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Public rift deepens over Marcos burial

MANILA (SE): A decision by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to allow the burial of the body of former martial law dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, in the Heroes Cemetery in Manila is not healing the public rift over his final resting place, but serving only to deepen divisions on the controversial topic.

“As a former soldier and former president of The Philippines, I see nothing wrong in having Marcos buried at the cemetery,” Duterte said in a statement released on August 7.

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Bishop cries for lost humanity

MANILA (SE): Will the Filipino people progress from being a generation of drug addicts to a generation of street murderers is the question the lonely voice in the episcopal wilderness of Archbishop Socrates Villegas asked his flock at all Masses in his archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in The Philippines on August 7.

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Ceasefire flops within a week

MANILA (UCAN): After ordering an immediate ceasefire in Mindanao during his State of the Nation Address on July 25, the newly-elected president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, reversed the order on July 30 after one militiaman was killed and four others wounded when ambushed on July 27 in the province of Davao del Norte.

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Mini Youth Day in Manila

MANILA (UCAN): Hundreds of young people held their own World Youth Day in Parañaque on July 31 to coincide with the conclusion of the international gathering in Krakow, Poland.

“The pope may not be here to celebrate with us, but I can feel his presence through the camaraderie,” Hazel Daradar, an 18-year old student, said.

Daradar said hearing stories from those in Poland and former World Youth Day delegates has brought us to where they were.

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Fifth divorce bill filed in congress

MANILA (UCAN): Two members of the congress, Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, filed a bill seeking the legalisation of divorce in The Philippines on August 3.

In filing the bill, de Jesus assured people that the rudiments of Filipino culture and the general sentiment of preserving the sanctity of Filipino marriages had been considered when drafting the proposal.

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New president welcome but his guns are not

HONG KONG (SE): Dolores Balladares Pelaez, the chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong, said she is happy about the first State of the Nation Address of the newly-elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, because he showed concern for overseas Filipino workers.

She added that Duterte’s pledge to the Filipino people is unprecedented. “No other previously elected president has delivered with such intensity, simplicity and sincerity,” she said.

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Philippines pushes for return of death penalty

MANILA (UCAN): Three bills were filed in the congress seeking to revive the death penalty by maverick senator, sometime evangelical pastor and boxing great, Manny Pacquiao, on August 3.

The bible bashing pastor said, “It is in the bible.”

Pacquiao maintains that the imposition of capital punishment for some crimes, including those related to the drug trade, is not against Christian teaching.

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What’s the cover up in mass executions?

HONG KONG (SE): As Indonesian government guns were aimed at 14 people found guilty of drug related crimes and their lifeless bodies slumped to the ground at midnight on July 28, Father Antonius Benny Susetyo was asking what the drive to execute aims to cover up.

The secretary of the Setara Institute for Democracy in Jakarta pointed to testimony given by Fredi Budiman, who fell before the guns at the hour where this life morphed into the next.

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Stop cardboard justice

MANILA (SE): In a first Church-inspired public demonstration against the outright slaughter being perpetrated against his people by the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, students lay prone outside the office of the Human Rights Commission in Quezon City on July 25 with placards reading, Stop Cardboard Justice.

Students imitating dead bodies lay prone in a protest initiated by Bishop Broderick Pabillo under the name of Thou Shalt not Kill (Huwag Kang Papatay).

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Rising from the rubble of sorrow and pain

MANILA (SE): In his first State of the Nation Address delivered to both houses of the congress on July 25, the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, painted a pretty grim picture, describing its dysfunctional legal system, inefficient and corrupt public service, shoddy law enforcement, volatile warring lands and vast poverty as leaving the nation in bad shape.

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