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Davao City, Philippines

‘SOFA’

July 10, 2019 - Wednesday 4:07 AM by Jess G. Dureza

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SOFA — On the 4th Monday of July, the President will deliver the traditional state of the nation (SONA) address where he will, among other things, call on Congress – and perhaps the public — to do their share in governing the country.

But I’m sure what will be watched closely by media and the public on the day itself will ALSO be the so-called SOFA: the state of the nation’s fashion! It will be more interesting, I’m sure, As usual!

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SPEAKERSHIP — As expected, there will be intense rivalry for the prime post in the House of Representatives as House Speaker. For obvious reasons. I was member of that House in the past. The Speaker is the one who calls the shot. But he or she can stay in that post only for as long he/she enjoys the support of the plurality of the votes of the members of Congress. Once the sitting Speaker loses that hold, he/she can be unseated at any time by just a mere motion calling for the reorganization of the House.

Let’s watch how this unfolds in the present Congress. It is always foolhardy to speculate or even make a calculated guess how this will be resolved.

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KAPA, AGAIN — I was taking time out with my grandchildren at the Davao SM Mall last Saturday when an old friend spotted me and immediately told me: “Ingna Presidente nawad-an sya sobra 5 million ka supporters tungud sa KAPA . Apil ko.” (“Tell the president he lost more than 5 million supporters due to KAPA”. Including me”!)

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WORRISOME — I could see he was very emotional about it. He said he would not be able to recover his money anymore. Knowing him to be an avid Duterte supporter, I merely answered: “Gi protectionan lang sa Presidente ang kadaghanan!” (“The president was merely protecting the many others.”) In reply, he merely raised his voice cursing and walking away. And to think we had been friends for long dating back to our younger days!

Worrisome, isn’t it?

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“NEVER MIND THE TORPEDOES” — I think the KAPA members, especially the poor and those who wrongly feel that this is a quick deliverance from poverty, must be told the real story why the scheme is not what the promoters say it truly is. President Duterte, who I think couldn’t care less what the KAPA members think of him, is merely doing what a responsible leader should do, “never mind the torpedoes” as the saying goes!

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SHOOT FEST — We are hosting in a firing range in Davao del Sur an international shooting competition next month, on August 1- 4. It hopes to bring together shooting enthusiasts in the country and from abroad as well. Please view details and more info at jessdurezacup2019.com.

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BARMM — Let’s all help get the BARMM quickly on its feet and bring about without delay the Bangsamoro’s common aspiration for a better life for all Filipinos. The leadership headed by Chief Minister Kagi Murad is taking the necessary initial steps. I know Kagi Murad personally for many years ago now and I trust he will lead with integrity and keep the course steady. But he and his team need all hands on deck for this.

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NEW LEADERS — Now we have in place the newly elected leaders from the lost post in the LGUs up to Congress. It’s always good to wish them well. Being a public official may sound fashionable and desirable to many but the real challenges facing a public official are many and varied. I’ve been there myself and I know.

So, let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt. At least we owe this to them, whether we voted for them or not!

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