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ECONOMY GOING STRONG AMID OUSTER CALLS -- PALACE

MANILA, Philippines - Amid calls for President Aquino’s resignation in the wake of the Jan. 25 Mamasapano carnage, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte underscored yesterday the economic achievements of the administration, which “remains unswerving in its dedication to steer the country toward ever-greater progress.” Valte said over radio dzRB the economy continues its upbeat performance – as demonstrated by the local stock exchange’s successive all time index highs – even as she dismissed calls for President Aquino to resign because of the Mamasapano fiasco. READ MORE...

ALSO: Is PNoy hiding from public amid coup rumors, resignation calls?


President Aquino has yet to appear in public again following the January 25 Mamasapano incident. AP/Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines - When will President Benigno Aquino III appear in public again and talk about the Mamasapano debacle? In a press briefing on Wednesday, Malacañang said Aquino will decide in due time on whether he would face the public and explain his role in the Mamasapano operation. "Wala naman pong pahayag na ayaw na niyang magsalita o isinasara na niya ito. Nandoon pa rin ‘yung paniniwala doon sa prinsipyo na dapat malaman ang ganap na katotohanan," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. READ MORE...

ALSO Source: Maguindanao massacre suspect coddling Usman in Mamasapano


Usman, an ethnic Maguindanaon, was said to have undergone training in handling of explosives and fabrication of improvised bombs in Kandahar, Afganistan and in Peshawar Pakistan in the 1990s. MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The wounded bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman is still in Maguindanao's Mamasapano town, moving from one swampy area to another to avoid detection, rebel sources on Saturday said. Local folks, speaking on terms of anonymity for security reasons, said a moneyed suspect in the infamous Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre has been providing Usman with food and antibiotics for the wounds he sustained in an encounter with members of the police’s Special Action Force on January 25 in Barangay Inog-og in Mamasapano.READ MORE...

ALSO Lacson urges Aquino: Come clean on role in Mamasapano tragedy


LACSON --MANILA, Philippines — “The problem with prevaricating is when too many actors and factors are involved, it becomes extremely difficult to become consistent.” Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson joined on Thursday demands that President Aquino bare his role in the Special Action Force raid that reportedly killed a Malaysian terrorist nicknamed Marwan but cost the lives of 44 commandos that critics said could have been saved had the Armed Forces of the Philippines responded swiftly to SOS pleas from the Philippine National Police. “As new revelations start to unfold, it is becoming obvious that there is much more than what the President had initially admitted in his earlier public statements,” said Lacson, whose resignation took effect on Feb. 10 as presidential adviser on the recovery and rehabilitation in areas devastated by a supertyphoon a year ago. READ COMPLETE REPORT...

ALSO: Besieged Palace aide veers away from massacre queries

The Palace, which is increasingly besieged by allegations of manipulating the situation in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident in which 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) were massacred by a combined force of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels, is running out of excuses and was caught yesterday trying to evade questions related to the tragedy. President Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte obviously tried to veer away from questions raised on allegations that the government bought from the MILF the retrieved firearms of the slain SAF commandos amid public outrage on the government inaction on the demands for justice among relatives of the SAF policemen. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO By Fr. Eliseo Jun Mercado, OMI: Reforming the ARMM at 25


FR. MERCADO ---former chairperson of the government peace panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and has been extensively involved in the peace process in Mindanao. The ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman’s report on the State of the ARMM is a welcome relief for many before it bows out. The ARMM has a new image albeit it is about to fade away with the emergence of the Bangsamoro. It is no longer the home of the ghosts - ghost voters, ghost pupils, ghost employees and ghost projects and infrastructures. I am truly impressed by what has been accomplished, dubbed as reforms, in such a short time. ARMM, a "failed experiment" in governance, has now become a bustling place of activities and participative & transparent governance. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Economy going strong amid ouster calls – Palace


AQUINO --PHOTO COURTESY OF JOURNAL.COM.PH

MANILA, FEBRUARY 22, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica - Amid calls for President Aquino’s resignation in the wake of the Jan. 25 Mamasapano carnage, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte underscored yesterday the economic achievements of the administration, which “remains unswerving in its dedication to steer the country toward ever-greater progress.”

Valte said over radio dzRB the economy continues its upbeat performance – as demonstrated by the local stock exchange’s successive all time index highs – even as she dismissed calls for President Aquino to resign because of the Mamasapano fiasco.

