More early this week news...

AQUINO LAUDS FILIPINO PEACEKEEPERS; HITS 'UNCLEAR MISSION' 

OCT 1 --PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS NETWORK: Members of the 7th Philippine
Contingent to the Golan Heights march amid a heroes' welcome by students at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, October 1. The Pinoy UN peacekeepers, who engaged Syrian rebels in a standoff at the tail end of their tour of duty, were earlier awarded medals for bravery by President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang.

President Benigno Aquino III led a heroes' welcome for the 330 Filipino peacekeepers assigned to the Golan Heights in Syria and praised them for their bravery, despite what he called their "impossible or unclear mission."  On Wednesday, October 1, Aquino opened the doors of Malacañang to the returning soldiers, whose next mission is to secure Pope Francis in his Philippine visit in January 2015. In impromptu remarks, the President hailed them for successfully escaping the Syrian rebels who demanded that they surrender their firearms. “Talaga namang kinaya 'nyo and mga kondisyon maski na limitado ang ating mga resources (You truly withstood the conditions despite our limited resources),” he said.  The President added: “Dahil doon, humahanga ang buong sambayanan: talagang ito ang buhay, kalidad, galing, tapang, husay ng ating sandatahang lakas. Talagang pinakita nyo ang gilas ng Pilipino. (Because of that, the whole country admires you: this is truly the life, quality, skill, courage, and competence of our armed forces)."

Despite the warm homecoming, Aquino could not help but express his disappointment over what he said became an "impossible or unclear mission" for the Philippines peacekeepers in Golan. He said the mission was to "separate the opposing forces of Israel and Syria" but the situation changed when the rebels kept on "popping up" at the area of disengagement. The President conceded it may “not [be] the time for pointing fingers,” but said because of what happened, the government reassessed all the peacekeeping missions the Philippines is currently engaged in. He also said the ongoing United Nations investigation on the incident will be “the basis of whether we will again participate” in peacekeeping activities in the Golan Heights. “We cannot put our troops in a situation wherein the mission is impossible or not clear. What’s important are the lives of each one,” he said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino hits UN for mission ‘impossible  

OCT 1 --President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday criticized the United Nations for refusing to better arm Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, saying this made their mission “impossible.” Aquino said the UN’s rejection of his request to give the peacekeepers more weapons had left them unnecessarily vulnerable when Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels attacked and surrounded them in August. “Our troops cannot be part of a situation wherein their mission is impossible or unclear,” Aquino said during a ceremony at the presidential palace to award the Golan Heights troops military medals. The Philippines, one of Asia’s biggest suppliers of peacekeepers to UN missions, pulled out its 344-strong Golan Heights contingent last month because of the worsening security situation there.

It came after dozens of the peacekeepers engaged the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in a four-day standoff, refusing to surrender their arms, before escaping under the cover of night. The rebels also disarmed and abducted 45 Fijian peacekeepers, who were later freed unharmed. “Our request for more arms was denied…. and our fears were realized when the standoff happened,” Aquino said. Aquino also said the entry of Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents had complicated the peacekeeping missions, which were originally meant to police a ceasefire between Israel and Syria in the disputed territory. “I keep on asking, what really is our mission in the Golan Heights? We are separating Syria and Israel, then the rebels entered the picture,” he said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Pinoys reject another term for Noy – Pulse 

OCT 2 --PHOTO: President Aquino chats with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas during the oathtaking of Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines officers at Malacañang yesterday. WILLY PEREZ MANILA, Philippines - Six in 10 Filipinos are not in favor of another term for President Aquino, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 8 to 15, also showed that the same percentage of Filipinos oppose moves to amend the 1987 Constitution. Pulse Asia said this is the majority sentiment across socio-economic classes (61 percent to 65 percent) and geographic areas (52 percent to 71 percent) except in the Visayas (50 percent in favor versus 50 percent not in favor). Opposition is more manifest in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon than in the Visayas and Mindanao (67 percent to 71 percent versus 50 percent to 52 percent). On the other hand, 38 percent of Filipinos support proposals for Aquino to run for president again at the end of his term.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults 18 years old and above. The Movement for Reform, Continuity and Momentum (More2come) is pushing for a second term for Aquino through political Charter change (Cha-cha). The group recently came out with full-page advertisements in various newspapers, which says only Aquino could continue to lead the country owing to “the barrenness of talent and virtue among the presidential bets.” Aquino had said he would listen to his bosses, the people, on how to make reforms in the country permanent. Anti Cha-cha Sixty-two percent of Filipinos are also against Charter change, Pulse Asia’s third quarter poll showed. At least 32 percent are opposed to Cha-cha at any other time and 30 percent are open to it at some future time. * READ MORE...

