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ROUGH CUTS | Why it’s hard to attain ‘herd Immunity’

Vic N. Sumalinog

DURING  a birthday bash held in a secluded but posh Pantukan beach resort in Davao de Oro several persons were arrested by a joint law enforcement group after a party goer was lured into selling party drugs to an agent who was able to penetrate the supposedly “By Invitation Only” affair.

     In some pictures taken during the arrest a Davao City Hall personality was caught on camera. The assumption by many was immediate – that he was one of those nabbed by the agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the NBI and the Pantukan Police elements. However, according to reports as well as in the enumeration of the names of those arrested, he was not one of them.  A MindaNews story in fact says that the arresting group has not sent in an answer to the news agency’s question on whether or not the official was among those arrested.

     As of yesterday however, the city hall personality had already sent a statement of clarification saying that it was true he was present in the party because “I was one of those invited.” But he said he left early after dinner.

     Well, this official’s statement deserves to be respected. But we cannot also blame other people if they have some doubts as to the truth about his claim. Unless of course the picture carries with it the time when the shot was taken. It is proof enough that whatever time of the day that comes out will either validate or contradict the claim of the Davao City Hall official. Pictures, as a common adage says, would not lie…unless…

     However, we are hoping that the saying, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” will not apply in this particular case.

     We wonder how the City Hall big boss could have reacted to this alleged involvement of the concerned official considering that the incident is about the use of drugs. And it is no secret that what the top City Hall tenant’s father is extremely obsessed with is the eradication of illegal  substances in society. 

     Let us to see (Tan-awon nato), according to the late Davaoeno Senator Alejandro Almendras.

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     So far we do not know yet how logistically and grittily prepared is former Congressman of Davao City’s third district in his opposition bid against incumbent Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

     We say “logistically” because it cannot be denied that the mayor is fully “loaded” in her reelection run not only in terms of financial but also in organization and manpower resources. We also added “grittily” since it cannot be denied that to run against a political adversary with granite foundation in her run and has already an intimidating name and the backing of people who are willing to intimidate others if needed, takes a lot of grit and guts.

     It is also on this “grit” of Roy Elias (assuming that he has) that he can probably exploit to the hilt to possibly enhance his chances of closing his gap with the incumbent, or even surpassing the perceived advantage that she has with him. 

     We know fully well that he had been privy to all the untold happenings during friendship days between the mayor’s father and Ruy’s. He too, and the incumbent mayor are well aware of the latter’s father’s unfulfilled commitments that led to their parting of ways. How well the younger Lopez capitalizes on these as issues against Sara will certainly dent the incumbent mayor’s perceived political invulnerability in the local turf.

     But again, it is a question of guts and capability to play “dirty” in a clean manner. And of course Ruy’s being able to harness the services of committed political leaders who are not motivated by money but only by the desire to have their man become mayor. If Lopez’s leaders think of money first other than the supposed intention to put up an alternative choice, then Ruy Elias should better stop dreaming of winning even at this early.

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     During our vaccination of the first dose for CoViD 19 last May 18, 2021 we had a very good review of the way the vaccination was conducted in Calinan. When it was our schedule for the second shot last August 2 we noted that there were some disorganizations, specifically the failure of the organizing health unit to provide chairs for the senior citizens who were the ones slated for the inoculation. It took us to openly complain to the organizers for them to haul chairs from inside the school rooms for the senior vaccinees to sit on.

     Now, yesterday, the second day of the pediatric vaccination in Calinan, everything was a MESS.  In the announcement made by the vaccination task force there was no mention that only the students of Calinan National High School were given priority specifically in the morning. The announcement on the social media site of the city merely said that there was vaccination for people with ages 12 t0 17. So, many interested parents from neighboring barangays came as early as 6 o’clock a.m. to the vaccination hub at the covered court of Calinan Central Elementary School. Many were already lining up since there was no notice even at the school gate that only students of Calinan High will be catered to in the morning.

     To the surprise of parents who even have to take a leave of absence just to accompany their teenage children to get vaccinated, they were told that they cannot be accommodated since they were “walk-in”. Yet, they already took all the trouble of falling in line for hours.

     When the complaints, according to the parents we have talked to, became louder and stronger, they were told to come back in the afternoon. What a waste of time and effort and the opportunity to close the shortfall in attaining the target number for the herd immunity figure!

     Now, should we be surprised why the government is likely to fail in meeting its target herd immunity by the end of 2021? 

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