‘Wala kayong pakialam’
PRESIDENT Duterte, in his Monday night, August 17 address to the nation, did not deny outright that he flew to Singapore last Saturday, August 15.
A Lear Jet 60, an ambulance plane, was sighted having taken off from Singapore Seletar Airport, landed in Davao City, that Saturday afternoon, then flew back to Seletar Airport at 8:09 in the evening.
The speculation was that the president was in that jet.
However, by Monday, at an unspecified time before his night address, he was photographed “having a meal” with his family.
The transcript of his part of the talk about the Singapore issue did not show he flatly denied he went out of the country that weekend. At the same time, he said it was not his “obligation” to keep his trips a secret, which was among the points he made clear:
(a) He said he can go to Singapore if he wants to, he has the “guaranteed” right to travel, for official trips or any personal reason; if it’s the latter, he travels at his own expense, he is “not stupid” to use public funds for private trips but “I can fly in, fly out,” he said;
(b) he is not hiding his trips, he has no reason to, and he is not obliged to travel in secret;
(c) the public has no business with his travel: “wala kayong pakialam kong gusto kong pumunta.”
Malacanang’s response to quell the speculation:
(a) President’s spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte was “in perpetual isolation,” which he later explained was meant figuratively, no one could come close to him, with the sccurity group enforcing the cordon; and
(b) Sen. Bong Go, president’s unofficial confidant, released a photo of Duterte “taking a meal” with partner Honylet in Davao City with a copy of Monday’s Manila Bulletin in her hand as “proof of life.”
That must disappoint ill-wishers of Duterte but it didn’t have to convince all the people.
The use of the figurative expression was unfortunate as it stoked the speculation instead of killing it. As to the Monday photo, there was enough time to have it taken during the stretch of time before the Monday talk to the nation.
The public has no right to fetter the president’s right to travel but it has the right to know or at least ask where he is or had been.
Is USJ-R in list?
There are two law schools in Cebu in the A list institutions that performed well in the 2019 bar examinations, according to the Legal Education Board.
The A list contains names of schools that fielded at least 63 examinees in last year’s bar test while the B list has the names of schools that accredited less than 63 bar exam takers.
The Cebu law schools in the top 10 of the A list are University of San Carlos (USC), #5 and University of Cebu, (UC) #6.
The A list top four schools are, in this order, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda University and University of Santo Tomas.
A list purported to be the A list was published in social media and it included University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), #8; University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USP-F), #27; and Southwestern University (SWU), #31.
But #8 in the version published August 11 by abogado.com.ph is St. Louis University, not Cebu’s USJ-R.
The B list, also published by abogado.com does not include any law school in Cebu. The top four are Ateneo de Davao University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Mariano Marcos State University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
The ranking made by the Legal Education Board was based on the performance of each school’s graduates in the 2019 bar tests. (The bar exams scheduled for this year are reset to 2021, with Cebu City as a regional site outside Manila. Unlike in the years before last year, no individual examinees from Cebu law schools managed to land in the top 10 of the 2019 bar tests.)
The 2019 #1 and #3 bar top spots were grabbed by examinees from UST-Legazpi in Albay. The other provincial schools whose bets made it to the top 10 were Palawan State University, #5, St. Louis U in Baguio City, #8; and La Salle U in Bacolod City, #10.
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