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PHL officials meet with EU envoys


FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Budget Secretary Ben E. Diokno led a Philippine delegation that met with representatives of the European Union in Manila on Tuesday for “better” understanding on various issues and expand trade relations.

“The European Union and its Member States are very important partners of the Philippines and we look forward to actively and constructively engaging them so we can better understand each other. We were able to convey to each other our mutual desire to continue exchanging views on important issues with one another,” Mr. Cayetano said in a statement.

Mr. Cayetano said education and tourism are the two sectors that may help improve relations between the Philippines and the European bloc.

The EU ambassadors, for their part, noted that increasing dialogues between the Philippines and EU will help attract more investors to the Philippines.

They also expressed hope to see more high-level visits to Europe by Filipino officials.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has previously lambasted the EU for criticizing his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

The envoys who attended the luncheon were Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, Jr., Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, Greek Ambassador Nicolaos Kaimenakis, Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines (DEUP) Ambassador Franz Jessen, Hungarian Ambassador József Bencze, German Ambassador Dr. Gordon Kricke, Belgian Ambassador Michel Philippe Goffin, Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey, Romanian Chargé d’affaires Mihai Sion, and DEUP Councilor and Deputy Head of Mission Thomas Wiersing. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

CA confirms appointment, promotion of 74 AFP officers

THE COMMISSION on Appointments (CA) confirmed the ad interim appointment and promotion of 74 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Among those promoted were AFP Spokesperson Edgard A. Arevalo, who now has a rank of Brigadier General, and Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana, commander of 6th Infantry Division.

Colonels Adrian Sanchez Jr, William Gonzales, Edward Libago, and Fabian Pedregos were also promoted as brigadier generals.

Confirmed were the ad interim appointments of Brigadier Generals Pablo Lorenzo, Glicerio Peralta, Ramil Bitong, Rene Diaz, and Maxima Ignacio.

Aside from Mr. Sobejana, Brigadier Generals Erickson Gloria, and Pio Diñoso III were promoted to the rank of Major General.

The CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of Major Generals Allen Paredes, Nathaniel Casem, Alejandro Baclayon, and Pelagio Valenzuela.

Last Oct. 3, the CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of 56 high ranking AFP officials. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras

Comelec expects over 60M voters in May 2019 polls


THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has registered more than 60 million voters for the upcoming National and Local Elections (NLE) in 2019.

“We are expecting in 2019 close to 61 million voters,” said Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez in mixed Filipino and English during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday.

He said 58 million Filipinos participated in the Sangguniang Kabataan and Barangay elections last May and the overseas voters will be added to this number for next year’s mid-term national and local polls.

He noted that around 2.5 million of the voters are new registrants, location transferees, and reactivation.

When asked what is the demographic of the voters, he said over a third are “young” with ages 18 to 35.

“At this point, it’s safe to say that more than one third of the voters are young voters.” — Gillian M. Cortez