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Here’s a self-explanatory message, SS sent to Editor JV that I share with you, as a form of explanation. “Buenas, Ed Jayv. Just noticed it. My article, written last 28 Feb stated “Sound Snipes” has been changed to SNIPE SWIPES. Kindly effect the change. Tnk u. Will touch on it some today.”

The new title was suggested by an unknown texter-reader, and was effected for better recollection of column and to facilitate single reference to both writer and article. “Sound Snipes” called for two initials - SS for the article and WS for “Writing Sniper” - the writer.

Now, the need is for only one -  SS, both for “Snipe Swipes and “Swiping Sniper.”- writer. You agree, folks?

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City Jail Warden C/Insp. Ervin Diaz, who clearly and boldly knows how to get what he needs, not necessarily what he wants, like threatening to reject new inmates, also shows masterful administrative management.

In a combined Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology operation of Oplan Galugad (Intensive search) yesterday, not a trace of contraband items was found, unlike under previous commands. The hunt took three hours starting at 4 am.

The operating team, spruced up by the bomb squad with sniffing dogs entered the detention cells and checked the inmates’ belongings.

That’s showing them. Keep it up, Mr. Warden.

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The histrionics of new US president Donald Trump has seemingly tamed erstwhile critical China, as he set the tone for what could be a tense meeting at his Mar-a-Lago retreat next week by tweeting on Thursday that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses, slamming China on a range of business issues ahead of President Xi Jinping’s first meeting with President Donald Trump.

Trump added, the highly anticipated meeting, which is also expected to cover differences over North Korea and China’s strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, “will be a very difficult one.”

Ahead of the meeting, Trump signed executive orders on Friday aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports, his top trade officials said.

Trump’s dramatics must have moved Beijing to play down tensions with America and put on a positive face on Friday.

In downplaying the rift, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated a desire for cooperation on trade.

“With regard to the problems existing between China and the United States in trade relations, both sides should in a mutual respectful and mutual beneficial way find appropriate resolutions, and ensure the stable development of Sino-U.S. trade relations,” he told a daily news briefing.

State news agency Xinhua another nit-picking US critic similarly struck a conciliatory tone, saying “Of course, it would be naive to believe that the two sides can bridge their differences in a single diplomatic meeting,” it said in an English language commentary on Friday.

“Yet as long as the two nations can maintain their good faith, which they have shown recently, to talk and to make concessions based on mutual respect, then no difference would be too difficult to iron out.”

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A local Duterte detractor Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, has shifted stance, expressing support Sunday for the national government’s plan that the Church and other groups will be consulted in choosing the appointed leaders of the barangays.

“That is very good and interesting suggestion,” said Bishop Santos upon learning that they would be also tapped to choose those appointed, saying: “here we can have effective partnership with the government.”

The Bishop added: “When people see that our government and church are working hand in hand, cooperating with one another for the common good of the country, they will be inspired and encouraged to unite themselves for our country’s progress and peace. We in the Diocese support this effort and we will collaborate,” added Santos.

However, lawmakers are still divided on the suggestion of President Duterte.

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Here’s one more to pester the fault-finding European Union (EU). President Duterte on Friday said he was not only willing to pardon the police officers accused of murdering drug suspect and Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa, but he could even promote them afterward.

Mr. Duterte stressed he would not interfere with the legal process, noting that it was the Department of Justice which filed the murder charges against the police officers in November for killing Espinosa during a purported raid on his jail cell.

Nineteen members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Eastern Visayas, led by Supt. Marvin Marcos, have been detained and are awaiting trial. They claimed that Espinosa and another inmate were killed in a shootout during the raid.

But Mr. Duterte stressed that he could not abandon the law enforcers and would use his constitutional power to pardon them, explaining “Because they could have really followed my orders,” President Duterte said.

Is that an unguarded avowal in relation to the Espinosa killing or was he referring to killings in  dangerous instances in the performance of lawmen’s duties?

You say it, please. SS’s lips are sealed. He favors the Duterte act.

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After months of controversy, for an unreported reason, Bob Dylan finally grabbed his Nobel literature prize  awarded for his poetry. He is the first songwriter to ever receive the prestigious award.

The award comes with an eight million kronor (836,000 euros, or $895,000) The cash prize, though has one requirement - delivery of a lecture before the awards body, which could be anything from a short speech to a performance, a video broadcast or even a song. And the clock is ticking for Dylan, havng only until 10 June to comply with it. Failing that he risks losing the prize money.

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Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Saturday belittled the reported threat to oust him from office, expressing confidence over the continued support of the majority coalition to his leadership.

Alvarez also said he is not bothered by his admission of having a mistress, as he never allows the issue to affect his performance as a public servant, adding he is just being honest and straightforward, when asked  bout it.

And Alvarez found an ally in Isabela. Rep. Rodolfo Albano, who said he saw nothing wrong with the Speaker having a mistress.

“Speaker Alvarez and his wife are separated already. It is an open secret,” Albano said.

On Friday, Malacañang fended off suggestions that the President had a double standard on extramarital affairs, condemning Senator Leila de Lima for her affair with her married driver and alleged bagman, while remaining silent about Alvarez.

“I think it is not a question of being double standard. The fact remains that the relationship of the senator has something to do with the crime with which she has been accused of,” said Place Spokesman Ernesto Abella.

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The ceasefire  between government and the Reds is still a no-go.

President Rodrigo Duterte has junked the immediate signing of a bilateral ceasefire pact with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front, saying the rebel group must first halt its collection of revolutionary taxes and other forms of extortion, as well as release all prisoners being held by the New People’s Army.

Ahead of today’s resumption of the fourth round of peace talks, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte wants at least four conditions met before signing a binding truce accord with the communist group.

Duterte said any bilateral ceasefire pact must have clear parameters and in no way shall the government recognize any territorial claims of the rebel group.

On the other hand, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Saturday said it would no longer declare a unilateral ceasefire following the decision of the government not to call a truce and instead negotiate a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

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Controversial circumstances hound Environment Sec. Gina Lopez’s fate in the Senate Commission on Appointments, for in the raging bitter feud between his two staunch congressmen-supporters, President Duterte is observing a hands-off stance. So, it would probably be the same in the case of Lopez, who was bypassed in the last commission session.

Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, the CA majority leader, said yesterday that the President, aside from public statements supporting Lopez, has not pushed for her confirmation, and believes Lopez has a “50-50 percent chance of confirmation or rejection.

And two day ago, Duterte cussed the Lopezes for alleged unfair reportage of television giant ABS-CBN which the Lopez family, to which the environment secretary belongs, controls. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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