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Pope Francis: Abortion is never the answer

May 28, 2019

VATICAN— Pope Francis said Saturday that abortion is never the answer to difficult prenatal diagnoses, calling selective abortion of the disabled the “expression of an inhuman eugenics mentality.” “Fear and hostility towards disability often lead to the choice of abortion, configuring it as a practice of ‘prevention,’” Pope Francis said May 25. “But the Church’s teaching on this point is clear: human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes must be strongly discouraged because it is the expression of an inhuman eugenics mentality, which removes the possibility for families to accept, embrace and love their weakest children,” he said. The pope addressed a Vatican conference on perinatal hospice highlighting medical care and ministries that support families who have received a prenatal diagnosis indicating that their baby will likely die before or just after birth. “Yes to Life: Caring for the precious gift of life in its frailness,” a conference organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life May 23-25 brought together medical professionals, bioethicists, ministry providers, and families from 70 countries to discuss how best to provide medical, psychological, and emotional support for parents expecting a child with a life-limiting illness. “Sometimes people ask me, what does perinatal hospice look like? And I answer, ‘It looks like love,’” author and mother Amy Kuebelbeck shared at the conference. Kuelbeck was 25 weeks pregnant when she received the diagnosis that her unborn son had an incurable heart defect. She carried her pregnancy to term and had a little more than 2 hours with her son, Gabriel, before he died after birth. “It was one of the most profound experiences of my life,” Kuelbeck said. She wrote a memoir of her experience of grief, loss, and love called “Waiting with Gabriel: A Story of Cherishing a Baby’s Brief Life.” “I know that some people assume that continuing a pregnancy with a baby who will die is all for nothing. But it isn’t all for nothing. Parents can wait with their baby, protect their baby, and love their baby for as long as that baby is able to live. They can give that baby a peaceful life – and a peaceful goodbye. That’s not nothing. That is a gift,” Kuelbeck wrote in “Waiting with Gabriel.” Dr. Byron Calhoun, a medical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, who first coined the term “perinatal hospice” spoke at the conference. His research has found that allowing parents of newborns with a terminal prenatal diagnosis the chance to be parents can result in less distress for the mother than pregnancy termination. Many families facing these diagnoses have to decide if they will seek extraordinary or disproportionate medical care for their child after birth. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of ‘over-zealous’ treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted.” Ministries like Alexandra’s House, a perinatal hospice in Kansas City, provide counsel  and grief support to parents as they face these difficult medical decisions. They also connect families with a network of other parents who have had a terminal prenatal diagnosis. “Most of the families stay in contact indefinitely,” said MaryCarroll Sullivan, nurse and bioethics advisor for the ministry. There are now more than 300 hospitals, hospices, and ministries providing perinatal palliative care around the world. Sister Giustina Olha Holubets, a geneticist at the University of Lviv, helped to found “Imprint of Life” a perinatal palliative care center in Ukraine that offers grief accompaniment, individualized birth plans, the sacrament of baptism, and burial, as well as respectful photos, footprints, and memory books to help families cherish their brief moments with their child. The motto of Imprint of Life is “I cannot give more days to your life, but I can give more life to your days.” Pope Francis met with Sister Giustina and other perinatal hospice providers in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on the last day of the conference. The pope thanked them for creating “networks of love” to which couples can turn to receive accompaniment with the undeniable practical, human, and spiritual difficulties they face. “Your testimony of love is a gift to the world,” he said. “Taking care of these children helps parents to mourn and to think of this not only as a loss, but as a step in a journey together. That child will stay in their life forever, and they will have been able to love him,” Pope Francis said. “Those few hours in which a mother can lull her child can leave a mark on the heart of that woman that she will never forget,” he said.  

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Priests introduce Bikoy to Trillanes

May 28, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - (MDN digital) - Senator Trillanes admitted that it was a group of priest who brought Bikoy to him and told him about the alleged information that the Duterte family was allegedly linked to a drug syndicate. During a privilege speech Monday, Trillanes said it was actually a group of priest of the Catholic Church who informed him that Peter Joemil Advincula sought sanctuary because of the threats of his life. Trillanes said Advincula then narrated his faulty life to the senator but he rejected the idea of making him (Bikoy) a witness since he believes something were missing with Advincula's revelations. "Unang inilapit sa akin si Bikoy ng mga pari noong August last year. Ayon sa kanila, ito raw si Bikoy ay humingi sa kanila ng sanctuary dahil siya raw ay papatayin ng mga taga-sindikato na involved sa illegal drugs. Pinakinggan ko siya subalit nakulangan ako at naguluhan sa mga detalye kaya isinantabi ko at tuluyan nang kinalimutan ang usapang ito," Trillanes said in his privilege speech aired live over televisions stations.   Trillanes said that he was all over the news during the month of September 2018 after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reportedly revoked the grant of amnesty in September 2018 and the Makati court has also issued a warrant of arrest for him. Menwhile, Advincula also posted a bail Monday for his temporary liberty. After posting a bail, he left and did not inform the police about where he was going. But PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde was quick to answer to media queries that Bikoy, the hooded man on the video, was set free because he posted a bail. "It was his right to post a bail and he is entitled to that. He went out after posting his bail and we set him free. But I'm sure he will come back and maybe substantiate his allegations against the opposition group when that time comes," the PNP chief said. Bikoy's credibility doubted  Earlier, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), whom the controversial Peter Joemel Advincula aka Bikoy sought for help, has reportedly doubted his credibility and rejected his plea. IBP's doubts reportedly developed after they have conducted a research and checked on Advincula's background and criminal records.   Bikoy, the man in the hooded video series "Ang Totoong Narcolist" has claimed he decided to seek at the IBP office for fear of his life. He claimed after he uploaded the controversial video series linking the president's family and close friends to the illegal drug trade in the country. "There threats of my life so I decided to go to IBP in hopes they would give me legal assistance," he said in Filipino language. The IBP, the most prestigious organization of professional lawyers in the country, has maintained they rejected Bikoy's appeal because his statments were "reeked of political agenda." The IBP did not elaborate. On Wednesday, the IBP through its National Center for Legal Aid (NCLA) said that they have evaluated Advincula's application just like any other citizens of the country seeking legal help. NCLA said “his application was duly processed just like any other request received by the NCLA,” the IBP said in a statement but it was denied due to lack of credibility as his accusations are tainted with political agenda.   

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Duterte signs "no smoking in public" law

May 28, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital) - Finally, the law that prohibits people from smoking in public places has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the palace reported on Thursday. Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial of the Department of Health told reporters that President Duterte signed executive order (EO) last May 16.  The executive order prohibits all smokers of the country to smoke in public places, most especially those frequented by the people. The EO also provides designated areas for smokers so that non-smokers would not be affected when they are in public places, conveyances and other public places mentioned in the EO. The executive order also prohibited "persons-in-charge" to tolerate smoking in public places. Persons-in-charge refers to designated president or manager in case of a company, corporation, partnership or association, or the administrator in case of government or private property, facility, office or building, and the city/municipal schools superintendent, school president, dean or principal in case of schools. Selling, distributing, or purchasing tobacco products to and from minors are also prohibited. Ordering, instructing, or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products are likewise prohibited. The EO also bars placing tobacco advertisements and other promotional materials within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground, and other facilities frequented by minors. Persons-in-charge are also mandated to establish internal procedure and measures through which the EO shall be implemented and enforced within the area of which he is in charge.  

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CIDG, PNP SAF raided Claveria Mayor Salvaleon's compound in Claveria town

