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Some of senators have urged President Duterte to call a meeting of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss certain key national issues, notably the President’s threat to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.

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During the deliberations in Congress, the budget had been touted as a budget for infastructures, which would distinguish the new Duterte administration from previous ones. Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said it was possibly the biggest change in the budget – the P890.9-biliion funding for infrastructures, 41 percent more than in the previous 2016 budget. The huge budget would impact on unemployment and, therefore, on mass poverty.

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It looks like China and the United States under newly elected President Donald Trump are not getting along well, with exchanges of critical remarks and warnings in the last few days. We hope they do not get much worse in the coming weeks and months, as any unrest between the two military powers would have particularly ill effects on our region with the Philippines in the center of it all.

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The proposed United Nations inquiry on possible human rights violations in the Philippines has suffered a setback after UN Repporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, and Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard rejected some conditions reportedly being set by the Philippine government.

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CHRISTMAS means so many things to many people. It means carols being played on radio as early as September, city streets filled with lights in Metro Manila and elsewhere, Sta. Claus figures in malls, exchanging of gifts at Christmas parties, Christmas trees covered with lights and with a bright star at the top.

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A HIGH-SPEED railroad – this was how Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua described China-Philippine relations today following President Duterte’s recent state visit to Beijing. After their initial meeting, Duterte met again with China President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru.

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