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Imelda Marcos found guilty of graft charges

MANILA (UCAN): The Sandiganbayan 5th Division (the special appellate collegial court) of the Philippines has ordered the arrest of Imelda Marcos, widow of late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, after she was found guilty on seven counts of graft.
 
The 89-year-old was found guilty of corruption for using her cabinet position during the rule of her husband to maintain Swiss bank accounts.
 

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Fight injustice nun says as she leaves Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): “Pope Francis said you can’t call yourself a Christian if there are massive human rights violations and you are just silent,” Australian Sister Patricia Fox, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, said as was finally compelled to leave the Philippines on the evening of November 3, after the Bureau of Immigration refused to extend her missionary visa.
 

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Study uncovers police abuse of Filipino women

MANILA (UCAN): A study by the Centre for Women’s Resources revealed that 56 Filipino policemen were involved in 33 cases of violence against women over the past two years. 
 
The results of the study were released on October 31 in the wake of reports that a police officer in Manila allegedly raped the 15-year-old daughter of a suspected drug dealer.
 
Data collated showed that out of the 33 cases since July 2016, when the president, Rodrigo Duterte, came to power, 13 of them involved minors.
 

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Dangerous times for missionaries in Mindanao

SOUTH COTABATO (UCAN): Religious missionaries working in Mindanao, the southern Philippines, continue to live in “dangerous and dark times,” in which justice is hard to come by, according to the Sisters’ Association in Mindanao (SAMIN).
 
The group pointed out that the killing of Italian Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions Father Fausto Tentorio in 2011, remains unsolved to this day. 
 

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Anti-martial law protests in Mindanao

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (UCAN): Church people joined advocates and tribal groups in protest marches in the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and Butuan in Mindanao, the Philippines, on October 23, to demand the lifting of martial law, which Congress has twice extended. It is in effect until December 31.
 
However, activists under the banner of the Movement Against Tyranny said martial law had increased incidents of human rights abuses, such as arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings, by security forces.
 

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Religious leaders push for new Muslim region in Mindanao

SOUTH COTABATO (UCAN): Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Mindanao, the southern Philippines, have vowed to work for the ratification of the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law that will create an autonomous Muslim region to be called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It will be bigger than the current entity and will have fiscal autonomy and its own justice system.
 
“We will go all out to win the hearts and minds of the electorate,” said Hamid Barra of the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines.

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Philippine humanitarian organisations leery of new social welfare head

HONG KONG (SE): “Bautista has no proven track record and experience on social protection programmes, social development work, and poverty reduction,” said the Philippine Faith-Based Organisations Forum in response to the looming appointment of retired lieutenant general, Rolando Bautista, as the country’s next social welfare secretary.
 
The forum comprises Caritas Philippines and the humanitarian arms of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.
 

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Philippine bishops warn priests against running for office

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo, head of the Episcopal Commission on Clergy warned priests against seeking public office after candidates began filing their intention to run in the May 2019 mid-term elections.
 
The period to file certificates of candidacy ran from October 11 to 17.
 

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Philippine reliance on coal a growing problem

MANILA (UCAN): Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, raised the “problem and impacts” of coal pollution during the 2018 Green Asia Forum in Korea on October 5. 
 
“Environmental pollution is of great concern in the Philippines because of our unbridled and continually increasing carbon footprint,” the priest said in his address to the gathering.
 

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Champion of indigeneous education dies at 83

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Ireneo Amantillo, the former bishop of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, the Philipines, died on October 11 at the age of 83. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.
 
The Diocese of Tandag announced that the bishop, who championed the education of tribal children especially in Mindanao, passed away at the Redemptorist House in the central Philippine city of Cebu.
 

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