Relatives fear for arrested Chinese dissidents

By Herbert Vego

INDIA’S online TV recently came up with a report that some relatives of Chinese youth who had been arrested for denouncing Xi Jin Ping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the “zero-Covid” lockdowns fear for their lives.

The reporter-commentator recalled her interview with a Chinese medical intern – let us call him Sio Pao – who was drafted as part of an organ-harvesting team at the Shenyang Army General Hospital.

The intern was taken to an operating room to harvest a prisoner’s eyes for transplant to a waiting recipient. The ailing prisoner was still alive, his hands and feet tied.

The army doctor in charge sliced him open from chest to belly button and exposed his two kidneys.

“Cut the veins and arteries,” he told Sio, who hesitatingly did as told.

Then the doctor ordered him to remove the man’s eyeballs. Hearing that, the dying prisoner gave him a look of sheer terror, and George froze.

“I can’t do it,” he told the doctor, who then quickly scooped out the man’s eyeballs himself.

Sio Pao was so shocked that quit his hospital internship. Afraid that he might also be the next victim of China’s forced organ-transplant business, he fled to Canada and assumed a new identity.

Hmm, reminds me of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma who was recently reported to have escaped to Japan after criticizing Xi and the CCP, to the relief of his worried relatives.



WE were at Plaza Libertad the other evening (5:30 p.m. sharp) in time for the initial light-up of the giant pyramid-shaped Christmas tree donated by MORE Power to the Iloilo City Government.

Personally present to lead the light-up ceremony were Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro.

Castro reiterated his commitment to modernize sustainable electricity service in Iloilo City, comparing it to the “star of Bethlehem” as the light of hope.

“With all your support and understanding,” he assured Ilonggos, “MORE Power is more motivated to be a partner of the city in going to the next level.”

“We find ways,” Mayor Treñas responded, quoting a bank ad.

An hour later, a similar event unfolded up at Molo Plaza, where stands another giant multi-lighted Christmas tree.

Waste need not be wasted.  It’s another message conveyed by various decors embedded in the two Christmas trees; they are the “upcycled” old electric meters, aluminum wires, and other scrap materials.



GIVEN negotiable roads and bridges, the new Madja-as Park in Carit-an, Culasi, Antique could morph into a world-class tourist destination.  If I heard it right, it opened yesterday with a bang  — nay, big bangs – and literally so with the participation of tribal performances by Binirayan and Dinagyang troupes.

Nestled on a mountain top towering 136 meters above sea level, it is the place to go – for a fee, naturally — in order to roam around and appreciate the 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding wonders, including the far-away tourist spots Mararison and Batbatan islands, among others.

Based on the pictures that have reached me, Madja-as is almost like a zoo – except that the prehistoric dinosaurs, lions, tigers, zebras and other fierce animals therein are in concrete.

Petrified cartoon characters galore.

All-terrain vehicles, scooters and bikes are available.

If my informant was not lying, it offers boat rides around a man-made lake.  If you have been to Venice where tourists sail around on a gondola, you already know what I mean.

When I heard the surname behind the private initiative, I thought of my friends Rolando “Don Bando” Dy-Buco and his better-half Mariquit, since the hubby is from Culasi.

Surely, however, since it’s a family corporation, Bando’s denial is insufficient to erase my suspicion on the theme park’s ownership.

In his book By His Light, you see, Bando wrote of his grandpa Lee Boa, the Chinese merchant who braved the seas by boat, starting from Amoy, China until he reached the shore of Pandan, Antique in 1935.  He later adopted the Filipino name Benito, and he became known as Benito Lee.

As to how “Lee” evolved into “Dy-Buco,” Bando said that “Lee” had morphed into “Dy”; “Boa”  into “Buco”.