Electronic cigarette | AFP Animé

Short videographic on the e-cigarette. Just hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would ban e-cigarette use, police were ordered on Wednesday to begin arresting people caught vaping in public and to confiscate the devices.VIDEOGRAPHICS

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Fly buzzes Duterte as he attacks Philippine priests | AFP

A fly that interrupted his speech was working under the orders of priests, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joked Tuesday, as he launched a new verbal attack on the country’s influential Catholic church.

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Philippines burns cocaine, meth as drug ‘flood’ continues | AFP

The Philippines burns 1.4 tonnes (over 3,000 pounds) of seized narcotics as the police warns the nation still faces a “flood” of illegal drugs despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly crackdown.

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The Philippines: Detained senator Leila de Lima casts her vote

Detained Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, casts her vote in an election where some 61 million are registered to cast ballots. More than 18,000 positions are at stake, including half of the seats in the upper house Senate, which has served as a bulwark against some of Duterte’s most controversial policies. IMAGES

Philippines journalist Ressa charged with “cyber libel”

Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, whose news site has repeatedly clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte, sits in an office at the National Bureau of Investigation after being charged with “cyber libel” in a dramatic escalation of government pressure on Ressa and her website Rappler. IMAGES

‘Stronger, faster’ Pacquiao turns 40 with lavish birthday bash

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao says he is “stronger and faster” than ever ahead of his world title defence as he throws a lavish 40th birthday party with thousands of guests, including Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

‘Not friendship but pure interest’: Duterte & Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem, plan to sign deals

The Philippines’ leader, Rodrigo Duterte, has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. It’s the first such visit in 60 years of diplomatic relations between the countries

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Duterte dismisses an offer to buy ‘utterly useless’ F-16 fighter jets

The outspoken president of The Philippines has dismissed an offer to buy U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets – saying buying them would be “utterly useless”. Rodrigo Duterte made the offer, signed by Washington’s top brass, public during a military ceremony. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9cyr

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Duterte effigy up in flames as protesters march on Marawi siege anniversary

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace in Manila, Wednesday, to denounce Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the first anniversary of the Marawi siege and the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

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The Philippines Could Be The Last Country To Legalize Divorce (HBO)

The Philippines is the only country in the world — besides Vatican City, the city-state of the Roman Catholic Church — where divorce is illegal.

Lawmakers are working to change that.

The Philippine Senate is back in session this week, and it’s considering a bill that would legalize divorce. The country’s House of Representatives approved the bill back in March.

But it’s far from a guarantee. Most Filipinos remain split on the issue. A special report from March found that 53 percent of Filipinos are in favor of legalizing divorce, with 32 percent against it, and 15 percent undecided.

There are two other major obstacles: President Rodrigo Duterte and the Catholic Church.

Thus far, Duterte has dodged questions about his stance on the issue, though his spokesperson said he’s against divorce. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has been pulling out all the stops.

Congresswomen Pia Cayetano, one of the authors of the new bill, said the Church’s influence is the main reason why divorce still isn’t legal. She worries the powerful religious organization will go all out to keep it that way.

She felt the Church’s wrath in 2012, when she voted for a bill that allowed free access to contraception.

“My name was mentioned in Church as you know whatever messenger of the demon.” Cayetano recalls. “We have a very strong and influential Catholic Church and a lot of politicians, a lot of legislators tend to be concerned about what views the Church has.”

The Philippines remains a deeply Catholic country — more than 80 percent of the population identify as Catholic, and many rely on it for education and social services.

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