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Sunfish in Zamboanga

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What could possibly be the significance of this freak development. Another sunfish was found in the waters off Barangay Sangali in Zamboanga City.

According to National Geographic authorities, sunfish are the heaviest of the bony fish and can grow up to 4.2 meters (14 feet) vertically and 3.1 meters (10 feet) horizontally, with the one found measuring147cm in length and 85cm in width.

Some specimens can also weigh up to 2,268 kilos or nearly 5,000 pounds, and are pelagic, meaning they are generally found in deep waters far from the coast. Why then would two such species be swept on to our shores?

This brings to memory, a recent conversation WS had with JD Candido, a relative. He spoke of a supposed dinosaur-traced specie, with a name-sounding kind as that of an Orkfish that was found in Surigao, days before the flooding there. Accordingly, such a find is what soothsayers say is a bearer of calamity.

A simple poke of curiosity here, folks. But just the same, God forbid.

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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday insists on his claim of the ambush on Lalaine Madrigal-Martinez, the wife of an inmate who testified against Senator Leila de Lima.

The ambush was real… Just because it was not reported to the police, does mean that nothing happened, he said in Pilipino.

Aguirre claims, his office has secured photos showing Martinez stepping out of her car with an apparent gunshot wound on her shoulder after the attack.

Explaining why there are no records of Martinez being checked up in any hospital, Aguirre said she underwent self-medication out of fear for her safety.

The National Bureau of Investigation, he added, has found 3 bullet holes on Martinez's car and 3 slug fragments in the crime scene.

The supposed ambush occurred on the same day that Aguirre alleged that Martinez's husband and his fellow high-profile inmates rejected a P100-million bribe for recanting their testimonies against De Lima.

He added, the offer was coursed through Biñan City Representative Marlyn Alonte and former Senator Jamby Madrigal, whom he said is Martinez' cousin.

In a press conference late Monday, Martinez claimed she can prove the alleged bribery attempt through an audio recording.

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Ousting Duterte critics from the majority bloc took only all of 15 minutes on Monday.

Senators in the majority said their Liberal Party (LP) colleagues had it coming, as they had voted against the majority on controversial issues, to the detriment of public interest, pro-Duterte senators said.

They underscored the need to clear the blurred line between the majority and the minority.

The LP senators said they were not surprised, as they had heard talk of a reorganization before Mr. Duterte’s allies struck on Monday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, the LP vice chair, lost his position as the No. 2 man in the chamber.

Along with Senators Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros, Drilon and his group became the new minority bloc, which was left with only one member - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV – after Senators Ralph Recto and Francis Escudero joined the majority.

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US President Donald Trump, who has been critical of China on issues from trade to the South China Sea, for the first time with a member of the Chinese leadership, and the White House said, it was a chance to discuss shared security interests and a possible meeting with President Xi Jinping.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called it "an opportunity to say 'hi' to the president" before Yang left.

"This was an opportunity to begin that conversation and talk to them on shared interests of national security,” he added at a regular news briefing.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat, who outranks China's foreign minister, is the first top Chinese official to visit the White House since Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Earlier, Trump incensed Beijing by talking to the president of Taiwan and saying the United States did not have to stick to the "one China" policy, under which Washington acknowledges the Chinese position that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is a part.

Trump later agreed in a phone call with Xi to honor the "one China" policy in a diplomatic boost for Beijing, which vehemently opposes criticism of its claim to self-ruled Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Trump seeks what he called a "historic" 9 percent increase in military spending, even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world's strongest military power.

Trump will ask Congress to boost Pentagon spending in the next fiscal year by $54 billion in his first budget proposal and slash the same amount from non-defense spending, including a large reduction in foreign aid, a White House budget official said on Monday.

Trump told state governors at the White House that his budget plan included a "historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America."

"This is a landmark event and message to the world in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve. We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing: Win," he said.

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Despite a case now hovering over him, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV continues lashing out at Pres. Duterte, telling him to stop yakking, and challenged him again to bare his bank transaction history to disprove allegations that the President had bank transactions amounting to P2.407 billion.

Trillanes added that he would resign if his claim is proven false.

Trillanes also said he would not comment on Duterte's insults against him, saying he will not let the Chief Executive deviate from the issue at hand.

Duterte had earlier debunked Trillanes' allegation that he had amassed ill-gotten wealth, simply by saying he and his family earned money through legitimate means.

Duterte also said his late father, Vicente Duterte, a former governor of Davao, left them with inheritance.

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Sen. Trillanes is in for more trouble. This time, he may soon face another charge – harboring criminals. Solicitor General Jose Calida described Trillanes IV as a “person of interest” for coddling and hiding confessed criminals.

Calida said retired Senior Police Officer 3 Arthur Lascañas and Edgar Matobato were both confessed members of the Davao Death Squad who admitted killing criminals and accused Duterte of being their principal when he was still city mayor.

“Give me more time and I will have the proper case to be filed against him,” Calida said, adding, “… As senator, he should help in the administration of justice.”

Calida vowed to go after Trillanes for harboring criminals.

On Monday, Duterte belittled Trillanes as being “to insignificant” to bother with.

Duterte admitted knowing Lascañas, who retracted his testimony last year before the Senate in which he denied the existence of the DDS, and said it was Duterte, after all, who led the vigilante group.

Meanwhile, opposition senators slammed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for “dangerously promoting a lynch mob culture” during a gathering of President Duterte’s supporters at Rizal Park in Manila on Saturday.

At the rally held far from the main celebration of the 31st anniversary of the People Power Revolution on Edsa on Saturday, Aguirre took to the stage and asked the crowd, “Who do you want to be jailed next?”

Fired up, the supporters of Mr. Duterte shouted the names of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino III.

“Fired up” as reported, they must be wanting the heads of each one mentioned. And actually, Trillanes is next in the line.

And Sen. Richard Gordon, a Duterte ally, on Monday challenged Lascañas and the people behind him to file a case against Duterte with the Ombudsman if they have evidence that he paid between P20,000 and P100,000 to have people killed.

Gordon said the Senate was not a forum for grandstanding and gaining publicity at the expense of others by lying.

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The Abu Sayyaf has again taken pride in its atrocious act of beheading a man identified as German hostage, Jurgen Kantner, posting a video of it.

The video reposted by the militancy-monitoring group SITE showed a machete-wielding militant slashing the neck of the elderly German. The captive was killed after talks for his release in exchange for a P30-million ransom collapsed.

The Abu Sayyafs are believed to yet be holding a number of hostages and has freed several in return for ransom payments. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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