Tag Archives: Philippine

Militant faction blamed for Philippine church bombings

Militant faction blamed for Philippine church bombingsPhilippines security forces investigating a deadly twin bombing at a church on a predominantly Muslim southern island are zeroing in on what they say is an affiliate of the militant Abu Sayyaf Group. Grace Lee reports.



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Islamist militants prime suspects in Philippine cathedral bombing

Islamist militants prime suspects in Philippine cathedral bombingInvestigators probing the Catholic cathedral bombing that killed 21 people in the Philippines’ restive south said Monday a group tied to notorious Islamists Abu Sayyaf is the prime suspect. Two explosions tore through the cathedral on the Muslim-majority island of Jolo, killing worshippers at Sunday mass and security forces in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. Authorities said the so-called Ajang-Ajang faction is a small band of several dozen that most likely carried out the bombing, the Philippines’ worst in years, in an act of revenge.



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20 dead as bombs target Sunday Mass in Philippine cathedral

20 dead as bombs target Sunday Mass in Philippine cathedralJOLO, Philippines (AP) — Two bombs minutes apart tore through a Roman Catholic cathedral on a southern Philippine island where Muslim militants are active, killing at least 20 people and wounding 111 others during a Sunday Mass, officials said.



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17 dead as twin bombing hits southern Philippine church

17 dead as twin bombing hits southern Philippine churchAt least 17 people were killed as two bombs hit a church on a southern Philippine island that is a stronghold of Islamist militants, the military said Sunday, just days after a regional vote for a new Muslim autonomous region. The first blast occurred inside the Catholic church on war-torn Jolo on Sunday morning as mass was being celebrated, and was followed by a second explosion in the parking lot as troops responded, regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Besana told AFP.



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The Latest: Police lower death toll in Philippine bombing

The Latest: Police lower death toll in Philippine bombingMANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on a bomb attack targeting a church in the southern Philippines (all times local):



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Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killings

Three police jailed for 40 years in first conviction over Philippine drug war killingsA Philippine court found three police officers guilty on Thursday of killing a student they alleged was a drug dealer, in the first known such conviction under the president's deadly crackdown on drugs. Regional Trial Court Presiding Judge Rodolfo Azucena Jr. ruled the officers murdered Kian Loyd Delos Santos during a raid in Caloocan city's slums in the Manila metropolis last year. It rejected the policemen's claim that the 17-year-old fired back while resisting arrest. The court sentenced the officers, Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz, to be imprisoned for up to 40 years without parole, although they can appeal. Activists light candles in front of the picture of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos in Manila Credit: AP Photo/Aaron Favila Aside from the prison term, the policemen, who appeared in court in handcuffs and yellow detainee shirts, were ordered to pay damages to Santos's impoverished family. President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown, which has left thousands of suspects dead, reportedly in clashes with the police, has alarmed Western governments and UN rights experts and horrified human rights watchdogs. The volatile president has stressed he does not condone extrajudicial killings, although he has repeatedly threatened drug suspects with death and has assured police he would back them up in ways that human rights watchdogs say have encouraged law enforcers to act with impunity. "A shoot first, think later attitude can never be countenanced in a civilized society. Never has homicide or murder been a function of law enforcement," Mr Azucena said in his ruling. "The public peace is never predicated on the cost of human life." Mr Duterte's government called the ruling "a triumph of justice" which disproved critics' assertion that the judiciary was a rubberstamp. "As we have always stressed, the conduct of the government's anti-illegal drug campaign is based on accountability. Therefore, we do not – and we will never – tolerate unjustified police violence, brutality or killing," presidential spokesman and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo told a news conference. Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros, who has railed against the drug killings, said the court decision proved that extrajudicial killings under Duterte's crackdown were being committed by rogue members of the national police force. "This is a light in the darkness," Ms Hontiveros said in a statement. "Despite the gruesome climate of killing and impunity in the country, this verdict sends the message that there is hope and justice. And we will fight for more light and truth until the darkness cannot overcome them." Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to pardon authorities involved in his bloody crackdown, but even he refused to defend the 2017 killing of Kian Delos Santos Credit: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images Ms Hontiveros said the numbers of drug killings, which started to rise when Mr Duterte took office in mid-2016 and launched his war against drugs, could not have reached "catastrophic levels if these killings did not have a sinister principle and policy behind them." Mr Duterte and police officials have repeatedly stated there was no state policy to kill drug suspects illegally. Mr Duterte faces at least two mass murder complaints before the International Criminal Court, which he said would never acquire jurisdiction over him. Delos Santos's killing on Aug 16, 2017, sparked an outcry and a televised Senate inquiry, and prompted Mr Duterte to temporarily order a small anti-drug agency with only about 1,000 men to oversee the campaign against illegal drugs. The crackdown had been previously led by the national police, which Mr Duterte once described as "corrupt to the core." The policemen claimed Delos Santos was a drug dealer who fired at officers during the raid, but his family and witnesses testified in official investigations that he was shot in a dark alley near a creek as he pleaded for his life.



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Philippine miners dig for their own in typhoon landslide

Philippine miners dig for their own in typhoon landslideItogon (Philippines) (AFP) – The miners in the mountains of the northern Philippines usually dig for gold. But on Tuesday they were digging for their colleagues and relatives buried under a vast landslide unleashed by Typhoon Mangkhut.



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Frantic dig for Philippine victims of typhoon landslide

Frantic dig for Philippine victims of typhoon landslidePhilippine rescuers used shovels and bare hands to claw through mounds of rocky soil on Monday in a desperate search for dozens feared buried under a landslide unleashed by Typhoon Mangkhut. Searchers have already pulled 11 bodies from the vast debris field in Itogon in the disaster-prone nation’s north.



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Philippine mayor on Duterte's 'narco-list' slain by 'sniper'

Philippine mayor on Duterte's 'narco-list' slain by 'sniper'A Philippine mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials was shot dead Monday by a “sniper” in a broad daylight attack at a town ceremony, police said. Antonio Halili was hit in the chest by a single shot fired from a distance, unleashing chaotic scenes during the weekly flag raising ceremony at the town hall in Tanauan, south of Manila. Town police chief Renato Mercado told AFP the shot was fired from about 150 metres (490 feet) away.



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Philippine mayor on Duterte's 'narco-list' slain by 'sniper'

Philippine mayor on Duterte's 'narco-list' slain by 'sniper'A Philippine mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials was shot dead Monday by a “sniper” in a broad daylight attack at a town ceremony, police said. Antonio Halili was hit in the chest by a single shot fired from a distance, unleashing chaotic scenes during the weekly flag raising ceremony at the town hall in Tanauan, south of Manila. Town police chief Renato Mercado told AFP the shot was fired from about 150 metres (490 feet) away.



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