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Front Page In Philippines: 'Have Decency' President Duterte

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Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug. 19

Philippines' maverick president Rodrigo Duterte has declared a new war of words against Senator Leila de Lima, whom he accused of being an "immoral" woman with a "very sordid personal and official life" and linked to the illegal drug trade.

"If you are bent on destroying me, please have the decency to spare my colleagues, friends, and family. They have done you no wrong," de Lima replied, in comments appearing on today's front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The newspaper however notes that de Lima stopped short of categorically denying Duterte's accusations against her, namely that she used her driver and alleged lover to collect payoffs from convicted drug lords. "I will not fight, I will not put up a fight against the president. First of all, I don't know what I have done wrong against him," she said, accusing the president of "abuse and misuse of executive power."

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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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