ALSO 'ELDERLY WEEK':  Two popes attend gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican 

SEPT 28 --Pope Francis greets Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI before a mass in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican September 28, 2014. Former Pope Benedict took part in a gathering of elderly people at the Vatican on Sunday, only his third appearance at a public event since he resigned in February 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile  --VATICAN CITY - Elderly people, including former Pope Benedict XVI, attended a gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican on Sunday, where Pope Francis denounced the neglect and abandonment of the old as "hidden euthanasia." During the festive event in St. Peter's Square, Francis addressed some 40,000 elderly people -- grandfathers, grandmothers, widows and widowers.

The pope sought to underscore the importance of the old in society and he said homes for the elderly could not be allowed to become "prisons" where care took a back seat to business interests by those who run them. According to the World Health Organization, there are 600 million people over 60 in the world today and the figure is expected to double over the next 11 years and reach two billion by 2050, most in the developing world. It was only the third time since his resignation in February, 2013 that Benedict, 87, attended a public event. He looked relatively healthy as he walked into the square using a cane and took a special seat in the front. Benedict, wearing a white overcoat, stayed for about an hour to hear old people speak about their lives and listen to a speech by his successor and then left before Francis led a Mass. Benedict, the first pope to resign in six centuries, has been living out his retirement in near isolation in a former convent in the Vatican gardens. He is assisted by aides and receives few visitors. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Religiosity associated with less depression in elderly – study 

OCT 1 --PHOTO Catholic Filipino Seniors Church Group presenting native dances.. NEW YORK – In a study of older adults, religious participation was correlated with better mood. People in the study who often attended religious services were less likely to report symptoms of depression during the two-year study, researchers found. And those with signs of depression at the start of the study were less likely to be depressed two years later if they engaged in frequent private prayer. This kind of so-called “observational” study, where researchers have no control over their study subjects, can’t prove cause and effect. It can’t say, for example, whether people became depressed because they didn’t participate in religious activities, or whether the depression itself was the reason they didn’t participate – or whether something else was at play.

“It would be wrong to say ‘religion is good for you’ - this paper is not saying that,” Dr. Gary Kennedy, who directs the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told Reuters Health by phone. Kennedy, who was not involved in the new study, added, “But from a clinical perspective, what I ask my patients is, ‘Have you abandoned or have you given up your religious practice in association with your depression?’” He said that if the answer is ‘yes,’ he’d encourage the person to go back to their faith. The authors of the study say doctors should be aware of their patients’ religious needs and that improving access to places of worship may be helpful for religious older adults. “Frequent service attendance is associated with more social connections, which can reduce isolation and loneliness, two risk factors for depression,” Corina Ronneberg told Reuters Health in an email. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Philippines seizes 15 paintings from Marcos family 

OCT 2 --PHOTO: This undated photo released by the Presidential Commission on Good Government shows a painting by Michelangelo Buenarroti titled “Madonna and Child,” which is allegedly part of the rare art collections of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. AP

The Philippine government has seized 15 paintings from the former home of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, part of efforts to recover 156 artworks — including ones by Van Gogh, Monet and Michelangelo — that are part of his alleged ill-gotten wealth, an official said Wednesday. The paintings were recovered Tuesday from Marcos’ old residence in San Juan city in metropolitan Manila, said the head of the agency tasked to recover wealth amassed by Marcos during his 20-year rule. Andres Bautista, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said court sheriffs also tried to seize paintings from a condominium belonging to Marcos’ widow, Imelda.

