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National Newsbits for August 16, 2014


Today is the feast day of San Roque (Saint Roch), the revered patron saint of the sick and the invalid. Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara will preside over a feast mass at 6 p.m. at the San Roque Parish in Pateros, Manila, in honor of its patron. Masses will also be held at 6 a.m. and at 7 p.m. The celebration coincides with the opening of the Holy Door, marking the start of preparations for the 200th year anniversary of the parish in 2015. At the San Roque Parish on Barranka, Mandaluyong City, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales will celebrate a high mass in honor of San Roque tomorrow, August 17, at 9:45 a.m. A procession will be held in the evening after the 6 p.m. mass.  Considered as the protector against the plague, local devotion to San Roque started as early as 1637 when, according to stories, many were miraculously cured of malaria after holding a procession in honor of the healing saint.    Born in 1295 in Montpellier, France, San Roque was miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his chest that grew through the years. He was known as a miracle

healer effecting cures through prayer, the touch of his hand, and by making the sign of the cross. (Christina I. Hermoso)


The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) yesterday said an estimated P88-million jackpot is at stake in today’s draw of Grand Lotto 6/55. Grand Lotto is one of the four major lotteries of the charity agency, from which it derives its charity fund, together with Super Lotto 6/49, Mega Lotto 6/45, and Lotto 6/42. PCSO acting Chairman and General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said no one hit the 6/55 on Wednesday (07-18-09-39-33-46), with a total of P82,809,136 jackpot. (Edd K. Usman)


Four young Filipino students won medals and awards in the 13th China Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO). Kelsey Lim Tiong Soon of Grace Christian College and Andrea Jessica Jaba of St. Jude Catholic School bagged silver medals, and Isabel Jocyn Villanueva of PAREF Woodrose School and Isabella Mae Tan of St. Jude Catholic School bagged bronze medals in the contest held in Zhongshan City in Guangdong, China from August 10 to 14. “We are very proud of these young girls for bringing honor to our country,” said Dr. Simon Chua, president of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG). The four-member Philippine team also swept the awards in the aerobics dance contest, a side event of the CGMO, by winning first prize, Best in Creativity Award, Best in Cooperation Award and Best in Stage Style Award.  (Jonathan M. Hicap)


The Office of the Ombudsman filed yesterday graft charges against former Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) President Roberto Navida and former PADC Department Manager Antonio Suba for not liquidating travel expenses for a foreign trip. In a formal criminal complaint filed before the Sandiganbayan, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio said Navida and Suba got cash advances amounting to P241,478 to attend the fourth International Aircraft Conversion and Maintenance Conference in Beijing, China, from Oct. 10, 2006. Despite repeated notices from the Commission on Audit (COA) for the liquidation and submission of supporting documents, the two failed to liquidate the cash advances, the Ombudsman said. (Jun Ramirez)