By: Ben Emata

The on-going war in Butig, Lanao del Sur must go on until everyone in the side of the enemy is dead. We must teach the enemies that fighting the government is not only unlawful but an unpardonable crime. And criminals’ place is not anywhere but only behind bars for those who are lucky and below the ground for the unfortunate ones. In war, there is no mercy – – only surrender or die. Score as of November 31 is 61 dead rebels and 20 wounded. AFP soldiers zero death but has some injured soldiers. Cheers for our soldiers. You are the real heroes as defenders of democracy. My admiration and sincere salute.

The bandits/rebels in our country have proliferated over the years because we treated them like boys. They are grown up treacherous warriors who should not be allowed to carry guns anywhere. They had inflicted so much damage to our people and they must be stopped outright. Previous administrations showed compassion thus allowing them to grow stronger. The country has spent so much money to resist their advances. We must finish them now and declare victory. If they refuse to surrender but found with guns, shoot them.

HIV/AIDS virus in the country is spreading faster than we think. Statistics show some 29 people get infected everyday in the 15 to 29 age group. It is expected a total of 55,000 persons will have the disease at the end of the year. I see the program on this issue has not improved anything. I think the government must have a new approach to, at least, reduce the number of infections that is hitting badly our youth. To be frank about it, this is one thing in life that could hardly be prevented. This is not like food that causes risk in life that can be avoided easily. For instance, in case of hypertension, a person just stop eating pork, oily foods and anything that escalates high blood pressure plus pills, he becomes safe. Just follow a doctor’s advise.

My suggestion is patients with HIV/AIDS should not be allowed to walk around freely. They should be placed in homes and secured well to prevent them from having sexual contact that could spread the disease. In the olden days when cholera and chicken fox were killing people, the doctors were able to fight it out despite the lack of medicines and modern science in treatment. I don’t think we can fail in today’s modern way of treatment.

I just could not understand what Pres. Digong really meant when he said he will kill human right activists if the drug problem worsens. In the first place, it is not the fault of the group in the rise of illegal drugs. I don’t see any connection whatsoever. Perhaps, this is only part of his attitude of opening his mouth too often while not knowing what he is saying. Remember a parrot?

Emma Morano of Virbania, Italy, just celebrated her 117th birthday. She was greeted by no less than the president of Italy. She is believed to be the oldest person alive on Earth. I don’t think so because not long ago, I reported a Filipino woman from Palawan who still play her harmonica and was older than her. Well, each person varies in existence which attributes to longevity. Anyway, congratulations to Madam Morano. Long live young lady.
Former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos has reminded Pres. Digong once more to watch his mouth. Certainly, this has reference to Pres. Digong habit of talking too much and later apologize or retract from his statements. Speaking of Ramos, I remember engaging him in a one-on-one interview at Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro City, many years ago. He was then a constabulary general. He declared the problem with the New Peoples Army will be over in two years. But it lasted 47 years. The next time I met him was aboard an elevator in San Francisco, California when I was president of the Filipino-American Press Club of Silicon Valley. We talked briefly and parted ways.

I hope the protests, debates hatreds, involving the burial of then Pres. Marcos will come to an end. Let us have Mackie get rest in peace. Judge him on the basis of his accomplishment too on top of the blunders he had committed. If we allow politics to rule, people will remain divided and the country will suffer the residue of fighting. At least the guy have concrete achievements compared to Inday Cory and her son Noynoy.

It is December at last and it means just one thing – – merrymaking for Jesus Christ is born. It is a time to rejoice, be happy and reconcile with everyone. Christmas, by the way, is a religious activity. It is not a celebration in the malls or partying without limit. I mean we have to attend religious services no matter what religion you belonged to, as long as you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Officially, the nine-day novena begins on December 16 to 25. Shall I say in advance Feliz Navidad? Muchas gracias senyor y senyoras. BEN EMATA

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