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Duterte failing the Filipino worker

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine trade union workers voiced their support for the Philippine Church’s declaration of July 17 to 19 as National Days of Fasting and Almsgiving in protest against a wave of killings and the president’s blasphemous attacks on God, as they began the People’s March for Justice, Democracy, Freedom and Just Peace, a weeklong march from the southern Tagalog region to the capital Manila.
 

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Legislating a new Philippine Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN): Mindanao is now on the “cusp of peace” Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, said as the Philippine congressional body drafting legislation to create a new Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, approved a final version of the Bangsamoro Organic Law late on July 18.
 

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Myanmar farmland grabs condemned

MANDALY (UCAN): Myanmar must provide redress for illegally confiscating land and enact laws and regulations “to safeguard the rights of farmers” and other small landholders, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a July 17 report.
 
The report said that over the last 30 years the government as well as military officials have seized hundreds of thousands of acres from farmers while providing little or no compensation and that this has jeopardised their livelihoods and eroded their access to basic services.
 

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Curse-free state of the nation address garners mixed reviews for Duterte

MANILA (Agencies): As he delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23, at the start of his third year in office, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Rappler reported that thousands of demonstrators from all sectors of society braved the threat of rain to protest among many things, the threat of constitutional change; labour issues;corruption in government; and the tragic, so-called war against drugs which has victimised the poor. 
 

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Our commitment is stronger in critical times

I am writing this as a Christian missionary who came to the Philippines 49 years ago. It was a critical time then as it is now and we have many challenges to our commitment to serve humanity, preserve life, love and protect the stranger.
 








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Liu Xiaobo remembered as Liu Xia off to ‘new life’

HONG KONG (SE): About 200 local Catholics expressed their respect and tribute for the late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, on July 11, two days before the first anniversary of his death, at a Mass held at St. John the Baptist Church, Kwun Tong. 
 
Liu died of liver cancer on 13 July 2017 at the age of 61, when serving a sentence of 11 years’ imprisonment. He was formally charged on “inciting subversion of state power”.
 

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Ordinary men called to be heros

Last week, while the destiny of many football teams were rising and falling in the Moscow courts, and many people kept praying for the victory of one of the two teams in game, another game of a different jersey was unfolding in Thailand where everyone prayed for the success of both teams, at Tham Luang, “the cave of the sleeping lady” in Thailand. 
 








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First Genfest in Asia calls on love and sharing

MANILA (Agencies): Some 6,000 young people from over 100 nations participated in a three-day youth festival of sharing, music, art and concrete actions from July 6 to July 8 in Manila. 
 
The 11th edition of Genfest, the international youth festival of the worldwide Focolare Movement is the first such rally held in Asia and outside Europe. 
 

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Celebrating 350 Years of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam

THAILAND (UCAN/Agenzia Fides): Almost 350 years have passed since the first Catholic mission in Siam began: to commemorate the forthcoming anniversary of the Apostolic Vicariate of Siam (Mission of Siam: 1669-2019), the Bishops’ Conference of Thailand organised a celebration at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, on July 7.  
 

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Indonesia takes softer approach with drug users

JAKARTA (UCAN): Church leaders and activists in Indonesia welcomed what they think is a possible softening in the government’s hardline drug policy after the anti-narcotics agency said it would push for drug users to be rehabilitated rather than imprisoned.
 
The move was announced on June 26 when the Indonesia National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) agreed on June 26, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, to boost cooperation in rehabilitation efforts for drug addicts.

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