December 11, 2019 - Wednesday
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Davao City, Philippines

Persona non grata

November 21, 2019 - Thursday 4:11 AM by Jimmy Laking

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The rebel New People’s Army is hurting. It seems it would indeed be a matter of time before it is rendered irrelevant.

This is because it is hurting most where it mattered: in the indigenous peoples’ domains in Davao del Norte and its surrounding areas.

For decades, the IP territories have been the NPA’s playground and breeding ground.

That changed dramatically with the Duterte administration’s program to end the insurgency. And with local government units actively taking the lead in addressing the roots of insurgency and with various stakeholders heeding the administration’s whole-of-nation approach, the attraction of the NPA and other extremist groups has greatly diminished.

The discovery by government troops of armed caches left by the NPAs time and again provides proof the Maoist guerillas are running out of warm bodies. And the IP communities from where they used to recruit their combatants are no longer willing to play along or to be led by the nose.

And if the series of persona non grata resolutions by IP communities in Davao del Norte is indication, the NPAs or what is left of them are no longer welcome in IP communities.

The resolutions are a political statement that the IPs have embraced fully the Philippine government and its flag. They manifest total rejection of the kind of government that Jose Maria Sison’s followers have been trying to peddle to the countryside for the past decades with no success.

This is a big blow to their cause. With the IP domains off limits to their kind, their playing fields have shrunk considerably. It signals the beginning of the end.

The persona non grata resolutions are not something to trifle with. From what LGU officials tell us, the meaning on the ground could mean much more.

It means that the IPs will enforce them with force if necessary. 

***

From the Canada-based Edwin Mercurio comes this vignette: 

O brave warriors of Press Freedom

How still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by. Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light; The hopes and fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight.

(Adopted from the song “O Little Town of Bethlehem” in commemoration of the Massacre of 32 Philippine Journalists and scores of innocent civilians November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, Philippines)

No Justice. No Peace!

***

True to prediction, the 20-year old Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks has been electrifying the NBA.

His eye-popping 40-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist shattering performance against the San Antonio Spurs the other day showed incredible talent and skills.

What is distinct about his play is that he plays the point, distributes the ball, attacks the board and plucks the ball all into one. He also tends to do a step-back before releasing ball.

Years back there was someone named Toni Kukoc who does a bit of these things and who played with Michael Jordan. Doncic does it with consummate ease and brilliance.

No wonder Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas’ main cog for more than a decade, was justifiably impressed. “I can shoot a little but Doncic does things on the court you can’t imagine. He is the real deal.” Enjoy watching.

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