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Marawi residents call for control of their city

MANILA (SE): People who have been forced to flee the besieged city of Marawi took to the streets of Manila at the end of August in protest against the imposition of martial law in their island of Mindanao and demanded that the national government pull its head out of their governance affairs.
 
Muslim Mindanao has long been pushing for the right of self-determination and the people want to have the last say in how the rehabilitation of their mostly destroyed city is managed.
 

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The good the ugly and the uglier

MANILA (SE): After a week when over 90 people died in the ongoing purge of the poor orchestrated by the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, many more people began questioning the true intention of his so-called war on drugs.
 
“But if it has done nothing else, it has shown every Filipino up for what they are,” lay missionary, John Ding, told the Sunday Examiner on August 18, two days after a 17-year-old student, Kian delos Santos, was shot in the back, even though police claim he was killed in self-defence.

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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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