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IN the ongoing discussion on the death penalty, which President Duterte wants to return so as to strengthen the rule of law, it is useful to note that the world – and the Philippines with it – has long debated this issue in the United Nations.

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THE Liberal Party, which enjoyed a premier status as the ruling party during the six years of the Aquino administration, appeared to be going the way of all defeated ruling parties after the new Duterte administration took over last June 30.

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The reported move to raze the Rizal Memorial Stadium and replace it with a commercial district with malls and condominiums has been met with a storm of protest from those who deplore the continuing loss of historic sites in Manila and fear the loss of even more due to the apathy of current and former city and other government officials.

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United States President-elect Donald Trump appeared to have started a nuclear arms race when he pronounced, via Twitter, his communication method of choice, that the US “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

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For years, the Philippine National Police (PNP) made a big show of covering the muzzles of their guns with masking tape as New Year’s Eve neared. It was to demonstrate the order that the policemen are not to fire their guns indiscriminately during the noisy celebration to welcome the New Year.

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In a few more days, it will be the New Year 2017 with all its hopes and expectations. In the last six months, the new Duterte administration has concentrated its efforts on rooting out the drug problem as the President promised during the election campaign. With the New Year, we hope the government will now move full-blast to meet the many other problems of the nation, led by the biggest one of all – mass poverty.

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