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No to pistol-packing priests

MANILA (UCAN): “Arming priests is not a solution to crimes against them,” said Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Public Affairs Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, which has expressed strong opposition to the idea of arming priests in the wake of recent attacks on members of the clergy.
 
Father Secillano said there is no need for priests to arm themselves because, like any ordinary citizen, they are also entitled to protection from the government.
 

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Fighting and dying for Filipino freedoms

What is independence but the freedom from the domination and control of others? Freedom is firstly an inner, non-material spiritual value. The desire for it is a natural right and when achieved, it is a joyful experience. The freedom to practice our religious beliefs and to be freed from chains and bondage, the freedom of expression and to live in dignity free from poverty and fear are the greatest values of being human. They are universal human rights.
 








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Filipino killed in Slovakia called a hero

MANILA (UCAN): Henry John Acorda, a Filipino expatriate died in Bratislava, Slovakia, on May 31 from injuries sustained after being beaten and kicked in the head by a man believed to be a neo-Nazi on May 26.
 
Acorda, a 36-year-old financial analyst, had reportedly intervened to stop the alleged attacker from harassing two women in Slovakian capital.
 
A 28-year-old local, identified only as Juraj H., was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
 

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Philippine police try to spice up image with Santacruzan procession

TACLOBAN (UCAN): Beset by allegations of playing an active role in hundreds, if not thousands, of drug-related killings, the Philippine police have sought to boost their battered image by holding religious pageant in honour of the Blessed Virgin. 
 
In Tacloban, Leyte, in the central Philippines, about 300 policemen held a Santacruzan pageant to promote what they said are the police’s core values: “pro-country, pro-people, pro-environment, and pro-God.” 
 

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Philippine Congress passes bill creating new Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine lawmakers finally passed a bill that will pave the way for the creation of a new Muslim region in Mindanao, but critics warn that it still does not allow the Moro people the right to self-determination.
 
The Lower House of Congress overwhelmingly approved the controversial and long-awaited Bangsamoro Basic Law on May 30 by 227 to 11 against with two abstentions, while the Senate passed it before dawn on May 31.
 

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Typhoon Haiyan victims still piecing it together four years on

TACLOBAN (UCAN):  To date, Caritas has been able to help about 1.8 million people affected by the destruction brought by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which struck the central Philippines in 2013.
 
Five years on from the disaster, the Church’s recovery and rehabilitation programme has become one of its largest and far-reaching natural disaster responses, amounting to about US$50 million ($392 million).
 

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Duterte descends to slandering the dead

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, the Philippines condemned speculation by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, in which he attempted to insinuate that the murdered priest, Father Mark Anthony Ventura, was having an affair with eight women. 
 
The bishop lamented that Father Ventura had been murdered a “second time” by the comments. 
 

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Sister Fox defies order to leave

MANILA (UCAN): Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox, who was ordered by the Philippine authorities to leave the country by May 25, was given a 10-day extension by the country’s Justice Department on May 28.
 
However, Sister Fox said it was a “temporary victory.” 
 
Menardo Guevarra, the secretary for justice ordered the immigration bureau to comment on Sister Fox’s petition for review within the 10 day period.
 

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The process of justice and injustice

The Avila sex bar in Calapandayan, Subic town, Zambales, has been closed with a steel gate since the hand of justice came to that place when we rescued young girls from sex slavery and the domineering  power of the owner, 49-year-old Arthur David Benjamin, of the United States of America (US), on 6 February 2013.
 








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Priest still haunted by captivity

MARAWI (UCAN): A year after his abduction by terrorist gunmen, Father Teresito Soganub, the one time vicar-general of the Prelature of Marawi, Mindanao, is on a journey for forgiveness.
 
“I was a captive. I was not afraid to die, but I was afraid to suffer,” he said in what sounded like a confession only days before the first anniversary of his kidnapping during an attack on St. Mary’s Cathedral.
 
He was abducted along with several church workers on 23 May 2017, the first day of fighting.