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One of three priests-turned-politicians wins election bid

MANILA (Agencies): Only one of the three Catholic priests-turned politicians succeeded in their election bids for public office.

Father Jeemar Vera Cruz, from the Iligan diocese, was proclaimed the new vice-mayor of Iligan City for a first term on May 10.

Vera Cruz, former vicar general of the diocese, defeated acting vice-mayor Providencio Abragan by over 12,000 votes.

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Release El Niño funds now Caritas Philippines urges

MANILA (Agencies): “We are appealing to the newly-elected president to listen to the cries of the hungry farmers, especially here in Mindanao. They have already suffered enough from this climate crisis. Why let them wait for too long when money is readily available?” Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said.

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Philippine clergy urged to help fight stigma by taking HIV test

Manila (UCAN): Father Dan Vicente Cancino, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippine’s Commission on Health Care urged the clergy to have HIV tests. “Priests can help fight the stigma by undergoing HIV tests themselves,” he said on May 14.

“The real challenge (in fighting HIV and AIDS) is the stigma and discrimination,” said Father Cancino.

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Duterte and Marcos lose vote in Vatican precinct

Hong Kong (SE): According to data from the Philippine Commission on Elections, presumptive president, Rodrigo Duterte, and Bongbong Marcos, son of the late ousted dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, who is running second in the race for the vice-presidency, lost the vote at the Vatican voting precinct.

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Vigilant collaboration with new government Philippine bishops say

MANILA (Agencies): Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines (CBCP), issued a post-election statement saying that the Church promises “vigilant collaboration” with winning candidates.

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Thousands protest against new coal-fired power plant

MANILA (Agencies): Around 10,000 people from various Church groups, concerned citizens, and civil society organisations marched in Batangas City, The Philippines, on May 4 to call for a moratorium on new coal plants in the country.

Led by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, from Lipa, the demonstrators demanded that the next administration cancel all proposed coal-fired projects and shift to renewable energy, according to a report of CBCP News.

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Election comes with responsibilities cardinal says

MANILA (Agencies): Before the Philippine electorate took to the polls on May 9 to elect Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s next president, Luis Cardinal Antonio Tagle delivered a message on servant leadership to the candidates for national positions during a Mass at the Manila Cathedral on May 2.

Of the five presidential candidates, only outgoing vice-president, Jejomar Binay, and administration bet, Mar Roxas, were present during the event. 

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Promises of change can be misleading cardinal says

MANILA (UCAN): “Do not be mesmerised by surveys and claims of change by any means. Follow the road of the Christian disciple, faithful to the Lord Jesus and to the teachings of his Church,” Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, from Cotabato, The Philippines, said as he cautioned people not to be affected by promises of change made by those who ran for public office in the May 9 elections. 

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Bishop denounces hostage beheading

MANILA (Agencies): Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga has condemned the beheading of a Canadian tourist held hostage for months by the Abu Sayyaf in Mindanao.

The bishop, who chairs the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, expressed outrage over the execution of a 68-year old Canadian man, John Ridsdel, who was abducted from a resort along with three others in September last year.

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Farmers demand aid on Earth Day

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine environmental advocates and farmers marked Earth Day, April 22, with rallies in various cities around the country to demand government action in drought-stricken areas.

“The drought has worsened the poverty and hunger of farmers,” said Pedro Arnardo, a peasant leader from the southern region of Mindanao.

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