Great news for Cebuanos

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

I mentioned that the time has come for Congress as a unified body to call for changes in the 1987 Constitution for the Philippines and I dare say that it is high time to honor President Rodrigo Duterte as our first president for a parliamentary form of government with the Speaker of the House as prime minister with powers as head of State. Like so many European nations, they are all parliamentary in form. However, with President Duterte enjoying historic height in his surveys, he deserves to be declared president as we never had a president with a popularity rating that has reached record levels. As I wrote before, no member in the United Nations can boast of having the numbers that President Duterte has ever achieved.

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Last Monday, I wrote about what is happening with the Bureau of Internal Revenue these days because I just heard from so many friends that the BIR is literally hitting on many businesses despite the fact that so many businesses suffered during the pandemic. What really surprised me was a text message that I got from Rep. Ade Sitoy, presidential liaison officer: “Bobit, Your Freeman column today is timey and consoling to Cebuano businessmen who are harassed by the BIR Regional Director who is out to collect and collect in disregard to procedural assessment. I have received many complaints against him…Kudos!” Perhaps Ade Sitoy should report this case to Atty. Greco Belgica who heads the Anti-Corruption Office in Malacañang.

If not for the IATF-promoted lockdown, businesses would have never suffered the way they did. I also heard that this BIR director was supposed to have been transferred by now but he made an appeal to stay, which was approved, so now he is hitting on many businessmen. He doesn’t realize that many businessmen are connected to the Duterte government in one way or another, which is why this BIR director should take it easy otherwise he’d end up in a hot spot.

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 After giving you some bad news, there is good news in the Vatican as a Cebuano priest has been named by Pope Francis as papal chaplain or a member of the Papal household.  This was given to Msgr. Jan Thomas Limchua, nephew of Tatay Dodong Limchua of CCTN. Mgr. Jan Limchua finished his theological studies at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Cebu last 2010. He was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness as a priest to whom the Pope has granted this title. They are addressed as Monsignor and have certain privileges with respect to ecclesiastical dress and vestments.

Msgr. Jan Thomas Limchua, was assigned as a papal representative in Egypt until this year. He earned his doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and underwent his diplomatic formation at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Diplomatic school of the Holy See. He then entered the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See last 2014, serving the Apostolic Nunciature in Benin and Togo (West Africa) and in Egypt.

Earlier this year, Limchua was also appointed as an official of the Section for the Relations with States of the Holy See by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, His Eminence Pietro Cardinal Parolin. The appointment is considered an honor for the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Limchua is the third Cebuano to enter the diplomatic service. The other two are Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to Korea, and his brother Archbishop Francisco Padilla, the Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala.

Another good news for Cebu was the swearing into the Swiss Guard of half-Cebuano Vincent Lüthi, who was among the 38 new recruits who took oath of allegiance to Pope Francis in the Vatican on October 4. While his father is Swiss, his mother comes from Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island. The Swiss Guards is an elite corps of soldiers who protect the pope that has been around for hundreds of years. The 22-year-old Luthi grew up in Cugy, Switzerland and the only child of a Swiss father and a Filipino mother from Santa Fe town on Bantayan Island in Cebu province.

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For email responses to this article, write to [email protected] His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com

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