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No lowering of age of criminal liability

MANILA (UCAN): A decision by the lower house of the congress in Manila to overrule a bill proposing that the age of criminal liability for young people be lowered from the current 15 to as young as nine has been welcomed by rights advocates, prison chaplaincies and social workers.
 
“What is needed is to implement and strengthen the current law in dealing with children in conflict with the law,” Rodolfo Diamante, the secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said on May 29.
 

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First Mindanao then the country?

HONG KONG (SE): Two terrorist attacks on opposite sides of the world took place within 24 hours of each other on May 22 and 23.
 
In England, a bomb was detonated at a pop concert leaving some 22 mostly young people dead and in The Philippines, the city of Marawi in the troubled region of Mindanao was attacked, leaving many dozens more dead and hundreds of thousands of lives disrupted, a church in flames and Father Chito Suganob, as well as some 14 parishioners and 20 staff and students from the Protestant Dansalan College, abducted.

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Self-interest the big winner over the common good

MANILA (SE): Even in a country where honesty in government requires the commitment of a saint, the gutsy determination of a boxer, the courage of an explorer and a skin as thick as a rhinoceros, the decision to reject the appointment of Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources by the Commission on Appointments stands out as one of the more outlandish victories of self-interest over the common good.
 

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Defending self not the country

MANILA (SE): The bishops of The Philippines regret that there seems to be a language gap between them and their shoot-from-the-hip president, Rodrigo Duterte, as they say they both aspire to achieving the same benefits for the country, but cannot seem to agree on anything.

There certainly is a language gap, as the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, admitted some months ago.

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Standard bearer of justice arrested in Manila

MANILA (SE): Leila de Lima, a long-time arch critic of the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested on February 24 on charges of receiving drug money and protecting drug offenders in order to finance her campaign for the senate last year.

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The hero is the villain

MANILA (SE): “The hero is now the villain,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in lamenting what he termed the new spirit of a now splintered EDSA Remembrance Day.

“History books are rewritten. Historical memory is revised. The hero is the villain. The plunderers are now the heroes,” he said in pointing out that the real spirit of what was a bloodless coup just 31 years ago has evaporated into a relentless killing spree of the poor in the name of change.

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The silence of the people is the big killer

MANILA (SE): The bishops of The Philippines issued their first joint statement condemning the war on the poor being waged by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, at the conclusion of their 112th Plenary Assembly held at Cebu City during January.

In a statement that was read at all Masses across the country on February 5 the bishops say, “This traffic in illegal drugs needs to be stopped and overcome. But the solution does not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers.”

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Congress of Mercy hears plea from streets

MANILA (SE): The Catholic Church in The Philippines was weighed but found wanting in responding to the issues that confronted the people, especially the poor, over the past year.

During national elections in May last year, the Church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting tried to give expression to a Church committed to making a difference in the political arena.

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Duterte’s politics of shame

MANILA (SE): The same man who said, “I wanted to call out, ‘Pope, you (expletive deleted) go home. Don’t come here anymore’,” on 30 November 2015 has now penned a letter to Pope Francis expressing the profound depth of his respect for the bishop of Rome.

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Can Philippines scratch the surface of its faith?

MANILA (UCAN): In just four months, official figures released by the Philippine National Police show that around 4,500 people have become victims of extrajudicial murder under the guise of the war on drugs instigated by the current president, Rodrigo Duterte.

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