Rappler Newscast | September 28, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- The government suspends its mining rules.
- Senate President Enrile presents his version of history.
- Human Rights Watch hits the cybercrime law for giving authorities excessive powers to shut down websites.
Story 1: DENR SUSPENDS MINING RULES
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources suspends the implementing rules and regulations of Executive Order 79 to accommodate amendments.
The IRR is supposed to be implemented on September 29 after President Benigno Aquino signed Executive Order 79 last July.
The mining council tasked to draft the IRR agrees to amend it after opposition from mining firms.
Some of the contentious provisions include the term of the mining contract, definition of areas that will be barred for mining activities, and the awarding of new contracts.
Mining firms say the council did not consult stakeholders and inserted provisions without checking if these violate the existing Mining Act.
Story 2: INT'L WATCHDOG HITS CYBERCRIME LAW
Protests against the cybercrime law go beyond the Philippines.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch criticizes the law for giving authorities “excessive and unchecked powers” to shut down websites.
Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams says the law is "wholly incompatible with the Philippine government’s obligations under international law.”
Even before the cybercrime law controversy erupted, the group has called on the Philippine government to repeal its existing criminal libel law.
Story 3: ENRILE WRITES HIS MEMOIR, 'CORRECTS' HISTORY
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile launched his memoir Thursday.
Rappler reporter Carmela Fonbuena who covered the event writes, “Everyone who matters, used to matter, and wants to matter in Philippine politics” was there.
"Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir" is a 754-page autobiography of one of the country's most controversial and, to martial law victims, one of the most hated personalities.
The memoir was published by ABS-CBN Publishing, which is owned by the Lopez family, one of the families whose businesses suffered under martial law.
ABS-CBN was one of the first media companies shut down by the Marcos government after the 1972 declaration of martial law.
Enrile was then defense minister.
In his opening speech, Lopez patriarch Oscar Lopez explains ABS-CBN's role.
“Why did ABS-CBN publish his autobiography when the network was the earliest casualty of the martial law regime?”
“I have realized that it helps to see, as well, the humanity of those of us who lived through that horrible time, including those from the opposite side of the street.”
President Benigno Aquino III, whose parents and family were also martial law victims, was Enrile's guest of honor at the launch.
He welcomed Enrile's memoir.
He says, “In a democracy, where thoughts can contend, we must embrace the challenge and the opportunity those competing ideas represent.”
In the book, Enrile talks about his childhood, his search for his father, his struggle to get an education, his relationship with the past 6 Philippine presidents, and his role in the martial law years.
Enrile also writes about the supposed animosity between him and former First Lady Imelda Marcos who -quote- “singled him out as their rival to succeed Marcos”, as the strongman’s health deteriorated.
Mrs Marcos was present at the book launch.
Is Enrile's book trying to revise history?
He says "If there is a revision, they can write their own version. As I said, I don't have the monopoly of truth."
Book editor Nelson Navarro says it's revisionist in the sense that it is different from the "yellow filtering" of what happened.”
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, AUTHOR, ‘JUAN PONCE ENRILE: A MEMOIR’: Writing my memoirs, my memoir, proved to be an emotional roller-coaster ride for me. The possibility of re-opening old wounds and reviving past bitterness and enmities bedeviled me even as I hope my recollections could somehow contribute in rendering the truth about myself and about events that have become part of our nation's history.
Story 4: LP, NP BITTER RIVALS IN CAVITE
Cavite has always been a potential hotspot in past elections and 2013 promises the same intense rivalry between two political clans.
This rivalry also pits 2 parties who are allies at the national level.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
In Cavite, the fight for the 2013 elections is heating up.
It’s a free for all zone where both the administration and its ally are competing.
President Benigno Aquino III himself jumpstarts the province's heated rivalry between the political families of the Remullas and the Maliksis.
He and Liberal Party stalwarts attend a proclamation rally Monday, September 24 in Imus to endorse Rep Ayong Maliksi for governor and his running mate Jay Lacson.
Incoming Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and new Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya accompany the President.
