Put an end to nuclear arms
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - August 11, 2020 - 12:00am

Yes, we mourn the passing of former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim who died last Saturday at the age of 90. Mayor Lim was known as the Philippines’ “Dirty Harry” because of his tough stance against crime when he was a police official and later as head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). I knew Mayor Lim because he was a good friend of my mentor, the late Sir Max V. Soliven, and we often see each other in many events that both Sir Max and I attended.

When he was mayor, his way of fighting the illegal drugs scourge was to paint the homes of drug peddlers with signs that warn people that drug pushers lived in those homes. I guess that made him more known as Dirty Harry. May we ask our pious readers to pray for the repose of his soul.

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First off, allow me to reprint comments on my Aug. 9 column on the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“Dear Sir, Thank you for your interesting article in today’s online version of the Philstar as referred to above. It was a welcome change from other opinion pieces and news articles about you know what, the Virus! I went to Hiroshima 4 years ago as part of a cruise ship vacation. Whilst I really enjoyed it, I had the same eerie feelings you experienced.

“I am reading the Philstar online everyday, as I am stuck here in Perth, Western Australia, unable to return to the Philippines and, more specifically, the Greenfields area of Mandaluyong where, for the last 3 years, I would normally enjoy my daily Starbucks coffee at the Rockwell Business center, whilst reading The Philippine STAR and religiously complete the Sudoku.

“I feel really sad for the poorer people of the Philippines, even though they are resilient and will still smile when this virus pandemic is all over, I know how hard it is for so many to just have money to buy food to eat and feed their families. I get angry when I see people receiving generous welfare payments here in Australia, still complaining and demanding more. I’m not a social welfare expert, I’m just a human being. Anyway, thank you again for your opinion piece, it was great reading. Ingat po. Best Regards Jonathan W Wood”

Thanks for this letter of support, Mr. Wood.

Next we got a text message from my dear friend, Ernest Villareal of AEV. “Bai, a very nice write up on Cebu Jap surrender and your Hiroshima/Nagasaki visits: Very touching note, re. Double rainbow. It is boring to read the same issues from different columnists. You always come from a different road. I always look forward to your write-ups. Thanks, Ernest.”

Mind you, last Thursday, the History Channel came up with a documentary on the 75th Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was only then did I realize that after the Japanese surrendered that the Americans sent a medical team not to attend to the Japanese people who survived the bombing, but rather to assess the damage of the nuclear bomb and study the effect of radiation on the Japanese civilians that survived the nuclear holocaust.

The team was led by Mr. Philip Morrison, a professor of physics who helped build the atom bomb with the Manhattan Project. He helped load both atomic bombs into the B-29s and when Japan surrendered, he led the team to assess the bomb damage and look at the medical conditions of the Japanese survivors. No, they were not sent to treat the wounded, but rather look into what the radiation has done to the survivors.

Americans were euphoric that the two Japanese cities that were nuked by the atom bomb ended World War II quickly. However, Mr. Morrison’s study on the effects of the radiation was never published and so he became a champion of nuclear nonproliferation. He wrote for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and helped found the Federation of American Scientists and the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. These studies prove beyond doubt that the bigger problem with a nuclear bomb is not the explosion itself, but the bad effects of the radiation. This is why there are now many groups who are against the use of nuclear bombs.

Yes, I’m very much against the use of nuclear arms and we should dismantle them.

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At last, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has issued an executive order allowing all churches to be opened to the public with a seating capacity of churchgoers at 10 percent of total capacity of the church. Actually, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) only approved 10 people to go to church regardless of the size of the church. Of course, the religious denominations were asked to strictly observe minimum public health standards like the wearing a face mask and social distancing. Also hygienic necessities on the premises are advised. Visit to open air memorial parks and cemeteries is also allowed, but is limited only to a maximum of 10 people per group. At least this was decided together with church officials!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

ALFREDO LIM NBI
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