FIRING LINE: News in twos

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Now that Inday Sara has expressed disinterest in running for president in 2022, our nation has been spared of two Dutertes seeking the highest elective positions in the land.

I have friends who read into her declaration as a smokescreen to the ultimate goal of the father-and-daughter actually running as a dynastic duo, especially since her campaign jingle still echoes in the backwoods.

But I sense Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio sincerely does not look forward to a presidency undermined by her “VP dad.” And she is one to understand the defeatist strategy of waging a national political groundswell in tandem with a guy in her own region – even if he’s a rock star.

So I’ve grown from a suspension of disbelief to being utterly convinced that no two Dutertes will be running-mates in May 2022; perhaps, just two standard-bearers in one ruling PDP-Laban party. I’ll leave it at that.

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Thinking in twos, the President has done it again – raising eyebrows over his two latest appointments that feed fire to the argument he’s in the business of militarizing government.

Of course, we’re talking about the PNP’s “mañanita boy” retired-Gen. Debold Sinas, who is now undersecretary in the Office of the President; and the AFP’s machine-gun-mouthed red-tagger ret.-Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., appointed deputy director of the National Security Council. Let’s leave that there, too.

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As for two things monumentally missed out on in the proposed P5-trillion budget, I’d like to point out how the Department of Budget and Management made no allocation for two essential parts of the government’s anti-COVID-19 response.

Sen. Nancy Binay tried to look for it, but it wasn’t there – not a single funding for cash assistance or “ayuda” and not a peso allocated for contact tracing. So, perhaps, Duterte’s financial managers said, “let’s leave that there.”

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Meanwhile, Tuesday last week, two big news items came out of Mexico to grab my attention. The first headline read: “Mexico decriminalizes abortion in landmark Supreme Court ruling.”

Towards the end of the day, I came across the second big news: “Mexico hit by powerful earthquake; at least 1 dead.” Uh… let’s leave that there, as well.

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