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Human rights with Asian characteristics

MANILA (SE): The old boys’ club was on hand to welcome the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to his first Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, on September 5.

No doubt eager to make an impression, he pushed his big domestic barrow of the elimination of all drug-related creatures from the face of this earth among his newfound peers, encouraging them to adopt his methods and make a big push for a drug-free ASEAN region.

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Who cares what God thinks?

MANILA (SE): “At the sunset of life, the blood that has spilled all over our sidewalks and streets will judge us because when we could have done something, we chose to keep quiet. There is no peace for cowards. The next life to be snuffed out could be yours,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas says in a pastoral letter read out at all Masses in Lingayen Dagupan on September 4.

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Applause for peace process

OSLO (SE): The long stalled peace negotiations between the government of The Philippines and the National Democratic Front opened at the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel in Oslo, Norway, on August 22, after what in effect has been a 15-year hiatus.

Delegates gathered in a friendly fashion with the knowledge that they had the best wishes and full support of the bulk of the population of Mindanao and most of The Philippines behind them.

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We can’t choose who lives

MANILA (SE): In many parts of the world today lives are selectively being discarded in the interests of promoting fear campaigns designed to achieve political ends.

Australia turns boat people away from its shores in the name of saving lives at sea, some parts of Europe turn refugees away in the name of screening  terrorists and in The Philippines, the president is murdering people at random in the name of ending a culture of drug dependency.

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Supreme Court hearing on Marcos burial opens

MANILA (SE): August 24 saw the opening of discussions in the Supreme Court of The Philippines on the controversial issue of the burial of the body of the former martial law president, Ferdinand Marcos, in the nation’s Heroes Cemetery, which the president, Rodrigo Duterte, has okayed to take place later this month.

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Terror hits Davao City

DAVAO (SE): A bomb blast ripped through the Roxas Night Market in Davao City on September 2 leaving 14 people dead, including a pregnant woman and her child, and 68 others injured in its wake.

Filipinos from Davao living in Hong Kong reported a sleepless night, with some unable to contact family and being left wondering overnight if they were safe or not. One described it as being a city of fear, as staying home or going out seem to be equally dangerous.

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The death penalty has already arrived

The speaker in the House of Representatives, Pantaleon Alvarez, and the member from Capiz, Fredenil Castro, want to put the death penalty back on the Philippine law books claiming that it is a deterrent to crime.








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Playing with chaos a dangerous game

MANILA (SE): The purge of the poor being orchestrated in The Philippines by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, under the guise of a war on drugs, claimed a five-year-old girl as one of its latest victims on August 23.

Danica Mae Garcia, the kindergarten-aged granddaughter of Maximo Garcia, was shot in the head as she was having lunch in their home in Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

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Lord Heal Our Land

MANILA (SE): “The killings continue to rise. The divisions seem to widen even more. The indifference to the violations of the commandments of God is spreading. We must not give up,” the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said in issuing a prayer to be said at all Masses on August 25.

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Rebel leaders freed ahead of negotiations

Manila (UCAN): “There should no longer be any doubt that President Rodrigo Duterte is serious and determined to find a peaceful solution to the decades old communist insurgency,” the peace adviser of the Philippine government, Jesus Dureza, said after 17 Communist rebel leaders were released from prison on August 19 prior to peace negotiations aimed at ending almost five decades of conflict.

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