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President Digong, our Probinsiyano City Mayor

For the first time in our history, we have a probinsiyano city mayor as President of our Republic.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte from Davao City, far from imperial Manila, assumed the Presidency after 12 noon yesterday. He is frank, simple, so human, and challenging. His intentions, vision and competence will face realities on the ground.

As one nation, we should all cooperate in reforming our values, attitudes and society. Let’s stand together and raise the banner of change, our flag and pride as worthy Filipinoss. Let us help President Duterte repair our damaged institutions, including the Presidency, Judiciary, COMELEC, etc. Let’s embrace federalism as espoused by former Senate President Nene Pimentel and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, among others.

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By tradition and practice, regardless of ideological systems, media and state heads accept their common duty to protect and promote the peoples welfare. Community press leaders told me they will actively support new government’s information drive to help countryside Filipinos to fully understand its new development thrusts. Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) and Federation of Provincial Press Clubs of the Philippines (FPPC) members told me they have started sounding out their respective areas to fully support President Duterte.

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We expect Albay ex-Gov. Joey Salceda who has returned to Congress to share his creativity and sound governance expertise selflessly to benefit the entire nation through legislation.

Interestingly, under Salceda, Albay has registered 96.15% Senior High School enrolment rate under the K-to-12 program, proof of what wonders sound governance support can do even for contentious programs. Of Albay’s recent 22,638 Grade 10 graduates, 21,767 have enrolled in Senior High School for SY 2016 – 2017.

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Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI’s) top man, Dione Salme told me by phone Boracay stakeholders strongly oppose the projected 2-kilometer bridge connecting Boracay and Caticlan in mainland Panay, as proposed by San Miguel Corporation’s Ramon Ang. They believe it will rob Boracay much of its charm. SMC reportedly plans a 5000-room hotel complex in Boracay.

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Waldy Carbonel has remained passionately obsessed about recovering Sabah from Malaysia, and talks about practical and “doable measures” to solve the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China. He, together with Presidential Chief Legal counsel Sal Panelo and Engr. Greg Enriquez attended my modest birthday party recently. (Johnny Dayang)