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  • Written by Ignacio Bunye
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 225

Speaking out

President Rody Duterte has established his reputation as a straight shooter. He does not mince words to express his displeasure and he does so in very colorful language.

Publicly question the way he pursues his drug war, and you will surely get a mouthful. He does not care if you are the president of the United States, the secretary general of the United Nations,  a ranking official of  the EU, the outgoing US ambassador to the Philippines, or a senator.

So it  came as a bit of a surprise to me, when he let go of Vice President Leni Robredo the way he did last week.

He asked a subaltern to convey the message via text !!!

So out of character. What happened?

The very least President Rody could have done was to talk to the Vice President directly,  even if only by phone. After all, didn’t  he personally  call her up to offer her the job five months ago? Or better, he could have summoned Leni to the Palace and talked to her in his macho way,  face-to-face and  “man-to-man”.
Cabinet officials serve at the pleasure of the President. No question about that.  But VP Leni, who did not even apply for the job, deserved better.
Perhaps the text message sent to the VP was meant merely as a warning shot to stop her from making any further  critical public statements (eg. Marcos burial, the President’s sexist remarks,  etc.) Who knows? If it was, the move was not well thought out.
75 years after Pearl Harbor
LAST week, the world observed  the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Here are some interesting historical footnotes to that momentous event. 
In Pearl Harbor’s  aftermath, a wave of war hysteria and anti-Japanese sentiment swept the United States.
This led then US President Roosevelt to order the rounding up of some 120,000   individuals of Japanese ancestry.  They were relocated in 10 internee camps across the Western United States. One who defied Roosevelt’s order by staying at home, refusing to be interned, found himself inside a real prison.
In fairness, conditions in the detention camps were humane. But  during the forced relocation, the internees lost their homes, their livelihood and more important, their freedom.
35 years later, President Gerald Ford officially rescinded Roosevelt’s order.  12 years after Ford, President Reagan apologized to the Japanese-American internees for the grave injustice and offered $20,000 each to survivors of the detention camps.
Reagan also awarded Fred Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Korematsu  was the guy who refused to be relocated.
Another group of Japanese Americans had a different story.
As the war progressed,  Americans of Japanese descent, popularly called Nisei,    volunteered to fight under the American flag. Most of the volunteers were from Hawaii.  Mainlanders had their misgivings because of the  forced dislocation of their families.
For practical reasons,  the volunteers  were deployed in Europe, under the  all Nisei 442nd Infantry Regiment,   where they distinguished  themselves in fighting the Germans.  The regiment -- whose  motto was  “Go for broke” -- was immortalized in a 1951 movie of the same title.
21 Nisei  were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Among them was   Captain Daniel Inouye, a very good friend of the Philippines,  who later served as U.S. Senator, representing the state of Hawaii.
Kiwanis Association of Past Lieutenant

Kiwanis International  Philippine Luzon District marked last Tuesday (December 6)  a significant milestone.
It officially inducted the first set of officers of the newly established Association of Past Lieutenant Governors.
Under the Kiwanis structure, a Lieutenant Governor serves as alter ego of the District Governor. A Lieutenant Governor exercises administrative supervision over Kiwanis Clubs in his division. A division, on average, consists of  8  geographically contiguous clubs.
The association was organized early this year under the guidance of Immediate Past District Governor Manny Mamadra. The association’s articles and by-laws were presented and approved by the general membership during the last Kiwanis Luzon Philippine Luzon District convention held in Legaspi, Albay City.
Last week, incumbent District Governor Andy Mojica, in the presence of Kiwanis International Vice President  Poly Lat, inducted the following into office:
Jose Camañag, President; Rodolfo de los Santos, President-Elect; Arturo G. Gacutan, 1st Vice President; Elton See Tan, 2nd Vice President; Estie Vibora, Secretary; Lenny Rana, Treasurer;  and Ricardo Valera, Rona Sacdalan, Antonio Balang, Victorino Mallillin, Dennis Laro, Lilia Untalan, Erick Tan, Rucil Contrevida, Directors.
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