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National Newsbits for January 1,2014


The local Church marks the year 2014 as the Year of the Laity to highlight the need to empower the laity to unite in groups to help renew the social and political fabric of the country through prayer, discernment and concerted action.” The 120-strong Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared the year-long observance last month and has created a website dedicated to lay people. CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas said the website is meant “to reach out to more of the laity in the Catholic Church.” (Christina I. Hermoso)


The Senate will conduct a public hearing on the general peace and order, and illegal drugs situation in the country, said Sen. Grace Poe, co-chairperson of the congressional peace and order oversight committee. “We will ask updates on the Cagayan de Oro blast, the drug cartel situation, the apparent deputization of security guards, among others,’’ Poe said. The Senate will also look into the killing of a Zamboanga town mayor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. ‘’Although the NAIA operations is not part of our oversight (functions), we will invite the management to our hearing because the shooting incident falls under the peace and order situation,’’ she said. (Mario B. Casayuran)


The House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability will looking into the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s alleged failure to act on controversial tax evasion cases involving big corporations and individuals when Congress resumes sessions next month, said Pampanga Rep. Oscar S. Rodriguez, panel chairman. Rodriguez vowed to act on House Resolution No. 623 filed by Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus seeking an inquiry into the BIR’s handling of tax evasion cases, particularly the long pending P213-million tax evasion case filed by Danilo Pacana, a former regional audit manager against Allied Bank. (Charissa M. Luci)


Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan yesterday asked the private sector to help in rehabilitating school buildings and facilities of public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that were damaged and destroyed during the onslaught of typhoon “Yolanda” last month. Initial assessment from CHED showed that 44 HEIs or 12.6 percent of all HEIs in the affected regions particularly in the Visayas and parts of southern Luzon were reported to be destroyed by “Yolanda.” (Ina Hernando-Malipot)


Negotiators of the government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front will hit the ground running in 2014, with a Special Meeting just after the New Year. A source privy to the talks said the next negotiation will be a four-day affair in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with extension if needed to achieve the signing of the last annex — Normalization — of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). “There is a great chance that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) could be signed in the first quarter of 2014,” the source said. (Edd K. Usman)


  • Hector David

    May I suggest that the case of GOLDEN DONUTS, INC. (GDI) ["Dunkin' Donuts"] be also included in the investigation to be conducted by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability on BIR’s selective tax probe?

    The news article which appeared in THE MANILA TIMES on December 11, 2013, “WHO IS AFRAID OF DUNKIN’ DONUTS?”, by Columnist Emeterio Sd. Perez, mentioned that GDI has unpaid tax deficit of P1.5 Billion for year 2007, but Commissioner Henares refused to either collect it or sue the company for alleged fraud for under-declaring its revenues in the income tax return.