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Opinion

Sara’s party

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio recently said that the party she formed, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, won’t support the possible tandem of Bong Go-Digong Duterte.

A faction of the PDP-Laban has nominated President Rodrigo Duterte as its vice presidential candidate in the 2022 elections, with Sen. Lawrence Christopher Go being eyed as standard-bearer.

Sara D. Carpio, Digong’s daughter, said PDP-Laban will not get support from Hugpong.

“I will not share my light this time,” the feisty mayor said.

If Sara thinks that Hugpong is a very strong party, she’s being presumptuous.

The mayor should be told that charisma, which her father oozes with, is non-transferable.

Sara should be told that she enjoys popularity because of her father, and not on her account.

She may have had a hand in the ouster of Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker of the House of Representatives and the installation of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but that’s only because of her father’s followers in the Lower House.

Sara’s Hugpong suffered humiliation in Davao del Norte during the mid-term 2019 elections when the gubernatorial candidate that she backed, Rodney del Rosario of the Del Rosario-Floirendo political clan, lost heavily to Edwin Jubahib, a former bus conductor.

Yes, you heard right: a former bus conductor!

Jubahib was supported by Davao del Norte Congressman Alvarez, the ousted House speaker.

Alvarez, in turn, beat Antonio del Rosario, who Sara also campaigned for in the Davao del Norte congressional district.

*      *      *

The law that President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte signed recently which allows firefighters to carry guns is irrational and illogical.

Firefighters – bombero in Filipino – are not law enforcers, so why should they carry guns to the scene of a fire?

Unless he wants to protect himself from irate citizens who might catch him looting a burning home or store, then a bombero should carry a gun.

Unless he wants Chinese-Filipino (Tsinoy) firefighting volunteers to lay off a burning structure, then a government firefighter should carry a gun to hold the volunteers at bay while he and his fellow firefighters engage in looting.

*      *      *

Ask citizens in Metro Manila who became fire victims: who’s the first to arrive at the fire scene?

Chances are, they will tell you the first responders are volunteers in fire trucks with Chinese markings.

The volunteers take the backseat when government firefighters arrive even if they got to the scene first.

“Gobiyerno kami, Tsekwa lang kayo (We’re government, you’re only Chinks),” firefighters tell volunteers trying to help.

I covered fires as a police reporter, but I didn’t hear complaints of looting by Tsinoy volunteers, or volunteers demanding owners of burning buildings to give them money first before they would train their hose on the fire.

Most of the looters, ironically, were government firefighters.

My friend, whose house was in danger of being engulfed by a fire in his neighborhood in Valenzuela years ago, pleaded with a firefighter to train his hose on his house to prevent it from catching fire.

The firefighter said, “Ano’ng sa akin dito (What’s in it for me here)?”

“Akong bahala sa iyo mamaya (I’ll take care of you later),” he said, prompting quick action.

Another friend, a Tsinoy, saw with his own eyes firefighters trying to pry open his safe in his room but stopped when they saw him.

Did he report the attempted looting? No, he said, “I didn’t lose anything.”

*      *      *

The pandemic has not only affected businesses, it has also affected mental health.

All psychiatric clinics are full in all parts of the world, with people suffering from depression, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It’s not only in the Philippines where people suffer from depression, anxiety disorder and PTSD; it’s all over the world. All psychiatric offices and clinics are full every single day,” said a psychiatrist friend.

The psychiatric friend told me it would take a week or two before she could attend to an individual who seeks “intervention.”

“There are just too many people seeking counseling, Mon,” said my friend who is a member of the American Psychiatric Society.

There are 600 psychiatrists in the Philippines, but only 30 are in active practice; so, one can imagine the high ratio between doctor and patient.

I asked my friend why some of her patients have PTSD, when it’s supposed to affect the mental health of soldiers who saw their comrades die in combat.

Many of her PTSD patients, the psychiatrist said, have lost close relatives and friends to COVID-19.

Many of her patients, she said, suffer from depression because of lost jobs or closed businesses.

Young people, particularly students and young professionals, are stricken with anxiety disorders because they are overworked.

*      *      *

Joke, joke, joke!

A primary school teacher asked her pupils about their ambitions. This was in an area in the US where Mexican-Americans were dominant in the local population.

Maria: Teacher, when I grow up, I will be a doctor and treat sick people, so I can earn lots and lots of money.

Petra: I will be an accountant in a big office and earn lots and lots of money.

Juanito: I will become an engineer, to build roads and bridges and earn lots and lots of money.

Pedrito: Teacher, when I grow up, I will grow hairs all over my body and earn lots and lots of money.

Teacher: Pedrito, that’s not an ambition. I want you to tell your classmates what you want to be when you grow up, so you can earn lots and lots of money.

Pedrito: But, Teacher, my sister, she only has a scrap of hair and she does not work, but she earns lots and lots of money.

SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO
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