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Pope’s visit dramatised in popular musical

MANILA (Agencies) : Mercy and compassion are the bottom line messages underlying a new musical produced by Rose Cabrera as a reflection on the visit of Pope Francis to The Philippines in January this year.

From the Vatican to Tacloban—With Love, Pope Francis is a production for the masses. Cabrera hopes to attract young people, as well as Typhoon Yolanda survivors to come and enjoy it, CBCP News reported.

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Watch for Yolanda relief money in election campaigns

MANILA (Mabuhay) : Since we already know that huge amounts of money earmarked for the reconstruction stage of the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) have never been released, people should be on the look out to see where they do appear.

The executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, Father Edu Gariguez, said it has been two years since the typhoon and many of the victims are still living in temporary shelter and dire conditions.

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Witnesses to massacre at risk of death

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : The Philippines has contravened its obligations under the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Torture, which it ratified in 1986, by failing to provide protection for the witnesses and surviving families of victims of the Maguindanao Massacre.

Fifty-eight people were murdered on 23 November 2009 in Maguindanao, but the trial of the prime suspects has dawdled so much so that one of those charged has died and at least four witness have been liquidated.

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Green Sto. Niño bright spot in murky Pasig

MANILA (Agencies) : The famed icon of the Sto. Niño turned green on August 16, appearing for the first time in history as an environmental advocate.

The icon of Philippine faith took part for the first time in history in a fluvial procession down the Pasig River in Metro Manila to highlight the environmental degradation of the important waterway and remind people of the importance of looking after the natural environment and beauty of the land.

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Resurrecting the family and rising from devastation

DAGUPAN (Agencies) : Despite a heavy downpour, thousands of families and students turned out at the De Venecia Highway in Dagupan City on July 16 for the Run for Life, Family Edition to highlight the valuable role that family life plays in society.

The run was also a reminder of the massive earthquake that shook Central Luzon in 1990, CBCP News reported.

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Modern Philippine mission movement

MANILA (Agencies) : The missionary scene in The Philippines is vastly different from the 1960s and 1970s. During those post-war decades missionaries were mostly thought of as foreign priests from Europe, the United States of America, Australia or New Zealand labouring in The Philippines.

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The State of Yolanda Reconstruction

MANILA (Agencies) : As the president of the Republic of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, was preparing his last State of the Nation Address to be delivered on July 27, a public forum dubbed the State of Yolanda Reconstruction: the Aquino Legacy, asked the nagging question about the state of Yolanda survivors on July 24.

The group wanted to know why the reconstruction programme is so sluggish, stressing the need for government haste in its completion, CBCP News reported.

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Police break into Church and attack refugees

DAVAO (UCAN) : The United Church of Christ in The Philippines called on police and officials in Davao to respect the Church as a sanctuary of peace.

On July 24, dozens of police raided a mission house belonging to the United Church, breaking down the gate and then trying to drag away the 700 indigenous people who were taking shelter in the compound.

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Schools should keep their eyes on the poor

MANILA (Agencies) : The bishops are calling upon the education sector of the Church to ensure that its schools remain open to the poor, as the nation gears up for the full implementation of the K-12 education syllabus.

On July 14, the bishops released a pastoral letter voicing their concern that many students will drop out of school as a consequence of the new programme.

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Stop being a nation of dishonesty and thieves

MANILA (Agencies) : Imagine The Philippines without thievery and dishonesty. Well, this was exactly what Father Atilano Fajardo wanted people to do when he launched the Huwag Kang Magnakaw (You shall not steal) T-shirt campaign to change what he sees as a culture of thievery and dishonesty in his home country.

A year later, he still hopes that more people will live out the call for values-based cultural transformation.