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Philippines Still High on Corruption List, P-Noy Washes Hands of Mamasapano Tragedy + Other Less Promising News

War, what is it good for?
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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Aquino denies wrongdoing in Mamasapano tragedy.

While a previous PNP inquiry established that Aquino's violation of the police chain of command set in motion a failed military operation, the former president denied that his actions resulted in the killing of 44 Special Action Force commandos. Breaking his silence for the first time in order to address President Duterte’s call for a renewed investigation into the incident, Aquino instead placed the blame on former PNP Chief Getulio Napeñas, who he said lied to him about the preparation efforts leading up to the mission.

NDF, government make significant progress in negotiations.

Cooler heads prevailed in the Rome-based peace talks between the National Democratic Front and government negotiators, after a recent deadly skirmish threatened a massive setback in the ongoing peace talks. In a move signaling a possible path forward, the parties agreed on the resolution of several critical issues as well as on starting informal discussions to speed up the talks.

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Philippines remains high on corruption watch list.

Transparency International’s recently released Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016 ranks the Philippines 101st in its survey of 176 nations due to the death squads and extrajudicial killings proliferating in the country. Furthermore, the anti-corruption organization pointed out a probable correlation between inequality and corruption, and referred to the stage of a nation’s development as another possible contributing factor. While the Philippines has experienced strong economic growth in recent years, income inequality and corruption remain major problems.

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Duterte promises justice in South Korean murder case.

President Duterte apologized yesterday for the kidnapping and murder of South Korean national Jee Ick-joo by police officers in Camp Crame, and promised tough prison sentences. Meanwhile, during a Senate probe looking into suspected “tokhang for ransom” cases, Senator Risa Hontiveros argued that the president’s war on drugs encouraged wrongdoing among police officers, and called for the campaign against illegal drugs to be suspended.

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Christopher Puhm
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