Editorial & Opinion

Duterte and Xi talk war

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Did Chinese President Xi Jinping threaten President Duterte with war? That’s what Mr. Duterte himself said, in an extraordinary disclosure last Friday, May 19. In his recounting, he said he had raised the possibility of the Philippines drilling for oil in those parts of its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea that are contested by China.

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World on edge

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The temblor felt in parts of northeast China last week wasn’t due to natural causes. It was the result of an underground nuclear explosion over the border - the latest test blast by North Korea, coming only eight months from its last test in January. This one, according to experts, appeared to be the most powerful yet with an explosive yield estimated at about 10 kilotons, enough to trigger a quake magnitude of 5.3.

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Why US consuls may revoke B2 visitor visas

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Once a non-immigrant visa is issued by a consular officer at the US Embassy, it may be used by the visa holder anytime during the validity period of the visa. There are also cases where an unexpired visitor visa may no longer be used for travel. This happens when derogatory information is received by the consular officer and the visa is prematurely revoked by the said consular officer.

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Lower income tax

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Of the reforms promised by President Duterte, the campaign pledge to lower the income tax rate has generated much interest. Ordinary taxpayers had long clamored for tax relief, given that the Philippines has one of the highest corporate and individual income tax rates in the region, but all their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.

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China ascendant

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The Belt and Road Forum in Beijing over the weekend was yet another coming-out party for the new superpower. China’s impressive hosting of the 2008 Olympics had heralded its arrival on the world stage. Its climate change diplomacy that helped lead to the Paris Agreement of 2015 has cemented its leadership in global issues. Last weekend’s summit, attended by 28 heads of state or government, sealed its position as an economic power.

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Ain’t over till it’s over

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Every now and then a sporting event lives by the very words the sporting world preaches: Don’t quit. Keep plugging.

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Red flag in Quiapo

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Sorry, may sumabog… Nalusutan tayo” (Sorry, there was an explosion. Somebody got past us). That was the reaction of the top cop, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, to the latest bombing incidents to rock Quiapo in Manila.

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Brighter days ahead

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That phrase just about sums up Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s assessment of the Philippine economy after six years under President Aquino. And he has a point. Gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the fastest among the top five members of the Asean. It outpaced China’s for the first time in 27 years and, despite the global economic weakness, was the highest quarterly growth in nearly three years and the 17th consecutive quarter of above-5-percent GDP expansion.

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Off-track foreign policy

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Recent developments on the foreign-relations front are becoming unsettling. Earlier, President Duterte insulted US President Barack Obama, the European Union and the United Nations for commenting on the rising number of extrajudicial killings here. He followed these up with announcements that he would seek to expand ties with China and Russia. Then last week, he said the coming US-PH war games would be the last.

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Death is coming

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The glove is off the iron fist.

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