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Duterte moves to avoid peace

MANILA (UCAN): An upsurge in violence around The Philippines is anticipated following a decision by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to formally declare a termination of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front and the Communist Party.
 
The three parties have been locked in an informal war for decades which has left tens of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes over the years.
 

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Duterte frustrated at failure

MANILA (SE): The controversial president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, told a gathering of boy scouts from the First Scout Ranger Regiment in San Miguel, Bulacan, that if he cannot win his pet drug war, then he may think about resigning.
 
“If I can’t hack this I will leave,” Rappler.com quoted him as saying at the gathering on November 24.
 

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A Judas kiss for an adoring public

MANILA (SE): The Philippine middle class may well give its tick of approval to the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, for his war on what it regards as a blight on the national landscape; the poor of the shanty settlements.
 
However, it does not seem to be so forgiving when it comes to scandals linking his son to drug lords, allegations of hidden wealth and secrecy over the required reports of assets and liabilities for government officials.
 

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A country that tortures and murders children

MANILA (UCAN): The recent murders of three teenagers in Manila as part of what the president, Rodrigo Duterte, likes to call his war on drugs, have provided a compelling reason for people to rethink their support for the campaign.
 
“There are far too many deaths that demand answers,” Jose Luis Martin Gaston, the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, said following the discovery of the hog-tied and tortured remains of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, whose body was found floating face down in a creek on September 5.

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Pork Barrel first the poor can wait

MANILA (UCAN): Faced with the high costs of the siege and martial law in Mindanao coupled with the billions of pesos eaten up by the slaughter campaign disguised as a war on drugs, the poor of The Philippines are being dealt a further blow with a radical slashing of social service budgets.
 
Instead, billions of pesos are being transferred to budgets for the most indefinable and least transparent area of state expenditure; security.
 

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The good the ugly and the uglier

MANILA (SE): After a week when over 90 people died in the ongoing purge of the poor orchestrated by the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, many more people began questioning the true intention of his so-called war on drugs.
 
“But if it has done nothing else, it has shown every Filipino up for what they are,” lay missionary, John Ding, told the Sunday Examiner on August 18, two days after a 17-year-old student, Kian delos Santos, was shot in the back, even though police claim he was killed in self-defence.

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History teaches but who learns?

DAVAO (UCAN): “If rationality still matters in this beleaguered Republic of The Philippines, how have we, as a people, shifted once more to supporting a rising authoritarianism?” Brother Karl Gaspar, a veteran of the resistance to the bloody regime orchestrated by former president, Ferdinand Marcos, asks.
 

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The state of the president address

MANILA (SE): Displaying a verbosity reminiscent of Lee Kwan-yew, but without the eloquence of the former prime minister of Singapore, the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, regaled his hapless people for well over two hours in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24.
 

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The Year of the Killing

MANILA (UCAN): In the run up to the second State of the Nation Address from the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, pockets of the streets of the country were alive with rallies calling for an end to the rampant killing in his so-called drug war and an end to repressive state policies.
 
But one rally staged by teenage girls from St. Scholastica’s College in Manila hit the mark for originality, as they took to the streets to proclaim Duterte’s first year in power as The Year of the Killing.
 

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No to labelling Muslims

MANILA (UCAN): Human rights and religious groups have voiced opposition to a proposal from the Philippine National Police to issue identification cards to Muslims in The Philippines as a measure to root out extremists in the southern regions of the country.
 
Sister Famita Somogod, from the Rural Missionaries of The Philippines, called it discriminatory, adding that it highlights religion as being an issue in the current conflict that Mindanao is experiencing, which it is not.
 

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