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Handling the truth

Netnet Camomot .

IN the movie, “A Few Good Men,” Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) says, “You can’t handle the truth!”

But Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was probably thinking of Billy Joel’s “Honesty is such a lonely word” when she issued a statement on Wednesday last week, accusing again the Otso Diretso team of lying: “They use inaccurate, misleading statements and even direct lies when they attack other candidates or President Duterte and they know they are stretching the truth and yet they deny that they are lying.”

“That is the reason why they should not attack other candidates about honesty because they are themselves liars,” she further said. “And this is the truth. And this shows in their dismal performance in the race, people know they are not truthful.”

The Bible has an appropriate line for this: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Plastic people are probably guilty of lying, too, since they live in a world of pretense—they pretend to be nice, kind, simple, honest, God-fearing, and all those sweet-sixteen traits that are too good to be true.

When the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) city government began implementing its single-use-plastic ban on Jan. 1, 2019, at least one Cagayanon wished it would include plastic people. Unfortunately, it was only for single-use plastic bags, and we now use eco bags for our groceries and other purchases, except for items bought at stores that have paper bags.

CDO’s plastic ban is timely since the Mother Earth Foundation discovered that 163 million plastic sachets, 48 million plastic shopping bags, 45 million thin-film bags, and three million diapers are being thrown away daily in Pinas.

Froilan Grate, executive director of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Asia-Pacific, said, “Plastic is a pollution problem, and it starts as soon as the plastic is made. The only way to manage single-use plastic is to make less of it.” Or how about not making them at all? Kind of, the only way to stop drug use is to stop making drugs.

The only way to lose weight is to lessen food intake. The only way to stop graft and corruption is to not vote for the potentially corrupt. The only way to avoid eating plastic-skinned fish is to not buy them. But you’ll only discover its plastic skin once you’re prepping and slicing it before cooking. Juice colored. Plastic fish, plastic rice, plastic people—there is no end! Is it about time for the madlang pehpohl to panic?

“When paranoia was a habit, indifference felt fun.” No, that’s not another quotable sound bite from Duterte-Carpio. It’s a line from Susan Choi’s “American Woman.” While reading the book, I began to suspect it’s about the kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974. And there’s the ever reliable—hehe—Wikipedia confirming my suspicions. It’s not Hearst’s biography, though. Wikipedia says the book is simply “based on” her story.

This is the book that I had to read again from the beginning when I became confused of where it was going since Choi tends to write kilometric paragraphs that could cover three pages, giving the reader no time to breathe. But you can’t stop reading it once you’re hooked.

Talk of books, Big Bad Wolf, the 50- to 90-percent book fair, was back in Manila last Feb. 22 which was the day of our flight back to CDO. Darn. But why add more books to the ones waiting to be read in this room with a view?

A book, whether fiction or non-fiction, always manages to awaken the reader’s senses. It commands his attention until he feels like he’s now part of the story, so that by the time he finishes reading the book, he needs to rest for a while and stare at the trees right outside the room with a view.

Reading can be emotionally draining. And accusing people of lying must have the same effect, too, that’s probably why Duterte-Carpio’s mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, scolded her.

Duterte-Carpio said, ““Sabi ng nanay ko alam ng lahat ng tao na anak ka ni Rodrigo pero dapat malaman din nila na anak ka ni Elizabeth. Shut it down.”

Zimmerman also told her to “‘wag daw ako makipag-away at ‘wag ko raw i-bully ang mga opposition sa administration ni Duterte.”

“Sinabi nya na I should always be kind first before anything else. So, mag-pack up na po Inday Sara show. Wala na po sya. Sarado na po,” Duterte-Carpio added. Hmmm. Promise, ha?

Well, if there’s one person who’s telling the truth and nothing but the truth, it’s James Reid who inadvertently revealed during his “Gandang Gabi Vice” interview last Sunday that he and Nadine Lustre “live together.” Yay! If only all other loveteams could be as candid as this pair.

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