By Atty. Farah G. Decano
THIS is how I would call the past few days.
Let us start with Republican Presidential re-electionist Donald Trump refusing to concede defeat to Democrat, Joe Biden. So far, he has been blocking the certification of election results in three states: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona on the ground of fraud. Pro-Trump memes sprouted in social media suggesting a very familiar scenario about the elections that is too close to home: the dead -yes, those who have been buried six feet underground, – voting.
The electorate’s frenzy over the recent 2020 US Election inspired a voters’ turn out that was touted as the highest in a hundred years. Citizen participation in this year’s selection process even surpassed that excitable and equally divisive 2008 polls when the Americans catapulted to power their first Black President, Barrack Obama. The latter defeated Republican Senator John McCain in their quest for the most powerful position in the world. Unlike President Trump, however, Senator Mc Cain was quick to accept his loss and delivered one of the most memorable concession speech in American history. Like a good citizen of the USA, he praised the election results that proved, “America is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time.” The bigotry referred to by Senator Mc Cain was the outrage from various quarters when President Theodore Roosevelt invited to the White House, the Black American educator, Booker T. Washington. With the calmness of a good father, Senator Mc Cain then urged his loyal followers to throw their support to the new president, acknowledged their efforts, advised them not to blame themselves for the setback, and said, “And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.”
The imagery of Mc Cain leaving the emotional crowd by his lonesome in a car which he, himself, drove was very powerful. It bespoke of his humility. He didn’t see the need to agitate his enthusiasts for the purpose of saving his pride.
Trump’s continued refusal to concede is not a first time in American history. But, given his present fighting stance, we are getting closer to what may be another first, although still is a very, very remote possibility – an acting President who is a woman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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Another tempestuous but a chilling event is the battery of Luzon by Typhoon Ulysses. We have been seeing inundation of biblical proportions in various parts of Luzon, especially in Marikina and Rizal. We need to give credit to Marikina for having installed early warning and evacuation systems during disastrous occasions similar to 2009’s Ondoy. Frequently calamity stricken local government units (LGUs) due to location and topography, like Dagupan City, may have intensified efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disaster but the effects of environmental degradation cannot be prevented by these LGUs if the causes are beyond their jurisdiction. The national government must step up in installing a more unified, harmonious and effective disaster response in all the LGUs. We may have all the modernized early warning systems, the most technologically advanced communications and the latest vehicles such as speedboats, ambulances and helicopters for rescue but if we don’t directly address the causes, all these endeavors would be put to naught. The government must review its policies. How much importance, in terms of resources, has it allocated in directly alleviating nature’s wrath?
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Just when Typhoon Ulysses was wreaking havoc in Central Luzon, the NCR and the Bicol Region, another disastrous news shocked the country. While on duty, a very young judge was allegedly shot to death by the branch clerk of court. Reports say that the latter killed himself afterwards. The late Judge Tessa Abadilla was a UP Portia sorority sister whose reputation as a legal erudite, kind and gentle person precedes her.
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