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National Newsbits for January 17,2014


Several religious groups have expressed support for the National Day of Prayer and Solidarity to be led by President Aquino on Monday, January 20, in Malacañang. Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Catholic, Muslim, and Christian groups, including the Iglesia ni Cristo, have all expressed support to the prayer activity which will be held at 5 p.m. He urged the public to tune in to television or radio stations “to join in prayer as a nation in recognition of the guidance of divine providence towards a more progressive future.” Following the series of calamities that struck the country in 2013, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. announced the holding of a National Day of Prayer and Solidarity with the theme “One Nation in Prayer,” which will bring together government, religious leaders, and members of civil society to a day of prayer for the Filipino nation. Coloma said PNoy’s message to the foreign dignitaries during the recent Vin D’Honneur was anchored on the activity. (Christina I. Hermoso)


Celebrated Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza will be honored by the French government by naming him Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters. According to the French Embassy in Manila, the official turnover of the insignia will take place on January 23 at the official residence of French Ambassador Gilles Garachon in North Forbes, Makati City. Mendoza is being recognized for his significant contributions to the arts, literature and the propagation of these fields. Notable people who have received the same honor include renowned film directors Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton, actors George Clooney and Jude Law, Soviet-born dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and postmodernist author William S. Burroughs among others. Mendoza, a Pampanga-native, has directed sixteen films since 2005. (Roy C. Mabasa)