Last Monday, Aquino presided over a board meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) during which six infrastructure projects were approved: the Panguil Bay Bridge Project, which would connect Tangub, Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao del Norte; Phase 1 of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project, which would involve the construction of an elevated commuter railway from Malolos to Tutuban; the North-South Railway Project South Line, which would connect Metro Manila and Legazpi City, Albay; the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Project; the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway (NLEX-SLEX) Connector Project; and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Project.

“Totaling over P370 billion, these projects aim to improve connectivity in the country, consistent with the administration’s goal of boosting our transportation system,” Valte said.

She said the business sector continued to expand with the influx of foreign companies and investments. “And our FDIs (foreign direct investments), if I may just point out, have also doubled from the recent years...which...will translate into capital in our country and then eventually to employment and jobs for our people,” Valte said.

On Friday, as a way of strengthening this partnership, officials of the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) and Paul Polman, global chairman and CEO of Unilever, paid separate courtesy calls on Aquino.

SMBC’s recently approved plan to set up a Manila branch is expected to help facilitate the entry of Japanese investors in the country, Valte said.

The President also met again on Wednesday with the families of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force commandos who were killed in the operation to arrest terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

“As we have pledged from the beginning, the government is committed to securing the futures of the bereaved families,” Valte said.

Valte said the government continues to address other national priorities while dealing with the Mamasapano issue.

She said the President’s economic team is focused on implementing programs to help the country achieve inclusive growth.

Busy days ahead

She said the President has numerous engagements and concerns in the week ahead, including leading the nation in the celebration of the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Feb. 24 and 25.

French President Francois Hollande is also expected to visit the country on Feb. 26 and 27 and meet with Aquino, reports said.

On calls for the President to resign, Valte said they “obviously disagree” with the position of presidential uncle former Tarlac congressman Peping Cojuancgo and his wife Tingting that Aquino must step down. She also said they would leave it up to the spokespersons of Vice President Jejomar Binay to comment on reports that he has agreed to be part of an advisory council that would temporarily govern the country in case Aquino steps down before the end of his term in June next year.

“Whether their position...on the President’s resignation, as they want to call it, has impacted on their personal relationship with the President, I cannot say for sure because I am not privy to that personal relationship,” Valte said.

Valte said she did not know if the President had spoken with his unsympathetic relatives, whose motives, she said, were unclear. – With Marvin Sy, Eva Visperas


PHILSTAR

Is PNoy hiding from public amid coup rumors, resignation calls? By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated February 18, 2015 - 4:50pm 12 324 googleplus0 0


President Aquino has yet to appear in public again following the January 25 Mamasapano incident. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - When will President Benigno Aquino III appear in public again and talk about the Mamasapano debacle?

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Malacañang said Aquino will decide in due time on whether he would face the public and explain his role in the Mamasapano operation.

"Wala naman pong pahayag na ayaw na niyang magsalita o isinasara na niya ito. Nandoon pa rin ‘yung paniniwala doon sa prinsipyo na dapat malaman ang ganap na katotohanan," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

Coloma downplayed Aquino's perceived public disappearance amid calls for him to resign and rumors of a destabilization plot against the government following the January 25 Mamapsano incident.

He insisted that Aquino is not hiding from the public, explaining that his recent activities only happened to be set in Malacañang.

These include Aquino's two televised national address on the Mamasapano tragedy, the state visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the recent National Economic Development Authority Board meeting.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Coloma said Aquino's lack of recent public engagements should not mean that he's trying to escape the public eye.

"Lahat naman ng kanyang ginagawa ay para sa kapakanan ng lahat ng Pilipino. Sinasabi ba natin na kinakailangan ay hindi sa Malacañang gagawin ‘yon para maging kapaki-pakinabang?" Coloma said.

"Parang masyado naman yatang naiiba ‘yung frame of reference just because hindi ginanap sa labas ng Malacañang samantalang ito naman talaga ang official office at residence ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas," he added.

Coloma denied that Aquino's perceived public disappearance is due to the rumored brewing military plan to overthrow the government.

"Walang kinalaman, walang batayan, at walang katotohanan," he said.


PHILSTAR

Source: Maguindanao massacre suspect coddling Usman in Mamasapano By John Unson (philstar.com) | Updated February 21, 2015 - 5:30pm
0 6 googleplus0 0


Usman, an ethnic Maguindanaon, was said to have undergone training in handling of explosives and fabrication of improvised bombs in Kandahar, Afganistan and in Peshawar Pakistan in the 1990s.

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The wounded bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman is still in Maguindanao's Mamasapano town, moving from one swampy area to another to avoid detection, rebel sources on Saturday said.

