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Considering it is the party from where a vacancy arises that recommends replacements, it bears watching who the party’s choice is, as on several occasions, it was confirmed, Pres. Duterte appointed Dist. 1 Coun. Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar as Tourism Region-9 director.

And Duterte has directed Abubakar to assume the position immediately. No word yet of her swearing in.

Her appointment comes with the retirement of Antonio “Butch” Blanco.

Clothed now with executive functions, it is most definite, she will have to relinquish her council seat.

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Here is a seemingly positive indication that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is accepting the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), replacing the ARMM.

It appears clearly, the MNLF is supportive of government efforts in forging lasting peace in Mindanao.

A day before, the MNLF strongly condemned the car bomb explosion in Lamitan City, that killed 11 people and wounded seven others, and has described it as “un called for and un-Islamic.”

Just one curiosity, though strikes SS, Yusop Jikiri, a former Sulu Governor (was it first?) before being a congressman in Sulu, who made the announcement was named as MNLF Chairman.

Would this confirm earlier reports of a change in the MNLF leadership?

In any which way (as a Clint Eastwood movie was titled), both acknowledged Chairmen Nur Misuari and Jikiri are mellowed personalities, and will most likely be undemandingly easy to deal with.

Let’s give the president a chance to work that out in a manner that is, of course acceptable to all Mindanaoans.

Meanwhile, Jikiri said that he does not discount the possibility that the driver of the car bomb was a foreigner, saying his group also received reports of such a plan.

But Basilan military authorities insist, no foreigner was involved in the blast. In any case, the important thing is, such an attack must be barred at all cost.

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Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) may endorse six to eight senatorial candidates in the 2019 midterm elections.

Sara, the HNP head, is part of the core group that organized the regional political party along with several neighboring provincial governors

At least 5,000 more members were inducted into HNP on Friday in Tagum City.

And Davao ded Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo was the first congressman to take oath as one.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, presidential assistant  Christopher “Bong” Go and Sens. JV Ejercito and Cynthia Villar graced the mass oath-taking rites.

Expectedly, the four guests are among those the HNP would possibly endorse, with Sara earlier epeatedly endorsing Go, Villar and Marcos.

Designed, accordingly, to solidify Regon XI, Sara expressed disbelief HNP will trigger growing interest of other politicians from other regions.

While she added, it is too early to declare HNP as going national, the handwriting is on the wall.

It is bound to that direction.

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Human rights advocates on Saturday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for making what they described as a “sick joke” about the victims of his administration’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs.

“… Mr. President. Nobody’s laughing except you,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of the rights group Karapatan.

Also, Etta Rosales, former chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) called out Duterte, for what is  claimed to be a mocking comment against his critics.

In effect Duterte said, reserve Heaven for all EJK victims, and preserve and hell for him. (By Jimmy Cabato)

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