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Lived in darkness and buried in secret

HONG KONG (SE): The Filipino community in Hong Kong joined the angry reaction in The Philippines to the burial of the architect of martial law and state plunder, Ferdinand Marcos, alongside those who gave their lives heroically for the betterment of the nation in the Heroes Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) in Manila.

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Bishops and senate gagged

MANILA (SE): In a lengthy response to the socio-political landscape of The Philippines released on November 22, the bishops of the country admit that they have been gagged by the very people of the Church that they are there to guide and lead.

On November 16, a member of the senate, Risa Hontiveros, found herself gagged on the floor of the chamber when she attempted to read from a newspaper article written by Sunday Examiner columnist, Father Shay Cullen.

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No state law only Duterte law

HONG KONG (SE): “It is now Duterte’s administration. There’s no need for papers,” a police officer in Talisay City, Cebu, was overheard saying on September 11 when asked to show a warrant after bursting into a private home and beginning a room search.

The house belongs to Isabella Abangan, the mother of human rights advocate, Orlando Abangan, who was shot in several parts of the body by an unidentified gunman and died on the road on September 17.

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Manila’s nuclear about face

HONG KONG (SE): The on-again off-again president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was given big cookie points on November 8 when he scotched the idea of powering up the mothballed nuclear power plant in Bataan and assured the nation that during his term of office nuclear power plants would not operate.

The local bishop in the area, Bishop Rupert Santos, said that he welcomed the decision, describing it as an expression of Duterte’s concern and care for the people and the environment.

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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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