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Publisher’s Notes: I’m back!

After a few years of abandoning what I love most doing since I was a high school kid from the “boondocks” of Davao, I’m now checking whether the passion and the skills are still there — for writing (nah, not secret love letters anymore . No secrets now at this time and age as singer Jim Paredes himself painfully discovered (…when his video intended only for his private “partner” went viral for everyone in the world to see. Shhhhhhhh!)


Before, when I was an active journalist many many years ago, (  no doubt I am still a “millenial” now  — but of the ‘60s!! ) only writers, broadcasters and media persons like me had the exclusivity then to inform (or to disinform), to give accurate news ( or fake news),   to entertain or criticize, to interpret (or misinterpret) events and facts. Today, with the onset of technology, they cannot claim that exclusivity anymore. Everyone is a “writer” and can “publish” facts and his thoughts, instantly and publicly through the so-called “social media “.  So many players and self-installed “writers” now in the field.
But journalists and media reporters will survive and prevail. Why?
Simple: because their calling requires them that they verify and re-check their facts and is expected to report only what is accurate and true. Unless one writes an opinion column, ( like what I do now) a reporter is expected not to inject his own take, impression or position on facts that he writes about. That’s the old-fashioned role of a media reporter , and still valid  up to this day and age.
Today’s world is changing and exciting indeed! Anyone who has  a phone can post, share, reshare anything without the least verifying or at the least checking   authenticity and factuality.


There are many challenges to work on, now that the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is born. Like new-born babes, we have to nurture it while at its infancy until it’s weened from chilhood to teen aged then to adulthood. There are no instant magical ways but taking things step by step, peace-by-piece as i always say. We need everyone to help. And stay the course with us.
So for the critics and the doubters, including those “fence-sitters”, please manage your expectations! And please, do help!! Unmet expectations may result to more problematic scenarios.
Let’s give this a chance to work. This may be our last and only chance, after all else failed.


Although I have officially left government and now  back again in the private sector, I have not left our almost-never ending work for peace.
I have returned to my post as President/CEO of Advocacy Mindanao Foundation, Inc. which is now my platform to carry on helping in my own modest way bring about sustainable peace and somehow help improve the lives of others. As I always say : “let us all stay the course” no matter what.
Government cannot do this alone. To those who are in the private sector belong the other half of the work.


A word a caution about President Duterte.
Contrary to public perception that I know him well (as we were schoolmates for a while in high school in a small town in the south) , he is still an enigma to me up to now.  I can only surmise.
For example. Don’t get transfixed only with what he says, at times (or more often) unconventional and vulgar.
We should understand where it’s coming from. He had been there in the rough and tumble of public service more than half of his lifetime. He had stared right in the eye the vagaries of terrorism, criminalities, corruption and drugs. He is definitely now angry.  And frustrated that half-way into his term wielding immense power, society’s ills continue to persist — even with greater impunity.
He is very transparent — and even threatening — in his language. My take however is that he is sending a strong message to those who continue to inflict harm on the public. If you are not among them, then no worries. But if you are one among them, then start worrying and go hide asap!
Many have asked me not only for curiosity but in shock:
“ So, how should we read this president?”
My usual reply:
“Listen closely to what he says and thoroughly let it sink in, even enjoy it. But you should measure him not by the way he speaks but by the action he does. That way you can never go wrong”!
I remember days after he won the elections in 2016. Many of his friends had started to give unsolicited advice on how candidate Rody should evolve (or transform) into President-elect Rody.
My reply: “Please don’t. It won’t be the real Digong that the voters chose”!
So there.


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