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How we can save the planet and ourselves

The ongoing burning of the rainforests in Brazil under newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro, is an indication of the destructive power of a dictatorial leader. He is allowing thousands of hectares of rainforest to be cut down and burnt. Toxic fumes engulf many Brazilian towns. He is changing the forest into grazing lands for beef production. 
 








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Plaque honouring Filipino comfort women unveiled

MANILA (UCAN): The group, Flowers for Lolas Campaign, unveiled a marker in memory of victims of violence and sexual slavery during World War II inside the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, Manila, the Philippines, on August. 25.
 
They said the marker “symbolises our collective action to remember, learn, respect and honour a past that should never be forgotten.”
 

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New bishop installed for Malolos

BULACAN (UCAN): Bishop Dennis Villarojo was installed as bishop of Malolos, Bulacan, the Phlippines, on August 21 after he was appointed by the Vatican in May following the death of Bishop Jose Oliveros in May last year.
 
“Once again, God has shown fidelity to his promise that he will always send shepherds,” Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, who served as apostolic administrator of the diocese, said.
 

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Jesuit volunteer killed in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO (UCAN): Genifer Buckly, a 24-year-old teacher and a member of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) was killed and her companion, 30-year-old lawyer, Anne Kathleen Gatdula, seriously injured after being repeatedly stabbed during an attempted robbery in the southern Philippine province of Bukidnon on August 23.
 
Buckly died from multiple stab wounds to her chest and abdomen, while Gatdula was rushed to hospital with two stab wounds to her stomach and shoulder.
 

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Bishop laments Church silence over Negros killings

MANILA (UCAN): Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, condemned what he described as the silence of Catholics, especially priests and bishops, regarding an upsurge in targeted killings in recent weeks (Sunday Examiner, August 4; August 11).
 
He said Church leaders “except for some bishops and religious whose flocks were directly affected” have been silent and warned that by keeping one’s silence “we side with the aggressors (and) we give them the liberty to continue their assaults and lies.”

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Former Filipino environment minister dies at 65

MANILA (UCAN): Regina Paz Lopez, the one time head of the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and a strong advocate of children’s welfare and environmental protection, died on August 19 after a long battle with brain cancer. She was 65-years-old.

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Philippine Church braces for death penalty and divorce battle

MANILA (UCAN): “It will always be a tough battle but we do not give up,” Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, said, as Church leaders in the Philippines braced for what they expect will be an uphill battle against proposals before Congress to reimpose capital punishment and to legalise divorce in the country.
 

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Philippine Church media seeks to fight fake news

MANILA (UCAN): Around 180 Catholic media workers from across the Philippines met for the four-day National Catholic Media Convention at the beginning of August in Batangas province, to discuss strategies to spread Church teachings and how to counter the spread of fake news, especially among young people.
 
This year’s host, Archbishop Gilbert Garcera of Lipa, reminded participants on August 6 about the importance of “renewal for truth” when working in the media.
 

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Philippine senator wants end to blasphemy punishments

MANILA (UCAN): A Philippine senator, Leila de Lima, is seeking the repeal of a provision in the country’s penal code that punishes the crime of “offending religious feelings” through words and actions, saying that the “archaic” provision could violate an individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.
 
“Freedom of expression, which is a fundamental human right, is indispensable in any democratic society,” De Lima said.
 

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Philippine military blamed for shooting of rights defender

BAGUIO (UCAN): Good Shepherd Sister Genoveva Dumay, who works with farmers and political prisoners in the northern region of the country, accused the Philippine military of being behind the shooting of Brandon Lee, a human rights defender in the northern Philippine city of Baguio on August 6.
 
Gunmen shot and badly wounded the American citizen who works as a volunteer for a farmers’ organization. Sister Dumay said Lee, who is married to a Filipino and is fighting for his life, had told her that soldiers had been following and harassing him.

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