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National Newsbits for June 2, 2014

DIVORCE BILL

The chance of having the Filipino-style divorce bill passed this 16th Congress is getting slimmer with the House leaders opposing the “anti-family” measure. Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas thumbed down House Bill 4408, which was re-filed by Gabriela party-list Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus. Fariñas, a lawyer, pointed out that the 1987 Constitution, particularly Article XV, Section 2 reminds the government to “protect” the sanctity of marriage.  (Charissa M. Luci)

ELDERLY FOREIGNERS

Elderly foreigners who chose to live in the country may be given the same privileges granted to Filipino senior citizens. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and ABANTE Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. filed House Bill 4191, which grants  foreigners residing in the Philippines who are at least 60 years of age the same privileges granted to senior citizens under Republic Act (RA) 7432, as amended by RA 9994. HB 4191 provides that before receiving the entitled benefits and perks, the elderly resident alien, or his/her duly authorized representative, may submit as proof of entitlement an identification card issued by the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs of the place where he/she resides or a Philippine retirement authority identification card. (Charissa M. Luci)

PH-IRAN UNDERSTANDING

The Philippines and Iran have inked a memorandum of understanding that seeks to enhance Tehran-Manila sports cooperation. It was signed during a meeting over the weekend between Philippines’ Sports Commission Chair Ricardo Garcia and Iranian Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Mahmoud Goudarzi in Tehran. Aside from sports, both countries are also keen on expanding cooperation in areas of tourism, food production and industries, energy, construction, technology, science, and culture.  (Roy Mabasa)

AUGUST 23 INDEPENDENCE

Civic group Pugad Lawin Philippines (PLPI) has strongly supported the declaration of Independence Day in the “Cry of Pugad Lawin’’ on August 23 instead of June 12—a movement called August 23 advocacy. PLPI national president Dominador Alcala said the campaign started when the PLPI sought the assistance of Quezon City Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr. in the PLPI project. August 23, 1896 is known in Philippine history as the Cry of Pugad Lawin the event described by historians as the day when some 1,000 Katipuneros gathered at Pugad Lawin to launch Asia’s first revolution against colonialism. (Chito A.Chavez)

NAIA LAUDED

The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) has lauded the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) in its organized efforts to intercept the trafficking and transit of illegal drugs in the country’s premiere airport. This was stressed by Commodore Roland S. Recomono (Ret.), OTS Administrator in his letter to Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., PDEA Director General and NAIA-IADITG Task Group Commander. Recomono added that the OTS, which is under the Department of Transportation and Communications, will support and provide assistance to the inter-agency task force whenever needed. (Francis T. Wakefield)

LOTTO WINNER

A lucky bettor in Malate, Manila, has joined the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) unofficial “instant millionaires’ club” after winning on May 29 Lotto 6/42’s P17.7-million jackpot. The winner’s bet matched the winning combination of 10-05-12-30-04-31 (Edd K. Usman)