Today on Rappler.
Story 1: AQUINO GETS HIGHEST SATISFACTION RATING
President Benigno Aquino III receives his highest satisfaction rating since he assumed office in 2010.
The Social Weather Stations survey was conducted August 24 to 27.
Aquino gets a net satisfaction rating of +67, up from a record low of +42 in May.
This rating is equivalent to “very good.”
77% of respondents express satisfaction with Aquino's performance, rising from 63% in May.
Only 10% show dissatisfaction, a dip from May's 21%.
The SWS says the survey period covers events that could have raised Aquino's rating such as Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's death, the monsoon rain that submerged large areas of Luzon, and the dismissal of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Story 2: PUNO TRIED TO ACCESS ROBREDO'S DOCUMENTS?
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno may have been after "sensitive" documents on an anomalous plan to purchase arms when he tried to enter the condominium of late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo a day after he died in a plane crash.
An ABS-CBN report says Robredo's wife asked for more security after she learned of an attempt to enter Robredo's condominium and offices in Quezon City.
ABS-CBN says the documents contain information on a probe into an allegedly questionable arms purchase for the police worth almost P400 million.
Puno and some Philippine National Police officials are reportedly involved.
A longtime friend of President Aquino, Puno is a former gun supplier.
Two weeks before he died, Robredo reportedly told Aquino about the pending investigation.
Earlier, Rappler reported there are plans for Puno to leave the DILG even before Robredo's death.
A Camp Crame source tells Rappler Puno has been the subject of complaints that eventually reached the President.
Story 3: WB: REVENUES FROM SIN TAX BILL TO CONTAIN 2013 PH DEFICIT
The World Bank says the passage of the sin tax bill is crucial in containing the Philippines' 2013 budget deficit.
In its quarterly update, the World Bank says higher tax revenues are needed to ramp up job creation and infrastructure spending in the country.
In June, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5727, which is expected to raise 31 billion pesos in additional revenues.
At least 85% of the revenues will go to the government's health care program, while 15% will be used to help tobacco farmers shift to alternative crops.
Story 4: 8-MONTH PH FOREIGN RESERVES HIT $80.8-B
The Philippine Central bank surpassed its year-long foreign exchange reserve target, with reserves reaching 80.8 billion US dollars in the first 8 months.
The BSP attributes the "significant rise" to its foreign exchange operations, income from investments abroad, and revaluation gains on its gold holdings.
Gross international reserves is an indicator of the country's ability to pay for imports and debts in foreign currencies.
Story 5: 'LAND ROVERING. MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES'
The Department of Tourism launches a new campaign in partnership with Land Rover Philippines.
DOT Assistant secretary Ramon Enerio says the joint tourism campaign called "Land Rovering. More Fun in the Philippines," is the first of its kind.
The first official campaign video launched at the event is shot entirely in Ilocos Norte.
Spots featured are the Paoay sand dunes, the gigantic Bangui wind mills and the winding Patapat bridge, the 4th longest in the Philippines.
Story 6: NPA 'SORRY' FOR CIRCUS BOMBING
Philippine communist guerrillas issue a rare apology for a grenade attack that left 47 spectators wounded.
The military says the New People's Army lobbed a grenade at soldiers guarding a village festival, but it bounced off netting and into a courtyard where a circus act was performing.
The local command outside the southern city of Davao says it apologizes for the scores of casualties, including children on September 1.
The insurgents pledge to compensate the victims and to impose "disciplinary action on the responsible unit".
Story 7: 'TESTED AND PROVEN' OBAMA ASKS FOR SECOND TERM
US President Barack Obama asks Americans to grant him a second term to complete his crusade for change.
Four years after his historic election win, Obama accepts the Democratic Party's nomination for a second time.
Obama blasts Republican Mitt Romney and his vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan as neophytes that would endanger US security in contrast to Obama’s "tested and proven" leadership.
BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy – and not Al-Qaeda – unless you're still stuck in a Cold War time warp. My opponent said it was 'tragic' to end the war in Iraq, and he won't tell us how he'll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will.
Story 8: LOOK OUTWARD, MAN!
Rappler’s Editor at large, Marites Vitug tackles the Philippines’ relations with China and the upcoming meeting between President Aquino and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of APEC.
Let’s watch her video blog.
I’m not as tuned in to foreign policy as I am to domestic political wrangling.
Why is this so? Many of us Filipinos tend to look inward.
Some say it’s because of our geography. We are a group of disparate islands and unlike our neighbors Thailand and Cambodia, we don’t share borders with anyone.
Vast bodies of water surround us, seemingly isolating us from the rest of Southeast Asia. But our history shows that we were very much connected, through commerce and faith, to other countries.
Today, our media hardly play up foreign news unless Filipinos figure in world competitions or disasters.
Now that President Aquino is on a foreign trip to meet with world leaders, our brief attention will be on Vladivostok and Mr. Aquino’s chat with China’s Hu Jintao.
Will they discuss the simmering dispute over the West Philippine Sea? It’s the hottest issue between us and China as well as between ASEAN and China.
When the president returns, he should talk to us about how we got to this dangerous stage in our relations with China and explain government’s strategy and response.
As Bill Clinton said, “When people are afraid, explanation beats eloquence any day.”
Mr. President, make us look outward, pull us away from our landlocked mindsets.
Make us look to the West Philippine Sea and beyond.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 1, World leaders meet in Vladivostok, Russia, this weekend for the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC leaders' meeting.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III left Friday for the meeting, along with an official delegation of 66 people.
Philippine and Chinese authorities are still finalizing the details of the meeting between Aquino and China’s Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the regional meeting.
The South China Sea dispute is expected to be on the agenda.
At number 5, Bishop Robert Finn is found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse, becoming the highest-ranking US Catholic Church official convicted in clergy sex abuse scandals.
Finn, 59, declines to fight the charges.
He will not serve jail time or pay a fine for the misdemeanor charge.
He will be placed on probation which requires him to ensure the diocese trains staff and clergy to detect and report abuse, as well as create a US$10,000 fund for counseling abuse victims.
At number 6, The foreign staff of international charity organization Save the Children have been asked to leave Pakistan.
Government suspect them of aiding American forces in the raid that led to the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden.
BBC reports the 6 foreign staff -- out of 2,000 Save the Children employees in Pakistan -- have been given two weeks to wrap up their work.
The charity, which has operations all over the world including the Philippines, has worked in Pakistan since 1979.
And at number 9, Amazon on September 6, unveiled a new, larger version of its Kindle Fire tablet computer in a move by the retail giant to take on the market-leading iPad.
The new Kindle Fire HD will have a larger 8.9-inch display.
The large-display tablet is only 8.8 millimeters thick, and weighs 560 grams. Amazon will offer 3 versions of the tablet when it goes on sale on November 20.