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Rich and famous in the Aids list

Batas Mauricio

AMONG the nearly 45,000 Filipinos who are afflicted with the deadly HIV/Aids, many are considered “VIPs” (or very important persons) in Philippine society, politics, and in government.  They are on the road to slow death, because they failed to receive medical attention right away on account of their refusal to disclose their illnesses even to their doctors.

This shocking information surfaced during the discussions that took place during a regular Rotary meeting on Thursday,  after a lecture was delivered to its members by an advocate fighting HIV/Aids in the Philippines.

According to the guest, included among the VIP Aids victims are famous doctors, well-known politicians, and others who are considered the high and the mighty, the rich and the famous, in Philippine society.

Also during the discussions, emphasis was also placed on the absence of any effective medicine yet that could combat HIV/Aids, and that the only thing doctors could do nowadays anywhere in the world is to give medicine that would somehow control the fast spread of the disease in the bodies of the afflicted.

Answering my queries, the guest confirmed reports that more than 60 percent of the 45,000 Filipinos afflicted with HIV/Aids are men who have had sex with their fellow men. The Department of Health earlier disclosed this fact in a medical bulletin on HIV/Aids.

The number of women who had sex with other women who now contracted HIV/Aids is greatly lesser, compared to the number of men having sex with other men, because the Aids-causing virus is very rarely transmitted in a girl-to-girl relationship.

It also surfaced that there is a spiritual angle on HIV/Aids. The Bible wrote in its pages that an incurable illness that would lead to death would afflict men having sex with other men, and women having sex with other women.

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In the Philippines, it is a fact of life that when you are in the political opposition, there is no longer anything good that the administration is capable of doing. This was my thought while I was listening to a radio interview, on Tuesday, of my “Economics 11” professor in UP Diliman almost four decades ago, Professor Solita “Winnie” Monsod. In that interview, she lambasted to the hilt the Asean Summit 2017.

According to Prof. Monsod (who is now widely known as Mareng Winnie), no good is going to come to the Philippines in its hosting of the 5oth annual meeting of the Asean (or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). The reason, according to her, is that, Asean is merely a social club of its member-countries, and it has not really done anything for the benefit of any of its members since it was put up 50 years ago.

Well, I can understand where Mareng Winnie was coming from in her criticisms of Asean 2017 in the Philippines. She is after all a member of the opposition which is against President Duterte at all cost. The truth, however, is that, that critique of hers against the Asean is way out of order since, in the latter part of her radio interview, she admitted that the meeting of Asean leaders in the country somehow brings a truly big benefit not only to the Philippines but to the world as well.

I nearly fell off my seat in my car as I listened to that interview of Mareng Winnie, prompting me to mumble, Wait a minute, Mareng Winnie, which is which, really–is Asean 2017 going to be beneficial to the Philippines or not? I had to ask that question in my mind because, in her first salvo during the interview, she was categorical in insisting that there is no benefit that the Asean will give because it is a mere social club.

Later in the interview, however, on the insistent questioning of two veteran broadcasters who were talking on air to her, Mareng Winnie all of a sudden made a turn-around by saying that, on account of the Asean meeting, the threat of a deadly war in the world will be lessened or altogether avoided.

Wow! So, that was the truth! In this world of ours where the threat of a nuclear warfare is ever present, putting in question the very survival of this world, it is a very good thing that the leaders of the world which have nuclear weapons are meeting in the Philippines because of Asean 2017, compelling them to talk and confer with one another civilly, instead of raining down nuclear warheads on one another. Is this not a great benefit, Professor Solita?

***

The United Nations has let our another dire warning to all countries of the world about what it claims to be an approaching worldwide tragedy that may happen  in the very near future, arising from the worsening problem of global warming and climate change. This warning was reported by Agence France Press recently.

Eric Solheim, the chief of the UN Environment Office, was quoted as saying that the world will be experiencing more devastating and deadly rains and floods, roaring fires, and destructive winds and tornadoes. In the report, it was made apparent that whatever rains, floods, and strong winds we maybe experiencing today would greatly pale in comparison and would be considered as mere dwarfs in relation to those that are projected to come.

According to Solheim, the UN fears the big gap between whatever is being done by the countries of the world right now to fight global warming and climate change, and  the desired levels of compliance with various climate change agreements. If the world will be unable to find the right solution by 2030, it will face a greatly destructive climate starting that year, the UN report stressed.

What are UN’s proposals to fight the coming deadly calamities arising from global warming and climate change? First, it is imploring the countries who signed the so-called Paris Pact to fulfill their commitments under the agreement to drastically lower their carbon emissions. This however seems an unproductive  endeavor at present.

Second, UN is also requesting the reduction, if not altogether cessation of the use of coal as source of electricity. Third, it is also asking the world to stop deforestation, urging everyone to plant trees, and a reduction in man’s meat consumption.

But while these are outstanding steps towards a more stable environment, they are nevertheless hopelessly insufficient to address the problem of global warming and climate change. These measures have not contributed to any significant reduction in the heating of the world. The situation is getting worse by the day, even if countless climate conferences and summits have already been held relentlessly, consuming trillions of dollars just to stage them.

Every effort at fighting global warming turned out to be big failures each time. The question is, why the failures? From the looks of it, failure in the fight against global warming and climate change, then and now, arises from the refusal of the so-called experts on environmental degradation to pay attention to one particular issue that may yet turn out to be the master key towards a fruitful solution.

This relates to the one incontestable truth about global warming and climate change, and it is that this is a phenomenon that was the subject of dire warnings even in olden times. These warnings were written and immortalized in the Bible, where it was clearly stressed, in written form yet, that global warming and climate change would come because people no longer listened to God, and no longer obeyed His commands.

If we consider this more closely, there should be no mistaking the fact that one of the more effective solution towards fighting the heating up of the world and the aberrations of environment, side-by-side with what the UN and other international agencies are doing now, could be a return to listening to God and obeying Him at all times. I believe we should give this a try now, while there is time, right?

 

E-mail: batasmauricio@yahoo.com

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