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Good Morning Judge: The ASEAN Summit

ONCE again the Philippines will be at the center stage next week as it hosts the Association of South East Asian (Asean) Summit. Top leaders from South East Asia will converge in Metro Manila to tackle varied concerns that affect the region’s economic and industrial interests, including peace and order. Although not a member of Asean, it has been reported that US President Donald Trump will be in attendance. Reports from national print and broadcast media show that President Trump has already been to Japan at the start of his Asean tour. President Trump’s presence in the Philippines will be an auspicious opportunity for President Rodrigo Duterte to bring forth our concern on the Scarborough shoals. This is the first time that Trump is coming to the Philippines. And while in Tokyo last Monday, the US President he reportedly “vowed to totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to defend the United States and its allies. He reportedly called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a “rocket man” on a suicide mission. The North Korean leader, on the other hand, reportedly shot back by calling Trump a “mentally deranged dotard.” This writer has noted with pleasure the reports that the Office of the Ombudsman has decided to investigate the smuggling into the country of 605 kilos of “shabu” (Crystal Meth) worth P6.4 billion from China in May. It may be recalled that following investigations by both Senate and the House of Representatives that led to the alleged influence peddling by members of the President’s family at the agency, Customs Commissioner Rafael Faeldon resigned from the BOC and was replaced on orders of President Duterte by Isidro Lapena, the former head of the PDEA. The alleged shabu smuggling has been linked to the so-called Davao Group that involved President Duterte’s son Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte and his son-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio, who incidentally is a nephew of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. TRIVIA: While on the national level some SSS officials have been accused of receiving bribes rom brokers seeking accreditation, we are happy to note that here at SSS office in Naga, we have employees whom I can call as “models” (dapat pangarogan). We refer to none other than Annalisa Miranda of the Housing Loan Department and Resty Nepomuceno of the Legal Affairs Department. My spouse Minda and I were at the SSS the other day to inquire some concern for an elderly widowed client whose only house and lot are due for public auction for their failure to pay mortgage obligation. Instead of us going to the 2nd Floor of the office, they came down the first floor to hear our concern when they learned that my spouse would have a difficulty in taking the stairs to their respective offices due to her heart condition. Thank you so much for your efficient service and kind attention! Incidentally, my spouse Minda celebrated her Nth birthday anniversary by sponsoring a hearty and sumptuous lunch for the about 110 children and elderly persons housed at the convent of the Missionaries of Charity sisters in Concepcion Grande instead of celebrating it with friends and acquaintances. Our first and original household members of the Couple for Christ Malyn Dagooc, Nor and Boyot Gerobin, and our daughter Pinky helped us in the distribution of the lunch prepared by caterer Malou Fornoles. After the meal distribution, members of our CFC household proceeded to Bob Marlin Resto-Bar for our simple lunch. QUOTATION OF THE WEEK: “THE GREATEST PATH TOWARS FULFILLMENT IS NOT IN KNOWING WHAT WE WANT AND HOW TO GET IT, BUT IN KNOWING WHAT WE HAVE AND HOW TO SHARE IT.” UNONYMOUS FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “HOW DIFFERENT THE MAN WHO DEVOTES HIMSELF TO THE STUDY OF THE LAW OF THE MOST HIGHT.” SIRACH 39:1

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