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Two Mondays from today, on November 7, Americans will go to the polls to elect their next president. Filipinos have been closely following the election campaign, for it is significant to us in many ways. Elections are important to us and ours are patterned after the American system, without, of course, its primaries and its Electoral College. We even share such practices as mud-slinging, vote-buying, and – if Republican candidate Donald Trump is to be believed – election-rigging.

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KEEPING true to his promise to police and military personnel, President Duterte issued late last month Executive Order 3 increasing the combat duty pay of armed forces personnel from P500 to P3,000 a month and of police forces from P340 to P3,000 a month. The combat incentive pay was increased from P150-P1,500 a month to P300-P3,000. The total budget for the increases is P12 billion.

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AS typhoons and hurricanes battered lands around the world this month, nations reached various agreements aimed at minimizing the climate change believed responsible for the worsening natural disasters.

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PRESIDENT Duterte appears determined to develop a more independent foreign policy for the Philippines, one that is less dependent on the United States. His ongoing trip to China is a key part of this effort. He hopes to bring home from his trip new investments and trade agreements with China that should boost our national economy.

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SURELY the most dismaying news report last week was that of the killing of a woman crusader against crime in Oriental Mindoro. Zenaida Luz was standing in front of her house Sunday night waiting for someone who had called to ask for her help, when two men riding in tandem shot and killed her.

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IT was perhaps inevitable that the Zika virus would reach us in the Philippines, considering today’s modern means of transportation and the fact that Filipinos are all over the world today.

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