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Religious persecution happens online

MANILA (UCAN): Despite the popular claim that The Philippines is a Catholic country, Archbishop Socrates Villegas insists that religious persecution is very much alive and well, even within the Church.

In a statement on November 14, the president of the bishops’ conference says, “Bashing in social media where truth is made to appear a lie and a lie the truth is another form of persecution.”

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Scoundrel above ground but hero under the dirt

MANILA (UCAN): Former Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos, received a hero’s burial on November 18, digging deeper division in society.

The eight members of the senate who had voted against the controversial burial did not muster sufficient numbers to get a resolution filed by Risa Hontiveros on August 9 carried.

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Murder of faceless barangay captain

MIDSALIP (SE): “He was one of our best barangay captains and a great servant of the people,” Father Sean Martin said from his parish in Midsalip in Misamis Occidental of Jovani Romo, who was shot 14 times by unknown assailants and died on the road just 30 metres from his home in Barangay Kanokano on July 29.

Romo is one of the faceless deaths in a Philippines swamped in a frenzied daily attack on the poor being carried out by the state under the guise of a war on drugs.

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A hero to the court a villain to others

MANILA (SE): A vote of nine to five, with one abstention, saw the Supreme Court of The Philippines rule on November 8 that the body of the former president, Ferdinand Marcos, can be buried in the Heroes Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) in accordance with the wishes of the powerful Marcos family and as ordered by the incumbent president, Rodrigo Duterte.

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Where has the Haiyan relief money gone?

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines has called for an audit of funds received by the government for victims of Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the central Philippines in 2013.

Father Edu Gariguez, the secretary of the Social Action Secretariat, said people need to see what the government has done in the three years since the devastation.

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Know your culture to stretch your money

HONG KONG (SE): CARD MRI Hong Kong continues to add to its impressive list of achievements in the area of enhancing the understanding of money matters among the vast migrant worker community in the city.

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Police brutality in defence of nothing

HONG KONG (SE): What began and was about to end as a peaceful rally on October 19 by indigenous people outside the embassy of the United States of America (US) in Manila, The Philippines, exploded into disarray as police fired teargas and repeatedly rammed the crowd with a large van.

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International court mulls prosecuting Duterte

BANGKOK (SE): The International Criminal Court in The Hague has bluntly warned the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, that he could face prosecution over extrajudicial killings in his deadly crackdown on drugs, Fairfax Media reports.

The chief prosecutor of the international court, Fatou Bensouda, said she is deeply concerned about the thousands of alleged killings in The Philippines and statements by high officials who seem to condone such killings.

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Sweet taste of Mindanao peace talks turns sour

MANILA (SE): Peace talks between the Philippine government and representatives from the National Democratic Front of the Communist Party of The Philippines that began on an upbeat note on August 22 this year, soured significantly during the second round, which got under way on October 8 in Oslo, Norway.

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Duterte gives bishops a lashing

MANILA (UCAN): The president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, lashed out at retired Archbishop Fernando Capalla for criticising his war on narcotics that has resulted in the death of more than 4,000 people, who have been accused of being involved in the drug trade.

Archbishop Capalla is the former bishop of Davao, Duterte’s heartland. He lost his own brother to a bullet of an assassin in an extrajudicial in 2014.