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WHILE the nation debated on whether the remains of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos should be interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the death of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr. – the single most crucial incident that precipitated Marcos’ downfall – passed largely unnoticed by the general public last Sunday, August 21.

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THE Senate opens today an inquiry into the ongoing anti-drugs campaign of the Duterte administration which has already resulted in hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, and tens of thousands of surrenders of both pushers and users. Over 800 had already been killed by the middle of last month and the figure continues to grow, raising fears of human rights violations.

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THE issue of labor contractualization figured prominently in the last election campaign with all the presidential candidates endorsing the move to abolish – or at least to revise it and keep it within reasonable bounds.

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We must start now

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THE Philippine campaign in the Rio Olympics comes to an end today when the last of the 13 Philippine athletes competes in the taekwondo competition. We have one silver medal to our credit, won by Hidilyn Diaz of Zamboanga City in the 53-kg category of women’s weightlifting, ending 20 years of Philippine Olympic medal drought.

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THE Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) started as a P9-billion aid program to help the poorest families in the country, adapted from programs in Brazil and Mexico by the Arroyo administration. When the Aquino administration took over in 2010, it not only continued the CCT program; it enlarged and spread it year after year until it had ballooned to P62 billion in 2015.

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EIGHTEEN detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF) have been granted bail to enable them to join the formal peace talks with the Philippine government in Oslo, Norway, next week. The 18, along with two others covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), were released after the Solicitor General filed petitions with the Supreme Court which directed the lower courts concerned to give priority to hearings on motions for bail.

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