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Abandoned parents

This is a tragic story, happening in our midst and fast becoming a trend.

The story is about parents who live by themselves. Their sons and daughters live elsewhere and have lost all filial attachment to them.

Recently, a friend, a widow, was found dead in her one-bedroom condominium unit. She had been living by herself for so many years. Her daughters were all in the United States.

A friend called her one morning, but there was no answer.  She called the widow’s son who had the doors opened.  The death was attributed to her diabetes.

A former classmate of my wife at UP is also living on her own in the ground floor of a rented one-room home.  Her dog lives with her.

I accompanied my wife and some of their classmates when they visited her.  It was pitiful to see her in that condition—used plates were piled on top of one another, and the air had a putrid smell.

A relative also used to live alone in a condominium even when her married children were living comfortably in Metro Manila. She died recently.

Yet another case is that of a couple, one suffering from dementia and the other of some incapacity. One child visits, occasionally. They have a helper but she’s only a teenager. A son supposedly makes a lot of money, but he could not even hire a caregiver for his parents.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development should do something about this.  This should be a government priority!

My wife and I are blessed because we are now living with our only daughter. 

* * *

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Aaron Aquino must be hallucinating when he said that the PDEA is aiming to make 5,000 barangays drug-free. By the end of President Duterte’s term, the country would be free of drugs, he said. 

Last year, the PDEA rattled off numbers that seem to say barangays were becoming drug-free. Obviously, Aquino is an amateur. For as long as there is demand for illegal drugs, foreign cartels would always be ready to supply that demand. 

I speak from experience.  I used to be with DARE Foundation, a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol dependents.

I know for a fact that the community has to be involved in rehabilitation, that it takes no less than a year to rehabilitate drug users, and only around 75 percent are successfully rehabilitated. 

Still, it is good that it is PDEA, not the Philippine National Police, that is at the forefront of the fight against drugs.There are fewer instances of drug-related killings.

* * *

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque now says that there will be no need for mid-term elections in 2019 if people ratified a new Constitution. Otherwise, there is no reason to stop the scheduled polls. 

Can Congress amend the Constitution before 2019? Since there is need for a transition period—from amending the Constitution to actually restructuring the government—how will this be handled?

Santa Banana, anything can happen if Congress pushes through with amending the Constitution through constituent assembly. This is why I said earlier that Congress seems to be pushing  the country to the edge. 

President Duterte must do something about this. He has the support of the people—he could do whatever he pleases. 

* * *

Eric Canoy, chairman of the Radio Mindanao Network, is now the president of the Manila Overseas Press Club. 

Tony Lopez, publisher of the weekly BizNews-Asia magazine, will continue to be MOPC chairman and Maloli Espinosa Supnet will take the place of Canoy as secretary. Nelia Gonzales will continue to be MOPC treasurer. 

Topics: Abandoned parents

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