POSTSCRIPT / December 1, 2015 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Opinion Columnist

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Give bets facing DQ benefit of the doubt?

WITH LAWYERS in ambush position at every turn in the tortuous trail of presidential candidates, the Commission on Elections faces a tough test in making good its announced plan to draw up a final list of candidates by Dec. 15.

 We see the specter of the Comelec and the courts possibly giving some high-profile candidates facing disqualification the benefit of the doubt and throwing directly to the people the onus of deciding if they are qualified for national office.

Related to time pressure forcing legal shortcuts, we also see the possibility of some candidates threatened with disqualification delaying the winnowing out of those unfit to run.

To be specific, it could happen that the Comelec may be forced to include Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the ballot if by the Dec. 15 deadline their disqualification cases are still hanging.

What if either Poe or Duterte is included in the official 2016 ballot — and wins while her or his disqualification challenge is still awaiting final resolution?

Will the vice president-elect (if he/she is not also facing disqualification) act as president while the case of the president-elect is kicked around by the lawyers? Or will incumbent President Noynoy Aquino stay in holdover capacity?

The explosive situation could prompt the followers of the candidate with the highest number of votes to demand his/her immediate proclamation on the theory that the sovereign people themselves have spoken through the ballot.

‘Bad’ docs give Heart Center a bad name

HERE is a variation of the “good cop-bad cop” routine, this time involving some doctors at the Heart Center. For whatever it is worth, we are sharing this experience of the daughter-in-law of colleague Nonnie Pelayo, news editor of Business Mirror.

“On Tuesday night, my daughter-in-law’s father had a heart attack. He was taken to a nearby clinic and later referred to the Heart Center for treatment.

“My compadre does not have a regular doctor at the Heart Center.

“When he was being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit, three doctors approached my daughter-in-law. One was commiserating with her, saying: ‘kawawa naman ang daddymo’ and other words to that effect. He is the ‘good doctor’.

“The second doctor said her father must be subjected to immediate angiogram and angioplasty with a possibility of a bypass operation. He sounded as if if those procedures were not done immediately, my compadre might die. He is the ‘bad doctor’.

“The third doctor then started telling my daughter-in-law about the cost of the procedures, sending her on the verge of panic. He is the other ‘bad doctor’.

“When I was informed of the situation, I told her not to give in to those doctors and instead wait for a cardiologist friend of mine who has a clinic at the Heart Center. Luckily, he was in town and went to the ICU to attend to my compadre.

“Prognosis: There is no need for an immediate angiogram or angioplasty since the heart attack is over. The best course of action is to stabilize the vital signs of the patient and only then will any procedure be done to him.

“Reading between the lines: It was more dangerous for the patient to be subjected to procedures at that stage.

“When, asked, my friend the cardiologist did not answer directly, but said that that sometimes happens.

“Also, when my daughter-in-law asked the nurse to call my friend to ask what time he will be coming, the nurse said: ‘Hindi na po puwedeng tumawag ng ibang doktor, meron na kayo.’

“How can that be when the three doctors mentioned merely ‘volunteered’ themselves? They were not asked by anyone to look into the condition of my compadre.

“Also, when the three doctors saw my friend, who is relatively a senior cardiologist, they scooted out. One of them, the ‘good doctor’ turned out to be just a resident, meaning still under training for his specialty.

“At the ICU, many of the other ‘bantays’  had similar tales to tell.

“No wonder some patients at the Heart Center end up deep in debt or, worse, dead.”

Santiago scoring well on social media

IF DUTERTE feels good about the latest Pulse Asia survey in Metro Manila showing him on top of the heap of presidential candidates, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago talks of her top scoring on social media.

Noting that social media displays an “extraordinary change in voting attitude among Filipinos”, she reported that she has emerged as netizens’ top choice for president in a Facebook-based poll.

She said the latest survey on Facebook page Pinoy History showed that 48.36 percent of respondents want Santiago as president, despite her not having campaign ads yet. There are reportedly 40 million social media users in the country.

The reported rating of other presidential candidates in the survey: Duterte, 42.35 percent; former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, 3.86 percent; Poe, 2.15 percent; and Vice President Jojo Binay, 1.28 percent.

“Social media is the key to winning the 2016 elections,” Santiago said. “Traditional politicians can always pay for advertisements, or even pre-election surveys, but no amount of money can silence Filipinos on social media.”

She has filed an anti-premature campaigning bill seeking to prohibit candidates and even aspirants from campaigning one year before the elections.

(First published in the Philippine STAR of December 1, 2015)

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