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Philippine humanitarian organisations leery of new social welfare head

HONG KONG (SE): “Bautista has no proven track record and experience on social protection programmes, social development work, and poverty reduction,” said the Philippine Faith-Based Organisations Forum in response to the looming appointment of retired lieutenant general, Rolando Bautista, as the country’s next social welfare secretary.
 
The forum comprises Caritas Philippines and the humanitarian arms of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.
 

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Philippine bishops warn priests against running for office

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo, head of the Episcopal Commission on Clergy warned priests against seeking public office after candidates began filing their intention to run in the May 2019 mid-term elections.
 
The period to file certificates of candidacy ran from October 11 to 17.
 

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Philippine reliance on coal a growing problem

MANILA (UCAN): Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, raised the “problem and impacts” of coal pollution during the 2018 Green Asia Forum in Korea on October 5. 
 
“Environmental pollution is of great concern in the Philippines because of our unbridled and continually increasing carbon footprint,” the priest said in his address to the gathering.
 

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Champion of indigeneous education dies at 83

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Ireneo Amantillo, the former bishop of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, the Philipines, died on October 11 at the age of 83. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.
 
The Diocese of Tandag announced that the bishop, who championed the education of tribal children especially in Mindanao, passed away at the Redemptorist House in the central Philippine city of Cebu.
 

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Appeals for help in education of Marawi’s children

COTABATO (UCAN): A year after the end of the conflict in Marawi, in Mindanao, the southern Philippines, over 100,000 children have yet to return to school, according to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Almost half a million people were affected by the five-months of fighting that ensued after extremist gunmen from the Maute Group attacked the city in May last year.
 

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Boracay slated to reopen soon

Aklan (UCAN): An Ati-Atihan, a festival in honour of the Child Jesus traditionally held every third Sunday of January, will be celebrated to mark the reopening of Boracay Island, the Philippines, in honour of the island’s patron, the Santo Niño.
 
The island, known for its turquoise waters and powdery white sand, is ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, but was abruptly closed down in April by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to facilitate a clean up. It is slated to reopen to tourists on October 26.
 

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Outspoken religious sister fears for her life

General Santos (UCAN): “The mere suggestion of affiliation to a terrorist communist group poses a serious threat to the lives, dignity and security of the persons singled out,” Sister Susan Bolanio of the Oblates of Notre Dame, said on October 2, condemning her being red tagged—labelled a Communist rebel—by the military, describing it as a “farcical lie.”
 
The sister called on authorities to investigate those behind efforts to red tag her, saying it endangers her life.
 

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Bishop regrets dismissal of top labour official

MANILA (UCAN): Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila has expressed regret over the decision of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to dismiss a top labour official for allegedly failing to put a stop to workers’ strikes.
 
Bishop Pabillo said the president’s decision to fire Joel Maglunsod, which was announced on October 2, was “very unfortunate” because the official understood the plight of workers.
 

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Mindanao diocese fights gambling in local communities

Koronadal City (UCAN): “As a diocese, our stand is no to gambling,” A campaign against gambling recently launched by the Diocese of Marbel, in south Cotabato, Mindanao, the Philippines in is proving a success after a mayor pledged to remove lottery booths in the city.
 
The diocese is conducting its campaign against gambling not only from the pulpit, but also among Christian communities.
 
The move comes after financiers set up lottery kiosks around the city of Koronadal (also called Marbel) and nearby towns.

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Filipino groups say no to Martial Law

HONG KONG (SE): On the 46th anniversary of the declaration of the Martial Law, Filipino groups in Hong Kong said they would never forget the atrocities committed by the regime of late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, showing their support of the thousands who protested all over the Philippines on September 21 against any attempt by Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to return to dictatorship.
 

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