May 28, 2018, 3:58 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04394 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03405 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46707 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02507 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03386 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03804 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58684 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03178 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00718 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.30759 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02521 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13049 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06941 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2997 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18862 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 380.82557 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.038 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01888 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.92087 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1215 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.23245 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69241 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.79018 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41871 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.37645 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12092 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9416 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20987 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25394 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33993 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51779 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01623 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03907 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08823 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89024 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 171.23835 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13955 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93875 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14924 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45305 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23264 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.18261 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 268.49914 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06761 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28921 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.52235 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 800.64676 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00476 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38368 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08195 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91839 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2975 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.23036 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.96595 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.12003 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.46376 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0156 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.24805 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.41735 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.6285 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00552 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.59102 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23569 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05799 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0118 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02586 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18008 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31929 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99391 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.77516 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.76412 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15373 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.73388 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65627 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29618 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.63553 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37196 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07566 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23683 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.82899 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59717 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15404 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06962 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02745 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0621 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06201 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06975 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 108.10348 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06924 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0751 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17631 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.13468 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07134 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15092 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25547 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34155 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16566 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42241 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.32471 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69051 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.78391 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16644 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.79608 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23678 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60662 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0483 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04363 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08961 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1286 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56886 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.27563 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49705 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.0291 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5933 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 151.83565 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1494.25528 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 433.30797 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03595 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04914 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05136 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.926 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.75366 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23681 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 98.716 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88415 Zimbabwe dollar

‘A dog with a leash’

ON 25 October 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong pronounced himself, rather emphatically, on the presence of US troops in the country with the following words: 
“I really hate it. I don’t want it. We don’t need it.” 
“US shouldn’t treat the Philippines like a ‘dog with a leash’,” he added. 
Thenceforth, he ordered the annual PH-US military exercise Balikatan be reduced to training for humanitarian assistance and natural disaster operations, with a view to doing away with it altogether at the appropriate time.
The just-concluded Balikatan exercise, however, not only focused on humanitarian aid and natural disasters but also training for “man-made emergencies like, for example, a chemical attack”, according to the spokesman of the Philippine side.
Consequently, the number of participants in the exercise substantially increased to some 3,000 members of the US Marines, Army, Air Force and Special Operations Force, along with 5,000 Filipino soldiers.
Moreover, some 60 Australian and 20 Japanese military personnel reportedly participated in the exercise.
Balikatan 2018 featured “civic action activities in pre-selected areas in Cagayan and Central Luzon; an Amphibious Landing at the Naval Education Training Command, San Antonio, Zambales; and a combined Arms Live Fire Exercise at Col. Ernesto Rabina Air Base, Tarlac (Crow Valley)”. The media were not allowed to cover the last one.
Obviously, Balikatan2018 is in contradiction of Digong’s expressed intention to rid the country in due course of foreign troops and their involvement in military exercises in order to be consistent with his goal of establishing closer ties with China and Russia.
Question is, does the defense department headed by Delfin Lorenzana, whom he once called a CIA man, and the armed forces, share his goal? 
If not, and he is unable to convince them to follow his lead, he can say goodbye to his independent foreign policy. What would China and Russia think? That he is just using the US card to get what he wants from them? He will lose his credibility and their trust.
Occasional ranting and raving at Washington’s treatment of its oldest ally in these parts amounts to nothing more than bluster if not followed through with substantive and meaningful action. For instance, when is he going to order the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), both of questionable constitutionality?
As I have written in the past in this space, consistency is key in the pursuit of an independent foreign policy. Digong has to be consistent. Otherwise, he can just let the defense/military establishment, as well as the slavish pro-US elements in our society (the Yellowtards for one), dictate foreign policy. 
Need I say that such a course of action will forever consign us to being “a dog with a leash”, a mighty long leash that, exasperatingly, extends and is tugged from halfway around the globe?

SERENO’S OUSTER

Just before Gloria Arroyo reached the end of her “Hello Garci” term, she appointed the late Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
Corona’s appointment was generally perceived as an “insurance” against cases that may be filed against her after she leaves Malacañang.
But as fate would have it, Corona was ousted as Chief Justice, courtesy of twenty (20) senators who were allegedly bribed by Noynoy Aquino, Arroyo’s successor, through the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). 
They are (with the corresponding amount allegedly received by them): Franklin Drilon, P100M; Francis Escudero, P99M, Juan Ponce Enrile, P92M; Edgardo Angara, Alan Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Sergio Osmena III, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla, Jr, Vicente Sotto, Antonio Trillanes IV and Manuel Villar, P50M each; Joker Arroyo, P47M; Aquilino Pimentel III, P45.5M; Teofisto Guingona III, P44M; and Francis Pangilinan, P30M. Shouldn’t these people except, of course, the deceased ones, be made to account for the amount they received?)
The ouster of Corona accomplished Aquino’s three objectives: 1) punish Corona for the Supreme Court ruling that the Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family was subject to land reform and deciding that the amount to be paid by the farmer-beneficiaries must be based on the 1986 price; 2) Arroyo spent some six years in hospital detention, courtesy of Aquino’s now detained ex-justice secretary Leila de Lima; and 3) he was able to appoint a Chief Justice in the person of Maria Lourdes Sereno who, again as generally perceived, would protect him from lawsuits after his term ends.
With Sereno gone, Aquino must be losing sleep nowadays, not only over the cases that have been filed against him so far, but also over the implementation of Corona’s Supreme Court ruling on Hacienda Luisita whereby the Cojuangco-Aquino family reportedly stands to lose some P3 billion.
What goes around comes around…
Incidentally, I agree that had the framers of the 1987 Constitution intended that a Supreme Court member, among other officials mentioned in Section 2, Article XI, can only be removed by impeachment, they would have used the words “MAY ONLY” be removed by impeachment…. As it were, the framers only used “MAY” which means that the officials concerned can also be removed by other means, including quo warranto.
In any case, Sereno was guilty of violating the Constitution for failing to file statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). That alone justifies her removal from office. 

REMINDERS
This segment is intended to remind the Duterte administration of some of its yet unfulfilled promises and matters that need attention and/or follow-up action. More importantly, the people are entitled to know what’s being done about them.
1) Digong’s promise to rid the country of foreign troops. This, of course, necessitates re-visiting the lopsided VFA and the EDCA with the US. 
2) Reciprocal visa arrangements with the US and other countries. (What is the DFA doing about this? Our embassy in Washington?)
3) The retrieval of the Balangiga bells. (Sources say the return of the bells is under negotiation. Is our embassy in Washington on top of this?)
4) The return of the Canadian waste. (Sources say the DOJ has filed a motion before the proper court for the importer to return the waste to Canada. No decision yet. No word about what Canada is doing.)
*** 
Today is the 17th day of the twelfth year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper, Joe Burgos.
After the acquittal of Major Harry Baliaga, Jr., the only person formally charged with Jonas’ kidnapping, I guess what happens next is now up to Divine Providence.
*** 
From an internet friend:
A desperate looking woman stood poised on the edge of a high cliff about to jump off. 
A filthy tramp wandering by stopped and said, “Look, since you’ll be dead in a few minutes, and it won’t matter to you, how about a little sex before you go?” 
She screamed, “NO! Bug off you filthy old bastard!” 
He shrugged and turned away saying, “Okay, I’ll just go and wait at the bottom.” 
She didn’t jump. 
*** 
15 May 2018
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