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Volunteer spirit alive among young Filipinos

They used their own laptop computers and their own mobile phones to assist voters during this year’s midterm elections in the Philippines.
 
They were not required to do so. It was not even their job. It was something they did to try to ensure “honest and clean elections” across the country.
 
Most of the 300,000 volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), a Church-based poll watchdog, are young people.

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Vote buying integral to electoral exercise Duterte says

MANILA (Agencies): On May 13, the day the Philippines went to polls for its mid-term elections, the president, Rodrigo Duterte, said vote buying is an “integral” part of the country’s electoral exercise. He excused it as just politicians paying the fare of local leaders who are helping ensure votes for them in a locality, according a May 16 report from UCAN
 

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Slow pace of Marawi recovery under fire

MANILA (UCAN): Thousands of people remain in temporary shelters more than 18 months after Philippine troops ended a five-month conflict with Islamic militants in the southern city of Marawi that displaced close to half a million people.
 
The United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that about 66,000 people are still homeless.
 
Some are staying with relatives in nearby areas, while an estimated 4,500 people are still at four evacuation centres, the OCHA said.

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Serve the Philippine people bishops tell vote winners

MANILA (Agencies): Philippine bishops urged the winners of the country’s midterm elections, especially the new senators, to live up to the expectations of the electorate, CBCP News reported on May 14.
 
Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, expressed hopes that elected officials would truly work for the service of the people and not for vested interests.
 

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New Philippine bishop ready to face threats

MANILA (UCAN):  Bishop Fidelis Layog, the new auxiliary bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, the northern Philippines, expressed his readiness to face threats after recent attacks against Church leaders in the country on May 8.
 
“Being threatened and attacked has always been the experience of the Catholic Church from the very beginning,” Bishop Layog said as he called on members of the clergy not to fear for their lives.
 

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Philippine Church leader apologises to youth for sex abuse

Manila (UCAN): “We bow in shame, we beg for forgiveness,” Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, told about 15,000 delegates to this year’s National Youth Day celebration in Cebu on April 27.
 
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said, “We continue to say: We are so sorry and beg for forgiveness from the Lord and from those this hurt and the wrongdoing that has been done,” said the prelate during a forum with young people.
 

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Philippine bishops warn against scams targeting Catholics

MANILA (UCAN): Church leaders in the Philippines have warned against the proliferation of recent online scams targeting unsuspecting Catholics.
 
Manila Cathedral issued a call in mid-April against a social media account selling miraculous medals and claiming to be connected with the Church.
 

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Philippine bishops May Day calls for workers’ rights

Manila (UCAN): “First, create jobs so that(people) will never be forced to find work in foreign lands and be separated from their families,” Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said. On May 1 as thousands of people Filipinos marched in protests along the streets of Manila on Labour Day.
 
Several Catholic bishops lent their voices to calls for decent jobs and employment security for workers, saying these were the best gifts the Philippine government could give to its people.

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Philippines kicks off National Youth Day celebration

MANILA (UCAN/CBCPNews): At least 15,000 young Catholics attended the first day of this year’s National Youth Day celebrations held from April 23 to 28 in the central Philippine province of Cebu.
 
Delegates were welcomed on April 24 at the Cebu City Sports Complex, by Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, who arrived at the venue astride a big motorcycle. He told them that to “trust in the memory of God and his memory is not the hard disk that saves and archives all our data.” 
 

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Another rights advocate murdered in the Phlippines

MANILA (UCAN): “In sadness, we all are crying out: End the killings! These barbaric and calculated assassinations must end! We should not tolerate this kind of crime,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, said in the wake of the killing of Bernardino Patigas Sr., a 72-year-old human rights worker.
 
Patigas was shot dead by a lone gunman in Negros Oriental province on April 22, three weeks after masked policemen gunned down 14 farmers in the same province (Sunday Examiner, April 7).
 

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