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Church leaders in the Philippines welcome rebooting of peace talks

MANILA (UCAN): The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said at the beginning of April that he was giving the government and rebel peace panels “a timeline of two months” to resume the talks that bogged down last year.
 
He claimed that it was the rebel National Democratic Front of the Philippines that had been pressing for the resumption of negotiations.
 
Talks broke down in November after Duterte accused the rebels of attacking government installations especially in the provinces.
 

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Philippine bishops back call to resume peace talks

MANILA (UCAN): Catholic and Protestant bishops in the Philippines have backed calls from Congress for the government to resume peace negotiations with communist rebels.
 
Prior to Holy Week, 61 members of the Lower House of Congress signed a resolution calling on the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to resume peace talks with the rebel National Democratic Front.
 
The resolution urged the president to complete the government’s comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms with the rebels. 

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Don’t use violence or spill blood but share life say Philippine bishops

MANILA (UCAN): “Today, many follow the ‘kings’ who use violence, arms and intimidation, but are without any understanding and oneness with the weak,” Luis Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said during Passion Sunday celebrations to start Holy Week in the Philippines.
 
In his homily during an early-morning Mass for the blessing of the palms, the cardinal poured scorn on leaders who are “full of cockiness and devoid of humility.”
 

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Duterte tries to duck from International Criminal Court

MANILA (Agencies): Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, said that the commitment of the Philippines to human rights in the international community cannot just be set aside by the president alone, CBCPNews reported on March 15.
 
Commenting on the move by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to withdraw the country from the International Criminal Court (ICC), the bishop said, “This shows that there is basis for the investigation on him. They are afraid of accountabilities. Duterte should be investigated.”
 

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Move to impeach Philippine chief justice a politcal expedience

MANILA (UCAN): “This is very sad,” said Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, the Philippines, when a congressional committee voted to impeach the country’s Maria Lourdes Sereno, the country’s first female chief justice, who is also an outspoken critic of the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“Filipinos are no fools. We know what is right and what is false,” the bishop said.
 

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Intimidation and killing will not stop drug problem bishop says

Manila (UCAN): Speaking during a 25th anniversary Mass for the group, Singles for Christ, on February 18, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, of Kalookan, the Philippines, lamented that many people agree that drug “addicts are not human.”
 
He told the gathering of around 7,000 young people, “My heart bleeds when there are Catholics who agree that criminals cannot be reformed, that they deserve to die and be exterminated if we are to have a peaceful Philippine society.” 
 

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International criminal court opens probe into Philippine drug killings

MANILA (Agencies): “I welcome you and if you want to find me guilty, so be it. Find a country where they kill people with a firing squad. And I’m ready,” said the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, reacting to the announcement on February 1 that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will conduct a “preliminary examination” into killings in the Philippines linked to the government’s war on drugs.
 

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Iglesia ni Cristo leader named special envoy for Philippine migrants

MANILA (UCAN): In what looks like payback for supporting his presidential run, Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, named Eduardo Manalo, executive minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church), special envoy for Filipino migrants’ concerns.
 
In an appointment paper dated February 13, the presidential palace in Manila announced that Manalo would hold the position from January 30, until 29 January 2019.
 

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Church must tackle drug menace

HONG KONG (SE): “In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings! For the good of the country, stop the killings! The toll of ‘murders under investigation’ must stop now”, was the cry for peace from Bishop Socrates Villegas, the archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, urging the Duterte administration for a stop to the killing of drug suspects. 
 

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Continued martial law in Mindanao legal Supreme Court says

MANILA (UCAN): The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled on February 6 that there were sufficient grounds for the extension of military rule in the region following a terrorist attack in the city of Marawi last year.
 
“Public safety requires the extension (of martial law) as shown by facts presented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
 

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