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WE must learn the lessons of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and how this is applied for the “Philippine Ridge” or Benham Rise. Assurances by China which violated “innocent passage”, by conducting oceanographic studies, crisscrossing the area to Surigao Strait, cannot be trusted. Theodore Roosevelt popularized the “Talk softly, but carry a big stick”. Breaking down diplomatic protocols coached in gracious speeches, the “big stick” is the language in realpolitik when international leaders face each other. Presidents, prime ministers, premieres etc. logically have this at the back of their minds – How big a stick is their counterpart carrying in terms of economy, potential trade, and military arsenal. This determines the tipping of the calculus, whether a State Visit is of “equals”, or of Emperors with vassals paying homage?

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THREE years ago at the height of Francis Tolentino’s pitch for earthquake preparedness, our household joined in the national exercise to practise dropping, covering, and holding, and dutifully obeyed advice to pack an emergency kit to help us survive a magnitude-7 or 8 shaker.

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WHEN Congress resumes its sessions on May 2 and the Commission on Appointments returns to considering President Duterte’s cabinet appointments, the great debate on mining and the environment will resume as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Gina Lopez returns to face the commission.

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When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

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The government has promised to continue to provide stable and secure jobs for Filipinos after more than 45,000 contractual workers have been regularized from their work.

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Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s stand in favor of farmers in the rice importation issue, makes him really the right man for the right job.

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