The ANC Brief: Word war as peace talks loom


Posted at Dec 27 2019 04:00 AM

Amid moves to resume their peace talks, the government and the communist movement look like they are launching verbal offensives against each other. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Fiery exchanges
It looks like a word war is going on between the communist movement and the Duterte administration. On the occasion of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) 51th anniversary, founder Jose Ma. Sison said the Duterte administration is “going downhill to hell.” Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana also said the CPP-NPA is “pretending to be fighting for the people.” On Thursday, groups held rallies against the CPP, which Bayan Muna called “a waste of taxpayers’ money.” The Palace said President Duterte wants a one-on-one meeting with Sison. And to think the two sides are poised to restart their peace talks.

In a storm’s wake
Typhoon Ursula (international name: Phanfone) is already out in the West Philippine Sea and has left at least 16 people dead in its wake. The Visayas region bore the brunt of the storm.

Budget nightmare
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Duterte will likely sign the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget in the first week of January. Panelo said Duterte was studying the budget closely amid expectation the budget would be signed before the year ends. The delay is bringing back memories of the 2019 budget which was delayed over debates on alleged insertions by lawmakers. The delay caused a slowdown of the country’s gross domestic product.

Red Pope
Could Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle be a candidate for the papacy? Cardinal Tagle was recently assigned by Pope Francis as prefect of one of the Vatican’s top congregations, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. It’s the Vatican department in charge of spreading the faith with its prefect known as the “Red Pope.” As prefect of one of the nine major congregations, Tagle will become a member of the powerful Roman Curia, or the Pope’s Cabinet.

Season’s eatings
Christmas is a time when loved ones reunite. ANCX came up with a cheat sheet of where to bring your balikbayan relatives and friends hankering for great Filipino food that goes beyond the usual.