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The Philippines

Marawi on one’s mind

MANILA I don’t know Marawi City at all. But one doesn’t have to know Marawi or be from there to grieve with that luckless city’s residents. For all intents and purposes, there is no longer a Marawi City. It’s been wiped off the face of the earth. What it is, ...

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US vows aid for Marawi as army sets final push

MANILA. The United States has pledged P730 million (about $14 million) in aid to help rebuild Marawi City and Australia announced it was sending troops as Philippine forces brace for a final push against the Islamic State-affiliated gunmen in the city and begin looking at rebuilding. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ...

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‘Saging’ bribery

Two Chinese frigates, a coast Guard vessel and two large fishing vessels were sighted recently within one nautical mile off Pag-Asa Island, second to the largest in the disputed Spratly Islands proximate to the province of Palawan in the Philippines. What is the response of the Philippine government? “Why were ...

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Retired newspaper editor gunned down

MANILA. A former business paper editor and Department of Finance consultant was killed, together with his brother, in an ambush by motorcycle-riding gunmen on Aug. 3 in San Juan, Metro Manila. Michael “Mike” Marasigan, 60, and his brother Christopher, 50, died of gunshot wounds after they were attacked by suspects ...

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Political turncoats are shameless

MANILA Politicians here are still switching parties, from their losing ones in last May 2016’s elections to the party in power, which used to have only a handful of members. Changing political parties for convenience or selfish interest is the most odious political exercise. Except, of course, for stealing the ...

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Ghost of Macoy

When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was dangling martial law some months back, I really thought that it was just empty talk. He tends to exaggerate to scare people, the bad guys in his sight. Now it’s for real. After the City of Marawi in Lanao del Sur was infiltrated by ...

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On Philippine Gardens, a Stroll

Gardens and gardening are reflections of Philippine culture which have, for centuries, glimmered in their importance to Filipino lives. A garden is a show-off for leisure and strolling through it is what the 16th Century English essayist Francis Bacon wrote as “the purest of human pleasure…the greatest refreshment to the ...

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The good and bad about Duterte

MANILA The Philippines today is a divided country. President Rodrigo Duterte has divided the country with his style of governance, throwing his weight around like a feudal lord. He has turned off a lot of Filipinos. But, ironically, he still enjoys a high rate of public approval. Every speech Duterte ...

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President’s minions mimic his vulgar language

MANILA The rhetoric emanating from officials and supporters of Philippine President Duterte Rodrigo is, at the very least, disappointing.    There are stronger words to describe it, like disturbing, inappropriate, cringe-inducing, and unacceptable. But let’s settle for disappointing.      A government undersecretary isn’t happy with the European Union and she tells EU ...

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