Local folks, speaking on terms of anonymity for security reasons, said a moneyed suspect in the infamous Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre has been providing Usman with food and antibiotics for the wounds he sustained in an encounter with members of the police’s Special Action Force on January 25 in Barangay Inog-og in Mamasapano.

Usman, an ethnic Maguindanaon, was said to have undergone training in handling of explosives and fabrication of improvised bombs in Kandahar, Afganistan and in Peshawar Pakistan in the 1990s.

Moro community leaders said Usman, known in Mamasapano as “Teng,” was indeed wounded in an encounter with SAF operatives that killed in a dawn raid last January 25 Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, most known as Marwan.

The house of Marwan in Barangay Inog-og is only about 50 meters away from Usman’s shanty.

“He is treating his wounds with antibiotics supplied by a benefactor, someone who was implicated in the Maguindanao massacre,” one of the sources said in the Maguindanaon dialect.

Usman was known in Mamasapano as a close aide of Marwan, who was said to have trained more than 300 recruits in the past three years, some of them Yakans from Basilan and Tausogs from Sulu.

“Before January 25 he (Usman) was always at the market at Sharif Aguak to buy food supplies for Marwan as if he is not a wanted person,” a 53-year-old peasant said.

The public market of Sharif Aguak, the old provincial capital of Maguindanao, is near the provincial police office and the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade.

A barangay official said Marwan was buried in Dasikil, an agricultural area at the border of Mamasapano and nearby Rajah Buayan town, also in Maguindanao.

“He was buried there a day after he was killed by policemen,” said the source.

Local officials in Rajah Buayan said residents of Dasikil had confirmed that Marwan was indeed buried in an unmarked grave in the area.

Usman is wanted for his involvement in deadly bombings in Central Mindanao.

“He is just moving now from one area to another in Mamasapano, at the border of Datu Piang and Salibo (municipalities),” a source said in Maguindanaon vernacular.

A grains trader said Usman is a friend of an armed group led by a suspect in the Maguindanao massacre.

Barangay folks dislocated by the January 25 hostilities between policemen and MILF members in Mamasapano said it was too unbelievable that most local officials never knew of Marwan and Usman’s presence in the municipality.

An aide of Usman last bought Cloxacillin antibiotics for him in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on February 16, another source hinted.

Usman was tagged as behind the February 2003 setting off of a vehicle packed with explosives at the Maguindanao Awang Airport near Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town.

The bombing occurred three days after Marine and Army combatants took over the residential compound at the Buliok Complex in Pagalungan, Maguindanao of the MILF’s founder, Imam Salamat Hashim.

Usman was also implicated in the detonation in June 2005 of a vehicle loaded with explosives and parked along a busy thoroughfare in the town proper of Sharif Aguak, just as the convoy of then Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Jr. was passing by.

The governor survived the explosion unscathed but eight people in separate vehicles trailing behind were killed in the attack, which also injured more than 10 others.


INQUIRER

Lacson urges Aquino: Come clean on role in Mamasapano tragedy Tarra Quismundo @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 8:22 AM | Friday, February 20th, 2015


PING LACSON

MANILA, Philippines — “The problem with prevaricating is when too many actors and factors are involved, it becomes extremely difficult to become consistent.”

Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson joined on Thursday demands that President Aquino bare his role in the Special Action Force raid that reportedly killed a Malaysian terrorist nicknamed Marwan but cost the lives of 44 commandos that critics said could have been saved had the Armed Forces of the Philippines responded swiftly to SOS pleas from the Philippine National Police.

“As new revelations start to unfold, it is becoming obvious that there is much more than what the President had initially admitted in his earlier public statements,” said Lacson, whose resignation took effect on Feb. 10 as presidential adviser on the recovery and rehabilitation in areas devastated by a supertyphoon a year ago.

Lacson, a former PNP chief, made the statement when asked to comment on the call that five lawmakers who had served in uniform made on Wednesday for Mr. Aquino to “step up” and take full responsibility for the massacre on Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province.

The administration has drawn criticism for the unnecessary deaths in the operation to arrest Malaysian bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, and his associate Basit Usman.

Marwan was reportedly killed in the SAF operation. Initial tests conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicated that a sample of Marwan’s DNA from a finger cut by a commando raider matched that of his brother who is detained in California.

But it came at a heavy cost as 44 commandos were slaughtered while battling Moro rebel forces on their way out of Marwan’s hut. The slow response of the military to pleas for reinforcement from the SAF commander and forensic evidence that wounded troopers were gunned down at close range added fuel to an already indignant nation.

