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Blaze raises concern over workplace safety

MANILA (UCAN) : A fire that killed at least 72 people in a rubber slipper factory in Manila on May 13 has raised concerns that a number of establishments and workplaces around the country may not be compliant with occupational health and safety standards.

“The high death toll from this inferno strongly indicates a complete breach of safety protocols required for industries,” Renato Magtubo, of Partido Manggagawa, or Workers’ Party, said in an interview.







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Corpus Christi for the poor

MANILA (Agencies) : The Archdiocese of Manila is set to mark the forthcoming Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) by highlighting the plight of those who have less in life.







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Abu Sayyaf frees abducted teacher

MANILA (Agencies) : The Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippine province of Sulu has freed a female teacher abducted from Zamboanga Sibugay province two months ago.

Reynadeth Bagonoc Silvano, 31, from Talusan, was reportedly released in the town of Jolo at round 7.30am on May 14.

Silvano and her brother, Russel Bagonoc, 22, were abducted on March 15 while they were on their way to Tuburan Elementary School in Barangay Moalboal in Talusan town. 







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Climate change linked to poverty in Rome meeting

MANILA (Agencies) : Caritas Philippines has voiced its concern about the way climate change is hitting the poor people, the most vulnerable group of the country, during the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis in Rome.

Father Edu Gariguez, executive director of Caritas Philippines, said during a meeting on May 14 that the impact of climate change will make it more difficult for many Filipinos to escape poverty.







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Archbishop compares fixed donations to foul price tag

DAGUPAN CITY (Agencies) : Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, in a recent pastoral letter, has reiterated his position against the arancel or the fixed donations for sacraments and sacramentals. He believes the panana-
bangan
(stewardship) is a better way to let the faithful show their support for the Church.







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It is sin to buy and sell votes!

MANILA (UCAN) : Church leaders in the Philippines launched what they call a “Thou Shall Not Steal” campaign against vote buying and vote selling in next year’s national elections on May 8.

The campaign, spearheaded by the Catholic bishops and religious congregations, urges Filipinos to stop trading votes for it signifies selling the dignity not only of oneself but of the whole country.







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New bishop for Bontoc-Lagawe

MANILA (Agencies) : Father Valentin Dimoc has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the new
bishop of the Apostolic Vicarate of Bontoc-Lagawe.

The appointment was announced by the Vatican at 6:00pm on May 6.

Father Dimoc is currently the vicariate’s social action and development centre director and rector of the Mission Station of Ayangan.







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Death of terrorist bomb maker confirmed

MANILA (UCAN) : The Philippine military on May 4 confirmed the death of Abdul Basit Usman, a bomb maker in the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group who had a US$1-million ($7.8 million) bounty on his head from the State Department of the United States of America since 2009.







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Diluted law may not bring peace groups warn

MANILA (UCAN) : Legislators in The Philippines were warned not to allow a bungled anti-terrorist operation in January, which resulted in the deaths of 44 policemen, to justify passing a “watered-down” law to implement a long-awaited peace deal in the troubled Mindanao region.







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Farmers demand land and justice three years after ruling on Luisita

MANILA (Mabuhay) : Farm workers led by the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) and the national federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) held a rally outside the Department of Justice office in Manila on April 24 to reinstate their demand for land and justice for Hacienda Luisita farmers.