Remembering 9/11 18 years ago

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Today is one of the most unforgettable days of the year as 18 years ago, on what is now known as 9/11, two commercial airliners were hijacked by Middle Eastern terrorists who then crashed them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Video coverage of the second plane crashing into the tower showed it on satellite TV for all the world to see. The whole world saw America literally under terrorist attack.

As it turned out, the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center was just the beginning of this terror attack, two other planes were crashed in the Pentagon in Washington DC and supposedly the White House, but the passengers apparently took control of the plane and it crashed into the ground. All told, some 2,996 people were killed in 9/11.

Since that time, I have been to New York City twice and the Americans apparently wanted to memorialize this incident and made the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The original site of the twin towers have been replaced by twin waterfalls and when you go down to the basement, you will see many artifacts of that infamous day, including the original foundation of the twin towers and two fire trucks that were destroyed when the twin towers collapsed.

It is a fact that so many people cannot forget 9/11 simply because it was suppertime and people watched TV and witnessed this gruesome terrorist attack. As for me, there are only two incidents that I consider unforgettable; when I first heard that US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the other was when we got home and saw the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. Hence 9/11 for me will always be unforgettable.

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Yesterday, we wrote an article seeking for a charter change in order to change the 1987 Constitution into one that can truly change our political landscape. Apparently we learned that today, a Congressional committee chaired by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez set a new hearing to discuss the economic benefits of Charter Change.

Apparently, Rep. Rodriguez appealed to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to appoint majority of the 55-member committee so it can start discussing the measures the House has referred to it. The panel has only 19 members. The House would have to name nine more members for the committee to begin working. The House of Representatives committee on constitutional amendments will again try to tackle proposals to amend the Constitution to pave the way for the eventual relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions of land and businesses.

The Congressional committee will discuss six charter change proposals; three of these measures seek to introduce changes in the economic provisions of the Constitution. Their authors are Rodriguez, deputy speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco. They are proposing the insertion of the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in 11 parts of the Charter that have to do with limiting foreign ownership of land and businesses, including media, telecommunications, and educational institutions. Of course, we are unsure whether or not this charter change will ensure new foreign investments into the economy. Let’s hope this measure passes in the 18th Congress.

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I first read this story in the Facebook page of my good friend, Bobi Tiglao, who wrote it in his column that apparently things aren’t turning well for former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch administration critic-turned-professor in the University of the Philippines, because his former ally, Atty. Jude Sabio now claims that Trillianes recruited him to be the legal counsel for Peter Joemel Advincula also known as “Bikoy”, the supposed producer of the video “Ang Totoong Narcolist” which declared that the family of Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte was involved in illegal drugs.

There is no doubt in my mind that the video was created to paint a dark image of Pres. Duterte, but in the end, Bikoy was found out to have done a similar video against then Pres. PNoy Aquino during his term as president. So now the plot thickens. What we would like to see is for the Department of Justice to effect the arrest of former senator Trillanes so that Atty. Sabio or Bikoy can link him to this false propaganda against the family of Pres. Duterte. Justice must be done swiftly!

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