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TIMESMAN: The ‘big fish’

I ACQUIRED my Senior Citizenship card in March 2004, four years after I reached this compulsory retirement for private employees as GM of the TIMES.
Why it took me that long to sport this privileged card was for a simple reason that I do not want to be identified with the elderly generation many of them surrendered their being mahilig when they retired. That is the truth.
But when I learned of the benefits the card gives to the holder-20 percent discounts in restaurants, hospitals, medicine, transportation, cinemas and other similar places of culture leisure and amusement, and privileges of being placed ahead in a crowded line, I stopped being mahilig and secured one.
It was signed by then Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte on behalf of the city government and countersigned by then DILG Secretary Jose O. Lina, Jr. and DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman during the Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration.
Until today, I have this old card and never changed it despite the government issued digital senior ID that is more presentable than the old one. I retained the original card because of its sentimental value as it was signed by no less a probinsyano mayor who became President of this country 17 years later.
However, some of the benefits and privileges we’re enjoying suddenly taken from us when the coronavirus pandemic threatened the world.
The government restricted the movement of the people especially senior citizens and those 21 years old and below to minimize infection and the spread of the virus. We’re locked down in our own house and only allowed to go out to buy food and medicine in drugstores.
My 19-year-old son Jin Lorenz and I were issued with Food and Medicine Pass by our barangay yet we seldom use the Pass because I am a SC while my son is below 21, and for fear that we will encounter traffic enforcers not familiar with the government restrictions while traveling on wheels. Lumalabas pa rin kami (alternately) despite the restriction. Mabuti na ito kaysa mamatay sa konsumisyon!
As the quarantine period continues, even malls and banks restrict senior citizens from entering these establishments for reasons that the seniors and minors are more prone to acquire or spread the deadly disease than those who are non-senior and above 21.
I disagree because it was allegedly noted by medical experts that most of the Covid-19 casualties were within the ages of 21 to 59 while only a few senior citizens and below 21- year- old people were afflicted by the virus. Experts never explained to us the reason why, but I suspect that Covid-19 spares no one especially those with weak immune systems.
Kung oras mo na, magdasal ka na lang!
Meanwhile, the ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, or whatever you call it continue to be enforced in the country with corresponding penalties and imprisonment if caught violating any of these government orders.
Davao City is on MGCQ until July 31 because of the rising cases of Covid-19 in some barangays. Let’s pray that we discover the vaccine that will finally stop the pandemic.

Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency XI reported the apprehension of two alleged drug dealers in a buy-bust operation at Dona Vicenta Village in Bajada last week, the TIMES reported.
The two suspects identified by PDEA as ‘big fish’ were caught with large-and-medium-sized sachets of drugs weighing more or less 55 grams with a street-value of P825,000 in their possession.
At this time of the Covid-19 pandemic when everyone has only in mind the fear of not being infected by the virus and the government is doing everything to find solution to the problem, here is an agency in the government that seems not affected by the world-wide health crisis and continues to lead the fight to eliminate illegal drugs in the country. Congratulations!
But PDEA’s war on drugs will be more believable and credible if one of these days, it will catch the real big ones and not just this latest apprehension of a street seller that PDEA claimed as ‘big fish’ after the suspects were caught with a few grams of illegal drugs.
If this is ‘big fish’ in the eyes of the drug agency, then the real big ones – the drug lords or financiers will continue to flourish in the illegal business!
Para natin sinabing ang bolinao ay kasing laki na rin ng isang 300-pounder na tuna!

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