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Congress of Mercy hears plea from streets

MANILA (SE): The Catholic Church in The Philippines was weighed but found wanting in responding to the issues that confronted the people, especially the poor, over the past year.

During national elections in May last year, the Church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting tried to give expression to a Church committed to making a difference in the political arena.

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Peace and war are not happy bedfellows

ROME (SE): The populist Rodrigo Duterte rode to victory in the May 2016 Philippine presidential polls on the back of two big issues, drugs and the peace process in Mindanao, promising to fix up both in a period of about 100 days.

However, as after six months he is no closer to denting the drug trade or rescuing the peace process, which is stumbling towards disaster, it is emerging that the two campaigns may be destroying each other.

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Who is dying in the war on the poor?

Bennie had a thin, hollow face. A picture of malnutrition at 22-years-of-age, he had never been to school for more than a few months, could not read or write and was a one-meal a day man.

He was dressed in shorts and a dirty T-Shirt. His flip-flops, his only possession, were worn thin. He pushed a small wooden cart along the back streets of Manila picking up discarded plastic bottles and bits of metal that fell off jeepneys or trucks. He was a discarded piece of humanity.








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Philippine Church calls for support for flood victims

MANILA (UCAN): The Church in The Philippines is calling on all parishes to pool their resources to offer assistance to the victims of severe flooding caused by torrential monsoon rains in the southern part of the country in mid-January.

Eleven people, including eight children, have been reported to have died in the surging waters, while thousands of families were forced to flee their homes as heavy rains hit several parts of the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

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Duterte’s politics of shame

MANILA (SE): The same man who said, “I wanted to call out, ‘Pope, you (expletive deleted) go home. Don’t come here anymore’,” on 30 November 2015 has now penned a letter to Pope Francis expressing the profound depth of his respect for the bishop of Rome.

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Bible without religion

MANILA (SE) : In one breath, the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, told his people that they should not believe in religion, especially the Catholic religion, and in the next intake of air on January 5, declared January National Bible Month.

By signing a proclamation announcing the Bible Month he seems to be advocating the value of the bible without religion. 

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Flocking for a miracle

MANILA (SE): Around one-and-a-half-million people joined the procession of the Black Nazarene through the streets of Manila on January 9 to mark the 411th year of the arrival of the famous statue in The Philippines from Mexico.

The day, which began with midnight Mass offered by the archbishop of Manila, Luis Cardinal Tagle, at the Quirino Grandstand, was anticipated to involve up to 18 million people at its various functions during the day.

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Peace is process not agreement

CAGAYAN DE ORO (SE): The long stalled peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Communist Party of The Philippines got off the ground in Oslo, Norway, on August 22 last year in a flurry of excitement, which soured as quickly as it was generated by October 8 in their second round.

Nevertheless, the Ecumenical Peace Platform has called on both parties not to give up, but to look at peace-making as a process rather than a negotiation.

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Can Philippines scratch the surface of its faith?

MANILA (UCAN): In just four months, official figures released by the Philippine National Police show that around 4,500 people have become victims of extrajudicial murder under the guise of the war on drugs instigated by the current president, Rodrigo Duterte.

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Death penalty resurrects as democracy wanes

MANILA (SE): Countries across the world today have been systematically taking the death penalty off their law books as democracy within their borders strengthens, but recently, as the power of the people has been waning in many traditional democracies, it is gradually being reintroduced.

The Philippines is no exception and as the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, ups the ante in his rule of fear over the country, the blood-soaked soil of the land has made it fertile ground for its reintroduction.

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