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No child soldiers please

MANILA (SE): Archbishop Martin Jumoad called on the Philippine government to act immediately to put an end to the recruitment of children by dissident groups as soldiers.

Speaking after being installed as archbishop of Ozamiz, CBCP News reported him as saying, “Our government must double its efforts to win the sympathy of our young people on the side of goodness.”

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One of the Magnificent Seven etched in history

MANILA (UCAN): The late Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, from Infanta, was the inspiration behind the Magnificent Seven who gathered to sign an open letter challenging the martial law president, Ferdinand Marcos, over his human rights abuses in 1973.

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Poverty is the best drug pusher

There was Jonathan, a 16-year-old teenager from a broken home where love no longer held a family together. Poverty that kept food from the table and from the mouths of his brother and sisters.

Jonathan saw the last of his father as he stormed out of their shanty by a river in the Philippine capital, drunk on cheap liquor to numb the pain of failure. He was a jobless man, fired by a corrupt boss. He was a useless, broken man, his dignity taken from him.








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A 50-year IMPACT

MANILA (SE): What is being touted as the oldest Catholic magazine in Asia is celebrating its golden anniversary in Manila.

“Through thick and thin, IMPACT Magazine has been zealous in pursuing the development of perspectives on social issues not only within the confines of the Catholic Church, but also in other Asian religions,” Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, the magazine’s current editor-in chief, wrote in a special anniversary issue.

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Lived in darkness and buried in secret

HONG KONG (SE): The Filipino community in Hong Kong joined the angry reaction in The Philippines to the burial of the architect of martial law and state plunder, Ferdinand Marcos, alongside those who gave their lives heroically for the betterment of the nation in the Heroes Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani) in Manila.

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Bishops and senate gagged

MANILA (SE): In a lengthy response to the socio-political landscape of The Philippines released on November 22, the bishops of the country admit that they have been gagged by the very people of the Church that they are there to guide and lead.

On November 16, a member of the senate, Risa Hontiveros, found herself gagged on the floor of the chamber when she attempted to read from a newspaper article written by Sunday Examiner columnist, Father Shay Cullen.

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No state law only Duterte law

HONG KONG (SE): “It is now Duterte’s administration. There’s no need for papers,” a police officer in Talisay City, Cebu, was overheard saying on September 11 when asked to show a warrant after bursting into a private home and beginning a room search.

The house belongs to Isabella Abangan, the mother of human rights advocate, Orlando Abangan, who was shot in several parts of the body by an unidentified gunman and died on the road on September 17.

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Manila’s nuclear about face

HONG KONG (SE): The on-again off-again president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was given big cookie points on November 8 when he scotched the idea of powering up the mothballed nuclear power plant in Bataan and assured the nation that during his term of office nuclear power plants would not operate.

The local bishop in the area, Bishop Rupert Santos, said that he welcomed the decision, describing it as an expression of Duterte’s concern and care for the people and the environment.

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Religious persecution happens online

MANILA (UCAN): Despite the popular claim that The Philippines is a Catholic country, Archbishop Socrates Villegas insists that religious persecution is very much alive and well, even within the Church.

In a statement on November 14, the president of the bishops’ conference says, “Bashing in social media where truth is made to appear a lie and a lie the truth is another form of persecution.”

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Scoundrel above ground but hero under the dirt

MANILA (UCAN): Former Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos, received a hero’s burial on November 18, digging deeper division in society.

The eight members of the senate who had voted against the controversial burial did not muster sufficient numbers to get a resolution filed by Risa Hontiveros on August 9 carried.

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