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Leslie Ann Aquino

Help prevent spread of Zika virus – CBCP

An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has urged the faithful to do their part in preventing the spread of Zika virus. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo told the faithful to follow DOH advice of keeping their surroundings clean. “Let us be mindful of our surroundings... ensure there is no stagnant water as this could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including the ones that spread the Zika virus,” he said. Pabillo, the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Laity, added that mosquitoes could also be a source of other diseases such as dengue and malaria. Meanwhile, Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos also gave the same advice to Filipino migrants whom he said are “most vulnerable” to fast-spreading viruses. “It is unfortunate that our migrants …

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Bataan diocese opposes reviving nuclear plant

The churches in the Diocese of Balanga in Bataan will display streamers opposing the reopening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said the decision to put up the streamers was reached during their monthly clergy assembly last September 12. The plant in Morong, Bataan, was finished in 1984 but it never became operational. “We decided that in all parishes, in all our churches we will put tarpaulins with our stand and messages: ‘Ang BNPP ay hindi pag-asa, ito ay panganib. Ang BNPP ay hindi pag-unlad, ito ay kapahamakan. Ang BNPP ay pagkasira ng buhay, kabuhayan at kalikasan’,” Santos said in an interview. Other tarpaulins, Santos said will carry the messages: “BNPP: Bunga Nito Pinsala at Pighati” and “Tutol kami. Tigilan na. Tapusin na ang usapin tungkol sa BNPP.” The bishop said …

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Legal processes available to punish sitting president – Fr. Secillano

A Catholic priest believes there are legal processes available to make a sitting president answerable for his perceived errors. Fr. Jerome Secillano, parish priest of the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish, cited impeachment as one of them. The priest was reacting to the statement made by Senator Leila de Lima that it may be time to revisit the doctrine of presidential immunity. The senator said this after a witness tagged President Duterte in alleged killings in Davao during a hearing Thursday. De Lima also clarified that it was just “hypothetical” and not aimed at Duterte. But Secillano said there is wisdom for granting immunity to the president. “You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game just merely because of allegations of wrongdoings,” he said in an interview. Other presidents, Secillano said, have also …

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Church to solons: Ditch revival of death penalty

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is opposed to any attempt to revive death penalty in the country and appealed to Catholic lawmakers to do the same. “We ask Catholic lawmakers to withhold support from any attempt to restore the death penalty,” read the CBCP Ethical Guidelines on the Proposals to Restore Death Penalty released Wednesday. The CBCP, led by Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas opposed the revival of death penalty in the country as it will take away God’s divine gift of life. “It is this Divine gift of life, sublime and unsurpassable, that the death penalty takes away.  It is the breath of life, the gift of the Creator, that every judicial execution snatches and cuts short,” the CBCP said. The bishops said death penalty also transgresses the dignity of the human …

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5 million new registered voters expected — Comelec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects some five million more qualified voters will register in case the October 31, 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections are postponed. “The estimate is maybe we will have 2 million additional (voters) for SK, those aged 15 to 17 years old, and 3 million for the Barangay,” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said. Bautista earlier announced that the voters’ registration period will resume if the October elections are deferred. Bautista said they already prepared a schedule and timeline for the registration and are just waiting for the law postponing the polls to be signed. Part of their plan, he said is to hold satellite registrations. “We want to conduct satellite registrations wherein the election officers will be the ones who will go to different barangays instead of the voters going …

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Cardinal tells flock: Don’t be judgmental

Catholics were asked by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to go easy in judging people. Tagle cautioned the faithful against being too quick in judging others,and that judgment is God’s responsibility alone. “Let’s go easy on judging people. Huwag natin agawan ng papel ang Diyos (Let’s not take over God’s role),” he said in a CBCP News post. The cardinal said real justice can only be given by God – the “truth and justice” that never change. “He knows our life, our hearts and minds. God is the just judge because he is full of mercy,” said Tagle. The cardinal said all people are hurt when judged and maligned, especially if it is triggered by false accusations. Tagle added that even victims of unfair judgment could be prone to judging others. “We tend forget the pain …

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‘Fate of incumbent barangay officials up to Congress’

Should incumbent barangay officials be retained in a holdover capacity will officers-in-charge (OIC) be appointed if the scheduled barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections on October 31, 2016  are  postponed? The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is leaving it up to Congress. "That will be entirely up to Congress to decide,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said. "As far as we know the proposal to postpone the elections include what to do with the existing barangay officials. Some are saying its holdover capacity...but some say OICs will be appointed," he added. Some lawmakers earlier pushed for the granting of hold-over provision to incumbent barangay officials if the electoral exercise is postponed, but the minority proposed the appointment of OICs instead. Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista expressed hope that the law postponing the village and youth elections will …

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‘Drug pushing is like murder’

Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas yesterday reminded the faithful that drug pushing is also like murder. Drug pushing is murder, he said because drugs do kill. "Narcotics kill dreams and hopes, drugs ruin lives and families; drugs destroy society and nations," said Villegas in a pastoral letter which will be read in all Masses in his archdiocese Sunday, September 4. The prelate said that while we must protect our society from drug dealers, killing law offenders is not the way to fight criminality. "We can fight criminality without killing the law offenders. Who are we to judge that this offender is hopeless? Death ends all possibilities to change. We do not hold the future in our hands. There is no certainty that someone is beyond correction. The goal of justice is not revenge. The …

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CBCP grieves death of innocent victims of the Davao City blast

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) grieved the death of innocent victims of the Davao City blast. "We grieve over the death of innocent brothers and sisters due to the bombing past midnight,” CBCP president Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a News Post. “We pray for peace for the dead victims. We pray for healing for the wounded. We pray for strength for the bereaved families,” he added. Villegas said the CBCP is in " prayerful communion” with Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and the people in Mindanao’s largest city. The CBCP head, however, warned against hatred and vengeance and called on the faithful to carry out acts of peace. “We pray for the restoration of brotherhood and harmony for Davao and for the nation,” said Archbishop Villegas. “Let not vengeance be our response but peace!” 

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Voter’s registration to resume if village, SK polls are moved

Qualified voters who failed to register last July will have a chance to do so soon, if the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, scheduled on October 31, 2016, are postponed. "Those who were not able to register will now have the opportunity to register," Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista said in a statement. Congress has filed a bill postponing the upcoming elections to the fourth Monday of October 2017. The measure could be approved on second reading at the House either on September 5 or 6, and on third and final reading on September 12. Bautista, however, said that there is still no timeline for the registration period, which will depend on the fate of electoral exercise. “The Comelec is neutral on the issue, we are ready if it pushes through, if …

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