He said the sheriffs were kept waiting outside for an hour, and when they entered they saw her crying and found only empty walls and hooks that once held paintings. Bautista said sheriffs backed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation also went to Imelda Marcos’ congressional office and to the Marcos family’s ancestral home in northern Ilocos Norte province. He said he is awaiting their reports. The good government commission obtained an anti-graft court order this week imposing a “writ of attachment” on the 156 paintings in connection with a civil suit seeking to recover the Marcos wealth, which has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Paintings from Marcos art collection seized in San Juan raid 

OCT 1 --Authorities said they seized paintings Tuesday from a property of former first lady Imelda Marcos
as part of efforts to recover works by Picasso, Gauguin, Miro, Michelangelo and others.
The raid came a day after a special court ruled that eight paintings owned by the widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos had been acquired with embezzled state funds and must be turned over to the government. Police and state lawyers raided the Marcos home in Manila’s San Juan district on Tuesday to enforce the court ruling, said Nick Suarez, spokesman for the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the body pursuing the Marcoses’ allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

“Paintings were seized, but we have yet to determine which ones or how many,” he said. The court also ordered authorities to search the other homes and offices of Marcos, 85, an elected member of the House of Representatives.
The court ruling covered Pablo Picasso’s “Femme Couchee VI (Reclining Woman VI),” Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child,” and a still life by Paul Gauguin. The others are a Francisco de Goya portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz, Pierre Bonnard’s “La Baignade Au Grand Temps,” Bernard Buffet’s “Vase of Red Chrysanthemums,” Joan Miro’s “L’Aube,” and one of Camille Pissarro’s “Jardin de Kew” series. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Aquino lauds Filipino peacekeepers, hits 'unclear' mission


By
Natashya Gutierrez

MANILA, OCTOBER 6, 2014 (RAPPLER.COM) Natashya Gutierrez - The next mission of the Philippine peacekeepers, hailed at home for their bravery at the Golan Heights, is to secure Pope Francis when he visits the Philippines in January 2015.


PHOTO COURTESY OF GMA NEWS NETWORK: Members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to the Golan Heights march amid a heroes' welcome by students at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, October 1. The Pinoy UN peacekeepers, who engaged Syrian rebels in a standoff at the tail end of their tour of duty, were earlier awarded medals for bravery by President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang. GMA

President Benigno Aquino III led a heroes' welcome for the 330 Filipino peacekeepers assigned to the Golan Heights in Syria and praised them for their bravery, despite what he called their "impossible or unclear mission."

On Wednesday, October 1, Aquino opened the doors of Malacañang to the returning soldiers, whose next mission is to secure Pope Francis in his Philippine visit in January 2015.

In impromptu remarks, the President hailed them for successfully escaping the Syrian rebels who demanded that they surrender their firearms.

“Talaga namang kinaya 'nyo and mga kondisyon maski na limitado ang ating mga resources (You truly withstood the conditions despite our limited resources),” he said.

The President added: “Dahil doon, humahanga ang buong sambayanan: talagang ito ang buhay, kalidad, galing, tapang, husay ng ating sandatahang lakas. Talagang pinakita nyo ang gilas ng Pilipino. (Because of that, the whole country admires you: this is truly the life, quality, skill, courage, and competence of our armed forces)."

Despite the warm homecoming, Aquino could not help but express his disappointment over what he said became an "impossible or unclear mission" for the Philippines peacekeepers in Golan.

He said the mission was to "separate the opposing forces of Israel and Syria" but the situation changed when the rebels kept on "popping up" at the area of disengagement.

The President conceded it may “not [be] the time for pointing fingers,” but said because of what happened, the government reassessed all the peacekeeping missions the Philippines is currently engaged in.

He also said the ongoing United Nations investigation on the incident will be “the basis of whether we will again participate” in peacekeeping activities in the Golan Heights.

“We cannot put our troops in a situation wherein the mission is impossible or not clear. What’s important are the lives of each one,” he said.

* In late August, about 40 Filipino troops deployed to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were engaged in a tense stand-off with Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels in Golan Heights. The same rebels had earlier taken hostage 44 Fijian peacekeepers before surrounding encampments of Filipino peacekeepers.

The soldiers refused to surrender their firearms despite the demands of rebels, triggering a standoff and a 7-hour intermittent firefight, before the peacekeepers escaped at midnight as the rebels slept. There were no casualties on the Philippine side.

The incident happened as the Philippine government was finalizing the pullout of troops in the Golan Heights, citing the escalating internal conflict.

Next mission: Pope Francis

The peacekeepers, who were deployed in November 2013, returned to the Philippines in two batches on September 19 and 21. The President cited 7 officers for their leadership during the Palace ceremony.

