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Take death threats seriously Philippine priests told

MANILA (UCAN): “I became a target of an assassination attempt by a death squad,” said Redemptorist Father Amado Picardal, who said he was fortunate because he received advance information about the plot. He said that his life has been in danger since he criticised killings linked to the deadly war on drugs of the administration of president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
The priest, who relocated in fear for his life, warned fellow priests to take threats seriously but not to be cowed from speaking the truth.
 

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Anti-coal power campaign in central Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Gerry Alminaza of San Carlos, Negros Occidental, the central Philippines, has expressed support for a campaign against the building of a coal-fired power plant in the province. He said local Church leaders are giving their full backing for the move, initiated by the Youth for Climate Hope group.
 
“As our youth said, we will stand against this because this is about our future,” the bishop said on Ash Wednesday.
 

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Thousands flee fighting in southern Philippines

COTABATO CITY (UCAN): An estimated 16,000 people fled their homes following armed clashes between government troops and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, supporters of the Islamic State, in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao.
 
Military aircraft began pounding a suspected hideout of in the town of Shariff Saydona Mustapha on March 11.
 
“(The clashes) started with a bomb run,” commander of the army’s 6th Infantry Division, Major General Cirilito Sobejana, said. 
 

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Filipino women demand more benefits

MANILA (UCAN): Women in the Philippines were getting free train and boat rides on March 8, International Women’s Day, but women’s advocacy groups laughed it off and marched in Manila against “misogyny and government policies that promote violence.”
 
They demanded a US$15 ($117) minimum daily wage for all workers, saying that women workers have been receiving lower wages compared to their male counterparts.
 

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Women vow to make stand against Duterte

Inday Espina-Varona 
 
Young women, some still in their teens, stood in front of an 81-year-old nun. Across the room, an inter-generational group in white and purple listened to speakers at an unprecedented gathering of women from different ideological and economic backgrounds who are fighting against misogyny in the era of Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 








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Protection offer to Philippine bishops and priests

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine authorities offered protection to Catholic bishops and priests following reports that several Church leaders have received death threats in recent weeks.
National police chief, Oscar Albayalde, said the offer was discussed with Luis Cardinal Tagle of Manila.
 
“We offered them protection and even threat validation,” said Albayalde, adding that he assured help for any priest facing any form of threat.
 

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Philippine bishop not cowed by threats

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Metro Manila, the Philippines, who has received death threats for criticising the Rodrigo Duterte’s government’s bloody narcotics crackdown, said while he fears for his safety, he “fears more for children and the poor victims of this drug war” and vowed to continue speaking out against it.
 

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More Philippine Church leaders and rights workers ‘red tagged’

CAGAYAN DE ORO (UCAN): The ‘red-tagging’ of Church leaders and advocates—linking them to the Communist Party of the Philippines—has intensified with priests of the Philippine Independent Church included on a new list of people alleged to have ties with communist rebels.
 
The list also included the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the Union of Peoples Lawyers, and youth group, Kabataan.
 

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Wolves prowl while the muted shepherds cower

Inday Espina-Varona
 
The arrest of Father Kenneth Hendricks, an American priest who allegedly abused minors gave Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, a weapon against clergy who dare to criticise his bloody war against narcotics.
 
Police served five more arrest warrants on the priest, who was nabbed in December by a joint team of Philippine and American law enforcers in the central Philippines (Sunday Examiner, 16 December 2018).








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Bishop of Bacolod condemns murder at church

Manila (UCAN): Bishop Patricio Buzon of Bacolod, called the murder of 54-year-old Filipino-Chinese businessman, Alex Yao, by gunmen inside the compound of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Bacolod City, the Philippines, on February 19, a “deplorable act ... that has no place in Christian communities, more so in a society that upholds the principles of law and order.”
 
Yao’s wife, Maria Theresa, survived the shooting, which occurred while the couple were leaving the church after attending a prayer meeting.
 

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