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News Briefs: Dec. 22, 2018

/ 05:00 AM December 22, 2018

Galvez: War is not an option in Mindanao

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — “We cannot go back to war anymore in Mindanao,” retired Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Friday as he took on his new role as head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

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Galvez, who assumed the post on Thursday, said his battle experience had strengthened his resolve to choose the path of peace in solving armed conflicts.

“(Some critics) pointed out that I came from an institution that manufactures war machines,” he said in a statement.

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“But let me tell you this: having been in the military for decades made me see the ugly head of armed conflict. In my early days in the military service, I was wounded in a battle somewhere in the Davao area. That experience made me choose the path of peace,” he added. —Bong S. Sarmiento

Locsin meets with Pompeo, thanks US for return of bells

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. met with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Washington, on Thursday (Friday in Manila) and discussed counterterrorism and ongoing efforts to address regional issues such as the South China Sea and North Korea.

Pompeo reaffirmed the enduring US-Philippine alliance, including Washington’s commitments to Manila under the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, said Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State.

Locsin, who was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, expressed Manila’s appreciation for the recent return of the Balangiga bells, which were taken as war trophies by US troops from the Eastern Samar town in 1901. Jerome Aning

Ex-DFA spokesperson, 3 others appointed ambassadors

President Rodrigo Duterte has named four new ambassadors to countries in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

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Raul Hernandez, a former spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and ambassador to South Korea, was named ambassador to Turkey with additional jurisdiction over Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Malacañang on Friday also released the appointment papers of Edward Fereira, the President’s special ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Leah Ruiz, a former ambassador to Lebanon, was appointed ambassador to Poland with concurrent jurisdiction over Ukraine, Latvia and Lithuania.

Alex Chua, a former ambassador to Myanmar, was appointed ambassador to Kenya with extra jurisdiction over Burundi, Comoros and seven other African countries. —Julie M. Aurelio

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TAGS: ambassadors, Balangiga bells, Carlito Galvez Jr., communist rebels, Michael Pompeyo, Mindanao peace, NPA, Rodrigo Duterte, Teodoro Locsin Jr
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