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ROUGH CUTS | We could only thank God

Vic N. Sumalinog

IN yesterday’s installment of one of the episodes of what would be the contents of a still-to-be- published book of our boss at Mindanao Times lawyer Jesus “Jess” Dureza, he dwelt extensively on his memoires of the man FVR (Fidel Valdez Ramos). Yes, FVR, the man who was President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998.
We had our own minuscule experience with the guy having helped in our own little way his campaign in Davao City when he ran for the Presidency. Thanks to the late former Davao City OIC Mayor Zaf Respicio, the late Nong Noning Lizada, Paul Dominguez and now Davao Oriental congresswoman Corazon Malanyaon.
Jess in his article talks about the FVR scheme of using “glassless” eyeglasses. The man himself told us that wearing such makes his desire for every photo opportunity to come out according to his expectation – that there will be no reflection of light from the eyeglasses when cameras click. So, he had the glasses taken out and dons only the frame.
FVR demonstrated the effectiveness of his eyeglass trick during a program celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Peace Agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 2006 at the Davao Convention Center. The peace accord was signed at Insular Hotel in Davao City in 1996 with MNLF chair Nur Misuar witnessed by peace observers from Malaysia and Indonesia.
The former President while speaking on stage called us and Zaf to join him. But it was only us who climbed the stage since the late Zaf was hemmed in by so many people somewhere at the back portion of the venue. Or, perhaps the late former OIC mayor who at that time was already a private citizen, really did not want to join FVR for whatever reason.
When we were on the stage beside FVR he asked us to hand over to him our eyeglasses and then told us that we should not wear it when there is a likelihood of photo shoots for public consumption. At that particular moment cameras were clicking. The former President further told us that when the pictures are developed and probably go to the print media, we’d end up like being blinded by the reflection of the light from the eyeglasses.
FVR then proceeded to show us his eyeglasses with all but the frame of it. The former President then told us to always carry one such frame and use it when we have photo opportunities to ensure that what we want to come out in the picture or pictures is the ones that we want.
And even as it was several years after we had been introduced to each other and saw him in Davao City every now and then after he became President, in that event in 2006 he still remembered our name! That man FVR, really!
Some areas in Mindanao were nearly at the edge of a major catastrophe last Monday morning. An earthquake struck at about 6:30 a.m. with an intensity 6 magnitude. Thanks God the epicenter was located not in structurally developed centers in the island the damage was almost nil.
The epicenter of the quake was in the Municipality of San Agustin in Surigao del Sur. The town is still predominantly rural and its economy is agriculture and fishery-based. Hence, there were no major infrastructures that were destroyed by the relatively strong earthquake.
Had the epicenter been in Davao City, or in Cagayan de Oro City, or in other more developed areas, for certain the destruction of infrastructures would be hard to quantify. And surely, hundreds if not thousands of lives could have been put to serious risk.
Good thing that somehow, the normally destructive natural phenomenon occurs in the still relatively less developed places. The consequence was not as devastating as what the earlier nature-brought disasters heaped in many areas in Luzon during the past three weeks. Typhoons, floods, landslides, storm surges, name it, Luzon had it.
Lucky indeed are the people in Mindanao, and for the national government under a Mindanaoan President. Had last Monday’s magnitude 6 earthquake struck in the island’s more developed centers there is no doubt that an unimaginable destruction will be added to the current problem the administration is facing.
And to think that all these are happening while the country and the Filipinos are in the midst of an economically sapping pandemic brought about by the Corona Virus Disease (CoViD 19) pandemic!
The government indeed, under Mindanaoan President Rodrigo Duterte, is off to face its biggest and most difficult challenge – to get back on its feet the soonest possible time amidst the still uncertain duration of the global health emergency.
This political situation in the United States is one for the books.
It has been becoming noticeable that there is some kind of “Filipinization” of the election in that country. And this is happening only during the seemingly failed re-election run of President Donald Trump.
And why are we saying that there is observable “Filipinization” of the US elections? First there is a marked delay in the counting of votes. Then there are allegations coming from the camp of reelectionist President Trump that many dead Americans are still in the voters’ list and possibly could have voted during the November 4, 2020 US elections. And the clearly defeated re-electionist is not conceding and in fact petitioning the court for a recount of votes in certain states, cities and counties. And Trump is not making any public statement until now.
Why is this happening in a country that is considered the bastion of democracy and its politicians the epitome of integrity?
We assume that this information could possibly help every Tom, Dick and Harry find the answer. In one of the episodes of a news program anchored by lady broadcaster Pia Hontiveros over CNN Philippines, she interviewed a Filipino who is an adviser and surrogate to President Trump’s campaign, one who has a surname Martir.
This guy would most likely give us the idea why Trump’s lines after his debacle in his reelection bid are getting to be more those of Filipino politicians’.

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