President Aquino visits Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO, Cagayan, (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III visited on Monday the miraculous Our Lady of Piat enshrined at the Basilica Minore of Piat during his trip to Cagayan province.

While at the Basilica, President Aquino was prayed over by Reverend Father Jose Othello Bartolome, rector of Piat town since 2010.

Joining the President at the church’s altar was chief of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Manuel “Manny” Mamba, who was a former congressman of the third district of Cagayan.

Also present were Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, and Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali Jr.

The Our Lady of Piat, the patroness of Piat town, is also referred to as the Mother of Cagayan. Various miracles have been attributed to the image, including the end of drought in the Itawes region, an agricultural area that often experiences severe droughts.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, during her term, also visited the miraculous image of the Blessed Mother in Piat, which is about 40 kilometers from the provincial capital of Tuguegarao City. Arroyo even issued Proclamation 1821, declaring July 2 a special non-working holiday in Cagayan Valley province to give devotees and other foreign tourists ample time to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Piat.

After his visit to the Basilica, the President proceeded to Barangay San Luis in Tuao, Cagayan for the inauguration of the Ninoy Aquino Bridge and its connecting road network.

The P599.4-million infrastructure project links the Cagayan Valley Region, Ilocos Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The Ninoy Aquino Bridge is expected to boost socio-economic growth in the province as it provides additional access to tourist destinations and ensures safer and faster movement of goods from one province to another.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has generated a savings of P33.7 million from the project through an efficient and transparent bidding process.

The inauguration of the bridge was in time for former Senator Ninoy Aquino’s death anniversary, which will be commemorated on August 21.

While in Tuao, President Aquino also attended the 56th birthday celebration of Secretary Mamba.