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There were two images from the news the past few weeks which I found both striking and indicative of the Duterte administration’s sincere efforts to implement countryside development.

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The war on drugs

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When President Rodrigo Duterte won by a landslide in the May 2016 national elections, he hit the ground running on a number of key promises he made during the campaign. But nothing is more controversial than the campaign against drugs and criminality he unleashed even before he was sworn into office.

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“We believe that friends help each other and utilize constructive engagement to achieve common goals. In truth, we all share the same aspiration of greater peace, progress and prosperity.” This was the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte during the traditional New Year’s Day Vin d’Honneur held in Malacañang Palace.

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LATE last year, during the centennial celebration of my alma mater, I was invited to talk about an interesting and rather difficult topic, “On Service to the Country.” This column is based loosely on this speech which I delivered during the alumni homecoming of the University of the Philippines-College of Business Administration last December 6, 2016.

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Manigong Bagong Taon!

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Maybe I’m just old school but I really prefer the way we used to greet each other for the New Year: MANIGONG BAGONG TAON! Of course, the traditional English greeting of “Happy New Year” is fine but our Filipino greeting is just full of hope.

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Metro Manila is congested. Its major arteries are blocked and it is causing high blood pressure to motorists and residents. But a bypass will not save the metropolis, it requires a new heart. In fact, we do not need multiple bypass, we need new hearts.

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