The troops’ next mission, Aquino announced, is to protect Pope Francis during his January visit in 2015, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) dignitaries when they attend the Manila conference in 2015.

Contingent Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ted Dumusmog will lead the soldiers in their next mission.

Dumusmog said before they go on special training for the forthcoming mission, the peacekeepers will enjoy a 15-day vacation as they have yet to see their families since their return to the Philippines.

“Presently, we are conducting the organizing of our units. Definitely it will be a different mission and we are already preparing our training,” he said. “We are preparing ourselves; we are conditioning ourselves.”

Dumusmog said they have yet to receive specifics on the Pope’s itinerary or visit, which will guide their special training. He also said they will be in close coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) who will be supervising the Pope’s visit.

He admitted the mission will be “challenging,” as it is different from the combat missions they usually engage in. Dumusmog however, expressed confidence his troops would be able to meet the challenge well.

“[For] most of them, it will be the first time for them to see the Pope. They are very much excited.” – Rappler.com

FROM THE INQUIRER

Aquino hits UN for mission ‘impossible’ Agence France-Presse 2:45 PM | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


Students wave flags as confetti rains on soldiers who returned from UN peacekeeping in the Golan Heights, during a welcome ceremony for the troops at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday. AP

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday criticized the United Nations for refusing to better arm Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, saying this made their mission “impossible.”

Aquino said the UN’s rejection of his request to give the peacekeepers more weapons had left them unnecessarily vulnerable when Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels attacked and surrounded them in August.

“Our troops cannot be part of a situation wherein their mission is impossible or unclear,” Aquino said during a ceremony at the presidential palace to award the Golan Heights troops military medals.

The Philippines, one of Asia’s biggest suppliers of peacekeepers to UN missions, pulled out its 344-strong Golan Heights contingent last month because of the worsening security situation there.

It came after dozens of the peacekeepers engaged the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in a four-day standoff, refusing to surrender their arms, before escaping under the cover of night.

The rebels also disarmed and abducted 45 Fijian peacekeepers, who were later freed unharmed.

“Our request for more arms was denied…. and our fears were realized when the standoff happened,” Aquino said.

Aquino also said the entry of Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents had complicated the peacekeeping missions, which were originally meant to police a ceasefire between Israel and Syria in the disputed territory.

“I keep on asking, what really is our mission in the Golan Heights? We are separating Syria and Israel, then the rebels entered the picture,” he said.

* Aquino said a decision on whether to redeploy troops to the Golan Heights would depend on a UN investigation into the standoff.

“We are waiting for the investigation of the UN on the incident and that will be the basis of our decision whether we will help with the needs of the world community,” he said.

Aquino instructed Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the investigation, foreign ministry spokesman Charles Jose told reporters.

Jose clarified that only the Golan Heights deployment was under review and the Philippines was committed to other peacekeeping mission areas.

More than 100 Filipino peacekeepers were also recently recalled from Liberia because of the Ebola outbreak.

About 100 soldiers are in Haiti, three peacekeepers in the Ivory Coast, plus four in India and Pakistan. However the Golan Heights had been the Philippines’ most heavily manned mission.

FROM PHILSTAR

Pinoys reject another term for Noy – Pulse By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 3, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino chats with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas during the oathtaking of Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines officers at Malacañang yesterday. WILLY PEREZ

MANILA, Philippines - Six in 10 Filipinos are not in favor of another term for President Aquino, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.

The survey, conducted from Sept. 8 to 15, also showed that the same percentage of Filipinos oppose moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Pulse Asia said this is the majority sentiment across socio-economic classes (61 percent to 65 percent) and geographic areas (52 percent to 71 percent) except in the Visayas (50 percent in favor versus 50 percent not in favor).

Opposition is more manifest in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon than in the Visayas and Mindanao (67 percent to 71 percent versus 50 percent to 52 percent).

On the other hand, 38 percent of Filipinos support proposals for Aquino to run for president again at the end of his term.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults 18 years old and above.

The Movement for Reform, Continuity and Momentum (More2come) is pushing for a second term for Aquino through political Charter change (Cha-cha).

The group recently came out with full-page advertisements in various newspapers, which says only Aquino could continue to lead the country owing to “the barrenness of talent and virtue among the presidential bets.”

Aquino had said he would listen to his bosses, the people, on how to make reforms in the country permanent.

