of Catholics, Christians and God believers in welcoming Pope Francis to our beloved country!

It’s interesting to note that of the 7 million Catholics in Japan, 7 million are practising Catholics. On the other hand, we in the Philippines have 70 million Catholics, but only 7 million are practising Catholics.

We belong to the 63 million Catholics. How about you, Ashok?

The Pope’s visit is most timely because we are in transit — from a most corrupt country to one trying hard to follow the straight path.

Sana — and we most sincerely are praying his visit would enhance the Filipinos’ transformation into God-loving people.

Welcome to our beloved land, Pope Francis!

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We wish to apologize to Secretary Bebot Villar, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman, for an unintended boner in our column last week.

Alam po ninyo ang trabahong ito — column writing and allied journalistic work — kadalasan rush or speed work sa pag beat ng deadline.

Dahil dito hindi natin nabe-verify maigi and pagbanggit natin sa DDB na ang nag award pala kay former Dagupan City Police chief Rolando Borromeo ay hindi na DDB, matagal na yon, 2008 pa ata? Mali pala ganoon.

Ang nagbigay ng award pala ay ang isang media outfit — “Diwa, Salita at Gawa” — na kung saan ay hindi rin natin ma-be-blame dahil in those days talagang super performer si Col. Borromeo.

But in fairness to the truth walang DDB award kay Borromeo.

In fact, Manong Bebot was not even with that agency at that time.

Sorry Manong, slip lang iyon.

*          *          *          *

This corner has been receiving glowing feedback on Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte.

Over the weekend, RD guested at a prestigious group in Manila consisting of top Chinese businessmen including Chinese General Hospital chairman — President James Dy, military personages and the media.

Napakaganda and reception kay R.D., parang papunta talaga sa Palasyo if plans will not misfire, or, if the Presidency is in his destiny.

What caught the imagination of his Metro Manila audience was his zealous advocacy of federalism, a most viable strategy to make the democratic ideal work.

In his speech before Manilenos, Duterte revealed that 54 percent of the national income comes from Mindanao!!!

We placed three exclamation points (!!!) because it’s shocking to us.

Factor this to the fact that Mindanao receives the least attention from our Manila-based national government!

We urge you, dear readers, to make a quick visit to Mindanao.

Except from the well-known cities and urban centers like Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Gen. San, Cotabato, naku you’d be shocked there are spaces as far as your eyes can see that look like they have not been reached by civilization.

Ito ang rason kung bakit may mga Filipinos who want to secede from the Philippine mainland dominated by imperial Manila.

This over-centralization of power in Manila is also felt in many ways by some parts of Luzon.

Dito lang sa atin sa Pangasinan. Alam niyo ba na ang ating dalawang multi-billion power plants – Sual and San Roque — ay exempted from paying the required taxes to our province?

Naghihimutok si Mayor Bing Arcinue, mga abay! Mantakin nyo, singa kulangot so babayaran na Sual Power Plant ed Sual municipal gov’t. And it was because of President P-noy’s directive that short-changed the town of Sual!

It is this kind of anomaly that Duterte’s federalist movement seeks to correct.

At this point, it may interest you to know that Rody Duterte, foremost advocate of federalism these days, is coming to Dagupan on Feb. 16?

Venue of his Pangasinan date is our Lyceum Northwestern University, with University of Luzon of Engr. Macky Samson as co-host including some civic groups like the Rotary, the press and, others.

Duterte’s presidency, Federalism — these are fast becoming catch phrases in our country today.

At presstime, this column has readers in the Visayas and Mindanao, the likes of Ben Diansay, president of the Mindanao Integrated Journalists Association who has one daily and eight weeklies. He opined that the swapping of jackets between FVR and Duterte in a Davao affair may be symbolic. This is shared by our friends Dante Jimenez, Mon Tulfo, Jun Esperon, and Chito Dominguez.

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