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Duterte uses pope’s reply to intrigue

VATICAN (CWN): The expletive babbling mayor of Davao City and presidential candidate, Rodrigo Duterte, sent an apology to Pope Francis for his unpublishable tirade against him for holding up traffic when he visited Manila in January last year.

And to his apparent delight, he has received a response from Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the under-secretary of state at the Vatican, which says the pope appreciates the sentiments of his apology.

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Appeal for pro-life vote

MANILA (SE): The Church in The Philippines has issued an all-out call to people to vote pro-life in the upcoming May 9 election.

In a strong letter dated March 31, the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, says that it is a grave sin to vote for a candidate who opposes the Lord’s teachings on the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

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When they asked for food they got bullets

MANILA (SE): Jesus may have found it hard to believe that a father would give his son a scorpion when he asked for bread, but when a massed rally of around 6,000 farmers from a declared drought disaster zone blocked the 220 kilometre highway link between the provinces of Davao and Cotabato at Kidapawan City on March 30, to asked the government for food, it gave them bullets.

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Casinos and bank heists

MANILA (Agencies): The casino industry in The Philippines is growing at an alarming rate, as it encourages the activities that corrupt politicians can easily profit from; money laundering, drug running and prostitution—all of which assuredly are more fun in The Philippines.

The Philippine bishops have released a statement in the wake of a US$81 million ($627 million) bank heist that saw the money spirited away from Bangladesh to a commercial bank in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

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Scavengers of misfortune

TACLOBAN (SE): While reports abound about shoddy reconstruction work being done by government agencies and the snail’s pace progress of its rehousing projects, a major fact that has been swept under the carpet, or maybe under the water, is the actual number of people who died during Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

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Roxas is no Yolanda hero

MANILA (Agencies): Mar Roxas may be the candidate for the presidential election anointed by the current incumbent, Noynoy Aquino, but Father Edwin Gariguez says that he is no hero of Yolanda.

Reacting strongly against a comic book being distributed as part of his campaign, Father Gariguez told CBCP News that Roxas certainly is not the hero that he makes himself out to be in the propaganda.

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Worldwide election forum in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Overseas Filipinos and their families from 14 countries took part in a worldwide consultation in Hong Kong on the upcoming presidential election on March 13.

The day featured a forum with Makabayan senatorial candidate, Neri Colmenares, and nominees from the Migrante Partylist.

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Religious honoured for defence of nature

MANILA (SE): A priest from Manila and an Augustinian brother were both honoured for their dedication to the protection of the environment and the interests of indigenous people at separate functions in The Philippines during March.

Father Edwin Gariguez received an honorary doctorate in humanities from Ateneo de Cagayan do Oro University on March 17 for his long battle against nickel mining in Mindoro.

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Kill for president

DAVAO (SE): In January last year, Filipinos applauded the call of Pope Francis for forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation during his visit to The Philippines.

This year, many of the same people are applauding the mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte, in his call for murder, blood and mayhem, as his bid for the presidency of the nation gathers popularity and momentum.

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A great statesman mourned

MANILA (UCAN): Community leaders, politicians and human rights advocates paid tribute to the former president of the Philippine Senate, Jovito Salonga, who died on March 10 at the age of 95, as an exemplar of principled politics anchored on Christian faith.

“His political career has a soul. His government service has a conscience. His life of witnessing is edifying,” Bishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines, said.

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