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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Acid test for BBM

“The Rodriguez issue has become BBM’s acid test, and unless he does something to show the people that he cannot tolerate graft and corruption under his reign…the people may just get disappointed with President Marcos”

The case of President Bongbong Marcos’s resigned Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez has become his acid test, coming as it does within the first 100 days of his presidency.

The fact that President Marcos Jr. reassigned Rodriguez as Chief of Staff to the President with a Cabinet rank and emoluments has made matters from bad to worse for BBM.

It’s no wonder that BBM’s chief legal counsel, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, blocked right away the reported plan of the resigned ES to carve out for himself a new and powerful position in Malacanang amid reports he is on his way out.

Santa Banana, Juan Ponce Enrile as chief legal counsel said that Rodriguez has no power to supervise nor have control over any government department office and no power whatsoever to represent the President.

As Executive Secretary, Rodriguez reportedly made some illegal appointments without the President’s approval. This is definitely corruption.

A legal scholar who writes a column in another newspaper, Dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law Fr. Ranhilio Aquino was aghast over Rodriguez’s attempt to act as President with a Special Order granted to himself that would give him powers of the President.

No wonder, critics of BBM are going to town in social media that graft and corruption has surfaced this early within the first 100 days, my gulay, of the Marcos administration.

As I said, the Rodriguez issue has become BBM’s acid test, and unless he does something to show the people that he cannot tolerate graft and corruption under his reign, I am afraid that the people may just get disappointed with President Marcos.

He must, and I repeat, Santa Banana, he must show zero-tolerance against Rodriguez, not only to fire him, but let the chips fall where they may.

Santa Banana, as Fr. Aquino said, with people like Rodriguez close to the President, BBM does not need enemies!

• • •

“There’s a new kid on the block,” as the saying goes.

I am referring to the launching of a new radio-television network — the ALLTV, owned by tycoon and real estate magnate Manuel Villar that will definitely provide competition to GMA-7 which is now dominating the industry and the market.

ALLTV airs on Channel 2 on free TV and Planet Cable, Channel 35 on Cignal TV and Skycable, Channel 32 on GSAT, Channel 23 on Cablelink, and Channel 2 on other cable TV providers.

ALLTV has also signed a news content license agreement with CNN Philippines.

Among the stars of ALLTV are Willie Revillame, Toni Gonzaga, Mariel Rodriguez, Ciara Sotto and broadcaster Anthony Taberna.

To add more fun and excitement, ALLTV will give a variety of extravaganzas, dance shows and song numbers in addition to cash and big prizes, which will be given every hour to lucky viewers.

As to how far will Villar’s ALLTV go to provide competition to GMA-7 and TV-5 is anybody’s guess, but for all intents and purposes, competition is good for the industry and for all viewers.

Competition will always be beneficial to viewers and to the industry as a whole, if only to provide all viewers better and wholesome programs. I bid ALLTV of Villar all the luck.

• • •

It has long been known that smoking cigarettes is a kind of addiction.

But now, another product aside from cigarettes is on the beam: the vaporized e-cigarette , or VAPE.

Santa Banana, did you know that there are around 17.3 million adult smokers in the Philippines? That’s 28 percent of the entire population! Incidentally, seven out of 10 of these smokers say that they want to stop.

Across the world, the numbers show that vaping is an effective way to ease the transition from traditional cigarettes to quitting.

The British College of Physicians has promoted the use of e-cigarettes for harm reduction, and a 2017 study argued that vaping could save millions of lives.

I must admit that at first I had two major concerns regarding the use of vape in the Philippines.

First, it is too appealing to the youth and could have the opposite effect of being a gateway to smoking. My gulay, during its early stages, there were different candy flavors. This was a sweet trap intended for young consumers, Santa Banana!

Second, the lack of government regulation and overall implementing rules bothered me. Filipinos are known to be “innovators,” so there were many cases where sub-standard, fly-by- night products were being sold.

Thankfully, Republic Act 1190, or the VAPE Law, addressed these concerns. Apart from age and standardized use restrictions, even its flavor descriptors are now strictly monitored.

While the products themselves can have flavors, their varieties cannot be marketable to young people.

The law also assigns inter-agency functions and cooperative duties to ensure that all vape products in the market are 100 percent safe.

The Department of Trade and Industry and the Food and Drug Administration are mandated to establish technical standards for the security, reliability and quality.

Thus vaping is a good alternative to quit smoking, so long as vaping products are monitored and they follow the law.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke.

Before I married my wife, I was addicted to smoking.

In my generation, most men and women smoked.

The movies had a big influence on my addiction because all the movie stars smoked.

But during my honeymoon, when I got a cigarette from my pocket to smoke, my wife right away said, “I didn’t know you smoke.”

I told her that I had been hiding my smoking from her. She said “ Smoking is a crutch” and added “It shows the character of a person who needs a crutch.”

From then on I quit smoking cold turkey.

Addiction to smoking is a flaw of character, but vaping can help stop smoking. Santa Banana!

• • •

One of the best gifts given me during my birthday last September 15 was a beautiful poem written by no less than my Opinion Editor. That made my day.

With the permission of my Opinion Editor, Mr. Honor Blanco Cabie, I would like to share the poem he dedicated to me, the oldest living journalist today.

Still sound with Olympia @95

a gleaming milestone here at ninety-five
the man,* whose muse olympia,** is there by
his side when thoughts galore are in a cry;
the faithful muse well makes him quite alive.
had seen enough of valley’s slopes and plains,
had brushed as well his elbows with the men
and women high there with his restless pen,
his thoughts are clear in those connected chains.

by the gregorian calendar, he’s now
the oldest living journalist in land
of morning, child of sun returning — quite
a record which should quickly make him bow.
in his olympia must a magic wand
be, and companion to his mental might.

*born in dolores, abra on sept 15, 1927, he is the oldest living filipino journalist, beating the record of nestor mata, another ilocano from ilocos norte in northern philippines, who died at 92 in 2018.

**starting in berlin in 1903, an already established general electric company (AEG) sought to capitalize on the growing typewriter market.

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