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Don’t destroy the good relations of the past

ZAMBOANGA (SE): An emergency appeal over rising tensions between Christians and Muslims in Jolo, Sulu province, from Father Sebastiano D’Ambra, a long time promoter of interfaith dialogue and peaceful relations among rival religious and ethnic groups, says the good work done by people in the past is being destroyed.

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Exclude congress from charter change decision

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Arturo Bastes told Radyo Veritas on August 2 that the congress should be excluded from any process aimed at amending the Philippine constitution.

He said that he believes that for the congress to amend its own status would be a classic example of serving self over and above the interests of the people.

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Public rift deepens over Marcos burial

MANILA (SE): A decision by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to allow the burial of the body of former martial law dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, in the Heroes Cemetery in Manila is not healing the public rift over his final resting place, but serving only to deepen divisions on the controversial topic.

“As a former soldier and former president of The Philippines, I see nothing wrong in having Marcos buried at the cemetery,” Duterte said in a statement released on August 7.

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Bishop cries for lost humanity

MANILA (SE): Will the Filipino people progress from being a generation of drug addicts to a generation of street murderers is the question the lonely voice in the episcopal wilderness of Archbishop Socrates Villegas asked his flock at all Masses in his archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan in The Philippines on August 7.

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Ceasefire flops within a week

MANILA (UCAN): After ordering an immediate ceasefire in Mindanao during his State of the Nation Address on July 25, the newly-elected president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, reversed the order on July 30 after one militiaman was killed and four others wounded when ambushed on July 27 in the province of Davao del Norte.

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Mini Youth Day in Manila

MANILA (UCAN): Hundreds of young people held their own World Youth Day in Parañaque on July 31 to coincide with the conclusion of the international gathering in Krakow, Poland.

“The pope may not be here to celebrate with us, but I can feel his presence through the camaraderie,” Hazel Daradar, an 18-year old student, said.

Daradar said hearing stories from those in Poland and former World Youth Day delegates has brought us to where they were.

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Fifth divorce bill filed in congress

MANILA (UCAN): Two members of the congress, Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, filed a bill seeking the legalisation of divorce in The Philippines on August 3.

In filing the bill, de Jesus assured people that the rudiments of Filipino culture and the general sentiment of preserving the sanctity of Filipino marriages had been considered when drafting the proposal.

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New president welcome but his guns are not

HONG KONG (SE): Dolores Balladares Pelaez, the chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong, said she is happy about the first State of the Nation Address of the newly-elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, because he showed concern for overseas Filipino workers.

She added that Duterte’s pledge to the Filipino people is unprecedented. “No other previously elected president has delivered with such intensity, simplicity and sincerity,” she said.

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Philippines pushes for return of death penalty

MANILA (UCAN): Three bills were filed in the congress seeking to revive the death penalty by maverick senator, sometime evangelical pastor and boxing great, Manny Pacquiao, on August 3.

The bible bashing pastor said, “It is in the bible.”

Pacquiao maintains that the imposition of capital punishment for some crimes, including those related to the drug trade, is not against Christian teaching.

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What’s the cover up in mass executions?

HONG KONG (SE): As Indonesian government guns were aimed at 14 people found guilty of drug related crimes and their lifeless bodies slumped to the ground at midnight on July 28, Father Antonius Benny Susetyo was asking what the drive to execute aims to cover up.

The secretary of the Setara Institute for Democracy in Jakarta pointed to testimony given by Fredi Budiman, who fell before the guns at the hour where this life morphed into the next.

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