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No to ID cards for 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 region of Mindanao.
 
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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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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Bishop speaks on spike in drug killings

MANILA (SE): Between August 15 and 18 headlines in daily newspapers told the stories of the previous night’s work of the dreaded drug squads in Manila, proclaiming, “21 deaths in nine hours,” then the following day the number went up and on the third day rose again.
 
While some papers glorified the bloodshed, others reported it in a bland and neutral way, leaving it to their op-ed pieces to condemn while others were outright hostile.
 

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Invisible faces glow in the limelight

HONG KONG (SE): The faces of a mostly invisible group in Hong Kong were shown off in fine style on July 30, as a group of 55 young, Hong Kong-born and bred Filipinos aged between 10 and 20 took to the stage in a classy production of a musical written by local educator and artist, Catherine Tating Marsden, called The Sway of the Cradle (Ang Ugoy ng Duyan).
 

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Duterte promises to bomb schools

MANILA (UCAN): A threat from the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to bomb a tribal school in the southern part of the country, which he accused of giving children subversive ideas, has provoked a hostile reaction.
 
Even the threat of bombing a school is described as an act of barbarism and a war crime under international law, but this did not deter the rampaging president, whose disdain for the law was evident during his State of the Nation Address on July 24.
 

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Philippine Church quietly pushing alternative narrative on drugs

MANILA (SE): The Church in The Philippines was stumped last year when the president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, embarked on a mass murder campaign against anyone associated with drugs even before he moved into Malacañang.
 
Its first stumbling moves came from a couple of bishops, but they quickly wilted in the face of a barrage of expletives from the Mouth from the South before retreating to plan a second move.
 

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Don’t forget the earthquake victims

MANILA (SE): While news of the siege of the only majority Muslim city in Mindanao by the Maute group and the pros and cons of martial law have dominated international discussions on Philippine affairs, the suffering of people hit by other catastrophes still needs attention.
 

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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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Yet another call of War never again!

MANILA (SE): Once more we have a war and once more we hear the cry of War, never again! this time from the bishops of The Philippines as they reflect on the siege in Marawi at their plenary gathering at the Pius XII Centre in Manila from July to 8 to 10.
 
This time their cry is, “War in Marawi, never again!” but as they go on to call for a return to normalcy, many people in the beleaguered island of Mindanao wonder whether war and violence that has been their way for decades has become the normal of the day.
 

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