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Filipino couple invited to family synod

MANILA (Agencies) : One Filipino couple has been included among the lay participants invited to contribute to discussions at the upcoming Synod on Family Life scheduled to begin on October 4 at the Vatican.

CBCP News reported on September 16 that Nelson Villafania and his wife, Maria Soccoro, are among the more than 50 lay auditors from various countries who have been offered the opportunity to address the assembly and share insights in the small group discussions.

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Murdered Lumads’ children appeal to the pope

MANILA (Agencies) : “They were killed mercilessly. Right in front of their loved ones,” Michelle Campos said in describing the death of her father on September 1 at the hands of militia in Liangga town in Surigao del Sur.

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Bishops asked to broker peace for Lumads

MANILA (Agencies) : Leaders of Lumad communities in Mindanao are asking the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines to go beyond issuing statements condemning the recent murders of their community leaders and to actively intervene in ending the militarisation of tribal community areas.

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Bishop warns against the danger of child abductions

MANILA (UCAN) : Archbishop Socrates Villegas expressed concern over the growing crime rate, after a spate of child abductions in Batangas province over the past two weeks.

“The crime is an offence against human dignity, so we should always be concerned about it,” Archbishop Villegas, the president of the bishops’ conference, said.

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Did martial law ever end?

MANILA (UCAN) : The Association of Major Religious Superiors in The Philippines called on the government to compensate human rights victims of Martial Law as the country marked the 43rd anniversary of its declaration on September 21.

In 2013, the Philippine government passed into law the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act to recognise victims of martial law and indemnify them for the suffering they experienced.

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More scraps over typhoon aid

PALO (UCAN) : Almost two years after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines, survivors continue to point to government failure to deliver assistance.

“The government clearly does not have the heart for us, the children of the storm,” Dean Lacandazo, a spokesperson for People Surge, an alliance of typhoon victims, said after some 500 boats, which were supposed to be distributed to fishing communities in the area, were found rotting in a coastal village near Palo.

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Accused murders of Gerry Ortega arrested

MANILA (Agencies) : The arrest of the high profile Reyes brothers, who are accused of being behind the murder of environmental and anti-corruption advocate, Gerry Ortega, on 24 January 2011, brings fresh hope that his family and friends may achieve justice, Bishop Pedro Arigo, from Puerto Princesa, told CBCP News on September 22.

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Why was Andrea Rosal arrested if there was no evidence against her?

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : Rights workers say they are happy, but at the same time angered at the release on September 7 of Andrea Rosal, the daughter of late Communist leader, Roger Rosal, who has been held as a political prisoner since her arrest on March 27 last year.

Charges of murder and kidnapping that had been levelled against her have been dropped due to lack of evidence.

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Sugar barons funded at the expense of small farmers

TARLAC (Mabuhay) : The National Federation of the Union of Agricultural Workers has expressed disappointment and anger at the president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, as well as the Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Administration for providing billions of pesos of public funds to finance sugar block farms.

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Comics and catechetics

MAKATI (Agencies) : Comic book fanatics and most especially Catholic geeks now have a reason to celebrate, as a series combining CCC-graded (not dangerous) material and clean fun, The Exorcist and Aquinas is set to hit stores in Manila in October.