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Duterte declares Marian feast a working holiday

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, signed a law declaring September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a “national special working holiday.”
 
A working holiday means that there will be classes in schools, while offices and other establishments will be open.
 
It is the second Marian feast to be declared a holiday in the Philippines. In 2017, Duterte declared December 8 a special non-working holiday to mark the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
 

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Thousands march to back Philippine Church leaders

MANILA (UCAN): About 3,000 people in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan took to the streets on July 31 to show their support for Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other Church people accused of conspiring to overthrow Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte (Sunday Examiner, July 28). 
 
Church workers, students, and parishioners carried placards with messages of support even as the Justice Department is set to start a preliminary investigation into sedition allegations.
 

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Anguish in the Philippines as lush lands become killing fields

Belligerents in Asia’s longest-running armed conflict have left residents on Negros, the Philippines’ fourth largest island, terrorised over the last two weeks of July.
 
Armed men killed 21 people in 10 days, now 300 elite police commandos have headed for the island, which has two provinces and a population of four million people.
 








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Lawmakers warned about Duterte’s death penalty bid

MANILA (UCAN): In his July 22 State of the Nation Address (Sunday Examiner, July 28), the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said that he wanted capital punishment reinstated for “heinous crimes related to illegal drugs and plunder.”
 
Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, urged members of Congress to work for the welfare of the people and “not to pass measures just to please the president.”
 

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Sedition charges smacks of harassment

MANILA (UCAN): “They are based on nothing but false testimony. What motivates the supposed witness to give false testimonies is what in fact (the police) should be investigating,” Bishop Virgilio David of Kalookan, said in reaction to the filing by Philippine authorities of charges of inciting sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice against himself, three other Catholic bishops, three priests, a religious brother, the country’s vice president and 35 members of the opposition.
 

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Duterte diffident on China in SONA

MANILA (UCAN): In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered on July 22 at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, in Quezon City, Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, insisted the West Philippine Sea belonged to his country, but defended his agreement to allow Chinese fishermen to operate in the area, saying it was not a constitutional violation. 
 
The South China Morning Post reported him as saying he made the agreement with China’s president, Xi Jinping, to ensure there would be no war in the disputed South China Sea.

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Vote buying integral to electoral exercise Duterte says

MANILA (Agencies): On May 13, the day the Philippines went to polls for its mid-term elections, the president, Rodrigo Duterte, said vote buying is an “integral” part of the country’s electoral exercise. He excused it as just politicians paying the fare of local leaders who are helping ensure votes for them in a locality, according a May 16 report from UCAN
 

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Duterte threatens to arrest all his critics

MANILA (UCAN): “I will arrest all of you. I will put you together with the criminals, rebels, and drug lords,” Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte ranted at a gathering of prosecutors on April 4.
 
“If you make it hard for me, I will declare a revolutionary war until the end of my term,” said Duterte, adding that he was willing to be hanged. “I’m willing to die,” he said.
 

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Top Philippine court orders release of drug war death files

MANILA (UCAN): On April 2 the Philippine Supreme Court ordered the Office of the Solicitor-General to provide police reports to two human rights groups seeking the release of documents related to the killings of thousands of suspected drug users and dealers over the past three years.
 
The Free Legal Assistance Group and the Centre for International Law, which had requested the documentation on cases they were handling, welcomed the court order.
 

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Women vow to make stand against Duterte

Inday Espina-Varona 
 
Young women, some still in their teens, stood in front of an 81-year-old nun. Across the room, an inter-generational group in white and purple listened to speakers at an unprecedented gathering of women from different ideological and economic backgrounds who are fighting against misogyny in the era of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte.