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Philippines’ Duterte wants US help in fighting drugs, blames triads

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte urged the United States on Tuesday to help control drugs smuggling, blaming Taiwan and Hong Kong-based criminal gangs for using his country as a shipping hub. In a speech, he also said illegal drugs had funded the seizure by Islamist militants of large parts of the southern city of Marawi in […]

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Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte ‘dictatorship’

Intellasia East Asia News

Thousands of Filipinos rallied on Thursday to denounce Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and warn of what they called an emerging dictatorship, in a major show of dissent against the controversial but hugely popular leader. Politicians, indigenous people, priests, businesspeople, and left-wing activists held marches and church masses accusing Duterte of authoritarianism and protesting at policies […]

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Philippines’ Duterte facing ‘Hunger Games’ protests

Intellasia East Asia News

Critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have adopted the three-finger salute from the hit “Hunger Games” films as a sign of resistance against his rule and drug war killings. The sign is in contrast to Duterte’s own iconic gesture, a clenched fist raised at or above eye level that is immensely popular with his support […]

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Philippines’ Duterte likens rights chief to paedophile

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has likened the nation’s human rights commissioner to a “paedophile” for expressing concern over the police killing teenagers in the leader’s ongoing war on drugs. Police have reported killing more than 3,800 people in anti-drug operations since Duterte took office 15 months ago, while thousands of others have been murdered in […]

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Entire city police force sacked in Philippines after murder claims

Intellasia East Asia News

An entire city police force in the Philippines has been sacked after some of its members were suspected in the killings of three teenagers, with others seen on surveillance cameras robbing a house. The 1,200-strong Caloocan city police force will be relieved in batches and replaced, said Manila’s metropolitan police chief, Oscar Albayalde. The officers […]

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Entire city police force sacked in Philippines after murder claims

An entire city police force in the Philippines has been sacked after some of its members were suspected in the killings of three teenagers, with others seen on surveillance cameras robbing a house.

The 1,200-strong Caloocan city police force will be relieved in batches and replaced, said Manila’s metropolitan police chief, Oscar Albayalde. The officers will do 45 days of retraining, after which those facing no charges can be reassigned to other stations.

The justice department has started an investigation based on a murder and torture allegation against four Caloocan police officers allegedly linked to the killing of the 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos during an anti-drug raid last month.

The parents of two other teenagers – Carl Angelo Arnaiz, 19, and Reynaldo de Guzman, 14 – have also filed murder, torture and planting of evidence complaints against two Caloocan officers.

Trainee officers being briefed outside Caloocan city police station on Friday (AP).

Last week, CCTV footage emerged that purportedly showed 13 policemen robbing a house during an alleged drug raid.

The crackdown on drugs by the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, which has left thousands of suspects dead, has come under renewed scrutiny after the killing of Delos Santos. Police described the teenager as a drug dealer who fired at officers during a raid, but his family and witnesses said the student was shot as he pleaded for his life.

Witnesses pointed to evidence, including security camera footage, which they said showed two police officers dragging Delos Santos away shortly before shots rang out and he was found shot in the head, holding a pistol with his left hand although he was right-handed. Police officers testified at a Senate hearing that Delos Santos was not the man seen being dragged in the video, although several witnesses doubted the police statement.

Delos Santos’s death was followed by another outcry over the killing of Arnaiz, a former student at the University of the Philippines. Police said he was killed in an exchange of fire with police after robbing a taxi driver last month. A government forensic expert, however, said Arnaiz appeared to have been handcuffed, tortured and shot five times.

Arnaiz’s parents say he went out with De Guzman to buy a snack on the night of 17 August but never returned. They found Arnaiz in a morgue 10 days later.

De Guzman’s body was found floating in a creek in a city north of Manila last week. His head was wrapped with packing tape and he had 28 stab wounds to his body.

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Duterte refuses call to open his bank accounts to scrutiny

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippine president refused a demand by his most vocal critic to publicly release details of his bank accounts to disprove allegations that he had large sums of undeclared money. President Rodrigo Duterte said in a news conference Wednesday that if opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV wanted “to get evidence, do not get it from […]

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Storm floods parts of Philippines; markets, schools shut

Intellasia East Asia News

Heavy rains caused flooding in some parts of the Philippine capital and nearby provinces, forcing the closure of financial markets, government offices and schools on Tuesday as a storm swept across the main Luzon island. The weather bureau raised storm warning signals over Metro Manila and 19 provinces in Luzon as a tropical cyclone with […]

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Philippines: Abusive ‘Drug War’ Targets Children

Intellasia East Asia News

The apparent extrajudicial executions by Philippine police of two children over a three-day period underscores the need for a United Nations inquiry into President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said today. While several dozen children under 18 have died in drug war-related killings since June 2016, circumstances suggest that the Philippine […]

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Philippine president’s son denies links to $125 million drug shipment

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s son on Thursday told a Senate inquiry he had no links to a seized shipment of $125 million worth of narcotics from China, dismissing as “baseless” the allegations of his involvement in the drugs trade. Opponents of the president, who has instigated a fierce crackdown on a trade he says is […]

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Philippine troops back Muslim rebels fighting pro-IS group

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippine military said it has teamed up with old foes behind a long-running Muslim insurgency as it looks to eject a breakaway gang of radical militants pledging loyalty to the Islamic State group. As artillery shells and rockets pounded targets nearby, soldiers were seen mingling freely with several hundred Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) […]

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Philippines’ Duterte Admits Murderous ‘Drug War’ is Unwinnable

Intellasia East Asia News

President Vows to Persist Despite Horrific Death Toll Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that his abusive “war on drugs” is unwinnable. Duterte told a gathering of military personnel that his promise to eradicate methamphetamine use known as shabu in the Philippines”won’t be fulfilled, that this [drug use] really will not end.” But Duterte’s admission […]

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More than a thousand turn Philippine funeral to protest against war on drugs

Intellasia East Asia News

More than a thousand people attended a funeral procession on Saturday for a Philippine teenager slain by police last week, turning the march into one of the biggest protests yet against President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs. The death of Kian Loyd delos Santos has drawn widespread attention to allegations that police have been […]

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Philippines’ Duterte says police can kill ‘idiots’ who resist arrest

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told police on Monday they could kill “idiots” who violently resist arrest, two days after hundreds of people turned the funeral of a slain teenager into a protest against his deadly war on drugs. Duterte met the parents of the schoolboy, 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, at the presidential palace in […]

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Philippine prosecutors to seek murder charges against police who killed teen

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippines public prosecutor’s office said it would seek murder charges on Friday against three anti-narcotics policemen whose killing of a high school student last week has triggered rare public outrage about the country’s fierce war on drugs. The death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos on August 16 in a rundown area of Manila […]

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China allegedly planted its flag on Philippine territory

Intellasia East Asia News

Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano claims it has been almost a month since China planted its flag in an area seven nautical miles northeast of Kota Island. The lawmaker has expressed grave concern after receiving new information about the matter. Alejano said, since the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) remains mum on the said issue, […]

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China now patrolling Philippines sea, air space

Intellasia East Asia News

China now patrols Philippine seas and air space. Its coast guard controls entry into and the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal, 120 miles off Luzon. Paramilitary fleets increasingly are fishing in the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Warships venture close to Zambales and Mindoro in the West Philippine Sea. Chinese aircraft regularly confront Philippine flights to […]

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Philippines: Death Toll in Anti-drug Crackdown Reaches Nearly 100 This Week

Intellasia East Asia News

Human rights groups and several lawmakers in the Philippines on Friday condemned this week’s bloody anti-drug crackdown after reports emerged that among nearly 100 people killed was a 17-year-old student who had been taken into police custody. The boy, identified by police as Kian Loyd delos Santos, a grade 11 student, was among the suspected […]

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At least 80 dead after escalation in Philippines war on drugs

Intellasia East Asia News

Police killed at least 13 people in Manila on the third night of an escalation in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs and crime, taking the toll for one of the bloodiest weeks so far to 80, Reuters witnesses and media reported on Friday. Earlier this week, 67 people were gunned down and more […]

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Philippines warns against killing of migratory birds amid avian flu outbreak

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippines on Sunday warned citizens not to kill or poach migratory birds that usually fly in from China, the possible source of a virus that triggered the Southeast Asian nation’s first outbreak of avian flu, to avoid worsening the situation. There has been no case of human transmission but the virus prompted a cull […]

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After joint sea ops, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines to launch air patrols

Intellasia East Asia News

THE Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will be launched at the RMAF Subang airbase in the near future as part of initiatives to enhance air and maritime security surveillance in the region. Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the patrols would also keep an eye on militants, including those from the […]

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Philippines says China wanted non-legally binding South China Sea code

Intellasia East Asia News

China pushed for a maritime code of conduct with Southeast Asian countries that would not be legally binding, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday. Alan Peter Cayetano said some countries wanted the South China Sea code to be legally binding, and China preferred the less forceful “binding”. He said all parties realised it was […]

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Pentagon may boost support to Philippine counter-IS ops: official

Intellasia East Asia News

The United States is weighing additional support to the Philippine military as it fights an Islamist insurgency in the south, a US defense official said Tuesday. Discussions are “pretty advanced” and would see the US provide increased surveillance drone capabilities and training for local forces, the official told AFP on condition on anonymity. The drones […]

