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Indigenous peoples march on Manila

MANILA (Agencies) : Hundreds of people from indigenous groups in the southern Philippines launched a 1,000-kilometre walk to the national capital, Manila, to dramatise their call for an end to the attacks being made by military and paramilitary forces on tribal communities in troubled Mindanao.

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First deaths of 2016 election season

MANILA (UCAN) : The May 2016 election campaign season claimed its first victim on the day that filing for a certificate of candidacy opened on October 12.

The first murder was recorded in Tungawan in the southern Philippines and two more followed almost immediately.

The mayor of Tungawan, Randy Climaco, became the first to surrender his life during the current election period when he was murdered by unidentified gunmen on the opening day of the season.

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The gold dust children in the shadow of the mines

MANILA (UCAN) : Thousands of children, some as young as nine, are working illegally in unregistered gold mines in The Philippines, a report from Human Rights Watch claims.

“The Philippine government prohibits dangerous child labour, but has done very little to enforce the law,” Juliane Kippenberg, the associate children’s rights director at the organisation, said in a 39-page report released in Manila on September 30.

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I’m a missionary and I’m a lay person

HONG KONG (Mabuhay): Jhoanna Resari is a fully-fledged missionary, but she is not a sister. She is a lay person and that is what she wants to be, but she also wants to be a missionary.

“But I did not always know that,” she admits. “While I was studying in Manila I knew I was looking for something I could not quite define, but I did pray to God to help me find a way.”

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Domestic workers for Japan

TOKYO (Mabuhay) : Japan is mulling opening the way for a trickle of foreign domestic workers to find employment in restricted areas of the country in the near future and is looking toward The Philippines for its first intake, Kyodo News reported on September 28.

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Australia may off-load refugees in Philippines

SYDNEY (Mabuhay) : An Australian government desperate to  off load refugees that it is keeping in cold storage in Nauru and on the Papua New Guinean island of Manus may end up in The Philippines, John Menadue, a businessman and former national director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, writes.

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Fear is name of the game in Mindanao

DAVAO (UCAN) : The number of displaced tribal people on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao continues to rise as another group of villagers began seeking refuge at temporary shelters in Davao City from October 10.

Some 165 people from the Pulangihan Manobo indigenous group said they fled their homes in a remote part of Bukidnon province after soldiers from the Philippine Armed Forces arrested several people in the village.

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Lies more lies and damned lies

TANDAG (Mabuhay) : Over 4,000 people, mostly peasant farmers, members of indigenous communities, human rights advocates, priests and sisters marched through the streets of Butuan City on October 10 to mark the 40th day since three people were brutally and cold-bloodedly murdered by paramilitary forces in Surigao del Sur on September 1.

UCAN reported that the rally called on the authorities to act, saying that although the prime suspects in the murder have been named, no one has yet been arrested.

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Senate told murder of tribal leaders is linked to mining

MANILA (UCAN) : “The people who stand firm against mining activities are the ones being intimidated by paramilitary forces,” Father Bong Galela, the social action director of the diocese of Tandag, in Surigao del Sur, told a Senate inquiry in Manila on October 1.

Indigenous peoples, who are collectively known as Lumads, have been under attack by the paramilitary group, the Magahat-Bagani Force, in recent days.

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Priest murdered in Negros

TANJAY (Mabuhay) : Father Antonio Magalso died of stab wounds on September 29 in the city of Tanjay in Negros Oriental in the central Philippines.

Fides reported that Father Nathaniel Gomez, the dean of St. Catherine’s College and a priest of the diocese of Dumaguete, said, “We are deeply shocked by the cold-blooded murder which is totally without reason. Father Magalso was a simple parish priest, much loved by his people, dedicated to the pastoral life.”