June 27, 2017, 10:12 pm
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Indefatigable

FOR a man his age, 72, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong sure has a lot of energy. 
His whirlwind trip of three successive state visits to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar would have exhausted one who is a lot younger. But up to the last night of his trip, he didn’t show any sign of fatigue. (When he arrived at NAIA at dawn yesterday, it was reported that he was to proceed to Batangas for the wake of a soldier slain by the Abu Sayyaf in a Bohol encounter.)
To me, it is obvious Digong was animated and energized by the reception he got not only from his hosts but perhaps, more so, from the reception that our OFWs accorded him – the love and appreciation they showed him which may be attributed simply to his sincerity to serve and protect the welfare and interests of the Filipino nation. 
Incidentally, in all his remarks before the OFWs in the three countries he visited, Digong kept harping on the unlawful acts allegedly committed by the Inquirer and ABS-CBN.
The people, including friends and foes of the two companies, will be watching very closely what action the government will take against the two, just as they are waiting for the promised action on the anomalies committed by the previous administration, e.g., the Mamasapano Massacre, the DAP, the Yolanda funds, etc., ad nauseam.

SABER-RATTLING

While the nation was preoccupied with the observance of the Holy Week, something of grave importance to the world was taking place.
After failing to secure a commitment from his guest, Chinese President Xi Jinping, to do more about North Korea’s nuclear program during their summit meeting in Florida recently, US President Donald Trump said he would deal on his own with the matter. It “will be taken care of”, he said.
Then, Trump rained 59 cruise missiles on a military air base in Syria in retaliation for the poison gas attack allegedly by the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad that killed 92 people on Syrian rebel-held territory in the northern part of the country. 
The US move elicited a very negative reaction from Russia, Syria’s ally. Russia also subsequently vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the poison gas attack. 
A short while later, the US dropped for the first time ever the so-called “Mother of all Bombs” (MOAB), the largest non-nuclear weapon of the US military, on an area in eastern Afghanistan where the Islamic State (IS) has built a network of tunnels and caves.
To top it all, Trump sent a flotilla of US warships to the vicinity of the Korean peninsula.
All these US moves, the bombing of a Syrian military air base, the bombing of the IS lair in Afghanistan through the use of the MOAB and the sending of the warships, were viewed by both North Korea and China as a sort of warning that the US might launch an attack against the former. 
Whether that view is accurate or not, only the US knows of course.
At almost the same time, the North Koreans put on display an array of her weapon arsenal during a parade honoring the 105th birth anniversary of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
“We’re prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks,” said ChoeRyong-Hae, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s closest aide, before the military parade started.
According to an Agence France Presse (AFP) report, China warned that war over North Korea could break out “at any moment” 
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov saying that the common goal of the two nations was to “bring all the parties back to the negotiating table. He was referring to the stalled six-party (China, Russia, US, Japan, South Korea and North Korea) talks over North Korea’s nuclear program.
“China is ready to coordinate closely with Russia to help cool down as quickly as possible the situation on the peninsula and encourage the parties concerned to resume dialogue,” Wang told Lavrov.
“Preventing war and chaos on the peninsula meets common interests,” he added.
Let us hope and pray that cooler heads will prevail and a peaceful resolution of the looming danger ahead will be found. The alternative is unthinkable.

DEL ROSARIO

DFA ex-secretary Albert “Super Amboy” del Rosario said Digong should be careful about making off-the-cuff remarks like selling to China areas in the South China Sea that belong to us “maybe when we get rich, very rich”.
That’s the problem with Del Rosario. He takes such remarks, described by Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella as “lighthearted” seriously. Para may masabilang?
One thing is for sure, Digong is no fool. He is not a lawyer for nothing. He knows what he said is not possible under the law. Everybody understood he was merely being facetious – except Del Rosario.
Pray tell, under whose watch did we lose Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal – for free(?)?
***
Today is the 358th day of the tenth year of Jonas Burgos’ enforced disappearance.
The family and friends of Jonas hope that the Duterte administration will not be part of the continuing cover-up. The Burgos family implores Digong to haul the perpetrators to justice and bring Jonas back home even with the appointment of Gen. Eduardo Ano as AFP chief who was implicated in the abduction of Jonas almost ten years ago.
***
From an internet friend:
Six retired Floridians were playing poker in the condo clubhouse when Meyerwitz loses $500 on a single hand, clutches his chest, and drops dead at the table. Showing respect for their fallen comrade, the other five continue playing standing up. 
Finkelstein looks around and asks, “So, who’s gonna tell his wife?” They cut cards. Goldberg picks the two of clubs and has to carry the news. They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, don’t make a bad situation any worse. 
“Discreet? I’m the most discreet person you’ll ever meet. Discretion is my middle name. Leave it to me.” 
Goldberg goes over to the dead man’s apartment and knocks on the door. His wife answers through the door and asks what he wants? Goldberg declares: “Your husband just lost $500 in a Poker game and is afraid to come home. 
“Tell him to drop dead!” yells the wife. 
***
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