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US May Begin Airstrikes Against ISIS in Philippines

Intellasia East Asia News

The Pentagon is considering a plan that allows the US military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS in the Philippines, two defense officials told NBC News. The authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective self-defense could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, said […]

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Philippine military needs 20,000 more troops due to greater threats: Duterte

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked lawmakers to approve the recruiting of 20,000 more soldiers to tackle increased security threats following a bloody urban siege in the south, his spokesman said Sunday. Almost 700 people have been killed, according to the official count, in over two months of fighting in the southern city of Marawi […]

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Tillerson to raise US human rights concerns in Philippines

Intellasia East Asia News

The United States’ top diplomat is expected to raise concerns about human rights in the Philippines when he visits Manila this week for Asia’s biggest security forum, including during possible talks with President Rodrigo Duterte. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will raise all relevant issues in the US alliance with the Philippines, including concerns about […]

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Philippines’ Duterte signs law granting free public college

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law granting tuition-free education in all state universities, a Cabinet official said on Friday, setting aside the advice of his economic managers to reject the measure. The president believed the benefits of the law outweighed the potential short-term budgetary challenges, Menardo Guevarra, senior deputy executive secretary, told a […]

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Philippines’ Duterte calls N Korea’s Kim a ‘maniac’

Intellasia East Asia News

The president says: ‘That son-of-a-wh*re maniac, if he makes a mistake then the Far East will become an arid land.’ Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a “maniac” who could destroy Asia by touching off a nuclear war. The remark came before a regional summit on Wednesday in the […]

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Philippine mayor linked to illegal drug trade killed in police raid

Intellasia East Asia News

A southern Philippine mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of top drug suspects was killed during a pre-dawn raid at his home on Mindanao island, police said on Sunday. Reynaldo Parojinog was the third mayor to be killed in the government’s bloody narcotics crackdown. Parojinog, the mayor of Ozamiz city, was killed during a gun […]

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Philippines to abolish agency hunting Marcos plunder

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government plans to abolish the agency tasked with recovering the billions of dollars plundered by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his allies, a cabinet member said Wednesday. The announcement was the latest development in the remarkable political rehabilitation of the Marcos clan, which has accelerated since family ally Duterte became president […]

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Philippines to consult Asean on joint China sea oil search

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippines tried Wednesday to reassure Southeast Asian neighbours about its proposal to partner with Beijing in oil exploration in the disputed South China Sea, promising to consult them on any plans. President Rodrigo Duterte has softened his predecessor’s policy opposing China’s claimswhich expand to nearly the entire seacausing alarm among neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, […]

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Philippines’ Duterte vows to continue his drug war

Intellasia East Asia News

In his annual address, the president calls on critics not to trivialise his drugs war by demanding human rights. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed that his campaign against illegal drugs will not ease despite mounting criticism over the rising death toll, calling on the nation to keep supporting him. Duterte, in his annual State […]

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Marawi standoff enters third month, underlining crisis in Philippines

Intellasia East Asia News

Two months after Islamist militants launched an assault on one of the biggest southern cities in the Philippines, the fighting is dragging on, and President Rodrigo Duterte says he is prepared to wait for a year for it to end. The defence top brass admits it underestimated its enemy and is struggling to finish off […]

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Philippines to extend martial law in south until year end

Intellasia East Asia News

The Philippine Congress on Saturday voted to extend President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the south until the end of the year to defeat Islamist gunmen. In a special joint session of the House and the Senate, legislators overwhelmingly backed Duterte’s bid to have martial law remain in force in the Mindanao region […]

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Top China diplomat Wang Yi to visit Philippines Rappler

Intellasia East Asia News

Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi will make a rare trip to the Philippines next week, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs announced Friday, July 21. In a media advisory, the DFA said Wang will join a bilateral meeting, a signing ceremony, and a news conference at the Shangri-La at The Fort hotel in Taguig City […]

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Philippines’ Duterte says he’ll never visit ‘lousy’ America

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday vowed that he would never visit “lousy” America despite an earlier invitation extended by US President Donald Trump. Duterte made the declaration as he expressed anger at a US Congress human rights commission hearing where various advocate groups assailed his bloody war on drugs. “There will never be a […]

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Philippines’ Duterte seeks martial law extension in south

Intellasia East Asia News

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to extend martial law in the southern Philippines to defeat Islamist militants who have seized a major city, his administration said Tuesday, as critics warned the country could be edging towards a dictatorship. Duterte had imposed military rule for 60 days in the Mindanao region, home to 20 million people, after […]

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Philippines’ Duterte seeks martial law extension