Cavite was solidly behind Aquino in 2010.
The next day, another huge gathering, this time in Kawit.
Sen Bong Revilla's party Lakas-CMD joins forces with local party Partido Magdalo to back incumbent Cavite Gov Jonvic Remulla and his son, Jolo Revilla who is running for vice governor.
Remulla doesn't hold back from hitting rival Maliksi, who was once his governor.
Sen Manny Villar's Nacionalista Party is also supporting the Lakas-Magdalo coalition, despite an NP-LP alliance at the senatorial race.
Senatorial hopeful Cynthia Villar insists NP's backing of Lakas-Magdalo will not affect the NP-LP partnership.
CYNTHIA VILLAR, FORMER LAS PINAS REP.: President Noy and Senator Villar talked about the coalition. Ganito na yung Cavite, wala naming misrepresentation soon. They talked about it and the President said, 'We'll go our own way in Cavite.'
With a history of graft cases, broken promises and cheating accusations between the two clans, the families of Remulla and Maliksi are longtime rivals in the province of Cavite.
Cavite's 1.6 million voters is the second largest voter base in the country outside of NCR.
With NP and LP in a knock-down fight over the gubernatorial bet, Cavite will be in hotspot in 2013: a battle between the ruling party of an intensely popular president and one of the strongest province-based parties in the country.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Cavite.
Story 5: MIRIAM WARNS COMMON BETS VS 'ENVY, SUSPICION'
Sen. Miriam Santiago warns guest candidates of the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance not to follow in her footsteps.
Santiago, a guest candidate of 3 parties in the 2010 polls, says shared candidates might end up with no support from either side.
She says the problem in every election is convincing every senator to campaign for the whole ticket.
She adds, "Usually the reaction of the other candidates in both tickets is envy and suspicion.”
Santiago is referring to possible common candidates in the 2013 senatorial elections: Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Story 6: THE SENATE RE-ELECTIONISTS
The election season begins next week, with the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2013 midterm polls.
Leading the senatorial race are 6 re-electionists with name recall and media visibility in their favor.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
They are the survey frontrunners, election veterans and old-timers.
If they’ve done it before, can they easily do it again?
Six senators are running for reelection in 2013, half of the 12 slots up for grabs.
They are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan II, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Antonio Trillanes IV.
The group is a mixed bag, with different advocacies and experiences.
Legarda and Escudero are the most popular, likely to end up as guest candidates of both the Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance.
Legarda is a two-term senator who authored environmental laws, while Escudero filed bills on justice and the courts in his first term.
They say it does not matter who among them clinches the top spot.
FRANCIS ESCUDERO, REELECTIONIST SENATOR: Kung inuugnay mo iyan sa 2016, wala pa maliban kay Pangulong Arroyo, na duda pa ako kung totoo iyon, ang nanalo sa pagka-presidente na nag-number 1 sa kung ano mang senatorial slate o eleksyon.
LOREN LEGARDA, REELECTIONIST SENATOR: It’s never a walk in the park. I’m going to campaign like I’m going to campaign. I’m going to campaign like I’m 38 years old.
If Legarda and Escudero topped the 2007 polls, Cayetano and Pimentel had a hard time.
The two claim they were victims of cheating and have since pushed for electoral reforms.
The Minority Leader led corruption probes as former head of the Blue Ribbon Committee.
Pimentel is the newest senator, getting a term of just 1 year and 10 months after winning his election protest in 2011.
Honasan and Trillanes have even more colorful histories as former military officials, coup plotters and detainees.
Honasan is the most senior reelectionist, authoring laws on the environment, land reform and national security.
Yet it’s the youngest senator who is most controversial for taking on Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile over the division of Camarines Sur.
Enrile vows to campaign against Trillanes but the neophyte senator remains unfazed.
Despite their differences, the re-electionists agree: unclear party distinctions will make 2013 unique.
