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National Newsbits for June 7, 2014

Binay twits ‘white paper’

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay took to Twitter to make fun of efforts to link his family to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, saying that instead of “white paper,” his detractors should have used “carbon paper” to smear him and his family. The Vice President was apparently referring to his dark complexion in his post on Twitter last Wednesday. “Hindi raw dapat white paper ang inilabas laban sa akin. Dapat daw carbon paper,” a post in Binay’s official Twitter account @VPJojoBinay said with the accompanying hashtag of #blackisbeautiful. (JC Bello Ruiz)

Las Piñas bettor wins P7.4-M pot

A bet placed in a Lotto station in Pamplona, Las Piñas, matched the winning numbers combination of 35-14-22-23-08-04 for the Lotto 6/42 draw of June 5 which carried a jackpot of P7.4 million, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said yesterday.  Winners of the lotteries are given one year to claim their jackpots, or the agency will forfeit the prizes and turn these over to the PCSO charity fund. For every bet placed on the state lotteries, PCSO allocates 30 percent to its charity fund, 55 percent to the prize fund, and 15 percent to its operating fund. (Edd K. Usman)

Anti-smoking efforts cited

The World Health Organization (WHO) commended the Philippine government for its efforts to reduce tobacco smoking with the implementation of the Sin Tax Reform Law. Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director general, made the commendation during a meeting with Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations, at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). “Tobacco tax is the most effective policy in reducing tobacco consumption,” Dr. Chan told Ambassador Rebong during the meeting. (Roy C. Mabasa)

US Ambassador visits Sulu

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg visited the island province of Sulu and met with security officials to discuss peace and security in the area. The US Embassy said Goldberg met with the officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to discuss local concerns and how the US and the Philippines can continue to work together to promote peace and security. It was Goldberg’s first visit to Sulu which is a primary focus area for a US Department of Justice (USDOJ) program to help build capacity within the PNP. The USDOJ’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) has worked with the PNP to train approximately 1,300 PNP officers in community policing, media relations, basic police operations, and crime scene investigation,” the embassy said. (Elena L. Aben)

Soldier, 2 BIFF men killed

An Army trooper and two Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members were killed while three others were wounded as fresh skirmishes broke out between government security forces and the breakaway rebel group in Maguindanao yesterday. The military said soldiers from the 45th Infantry Battalion (45IB) were passing by Barangay Maitumaig in Datu Unsay town, Maguindanao around 12:45 p.m. when a roadside bomb exploded. The blast hit the soldiers’ vehicle, killing one and injuring three others. A pursuit operation was launched against a group of BIFF men believed to have set off the roadside bomb. Government forces caught up with the BIFF group at 5 p.m. in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay. (Elena L. Aben)