She may do it again

Once again, the enigmatic former First Lady Imelda Marcos has become the “secret weapon,” this time of her son, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in ending the standoff with China in the West Philippine Sea.

She was the main diplomatic weapon of her late husband, President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., during the most difficult state missions abroad. She is among the few political personalities who got the attention of renowned leaders like China’s Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, US Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, and Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

It was said that the 1976 Tripoli Agreement that ended the conflict between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front was clinched after Imelda serenaded Gaddafi.

At the opening of the new Chancery of the Chinese Embassy in Forbes Park last Thursday, where Imelda was present, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian gave her the royal treatment, including a red carpet. The former First Lady, who arrived in a wheelchair, was in good spirits as Huang recounted her visit with President Marcos to China in 1974 where they met the Supreme Leader Mao Zedong.

By the end of the affair, Imelda, with a serious look, told Huang, “Continue with the China-Philippine friendship for world peace,” to which the Chinese envoy responded, “That’s why.”

With her prominent place in history, it would be hard to dismiss Imelda’s friendly advice.

‘Lagay-lagay’ toll gate

A busy port in Dalahican, Lucena has gotten a lot of flak and it was suggested should be renamed “Lagay-lagay” port after the discovery of a bribery scheme at the expense of motorists and passengers who follow regulations but end up with nothing but a spoiled day after queuing for hours to get a boat ride.

A tattletale said she and her companions in private vehicles had lined up to get into the docked vessels owned by Montenegro and Starhorse Shipping Lines last weekend.

For their vehicle to get on board the Roro vessel, they had to line up Saturday at midnight in order to get to Marinduque in the morning for an important event.

More than an hour passed but the vehicle line did not budge, which caused the irritated group to wonder what was going on. She and her sister then asked port officials about the static line.

The tattletale discovered that vehicles were jumping the queue and entering through the backdoor or the port exit, hidden from those in the line, for P1,000 per vehicle to get priority boarding.

The whistleblower and their entourage who were pressed for time had no choice but to pay the expensive toll to get to their appointment on time.

They are asking who they can send their complaint to. The Toll Regulatory Board maybe?

Daily Tribune