Investigations at the Senate and House of Representatives have shown gaps in communication between the police and the military during the operation known as Oplan Exodus, with the Armed Forces largely kept out until the time the SAF men were already taking heavy fire and in need of rescue and reinforcement in Mamasapano’s cornfields.

In congressional hearings last week, testimony was given about how Mr. Aquino’s trusted former police chief, suspended Director General Alan Purisima, ran the show from the start and was deeply involved in the actual assault despite his status.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and the acting PNP chief, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, also had no knowledge about the operation until it was too late.

“Accepting responsibility is always a consequence of wielding authority. It is also admirable as it is honorable no matter what the cost may be,” said Lacson, referring to the President.

He said Mr. Aquino should have been completely honest to the public from the get go.

“Having said that, being aware of the extent of his knowledge and role in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus, taking responsibility and not deviating from the truth from the very start should have been his best option as the Commander in Chief of all Armed Forces in the country,” said Lacson.

“Those who committed acts of omission, mostly from the government side, and commission, obviously from the MILF and the BIFF… must be legally accountable for the death and overkill of the 44 SAF troopers, not to mention those killed in the cross fire,” Lacson said.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, Representatives Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano of Magdalo, Leopoldo Bataoil of Pangasinan province, Romeo Acop of Antipolo and Samuel Pagdilao Jr. of ACT-CIS said the President must answer three burning questions surrounding the SAF raid:

* When did he first know about the deadly clash between the SAF troopers and the Moro rebels?

* What did he do when he found out about the operation?

* What happened after he gave orders to the police and military to deal with the unfolding SAF rout?

“Declaring I am responsible is not enough. We want answers,” said Acedillo, who noted the conflicting and misleading statements of police and military officials on the incident.


TRIBUNE

Besieged Palace aide veers away from massacre queries Written by Jason Faustino Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

The Palace, which is increasingly besieged by allegations of manipulating the situation in the aftermath of the Mamasapano incident in which 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) were massacred by a combined force of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels, is running out of excuses and was caught yesterday trying to evade questions related to the tragedy.

President Aquino’s deputy spokesman Abigail Valte obviously tried to veer away from questions raised on allegations that the government bought from the MILF the retrieved firearms of the slain SAF commandos amid public outrage on the government inaction on the demands for justice among relatives of the SAF policemen.

In response to queries about the MILF not planning to surrender members who took part in the slaughter of the policemen who were serving an arrest order on Malaysian terrorist Marwan and his local henchman Basit Usman, Valte made a sudden turn to instead discuss the supposed government assistance to the relatives of the slain SAF operatives. in the meantime, about an earlier question, apart from the monetary assistance coming from the President’s Social Fund (PSF), I think that’s in the amount of P250,000, that will be given to the families. The Department of Labor (and Employment) is coordinating with the families and are looking into what help it can provide to the working age members of each family,” Valte said.

Then she made reference to skills training from TESDA (Technical Education Skills Development Authority) and NAPOLCOM (National Police Commission) grants for scholarship programs to members of the families of the slain SAF members.

She added the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will also provide livelihood assistance along with the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) for some to start a business.

Earlier, Valte was hard-pressed in answering questions about the supposed payments made by the government to the MILF for the return of the stolen SAF firearms.
“Let’s not muddle the issue. The fact is the return of the firearms was a sign of their continued interest to be our partners in the peace process,” She said referring to the MILF.
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Executive Director Luisito Montalbo also assailed allegations made by Monsignor Eliseo “Jun” Mercado that the government thru OPAPP is purchasing weapons to make it appear that the MILF is returning the firearms of the fallen SAF troopers.



“We don’t know where that is coming from. Certainly, there is no truth to that.” Montalbo said.

“We find it very disappointing that Fr. Jun, whom we’ve known for a long time and who used to directly engage our Office as a peace advocate, would come out publicly? with claims that are unsubstantiated and unverified,” he said.

?”It saddens us to note that Fr. Jun would feel that he could no longer directly ?engage our Office constructively as many other local and national civil society peace advocates, religious leaders, and other stakeholders are currently doing,” Montalbo noted.

“?His public pronouncement is wrong and also unfair to our ground forces, the ceasefire committees and our international monitors who personally documented, facilitated and officially witnessed the retrieval of the weapons from the MILF,” he added.

Montalbo was referring to the GPH - MILF Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, and the International Monitoring Team or IMT, both of which are mechanisms under the ceasefire agreement between the government and MILF, and were instrumental in the retrieval of SAF weapons.

