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One of the abductors of two vessel officials of a tugboat off Sibago island lands in the hand of authorities.

Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) Chief Maj. General Carlito Galvez said that the abductor was captured after a firefight with military troops during pursuit operations the other afternoon.

Military authorities however declined to identify the captured suspect, saying only that he was nabbed with his firearm on hand in Mohammad Adjul town.

Task Force Basilan Commander Co.l Juvymax Uy said that the suspect was wounded during the firefight and was left in the speedboat as it reached the coastline of Mohammad Adjul.

The rest of the abductors together with the two victims however were able to escape and are the subject of continuing pursuit operations.

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Mindanao would have the biggest drug treatment and rehabilitation center as President Duterte yesterday led its groundbreaking ceremony, renewing his vow to eradicate illegal drugs and drug lords in the country.

During the Kaamulan Festival at the Capitol grounds in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, in Pilipino, Duterte said, “I have to clean-up until such time the drug lords will be all gone walking on the street because they will be dead.”

He said there are about four million drug addicts in the country, but poverty is not a reason for peddling drugs.

Cursing, he, added, “Leche kayo, I will kill you. If you won’t stop, as long as I’m the President, I will destroy you…,”  adding he said he doesn’t mind if he goes to prison or rots in hell as long as he gets rid of the drug trade in the country.

Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria R. Zubiri Jr. hosted President Duterte and his party during  the celebration, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua also graced the occasion.

The soon-to-be-built P700-million Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DARTC) was donated by the China-based group, Friends of the Philippines Foundation (FPF.)

Gov. Zubiri said that aside from the rehab center, various Chinese business groups will also invest in more than a dozen projects in the province.

Alongside, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said Malaybalay was chosen as the rehab’s base because it is equidistant or midway from various progressive cities in Mindanao - it is centrally located to Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and General Santos.”

The architect’s perspective of the rehabilitation center is as a sprawling resort, with four basketball courts, an indoor gymnasium, swimming pool, training centers, and dormitory-type of accommodation.

The facility may formally open by December, 2017, Sen. Zubiri said.

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Pres. Duterte does right in pushing for compromise settlements of large tax evasion cases instead of fighting lengthy court battles because the country urgently needs money to build hospitals in far-flung areas.

“The law allows a compromise and I will allow compromise,” he on Friday.

It is indeed a correct move, but upon implementation, a fool-proof monitoring system must be in place for the scheme is left wide open to corruption, which is why Duterte stressed, the amount of the compromise settlement must be “reasonable.” See?

Duterte, a former government prosecutor, said tax cases take a long time to resolve. It takes some ten years, and that will take a long time for government to utilize the proceeds.

Mr. Duterte publicly broached the idea of settling tax deficiencies in the case of homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation. He said Mighty could pay P3 billion to settle its arrears.

Dominguez, however, opposed the proposal of Mr. Duterte, who had deferred to the stand of his finance manager.

Lookie here. P3 billion is P3 billion. Uh, uh, baka hende pa kaha tan entendihan na uhum... (Hey, hey. Possibly no agreement yet on you know what.)

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Here’s another one for the then trumpeted “Mr. Clean.” The Philippines turned into a “narco-state” during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III when as much as 40 percent of local government units being involved in the illicit trade,” President Rodrigo Duterte bared Saturday.

Five years ago, Duterte said, we were already a narco-state… basic government units - the barangay, then you have the municipality, city, province - were already into drugs.

During the Aquino administration, a local politician who was also a top leader of the ruling party died with several others in a helicopter crash while transporting the proceeds of drug trafficking.

“My orders to the police: Arrest them if it is possible… if you are confronted with a violent resistance... my God, shoot and shoot them dead before you are killed,” he added.

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Shades of a road rage, hugh. A Quezon City policeman found himself in hot water for allegedly mauling and illegally detaining a motorist after a road altercation.

Chief Insp. Melvin Madrona, who until recently was the chief supervisor of the Station Drug Enforcement Team of the Quezon City Police District’s Fairview station, faces criminal and administrative charges for assaulting a motorist - a marine engineer - on March 17.

The incident took place at Madrona’s station and was caught on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera at the lobby.

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Even at the height of North Korea’s belligerence, Southeast Asia’s leaders have resisted the urge to join the chorus of Western voices branding Pyongyang a “pariah state”.

Foreign policy experts decry that this is a pathetic show of kid-gloves treatment.

Pyongyang is suspected of being involved in the daylight murder last month of leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother in Malaysia. Unhappy with official investigations into the episode, Pyongyang shocked Malaysia on Tuesday by blocking Malaysian nationals from leaving its borders.

With nine citizens virtually being held hostage as a result of the travel ban, its Prime Minister Najib Razak still insisted ties remained “friendly.” But don’t let that diplomatic stance fool anyone.

Razak has retaliated with a stiffer ban targeting departures of North Korean embassy staff. And Malaysia’s targets as you may note are no ordinary citizens - they are diplomats.

Thus, in a blog post on Friday, he boldly spoke, “Malaysia always ensures good relations with all countries. However this does not mean any one of them can abuse our good treatment,” the Malaysian leader said.

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Pres. Duterte remains pathetic to communist rebels supposed declaration of a unilateral ceasefire not later than March 31 due to actions of the New People’s Army during the last truce.

He said he has yet to consult several of the concerned agencies working with him, particularly the police and the military, adding he already got mad because thee NPA decided to lift the ceasefire last Feb. 1, which he said was also unilateral.

“If they don’t follow it (the ceasefire), there will just be an aberration in the system of talking peace,” he said, recalling the Feb. 3 incident when three soldiers were ambushed in Malaybalay City, where one of the troopers sustained more than 70 gunshot wounds.

He reiterated his rejection of the communist rebels’ claim that certain parts of the country were considered their territory, especially since this was being used as an excuse to ambush soldiers.

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The undetected buzzing of an unidentified aircraft, possibly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or a drone, of a Philippine Navy warship in Benham Rise Friday afternoon has triggered criticisms of how ill-equipped  Philippines naval facilities are.

Observers questioned the defense capability of the warship for its failure to detect an approaching aircraft until crewmembers on board sighted it.

The “unidentified bogey” hovered and flew sharply back and forth, staying in a spot in front of the patrolling navy ship for several minutes.

At one point, the drone flew 500 feet above the Alcaraz, highlighting the capabilities and limits of the Navy’s most capable combat ship.

How annoying. An insult.

Another defense blogger wondered why Alcaraz, in this digital age, is still not equipped with powerful cameras that could produce quality photos to identify unknown contacts.

Duterte is right. Go to war against China? No way.

But don’t forget, the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty exists. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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