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The postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections from October this year to May 2018 appears to be a done deal, as the super majority bloc in the Lower House has approved it during a caucus on Monday.

Of course, even if this has yet to be tackled by the upper house, evidently, Pres. Duterte - espouser of the move aimed at curbing narco-politics influence during the polls, is observed to also hold sway over.

And Cong. Celso Lobregat in a local TV interview, has made public this likelihood.

Further, in a similar scenario, Cong. Sherwin Tugna, House Committee on Suffrage Chairman also painted the same picture, saying he expects the Senate to hold a caucus in the coming weeks to discuss their own take on the matter.  He also expects the two chambers to meet eventually.

And for its part, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued statements urging Congress to decide soon if the elections should be postponed to avoid wasting efforts in preparing for the October 2016 polls.

Comelec Chief Andres Bautista himself flip-plopped on his stand that he cannot backtrack any longer on the polls at late a time as ballots were in the printing process already. His first deadline for congress to pass the postponement law was end of July. Before its end, he issued a statement that he will wait for its passage by 15th Aug. And if you would notice now, he had mentioned no deadline, except “urging Congress to decide soon if the elections should be postponed…”

Lobregat laid down this conclusion, “This issue will be discussed in the bicameral meeting with Senate members and they may also have their own version on the matter, but it’s as good as final.”

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The world watches closely developments in the Korean Peninsula as both the United States and North Korea are standing firm on fiery grounds. The US on Wednesday warned North Korea that the pursuit of its nuclear drive could lead to the collapse of Kim Jong-Un’s regime, as President Donald Trump brandished America’s nuclear might as a powerful deterrent.

The further escalation of Washington’s the war of words with Pyongyang came a day after Trump stunned the world with a bold-faced message to Kim, saying his country faced “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Trump’s comments triggered expressions of concern from China and from US allies, and stock markets and the dollar slipped as investors seek safe-haven investments.

Early Thursday North Korea reacted by saying Trump was not a reasonable man. It also elaborated on a threat to attack the tiny US Pacific territory of Guam.

“Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him,” the official KCNA news service quoted General Kim Rak Gyom of the Korean People’s Army as saying.

The statement said the army would complete by mid-August a plan for the Guam attack, which would involve four rockets flying over Japan, and submit it to Kim Jong-Un for consideration as a “crucial warning to the US.”

Amid reports that Trump’s comments had taken his inner circle by surprise, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the National Security Council and other officials knew the “president was going to respond… with a strong message in no uncertain terms.”

Still, Trump’s tone was at odds with that of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said he did not believe “there is any imminent threat” to Guam or other US targets, and expressed hope that diplomatic pressure would prevail in the crisis.

But Tillerson, who refueled in Guam while flying home from Southeast Asia, said Trump was determined to send an unequivocal message to Kim, “Because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” he said.

The island’s governor Eddie Calvo reassured residents there was currently no threat to the territory, which has a total population of more than 160,000 and houses two US military installations.

In the capital Hagatna, islanders kept their cool.

“It’s not like there’s anything we can do anyway. This is a small island. There’s nowhere to run to,” resident James Cruz said. AFP.

In a statement carried by state media, General Kim Rak Gyom, who heads North Korea’s rocket command confirmed his country was “about to take” military action near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. He said the North would finalize a plan by mid-August to fire four mid-range missiles hitting waters 30 to 40 kilometers (19 to 25 miles) away from the island.

The plan will then go to the commander in chief of North Korea’s nuclear force and “wait for his order,” Kim was quoted by KCNA as saying. He called it a “historic enveloping fire at Guam.”

The statement only served to escalate tensions further in a week that has seen a barrage of threats from both sides. While nuclear confrontation still seems incredibly remote, the comments have sparked deep unease in the United States, Asia and beyond.

A day after evoking the use of overwhelming U.S. military might, Trump touted America’s atomic supremacy. From the New Jersey golf resort where he’s vacationing, he tweeted that his first order as president was to “renovate and modernize” an arsenal that is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.”

One thing here takes the curiosity of SS. While Trump boasts of “an arsenal that is “now far stronger and more powerful than ever before,” is it fair for him to stop the North’s expansion of nuclear power?

This seems a unilateral move favoring US.

Just thinking aloud.

And if Pyongyang carries out its threat against US territory’s Guam, one can only imagine what happens if and when America resorts to its “fire and fury.”

Think of it.

Here is one more insight which may not be Bible truth but could work very to quell fears of war. Guam lies about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) from the Korean Peninsula, and it’s extremely unlikely Kim’s government would risk annihilation with a pre-emptive attack on U.S. citizens. It’s also unclear how reliable North Korea’s missiles would be against such a distant target, but no one was writing off the danger completely. Se whatg we mean about no Bible truth?

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We revert now to the lighter side of the news, though it may start with a jolt. The Philippines crushes the Great Wall of China.

Easy does it, folks. No cause for alarm. That descriptive statement “crushing the Great Wall of China” was simply aimed at stating - at last, after all these years, the Philippine basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas has finally pulled a resounding win over China on the hard court.

Terrence Romeo scored eight points in the final four minutes as Gilas Pilipinas averted disaster with a gallant 96-87 victory over perennial powerhouse China to start off its campaign on a resonant note in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.

Romeo knocked down clutch jumpers during the said duration to help Gilas produce a stirring finish after squandering several 17-point leads that allowed the Chinese to rally back and take an 87-84 lead at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex.

The Global Port Batang Pier star tied the contest with a left elbow three, scored a fadeaway jumper from the free throw line before unloading a three-point shot from 25 feet to put Gilas ahead 92-87 going into the final two minutes.

He finished with 26 points in perhaps his best game in a major FIBA competition to complete a morale-boosting victory for a Gilas side being hounded by the absence of naturalized player Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo playing the role of cheerleader in Beirut due to a strained right calf.

Gilas came out strong right from the get-go by scoring seven straight points, even as 6-foot-8 players Christian Standhardinger, Raymond Almazan and Japeth Aguilar showing great resolve against the taller counterparts, much to the delight of those who saw the live telecast.

China, parading though a team different from the 2015 version that beat Gilas in the finals held Changsha, responded in the third with seven threes before Guo came back and made key jumpers and crisp passes that led to inside points.

For the moment, Gilas looked like it would suffer the same meltdown as in past international battles. Romeo, though, came through with a game to remember.

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ABU Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and 28 of his men ready to die for him are tunneling under a mosque hoping to escape the war zone in Marawi City, multiple military sources said Wednesday.

“Isnilon Hapilon knew he was deserted by his Maranao followers so he has to find ways to bail himself and his remaining men out from Marawi City. They continue to dig in under a mosque hoping to reach the lake or the Agus River,” a high-ranking military officer said.

Another military source said Hapilon had duffle bags full of cash, jewelry and gold bars from ransacked banks and houses.

Meanwhile, the military reported the battle for Marawi has entered its final, critical phase. According to Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson for the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said eight soldiers have been killed since Aug. 2 entering the final phase of military operations to flush out Maute militants began.

She stressed the troops are facing a suicidal enemy in the last stages of the campaign. (By Jimmy Cabato)




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