Intellasia East Asia News

President Rodrigo Duterte plans to extend martial law in the southern Philippines to defeat Islamist militants who have seized a major city, his spokesman said Tuesday, as a critic warned the country could be edging towards a dictatorship. Duterte had imposed military rule for 60 days in the Mindanao region, home to 20 million people, […]

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Philippines’ Duterte makes fresh rape joke

Intellasia East Asia News

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a new joke about rape on Friday, saying he would congratulate a rapist who could carry out the crime even knowing he would die. The often-foul mouthed Duterte made the joke in a speech to Filipino diplomats in his southern home town of Davao as he defended his bloody war […]

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Duterte Has Brazenly Reinstated 19 Police Who Murdered a Philippine Mayor Last Year

Intellasia East Asia News

The return to duty of 19 police officers that participated in the killing of Philippine mayor Rolando Espinosa last year has sparked outrage among the country’s senators, who only months before determined that those officers had carried out a premeditated murder. “Duterte not only set the murderers free, he now gave back their badges and […]

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South China Sea concerns flare up as Duterte considers drilling in Beijing’s claims

Intellasia East Asia News

Manila appears to be testing its relationship with Beijing as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte considers resuming energy exploration in the tension-laden South China Sea. Oil and gas drilling in the Reed Bank, located in the international waterway, has been suspended since 2014. That came after Manila launched an international arbitration case against Beijing over the […]

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South China Sea concerns flare up as Duterte weighs drilling in Beijing’s claims

Intellasia East Asia News

Manila appears to be testing its relationship with Beijing as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte considers resuming energy exploration in the tension-laden South China Sea. Oil and gas drilling in the Reed Bank, located in the international waterway, has been suspended since 2014. That came after Manila launched an international arbitration case against Beijing over the […]

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Philippines: Abu Sayyaf kills another Vietnamese sailor

Intellasia East Asia News

Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorists brutally shot to death one of three remaining Vietnamese sailors they kidnapped last year off Basilan in the country’s Muslim south, officials confirmed Thursday. The military said that a bullet-riddled body of Vietnamese national Tran Viet Van was recovered in Barangay (village) Buhanginan in Patikul town, Sulu province. Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, […]

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Philippines, Asean states warned vs investment deals with China

Intellasia East Asia News

Member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), especially the Philippines, should be cautious when entering into massive investment deals with China as they may end up paying more than what they bargained for, a scholar and former United Nations ambassador from India has warned. In a lecture last week with 15 journalists from […]

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Philippines’ sea row lawyer: Duterte adopted a policy of defeatism

Intellasia East Asia News

A law professor who was among those behind the Philippines’ legal victory in the Hague over its maritime dispute with China is disappointed with the Duterte administration’s approach a year after the ruling was handed down. Florin Hilbay, the solicitor general under the previous administration, lamented how the current government adopted a defeatist stance in […]

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Militants force kids, hostages to fight: Philippine army

Intellasia East Asia News

Children and hostages are being forced to fight alongside pro-Islamic State gunmen waging a seven-week battle for a Philippine city, the country’s military said Monday. Militants seized Marawi, considered the Muslim capital of the largely Catholic Philippines, on May 23 in a bid to create an IS province, and over 100 remain holed up in […]

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US report flags China’s fishing ban in disputed sea

Intellasia East Asia News

CHINA’S ANNUAL moratorium on commercial fishing in waters it claims, including the disputed South China Sea where the Philippines has sovereign rights, “bear(s) watching closely,” considering the “sometimes-violent” incidents in the course of that ban’s enforcement, a US think tank said. In a report dated July 7, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of Washington’s […]

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Fresh quake rocks Philippine island

Intellasia East Asia News

A 5.9-magnitude quake Monday rocked a central Philippine island still reeling from a deadly tremor last week, though there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, seismologists said. The US Geological Survey said the moderately strong quake struck Leyte island near Ormoc, a city of about 200,000 people, at 9:41 am (0141 GMT) at […]

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Gun-toting Duterte in surprise visit near warzone

Intellasia East Asia News

A gun-toting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a surprise visit Friday to a military camp close to a city where Islamic State group-inspired militants are battling security forces. Photos and video footage released by his office showed the 72-year-old wearing camouflage fatigues with a submachine gun slung over his shoulder. Duterte walked with soldiers and […]

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Two dead as strong quake hits central Philippines: officials

Intellasia East Asia News

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake killed at least two people in the central Philippines on Thursday, with more than five people still trapped inside a collapsed commercial building, officials said. An 18-year-old woman died after being hit by falling debris in Ormoc City on Leyte island, near the epicentre of the quake, police said. Elsewhere, rescuers pulled […]

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