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Don’t demonise the Muslim

COTABATO (SE): Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are appealing for help as thousands of displaced people continue to arrive in evacuation sites around the besieged city of Marawi in the southern Philippines.
 
As of June 2, the Crisis Management Committee in the region has recorded that at least 133,700 people from Marawi have sought refuge in evacuation centres.
 

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If martial law’s the answer what’s the question?

HONG KONG (SE): Many have asked if martial law is the answer to the crisis in Mindanao, but the director of the Columban Mission Society in Manila, Father Paul Glynn, says it is not even clear what the question is.
 
Noting that the age-old enmity between Muslims and Christians was first sown by the Spanish colonisers of the country some 500 years ago to undermine the influence of the traditional sultanates, he says that it has become so deeply ingrained as to be not easily uprooted.
 

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First Mindanao then the country?

HONG KONG (SE): Two terrorist attacks on opposite sides of the world took place within 24 hours of each other on May 22 and 23.
 
In England, a bomb was detonated at a pop concert leaving some 22 mostly young people dead and in The Philippines, the city of Marawi in the troubled region of Mindanao was attacked, leaving many dozens more dead and hundreds of thousands of lives disrupted, a church in flames and Father Chito Suganob, as well as some 14 parishioners and 20 staff and students from the Protestant Dansalan College, abducted.

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Arrests over media murder

MANILA (UCAN): The governor of Catanduanes, Joseph Cua, an aide, Prince Lim Subion, and police officer, Vincent Tacorda, were charged with murder in The Philippines on the eve of International Press Freedom Day of a journalist, Larry Que, on December 19 last year.
The publisher of Catanduanes News Now is the first murdered media person to officially have their death directly linked with their work, as he was killed two weeks after he published an article linking government officials to the illegal drug trade in his province.
 

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More heat than light at drug conference

HONG KONG (UCAN): While an international gathering held in Manila in the first week of May on different perspectives of the illegal drug trade generated a lot of heat, not much light emanated from the sometimes caustic accusations that were slung at each other by the delegates.
 

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Self-interest the big winner over the common good

MANILA (SE): Even in a country where honesty in government requires the commitment of a saint, the gutsy determination of a boxer, the courage of an explorer and a skin as thick as a rhinoceros, the decision to reject the appointment of Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources by the Commission on Appointments stands out as one of the more outlandish victories of self-interest over the common good.
 

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Bomb blasts in Quaipo

MANILA (UCAN): A call to look out for suspicious looking packages and people went out from Bishop Broderick Pabillo after two bombs went off in the Quiapo district of the Philippine capital city on May 6.
 
The explosions occurred near a church and a mosque, killing two people and injuring six others.
 
A statement from the Islamic State says, “Five Shi’ites have been killed and six others injured by detonating an explosive device by the Islamic State fighters in central Manila.”
 

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A day honouring defenders of the land

HONG KONG (SE): Cordillera Day was marked in Hong Kong with a one-day programme on Chater Road on April 23. The day highlighted the determination of the people from the Cordilleras in The Philippines to be united against the injustices being committed against the indigenous communities of the region.

The day began with a colourful parade along the streets of Central with people from Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and the Mountain Province in traditional dress carrying banners condemning the mining that destroys the beauty and value of nature.

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