July 2019

Growing opposition against Philippine dam project
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

INFANTA (UCAN): Civil society and advocacy groups launched a campaign against construction of the proposed Kaliwa River Dam, south of Philippine capital Manila. 
The Stop Kaliwa Dam Network aims to collect 10 million signatures calling for a halt to the project that critics maintain threatens the welfare of tribal communities in Quezon province.
The project, which to be funded by a loan from China, is seen by supporters as a potential boon for...

United Nations to probe drug war killings and human rights violations
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted on July 11 to set up an investigation into killings in the Philippines that have been linked to the government’s war on drugs.
The resolution filed by Iceland, was adopted by a vote of 18 countries in favor and 14 against, including China, with 15 abstentions, including Japan.
It calls on the UN human rights office to present a comprehensive report on human rights in the...

Bangladesh grapples with millions of climate refugees
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

DHAKA (UCAN): Cities in Bangladesh are struggling to cope with an influx of millions of people from rural and coastal areas due to climate change-induced disasters, prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, told international delegates at the opening session of the two-day Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation in the country’s capital, Dhaka.
“Evidence suggests that Bangladesh already has six million climate migrants, a number that could more than double by...

Arrest warrant issued for ultranationalist Myanmese monk
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

MANDALAY (UCAN): On July 9, the Western District Court in commercial hub Yangon, Myanmar, ruled that ultranationalist Buddhist monk, U Wirathu, must come out of hiding within a month to face a charge of sedition. It ordered that an arrest warrant be posted at his monastery in the northern city of Mandalay.
U Wirathu was accused of sedition for making speeches in May that attacked Myanmar’s state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi.
The sedition law...

Crimes against humanity
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

It’s a grim gruesome record of murder, assassination and massacre that we must condemn, denounce and learn from. The man, a leader accused of giving orders to target and kill civilians with impunity, is legendary. He convinced them that they were doing a good thing killing any suspect to save their nation from being destroyed.
A majority approved without question or hesitation the terrible killings and human rights violations done in his name. Thousands of innocents...

Online passport appointment system launched
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

HONG KONG (SE): Philippine Foreign Affairs secretary, Teodoro Locsin, led the launch of the Passport Online Appointment System in Hong Kong at the Philippine Consulate General in Admiralty on July 14.
With the system, applicants need only to visit the website at hk.passport.gov.ph, print out the application form and notification, then personally show up at the Consulate General at the time they have chosen with the requisite...

China Bridge: Contradictions at the top?
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

Catholics outside of China are baffled by an apparent contradiction about the religious policy towards the Catholic Church between different departments in the top echelons of the Chinese government. 
Readers will recall that on 22 September 2018, The Vatican and China signed a Provisional Agreement regarding the appointment of bishops. The signatories to the agreement were two persons: from the Holy See’s side, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri and...

Deported to a place they never called home
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

Eight years ago, Buck Billy arrived in Cambodia, a country he had never seen before. Even though it’s where his parents were born, considering the Southeast Asian nation as home hadn’t crossed his mind for a single moment. For him, home was Philadelphia in the United States (US), at least for the first 26 years of his life.
“I was born in a refugee camp and taken to the US when I was eight months old,” he says in a café in...

Philippine authorities order closure of tribal schools
(Saturday, 20 July 2019 )

MANILA (UCAN): Education officials in the Philippines ordered the closure of 55 schools catering to the Lumad indigenous in Davao, Mindanao, for allegedly teaching “left-leaning ideologies.”
In a June 12 order, the schools, run by the nonprofit Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc., were denied permits to operate for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.
The suspension was issued upon a recommendation made by...

Mass Readings - Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Saturday, 13 July 2019 )

Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface of the Sunday (green).  
Readings: Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37.
Mass of the memorial (white). 
Readings: Exodus 1:8-14, 22; Matthew 10:34 — 11:1.