Bzzzzz: Duterte to speed up payment of quarantine expenses to returning Pinoys, calls it ‘partida’ to Gwen... Uproar over Mandaue half-mast flags.

·4 min read

PRESIDENT Duterte called it his “partida” to Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia. In his pre-taped talk broadcast Monday, June 21, the president confirmed what he first considered the other week, which was to pay ROFs or returning overseas Filipinas for their expenses during their 10-day quarantine at a hotel. Under the previous rule, only OFWs or overseas Filipino workers coming home were paid quarantine expenses.

“Partida” is Cebuano-Bisaya or Filipino/Tagalog for advantage given to an opponent in a match, or a concession. “Ang partiday ko sa iyo,” he said publicly to Gwen.

Other points in his additional take on the subject since he put his foot down and ordered Cebu to obey the IATF guidelines on quarantine for returnees:

[1] The governor will explain to DILG or DILG will require her to explain. DILG’s function, not IATF’s, Duterte said, “Parang ganon lang yan.”

[2] The president said he understood the plight of Gwen, “she was just guided by the ordinance.” But there’s a pandemic and “all orders” recommended to and approved by him “must be obeyed.” He cannot create an exception for Cebu and Cebuanos, he said.

[3] Duterte said he also understood the “itching” of returning Filipinos to rejoin their families at home, comparing the mandatory stay at a hotel or any other regulated facility to “a purgatory.”

[4] The national government will pick up the bills, he said, calling it “sequestration expenses” but didn’t itemize what are covered. The president “will order” DILG and DSWS to “hasten” the payment. That, he said, will remove the “dynamics” of additional financial burden on Pinoy returnees, which is one of Governor Gwen’s arguments against the national guideline.

LOOKS LIKE NO SANCTION would be coming against the governor or any other government official.

And there may be no need for the Cebu Provincial Board to meet with the IATF panel of experts, reportedly scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Capitol Social Hall. Unless:

(a) it will just be a formality to comply with the Senate-blessed face-off and a “meet-and-greet” of sorts for the protagonists in the controversy: the people enforcing the IATF guidelines and the authors of the local ordinance; and/or

(b) a review of the reasons for the action of the national task force, maybe a reading of IATF’s “critique” of the Cebu experience, which has not yet been published.

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Succession from deaths

An idea being circulated by some people in the wake of ex-president Noynoy Aquino is this: Father Ninoy Aquino was slain, his wife Cory became president. Cory Aquino died, son Noynoy became president. Noynoy died, Kris or another Aquino could be the next president.

Weird? Just as weird as this: Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends, he runs for vice president and wins -- and becomes the “de facto” president, because the actual president is either his daughter (Davao City mayor) or his former aide or gofer (a senator).

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Translation fiasco in Mandaue PIO

The translation was not the doing of the Mandaue City Public Information Office, which posted Thursday, June 24 a photo of City Hall with its flag at half-mast to mourn the death of former president Noynoy Aquino 6:30 a.m. that day. The caption in Cebuano-Bisaya was clear enough: “Mandaue City nag-half-mast, agi og pagbangutan sa kamatayon ni kanhi president Noynoy Aquino.”

Facebook, however, in its auto-translate feature, translated it thus: “Mandaue City is half-masturbating for the death of former president Noynoy Aquino.”

The PIO post calling attention to the error said it maligned not only the city PIO but the entire Mandaue itself. It was “sad. unfortunate, regrettable.” How it happened was “something beyond us,” said the PIO.

It was the first known huge auto-translation error hereabouts, involving the name of a deceased super-big personality, but not the sole social media translation mistake in this part of the globe. It was one of several errors in the process called auto-translation. Most were just funny mistakes but many changed the meaning intended by the person posting. In the Mandaue PIO’s case, there was a dash of sex to mark perversely the death of the ex-president.

What to do next time, Mandaue publicists? Turn off the option for translation of a post or comment that is limited to a specific language or, as some do, provide one’s own English translation.

By the way, Mandaue PIO correction post didn’t, or couldn’t, say the “M” word. The statement referred to it as “something else which is totally different from its meaning.” Yet it highlighted the offensive sentence translation, including the word “half-masturbated.” The PIO public statement owned up “responsibility” for the mistake and apologized “to the sensitivities of the public.”

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