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A jeepney run on flower power

MANILA (SE): The colourful, iconic trademark of Philippine transport, the humble jeepney could be reaching the end of its long road, as the Department of Transportation and Communications has announced plans to phase it out in favour of a more modern people-mover network.

But apart from easing road congestion, a major attraction for foreign adventurers will be removed, as a ride on a jeepney is a must for having more fun in The Philippines. But labour leaders are pointing to widespread human collateral damage.

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Independence of judiciary goes on trial

MANILA (UCAN): In what is set to become a test of the separation of the powers of the judiciary and the administration, the families of victims of the purge being conducted against the poor of The Philippines in the guise of a war on drugs filed charges in court on March 14 against the police they believe murdered their relatives.

Father Gilbert Billena described their action as a test case that will show whether or not the Philippine judicial system can prove itself as being a reliable place of justice.

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Just one more on someone’s hit list

OZAMIZ CITY (SE): “The wound in the people’s minds is deeper and more painful than the wounds in the body of Sister Kathleen Melia,” Father Sean Martin from Ozamiz City in The Philippines told the Sunday Examiner after the 70-year-old Columban sister was bashed in her home on March 1.

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Voices of hope in a time of darkness

HONG KONG (SE): Women of The Philippines marched through the streets of Hong Kong on March 5 to put their mark on International Women’s Day (March 8) and add their voices to millions around the world in a call for recognition of the dignity of woman that began in the United States of America over a century ago.

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Bishops cop a tough ask

MANILA (SE): The bishops have copped a tough ask from the chief of the Philippine National Police, Ronald dela Rosa, when he called for a little bit of trust from the Church in the national campaign against drugs, which to date has left almost 8,000 dead bodies, mostly of poor people, strewn around the country.

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Congress ducks for cover

MANILA (SE): The infamous Kill Bill, which seeks to reintroduce the death penalty and is currently before the congress in The Philippines was given a second haircut, as the number of crimes that would have qualified in the original bill was shaved from 21 down to three and then to one, when it returned for a second reading on February 28.

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Columban sister bashed in Mindanao

OZAMIZ CITY (SE): Columban Sister Kathleen Melia was assaulted shortly before 9.30pm on March 1 as she was closing the window of her house in Midsalip in the Zamboanga region of Mindanao, The Philippines.

The 70-year-old Irish missionary has lived in Midsalip since 1983, working among the Subaanen tribal people.

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An anniversary with victims of fire

MANILA (SE): The archbishop of Manila, Luis Cardinal Tagle, marked his 35th anniversary of ordination on February 27 with thousands of victims of the fire that swept through a poor, densely populated area of the city on February 7.

Instead of holding an elaborate celebration, the cardinal spent the day in Parola Compound, a depressed area of the Tondo district.

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Only Filipinos to kill Filipinos!

MANILA (UCAN): In what is a strange irony, The Promotion of Church People’s Response has requested the Philippine government, which is currently moving closer to reinstating the death penalty, to appeal to the government of the United Arab Emirates to refrain from executing a Filipino migrant worker, 30-year-old Jennifer Dalquez, who is convicted of murdering her employer.

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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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