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The poor are the majority

MANILA (UCAN): If democracy was taken seriously, the poor of the world would get the biggest voice, as they are the majority, but in a world where money counts, their voice is inclined to get swept under the political and economic carpet.
 
Nevertheless, the urban poor of Manila put their voice into the arena with a series of protests ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) summit, which began in the city on November 13.
 

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Aquino charged with overstepping mark

MANILA (SE): The former president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, was charged on November 8 in the anti-graft court in Manila with overstepping the mark in giving the go ahead to a suspiciously botched security operation in Mamasapano in the lawless province of Maguindanao.
 
He is being charged with graft, usurping official function and allowing a suspended police chief, Alan Purisima, to take part in the operation on 25 January 2015.
 
Aquino was released on 80,000 pesos ($12,500) bail.
 

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Souls of lost bodies

MANILA (UCAN): On All Souls Day in The Philippines people light a candle at the graves of bodies that have lost their souls, but for the families of the hundreds of people who have been forcibly disappeared they can only light one for the souls of lost bodies.
 

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Muslim group promises protection for Marawi

MANILA (AsiaNews): The largest resistance group in Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has promised to provide security for a resettlement programme organised by the Church for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the siege of the city of Marawi.
 
The Church initiative dubbed The Marawi Rehabilitation Programme will be carried out in 13 coastal communities in the area of the now devastated only Islamic majority city in The Philippines.
 

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I confess to almighty God…

Imagine Juan, a barangay official in The Philippines, as he sat in the church alone. He was waiting for the priest and when Father Pepito came into the sanctuary, he noticed Juan looking distressed and he went to him and he asked in Tagalog, “Can I help you?”
 
“Yes, Father, I want to confess, but I am ashamed of what I have done, not even God can forgive me,” he answered.
 








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Lawyers unite to fight rights abuse

Manila (UCAN): A group of lawyers and law students launched an alliance called Lawyers Against Extrajudicial Killings in Manila on November 2 to coordinate a series of legal challenges to the thousands of drug-related killings and other human rights abuses committed by the agents of the administration of the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
In a strongly worded statement, the group called the assault on the poor and the drug trade being conducted by the government “a blatant disregard of the right to life.”
 

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A lavish funeral for a simple priest

CEBU (SE): Although the police in Cebu City had made what they described as adequate security arrangements to accommodate around 5,000 to 10,000 people anticipated to attend the funeral Mass of the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal scheduled to take place at 8.00am on October 26, the estimated 55,000 that turned up even took Church officials by surprise.
 

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Catholic radio falls silent

MANILA (UCAN): Vast swathes of the airwaves in The Philippines have fallen silent, as the congress has so far failed to extend the licence of the Catholic Media Network, which is operated and owned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines and is the biggest radio network in  the country.
 

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Honouring indigenous development

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines launched a book on October 13 honouring the indigenous people of the country and offering a tribute to the work they have done in protecting the beautiful landscape of the Pearl of the Orient Seas that God has gifted to the people.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the author of the book and director of Caritas, said that for indigenous peoples “the whole of creation is deeply imbued with spiritual reality.”
 

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Uproar over restart of open pit mining

MANILA (UCAN): A decision of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council of The Philippines to lift the ban placed on open pit mining by the fired secretary for the environment, Gina Lopez, has drawn criticism from many quarters, especially indigenous peoples, areas heavily dependent on agriculture or the fish industry, as well as conservationists.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, from Caritas Philippines, described the decision to end the ban as a backward step by government away from a policy designed specifically to protect the environment.
 

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