Anti Cha-cha

Sixty-two percent of Filipinos are also against Charter change, Pulse Asia’s third quarter poll showed. At least 32 percent are opposed to Cha-cha at any other time and 30 percent are open to it at some future time.

* Opposition to Cha-cha is now the majority sentiment in each geographic area and socio-economic grouping (61 percent to 68 percent and 56 percent to 65 percent, respectively), according to the survey.

On the other hand, 20 percent of Filipinos think the 1987 Constitution should be amended now while 18 percent could not say whether Cha-cha should be done now.

The survey research institute said most Filipinos (61 percent) are aware of proposals to amend the Constitution but nearly half of them (46 percent) admit to “knowing little” about it.

A majority of awareness is recorded in almost all geographic areas and socio-economic classes (55 percent to 70 percent and 63 percent to 77 percent, respectively), with Mindanao (49 percent) and Class E (48 percent).

Higher awareness figures were noted in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon than in the Visayas (67 percent to 70 percent versus 55 percent) as well as in Class ABC than in Class D (77 percent versus 63 percent).

Pulse Asia said 39 percent of Filipinos learned about proposals to amend the Constitution only during survey interviews.

“Among Filipinos aware of proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, a higher level of opposition to Charter change at the present time is posted (70 percent) -– with 34 percent saying it may be amended in the future and 36 percent expressing complete opposition to such proposals regardless of timing,” the pollster said.

Among those aware of Cha-cha proposals, eight percent are undecided.

There is a higher support for Cha-cha (28 percent) and amending it at some future time (37 percent) among those with sufficient amount of knowledge of the 1987 Constitution.

“At the national level, support for Charter change at the present time eases between October 2010 and September 2014 (-20 percentage points),” Pulse Asia said.

Support decline in all geographic areas (-16 to -23 percentage points) as well as in Classes D and E (-20 to -21 percentage points) while there is an increase in opposition to Cha-cha now or at any other time (+14 percentage points).

Complete opposition to Charter change is more notable in the rest of Luzon and the Visayas (+19 to +22 percentage points) and in Classes ABC and D (+14 to +18 percentage points), Pulse Asia noted.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that most Filipinos (70 percent) reject proposals to limit the powers of the Supreme Court (SC) to review the decisions of the executive.

Nearly nine in 10 or 85 percent also expressed disapproval on allowing foreign individuals and companies to own residential and industrial lands in the country.

In contrast, 30 percent of Filipinos are in favor of limiting the SC’s power of judicial review of the executive while 15 percent support foreign ownership of residential and industrial lands in the country.

FROM THE GMA NEWS NETWORK

Two popes attend gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican By PHILIP PULLELLA, ReutersSeptember 28, 2014 7:22pm 140 30 0 192


Pope Francis greets Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI before a mass in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican September 28, 2014. Former Pope Benedict took part in a gathering of elderly people at the Vatican on Sunday, only his third appearance at a public event since he resigned in February 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

VATICAN CITY - Elderly people, including former Pope Benedict XVI, attended a gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican on Sunday, where Pope Francis denounced the neglect and abandonment of the old as "hidden euthanasia."

During the festive event in St. Peter's Square, Francis addressed some 40,000 elderly people -- grandfathers, grandmothers, widows and widowers.

The pope sought to underscore the importance of the old in society and he said homes for the elderly could not be allowed to become "prisons" where care took a back seat to business interests by those who run them.


Cotabato town launches Elderly Week; Elderly residents from 37 villages in the town of M'lang in Cotabato attend the launching of the Elderly Week celebration at Freedom Park on Wednesday, October 1. Williamor Magbanua

According to the World Health Organization, there are 600 million people over 60 in the world today and the figure is expected to double over the next 11 years and reach two billion by 2050, most in the developing world.

It was only the third time since his resignation in February, 2013 that Benedict, 87, attended a public event. He looked relatively healthy as he walked into the square using a cane and took a special seat in the front.

Benedict, wearing a white overcoat, stayed for about an hour to hear old people speak about their lives and listen to a speech by his successor and then left before Francis led a Mass.

Benedict, the first pope to resign in six centuries, has been living out his retirement in near isolation in a former convent in the Vatican gardens. He is assisted by aides and receives few visitors.

