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August 13 - 19, 2016

The Man Who Fed The World

By ANTONIO M. REYES

Am now in Colorado visiting my daughter Hannah and Mena, who now live in Fort Collins and the nearby town of Tinmath.

During a round of golf with my son-in-law, John Adent, he asked if I had read the book “The Man Who Fed the World” the biography of Dr. Norman Borlaug by Leon Hesser. I said I hadn’t, and later wondered, how I could have overlooked the biography of one of the world’s greatest hero. For Dr. Borlaug was the only person in the twentieth century who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for work in agriculture and food.

The Nobel Committee chose him as the 1970 recipient of the Peace Prize because of his dramatic scientific breakthroughs in wheat and rice production technology that relieved hunger in much of the world.

Today world leaders are still amazed by his incredible life and achievements. How indeed could a child of the Iowa prairie, who attended a one-teacher, one-room school, who flunked the university entrance exam, and whose highest ambition was to be a high school teacher - could have ultimately achieved the distinction of being among the most influential persons of the twentieth century His influence has been so pervasive that even the “miracle rice” produced at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at Los Banos, Laguna was modeled after the technology he used on wheat in Pakistan and Mexico.

Yet despite the success of the “miracle rice” here, the Philippine government never fully adopted the technology because its critics claim it was too expensive and eventually poisoned the soil and made it harmful to human beings.

It was actually the foreign scholars from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia who studied at IRRI and implemented Dr. Borlaug’s technology in their countries that are now the biggest producers of rice in the region.While the Philippines which did not adopt the technology is importing its rice requirements from them.

Dr. Borlaug must be turning in his grave.

Senate Hearing on Summary Killings

Senator Leila de lima shouldn’t have called for a senate hearing on the so-called extra-judicial killings of those hundreds of people tagged as drug lords, pushers and users in encounters with policemen. De Lima should have first felt the pulse of the whole nation, whether President Rodrigo Duterte has the support of the great majority of the people.

The way Senator De Lima called for the hearing was apparently in haste. She should have first studied in-depth the causes of the killings. Were it all done by policemen themselves in cahoots with the drug lords, were the killings perpetrated by drug syndicates out to silence their probable implication in the drug trade by those who surrendered? How serious is the drug menace to our own society? Were the measures undertaken by the previous administrations ineffective in their implementation to lessen or even destroy the problem head-on .

President Duterte has called the drug menace a pandemic, one driven towards making the Philippines a narco-state like Mexico. A strong leader sorely needs the whole might of the government to destroy this “clear and present danger” that for long years has choked to death our nation’s moral fiber. It is the youth and the family that are being shaken and torn into pieces by the poisonous money and fortunes of illegal drugs. How many millions have been victimized since more than 30 years ago? And you would still shout for human rights? No! Those victims already forfeited their right to life when they became recidivists, habitual criminals out to make fortunes on drugs, even kill for those fortunes.

Half-baked measures druglords would laugh at as they cleverly sell their wares in wanton disregard of law and order. And before the consenting eyes of corrupt law enforcers themselves. Senator de lima, look inside yourself and meditate how great and extensive has been the influence of the mayor of Albuera, Leyte. He even acquired weapons from our own Armed Forces, from the arsenal of the Department of National Defense.

How many thousands of our honest, well-meaning policemen are happy these days? If a survey were done now, President Duterte would certainly have the great majority of Filipinos behind his anti-illegal drugs battle.

Senator de Lima should equate the number of summary killings with the millions of victims of illegal drug’s deadly poison. In fact, there is no comparison, and no shout for human rights, however mighty, can restore the destruction of our Filipino nation by devils and demons clothed in men’s clothing.

Those already killed had their best chance in the “tokhang” and other measures geared to let them surrender. Thousands did throughout the country and decided to change their way of life. In Southern Leyte alone, more than 4,000 had surrendered. Many who did so in Maasin City thanked, in their silence, President Duterte for using the full force and might of the government in the pursuit of destroying the demonic menace of illegal drugs.

To die or to live is the free choice of the individual. Those who were just recently killed were victims of heaven’s wrath, and society’s retribution for damage done. There’s no other way out.

August 6 - 12, 2016

Exorcism

The exorcism last August 3 and 4 at the vigil room of the Blessed Sacrament was a very rare occasion in Maasin City. I could not recall of any other exorcism in the past here. We have read of evil possessions in other parts of the country, but that one was unprecedented. The last possession I saw and reported on television was about 15 students in a remote school in a rural barangay. But these possessions had been common at present.

Parents are advised to prohibit their children from seeing violent and horror games and movies on the Internet, television and mobile phones. Or suffer the consequence of violence instilled in their mind, heart and soul. Just observe our children these days. They lack respect for authority, they make faces towards their elders in distasteful manners. Discipline, respect for elders, parents, teachers and fellow students should be inculcated in their young and delicate age. Or they grow wayward, pointless souls becoming burdens to human society.

The Catholic Church has an Office of the Exorcist through which priests are trained to do effective exorcism rites. Adequate training is mandatory for priests.

In fact, they have to ask for the blessing and authority of the bishop to undertake the rites or he exposes himself to the wiles and snares of the devil and his demons.

When the top exorcists in the Vatican were ordered to do their exorcism in English, they did so. But sometime later complained that English exorcism was not effective. They lobbied for the return to Latin. It is the Latin language the devil and demons hate. Latin wounds and lacerates them in the comforts of their own hellish existence. But the evil ones also speak Latin; even insult the exorcist during rituals.

An exorcist in Mindanao was revealed as an illegal logger. He never finished the rites for his shame.

One exorcism I remember was that one made somewhere in Mindanao. A priest was exorcising when at one point the devil inside the victim corrected him and laughed for his wrong pronunciation of a Latin word.

It is equally important that the exorcist is clean in mind, heart and soul. Or his ritual would be ineffective. Humility is of great importance. A very humble priest in Europe was summoned to exorcise. Even in his few steps towards the victim’s home, the evil spirit left his victim’s body in haste. Such is humility’s power for the evil ones. In fact, pride was the first sin and humility is the finest virtue. A soul could never love God without humility. We have the faith, and we believe because we humble ourselves in God’s sacred presence.

Our children should be advised not to wear the peace sign, the ankh cross, the swastika, the pentagram, and the common sign of peace at present which is raising of forefinger and the small finger. These signs are demonic and must be condemned by parents. These could lead to evil possession.

Jesus Christ drove away demons from a possessed man and let them enter a group of pigs which drowned in the lake. There are other instances of exorcism in the Bible, and Jesus with his immense power drove them away. It was only after Jesus empowered them that the apostles drove demons away.


The new normal

Killing by summary execution has become the new normal in the current Duterte dispensation especially for drug suspects or those typecast… no question asked oftentimes rewarded or compensated. Such incentives must be inspiring and encouraging to opportunist enforcers and pseudo authorities with gunpowder mentality out to presentdeath certificates as their accomplishment reports and personal trophies or just to even a score among whistleblowers and squealers.

Be this as it may, does the end always justify the means, the purpose excusing the methods. Let’s leave it to the individual conscience or what’s left of it. We are all in the anti-drug crusade that respects the rule of law and values human lives that are not just cold statistics. Of course, what good are laws if those sworn to implement and uphold these circumvent and utilize these for personal objectives or gain. And if this is adopted as the new morality and social guidepost making us immune to everyday killing, we might just as well say goodbye to our Christian Crown. Anyway, what are they to do with those listed and proclaimed who have long been deceased. Dead men tell no tales. It’s so easy and heroic to name names even with no basis or proof, so hard to redeem them if unproven.

President Duterte should now flex his muscles more on the CPP-NDF-NPA leadership after their constant rebuke on government initiatives for peace, it only wants control not anything else and only understands the language of armed conflict to achieve their agenda. Patting their backs but no wagging of tails will get us nowhere. The real enemies are not the small fries used as smokescreens or the “big” ones for sound effects.

Lessons from history emphatically accent people’s aversion and dislike for those who tinker with the constitution like amending it to change the presidential system to anything else. Since time immemorial, past administrations have attempted this to no avail against people’s stonewall opposition. They simply don’t trust our politicians not to clandestinely put their finger in the cookie jar to serve their own purpose.

Perpetuating term limits, political dynasticism, self-serving economic provisions etc. are much too familiar with recent Philippine experience to be forgotten easily. They will try again banking on a populist president to lead the cause. This just can’t be the long-promised CHANGE the people have been waiting for. Filipinos are a sentimental lot, hard to part from what has been used to and refusing to understand terms,like parliamentary, unitary, constitutional commission, convention, assembly or people’s assembly that are greek to them. Federalism despite its lofty ideals of autonomy and self- reliance won’t work without resources both financial and human who are competent and not overly super ambitious.



 

 

 

   

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The Man Who Fed The World

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The new normal

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