[PHOTO AT LEFT -  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administers the oath of office to film producer and travel writer Christine Dayrit (4th from right) as the new chair of the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) in ceremonies Monday (Jan. 30) at Malacanang's Rizal Hall. The CEB is under the Film Development Council of the Philippines. Also in photo are (from left) Presidential Assistant for Entertainment Vic del Rosario, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye and friends and members of the family of Ms. Dayrit. (Exequiel Supera-OPS-NIB Photo) (MORE PHOTOS)

MANILA, February 20, 2006, (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) (For the week ending February 12, 2006)

We share the nation’s grief over the tragedy that befell Southern Leyte. At this time, everyone is called to give whatever he can – financially or in kind – to aid in the rescue and relief efforts. But most of all, every one is invited to join in praying for the victims, their families as well as the rescuers who are themselves putting their lives at risk so that others may live.

I received this prayer in my email from Susana Opulencia and allow me to share it with you.

Prayer for Leyte Victims

Lord of mercy and compassion, Bless the children of St. Bernard Those who sat in class to learn On a bright Friday morning About the briefness of life Bless the hardworking, simple people of St. Bernard Those who tilled the fields, sold their wares, Taught the children, worked in the barangays Let them reap the harvest of goodness in Your hands Keep those who breathe underneath tons of clay Strong and alive and hopeful Guide our rescue workers to where they are So that they may be pulled out from the mud Into the sunlight of a second gift of life Keep our relief workers safe from the tremors of nature Fortify them in their mission of saving lives and recovering The bodies of those who have left the earthly sphere Help us to tend to the survivors and to victims’ families, With compassion to their sorrow With generosity to their loss, With warmth and kindness to their despair.



The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) led by Anselmo Avenido, Jr. is on a roll. The PDEA task force, which includes PNP, NBI and PAF elements, busted last February 9 what has come to be known as the Pasig shabu tiangge resulting in the arrest of hundreds of persons, including minors.

This was followed by another drug bust on February 14 in Tramo, Pasay City resulting in the arrest of 44 persons. On Feb. 15, PDEA also raided a house at No. 12 Hamburg St., Merville Subdivision, in Pasay City and confiscated Ketamine Hydrochloride worth P53 million reportedly belonging to Harris Abichandani, an Indian National. The following day, PDEA also conducted a successful drug-bust operation on Elias St. in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

To the PDEA, we say ‘Keep it up.’


Visitors to Kuala Lumpur these days cannot help but be awed by the transformation it has undergone. With its impressive infrastructure and increasing efficiency, it is clearly fast catching up with its next door neighbor, Singapore.

In Singapore, while majority of the citizens remain apolitical, there’s growing clamor to revisit the way its history has been written. Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s memoirs have set the tone as to how the "Singapore Story" is to be told, but here is a snowballing move to also tell its story from the point of view of ordinary citizens who played small but nevertheless significant roles in their quest for independence.


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Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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