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  • Tired of incessant criticism when he was mayor of Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte took out a P3 million contract to kill broadcaster Jun Pala, and then gave a P1 million bonus when the deed was done. This was the claim made by one of 3 policemen -- retired police officer Arthur Lascañas -- who allegedly carried out the still unsolved assassination in 2003, as he came out in public to insist that Pres. Duterte set up death squads in his home city that were responsible for the summary execution of about 1,000 crime suspects. Malacañang dismissed Mr. Lascañas’ story as a “demolition job”orchestrated by staunch Duterte critic Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who arranged yesterday’s press conference.
  • The peso declined by another 23 centavos to close at its weakest level in more than a decade yesterday, spooked by prospects of higher interest rates in the U.S. The local currency closed at 50.23 to $1, its lowest level for the day. It opened weaker at 50.08 from Friday’s close of 50 to $1. Yesterday’s close was the weakest for the peso since closing at 50.32 to $1 on Sept. 26, 2006. Volume was heavy at $723 million, higher than Friday’s volume of $532 million. The peso has been under pressure from the high demand for the greenback from importers as well as uncertainty from the expected interest rate increases by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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