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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.








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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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