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EVEN before he takes his oath as president of the Philippines on June 30, Rodrigo Duterte faces a critical test and challenge to his leadership on June 13. This is the deadline set by the Abu Sayyaf for the payment of ransom for kidnap victims they had seized eight months ago from a Samal island resort near Davao City.

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With the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), the Philippine government finally acknowledges this new and fast-spreading field of technology in the delivery of services to the people.

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MANY changes are expected in the incoming Duterte administration. The new president will undoubtedly take immediate action on his campaign promise to stop illegal drugs in the country in three to six months. He will go all-out in implementing the Reproductive Health (RH) Law enacted during the Aquino administration. He will mobilize the military and the police in a campaign to bring about peace and order in Mindanao.

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FOR the first time in years, Zambales fishermen said that last week, they were no longer being harassed by Chinese coast guard vessels in the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales, said that some 100 Masinloc fishermen expressed surprise at the unexpected turn of events.

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THE death of five people attending an open-air concert at the parking lot of the Mall of Asia in Pasay City last weekend underscores the big problem of drugs in the country today, a problem which President-elect Duterte has vowed to eradicate in three to six months.

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IN the same spirit as his visit to Cuba last December, United States (US) President Barack Obama went to Hanoi, Vietnam, last Monday. As the visit to Cuba ended five decades of Cold War hostility between the two Western Hemisphere neighbors, the visit to Hanoi sought to transform an old enemy in the Vietnam War of 1958-1975 into a new partner for peace in our part of the world.

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