National Newsbits for July 13,2013


The Philippines and Belgium have signed their first comprehensive agreement through the signing of the Philippines -Belgium Joint Plan of Action (JPA). Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders signed the JPA during the bilateral talks held in Brussels, Belgium on July 10. Del Rosario was in Belgium and Luxembourg for a three-day visit, wherein he was able to talk with government officials of the two countries. (Madel Sabater - Namit)


The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) has hoisted typhoon signal number two at the Batanes Group of Islands while typhoon signal number one remains at Calayan and the Babuyan Group of Islands due to typhoon "Huaning." Yesterday morning "Huaning" was spotted at a distance of 410 kms at the west east portion of Itbayat, Batanes, with winds moving at 165 kph in the middle and wind strength reaching 200 kph. Even if some typhoon signals were raised, the path of "Huaning" will trend its original path going to Taiwan. "Huaning" is expected today to be about 420 km north of Itbayat, Batanes, or in the area near the vicinity of Northern Taiwan. (Chito A. Chavez)


Individual taxpayers who elected to pay their 2012 income tax in two equal installments have until Monday to pay the second, or last installment. Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued the reminder yesterday, stressing that the deadline will not be extended and strictly enforced like the April 15 deadline in the filing of 2012 income tax returns (ITRs). Under the Tax Code, a taxpayer may elect to pay in two equal installments, if the tax due exceeds P2,000. The first installment to be paid when the ITR is filed on or before April 15 and the second on or before July 15 of the same year. (Jun Ramirez)


A lucky punter in Laguna defied Thursday Super Lotto 6/49's odds of one in 13.98 million, hitting its P88.2-million jackpot. The lone winner placed bets matching all the drawn numbers: 41-40-30-10-32-21. A staff at the office of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the lotto aficionado placed the winning bet at a lotto outlet in San Pablo City, Laguna. He said the total prize in the July 11 draw of 6/49 reached P88,292,828. He said 27 bettors stand to receive P68,270 each for guessing five correct numbers of the drawn combination (Edd K. Usman)


An official of the Catholic Church yesterday opposed the proposed four-day workweek, saying this would lessen the productivity of the nation. "The productivity of the nation will be lessened by only four days of work," said Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, member of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Permanent Council. Bastes said he is also not convinced that such a plan would help solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo also expressed opposition to the plan, saying this would be detrimental to workers' welfare. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)

"If it means no work no pay, I would not favor it," he said.


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  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • US ambassador slashed in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm by a blade-wielding assailant shouting anti-war slogans in an attack in Seoul Thursday, police and reports said. The United States strongly condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely as he was rushed to hospital, and said that President Barack Obama had spoken with him. "The President called (Lippert) to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to …


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