Pompeo to visit Manila


Malacañang on Tuesday said US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is set to meet with President Rodrigo R. Duterte in Manila on Feb. 28. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said the two are expected to discuss “security issues and the review of (the) Mutual Defense Treaty.” The Department of Foreign Affairs said Mr. Pompeo will travel to the Philippines immediately following his visit to Vietnam for the meeting of US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Duterte meets with Misuari


Malacañang on Tuesday said Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari met with President Rodrigo R. Duterte Monday night. “The meeting with the MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari lasted I think only about 15 minutes. They are going to meet again. What transpired last night was, the President told the Chairman that he admire his patience and he apologized for not having… implemented or enforced…whatever agreements that they had previously with respect, I think, to federalism or something. And they would be talking again precisely for that. They didn’t have much time to talk, so they will meet again,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a press briefing on Tuesday. Mr. Panelo also said the inclusion of only 10 MNLF members in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), which is predominantly composed of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members, was not discussed. — Arjay L. Balinbin

PDEA: Cocaine could come from Colombia

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the blocks of cocaine found ashore in different parts of the country could come from a Colombian drug cartel. “There’s a possibility. We are trying to communicate with the Colombian authorities through DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] and USDEA [United States Drug Enforcement Administration],” PDEA Chief Director-General Aaron N. Aquino said in a phone message on Tuesday, Feb. 26. On Monday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the Medellin cartel from Colombia has already entered the country. For his part, Mr. Aquino said: “Colombia was mentioned by the President because the drug profiling of the sample cocaine that was discovered in Matnog, Sorsogon, resulted (in) a traditionally Colombian methodology.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras