Rappler Newscast | September 11, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- Rico Puno quits as undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
- Senator Santiago says the Senate probe on Puno will push through despite his resignation.
- Filipino terrorists use Facebook and YouTube to connect with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad.
Story 1: PUNO QUITS, SPEAKS UP ON ROBREDO ISSUE
Rico Puno resigns as undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Puno makes the announcement a day after a Senate committee decides to hold a probe on him on Friday.
In a statement, Puno says he resigned "to give the incoming DILG Secretary a free hand in forming a new team."
Puno explains why he tried to secure the offices and apartment of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo on August 19.
Aquino says he ordered Puno to secure Robredo's offices but not his apartment.
Puno says he decided to secure the apartment after Supt. Oliver Tanseco told him there were documents inside.
His chronology does not explain why Justice Secretary Leila de Lima later went to the same offices.
De Lima earlier said Robredo’s widow Leni asked for her assistance after learning of Puno's attempted entry.
A former gun supplier, Puno is involved in an alleged anomalous firearms deal.
Palace sources tell Rappler, Aquino discussed this with Puno, prompting a mutual decision for Puno to resign.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: He should have done it earlier then he would have become the poster boy for delicadeza but he hanged in there until the President was compelled to announce his replacement.
Story 2: SENATE PROBE ON PUNO TO PUSH THROUGH
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago says the Senate investigation on Rico Puno will push through despite his resignation.
Santiago says Puno must attend the probe on Friday or the Senate will issue a subpoena.
MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: His resignation does not relieve him of the obligation to appear at our public hearing hear in the Senate on Friday morning. There is no precedent that a person who resigns from public service is automatically acquitted of any liability for any misdeeds during his term of office.
Over the weekend President Aquino says Philippine National Police chief Nicanor Bartolome is Puno's likely replacement.
Santiago calls on Aquino not to appoint Puno to a new position until he is cleared of the charges against him.
Story 3: SOCIAL MEDIA LINK FILIPINO TERRORISTS TO AL-QAEDA, GLOBAL JIHAD
On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, here’s a Rappler exclusive.
Social media platforms YouTube and Facebook link Filipino terrorists to al-Qaeda and the global jihad.
In November 2011, a Filipino uploaded a three-minute, 20-second video on YouTube of himself wearing a camouflage jacket and a mask.
Identified as Commander Abu Jihad Khalil al-Rahman al-Luzon, the man on the video spoke Arabic and asked Muslims to unite and help their brethren, saying there was “no way to restore the Islamic Caliphate and the glory of the religion but through jihad.”
According to an Indonesian-language news portal run by the son of a Jemaah Islamiyah leader - Ar-Rahmah - “the Muslim jihad in the Philippines is increasingly blossoming…with the arrival of mujahideen from around the world, especially al-Qaeda members.”
Intelligence sources from 3 different countries tell Rappler Abu Jihad Khalil is 31-year old Khalil Pareja, a Christian convert to Islam who took over the leadership of the Rajah Solaiman Movement in 2005.
RSM is a homegrown extremist group which worked closely with the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaeda’s arm in Southeast Asia.
RSM carried out the Superferry bombing in 2004, one of the world’s worst maritime terrorist attacks and the Valentine’s Day bombings in 2005.
Pareja was also active on Facebook – a case study of how one man can connect jihadists and terrorists from multiple countries through social media.
On Facebook, Pareja became friends with a man who called himself Gerald.
He invited Pareja to join al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP.
Counterterrorism analysts call AQAP the “most active and lethal Qaeda affiliate.”
AQAP is known for its body bombs, underwear bombs and printer bombs.
Gerald offered to pay for Pareja’s travel expenses to Yemen.
He can stay in Yemen for 10 years with an option to return to the Philippines in 5 years.
Gerald also claimed they had already recruited “Filipinos studying from the Islamic schools in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Sudan.”
He never made it because Filipino authorities arrested him on March 1.
Story 4: ZAWAHIRI CONFIRMS DEATH OF AL-QAEDA DEPUTY
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri releases a video for the first time in three months, confirming the death of his deputy.
The 42-minute video confirms that Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan's Waziristan tribal area on June 4.
Libi was considered Al-Qaeda's global propaganda mastermind.
His death dealt the biggest blow to the group since the killing of Osama bin Laden by US special forces in May 2011.
The release of the video coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Story 5: ORTEGA DAUGHTER SUES EX-PALAWAN GOVERNOR OVER FAKE PASSPORT
The daughter of murdered Palawan broadcaster Gerardo "Gerry" Ortega files a case against former Palawan governor Joel Reyes for using a fake passport to leave the country on March 18.
Reyes is one of the 5 suspects in the January 2011 killing of Gerry Ortega.
He reportedly used a fake passport to leave for Vietnam along with his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes.
The Reyes brothers were able to leave even after they were placed in the Justice Department's lookout bulletin.
Story 6: DENR TO SLAP PHILEX WITH STEEPER FINES FOR MINE LEAKS
Philex Mining Corp. may be slapped higher fines for the tailings pond leaks in Benguet province.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje says the company violated the Mining Act and other laws when its Padcal mine leaked.
Paje says the penalty may be double or triple the previously announced 325 million peso fine.
The leak began August 1 after days of torrential rain in the area.
Since the initial incident, Paje says there have been 6 leaks.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, Singapore Foreign Affairs says its government is not on Philippines' side of the South China Sea territorial disputes with China.
The island state is not taking any side at all.
President Aquino said in his arrival speech on September 9 after the APEC summit in Russia, that Singapore, together with Malaysia and Vietnam, support the Philippines over the dispute.
The Singapore ministry says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong simply called on all claimants to resolve the dispute peacefully and “in accordance with international law."
At number 5, gruesome details on organ harvesting in Albania during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo are emerging.
A witness at a war crime court in Belgrade says organs were taken from the bodies of prisoners, many of them Serbs, by the former rebel Kosovo Liberation Army in Albania.
The wartime organ harvesting case is believed to be linked to another case of organ trafficking at a hospital in Pristina, another city in Kosovo where several doctors are on trial.
At number 6, a report by a South Korean newspaper says allies in South Korea and United States have been practicing for a war scenario that would involve an occupation of North Korea.
Dubbed "Wind of Freedom," the joint military drill last August now include emergency situations, including humanitarian assistance for North Koreans.
The North condemns the drill as a provocative prelude to war.
At number 8, Pope Benedict the XVI’s visit to Lebanon will demand a papal high-wire act in a Middle East country divided by sectarian tensions as fighting rages next door in Syria.
The 85-year-old pontiff, who spent the year battling a leaks scandal at the Vatican, faces a packed schedule in the majority-Muslim country.
Religious pluralism and the welfare of Christians in the Middle East is likely to top the agenda, as well as calls for an end to the conflict in Syria.
The pope will reach out to the 13 million or more Catholics in the Middle East.
Story 8: ROYALS WILLIAM, CATHERINE ARRIVE FOR ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine arrive in Singapore to kick off a Southeast Asian and Pacific tour marking Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
The nine-day trip through Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu includes the former Kate Middleton's first overseas speech in Malaysia.
Britain's younger royals are touring the globe this year as they seek to maintain the family's relevance in a rapidly changing world.
Queen Elizabeth is head of state in the Solomons and Tuvalu, both of which are members of the Commonwealth.
Story 9: MURRAY WINS US OPEN, ENDS 76-YEAR BRITISH AGONY
Andy Murray ends Britain's 76-year wait for a men's Grand slam champion.
Murray beats 2011 winner Novak Djokovic in an epic US Open final.
He is Britain's first major male champion since Fred Perry claimed his American title in 1936.
He outlasts Djokovic in a match that had a 54-shot rally, numerous 30-stroke exchanges, as well as a record-setting tie-breaker.
Not taking anything away from his opponent, Murray says he's "always had tough matches" with Djokovic.