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Law upholding rights of nature in the works

MANILA (UCAN): Polluters of the environment, including big business and government officials, will be guaranteed to face criminal charges if advocates have their way and Philippine legislators pass a bill being prepared to grant rights to nature.
 
Church and environmental advocates ended a nationwide caravan in Manila on June 5, World Environment Day, to dramatise their call for the passage of a rights of nature law.
 

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Philippine Church leaders denounce killing of priests

MANILA (UCAN): Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila, said “freedom is fake” because people are “toying around with justice” amid the spate of killings in the country as Church leaders in the Philippines railed against the attacks and killings of members of the clergy in recent months.
 
“We repeat: It is against the will of God to destroy life. Killing is not a solution to personal and societal problems,” said the cardinal in his Philiippine Independence Day message on June 12.
 

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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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