President Duterte has signed the 2019 budget. But has the damage been done to the economy and to his quarreling allies in Congress? Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Signed and sealed
President Duterte has signed the budget that vetoed a total of P95 billion. This includes the P75 billion insertions by congressmen that led to the bickering with senators. How much will the agencies be getting to deliver basic services? And what was it exactly that was taken out of the budget? How will the signing impact the economy? ANC will talk to experts and the business sector for their views on this.
Based on an ABS-CBN report, Chinese fishermen are destroying giant clams in the Scarborough Shoal. Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippines will never abandon the Hague decision on the maritime dispute with China. And now, the Palace said the president “effectively” invoked the ruling after telling Beijing to lay off Pag-asa island. Little is still known about the reason for this stunning turnaround by the Duterte administration.
President Duterte said he would again give the peace talks with communist rebels another chance. Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez said the new peace panel will forge on with localized peace talks. In the wake of this statement, the Palace said the new panel can ignore CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison. But can they? And how much can the panel accomplish without Joma?
Out of Libya
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the embassy in Libya is urging Filipinos to leave Libya amid the rising tension. But only 19 out of 1000 Filipinos in Tripoli have said they want to come home.
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