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Philippine Independence Day a big splash in Chater Road

HONG KONG (SE): The Philippine flag, which rightly claims a place in both its own history and that of Hong Kong, was flown proudly in Chater Road, Central, on June 12, at the local Filipino community’s celebration of their nation’s 118th anniversary of the declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule.

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A prayer for the nation

HONG KONG (SE): The celebration of Philippine Independence Day began in solemn prayer for the welfare of the nation at an interfaith service in Chater Road on June 12.

Muslim, Protestant and Catholic faith leaders expressed gratitude for the national heroes of the country as well as praying for peace.

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Christians join Ramadan fast

Davao (UCAN): Archbishop Fernando Capalla, from the southern Philippine region of Mindanao, is urging Christians in his diocese to join with the sizeable Muslim population in the area by observing the holy fast during Ramadan.

“As one of our grounds of unity, we ask Christians and non-Muslims to observe solidarity fasting,” the former bishop of Davao said.

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Call for Duterte to keep promise on mining

MANILA (UCAN): “I hope he supports our plea for a total mining ban, especially in Batangas,” Bishop Ramon Arguelles, from Lipa, said in reflecting on a promise made by Philippine president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, to punish companies that employ destructive mining practices in the country.

During his victory speech after the election in May, Duterte said that big mining companies have destroyed the environment, especially in the southern region of Mindanao.

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Church did not imprison people in refuge centre

DAVAO CITY (UCAN): Charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention filed against Pastor Jurie Jaime, two Catholic sisters and a group that gave assistance by providing accommodation to displaced tribal people in Mindanao last year, have been dropped.

“It is a vindication of our support for the legitimacy of the demands raised by the tribal people,” a lawyer, Carlos Isagani Zarate, a prominent human rights advocate and member of the Philippine congress, said.

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Bishops told to speak up and speak loud

MANILA (SE): An uncharacteristic hush has come over the normally garrulous Philippine bishops since the president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, launched a stinging attack on several of their members and the Church in general in mid-May.

The Mouth from the South referred to the bishops as sons of bitches and called the Church the most hypocritical of all institutions, as well as threatening to name those who have children or a few skeletons stored in their cupboards.

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Duterte declares open season on journalists

MANILA (UCAN): “You are not exempted from assassination if you are a son of a bitch,” president-elect, Roderigo Duterte, said on May 31 in response to a question from the media about a confrère murdered in Manila a few days previously.

The Philippines is already listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, as the numbers killed over past years keeps it in the top 20 of the deadliest countries for those who pen the news.

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Call to axe two bishops

Manila (SE): A diehard supporter of president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, is calling on people to support a petition to have Archbishop Socrates Villegas and his predecessor in Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Oscar Cruz, fired.

An online petition signed by Lorbertson Borres Jr. was posted on change.org on May 26 and by 5.00pm on May 28 had garnered 8,394 signatures.

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All the president’s men

DAVAO CITY (SE): Despite the outlandish claim that he has rid Davao City of crime, the infamous death squads championed by the former mayor of the city and now president-elect, Rodrigo Duterte, are back at work.

After a bit of a lull in proceedings, the men behind the guns have again been active, as the president’s men in the style of the death squads of the martial law president, Ferdinand Marcos, are reported to have eliminated three petty criminals in Davao during the days prior to May 27.

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Election outcome: rule of law or the gun?

The greatest upset in Philippine presidential elections this past May 9 has been the phenomenal ninety-day campaign by the then little-known mayor of Davao City in Mindanao-—Rodrigo Duterte, a one term congress member but mayor for more than two decades. He rose to national prominence three months ago by being his own true self.

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