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July, 29, 2016

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Asia > Philippines
The Philippines said Wednesday it had "vigorously" lobbied Southeast Asian nations to take a united stance critical of Beijing's claims to most of the South China Sea, but insisted a diluted statement remained a victory.
 
Affairs of state
In this handout photo released by the Malacanang Presidential Communications Office, Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte, center, poses with, from left, former presidents Joseph E. Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Fidel V.
 
Philippine harvest ritual makes UNESCO list
Rice is the foundation of Ifugao culture, and it was celebrated on July 23 in Hungduan town in Ifugao province with a tugging ritual called "pun-nok" or "pon-nok."
 
Duterte promises clean governance in first state of the nation address
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his first state of the nation address (Sona) on Monday with sights set on the future of the nation as he promised to eradicate criminality, illegal drugs and corruption in government.
 
Philippines' ex-leader Arroyo says she was 'victim of political persecution'
Former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo has declared herself a victim of political persecution, following her release from nearly five years in detention over a corruption case.
 
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) implementing freedom of information (FOI) in the executive branch.
 
'Field of Dreams' offers baseball hope in Philippines
Teenager Piolo Perez swings his bat on a baseball field built atop the Philippines' most notorious trash heap, sending home run balls crashing through the shanties mushrooming on the outfield.
 
Manila has rejected Beijing's demand that it "disregard" an international ruling that invalidated the Asian giant's claims to much of the South China Sea before negotiating on the issue, the Philippines' foreign secretary said Tuesday.
 
'War on drugs' continues
Residents undergo counseling for allegedly being drug-users, at Tanauan city, Batangas province, south of Manila, Philippines, Monday, July 18. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he planned to ask Chinese officials why some Chinese citizens who visited his country were involved in illegal drugs. The crime-fighting president, who has vowed to end crime within six months of taking office on June 30, also said that he would not hesitate to grant pre-signed presidential pardons to law enforcers accused by human rights advocates of abusing their authority in cracking down on narcotics, so long as the soldiers and police involved told the truth and did not fabricate evidence.
 
Out of the 56 species of non-flying mammals known to live on Luzon island, 52 live nowhere else in the planet.
 
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