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President convenes Nat’;l Security Council

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President Duterte will convene the Executive Committee of the National Security Council tomorrow.

According to National Security Adviser and NSC Director General Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Duterte will meet the EC-NSC to discuss “matters that have recently emerged as challenges to the nation’s society.”

Esperon added that Duterte will lead the EC-NSC to follow up the agreements reached during the NSC Council Proper meetings on July 27, 2016 and December 12, 2016.

During the first NSC meeting, Duterte met his four predecessors – former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph E. Estrada, Gloria M. Arroyo, and Benigno S. Aquino III.

In the first meeting last July, Arroyo and Estrada advised Duterte to strengthen ties with China. There is nothing wrong in doing so, they said.

During the second NSC meeting, among the matters discussed were the country’s security situation, the ongoing peace talks with the communist rebels, and updates on the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

Duterte met Senate President Koko Pimentel, Esperon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, then Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, among others.

The EC-NSC is a collegial body chaired by the President and composed of select members from the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

Membership includes the Senate President and House Speaker, as well as the Executive Secretary and specific members of the Cabinet.

The EC-NSC is mandated to discuss and review national security issues and concerns, the results of which are considered by the President in executing his duties. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)