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Call for total shutdown of Antique mines

CALUYA (Agencies) : Hot on the heels of the second major disaster at an open pit coal mine in Antique, the Diocesan Social Action Centre of Antique, together with the National Secretariat for Social Action and Caritas Philippines, is demanding the complete closure of the Semirara Coal Mines.

“We strongly reiterate our call for the complete closure of the mines and the prohibition of mining anywhere else in Antique,” the groups say in a joint statement.

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My vote did not count

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : “I took the advice of the circular from the consulate to check my overseas voter registration on August 17, only to receive the devastating news that not only had I been scratched from the list, but my vote in the 2013 election did not count,” a dismayed Beth Sabado told Mabuhay.

She explained, “Despite the fact that I had voted in Hong Kong in 2013 at Bayanihan Centre, my name did not appear on the registry when the consulate attendant did a search.”

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Sto. Niño visits Tondo

MANILA (Agencies) : The iconic symbol of the Catholic faith in The Philippines, the Sto. Niño de Cebu, paid a visit to one of the poorest areas of Manila on August 15, before taking part in the fluvial procession down the Pasig River as an advocate for the environment.

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Caritas opens more Yolanda housing

TACLOBAN (Agencies) : As criticism of the slow pace of the government reconstruction programme in Leyte in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda mounts, Caritas Philippines has completed homes for 550 families who have been living in what are described as danger zones.

The new homes are in Tacloban City and near to the workplaces of the people.

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TV María goes live

MANILA (Agencies) : TV María, the first Catholic television network to be set up in The Philippines, made Church media history on August 14 when it officially aired its first live broadcast direct from its headquarters in Pandacan, Manila.

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Member of the congress accused of sheltering priest’s murderers

DAVAO (UCAN) : A compatriot of Father Fausto Tentorio, who was murdered in the compound of his church in Akran, Cotabato province, on 17 October 2011, is accusing a member of the congress, Nancy Catamco, of sheltering those guilty of the killing.

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Encouraging but worrying

CEBU (Agencies) : Priests from the Visayas made a decision at their July 27 to 28 Clergy Discernment Gathering which is both encouraging and worrying.

Encouraging because they unanimously decided to ensure that the poor have access to the sacraments, but worrying, as their decision indicates that has not been the case in the past.

The group said that no one should be denied the sacraments due to poverty.

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Germany honours Filipino sister for human rights work

DAVAO (UCAN) : Benedictine Sister Stella Matutina, known for her anti-mining advocacy in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao, is this year’s recipient of the Weimar Award for Human Rights.

In their citation, the trustees of the award bestowed by the Catholic aid agency, Missio, say that Sister Matutina has been recognised for engaging “herself extraordinarily for the rights of the native population, despite being exposed to permanent threats to her safety due to her engagements.”

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Magsaysay Awards credit community spirit

MANILA (AsiaNews) : A silk weaver in Laos; a dancer preserving an ancient art form in the southern Philippines; an entrepreneur that recycles used clothing to donate to the poor; a rights advocate, who exposes corruption in public office in India; and the founder of a company that organises free funerals in the Union of Myanmar; are this year’s recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

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Parish goes solar in fight against coal

MANILA (Agencies) : A parish in Quezon province is pushing its parishioners to be more environmentally aware by installing solar panels on the roof of the church.

The parish in Atimonan symbolically switched on its solar power system after a Mass on August 2 to cap off the celebration of the town’s fiesta in honour of Our Lady of Angels.