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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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Lived in darkness and buried in secret

HONG KONG (SE): The Filipino community in Hong Kong joined the angry reaction in The Philippines to the burial of the architect of martial law and state plunder, Ferdinand Marcos, alongside those who gave their lives heroically for the betterment of the nation in the Heroes Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) in Manila.

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No state law only Duterte law

HONG KONG (SE): “It is now Duterte’s administration. There’s no need for papers,” a police officer in Talisay City, Cebu, was overheard saying on September 11 when asked to show a warrant after bursting into a private home and beginning a room search.

The house belongs to Isabella Abangan, the mother of human rights advocate, Orlando Abangan, who was shot in several parts of the body by an unidentified gunman and died on the road on September 17.

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Manila’s nuclear about face

HONG KONG (SE): The on-again off-again president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was given big cookie points on November 8 when he scotched the idea of powering up the mothballed nuclear power plant in Bataan and assured the nation that during his term of office nuclear power plants would not operate.

The local bishop in the area, Bishop Rupert Santos, said that he welcomed the decision, describing it as an expression of Duterte’s concern and care for the people and the environment.

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