How many bil­lion pesos more to lose?

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

THERE’S a very thought-pro­vok­ing ar­ti­cle that for­mer US State Sec­re­tary Madeleine Al­bright re­cently wrote in the New York Times.

Its ti­tle, “Will We Stop Trump Be­fore It’s Too Late?”, is a lit­tle de­cep­tive in that it sug­gested that it was a purely Amer­i­can con­cern that she was writ­ing about. It was not.

In fact, it was about the res­ur­rec­tion of an old threat to world or­der. “Fas­cism - and the ten­den­cies that lead to­wards fas­cism - pose a more se­ri­ous threat now than at any time since the end of World War II,” Al­bright warned.

“To­day, we are in a new era, test­ing whether the demo­cratic ban­ner can re­main aloft amid... rogue so­cial me­dia and cyn­i­cal schemes of am­bi­tious men,” she wrote, not­ing “the raw anger that feeds fas­cism.”

She men­tioned the Philip­pines as among the United States al­lies, along with Hun­gary, Poland and Tur­key, where warn­ing signs have emerged in the form of “re­lent­less grab for more author­ity by the govern­ing par­ties.”

The as­ser­tion will surely not sit well with the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion which has con­sis­tently de­nied that it was lust­ing for more power, jus­ti­fy­ing the many stiff and over­reach­ing mea­sures that it has taken as nec­es­sary for the preser­va­tion of the Repub­lic and the ex­e­cu­tion of its change agenda.

We can­not ig­nore, how­ever, the vi­cious at­tacks on Chief Jus­tice Lour­des Sereno and their im­pact on the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary.

Duterte al­ready has Congress or at least the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives firmly com­mit­ted to do any­thing at his bid­ding as most re­cently demon­strated by their speaker’s re­ac­tion to the pres­i­dent’s or­der to fast-track Sereno’s im­peach­ment.

If the ju­di­ciary falls, what will be­come of democ­racy in this coun­try? Al­bright em­pha­sized the need for a free press that will de­fend the truth as a safe­guard against the con­cen­tra­tion of too much power in one of­fice. I’m afraid that she’s ask­ing too much.

-o0oWhat, the Bus Rapid Tran­sit (BRT) sys­tem will cost us P1 bil­lion more? How much longer will we have to wait be­fore the BRT project is im­ple­mented and how more more will it cost the Ce­buanos? Look, we have been talk­ing about the BRT for more or less 25 years now.

That’s a quar­ter of a cen­tury al­ready. All the Cebu City of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing for­mer mayor Michael Rama, have at one time or an­other said the BRT was good.

Now, only Mayor To­mas Os­meña is left

prod­uct. And you can create more prod­ucts. And you can even create new busi­nesses to serve more peo­ple.”

Our coun­try spe­cially needs en­trepreneurs and busi­ness peo­ple! Busi­nesses create and pro­vide job op­por­tu­ni­ties. Pro­vid­ing jobs help keep fam­i­lies to­gether in our coun­try.

Bo con­tin­ues by say­ing “Don’t be con­tent with just main­tain­ing the spe­cial gift that God has given you. De­velop it. Ex­pand it. Mul­ti­ply it. Make it grow. The best thing about grow­ing? You in­spire oth­ers to grow as well.”

push­ing for this type of mass trans­port sys­tem. What hap­pened to the oth­ers?

Let’s not wait for the day when we shall have lost many more bil­lions of pesos be­fore we get the first buses rolling.

Let’s set aside the fact that it was Os­meña who thought of the BRT and is likely to get credit if it suc­ceeds.

Be­sides, if, as his crit­ics claim, the BRT is go­ing to be a disaster, it’s go­ing to be Os­meña’s head on the chop­ping block, any­way. the ac­tor Brad Pitt. I came away from the 2004 movie Troy re­ally think­ing, “Hec­tor the brave, Achilles the god, Paris the… ” Nev­er­mind.

And here, we must pause on this jour­ney on the Styx and think of Baguio.

On Face­book, that plat­form we al­ter­nately love, hate, and love to hate, Achilles Costales posts a long let­ter that as­sails the Baguio govern­ment’s cur­rent plan to turn that sec­tion of Burn­ham Park that was for decades home to the Baguio City Au­di­to­rium and later the Baguio City Li­brary into a mam­moth park­ing lot. We stand with him and the Baguio City-zens op­posed to the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of that area of the city park.

And next week, we must go there.

My Dear­est Michael, Learn from Bo! Not easy to do, but God wants you to!

Do not let your right hand know the good that your left hand is do­ing. Re­mem­ber that if peo­ple praise you for the good you have done, you will have re­ceived your re­ward on earth and will no longer be re­warded in heaven.

Use your abil­i­ties! Give back to God! Share your bless­ings! Be fo­cused. Live pur­pose­fully. And live abun­dantly. was some­thing I looked for­ward to dur­ing sup­pers.

Get­ting there was al­ready ex­cit­ing as we char­tered a whole bus from Vic­tory Liner for us. We re­al­ized that it would cost more for us with 5 ve­hi­cles for gas, driv­ers and toll gate. We could have been wor­ried if a fam­ily was de­layed for what­ever rea­son. Here we all trav­eled all to­gether. We have a driver and con­duc­tor plus a stew­ardess all to our beck and call. Re­clin­ing seats and a per­sonal multi me­dia sys­tem, a first of its kind, just for us and the free wifi too.

We were all picked up in Man­sion House. Parked all our ve­hi­cles in JB's place for this trip un­til we re­turn. An­other bus was to ac­com­mo­date us to the ship and back too at no cost for this cruise.

We could never be all to­gether for a trip to Europe or the States. This was a first for us all. All to­gether.

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