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Harassment complaints filed against military and police

MANILA (Agencies) : A government employees’ union and a children’s rehabilitation organisation filed complaints together at the Commission on Human Rights on June 8 on the harassment and surveillance they experienced from military and police agents in Metro Manila. 

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Pope’s visit triggers more vocations

MANILA (Agencies) : With an increase of seminarians this year, a seminary in Manila said that Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Philippines may have sparked more  vocations. More tourists have also went to various places in Palo related to the pope’s visit.

Rector of San Carlos Seminary in Makati City, Father Hernando Coronel, said the number of people training for ministry continues to grow this year.

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Tourists flee Olongapo sex bars in fear of arrest priest shares in lowa

IOWA (Agencies) : During a presentation at the Iowa State University on April 23, Father Shay Cullen told a audience of 600 professors, clergy, human rights activists and students that following the undercover work of various authorities, sex tourists are leaving Olongapo and Subic sex tourist areas. 

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Exhibit and signature drive against mining act

PARAÑAQUE CITY (Agencies) : In response to the World Environment Day, which falls on June 5, the National Shrine of Our Mother Perpetual Help in Baclaran held a mini photo exhibit which aims to raise awareness about the harm of irresponsible and unbridled mining done to the country.

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Churches urged to offer chapels as classrooms

MANILA (UCAN) : The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines urged bishops and priests in disaster areas to offer chapels to be used as temporary classrooms as some 25 million primary and secondary level pupils around the country return to school in June.

“I think the Lord would even be glad if his house will be used in helping others,” said Father Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action and Caritas-Philippines.

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UN calls on prison reform to address overcrowding and poor living conditions

MANILA (UCAN) : A United Nations (UN) torture prevention body called on The Philippines to immediately address prison overcrowding and improve independent monitoring of detention facilities.

The Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture made its first visit to The Philippines from May 23 to June 5 to monitor the implementation of the “Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture,” a UN mechanism that was ratified by the country in 2012.

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Missionaries weave back together shattered lives in Mindanao

MANILA (UCAN) : As Catholics around the world celebrates the beatification of El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero as a “martyr of the faith,” embattled missionaries in the southern Philippines island of Basilan see the outpouring of support for Romero as a vindication of their mission to live amid communities in conflict.

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Politicians urged to respect the dead

MANILA (Agencies) : A priest urged politicians not to use the dead in their propaganda after a coffin with the name of a mayor has been making the rounds in social media.

Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, was quoted by the CBCP News as saying that what the mayor did was in “bad taste” and unbecoming of a public servant.

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Rebel groups urged to end recruiting of child soldiers

MANILA (UCAN/IRIN) : The publicity surrounding an 11-year-old Communist rebel reported to have surrendered to The Philippines military in May has served as a harsh reminder of the work still to be done to rid the country of the scourge of child soldiers.

The boy, referred to in news reports by his nickname Dodong, was recruited aged just six into the New People’s Army (NPA), which has been waging a Maoist insurgency in the southern Philippines for decades.

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Asia has highest number of disappearances

MANILA (UCAN) : “Asia has the most number of cases of enforced disappearances around the world,” said Mary Aileen Bacalso, secretary general of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance, at the International Week of the Disappeared, which is marked every last week of May.

Bacalso said that in Kashmir alone some 8,000 young men vanished in the 1990s, most of whom are believed to be buried in unmarked graves.