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If you may have noticed, SS yesterday tried starting a touch and go writing mode. While the entire article may have still been lengthy ‘cause SS would not want missing out on interesting points, all items were a lot briefer than before. Agree? Here it goes again…

Clearly therefore, the attempt of the Mayor’s Office to clamp down E-Media is a wicked move to violate one’s freedom of expression. This is gleaned from the court ruling on the petition for Injunction with Prayer for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) City Hall to implement its closure order against E-media.

The decision cited a stark guaranteed right under the Philippine Constitution on Freedom of Expression.

The order then allows Sky Cable and Mindanao Cable TV (MCTV) to broadcast Westwind’s signal containing content provided by E-media and gave the go signal for the latter to continue its live airing on Facebook.

Of the two cable TV channels, only MCTV followed the Mayor’s order. Sky Cable had justifiably defied it.

X x x x X

Taking solo cudgels in the drug war, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Director Lyndon Aspacio is indeed showing the way.

PDEA has nabbed four more suspected drug pushers with one having managed to escape, hauling in the process P30,000 worth of illegal drugs operations.

With its continued feats, despite its being undermanned, PDEA is without a doubt going great guns. Congratulations, Dir. Aspacio. So, too, with your equally hardworking agents.

This, however, would mean that with the anti-drug responsibilities returned to the Police, a lot lot more could be achieved.

Time for the president to rethink his stand, simply due to the good-for-nothing holier than thou crititcs.

X x x x X

United States Pres. Donald Trump on Monday reaffirmed the good and long-standing relationship between the Philippines and the US as he stressed his enjoyment during his three-day stay, so far, in the country.

The two leaders reaffirmed the very close ties between the two countries during a frank conversation for at least 40 minutes during their bilateral meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Trump also lauded his counterpart here for his able leadership in handling ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) conference.

Comparing his stance to the previous US administration, “Pres. Trump specifically said that he has always been a friend of the Duterte administration unlike the previous administrations of the United States,” Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said

X x x x X

Southeast Asian nations will not take relative calm in the dispute over the South China Sea, a draft of a statement to be issued during a summit meeting in Manila on Monday, stated.

“It is in our collective interest to avoid miscalculations that could lead to escalation of tensions.”

Almost all of the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest waterways, is claimed by China. Taiwan and four ASEAN nations - Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei – have competing claims.

Meanwhile, late Sunday after the glitzy gala dinner, Pres. Duterte discussed the maritime dispute over the South China Sea during his bilateral talks with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

During their meeting, Duterte thanked Turnbull for coming to the Philippines and having the bilateral talk with him. He also assured the Prime Minister of the strong relations between the two countries.

According to Malacañang, other issues discussed by Duterte and Turnbull included he crafting of a binding code of conduct, extremism, illegal drugs as well as trade and commerce.

Turnbull also reportedly praised Duterte for his stance on the South China Sea issue and for how the government handled the recently concluded war in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, against Daesh-inspired terrorists.

More on the side stories of the ASEAN summit. Pres. Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed on Monday the close ties between their two countries during their bilateral meeting at PICC wherein they also exchanged notes on major local infrastructure projects such as the Metro Manila Subway project and economic and social development program.

The economic and social development grant includes the provision of equipment for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, and coast watch radars to increase the Philippine anti-terrorism capabilities in West Mindanao for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

There are still some more. A total of nine agreements were signed between the Philippines and Russia during the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila late Monday evening.

Pres. Duterte during his bilateral meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry both witnessed the signing of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters; Treaty on Extradition; and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation between the Department of Energy and the State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” of the Russian Federation.

Also signed were MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Mass Communications; MOU on the Development of Cooperation in Transport Education; and an MOU between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

An MOU between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property of the Russian Federation; the Agreement on Cooperation between the Commission on Audit of the Republic of the Philippines and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation; and the Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between Philippine company Vi Holding LLC and Russian company Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc., were also signed.

Pres. Duterte on Monday condemned North Korea’s nuclear ambition and backed Japan’s moves to counter threats posed by the rogue state amid heightened tensions.

Duterte had has his fourth bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.

You cannot win ‘em all, no matter what, so they say. While practically all are satisfied with the results of the ASEAN gathering, still a veteran American senator criticized US Pres. Donald Trump for failing to raise the issue of human rights in his bilateral meeting with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, who has been slammed for alleged human rights violations attending his ferocious campaign against narcotics.

Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, described it as "sad"

Folks, this McCain ran for the US presidency sometime ago, and SS admits admiration of him by the way he carried himself in the attendant presidential debate - Very eloquent. Intelligent, having read along the way how he maintained his mental facilities after being a Vietcong prisoner of war for 10 long miserable years, but with that most recent antic of his, that impression as aid in chabacano – erased. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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