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Friday, June 14, 2024

Medical bulletin

"The people care about the President’s health."

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Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and presidential spokesman Harry Roque insist that President Duterte is fit to finish his term in 2022. They say both of them are with Duterte almost every day.

Their words are a testimonial to the President’s health, indeed. But Go and Roque are not doctors.

Only a medical bulletin from Malacanang will assure the people that our leader is truly healthy. This bulletin should be made periodically to end all speculation about the President's health, Santa Banana!

Malacanang should be grateful that the public cares about Duterte’s health. Filipinos want their President to be healthy and strong to withstand the problems and challenges he has to face. This should not be taken in the negative way.

Personally, at my age (I’ll be 93 years old on September 15), I can say that a man of 75 years, like Duterte, is already experiencing all the aches and pains of getting old. I was 75 when my old sickness of asthma caught up with me. 

My doctors told me that I was prone to bronchial sickness, including pneumonia, “an old man’s best friend.” They prescribed about a dozen maintenance pills which I take morning and night. 

* * *

I was taken aback last Monday with a newspaper headline that said Meralco could lose its franchise because of what it did in billing its customers during the Enhanced Community Quarantine. This resulted in many complaints to the Energy Regulatory Board.

My gulay, the quarantine is precisely why Meralco had to bill its customers everything, resulting in the billings surging of consumer bills, resulting in the P19 million penalty from the ERB.

Now comes a senator saying that the penalty should be P300 million.

I don’t know how this  senator came up with that number, but I believe the penalty is sufficient. The consolidation of the Meralco bills was the result of force majeure. Santa Banana, how can anybody blame Meralco when it was impossible for its meter readers to go around?

The ridiculous part of it was the comparison of the Meralco franchise with that of the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN radio and television franchise. The House denied the latter because of so many charges brought against the network.

Personally, I don’t think that Meralco committed any wrong. Meralco is even willing to pay its P19-million penalty. So, what’s the beef?

It is ridiculous to claim that the Meralco’s franchise may take the same path as that of ABS-CBN. The House denied the network’s franchise because of so many violations—in fact, the National Telecommunication Commission listed them all. The worst was the commission of fraud, and violation of the anti-dummy law when the Lopezes had dummy Channel 43 air their programs and use network towers. The NTC found that Channel 43 had no equipment for that purpose.

So, I ask this question: Did Meralco commit any violation of its franchise? If none, so what’s this senator even talking about?

* * *

As of this writing, President Duterte has not yet decided whether to extend the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) which the National Capital Region and some provinces nearby are now under.

Speculation is rife that the President may extend the GCQ for many reasons. A return to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine  would adversely affect the economy, which is already on its knees. The pandemic has brought the country to a recession.

Other reasons advanced by those who know is that a return to MECQ could result in the loss of jobs of millions of people, and loss of livelihood.

In fact, most of the mayors in Metro Manila have appealed to the President for the continuation of GCQ.

* * *

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin, after the blacklisting of 24 Chinese state-owned companies that participated in the militarization of disputed territory, said he would recommend the termination of the contracts of such companies with the Philippines.

Among those blacklisted firms is the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) which has a joint venture with Lucio Tan’s MacroAsia for the development of this Sangley Point Airport in Cavite.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remula said that if the Sangley Point project would be affected, he would also be willing to terminate the project.

This raises the question of sanctity of contacts, Santa Banana! Can the Duterte government do it without raising a howl from the Chinese government?


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