??The GPH CCCH is headed by BGen. Carlito Galvez with Secretariat head Dir. Carlos Sol Jr. The MILF CCCH is headed by Rashid Ladiasan.

The IMT on the other hand is composed of representatives from different countries and is led by Malaysian MGen Dato’ Abdul Samad Bin HJ Yaakub as Head of Mission. An IMT member, Norwegian William Hovland, served as official witness in the documentation and retrieval of weapons.

Last February 18, the 16 and a half high powered SAF weapons were publicly presented to Philippines peace panel chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer by MILF peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal in a program hosted by the 6th Infantry Division’s Camp Siongco in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Witnesses at the presentation of the retrieved weapons were Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles, GPH peace panel member Senen Bacani, Joint Normalization Committee co-chair Muhammad Nassif, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gregorio Catapang Jr., ?AFP Western Mindanao Command Chief Gen. Rustico Guerrero, Philippine Army 6th Infantry Battalion Commander Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan and PNP ARMM OIC Senior Superintendent Noel Armilla.

Last February 19, the retrieved SAF weapons were formally turned over by the ceasefire mechanisms and the AFP to the Philippine National Police Headquarters. ?

Montalbo noted that OPAPP’s legal unit has already started looking at various malicious misinformations being directed at the agency, which now include Mercado’s claim.

“Definitely, we cannot allow such untruths and violations of our rights to go unchallenged. It is not just the name of the agency that is at stake, but hundreds of its employees who have no way to protect themselves from being maligned in this way,” Montalbo said.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Reforming the ARMM at 25 By Fr. Eliseo Jun Mercado, OMI December 22, 2014 12:29am

The ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman’s report on the State of the ARMM is a welcome relief for many before it bows out.

The ARMM has a new image albeit it is about to fade away with the emergence of the Bangsamoro.

It is no longer the home of the ghosts - ghost voters, ghost pupils, ghost employees and ghost projects and infrastructures.

I am truly impressed by what has been accomplished, dubbed as reforms, in such a short time.

ARMM, a "failed experiment" in governance, has now become a bustling place of activities and participative & transparent governance.

It is not a perfect or even an ideal place yet, but from where it began three years ago, the performance of what is now known as "Reform Government" has, unknowingly, established a benchmark for future governance in this place.

Ghost employees and the "15-30" employees (referring to the people who reported to work only on pay days) are nearly all eliminated. Hiring of officials and employees follows a process that includes a panel interview, and employees and officials have to report to their offices on time.

Ghost infrastructures and projects are not tolerated and are shunned.

The real crunch in the reform government of Governor Mujiv Hataman is the trust and respect he enjoys not only among the constituents but also from the rank and file of the ARMM bureaucracy.

He is very informal in his ways and he would make his visitors - both lowly and mighty - immediately feel at home.

In the final reckoning, the test of governance is not the capacity to deliver goods or to do this or that, but the capacity of the leader to inspire his people and constituents to believe in themselves and together move forward.

While the process of transforming the ARMM will still take years, what has been accomplished is to prove to all and sundry that Moro leaders are capable to govern, to inspire and to deliver the "goods" to the constituency, particularly the basic services like basic education and primary health care.

I do not claim that corruption no longer exists in the ARMM. But by whatever measure, corruption is, definitely, much less.

Moreover, wealth and power are no longer flaunted and a new culture is beginning to take root, that is, that public office is not an entitlement.

I believe what truly matters is the fact that the people in the ARMM can now dream of better governance and stewardship of their resources.

The reform governance has made the constituents demand better output and public service from their officials who, after all, are not their masters or some sort of feudal lords but public servants.

What is interesting to note is the confidence of Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that would become the new Organic Act of the new autonomous political entity will deliver far better results.

He is rooting for the immediate passage of the Basic Law, because it is far better than the present Organic Act (RA 9054 and RA 6734).

He believes that the proposed Basic Law not only widens and deepens the competence of the Autonomous Government by leaps and bounds but it also provides better opportunities for real growth and development of the Bangsamoro.

The present ARMM is in good health. And it is willing to fade away even before the expiry of its term in June 2016 in order to give way to the Bangsamoro.

Is this not the real meaning of the two slogans that are now the mantra of the reformed ARMM: “Bangsamoro bago ang sarili” and “Kapayapaan sa bayan, kaularan para sa lahat”?

The author is a former chairperson of the government peace panel with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and has been extensively involved in the peace process in Mindanao.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of this website.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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