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Padre Pio relic heading to Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): For the first time, the incorruptible heart of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, will visit the Philippines The relic, which seldom leaves a Capuchin monastery in Italy, will be in the country for at least 20 days, from October 6 to 26.
 
Father Joselin Gonda, rector of the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio, said the Philippines will have the distinction of having the relic longer than any other country in which it has been exhibited in so far.
 

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Bombing kills two in southern Philippines

Manila (UCAN): An 18-year old catechist, Jun Mark Luda, and his 15-year old cousin, Marialyn Luda, were killed in a bomb explosion in the town of Isulan in the southern Philippine province of Sultan Kudarat on September 2.
 
At least 14 others were reported injured in the blast at an Internet cafe in the town.
 
The attackers, thought to be an extremist group opposed to a peace deal with Manila, came five days after another bomb explosion killed three people and injured 36 others in the same town.
 

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Philippine immigration tries again to deport Sister Fox

MANILA (UCAN): On August 30, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration reaffirmed its intention to deport Australian missionary, Sister Patricia Fox, dismissing a motion for reconsideration filed by her lawyers saying it failed to raise new matters that could warrant the reversal of the expulsion order (Sunday Examiner, May 6, May 13, June 24, July 29). 
 

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Cubao cathedral closed after desecration

MANILA (UCAN): The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City, the Philippines was temporarily closed on August 30 after a young man, thought to be mentally disturbed, reportedly entered the church on August 25 and desecrated the tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament. 
 
Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, ordered a two-day suspension of all religious activities. He said the Catholic community would undertake acts of penance and reparation.
 

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Pray for Philippine drug war victims pope asked

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine senator, Bam Aquino, asked Pope Francis to pray for the he country, especially for poor Filipinos who suffer the brunt of drug-related killings. The legislator met with the pope on the sidelines of the 9th annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network, held from August 23 to 26, in Rome.
 
“Holy Father, I have some letters from our religious leaders in the Philippines. Our country needs your prayers,” Aquino told the pope during a private audience at the Vatican.
 

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Displaced Marawi families given meat for Eid

COTABATO (UCAN): Islamic Relief Worldwide, an international relief organisation, distributed at least 3,870 kilogrammes of meat to 1,800 displaced families living in temporary shelters on the outskirts in war-torn Marawi in the southern Philippines to mark the observance of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) on August 22.
 
Maryann Zamora, a spokesperson for the group in the Philippines, said the animals were slaughtered to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice even his son to God.
 

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Day of remembrance for slain Filipino teen?

MANILA (UCAN): A Philippine senator, Risa Hontiveros, has proposed declaring August 16 as an annual National Day of Remembrance to mark the death of 17-year-old Kian de los Santos.
 
De los Santos death on 16 August 2017 at the hands of police during an anti-drug operation sparked national and international outrage.
 
Hontiveros said the killing “underscored the human rights atrocities committed in the name of the bloody war on drugs.”
 

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Bishops dismiss Duterte’s resignation threat

MANILA (UCN): At least two Catholic bishops have dismissed the threat by Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, that he would resign out of frustration over his failure to address corruption in government.
 
In a speech on August 14, Duterte said he was ready to quit the presidency should the military and police find the right successor.
 

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Sleepless in flooded Manila

Light rain in the early morning is a welcome treat for Carmelite Father Gilbert Billena every time he goes home to the southern Philippines. However, perfect mornings in his parish in Manila are rare, especially during the rainy season in this tropical country.
 
Monsoon rains are terrifying during the rainy season, said the priest, especially with the seemingly endless downpours causing widespread flooding in the country’s capital.
 

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Human rights volunteer killed in Cebu

MANILA (UCAN): Butch Rosales, a 42-year-old volunteer for human rights group, Rise Up for Life and for Rights, in the central Philippine province of Cebu, was shot and killed in the middle of a busy city street on August 8.
 
The victim was shot in the head several times by an unidentified gunman who escaped on a motorcycle driven by another man.
 
Human rights group, Karapatan, condemned the killing, noting “the rising number of killings conducted with impunity in Cebu.”
 

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