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Bishop to traders: Don’t take advantage of calamity

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MANILA, Dec. 6, 2014— A Catholic bishop appealed to businessmen not to take advantage of the calamity situation by hiking prices of basic and essential commodities.

In a Mass yesterday, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez urged local traders not to think only of their “monetary gain” by maintaining the price movement at the normal range of inflation.

Evacuees at the Bishop's residence in Borongan pray on the eve of typhoon Ruby's expected land fall, Dec. 5, 2014. (Photo: Fr. Neil Tenefrancia)

“Do not take advantage of others at this time of calamity. “You’re not the only ones who have the right to live,” Varquez said in his homily.

“In fact, it is a great sin against God and against love of your suffering brothers and sisters to use these trying times for your personal economic advantage!” he said.

The prelate made the appeal as panic-buying of basic goods broke out last Thursday in the province and nearby areas expected to be hit by typhoon Ruby, which threatens to be the strongest this year.

The diocese also opened the doors of its churches and seminary to thousands of residents who evacuated from coastal communities.

As of Saturday morning, strong wind pounded several towns, especially those in the norther part of the province.

“Slowly, but surely, the wind is pounding us. Can’t classify if moderate or semi moderate, but wind all over the place. Some trees outside my room are bending down already,” said Fr. Jonas Rebamontan, parish priest of Oras town.

He said around 100 evacuees are now staying at the convent, mostly women and children.

“Please pray for us,” he appealed.

Rebamontan said the local government is set to implement forced evacuation in at least the two coastal villages of Malingon and Saugan.

Army troopers from the 14th Infantry Battalion and the local police will implement the total evacuation of residents from the said areas.

As of 7 a.m. today, the typhoon was located 230km east northeast of Borongan.

Power outages have also been reported in the northern part of the province. (CBCPNews)


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