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Comedy of (t)error?

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By José Abeto Zaide

Jose Abeto Zaide

Jose Abeto Zaide

It would have been a laughable Keyestone cops scene, if it weren’t so tragic.

Resorts World, just a short flight away for high rollers, did not pass the most elementary test. At the sight of the gunman, security went poof!…either the sprinkler did or did not work…lives were lost (not from terrorist action but from asphyxiation)….etc. Easy to heap blame on Eldred the Unready. But hopefully the lessons might be learned by everyone.

After visiting wounded soldiers at Cagayan de Oro, PDu30 arrived at Villamor Air Base and directly motored to condole with the families of the Resorts World victims at Veronica Memorial Chapel and Rizal Funeral Homes. But the casino owners were nowhere to be seen; and at the time of this writing, they remain dicey and cheese-paring about compensation for irredeemable loss.

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Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III wants PAGCOR to initiate appropriate counseling for casino high rollers to prevent a tragedy like the 43-year-old gunman Jesse Carlos who got sucked into gambling and buried himself in debt.

No good-housekeeping seal on gamblers.

It may seem like a contradiction in terms, but the CEO of PAGCOR Andrea Domingo doesn’t want gamers to lose their shirts and the family fortune. PAGCOR is for healthy recreation. It has black-listed 400 compulsive gamblers who are out of control and denied them entry at the casino for their own good. Her tip: 1. Do not play when you are in bad mood. 2. Set limit on what you are willing to play. 3. Do not try to change your luck chasing after a will o’wisp.

Her final word: For your own good. Do not lose the sense of fun of the gaming tables as recreation. When you are ruled by the game, that’s when it becomes vice and you cannot dig yourself out of a hole.

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At another time and another place, PDu30 said that he could have ended within 24 hours the stand-off in Marawi; but the government has to abide by the Queensbury rules. The problem: Our intelligence failed to anticipate the Maute; and the Maute are digging in an unknown territory. Government forces have suffered casualties because they are not sure about the real number of enemy, who use human shield, or if we are really fighting on their home turf.

The last seems to be the most difficult challenge. After all these years, is it “us” vs. “them”? The Notre Dame University in Cotabato has graduated several of our Muslim brethren. During the administration of then President Marcos, a Catholic priest, a Protestant pastor, and a Muslim imam led the invocation at national events. The colorful Abdul Latif (aka Col. Eduardo Martelino) was fish in water with his Muslim recruits. But have conditions changed since? Manila flatfeet are known to stay off limits the Masjid Al-Dahab and the Muslim enclave enclave in Quiapo.

The penne ante projects of the government for Muslim Mindanao have been useless handouts. Largesse has been going into the wrong hands; and some recruitment programs are suspect to be directed to misadventure.

Why don’t we have export manufacturing factories with real job opportunities in Muslim Mindanao?

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Solidarity against terrorism. In Berlin, the Union Jack is-festooned on the Brandenberg Gate; in Paris, the Eiffel Tower slowly dims before blacking out; and in Brussels, the European flag flies half mast as do  the flag of all the 28 member European countries in solidarity with the victims of the London Bridge attack.

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‘Mommy traffic enforcers’ to apprehend erring motorists. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada tapped mothers as part-time traffic aides, They will be authorized to pull erring drivers’ ears and issue traffic citation tickets?

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Learn from us on democracy, Taiwan tells China. On the 28t anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen offered to help China’s transition to democracy. Tsai tweeted that the biggest gap between Taiwan and China is democracy and freedom. She didn’t say if she wants China to be a province of Taiwan.

She could suggest the lesson to countries like the Philippines, which may be impatient with cumbersome democracy and looking at short-cutting with strong arm methods.

Feedback: joseabetozaide@gmail.com

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