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President Aquino on Sunday highlighted the importance of ASEAN Centrality or the need for the regional bloc to have a united stand on key issues amid China's aggressive expansion.

The Philippines on Sunday warned the Association of Southeast Asian Nations against inaction amid the "worsening situation" in the South China Sea.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo not to carry out the executions of ten prisoners.

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Indonesia's attorney general's office has notified nine foreigners and an Indonesian convicted of drug trafficking that their executions will be carried out within days.

“The whole concept behind Madrid Fusión Manila is to get the best in the culinary arts to come to Manila, share their knowledge, and learn from our local culinary chefs at the same time,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. “Not only are we excited to learn from the modern techniques, this event serves to challenge our food artisans to bring out the best in their craft and to start a crusade to make Manila the center of culinary excellence in this region.”

The 2015 World Happiness Report ranking the Philippines as 90th among 158 happiest countries is a validation of the government’s tourism campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” a Palace official said yesterday.

President Aquino has transferred the task of monitoring and ensuring the implementation of the government’s massive rehabilitation of provinces severely hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine government and the United States have turned over Geographic Information System maps to Batanes province to serve as a guide of the provincial government in planning for low-carbon development that is more resilient to climate change and natural disasters.

The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with the Constitution, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) yesterday called on the country to “move forward” and focus on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s report on the Mamasapano tragedy should provide “closure” on the incident.

Senate President Franklin Drilon urged concerned government agencies to improve their predeparture orientation and seminars for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to prevent their being used as drug mules.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has extended the closure of Ayala Bridge to May 12 to allow its contractors to raise the structure by 70 centimeters and be able to withstand a 7.2-magnitude earthquake.

No one ever asked him to raise funds for anyone, resigned Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner John Sevilla stressed yesterday as he denied claims by the opposition that he was pressured to quit by the Liberal Party for his refusal to contribute P3 billion to the ruling party’s campaign kitty.

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