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THREE years after super typhoon “Yolanda” hit Eastern Visayas, leaving 6,300 dead, over 1,000 missing, and over 28,000 injured, it continues to be in the news – not so much for the devastation that it left as for the official failings that continue to be investigated to this day.

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It has been 21 months since the Mamasapano disaster of January, 2015. There have been countless hearings in Congress, charges have been filed against the alleged killers of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos of the Philippine National Police, some of whom have been honored with medals and other decorations. But the fact is that many of the families of the SAF 44 and many in the nation feel to this day that there is yet no closure to that unfortunate incident.

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ON Scarborough Shoal, which is Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc to us, the Philippines and China have simply agreed to disagree.

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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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