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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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Displaced tribal people of Mindanao trek home

MANILA (UCAN): “We had a confirmation that the army has pulled its troops out of our village. Now, we can finally return,” said Sarry Campos, spokesperson of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), an inter-municipal organisation of Lumad tribal people in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao.
 

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Australian lawyer barred from entering Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine authorities barred retired Australian law professor, 84-year-old Gill Boehringer, from entering the country claiming he allegedly joined “illegal political activities” during previous visits to Manila.
 
He was detained by immigration officials detained at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport when he arrived from China on August 8.
 

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Philippine journalists targets of attack

It was a Sunday but about a dozen reporters from independent media outfits in Manila were hard at work crafting human interest stories.
 
As they worked, an appeal for help came from striking workers at a condiment factory in a nearby province. The workers at NutriAsia were demanding an end to a labor-only contracting scheme and poor labor practices allegedly implemented by the company.
 








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Manhunt alarms Philippine Church leaders

MANILA (UCAN): “The continued use of trumped-up charges to silence and impede the work of activists merely attests to the repressive and tyrannical character of the Duterte government,” Cristina Palabay of the human rights group, Karapatan, said in reaction to the Philippine National Police instigating a manhunt for four Filipino activists, all former leftist members of the Lower House of Congress. 
 








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Mindanao on full alert after car bomb blast

Cotabato (UCAN): “There can never be peace if we continue this kind of attitude of fomenting fear among our people,” Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz, in Mindanao, said after security forces were placed on full alert in the southern Philippine region after a deadly suicide car-bomb attack in Basilan province —blamed on the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group—killed 10 people on July 31.
 
The archbishop, who was the bishop of Basilan for 14 years, said the attack makes the achievement of peace on the island elusive.
 

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Around the traps

Australian missionary staves off Philippine deportation again
 
MANILA (UCAN): Sister Patricia Fox, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion, who has been facing down the government of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, won a reprieve from deportation after her lawyers filed a motion for reconsideration on July 22.
 
The Bureau of Immigration found the nun to allegedly be “in violation of the limitations and conditions of her missionary visa” for reportedly joining partisan political activities.

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Hopes for peace with new autonomous Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN) “Peace and harmony will be enjoyed if this new Bangsamoro government is inclusive and does not discriminate others,” said Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz in Mindanao, after Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, signed off on a law on July 26 that aims to give greater autonomy to Muslims in the southern Philippines.
 
The Bangsamoro Organic Law comes into effect four years after the government signed a peace agreement with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
 

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Duterte’s hype fizzling out with students and teachers

MANILA (Agencies): The problem with Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, is that he “lives on hype, on promises.” Fidelino Josol, a 50-year old public schoolteacher, was reported as saying in an article in La Croix on July 25.
 
She said, “I voted for him because he sounded firm and full of convictions,” but noted that Duterte’s promises “all went down the drain.”
 
The article noted that Duterte, seems to have failed to impress his “children.” 

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