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Timesman: Welcome back, Timesman!

It was as if I was in the old days of the first generation of the TIMES when I opened the opinion page of yesterday’s issue with a former editor and columnist… “Checking (in) whether the passion and the skills are still there,” the opening remarks in his column Publisher’s Notes.

But Pare Jess has only proved to our readers the generations’ belief that a Timesman is always a Timesman. Although he was not the first doing it.

Our prolific and witty columnist Dodong Al Loyola who became a lawyer, undefeated city councilor, and finally congressman of the undivided Davao City, also continued writing the column-Talk of the Times with the paper even when most of the time he was pondering laws in Congress. He died a Timesman at an early age of 47. The word Timesman is not a monopoly of this corner. Everyone who joined and left the paper was known as a Timesman.

Davao City’s respected journalist, a Datu Bago awardee, a lawyer, and former Editor-in-Chief Chuck Nunez filed an indefinite leave from the paper and became City Secretary under the Lopez administration but continued writing his column-Point of View.

He resigned as little mayor then and returned to the TIMES when he can no longer stomach the corruption he noted surrounding him in public office.

He also ran for city councilor in the second district but lost his first and last attempt as a politician after he admonished a group of voters while we were in a campaign sortie somewhere in Lasang for asking money in exchange for their votes.

“Punyeta, kaya nagkakaluko-luko ang buhay ninyo ay dahil ipinagbibili ninyo ang boto,” he angrily told his audience. He got zero votes in that barangay.

Josefina C. San Pedro resigned as manager and society columnist and became regional director of the Philippine Information Agency but rejoined the oldest newspaper as Publisher until her death.

Belated happy birthday pala to my Kuya Ading, Ate Fina’s husband who celebrated his 90th last Sunday with his children making the rounds of the city’s tourist spots. Pasensiya na Kuya, late na ako nasabihan.

There were many of them who chose to be a Timesmen at their final hour rather than be identified once in the government. Maybe the reason here is for the love of writing or maybe, it is more honorable to die with dignity and honesty while with the paper rather than in the public office.

Pare Jess follows the practice after his stint with the past three Presidents of the country. For sure he will not regret to be back where he started his life as a student, writer and successful career in the government.
And the other good news of his “I’m Back” pronouncement, the present TIMES composition will now continue to be in touch with the old generation in the person of Pare Jess. This writer who continuously serve the paper for almost six decades that earned me the title of being “Immortal” from associate editor Joel, will continue to write but temporarily change his point of view in writing from the local scenes to international events in the coming days while in the icy world.

Welcome back, Pare Jess and regards to Mare Beth!

-o0o-

The supposed evasion of the NAIA’s strict implementation of security measures by a certain businessman who posted on Facebook that he was able to leave the country despite having “three pending arrest warrants” and after being sentenced to five years in prison on September 30 last year is quite alarming.

I believe that the post might be a publicity hoax as Xian Gaza is the same guy who made headlines two years ago when he asked Davaoena actress Erich Gonzales for coffee using a billboard advertisement in Manila. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) should investigate just the same as Gaza is clearly using the BI as an escape goat for his publicity stunts.

If the guy really evaded the eagle eye of our authorities at the premier airport, why does he have to advertise it when he is now as free as a bird in another country? He may just contact this corner for his name to appear if he really is after publicity, in exchange for a cup of coffee he once offered to the sexy actress. Dah!

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