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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the region of Mindanao after gunmen, claiming to have links with the Islamic State group, threatened to kill hostages.
Calling the Philippines' current situation "grave," Fr. Shay Cullen acknowledges the dangers of speaking out, but says, "We have to stand by the principles we declare we believe in."
As Filipinos remembered their departed on All Souls' Day, church leaders called for prayers for those who fell victim in the government's all-out war against illegal drugs.
In a Sept. 14 statement, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan urged Catholic lawmakers not to support "any attempt to restore the death penalty."