December 19, 2017, 6:21 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 Saudi Arabian Riyal
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Singapore Dollar
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1 Philippine Peso = 151.44898 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09567 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 413.80507 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17368 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.22191 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26054 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6449 Thai Baht
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07666 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13159 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5944 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30329 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54875 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.55617 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57046 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.57959 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.198 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.55577 Vietnam Dong
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.05144 Samoa Tala
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1 Philippine Peso = 11.49782 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00337 Pacific Franc
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Fiction

THIS columnist was talking to his mass comm class at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines recently on the news coverage of extra judicial killings.

It’s about time for listeners and viewers to exercise a close and fair discernment into the “facts” and fiction in the news, the latter being the menu of police accomplishment reports. And create a strong voice in social media against half-truths and fabrications which have left broadcast reporters in a dilemma as never before. Most are just taking in the obvious twists and biases of the endless killings hook, line and sinker. TV reporters could only supplant the videos of the staged encounters with the bullet-riddled suspects who fought it out with police with willful and studied speculations that can no longer be hindered that the police almost always had a hand. Most broadcast reporters now dwell only on the idea of justice, compassion and restoration but embracing and pursuing these truths are almost gone. Persistent and zealous reporting on TV and radio has yield nothing much that could lead to the arrest of masked vigilantes or the police in contrived fatal buy-busts. When needed to provide balance in news reports witnesses and relatives of the victims are nowhere to be found. Most have sworn themselves to secrecy to protect their lives and those of their loved ones. Their fear and the government’s patent disregard for their safety and protection have brought broadcast news reporting, especially on radio, to a new low. We no longer seek out the truthful details of the daily slaughter of defenseless civilians satisfied as we are with the “facts” of the stories after they had transpired. Ignoring the rule of law by those sworn to embrace it has become the fiction of the day. While the KBP has applied restrictions against the news coverages of criminal, radical and extremist groups it must now recognize that the forced restraint on news media by the PNP has turned into a new and real threat to our freedoms and way of life. 

The word war between President Duterte and CCP Founding Chairman Jose Maria Sison will continue to escalate and so will the NPA offensives in many areas. The latest attacks were the torching of heavy equipment in Surigao del Sur, the disarming of a vice-mayor in the province and, the ambush and killing of six policemen in Negros Oriental. As Duterte claims, the government has agreed to numerous concessions.

But the declaration and then extension of martial law was a crucial non-negotiable issue for the CPP/NPA/NDF. Duterte seemed to have abandoned the fact that the deeper stigma of martial law would never leave the consciousness of NPA cadres and their leaders in Ultretch and Oslo. Duterte himself may not be aware of the “dynamics” between hostile forces at the local level fueled by almost 50 years of armed conflict and vicious reprisals. And he has not done enough to seriously address the distrust for the scorned military and police which Duterte continued to heap with funding, rewards and benefits. But, the other side still craves for abundant privileges which it expected would match those provided, most especially, to the military.

Duterte’s failure to fully assess the situation in Marawi before sending in AFP troops for urban warfare was a clear indication of his incapacity to confront the essential issues in a major conflict. He must have forgotten that the NPAs have regarded Marcos and his dictatorship as one entity. And on the ground a powerful and well-equipped military is out to fulfill the wiles of a dictator, no less. But now, Sison may have reached the end of his rope with Duterte and his administration without admitting it. And why should he take to task the NPA rebels involved in the ambush of the convoy of the Presidential Security Group in North Cotabato that targetted the President himself, who after apparently acted upon his instructions? Duterte should not have abandoned too early his mistrust of the CPP/NPA whom he regarded as friends in Davao. He himself has been familiar with the deeper social and cultural roots of the regional and local conflicts but seemed stumped from a national level. Despite his once pious talk of reconciliation with leftist rebels Duterte‘s penchant for unbridled violence now extends to the NPAs.

More than just the cessation of political and military hostilities Duterte should develop an inhospitable, ardous but magnificent task of unifying the two forces as what Nelson Mandela accomplished triumphantly in South Africa.
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