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Where have all the bodies gone?

TACLOBAN (UCAN): The search for the missing victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which hit the Central Visayas in The Philippines on 8 November 2013, is still going on, two years after official figures show that approximately a little over 6,000 people died and some 2,500 may be considered to be missing.

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Philippine Church bans ivory statues

MANILA (UCAN): Priests in The Philippines have been asked to stop installing new statues or images made out of ivory as objects of veneration in their churches.

The bishops’ conference issued a directive on November 4 prohibiting priests from blessing any new statue, image or object of devotion that is made of or crafted from ivory, or incorporates any material from endangered or protected wildlife in its manufacture.

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YouCat in Tagalog

QUEZON CITY (Agencies): Kenneth Baluyot, a social studies teacher from Krus na Ligas National High School, has translated the Youth Catechism (YouCat) into Tagalog and hopes that it will reach many young people as it is now available in a language they can easily understand.

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Veloso still in limbo

MANILA (Agencies): Bishop Ruperto Santos is calling on the Philippine authorities to speed up the trial of drug recruiters accused of duping a Filipino migrant worker, Mary Jane Veloso, who has been condemned to death by an Indonesian court for carrying drugs.

Jakarta has indefinitely postponed her execution while the Philippine authorities try those accused of tricking her into carrying the drugs without knowing.

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Chance for migrant workers to make a future at home

HONG KONG (SE): The youngest senator in the Philippine congress, Benigno (Bam) Aquino, was in Hong Kong on November 22 to talk up a bill he authored, dubbed Go Negosyo (Go Business), that was passed into law in July last year.

Aquino described the bill as being designed to ignite fresh sparks in the overall development of the Philippine economy, especially outside of the big cities.

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Get military off indigenous land

MANILA (SE): In the wake of a series of murders and executions of leaders of tribal communities in the southern island of Mindanao in The Philippines by the military and military created paramilitary forces, Luis Cardinal Tagle has called for the creation of peace zones on land belonging to indigenous peoples.

The cardinal wants a complete withdrawal of all government forces, as well as the forces of the Communist New People’s Army.

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Disaster recovery must be linked with development

HONG KONG (SE): Recovery from climactic disasters such as the devastating typhoons experienced in The Philippines in recent years and rehabilitation activities must be directly linked with economic development to have any lasting impact.

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Voice of the people is the voice of the Church

 

The fight for the hearts and minds of the people may have become a bit of a cliché in today’s political world, but it is not a bad description of the year-long battle that the Church in Asia’s only majority Catholic country has been involved in as it unsuccessfully pitted itself against the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of the president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino.