By: Ben Emata

Could you believe the United States navy could hardly fire its gun because per ammunition cost $800,000 dollars or nearly a million? It is too expensive to fire, it was reported. Precision guided, it can hit an object of more than 70 miles away. It did not mention what would happen if it hits the target. The big gun is aboard the USS Zumwalt. It plans to acquire 32 of these kind of mighty destroyers.

Latest survey revealed more than 92% of the Filipinos like the United States of America than anywhere else in the world. No wonder Pres. Duterte has stopped attacking the USA because he felt he is almost alone and his voice could not be heard in the wilderness. In the first place who is Digong to bring down America from the heart of the Filipinos? The United States, for numerous occasions, has proven its unparalleled friendship with Filipinos. It was a true friend, our protector and liberator.

I was one of the victims during the Marcos regime when he declared martial law and ordered all newspapers in the country closed. I had no alternative but to shut down my two-year-old publication which was then getting airborne. To maintain my family, I went up to Claveria town where I performed odd jobs selling medicines into the deep barangays, handling criminal cases of farmers accused of illegally occupying public forests, and everything. Life was unbearable I had to get down to Cagayan de Oro to do strange jobs like selling used cars, transistor radios, sewing machines and even insurance. For eight years we lived in hardship. I was so angry at Marcos, terribly mad. Over the years, I saw what he had done for the country. He cemented the highways, built bridges, installed drinking water system, improved agriculture and for the first time made the country exporting rice, built towering government edifices and many more. Marcos had a lot of accusations but never convicted of any crime. People called him a dictator, a thief, a corrupt official and all adjectives existing in the dictionary to describe him as an evil. Combining all past presidents, I saw Marcos as the chief executive who had done the best of things for the country and people. I agree he has committed serious blunders. . I agree he is not a hero. But as former president and soldier, he deserves to rest in utmost peace. Needless to say, other past presidents went to jail for alleged wrongdoings. Others did just nothing of importance.

The ruling of the Supreme Court allowing Marcos to be buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, to my mind, is appropriate. Once this is done, the nation which has been politically divided for years will be peaceful – – of course after a certain period of time. Maybe we can move forward and look up to the horizon for progress and stability. We need unity and affection in the midst of troubling years ahead of us.

There should be part of school curriculum on how to hold peaceful rallies or demonstrations. The young children must learn the insight of exercising freedom. While it is true, the matter is part of our rights to show our grievance against the government or any entity for that matter, something must prevent participants to be unruly and undesirable. Rally participants must not throw stones at police officers or the general public. They should present the objectives of their demonstration. They should not allow themselves to be infiltrated by bad elements especially rebels who want to overthrow the government.

Arnis de mano is one form or style in self-defense that originated in Cebu. I underwent training on this matter in Cebu City some years ago and I found it very effective compared to jiu jitsu. What you need in this fighting preparedness are two pieces of rattan poles with a length of two and a half feet. There are steps to be followed like the other Cebuano “eskirima”. The good thing is no law or ordinance prohibits the carrying of the rattan poles anywhere and anytime. I still have my pole although the other one was lost. Self-defense skill is a must for everyone especially these days when criminality takes place anytime. My eldest and youngest daughters hold a black belt in Taekwondo. When my wife bought a pair of boxing gloves, I taught my two sons how to fight. I thought I would end up a boxer when I climbed up the ring when I was in my teen. Oh yeah, one of my brothers was a professional boxer. My other brother who is a practicing lawyer studied kung fu karate. Fighting is not our business but surely self defense is our concern until now.

As I listened to TV newscast from the Philippines, the police team who came to the provincial jail where Mayor Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte was detained, showed the intention to kill the mayor and Ruel Yap. I do not have a bit of doubt that the killing developed based on anything. It was well planned. It was murder, whether we like it or not. The same TV report disclosed of more killings, more crying of widows and kids, etc. It has become normal and certainly a way of life in our country.

I was not pleased to read a news item that said Filipino Americans will vote for the lesser evil in today’s presidential election in the United States. Calling the candidates evil is definitely bad for our culture and attitude. Saying that in our country maybe alright but not in an ally and long time friend. It is a grave insult and unpardonable offense. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service

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