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National Newsbits for January 8,2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III yesterday said one of his New Year’s resolutions for 2014 is to put less pressure on the members of his Cabinet. Speaking to Grade 11 pupils of Miriam College who paid a courtesy call in Malacañang yesterday, the President said he intends to put less pressure on his Cabinet. “One of the most important is I pressure our Cabinet less,” Aquino said. “I’d like to apologize to the Cabinet members (I called) for work on January 1.” The President said he has a hardworking Cabinet, most of whom gave up high salaries in the private sector to work in the government. “The Cabinet is very hardworking, very dedicated. Perhaps I should begin to give them a little more breathing room, baka ma-burnout,” Aquino said. (Madel Sabater-Namit)


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) suspended the operations of three recruitment agencies for human-trafficking of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East. POEA Administrator Hans Cacdac ordered the preventive suspension against Empleos Incorporated, Nahed International Manpower Services, and Ridzkey Human Resources International Services after POEA received complaints against them from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Jordan. Citing the POLO report, Cacdac said the three agencies offered OFWs jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but deployed them to Jordan instead. The distressed OFWs have left their employers and are now staying at the Filipino Workers Resource Center in Amman, Jordan despite POEA’s requests for their repatriation from the three concerned agencies. (Samuel Medenilla)


2013 Miss Tourism International Angeli Dione Gomez yesterday urged the youth to reach out and make their dream happen as she arrived home following her winning an international beauty pageant in Malaysia last New Year’s Eve. “Thank you to everyone who believed in me and supported me. I could never have done it without you guys! You helped me reach my dreams, so now I urge you, especially the young people, to reach yours! And there’s no better time to start than now as the year begins! This will be a great year for us! Viva Pilipinas! Happy New Year!” said Gomez, upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City. The country’s newest beauty queen was welcomed by Mutya ng Pilipinas, Inc. president Jacqueline Tan. Gomez, 20, of Cebu City, said that she had a wonderful New Year because aside from winning the title, she met with her family in Malaysia. (Robert R. Requintina)


The wife of veteran lawyer Raymund Fortun is doing well three weeks after being shot by a still unidentified suspect outside their house in Las Piñas City. In an interview, Fortun said that his wife Caroline, who was shot by a still unidentified gunman last December 19, has already returned to her Church duties and other matters despite sustaining a serious wound. “Si Carol po eh nakauwi na ng bahay nung December 22 at sa kasalukuyan po eh under pain medication as well as antibiotics pero napakalakas po nitong asawa ko na ito,” Fortun said. “Nung December 29 last year, nanumbalik po siya para magsilbi sa aming simbahan. (Francis T. Wakefield)