Class warfare

Dela Rosa and Duterte puppets
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The Philippine National Police (PNP) says that “only” 1, 398 individuals have been killed in the course of the Rodrigo Duterte regime’s “war” on the illegal drug trade out of a total of 6,011 killings in the country from July 1, 2016 when Mr. Duterte began his watch as President, until March 24, 2017, or a little more than eight months into his six-year term.

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Journalism and General Education

UP DIliman rally vs. GE curriculum change
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The March 21 decision of the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) University Council (UC) to cut the number of General Education (GE) units from 45 to 21 — or from 15 three-unit subjects to seven — means that undergraduate students will be required to take fewer humanities and social science subjects in UP’s flagship campus. Among those who will be affected are journalism and communication students, many of whom become professional journalists after graduation.

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An illusion and a fraud

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
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The argument that such values as human rights and the right to life are alien to Asian culture and impositions from the West, is not new. But not since the martial law period (1972-1986) and only recently has any Filipino functionary or politician demanded that other countries refrain from criticism of the policies and acts of the Philippine government on precisely that basis.

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Exercises in futility

Duterte with soldiers
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At about the same time that the peace panels of the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) were concluding back channel talks in Utrecht, the Netherlands, during which they agreed to return to the negotiating table, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was bombing communities in areas whose residents, it believes, either harbor the New People’s Army (NPA) or are supportive of it in various ways.

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Murder, he said

Rodrigo Duterte
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About extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in Davao city there have been rumors for over a decade. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) looked into them in 2003 and found that the killing of dozens of people, most of them male, and under both Philippine and international standards, children — some of the victims were as young as 14 — apparently had to do with Davao’s reputation as a low-crime city. The implication was that the killing of who were then described as mostly petty criminals was the chosen strategy of the administration of then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to rid the city of crime.

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