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National Newsbits for August 1, 2014


Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales will preside over a concelebrated feast mass at 6 p.m. today at the St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish in Magallanes Village, Makati City in commemoration of the Feast of Saint Alphonsus (San Alfonso) Maria de Liguori, a Doctor of the Church and founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. Venerated in many parts of the world as the patron of confessors and moralists, St.Alphonsus remains as one of the most popular Italian saints to this day. Considered as the most widely read Catholic author, he wrote several books, sermons, and religious texts to help encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Virgin Mary. Born in 1696, he was ordained priest in 1726 and was appointed bishop of St. Agatha in 1756. He founded the Redemptorists in 1732. St. Alphonsus died in 1787. (Christina I. Hermoso)


The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) celebrates today its 110th founding anniversary. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima will lead top government officials  and business leaders in attending the simple celebration at the BIR main office in Agham Road, Quezon City. Like in previous gatherings, Purisima is expected to exhort the men and women in the service to redouble their efforts in collecting the R1.4 trillion target revenues for the year. BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto Henares said the bureau is tasked to produce R1.7 trillion out of next year’s national budget of R2.6 trillion. (Jun Henares)


The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) vowed to intensify the fight against illegal drugs and raise the level of anti-drug operations a notch higher. Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., PDEA director general, made the promise during PDEA’s 12th Anniversary Celebration last Wednesday at the PDEA National Headquarters in Quezon City. “The PDEA, with its 1,619 strong operatives, administrative and technical personnel, will continue to perform its mandate with equal fervor and intensity to keep our communities safe from the evil clutches of dangerous drugs,” Cacdac said. He said the ongoing struggle against the drug problem would be far more difficult, “but PDEA has learned to dwell from its past so as not to commit the same mistakes, to embrace the present for the sake of adapting to the challenging times, and to stay inspired in the prospect of a brighter and drug-free future.” (Francis Wakefield)


Commission on Elections Spokesman James Jimenez said yesterday that registration for overseas absentee voting (OAV) will push through in Israel, Libya, Kenya, Afghanistan, and Iraq unless the Department of Foreign Affairs will recommend this to be postponed.  Jimenez said Comelec has not yet received any recommendation from the Philippine embassies to call for the postponement of the OAV registrations in their jurisdiction. “So far, no suspension has been ordered (for overseas absentee voting registration),” said Jimenez.  Under Comelec rules, Philippine embassies must first issue a security assessment to the poll body before it could suspend the OAV within their jurisdiction. “Post sends a recommendation to Comelec if they find that it is too dangerous to continue registration or if registration is not feasible,” he said. “We act solely on the basis of the posts’ recommendation. If the post doesn’t recommend suspension, we don’t issue orders.” (Samuel Medenilla)