Indeed, the indomitable Filipino spirit lives on!
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2013 - 12:00am

I have never met Rep. Manny “Pacman” Paquiao so I cannot say that we are friends. However what Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares has done to him was truly what they call in boxing lingo…”Below the belt.” What else could it be?

Why did Kim Henares allow this thing to happen just when the Pacman was coming home from his fight in Macau in triumph? In my book the timing of Kim Henares looks very premeditated. Why couldn’t she wait for a week or two before dropping this bombshell on the Pacman? Why the unnecessary haste? Why didn’t she do this a month before the fight?

But tongues are wagging… with the Aquino Government embattled due to the unexpected exposure by the international media of their unpreparedness and incompetence in dealing with super typhoon Yolanda, netizens are saying that the BIR announcement of freezing the bank accounts of the Pacman certainly grabbed the front pages, away from the government’s bungling of the disaster relief efforts.

Now, while BIR’s Kim Henares insists that the Pacman should pay his taxes, I fully concur with her  that no one is exempted from paying taxes. After all, as Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Of course, the Pacman and his promoter Bob Arum insist that they have paid the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States. I have to believe this two guys because their boxing matches are internationally publicized and I’m sure that the dogs of the IRS would never allow them to taste that prize money without first getting their cut for the US Federal Government, otherwise the Pacman might have become another Al Capone! So what now?

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One great article that I read from The Philippine STAR, I kept for posterity. It was last Wednesday’s Feature entitled “Indomitable Spirit” written by Hazel Zeta-Dy Tioco and on the next page an article entitled “A Tragedy that brought out the Best in Filipinos” by Camille Bersola. I kept it because someday, these are the articles that our future generations would read as part of our history that Filipinos are truly a people of God. On the other side of this coin, it also showed the sheer incompetence of our political leadership whom now we know cannot be counted on in times of disasters.

My good friend Andrew Co emailed me the story of 11-year-old Rizza Flores from Tacloban City who broke her leg at the height of the storm surge when super typhoon Yolanda struck. When news reach the friends of Rizza that a group called Medical Teams International  (MTI), a Christian charity organization set up a clinic in a nearby town, 4 boys carried her on their backs and walked five hours over rubble to reach the doctors in MTI.

Upon reaching the clinic, the MTI doctors realized the severity of her injury and drove her back to Tacloban City and a businessman Philip Romualdez offered his personal helicopter and flew her to Cebu City where she is now at the Chong Hua Hospital. It was her 12th birthday when her leg was operated on. These are just some of the few gallant stories that we’ve gathered that showed the heroism of the Filipino in times of disaster.

Meanwhile, I laud the two NGOs, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and the Aboitiz Foundation (AF) for their relentless efforts to send relief goods to Northern Cebu and to Leyte. My son Capt. JV has been texting me that he met RAFI volunteers almost everywhere he went in Western Leyte. Meanwhile the Aboitiz Foundation has reached 94% of its goal of coming up with a P200 million donation, getting already P188 million from various donors that allowed them to pack 52,000 in relief goods that have already been sent to Northern Cebu and Leyte. May God bless them all.

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Last Thursday, Nov. 28, I’d like to announce the passing to eternal life of my uncle, Col. Manuel F. Segura (Ret) who died at the Asian Hospital at 3:30 a.m. from cardiogenic shock secondary to acute myocardial disease. He was 94 years old. Tio Manning as we fondly called the brother of my mother was a genuine highly decorated war hero…having served with the Cebu Area Command (CAC) under Col. James Cushing, an American miner who waged a guerrilla war with the Japanese occupiers in the mountain fastness of Cebu.

Cebuanos never knew how the war was fought in Cebu because no one wrote about the exploits of the guerrillas. Thankfully in 1975, Tio Manning wrote his first book, “Tabunan: The Untold Story of the Famed Cebu Guerrillas of World War II.” Then he wrote “The Koga Papers” in 1992 on the capture of Rear Admiral Shigeru Fukudome Chief of Staff of Admiral Mineichi Koga who took over the Command of the Japanese Combined Imperial Fleet. Cebuano guerrillas captured the highest Japanese officer of the Pacific war.

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com.

 

A TRAGEDY ABOITIZ FOUNDATION AL CAPONE ANDREW CO KIM HENARES PACMAN TACLOBAN CITY TIO MANNING
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