May 27, 2018, 3:46 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 2.20987 Algerian Dinar
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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
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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
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08195 Japanese Yen
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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
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0118 Latvian Lat
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.31929 Moldovan Leu
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1 Philippine Peso = 25.77516 Myanmar Kyat
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1 Philippine Peso = 6.73388 Mauritania Ougulya
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.29618 Maldives Rufiyaa
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.37196 Mexican Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.15404 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06962 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02745 New Zealand Dollar
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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
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0751 Romanian New Leu
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07134 Saudi Arabian Riyal
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.25547 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34155 Sudanese Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 St Helena Pound
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1 Philippine Peso = 149.32471 Sierra Leone Leone
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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
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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)
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1 Philippine Peso = 4.75366 Yemen Riyal
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New policy on sale of US weapons

NEWS reports say that 26 distressed OFWs have been rescued since April 7 by a DFA rapid response team from their abusive employers in Kuwait. 
A GMA April 20 news telecast showed frantic efforts by the rescue team to assist the poor OFWs. The team apparently was going on a house-to-house rescue operation.
The DFA reportedly said that of some 200 OFWs who appealed for rescue in Kuwait, the number was down to 132 about a week ago.
Was this matter not taken up during the negotiations for an agreement that would protect the interests of our OFWs in that tiny sheikhdom? What happens to those of the 132 who may not be rescued?
(NOTE: As I was about to send this piece, I read a news report that our ambassador, Renato Pedro Villa, had been summoned and handed protest notes by the Kuwaiti government over the rescue operation of the distressed OFWs and alleged “inflammatory comments” against the puny Arab state.) 
Despite this situation, there appears to be the inexplicable haste to sign the agreement reportedly reached with the Kuwaitis for the welfare and protection of our OFWs. Why? 
And why the apparent keenness of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte aka Digong to go to Kuwait to witness the signing of the agreement? This view is bolstered not only by reports that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello insists on it. Apparently, Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano also supports the proposal.
In this regard, Digong may wish to check out the 17 April 2018 piece of Standard columnist Victor Avecilla on his labor secretary (http://manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/hail-to-the-chair-by-victor-av...).
What about Cayetano? I have a feeling that if he had his druthers, he would not want Digong to witness the signing in Kuwait. But I also have a feeling he is not prepared to risk displeasing his boss or Bello.
Incidentally, every time I ask DFA people what they think of Cayetano as foreign secretary, all I get is an enigmatic smile. There was one exception, a retired officer who said: “He’s a politician.” He wouldn’t say though what he meant by that.

NEW POLICY
US President Donald Trump just unveiled a “new Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) policy and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) export policy that will allow private US defense companies to directly sell some types of conventional weapons and a broader range of unmanned drones to allies without having to go through the US government.” 
The new policy will help improve US national security, according to Peter Navarro, Trump’s assistant for trade and manufacturing policy. 
“Partners who procure American weaponry are more capable of fighting alongside us, and ultimately more capable of protecting themselves with fewer American boots on the ground,” he said. (This would be a good argument for ditching the VFA and EDCA and getting rid of US troops in the country as promised by Digong.) 
Good news for a “second class” US ally like us, right? Wrong! 
Remember the time when two US senators caused to be withheld delivery of 26,000 rifles we bought at a time when we needed them most – during the siege of Marawi by terrorists – because of our alleged violations of human rights? 
Well, according to a ranking official of the US State Department, while “the new plan may offer additional flexibility for defense companies and US officials to promote American weapons abroad, Congress will still have the final say in approving any sale”. 
So, there… 
Oh, I referred to us as a “second class” US ally because countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan, among others, whose human rights records are spotty, have bought arms from the US without encountering any problem from the US Congress. For instance, Trump signed about a year ago a $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Did anyone hear anything from the human rights freaks in the US Senate? Nada! 

