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News Briefs: July 26, 2019

/ 05:00 AM July 26, 2019

Duterte considers ML extension anew

President Duterte will not hesitate to extend the implementation of martial law in Mindanao if local leaders deem it to be in the best interest of Filipinos in the region. In a speech in Candon City, Ilocos Sur, on Thursday afternoon, the President lamented that “Mindanao continues to be a problem.” “I am not advocating for any continuance of the martial law,” he said, referring to military rule in Mindanao, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2019. “But if the local government unit, the governors, mayors, and even the congressmen would find it that it could be to the best interest of the Filipino in Mindanao, I would not hesitate to say yes.” —Julie M. Aurelio

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EU envoys in Cebu to meet local leaders

Following their visit to Davao City last June to attend the Davao Investment Conference, European ambassadors headed for Cebu City on Thursday to meet with political, business and academic leaders. The group was composed of Ambassadors Franz Jessen from the European Union, Michel Goffin of Belgium, Saskia Lang of the Netherlands, EU Delegation to the Philippines’ first counselor and trade and economic affairs head Maurizio Cellini and first counselor and finance, contracts and audit section head Marc Fearn. “While a lot has been done, there is still always a room to increase business collaboration for a win-win venture,” Jessen said in a statement. The group was scheduled to meet with Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, University of Cebu president August Go and business leaders. —Jerome Aning

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Charter change initiatives questioned

Malacañang on Thursday maintained that changing the 1987 Constitution cannot be done with a concurrent resolution of Congress alone, contrary to what a lawmaker insists. “What I’m saying is, how can he make that proposal as a member of Congress? Maybe he says he wants to, but he’s saying he will introduce the amendment to the Constitution. Himself? He cannot do that,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, referring to Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez who filed House Concurrent Resolution No. 1, which seeks to change the Constitution’s economic and political provisions. Minority Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, slammed a proposal in the House of Representatives to amend the Constitution and reduce senators’ six-year terms to four years. “Instead of diligently working on measures to uplift the lives of 25.2 percent of Filipinos living below the poverty line, you are talking about staying in power,” he said in a statement. —Julie M. Aurelio and Leila B. Salaverria

Imee weighs in on ROTC

Sen. Imee Marcos said she opposes the imposition of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) courses for students in grades 11 and 12, which President Duterte has been pushing. “For me, you really cannot force a kid to becoming a soldier. And there’s no going around the fact that ROTC stands for what it stands for: Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. It’s overtly, completely military,” she said at the Kapihan sa Senado forum. —Leila B. Salaverria

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TAGS: Cebu, Davao Investment Conference, duterte, Martial law, ROTC
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