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Marching against culture of death

MANILA (UCAN): On February 16, thousands of Catholics took to the streets of several major cities across the Philippine for the third annual Walk for Life march to voice concerns over threats to life.
 
Simultaneous events, which started at four o’clock in the morning, were also held in the cities of Dagupan, Tarlac, Cebu, Ormoc and Cagayan de Oro.
 
Groups also gathered in the towns of Palo and Palompon in the province of Leyte.
 

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Government workers receive bonuses but others are still jobless

MANILA (UCAN): The Philippine government’s Department of Budget and Management announced that more than 1.5 million qualified government employees would receive their year-end tax-free bonus, equivalent to a month’s basic salary along with a US$100 ($780) cash gift starting November 15. A “productivity enhancement incentive” for government workers will be released on December 15.
 
The government has allotted about US$680 million ($5.3 million) for the year-end bonus, and about US$138 million ($1.4 million) for the cash gifts.

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Bishop regrets dismissal of top labour official

MANILA (UCAN): Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila has expressed regret over the decision of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, to dismiss a top labour official for allegedly failing to put a stop to workers’ strikes.
 
Bishop Pabillo said the president’s decision to fire Joel Maglunsod, which was announced on October 2, was “very unfortunate” because the official understood the plight of workers.
 

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Australian sister released after visa row

MANILA (Agencies): Sister Patricia Fox, the superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion in the Philippines, was released on April 17, a day after she was detained by the Bureau of Immigration for allegedly violating the conditions of her stay in the country, UCAN reported on April 18.
 
The 71-year-old Australian missionary, who has been working in the Philippines for the past 27 years, was let go after  her lawyers presented her passport and other immigration documents showing she had a valid missionary visa.
 

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Philippine bishops welcome resignation of justice secretary

MANILA (UCAN): “He was a secretary of injustice,” Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said, in the wake of the resignation of Vitaliano Aguirre II, the justice secretary of the Philippines, which was announced by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, on April 5, amid questions over his job performance.
 
Bishop Bastes said he was “happy Aguirre decided to resign” because he “was not doing his job well as a secretary of justice.”
 

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Walk for the life of every person

MANILA (Agencies): Catholic bishops of the Philippines will lead this year’s Walk for Life, scheduled for February 24, to protest the spate of drug-related killings in the country, UCAN reported.
 
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila said the protest walk will also highlight other anti-life issues such as the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
 

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Bishops cop a tough ask

MANILA (SE): The bishops have copped a tough ask from the chief of the Philippine National Police, Ronald dela Rosa, when he called for a little bit of trust from the Church in the national campaign against drugs, which to date has left almost 8,000 dead bodies, mostly of poor people, strewn around the country.

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Catholic but not Christian?

MANILA (SE): The Philippines is widely hailed as the only Catholic country in Asia, but despite being Catholic, it is struggling to live out its Christian values.

In recent months, Archbishop Socrates Villegas has lamented the silence of his flock in the face of the mass killing of the poor instigated by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, saying that it is the complicity of silence from the pews that has enabled the massacre to prosper.

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Labour contracting must go

MANILA (UCAN): As a new broom has come into Malacañang on the promise of defending the rights of the poor of The Philippines, Bishop Broderick Pabillo challenged the labour sector to put in a call for an end to temporary labour contracting, which is seen as being responsible for an up in the poverty level.

“Filipino workers must come together and set aside political ideology to ensure oneness of our voice and stamp out the practice,” the auxiliary bishop of Manila said on July 4.

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Why do the police kill the poor but spare the rich?

QUEZON CITY (SE): “It is very troubling that the police and the military are always being sent to harass, wound and kill the poor—whether they be farmers, lumads, urban poor or workers who protest and rally because they suffer and their rights are not being addressed,” Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a formal condemnation of the violent dispersal of farmers who had rallied on a main road in Kidapawan City on April 1 to call attention to their plight in the drought affected region.

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