The senators will file their certificates of candidacy from October 1 to 5.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: Traditionally, reelectionists are seen as a shoo-in, thanks to name recall and the so-called equity of the incumbent. But even they call on voters to be more discerning, taking a look at what they’ve done with the taxpayers’ money and the people’s trust.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler
Story 7: POLL WATCHDOG: 'AQUINO ALLIES MAKING MOCKERY OF PARTYLIST SYSTEM'
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya wants President Benigno Aquino to tell his allies to withdraw their bids for the party-list elections next year.
The group says 3 party-list nominees are not qualified to represent any marginalized group.
These are Abante Retirees nominee former Cavite Rep Plaridel Abaya, Alliance of Mindanao Elders nominee Jorge Banal, and Black and White Movement nominee Leah Navarro.
Kontra Daya convenor Fr Joe Dizon says the President should ask his allies to "stop making a mockery of the partylist system."
Story 8: VITUG: CBCP NEEDS TO FIX ITS HOUSE
Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug says the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines needs to fix its house, after reports of a Filipino priest allegedly involved in a child abuse case and illegal ivory trade.
Here’s her video blog.
More than 20 years ago, a Filipino priest, Cristobal Garcia, fled the US after he was accused of sexually molesting 2 altar boys.
In an interview with Dallas Morning News in 2005, he admitted having sex with these boys who were then in their teens. But he claimed that one of them “seduced and raped” him.
The Dominican religious order expelled Garcia. He returned to his hometown in Cebu.
Guess what. He was welcomed by Cardinal Julio Rosales, now deceased, who took in Garcia as a priest in the archdiocese of Cebu.
Later, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, successor of Rosales, promoted Garcia to monsignor.
Not only that. He was allowed to work with young men in a monastic religious group. The Dallas Morning News reported that Garcia also supervised a squad of altar boys.
Another surprising development is that the Vatican suspended Garcia only in June this year—or 27 years after the crime was committed. This shows the tolerance of the Vatican toward sex offender-priests and the extremely slow pace of its sanctions.
What is clear in this chain of events is that high Church officials in the Philippines coddled an erring priest.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines needs to put its house in order and show zero-tolerance for sexual misconduct.
Story 9: US WARNS VS MANILA SECURITY THREAT
The United States issues a security alert for Manila Friday, saying American citizens they could be the target of an unspecified attack.
The US embassy in Manila releases a statement saying reliable security forces detected a threat against American citizens in metropolitan Manila, specifically in Pasay City.
The embassy says the threat remains in effect until October 10, 2012 and calls on US citizens to exercise caution.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 7, Myanmar President Thein Sein commends opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s “efforts for democracy” in a speech before the United Nations on Thursday.
He says as a citizen, “I would like to congratulate her for the honors she has received in this country in recognition of her efforts for democracy.”
Thein Sein also tells the UN General Assembly he wants to “completely end” a long-running war with ethnic rebels in the north.
The remarks would have been unthinkable less than two years ago when Suu Kyi was persecuted as leader of the opposition in Myanmar.
At number 8, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urges the world to draw “a clear red line” to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, he says, “It’s not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb?”
He adds, “Red lines don’t lead to war, red lines prevent war…Nothing could imperil the world more than a nuclear-armed Iran.”
The issue has strained relations between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Western leaders suspect it is aimed at building a nuclear weapon.
And at number 9, NASA’s Curiosity rover is giving scientists more evidence that Mars once had flowing water or a network of ancient streams. BBC reports after just 7 weeks on the Red Planet, the NASA robot beamed photos of classic conglomerates or rocks made of gravel and sand.
According to a NASA scientist, the pebbles seen in the photos were likely laid down “several billion years ago” but the actual water streams could have been on Mars “thousands to millions of years” ago.
Story 11: BLACKBERRY MAKER REPORTS $235-M LOSS
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion reports a loss of 235 million dollars in the past quarter, in better-than-expected results that prompted a surge in its stock price.
The Canadian-based firm posts its third consecutive loss, although not as bad as analysts forecast.
The company is struggling to keep pace with the smartphone market as it prepares to launch the new BlackBerry 10 platform in 2013.
Analysts say the company needs to increase subscribers while maintaining a profitable price level.