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/ 07:25 AM December 07, 2018

Duterte weighing pros and cons on ML extension–Palace

President Rodrigo Duterte is still evaluating the recommendations of the military and the police to extend martial law in Mindanao, which is set to expire on December 31. Malacañang on Thursday said the final decision remained in the hands of Congress, and that the executive branch would give the lawmakers a briefing on the proposal if needed. “There is no decision yet… Probably, [the President] is still evaluating all the facts given him, the circumstances, the pros and the cons,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing. “If threat is still there, if there are committing acts of violence, and people’s safety is in danger, and the people there are the ones clamoring for extension, then the President will ask Congress to extend martial law,” he added. —JULIE M. AURELIO

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Palace concedes draft Charter may not be passed by Dec 12

Malacañang is not giving up hope on the draft federal Constitution despite the Senate’s insistence that it will not be able to pass the measure by December 12, the last session day of Congress. “If there is no hope this December, then there is still the next session… so there is still [hope],” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday. The Palace, he said, is “definitely” confident that the draft Constitution will be passed by Congress during the term of President Duterte. Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said the Senate had no more time to tackle the resolution that proposes a federal system of government. The House of Representatives had already passed the resolution. —CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO

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Gov’t ready to thwart attacks on CPP’s 50th anniversary

The government is bracing itself for attacks by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) marks its 50th anniversary on Dec. 26. “We are ready for that. The President doesn’t have to make any orders,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing on Thursday. “There has been—all laws, the requisite of it have been placed even prior. Meaning to say, the defense department is ready for any eventuality,” he added. Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he would not recommend a holiday ceasefire with the insurgents. Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte had not commented on Lorenzana’s decision.  —JULIE M. AURELIO

Comelec’s automated system passes international inspection

The automated election system to be used in the May 2019 midterm elections has passed the international source code review, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). “This is important for the credibility of the system because it provides the assurance that the system is not made from shady components, and that all the components have been properly reviewed and cleared,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez. The review was done by the international systems and software testing company Pro V&V in Alabama. —TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS: AFP, Comelec, CPP, Delfin Lorenzana, Election, federal charter, federalism, Local news, Martial law, Mindanao, Nation, national news, news, NPA, Philippine news updates, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo
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