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Muslim group promises protection for Marawi

MANILA (AsiaNews): The largest resistance group in Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has promised to provide security for a resettlement programme organised by the Church for the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the siege of the city of Marawi.
 
The Church initiative dubbed The Marawi Rehabilitation Programme will be carried out in 13 coastal communities in the area of the now devastated only Islamic majority city in The Philippines.
 

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I confess to almighty God…

Imagine Juan, a barangay official in The Philippines, as he sat in the church alone. He was waiting for the priest and when Father Pepito came into the sanctuary, he noticed Juan looking distressed and he went to him and he asked in Tagalog, “Can I help you?”
 
“Yes, Father, I want to confess, but I am ashamed of what I have done, not even God can forgive me,” he answered.
 








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Lawyers unite to fight rights abuse

Manila (UCAN): A group of lawyers and law students launched an alliance called Lawyers Against Extrajudicial Killings in Manila on November 2 to coordinate a series of legal challenges to the thousands of drug-related killings and other human rights abuses committed by the agents of the administration of the president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
In a strongly worded statement, the group called the assault on the poor and the drug trade being conducted by the government “a blatant disregard of the right to life.”
 

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A lavish funeral for a simple priest

CEBU (SE): Although the police in Cebu City had made what they described as adequate security arrangements to accommodate around 5,000 to 10,000 people anticipated to attend the funeral Mass of the late Ricardo Cardinal Vidal scheduled to take place at 8.00am on October 26, the estimated 55,000 that turned up even took Church officials by surprise.
 

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Catholic radio falls silent

MANILA (UCAN): Vast swathes of the airwaves in The Philippines have fallen silent, as the congress has so far failed to extend the licence of the Catholic Media Network, which is operated and owned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines and is the biggest radio network in  the country.
 

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Honouring indigenous development

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines launched a book on October 13 honouring the indigenous people of the country and offering a tribute to the work they have done in protecting the beautiful landscape of the Pearl of the Orient Seas that God has gifted to the people.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the author of the book and director of Caritas, said that for indigenous peoples “the whole of creation is deeply imbued with spiritual reality.”
 

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Uproar over restart of open pit mining

MANILA (UCAN): A decision of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council of The Philippines to lift the ban placed on open pit mining by the fired secretary for the environment, Gina Lopez, has drawn criticism from many quarters, especially indigenous peoples, areas heavily dependent on agriculture or the fish industry, as well as conservationists.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, from Caritas Philippines, described the decision to end the ban as a backward step by government away from a policy designed specifically to protect the environment.
 

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A Judas kiss for an adoring public

MANILA (SE): The Philippine middle class may well give its tick of approval to the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, for his war on what it regards as a blight on the national landscape; the poor of the shanty settlements.
 
However, it does not seem to be so forgiving when it comes to scandals linking his son to drug lords, allegations of hidden wealth and secrecy over the required reports of assets and liabilities for government officials.
 

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City ruined but terrorism lives

MARAWI (UCAN): The news that the five-month siege of Marawi City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao has finally been declared over has been welcomed widely by people affected by the on-going violence, with Bishop Edwin de la Peña calling it a signal to start rebuilding of the predominantly Muslim city.
 
“Thank God,” the bishop said. “We can now return to peace and order in the city, in the entire Mindanao, and the whole country. Praise be to God.”
 

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Cardinal Vidal mourned

CEBU (SE): Ricardo Tito Cardinal Jamin Vidal, the longtime archbishop of the biggest archdiocese in The Philippines, died at the age of 86 in Perpetual Succour Hospital in Cebu due to infection leading to septic shock at 7.26am on October 18.
 
In a tribute to the late cardinal, the president of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, said, “Cardinal Vidal cannot die. He who has always shared in the dying and rising of the Lord daily in his priestly life cannot die.”
 

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