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Why are God’s people silent?

The Catholic Church in The Philippines, which means not just the leadership, but the people of God who believe in Jesus of Nazareth and his teaching on the sacredness of life, mercy, compassion and understanding, are being challenged in this day and age by the War-on-Drugs.

God’s people in the Church need to take a stand alongside and reach out to those in need of healing, care and help. Drug dependents are the victims of bandits, just like the one that was cared for by the Good Samaritan on the road to Jericho.








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Death penalty just a vote puller

MANILA (SE): The Prison Ministry of The Philippines called on the president, Rodrigo Duterte, and the congress not to give the people false hope by pretending the death penalty will do anything to lessen the crime rate in the nation.

Rodolfo Diamante, from the Prison Ministry, called the death penalty an affront to human dignity and a slick political move to give the impression that the government is doing something about crime.

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Senator prepares for the worst

MANILA (UCAN): “I prepared myself already for the worst. I already said goodbye to my family,” Leila de Lima, the former secretary for justice and currently a member of the senate, said at a ceremony to mark World Day Against the Death Penalty in the bishops’ conference chapel in Intramuros, Manila, on October 10.

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A house of cards founded on hallucination

MANILA (SE): As the administration of the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, turns 100-days-old, it remains largely defined by his obsession—a massive onslaught on the poor in the guise of a war on drugs.

Although he has made significant progress with the Mindanao peace talks and in currying favour with China, his most conclusive achievement is inspiring over 4,000 murders of people who may or may not have been involved in drugs—certainly some were not.

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Gratitude and repentance

ASSISI (SE): The Philippines can give thanks for its religious and cultural diversity, but must also beg forgiveness for its continual reliance on the violence of arms to settle its disputes.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas told the gathering at the Interreligious World Day of Prayer for Peace held in Assisi, Italy, on September 20, that his nation is highly blessed by God with a rich diversity of ethnicity, culture and religion, all contributing to the makeup of what it means to be Filipino.

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Shoot the messenger

MANILA (SE): “If Germany had Hitler, The Philippines would have…,” the president of the nation told a crowd in his heartland of Davao City on September 30 as he turned the finger of his hand poignantly towards himself.

Speaking upon his return from a state visit to Vietnam, Duterte sparked an immediate outcry from representatives of survivors’ groups from the Adolf Hitler extermination camps and Jewish groups the world over.

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Emerging patterns from Duterte’s erratic rhetoric

HONG KONG (SE): Despite the highly confusing and seemingly contradictory statements on foreign policy articulated by the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, some patterns are beginning to emerge.

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Selective indifference to human tragedy

ROME (SE): The selective indifference of sympathy was lamented by the bishop of Cotabato in the southern Philippines, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, in speaking to religious leaders at the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi on September 19.

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Trusting in the tried and failed

HONG KONG (SE): While in one breath, the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, proclaimed his war on drugs is succeeding, he wisely never answered the question, “Succeeding at what?”

If his criteria is the height of the pile of dead bodies of the predominately poor that he has had liquidated, then he has some cause to celebrate. If it is the number of pushers or users who have surrendered (although some of these are already dead as well), then there is more to celebrate.

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Swapping drug addiction for blood addiction

ARAKAN (SE): Father Peter Geremia, the Italian priest who came into the news as the offsider of the murdered Father Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, North Cotabato, in 2011, says that he had been told by a Filipino priest that the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, knows the heart of the ordinary people and knows that they want to oppose the drug syndicates, the murders, rapes, holdups and the system of corruption of the police and judiciary, as well as that in every other public office in the land.

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