THAT AUSTRALIAN NUN
The bleeding hearts of the opposition, the Yellowtards, the leftists were up in arms over the apprehension of an Australian nun. 
She violated, has been violating, our laws by participating in political rallies in the country which foreigners should not do. 
She has also been violating the nature of her missionary visa. Missionaries aren’t supposed to engage in political activities. 
So, what’s the bleeding hearts’ beef? Try doing in Australia what she has been doing here and see what happens. 
She should be asked to leave and listed as an undesirable alien, period. 

WITHDRAWAL FROM UNHRC
That pseudo-parliament called European Parliament, deviating from its usual silly and unfounded accusations against us for alleged human rights violations, has asked the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to kick us out. 
Good idea. However, I believe we should not wait for the Council to heed the suggestion. We should withdraw forthwith. 
What do we get by being a member? We only get criticized for a government anti-illegal drug policy that is solely intended to improve the lives of the vast number of our people by providing them safer surroundings and ensuring a better future for the youth of the land. It is plain to see that the national interest is not being served by being a member of the Council. 
Look at the US. She has threatened to withdraw from the Council because of its “bias” against Israel. Is that against US interests? She obviously thinks so. What is the issue of the Council against Israel? Alleged violation of human rights of the Palestinians! 

ROBREDO’S APOLOGY 
“While there was no malice in it, I take full responsibility, so I would like to apologize for whatever offense to the sensitivities of the people it caused,” so said Ms. Leni Robredo whose position as vice president of the Republic is under protest. 
She was apologizing for the smiling photo of hers sitting on a tomb (?), with her entourage taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. (“Talaga kuntodo pose sila duon,” said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.) 
However, I find her apology so inappropriate, so wide off-the-mark. 
She apologized for “whatever offense to the sensitivities of the people it (the photo) caused”. 
Jeeezzz! She doesn’t know?! No wonder she did what she did!
The following were with Robredo in the photo: Sen. Francis “Mr. Noted”/“Sharon’s Husband” Pangilinan, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. (he was the daft one who posted the photo on Facebook), Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo, Quezon City Rep. Jorge Banal, Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, former Budget Secretary Florencio “Mr. DAP” Abad, and a couple of female assistants.

PRESIDENTIAL TRIPS
Digong is off to Singapore this weekend for the Asean Summit, and possibly Kuwait shortly thereafter to witness the signing of the agreement concerning our OFWs in that country.
Expect the usual coterie of hangers-on and government officials who have absolutely no role to play to be included in those trips.
People have also noticed that aside from the Palace spokesman, the head of the PCOO, one of its undersecretaries and an assistant secretary were also sometimes in the delegation. Kailangan silang lahat?
There are a lot of vacant seats in the chartered plane? What about their hotel and meal expenses? They also get per diems allowed under COA regulations, don’t they? Those are paid for by the government.
Huwag naman sanang isasama ng loob ni Digong at ng kanyang mga alalay ang mga sinasabi natin dito. Nagmamalasakit lamang po. Kasi, kapag ganyan ng ganyan, mababawasan o tuluyang mawawala ang tiwala at suporta sa kanya ng taong-bayan.
Simula ngayon, mainam marahil na ipaalam sa madlang bayan kung sinu-sino ang mga kasama sa biyahe at ang kanilang mga tungkulin, at saka kung magkano ang totoong kabuuan ng nagastos ng pamahalaan sa biyahe.
*** 
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. 
3) The retrieval of the Balangiga bells. (Sources say the return of the bells is under negotiation.)
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 361st day of the eleventh 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:
During a recent outing in New Orleans, a woman snuck off to visit a fortune teller of some local repute. In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivered grave news. 
“There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just be blunt: Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year.” 
Visibly shaken, the woman stared at the fortune teller’s lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She took a few deep breaths to compose herself. She simply had to know. She met the fortune teller’s gaze, steadied her voice, and asked, “Will I be acquitted?” 
*** 
24 April 2018
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