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US priest arrested in Philippines for sex abuse

MANILA (UCAN): An American priest, Father Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, was arrested on December 5 by Philippine police and immigration officials and United States (US) Homeland Security agents for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of boys over the last four decades.
 
The 78-year-old priest was detained inside the Catholic church in Naval, a town in Biliran province, in the Eastern Visayas region of the central Philippines.
 

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Philippine dam project a disaster waiting to happen

What’s wrong with a Philippine government project to build a new dam to provide for the future water needs of millions of residents of the capital Manila and outlying provinces?
 
This is the US$226.4-million ($1.7 billion) New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project, which has been in the pipeline for three decades now.
 








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Filipinos honour Christian martyrs

MANILA (UCAN): The façades of Catholic churches and schools across the Philippines were bathed in red light on the evening of November 28 to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, as part of the so-called Red Wednesday campaign initiated by Aid to the Church in Need.
 
In Manila, Father Teresito ‘Chito’ Soganub, who had previously been held hostage by Islamic militants in Marawi, Mindanao, led people in paying tribute to Christian martyrs.
 

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Philippine policemen convicted of killing teen

MANILA (UCAN): A court in Kalookan, Metro Manila, the Philippines, found three policemen guilty of the murder of 17-year-old student, Kian Delos Santos, during an anti-narcotics operation in August 2017. However, they were acquitted of planting evidence.
 
Arnel Oares, Jeremias Pereda and Jerwin Cruz were sentenced to at least 30 years in prison by the court on November 29 in the first conviction of police for extrajudicial killing in the 29-month anti-drugs campaign, according to human rights advocates. 
 

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Cardinal to remain active in retirement

SOUTH COTABATO (UCAN): Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, in the Mindanao, the Philippines, has vowed to remain active after his retirement in January 2019 especially in his peace advocacy. Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Quevedo’s resignation on November 6.
 
The country’s eighth cardinal and the first from Mindanao had originally tendered his resignation, as mandated by Church law, on 11 March 2014 upon reaching the age of 75. He had, however, been made a cardinal two months earlier.
 

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Government workers receive bonuses but others are still jobless

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippine government’s Department of Budget and Management announced that more than 1.5 million qualified government employees would receive their year-end tax-free bonus, equivalent to a month’s basic salary along with a US$100 ($780) cash gift starting November 15. A “productivity enhancement incentive” for government workers will be released on December 15.
 
The government has allotted about US$680 million ($5.3 million) for the year-end bonus, and about US$138 million ($1.4 million) for the cash gifts.

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Martial law extension in Mindanao mooted

MANILA (UCAN): “Tribal schools have been attacked by the military on the basis of martial law and the unfounded claim that these schools are communist fronts,” Rius Valle, a spokesperson for the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network said, responding to indications from the Philippine military on November 14 that it is keen to extend martial law period in Mindanao until the end of 2019.
 

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Tribal groups protest visit of Xi Jinping to Philippines

HONG KONG (SE): Tribal groups in the Philippines have vowed to hold protests when China’s president, Xi Jinping, visits from November 19.
 
His visit is expected to herald more development aid and progress on joint undersea fuel exploration for the Philippines.
 
However, the Network Opposed to Kaliwa-Kanan-Laiban Dam, an alliance of tribal groups, called on the Chinese government to pull out of committed loans and projects that will have a catastrophic effect on tribal lands.
 

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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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