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National newsbits for June 12, 2014

INA POONBATO AT MANILA CATHEDRAL

The revered image of Ina Poonbato (Mother of the Sacred Stone), the Patroness of Zambales, was enthroned at a chapel inside the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila, bringing her closer to her devotees in Metro Manila. Msgr. Chris Cacho, spiritual director of the Ina Poonbato Global Devotees, concelebrated the mass with Fr. Julius Fragonzo. Hundreds of local devotees attended the event.  Roselyn Magsaysay, founding president of the Ina Poonbato Global Ministry, invites the faithful to pay homage to the miraculous image of the Holy Mother. Magsaysay has been propagating devotion to Ina since 1981. Last year, Bishop Florentino Lavarias of the Diocese of Zambales led the Episcopal coronation of the image at the Ina Poonbato Shrine in Loob-Bunga, Botolan, Zambales. (Christina I. Hermoso)

WHAT NOT TO CARRY IN HK

The Philippine Consulate General  in Hong Kong reminds all Filipino travelers transiting or entering Hong Kong as visitors, workers or residents to avoid bringing restricted or prohibited  materials like stun guns, tear gas, bullets, extendible batons, flick knives, and knuckle busters in hand-carried or checked-in luggage. The consulate said bringing such devices into the territory is prohibited under Hong Kong’s Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance. Those caught bringing restricted or prohibited stun devices will charged with Possession of Other Arms without License under the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance. If found guilty they will be fined HK$100,000 and imprisoned for 14 years. In the first quarter of the year, 13 Filipinos were convicted in Hong Kong for carrying stun guns. (Roy C. Mabasa)

CARDINAL: SUPPORT PONDO NG PINOY

Former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales is asking the faithful to continue supporting Pondo ng Pinoy, a charity program he initiated, even though he has retired. In an interview, Cardinal Rosales said the PnP is not about him but about helping the poor. “Just because I’m already retired, it doesn’t mean that people should stop helping. We should always help our neighbor especially those in need,” he said. “God just used me as an instrument for this,” added Rosales. PnP mark its 10th anniversary today, June 12. Initiated by Rosales in 2004, PnP aims to encourage every person, “no matter how poor, no matter how humble, the freedom to give, to help and live fully.” To date, Pondo ng Pinoy has sponsored more than 300 projects on health, livelihood and development, alternative learning, housing, and Hapag-Asa (subsidy) feeding program, amounting to more than P200 million. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)

CUSTOMS INTELLIGENCE FOILS SMUGGLING TRY

The wide-ranging revamp of the Customs Intelligence Group in ports nationwide has not hampered intelligence officers from stopping smuggling operations. The Bureau of Customs (BOC) yesterday said intelligence officials foiled an attempt to smuggle P2-million worth of assorted compact discs in the Port of Davao. The shipment was declared as CD cases and stacked in a 40-foot container that came from China last month. “We would verify reports that there are replicating machines in the region wherein the blank CDs would have been loaded with pirated movies if these were not apprehended,” said Alvin Enciso, assistant officer-in-charge of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) in Davao port. (Raymund F. Antonio)