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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.
 








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Protection offer to Philippine bishops and priests

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine authorities offered protection to Catholic bishops and priests following reports that several Church leaders have received death threats in recent weeks.
National police chief, Oscar Albayalde, said the offer was discussed with Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila.
 
“We offered them protection and even threat validation,” said Albayalde, adding that he assured help for any priest facing any form of threat.
 

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Philippine bishop not cowed by threats

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Metro Manila, the Philippines, who has received death threats for criticising the Rodrigo Duterte’s government’s bloody narcotics crackdown, said while he fears for his safety, he “fears more for children and the poor victims of this drug war” and vowed to continue speaking out against it.
 

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Wolves prowl while the muted shepherds cower

Inday Espina-Varona
 
The arrest of Father Kenneth Hendricks, an American priest who allegedly abused minors gave Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, a weapon against clergy who dare to criticise his bloody war against narcotics.
 
Police served five more arrest warrants on the priest, who was nabbed in December by a joint team of Philippine and American law enforcers in the central Philippines (Sunday Examiner, 16 December 2018).








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Philippine Christians unite against Duterte tirades

MANILA (UCAN): An estimated 3,000 Catholic and Protestants from various religious groups formed a human chain and lit candles to profess their “unity in faith and action” as they took to the streets of Manila, the Philippines, on January 25, to denounce what they claimed is a campaign being waged against the Church, primarily by the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
They said they had gathered “to declare that our God is not stupid.”
 

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Philippine bishops break silence on ‘disturbing issues’

MANILA (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines broke what it described as a “collective silence” over “many disturbing issues” that have confronted the country in recent months.
 
In a pastoral statement issued at the end of their biennial meeting in Manila on January 28, the bishops asked forgiveness “for the length of time that it took us to find our collective voice.” 
 

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Ignore Duterte tirades archbishop says

Manila (UCAN): In a New Year message framed as an open letter to his godson, Seth, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, former head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, called on people to ignore repeated rants against the Church by the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to church and attend Mass. Whoever teaches you that is an anti-Christ and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke,” the archbishop.

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