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Priest still haunted by captivity

MARAWI (UCAN): A year after his abduction by terrorist gunmen, Father Teresito Soganub, the one time vicar-general of the Prelature of Marawi, Mindanao, is on a journey for forgiveness.
 
“I was a captive. I was not afraid to die, but I was afraid to suffer,” he said in what sounded like a confession only days before the first anniversary of his kidnapping during an attack on St. Mary’s Cathedral.
 
He was abducted along with several church workers on 23 May 2017, the first day of fighting.








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Philippines lifts Kuwait labour deployment ban

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippines lifted its ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait following the signing of a deal on May 11 that provides additional protection for Filipinos in the Gulf state.
 
The president, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered the ban to be lifted on May 16, ending months of tension with Kuwait that resulted in the expulsion in April of the Philippine ambassador to the oil rich country.
 

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Aid groups unite to plug disaster response gaps

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines has joined forces with networks of non-government groups to address “financial gaps” in responding to disasters. Counted among the alliance aside from Caritas are the Caucus of Development non-government organsations (CODE-NGO) and the Humanitarian Response Consortium, the country’s biggest networks of NGOs.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said the aim of the alliance is “to strengthen and expand” the networks and resources of the various groups.

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Ouster of Philippine chief justice condemned

MANILA (Agencies): “We condemn in the strongest terms the desecration of our constitution and democratic institutions,” Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the social action secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said in reaction to the country’s Supreme Court of the Philippines kicked out its chief justice in an unprecedented decision handed down on May 11.
 

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Seasonal and nominal Catholics in the Philippines

Father Amado Picardal CSsR
 
A study conducted a few years back showed that only 37 per cent of Filipino Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass while only 29 per cent regard themselves as very religious. 
 
Some Church leaders think that it was not accurate because the number of Masses being celebrated apparently increased and attendance seemed to have grown.
 








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Filipino workers complain of continuing rights abuses

MANILA (UCAN): Workers in the Philippines are complaining of continuing rights abuses even as the country’s economy grew by 6.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year.
 
A study conducted by the non-government Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights recorded at least 345 rights violations, including 28 killings of workers in the past two years.
 
The same study also cited complaints involving at least 9,919 workers whose rights to organise and be part of a trade union were reportedly not recognised.

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Cardinal Tagle ramps up protest against Philippine killings

MANILA (UCAN): Church bells in the Archdiocese of Manila will toll at eight o’clock every evening to protest the continuing spate of killings in the Philippines.
 
Luis Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila ramped up his condemnation of the killings following the shooting of Father Mark Ventura in the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao on April 29, and a broadcast journalist, Edmund Sestoso, in Dumaguete, in the province of Negros Oriental, only a day later.
 

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Philippine government cannot define scope of missionary work

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippine government has “no right to define and delimit the scope of our missionary and apostolate works,” said Australian Sister Patricia Fox, from the Sister of Our Lady of Sion, whose missionary visa was revoked by the Philippine government last month (Sunday Examiner, May 6). 
 
The 71-year-old Sister Fox, who has lived and worked in the Philippines for 27 years as a missionary, hit back at allegations against her by the Bureau of Immigration in a 25-page affidavit.
 

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Philippine government accused of trying to silence the Church

QUEZON CITY (SE): Philippine religious leaders have warned that the Philippine government is trying to silence Church people who are critical of the administration the president, Rodrigo Duterte, according to a report from UCAN.
 
Speaking before a media briefing on April 26, Redemptorist Father Oliver Castor, said the government has been trying “to stop the Church’s work with the poor.”
 

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Marawi Mosque reopens in time for Ramadan

MARAWI (UCAN): The Saduc-Guimba Grand Mosque in the village of Saduc, in war-ravaged Marawi, has re-opened in time for the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on May 15, almost a year after terrorist gunmen attacked the predominantly Muslim city in Mindanao, the Philippines.
 
The Philippine military earlier declared the area where the mosque is located, cleared of explosives that might have been left during the five months of fighting.
 

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