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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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Still no resolution on Maguindanao Massacre

MANILA (UCAN): It is now eight years since the Maguindanao Massacre took place on a lonely road in Ampatuan on 23 November 2009, which saw 58 people murdered and buried in mass graves.
 
At least 34 of them were journalists covering a journey being made by the vice mayor, Esmael Mangudadatu, to file his certificate for candidacy as governor of the province at the office of the Commission on Elections.
 

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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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Social media award

MANILA (UCAN): Argentinean Father Luciano Ariel Felloni, from the urban poor community of Novaliches in Manila, has been recognised as the Social Media Influencer of the Year by the Catholic Social Media Awards for his work in drawing attention to drug-related extrajudicial killings in The Philippines.
 
Father Felloni said on November 21 that he is able to use social media to explain the contribution the Church can make to the effort against drug use and distribution.
 

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A stunt to no avail

HONG KONG (SE): “We hope the applicants do not lose out in the process if the suspension will result in the lapse of their job placements,” Julius Cainglet, the vice president of the Federation of Free Workers in Manila, said of the decision by the Philippine labour secretary, Silvestro Bello, to call a three-week moratorium on the issuing of the much criticised Overseas Employment Certificate on November 13.
 

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Lord heal our broken land

MANILA (SE): Thousands of people flocked down EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos) Avenue in Manila on November 5 retracing the footsteps of the massed crowds that formed the giant demonstration of People Power in 1986, forcing the president at the time, Ferdinand Marcos, to allow himself to be removed from the country by the United States of America.
 

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Indigenous solidarity

HONG KONG (SE): The annual Filipino Tribal Sunday festival was held in Edinburgh Place in Central on October 29, but this year’s event showed an important expansion, as for the first time a tribal group from Mindanao was also represented.
 

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Spurious arrest of Church worker in Mindanao

MANILA (UCAN): Julito Rivera Otacan, a member of the Rural Missionaries of The Philippines, was arrested together with five indigenous people from the Banwaon group during a raid on a village in the southern Philippines and charged with the illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
 
Soldiers and police swooped on the village of Balit in San Luis town, Agusan del Sur province, claiming that they were looking for Communist rebels on October 27.
 

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The poor are the majority

MANILA (UCAN): If democracy was taken seriously, the poor of the world would get the biggest voice, as they are the majority, but in a world where money counts, their voice is inclined to get swept under the political and economic carpet.
 
Nevertheless, the urban poor of Manila put their voice into the arena with a series of protests ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) summit, which began in the city on November 13.
 

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Aquino charged with overstepping mark

MANILA (SE): The former president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, was charged on November 8 in the anti-graft court in Manila with overstepping the mark in giving the go ahead to a suspiciously botched security operation in Mamasapano in the lawless province of Maguindanao.
 
He is being charged with graft, usurping official function and allowing a suspended police chief, Alan Purisima, to take part in the operation on 25 January 2015.
 
Aquino was released on 80,000 pesos ($12,500) bail.
 

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