Tea time

Today is the one day in every third year when I am "boss" and I exercise my sovereign right to choose the politico(s) who will serve me.
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Last week, European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux hosted Europe Day at the Mandarin Hotel. Europe Day is traditionally on 9 May; but because of the Comelec alcohol ban (9-13 May), and since Europe cannot celebrate without libation, the Ambassador reissued the invitations to advance the event two days earlier to Monday, 7 May.
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As usual the chattering nabobs were catching up during the speeches; but DFA representative, Undersecretary José Brillantes, a former Manila councilor accustomed to speaking at hustings, made himself heard above the din and proposed a toast to Europe.
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Ambassador Ledoux should have learned a New Delhi trick. An Indian law going back to Mahatma Gandhi ordains that the 7th and 15th days of the month are "dry days" ... because those were paydays. (The aim is to prevent the men from blowing their wages on firewater.)
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So you would find at the Oberoi, the Hyatt, the Maurya, the Taj Mahal, and all the 5-star hotels' gentlemen sipping tea on those "dry days." (If you really want tea, tell the waiter.)
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The Indian gentry learned from the British knack for legal dodge. Unless it was withdrawn, an old English ordinance requires pubs to serve food together with alcohol... so that no one drinks on an empty stomach.
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If you are really hungry, make sure to order a dish you want...and not bite into the complimentary decorative sandwich that goes with your drink and has been going around for a week.
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Another ordinance requires pubs in the villages to close on Sundays... but makes exception for serving travelers (defined in the 19th century horse-and-buggy days as one who has negotiated a distance of 50 miles). On Sundays no locals are in the village pub; but there is a busy traffic of criss-crossing out-of-towners.
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Comelec introduced "No Guns" except for authorized uniformed authority during the campaign and election period.
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All permits to carry firearms outside homes are automatically suspended. The suspension does not cover the 500,000 loose firearms estimated by PNP Director General Alan Purisima.
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Pulse Asia reports that 7 out of 10 Filipinos believe that guns cause crime. (It didn't say that 3 out of 10 Filipinos own guns.)
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The American National Rifle Association's poster boy is Charlton Heston. (Wasn't he Moses in that movie epic who received from Yaweh the Ten Commandments, including the 5th?)
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NRA maintains that guns don't kill people: people kill people. (Just like PCOS don't steal elections. Techies steal elections?)
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Comelec also tried to prevent vote-buying by setting today, 13 May, R100,000 ceiling on bank withdrawals and penalizing anyone with R500,000 or more cash in his pocket.
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Senator Ralph Recto found the Comelec rule inane, unconstitutional, and nobody's business what honest men may want to do with their hard-earned money.
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Fortunately, both the President and the Supreme Court did not think it the brightest original idea from Comelec and returned things to status quo ante.
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Even the NPA jumped into the act to make a virtue of their modus vivendi: An NPA squad hijacked a truckload of rice which, they said, could be used by corrupt candidates to buy votes.
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In such wise, we vote today our government of, by, & for the people.
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BIGGER ERRATUM. The death of a Taiwanese fisherman in PH waters is a terrible mistake. How would we respond if ours were blown out of Masinloc fishing waters by Chinese man-o'-war? FEEDBACK: jaz_aide@yahoo.com


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