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Opinion

A worldwide phenomenon

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

The latest Pulse Asia survey grades the 100-day-old administration of President Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos with a -11 percent net approval rating when it comes to controlling inflation.

Inflation is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s been brought about mostly because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Soaring prices for all commodities – triggered by steep increases in the price of fuel – are being brought to bear on all the countries of the world.

Even in the US, President Joe Biden’s rating has gone down to 30 percent from a high of 82 percent in controlling inflation.

The low rating comes despite the US dollar’s strong standing among all the other currencies in the world.

So, blaming BBM for his inability to control inflation is like blaming a man handicapped with an arthritic knee for running at a slow pace.

*      *      *

On the other hand, BBM has a +75 percent approval rating in responding to the needs of areas affected by recent calamities; +74 percent in controlling the spread of COVID-19; +65 percent in protecting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers and +58 percent in fighting criminality.

The above ratings are very high, considering that BBM is still practically groping in the dark because he’s new at the job.

The ratings are expected to go up further as BBM becomes familiar with the terrain, so to speak.

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The 100-day-old administration of President Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos told the world, in effect, that it should not meddle in the country’s internal affairs and that it should be left alone when it comes to human rights issues.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said: “What we ask of you, the Human Rights Council and partners, is to listen to us, to understand the context of our challenges – beside us on the ground, not above us from afar. To trust that we know best what is good for our people and to work with us to realize the vision of human rights and justice for all.”

Remulla spoke during the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Philippines for the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC)’s Enhanced Dialogue on the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland.

The world should not treat the Philippines like a child that should be taught about human rights, because we are a civilized and humane society.

*      *      *

The assassination of radio personality Percival Mabasa, a.k.a Percy Lapid, was most probably due to his hard-hitting commentaries on corruption in government and society.

The mastermind could be a government official or a drug or gambling lord whose toes Lapid stepped on.

As usual, the police will just go through the motions of finding the gunmen and ferreting out the mastermind. That’s quite a tall order.

And then, they will stop after news about Lapid’s killing dies down.

That’s how it is in this country. It’s the usual ningas cogon (a brush fire that dies down as fast as it spreads) habit.

*      *      *

Sen. Risa Hontiveros was on target when she said that the proposed allocation by Congress of P150 million for the confidential or intelligence fund for the Department of Education is an anomaly.

Hontiveros said that the proposed intelligence fund for the DepEd is bigger than the budget of P141 million for the intelligence fund of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).

“Any intelligence operation that DepEd might conduct (if ever) would be redundant. We already have existing national security, national defense, law enforcement, even women and children protection government bodies and programs,” said the lady senator.

Let’s leave the fund for snooping around to intelligence agents, and not to teachers and education officials.

*      *      *

A proposal to continue funding the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) is highly anomalous and even scandalous, as APECO is a white elephant.

For the benefit of members of Congress who propose giving APECO a P186-million budget for the 2023 fiscal year, a “white elephant” is defined in the dictionary as “a property requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit.”

“Yielding little profit” is a phrase that should be highlighted when talking about APECO.

Sen. JV Ejercito says that the government has so far allocated P2 billion for APECO in the past 14 years; and yet, it only earned P72 million in that time.

Somebody in Congress is lying through his teeth when he said that there are 12 locators in APECO, when in fact not a single one of them exists.

The Commission on Audit, in its 2021 report, said that APECO officials could not point to a single locator in the economic zone.

The COA said APECO officials could not justify the millions of pesos being spent on the freeport zone.

Some people have been absconding with the APECO funds all these years. They should be sent to jail, no matter how high they are in the House of Representatives or Senate.

*      *      *

Commission on Audit chairman Jose Calida and presidential spokesperson Trixie Cruz-Angeles have resigned from their respective positions for “health reasons.”

Methinks Trixie is as strong and healthy as a bull, so her health is not an issue.

On the other hand, Calida’s deteriorating health has forced him to hang up his gloves.

Calida, a lawyer, can’t even go into private practice in retirement. Don’t ask me why.

*      *      *

If an investigation will be conducted concerning the highly impossible number of winners (433) for the jackpot draw worth P236 million in the recent Grand Lotto, the probers should determine what the winners have in common.

For example, do they belong to a religious group?

And what made all of them bet on the winning combination of numbers at the same time?

How is it possible that all the winners had the same numbers in mind when tickets were being sold?

PULSE ASIA

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