THE STRIKER

By: Ben Emata

I just turned 80 years old this week and truly I had so much reasons to express my sincere thanks to God for allowing me to enjoy his blessing. It is not very common for people to receive this much graces. And the better things are I am normal, can drive a car, walk, can laugh, can eat anything I like even ice cream and nearly all. I know a lot of people are forbidden by their doctors to eat pork, candies, frozen foods, etc. because of some ailments. I still write articles published in many newspapers in the Philippines and elsewhere. My doctor advised me to reduce salt intake but I still eat the regular foods found in restaurants. So at my age, I take care of my life more carefully than ever.

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I really cannot understand why there are still encounters, shootings, fighting, etc. between the government soldiers and the NPA rebels under the Duterte administration. I thought the NPA would cease war forever when Digong assumed office. I hope this foolish war should stop soon to save the lives of Filipinos involved in the fight as well as the civilians hit in the crossfires. We have been producing widows and orphans by these battles. This really is crazy!

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I am absolutely perplexed why all of a sudden there are so many drug lords/pushers who are allegedly armed and opted to fight law enforcers during supposed raids. And even more surprising these alleged drug pushers lost in the fight. They are killed so easily. Are they really armed or a police officer just planted guns on their lifeless bodies.

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I am wondering if Duterte’s administration is trying to eradicate crimes by committing crimes. I mean we have been shooting the alleged criminals like birds in the mountain trees but just how sure are we they are really criminals in the absence of court trials or due process. We may be enforcing justice the foolish way – – committing injustice in the process.

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My one and only, not a secret of long life, is to pray to God always. Whenever possible, whether I am walking alone, driving, playing or wherever I am – – I pray. Pray for good health and surely you will get it. Believe me God answers prayers.

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The state of the nation address (SONA) of Pres. Duterte was a hit full of promises, same thing with those of past presidents. But the way Pres. Digong kills people in the illegal drug business, I think he is serious in his vow to really introduce the change. I wih to say, however, that the daily killing of alleged criminals has really frightend me so hard. I have doubts that those killed were all criminals and armed. Besides, history would tell us that criminals are afraid of the police but so abruptly, they fight boldly and they got killed. It certainly looked a one way fight unlike those old west days of Billy The Kid when villains are given a a chance for fair showown.

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I have been saying even during the campaign for the May 9 elections that Duterte talks so much. He used vulgar words as “I will kill you”, “putang ina ninyo”, and other curses that really irritated some members of the Church and laymen. In his speech this week at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, he pleaded for peace with everybody on top of headlines about killings everyday. Indiscriminate killings and peace are thousands of miles away and these two words can never stand parallel with each other. It is a contradiction, pure and simple.

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I was elated so much during the celebration of my birthday yesterday when my grandchildren called to greet me and played the piano Happy Birthday while their parents sang. I was really touched and I thought I would shed tears. Then later during the day, my good friend, Madam Dolly Ilogon, who now resides and enjoying a good job in New York City also called and sang. I lost track but I think more than a hundred people greeted me on my natal day including members of my family. I told myself, am I really that important to them? It is really nice to have lots of friends.

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This is really tragic no matter what language you use. In Dagupan City, a 22-year-old pretty college student scheduled to graduate with a degree of mass communication, was shot dead by alleged vigilante group on suspicion of illegal drugs. Even if I am tied to a tree head down, I would not believe this young victim would have any relation with drugs. I would say whoever pulled the trigger must be extraordinarily foolish and reckless. He deserves to be eaten alive by thousands of hungry piranhas in the lake. It could be case of mistaken identify but no matter what, it is a senseless killing, the obvious result of mass murders in our country nowadays.

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We are advocates of physical exercise as a way of maintaining good health and long life. I used to do lots of exercises during my younger days from chinning bar, barbells, jogging, boxing, arnis de mano, kung fu martial arts, etc. and I found them very effective. Later, however, I was convinced that our body is like a car engine which when kept on running and excessive use could develop trouble and possibly breakdowns. From that moment, I reduced my physical exercise activities and even advised my children to take it easy on the issue. To think about it, a motor vehicle is made of steel, necessarily a hard material and should be stronger than a human body and yet it goes to a repair garage more often than human beings. It is immensely astonishing. BEN EMATA

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