Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, already embroiled in a notorious campaign to stamp out drugs, announced on Thursday he would halt all online gambling in his country. Duterte made the comment while announcing a 2017 budget that focused heavily on populist measures. He gave no timeframe for such a ban or details on its scope. The firebrand former mayor has been a worry for the country’s booming online gambling industry and in August scrapped one firm’s 13-year monopoly of gambling in licensed online cafes.
Russia and the Philippines will hold talks on signing a defense cooperation agreement, according to a government decree, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. On 20th of November, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced he will be sending his Foreign and Defense Ministers to Russia ahead of his own visit, at the personal invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Relationships between the Philippines and its long-term ally, the United States, have deteriorated in recent months. Duterte has said he is looking for other potential partners across the globe, including Russia and China. Last week the Filipino President met President Vladimir Putin for the first time at the APEC summit in Peru, where he praised his Russian counterpart’s leadership skills.