* Francis, 77, warmly embraced his older predecessor twice during the service and told the crowd that having Benedict, who now has the title Emeritus Pope, living in the Vatican was "like having a wise grandfather at home."

"Violence against the elderly is as inhuman as that against children," Francis said told the crowd, which was entertained by singers including world renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli.

"How many times are old people just discarded, victims of an abandonment that is tantamount to hidden euthanasia. This is the result of a throw-away culture that is hurting our world so much," he said.

Since his election as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Francis has often called for more respect for the vital role of old people, particularly in rich countries, as vital transmitters of experience and knowledge.

He said homes for elderly people "should really be homes, not prisons" where people live "forgotten, hidden, neglected."

One of the elderly couples who addressed the gathering, Mubarak and Aneesa Hano, were Christian refugees from northern Iraq who had to flee their home because the area had been taken over by Islamic State militants.

At the end of the service, the pope gave some of the elderly a book of the Gospel of St. Mark in large print. — Reuters

Religiosity associated with less depression in elderly – study By SHEREEN LEHMAN, ReutersAugust 16, 2014 11:03am 87 23 2 112


FILIPINO SENIORS CHURCH GROUP PRESENTING NATIVE DANCE

NEW YORK – In a study of older adults, religious participation was correlated with better mood.

People in the study who often attended religious services were less likely to report symptoms of depression during the two-year study, researchers found.

And those with signs of depression at the start of the study were less likely to be depressed two years later if they engaged in frequent private prayer.

This kind of so-called “observational” study, where researchers have no control over their study subjects, can’t prove cause and effect. It can’t say, for example, whether people became depressed because they didn’t participate in religious activities, or whether the depression itself was the reason they didn’t participate – or whether something else was at play.

“It would be wrong to say ‘religion is good for you’ - this paper is not saying that,” Dr. Gary Kennedy, who directs the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told Reuters Health by phone.

Kennedy, who was not involved in the new study, added, “But from a clinical perspective, what I ask my patients is, ‘Have you abandoned or have you given up your religious practice in association with your depression?’”

He said that if the answer is ‘yes,’ he’d encourage the person to go back to their faith.

The authors of the study say doctors should be aware of their patients’ religious needs and that improving access to places of worship may be helpful for religious older adults.

“Frequent service attendance is associated with more social connections, which can reduce isolation and loneliness, two risk factors for depression,” Corina Ronneberg told Reuters Health in an email.

* Ronneberg is a graduate student and researcher with the Department of Gerontology at the John E. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies of the University of Massachusetts Boston. She led the study, which was published in The Gerontologist.

“Private prayer may serve to cultivate hope and activate cognitive resources that eventually counter depression,” Ronneberg said.

Ronneberg and her colleagues analyzed survey responses from the large Health and Retirements Study conducted by the University of Michigan. Altogether they had data from 7,732 people: 1,992 who were depressed and 5,740 who were not depressed in 2006.

Depression was measured with an eight-symptom scale – participants were determined to be depressed if they reported three or more symptoms of depression.

The researchers found that depressed and non-depressed participants had similar religious affiliations, but non-depressed participants attended worship services frequently: 45 percent did, compared to 37 percent of depressed individuals.

Also, Ronneberg said, “The group of respondents who were not depressed at baseline were less likely to be depressed at follow-up two years later if they attended religious services frequently.”

Participants from the group who were depressed at baseline were also more likely to have recovered from depression at follow-up if they engaged in more frequent private prayer.

Ronneberg said family members should ask their parents and loved ones if their religious needs are being met and work with them to meet those goals.

“If an older adult (is) interested in attending services in the community but cannot do so because of deteriorating health, perhaps family members can accommodate them by accompanying them to services,” she said.

Ronneberg said places of worship could also reach out to older adults and try to work with them to meet their religious needs. Also, she said, health care providers should be aware of older adults' religious needs and, if necessary, develop plans of care that meet those needs.

Kennedy pointed out, “The people who had the highest religious practice were less likely to develop depression - that doesn't mean that religion protects you, but it means that that kind of activity is associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms.”

He added, “I would not say to a depressed person, ‘You need to go to church.’ I would say to a depressed person ‘if you've given up your devotional activities or attendance, you need to get back to doing that - you need to restore the socially supportive activities.’” — Reuters

FROM THE INQUIRER

Philippines seizes 15 paintings from Marcos family Associated Press9:39 pm | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 3 19 0 25 0


This undated photo released by the Presidential Commission on Good Government shows a painting by Michelangelo Buenarroti titled "Madonna and Child," which is allegedly part of the rare art collections of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. AP

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has seized 15 paintings from the former home of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, part of efforts to recover 156 artworks — including ones by Van Gogh, Monet and Michelangelo — that are part of his alleged ill-gotten wealth, an official said Wednesday.

The paintings were recovered Tuesday from Marcos’ old residence in San Juan city in metropolitan Manila, said the head of the agency tasked to recover wealth amassed by Marcos during his 20-year rule.

Andres Bautista, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said court sheriffs also tried to seize paintings from a condominium belonging to Marcos’ widow, Imelda. He said the sheriffs were kept waiting outside for an hour, and when they entered they saw her crying and found only empty walls and hooks that once held paintings.

Bautista said sheriffs backed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation also went to Imelda Marcos’ congressional office and to the Marcos family’s ancestral home in northern Ilocos Norte province. He said he is awaiting their reports.

The good government commission obtained an anti-graft court order this week imposing a “writ of attachment” on the 156 paintings in connection with a civil suit seeking to recover the Marcos wealth, which has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

* Bautista said the seizure of the paintings was necessary before they “disappear or are hidden away.” They were taken to the central bank for safekeeping.

He said his agency will seek help from international auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s to determine the paintings’ authenticity.

Bautista said the trial of the civil suit will continue until the court decides who should own the paintings.

“The position of the government is this is part of ill-gotten wealth and should be returned to the government and the people,” he said, citing a Supreme Court decision. The 2003 ruling said the Marcoses’ wealth in excess of their total legal income of around $304,000 from 1965 to 1986 was presumed to be ill-gotten.

Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 without admitting any wrongdoing during his presidency.

Bautista said earlier this year that Philippine authorities have recovered more than $4 billion of an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion amassed by the Marcoses. That includes $712 million from Marcos’ secret Swiss bank accounts, he said.

Paintings from Marcos art collection seized in San Juan raid Agence France-Presse8:46 am | Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


Imelda Marcos paintings
This file photo taken on June 7, 2007 shows former first lady Imelda Marcos is seen in her apartment in Manila with a gallery of paintings including a Picasso, seen at upper right. Philippine authorities moved on September 30, 2014 to seize paintings by Picasso, Gauguin, Miro, Michelangelo and other masters held by Imelda Marcos after getting a court order against the former first lady. AFP/ROMEO GACAD

MANILA, Philippines–Authorities said they seized paintings Tuesday from a property of former first lady Imelda Marcos as part of efforts to recover works by Picasso, Gauguin, Miro, Michelangelo and others.

The raid came a day after a special court ruled that eight paintings owned by the widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos had been acquired with embezzled state funds and must be turned over to the government.

Police and state lawyers raided the Marcos home in Manila’s San Juan district on Tuesday to enforce the court ruling, said Nick Suarez, spokesman for the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the body pursuing the Marcoses’ allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

“Paintings were seized, but we have yet to determine which ones or how many,” he said.

The court also ordered authorities to search the other homes and offices of Marcos, 85, an elected member of the House of Representatives.

The court ruling covered Pablo Picasso’s “Femme Couchee VI (Reclining Woman VI),” Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child,” and a still life by Paul Gauguin.

The others are a Francisco de Goya portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz, Pierre Bonnard’s “La Baignade Au Grand Temps,” Bernard Buffet’s “Vase of Red Chrysanthemums,” Joan Miro’s “L’Aube,” and one of Camille Pissarro’s “Jardin de Kew” series.

* Suarez said he did not have estimates of the current value of the artworks.

Imelda Marcos, a keen art collector, will appeal the court ruling on the eight paintings, said her lawyer Robert Sison.
“The order is highly questionable. We will question that order,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Sison described the ruling as illegal since the paintings were not included in a forfeiture case that the government had earlier filed against the Marcoses.

The Supreme Court ruled in the government’s favor on the forfeiture in 2003, a case that included $658 million in Swiss bank deposits.

The government alleges the Marcos family plundered an estimated $10 billion from the nation’s coffers before a military-backed “People’s Power” revolt in 1986 forced them into exile in Hawaii, where the dictator died three years later.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE