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Some changes to look forward to

Big changes are expected in government policy and operations. It was, after all, because of his promise of change that President-elect Duterte won by a big margin over the other, more traditional, presidential candidates. His campaign against crime, especially drugs, will begin immediately, if only to meet the three to six-month deadline he set for himself during the election campaign. This should be accompanied by a cleanup in police ranks as the drug problem in particular is believed to have grown to what it is today because of either police connivance or tolerance.

Unjustified

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AS I write this column, news reports from the United States indicate that at least 50 people have been killed in what is being considered as the worst mass shooting incident in that country’s history.

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ARCHBISHOP Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, issued a statement the other day after President-elect Duterte accused Filipino bishops and priests of hypocrisy and corruption and criticized the Roman Catholic Church as a “most hypocritical institution.” Archbishop Villegas chose, in response, to invoke “the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of Pilate.”

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The scheduled exploratory talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) next week in Oslo will determine the trajectory of the peace negotiations that have been held on and off for decades.

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The elimination of “queues” in government offices is one among the initial marching orders of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte to the members of his Cabinet. This is a very doable reform in government and it can be done immediately. While the “queues” in government offices may seem less serious than the problem of corruption, solving the same will set the right tone for the “change” that we expect the incoming Duterte Administration to serve the Filipino people with Some may view the “queues” in government offices as a less serious problem but when we look at it deeply, we will have the same appreciation as what President-elect Duterte has on the matter. Obviously, he sees it as a serious concern that merits it to be included in the initial orders he gave to the members of his Cabinet.

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Can he do it?

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THE incoming Duterte administration won overwhelming vote support with its promise of change. Change was promised in many areas of the national life – to bring the benefits of economic progress down to the level of ordinary folk, to give the regions greater autonomy and, therefore, greater opportunity for development, to bring peace to President-elect Duterte’s own region of Mindanao, to make peace not only with the Moro groups but also with the Communist rebels of the New People’s Army.

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