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Who remembers what the pope said?

The Philippines seems to be off the international comment agenda of late. Even Pope Francis seems to have forgotten about its existence since his triumphant Palm Sunday-like entrance into Manila in 2015.
 
Papal condolences have been sent to France, Egypt and England on more than one occasion in recent days, but after a catastrophe in a Manila resort, a besieged city and declaration of martial law, as well as a kidnapped priest and people, some in The Philippines must be wondering what more they have to do to do to rate a papal mention.








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If martial law’s the answer what’s the question?

HONG KONG (SE): Many have asked if martial law is the answer to the crisis in Mindanao, but the director of the Columban Mission Society in Manila, Father Paul Glynn, says it is not even clear what the question is.
 
Noting that the age-old enmity between Muslims and Christians was first sown by the Spanish colonisers of the country some 500 years ago to undermine the influence of the traditional sultanates, he says that it has become so deeply ingrained as to be not easily uprooted.
 

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Duterte’s Dirty Dozen named in International Criminal Court

MANILA (SE): Fear seems to be the name of the game in the hapless country of The Philippines, with the president, Rodrigo Duterte, running a relentless terror campaign in the guise of a war on drugs and Bishop Arturo Bastes hoping that the filing of a case against Duterte and 11 top government officials in the International Criminal Court in The Hague will inject sufficient fear in their hearts to quit their murderous campaign.

All up, 12 people have been named as constituting the Dirty Dozen of the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

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Duterte declares peace talks dead in water

MANILA (SE): The much vaunted peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Communist Party are now officially dead in the water.

A signature policy of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, peace talks began with much enthusiasm in Oslo, Norway, last August, but soured significantly before a second round that was held in the same city and finally went nowhere at a meeting in Rome at the end of January.

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Beware martial law

MANILA (SE): “Let us continue to maintain safeguards against dictatorial martial law that our present constitution contains,” the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said at the completion of the bishops’ plenary meeting in January.

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Is Duterte feeling the heat?

MANILA (SE): “The Catholic Church is full of sh...t,” the president of The Philippines proclaimed in bookending the Congress on Mercy held in Manila from January 16 to 20 with crude attacks on the Church and bishops.

Anticipating that his war on the poor would be attacked during the worldwide congress, Duterte was not disappointed and topped off his crude attack prior to the gathering with an equally crude one at the end.

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Duterte’s politics of shame

MANILA (SE): The same man who said, “I wanted to call out, ‘Pope, you (expletive deleted) go home. Don’t come here anymore’,” on 30 November 2015 has now penned a letter to Pope Francis expressing the profound depth of his respect for the bishop of Rome.

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Bible without religion

MANILA (SE) : In one breath, the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, told his people that they should not believe in religion, especially the Catholic religion, and in the next intake of air on January 5, declared January National Bible Month.

By signing a proclamation announcing the Bible Month he seems to be advocating the value of the bible without religion. 

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Death penalty resurrects as democracy wanes

MANILA (SE): Countries across the world today have been systematically taking the death penalty off their law books as democracy within their borders strengthens, but recently, as the power of the people has been waning in many traditional democracies, it is gradually being reintroduced.

The Philippines is no exception and as the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, ups the ante in his rule of fear over the country, the blood-soaked soil of the land has made it fertile ground for its reintroduction.

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An unwanted vice

MANILA (SE): The president of The Philippines has kicked his vice president, Leni Robredo, out of the cabinet over her opposition to his signature policy of murdering the poor and pet passion of currying favour with the Marcos family.

Robredo staved off Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to be elected vice president, but it is becoming more obvious that Duterte wants to be rid of her and cozy up to the son of the late dictator, whom he has already introduced to China as his vice.

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