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Here’s a case of “give and take.” Four crewmen of a cargo ship were captured by gunmen believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan, a few hours after 2 Malaysians were rescued. Zamboanga Coast Guard Station Commander Alvin Dagalea said the incident took place around 12:20 p.m. Thursday near Sibago Island. The coast guard deployed a gunboat to provide assistance to the besieged cargo vessel which was then idly drifting. Troops have been alerted to locate the whereabouts of the victims.

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Seemingly abandoned in the face of unaided response to repeated distress calls, City Warden J/CInsp. Ervin Diaz seeks comfort in medieval ways.

The Zamboanga City Reformatory Center is preparing to use tents and its multipurpose hall to accommodate hundreds of detainees expected to stream into the jail facility within the year.

This comes as the city government of Zamboanga together with concerned government agencies agreed for jail management to continue accepting and accommodating detainees into the overcrowded City Reformatory, a decision arrived at in an emergency meeting.

At present, inmates are reported to be sleeping in the lobby and near comfort rooms due to the congested state of jail cells at the ZCRC.

Thi comes amid threats posed by the presence of about 50 Abu Sayyaf inmates for whom comrades made a rescue attempt in January 2015.

Strange, perusing through all items taken during the meeting, no word was mentioned on the idle detention facility in San Ramon that was built to house MNLF captives during the 2013 Zamboanga siege, who have all been ferried to a Taguig custodial den years ago.

Obviously that lethargic institution may very well serve the purpose. Accordingly, it can house over 200 inmates. But is stays abandoned.

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Operatives of the Tetuan Police Station, under P/Sup Nonito Asdai continue pursuing Oplan Double Barrel, arresting one more and confiscating fifteen small-sized sachets, P200 marked money and drug paraphernalia in another buy-bust operation in Talon Talon last Tuesday.

The suspect was detained at the Tetuan Police Station, and the seized items forwarded to the 9th PNP Crime Laboratory for examination.

The Police are readying charges for violation of sections 5, 11 and 12 of Republic Act 9165.

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See what SS yesterday meant on Pres. Duterte’s apparent chivalrous move on his supposed opposition to the Robredo impeachment?

It was an amorous pass, what else? So SS commented on “Canionaso,” the radio version of Snipe Swipes over RMN.

His latest move - Duterte proposed Wednesday night that Vice President Leni Robredo just marry him if she cannot wait to be president, adding later that after all, she is single (a widow, actually.)

Pillastron de pistolero, was what SS said in chabacano - naughty pistol-whipping papa

True to his character, clearly, that can be seen as an amorous pass cleverly clothed in a comic tone. Say you?

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The surge of reported narcopolitics in government motivates Pres. Duterte to much rather appoint honest barangay leaders instead of calling for another election this year.

Uneasy that drug-linked incumbent barangay officials may take advantage of the polls, the President said he is ready to forge a “compromise” with Church leaders and other concerned sectors in the selection of barangay leaders to weed out “shady” individuals.

Duterte earlier expressed support to the postponement of the barangay elections to prevent the victory of candidates financed by drug lords. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mike Sueno said it is now a matter of working out a system on how the appointments may be carried out.

Duterte said these nominees must pass the background check by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Likewise, the barangay nominees must not be connected with rebels, not involved in illegal drugs, and not affiliated with politicians, according to the President.

The President said he has already given word to Congress on his plan.

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Pres. Duterte is placing his trust in China to honor its word not to build any structures on Panatag Shoal to avoid jeopardizing the friendship between their two countries, as both have apparently agreed to put friendship ahead of its territorial spat for now.

The President said he recently obtained the assurance from the Chinese government on the matter and believes it has “word of honor.”

The President, meanwhile, allowed China to pass through local waters as part of its right to innocent passage.

He, however, asked China to inform the Philippines about its passage ahead of time and not to harass Filipino coast guard ships patrolling the area.

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We hope this reported resurgence of NPA aggression will not hamper the ironed out peace talks scheduled in early April with the Philippine government.

An intense firefight, punctuated by spontaneous gunfire and grenade explosions, erupted Thursday night between the military and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in upland Sitio Malapangi, Barangay Camutan in Antipas, North Cotabato.

The gun battle, which broke out around 7:00 p.m., came after failed efforts of local officials to convince the rebels to release over 100 trapped civilians used as human shields on Thursday.

“Tension remained high in the battleground throughout the night,” Chief Insp. Rolando Dillera, Antipas police chief, said, noting the place to be only five kilometers away from town proper.

And at least four other neighboring areas are affected by the hostilities.

The situation in the area is still under assessment.

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Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, a Duterte ally, on Thursday said the New York Times is moving to destabilize the Duterte administration by publishing a profile of the Philippine leader as an emerging strongman, as its article is an avenue working to “destabilize and topple down the government” so that “enemies of the State” may grab power.

“New York Times owes our country, our people and our President an explanation and an apology,” Nograles said in statement.

The Times article read, “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman” by Richard Paddock, traced Duterte’s life and career as a “killer-savior” - from the beatings he received as a boy to his rise as one of the country’s toughest mayors to being a foul-mouthed president.

The article was published also by the Inquirer on Thursday.

The spin doctors, Nograles said are on overtime to put in disrepute the President of our republic and are going international because they know that our people know better and nobody would believe them.

And only rich and powerful enemies have the means to operate in this manner, he said.

Nograles said, curiously, the malicious article came at a time when there was this report of an intense fund-raising activities being undertaken in an American area by Philippine opposition personalities

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Oppositionist Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV spewed dragon-like fire from his nostrils, branding Pres. Duterte a “pathological liar, daring him to prove his accusation that he had extorted money from businessmen and for to file a case against him.

Trillanes challenged the President anew to open his bank accounts to disprove his own allegation that Mr. Duterte had no hidden wealth.

He recalled that when he accused Mr. Duterte of having over P2 billion in his bank accounts, he had come out with documents and witnesses to support his claim against the President.

Trillanes also said he even filed a plunder case against President Duterte but noted to this day, the latter had not addressed his accusations.

He concluded, “So enough of your (Duterte’s) bluffs, open your bank accounts.” (By Jimmy Cabato)

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