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Lawmakers cripple Philippine human rights commission

HONG KONG (SE): On September 12, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of The Philippines saw its 2018 budget whittled down to a mere 1,000 pesos ($152) by the House of Representatives of the country’s Congress which claimed the commission—which is a constitutional body—was not doing its job.
 
The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and Energy Regulatory Commission also found their proposed budgets eviscerated.
 

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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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Church leaders rap Duterte for stance on Marcos heirs

Manila (UCAN): On the eve of the 100th birthday of the late dictator of the The Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, the country’s Church leaders sounded out against the ongoing war on drugs being waged on the poor by the president, Rogrigo Duterte, as well as critising his pandering to the Marcos heirs.
 

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Kidnapped Marawi priest rescued

MANILA (SE): “I am physically strong and sound,” CNS reported Father Chito Soganob as telling a press conference at military headsquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Manila, The Philippines, on September 18 as day after news of his rescue from captivity in Marawi broke.
 
Father Soganob, the vicar general of Marawi, had been held captive by Islamic State-inspired Maute group since conflict erupted in the city on May 23. 
 

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Calling out Duterte for what he is—tyrant

MANILA (SE): The Philippines celebrated National Heroes Day on August 27, a day on which people are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the history of those who whose acts of courage enabled the country to grow as a nation and whose lives and deaths hold particular significance in the development of cultural values.
 

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De Lima honoured by Magsaysay Award

MANILA (AsiaNews): The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation has announced that this year it will honour five people and one organisation from around Asia for their contribution to the development of society.
 
At a ceremony held in Manila on August 31, the vice president of the country, Leni Robredo, made a rare public appearance to preside at the ceremony and make the presentation of the awards.
 

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Birthday as a hostage

MANILA (SE): The fate of Father Chito Soganub, who along with several dozen others from his parish and teachers and students from a nearby school, was kidnapped in the first move of the Maute Group in taking over the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines on May 23, is still unknown.
 

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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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Marawi residents call for control of their city

MANILA (SE): People who have been forced to flee the besieged city of Marawi took to the streets of Manila at the end of August in protest against the imposition of martial law in their island of Mindanao and demanded that the national government pull its head out of their governance affairs.
 
Muslim Mindanao has long been pushing for the right of self-determination and the people want to have the last say in how the rehabilitation of their mostly destroyed city is managed.
 

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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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