May 28, 2019

JOINT OPERATIVES  of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the province of Misamis Oriental, PNP SAF and Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) raided the compound of the Salvaleon family in Malagana, Claveria town based on four search warrants. The reported early dawn raid yesterday yielded several high-powered firearms and a sack of ammunitions. The arresting team also nabbed the subject person in the person of Mrs Gertrudes Salvaleon, and her son Reagan Salvaleon. The raiding team also arrested two bodyguards and six members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU). The CAFGUs were included in the arrest as they were in the compound during the raid, instead at their detachment in Mat-i Claveria The yielded firearms included four M-16 armalite rifles, two M14, two .45 caliber pistol, one KG-9 machine pistol and hundreds of live ammunitions. Master Sergeant Noel Oclarit of CIDG Misor identified those arrested during the raid as Mrs Gertrudes Salvaleon, 67 year's old and wife of Claveria ex-mayor Redentor Salvaleon, her son Reagan Salvaleon, 37 and their two family bodyguards Christopher Pagara, 39 and his elder brother Mario Pagara, 49. Arrested members of the Cafgus who were all members of the 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB) were Richie Taquin, 39; Ricardo Sumilla, 61; Roger Cailing, 49; Rammie Bacala, 40; Ernesto Ayuman, 37; and Joselito Cabaluna, 29-year old.  The 10 suspects were arrested based on four search warrants issued by Judge Mirabeaus Undalok,  Presiding Judge sa  Regional Trial Court Branch 43 sa Gingo-og City. Subjects of the search warrants were Mrs. Gertrudes and her son Reagan Salvaleon.  Mayor-elect Meraluna Salvaleon in an interview with a local radio station denied the family owned the firearms intercepted by the CIDG raiding team. She said those firearms were owned by the military especially the CAFGUs detailed at the family compound. "Actually, wala man gyud sa sulod sa family compound nakuha ang mga armas pero sa gawas ra. Gani kana nga mga armas iyaha na sa mga Cafgu nga nagabantay sa family compound," mayor-elect Salvaleon narrated. Mayor Salvaleon suspected that a certain Jaime Cawasan was behind the raid as he surrendered yesterday based on reports she gathered from reliable sources. FAMILY FEUD Mayor Salvaleon narrated how this feud between the Salvaleons and former NPA rebel Jaime Cawasan alias Dudot.  "It all started when this certain Jaime Cawasan mortgage the 38,000 hectare family land to the Salvaleon family. This transaction, the mayor said, was not known to the Cawasan Family as Jaime Cawasan only transacted with her mother, Mrs Gertrudes Salvaleon. Many times Jaime Cawasan requested for add ons until it reached to 2 Million Pesos," Meraluna said. Mayor Salvaleon added that Jaime Cawasan and his family wanted to take back the land and they have agreed for pay off in which it did not happened so that the Salvaleon family also denied giving back the land. This reportedly irked Jaime Cawasan and he allegedly started harassing the Salvaleon Family like burning the family tractor, giving them death threats and all other types of harassments.  Pamatyon daw mi niya tanan so sa kahadlok ug kabalaka sa akong inahan mao to nga nagrequest pud mi sa services sa mga Cafgu mao naa sila sa among compound nagbantay matag adlaw," the mayor said in vernacular. The Salvaleon family was reported to be the most influential family in Claveria town and they owned a lot of business in the area prior to joining politics. Miraluna's father, Redentor Salvaleon, was also elected mayor in the previous years, defeating and stopping the Calingin's control over politics in Claveria, while Meraluna was the vice mayor then. When the father was already threated by health problems, his daughter became the acting Vice Mayor. In the latest 2019 Midterm National and Local elections, Mayor Miraluna Salvaleon ran for mayor and she won.  MDN tried to get the side of Mr Jaime cawasan but failed. The CIDG Misamis Oriental unit also promised reporters they would issue official statements anytime today.   

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Man runs amok; stabs 19 kids

May 28, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital World) - A man suspected to be suffering from mental problems ran amok and reportedly stabs 19 children near a train station in Tokyo, Japan, and while waiting for their school bus. The suspect holding a knife stabbled 16 people, 13 of them were girls at a bus stop Tuesday morning. All of the victims were rushed to nearby hospitals but three of them have already died due to hemorrhage. Media reports, according to Associated Press, number the death toll to two, while government authorities one.  NHK news said a bus driver told authorities that he saw a man holding a knife in each hand and slashed all kids he passed by toward the bus. Based on Kyodo news, the victims were aged 6 years old to 7 years old and they are waiting for their school bus when the incedent took place.  According to news station the victims "were without vital signs" right after the inciudent took place. Dai Nagase, Kawasaki Fire Department spokesperson told AFP “A man stabbed them,” We received an emergency call at 7:44 am (6.44 am Singapore time), which said four elementary schoolchildren were stabbed.”

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Villar leads in groundbreaking of CDO socialized housing project

May 28, 2019

REELECTED Sen. Cyntia Villar was the guest of honor during the groundbreaking of the second phase of the Balubal socialized housing project in Cagayan de Oro City last Tuesday, May 28. The project is a joint initiative between the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), the city government of Cagayan de Oro, private developers and the Social Housing Finance Corporation which will finance the project. Villar was in the event in her capacity as representative of one of the private developers, Crown Asia Properties. The Balulang socialized housing project – which is under HLURB’s Building Adequate, Livable, Affordable and Inclusive Filipino Communities (BALAI) – will be populated with 40 two-storey buildings with 24 units in each structure. The said project is located six kilometers from the national highway traversing the Agusan barangay access road to barangay Balubal. Covering an area of 46,000 square meters, the estate will soon be available for residency by 960 former informal settler families. A total of P70 million for site development and approximately P420 million will be needed for the building construction will come from the Social Housing Finance Corporation’s community mortgage program. HLURB and the city government of Cagayan de Oro through reelected Mayor Oscar Moreno conceptualized the project to address the pragmatic dilemma in housing due to influx of informal settler families living in, near or along danger areas such as riverbanks, esteros, roadways, sidewalks, aqueducts, bridges, garbage dumps, shorelines and waterways here.

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