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National newsbits for June 17, 2014


The Catholic Church commemorates today the Feast of Santa Teresa of Portugal, a popular Benedictine nun who founded a convent for the Cistercian religious order of nuns in Portugal. On her feast day, devotees across the world traditionally light candles and offer novena prayers in her memory. St. Teresa’s intercession is often invoked by those in difficult situations. Born in 1181, St. Teresa is the eldest daughter of King Sancho I of Portugal. She died in 1250 and was canonized on May 20, 1705 by Pope Clement XI. (Christina I. Hermoso)


The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) officially launched yesterday its “Desk on Wheels” project to make it easier for people to lodge their complaints with the police. Supt. Richard A. Albano, QCPD director, said the Desk on Wheels will simplify the process of reporting a crime. He said the employment of the Desk on Wheels is part of an outreach program of the QCPD that aims to provide immediate resolution to complaints and requests for public safety assistance from the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel. (Francis T. Wakefield and CFV)


Health officials repeated their warning for households to be vigilant against dengue after more than 23,000 cases were recorded last month all over the country. Last May, a total of 23,867 dengue cases and 99 deaths were reported to the Department of Health (DoH) National Epidemiology Center (NEC). The figure is 51 percent lower than last year’s number that reached 48, 686 cases. DOH Spokesperson Lyndon Lee Suy issued the warning on June 15, ASEAN Dengue day. The ASEAN dengue day was first declared in 2010 during the ASEAN health ministers’ meeting in Singapore. (Jenny Manongdo)


The prosecutors in the Maguindanao massacre trial have asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to drop the charges against suspect-turned-state witness Esmael Canapia in the 58th murder case. In a two-page manifestation, the panel of prosecutors said the court dropped only the 57 counts of murder filed against Canapia when it allowed him to be a state witness in the cases. The prosecutors first asked the court to discharge Canapia as a state witness for only the 57 cases in June, 2012, as the Deparment of Justice only issued its ruling on the 58th case in September, 2012. (Chito Chavez)


The National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Valenzuela, Metro Manila marks its 38th year as a shrine as it continues to serve as the center of local devotion to the Blessed Mother under the title Our Lady of Fatima. Jil Tio, shrine’s pastoral council secretary said the church was proclaimed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on June 12, 1976. (Christina I. Hermoso)


Malacañang appeared lukewarm to calls to drop the charges against Pio Emmanuel Mijares, the student activist who heckled President Aquino in Naga City on Independence Day. The government has no iron-fist policy against persons exercising freedom of speech but must hold accountable those who violate the law, according to Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. He said, “Kaya nga lang sa ganitong pagkakataon ay mayroong mga batas o alituntunin na hindi nasunod.” (Genalyn D. Kabiling)