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Big gap in positions at Rome peace talks

There seems to be a great disparity in the assessments of the Philippine government peace panel and the National Democratic Front (NDF) panel on when the two sides can finally end hostilities with a joint ceasefire agreement.

THE Philippines is known for its festivals, with three of the biggest celebrated in this month of January – the Ati-atihan of Kalibo, Aklan, the Sinulog of Cebu City, and the Dinagyang of Iloilo City, all in honor of the Sto. Niño.
The Ati-atihan is one of the oldest festivals in the country. It celebrates the coming of ten datus led by Datu Puti and their people from Kalimantan, Borneo, in the 13th century to Panay island, where they were welcomed by dark-skinned Atis led by Ati Marikudo. Together the highland Atis and the lowland Marayons came to celebrate good harvests with street dancing. After the Spaniards came in the 16th century, the festival became a homage to the Santo Niño.

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MALACAÑANG’S press office this week found itself in the familiar situation of denying press reports on a presidential speech, charging “inaccurate reporting” of President Duterte’s remarks on martial law before the Davao City Chamber of Commerce.

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A new American president takes his oath of office today in Washington, DC, with the usual inauguration events threatened by protests of all kinds planned by various groups opposing or questioning some position or opinion or plan announced by incoming President Donald Trump during the recent national election.

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ON the eve of the annual meeting of the world’s political, financial, and business elites in Davos, Switzerland, this week, an international anti-poverty organization Oxfam warned against the growing gap between the very rich and the poor of the world.

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Both reports were on the same survey results, but where one stressed the positive, the other saw more of the negative. The truth, of course, is that the survey held by the Social Weather Stations last December 3-6, 2016, had both positive and both angles. The changes bared by the survey are as yet not too significant, but they give us cause to look forward to the coming surveys.

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