Sunday, September 04, 2016

Philippine news

Yes, the Abu bomb in Davao has us in the headlines, but here it's business as usual.

We are now under a "state of lawlessness". Not quite martial law, so habeas corpus is still intact.

It means checkpoints on the roads. This also is not new: A couple years ago when there was a push to get rid of the remaining NPA we had lots of checkpoints on our rural roads, and there are still checkpoints in our area on and off, mainly looking for guns.

And I should note: everyone entering the malls gets their bags checked and their tushies wanded for hidden guns.

But this is not done in outdoor markets, where the working class shop: We have cops but not fences around them. Which is why usually the bombings are in palenkes (open air markets).

Our sermon today in church was decrying "extrajudicial killing", which the bishops are now lamenting.

This makes me sarcastic, since when the ex mayor arranged a hit on his rival (that killed our nephew in the crossfire), I didn't see any sermons against politicians who kill... indeed, he even got a full funeral a couple years later, complete with a KofC bodyguard.

The congregation didn't respond during the talk, so I don't know if they agreed, or were busy sleeping (this was the 5:30am mass): like most good Catholics in the west, the sermon is usually boring so not listened to; usually it's a time to catch up with sleep.

the jail is around the corner for us, and now the old city hall is being remade into a drug rehab facility. And every day, I take George, the Killer lab, on a walk around the block to let folks know what they face if they break into our home.

he's getting old.... but we do have five other smaller, less vicious dogs here too, and two of them often follow us in our walk.

StrategyPage report on "Dirty Harry" has it right. Is the bombing a warning? If so, it won't work:

this attack makes Duterte’s aggressive anti-crime approach more popular even though (or perhaps because) some local and many foreign critics consider these “Dirty Harry” methods illegal, immoral and ineffective....
Many known drug dealers have surrendered to police, seeing that as safer than remaining on the street. If nothing else Duterte’s methods have gotten the attention of the Islamic terrorists, gangsters and corrupt officials who have long made life for most Filipinos miserable.

as for China: Former President Ramos was sent to negotiate, but no deal, so Duterte may stop trying to make nice:

Duterte pointed out that continuing Chinese efforts to create artificial islands on Scarborough Shoal (then build a military base and dare anyone to attack it) threatened maritime trade for the entire region and could start a major war. Until recently Duterte had been taking a more conciliatory approach to the Chinese and apparently that did not work.

finally, the news is that there are over 100 cases of Zika in clean, orderly Singapore, spread by local mosquitoes.

We've had a few imported cases here in the Philippines, but it is a matter of time since we have plenty of dengue fever which is spread by the same mosquito as Zika.... They will check folks at the airports for fevers etc. but since most cases are asymptomatic, that might not work.

one of the problems: Zika and Dengue have similar symptoms: headache, fever, achy body, sore eyes, and rash.

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