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Father Cullen honoured with humanitarian award

KILLARNEY (SE): Regular columnist for the Sunday Examiner, Father Shay Cullen, was awarded the Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award at a weekend festival in Killarney, Ireland, for his work in promoting human rights, justice and peace.

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Maintaining a silence to kill

In the world today where violence and the violation of human rights are marked with a reluctance to take a stand against evil, not to report child abuse, not to oppose torture and not to oppose murder is a failure to confront criminal behaviour.

It is an indication of a culture of silence that could well be considered complicit in heinous crimes.

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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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It is Muslims that welcome refugees

It is truly an age of disbelief. Respect for the values of human life has plunged. The number of people of Christian faith, who declare belief in the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth that upholds the dignity and rights of the human person, stand with the poor and the excluded, share with the refugees and the homeless, is at an all-time low.

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Children in crossfire of Philippine Inquisition

The death of two small children caught in the gunfire of the vigilante assassins sent to kill suspected drug users and peddlers is an unfolding tragedy. The shoot-to-kill policy that has claimed at least 2,500 lives in the past few months is a descent into hell. 

Five-year-old Danica Mae Garcia was shot dead when two men on a motorcycle stopped at the house of Maximo Garcia while he was having lunch with his wife Gemma and their two grandchildren in the village of Mayombo, Dagupan City.

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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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Countering human trafficking

A few weeks ago, 69 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking were found in The Philippines. They had been brought from Vietnam two at a time on tourist visas by a syndicate and made to work for three years, on low wages or none at all, by human traffickers.

The whole group was then abandoned by the gang-masters, declared indigent and deported.

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Helping the president’s anti-crime crusade

There is a wise saying, “Be careful of what you promise. People might believe it.”

On June 30, Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the new president of The Philippines. A politician well-known for his somewhat exaggerated style of speaking and promises to eradicate crime and corruption, this time he promised to do it within three to six months of his inauguration.

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Making children scapegoats for criminals

OLONGAPO (SE): Two bills have been filed in the lower house of the Philippine congress by the speaker, Feliciano Belmonte, one proposing a change in the law to make children possibly as young as nine- or 12-years-old criminally responsible and the other to reintroduce the death penalty.

“This is draconian and repressive for children and not worthy of the administration of Rodrigo Duterte or the Philippine people,” social commentator, Father Shay Cullen, told the Sunday Examiner on July 15.

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No justice in a bullet in the head or a bag

The Philippines is moving away from its former ear of compassion and justice to one where the innocent are targets for assassination and imprisonment on false charges.

In recent weeks, dozens of bodies have been found, shot dead, with signs pinned on them, declaring them criminals deserving to die.

But there was no trial, no justice. The killers have contempt for the process of justice.