Rappler Newscast | November 14, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- Senate President Enrile pushes for a probe on Sen. Sotto’s alleged plagiarism.
- The Freedom of Information Act is dead in the 15th Congress.
- A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shakes parts of western and central Visayas.
Story 1: ENRILE PUSHES FOR SENATE PROBE ON SOTTO
After downplaying an ethical complaint against Senator Tito Sotto, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile now pushes for a probe on Sotto's alleged plagiarism.
Sotto faces an ethical complaint for 9 instances of plagiarism he committed in his speeches against the Reproductive Health bill.
Enrile earlier said lawmakers may not be held accountable outside Congress for their statements made inside the chamber.
But he clarifies, senators accused of plagiarism can be investigated by their peers.
He adds, "We are not condoning the act of plagiarism in this Senate.”
Enrile and Sotto are longtime political allies.
On Tuesday, Sotto apologized for copying quotes from the late US Senator Robert F Kennedy without attribution, but denies it was plagiarism.
TITO SOTTO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Copying or imitation is the highest form of flattery, but if it upsets the Kennedy family then I'm sorry.
Sotto invokes the parliamentary privilege of free speech, but Enrile says no senator is immune to an ethical complaint.
Story 2: FOI IS 'DEAD'
The Freedom of Information bill fails to hurdle the House committee on public information Tuesday.
After almost two hours of discussions on the bill, Committee Chairman Representative Ben Evardone moved to adjourn the hearing on the bill on November 27.
The Right to Know Right Now! Coalition says the bill is now dead in the 15th Congress.
In a statement, the coalition says the move was the “final blow” delivered by Evardone and Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino.
It adds, “[It] left the rest of the committee members uncannily helpless to stop the slaughter of the FOI.”
Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, one of the principal authors of the bill, says he is disappointed with the way Evardone handled the committee hearing.
Evardone had earlier suspended a hearing on the bill because there was no available room in the House.
FOI came close to becoming a law in the 14th Congress, but because of the lack of a quorum, the House failed to vote on the bill.
Story 3: 5.8 MAGNITUDE QUAKE ROCKS VISAYAS, DISPLACES #MOVEBACOLOD
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shakes parts of western and central Visayas Wednesday afternoon.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reports the quake’s epicenter is located 26 km northwest of Cauayan, Negros Occidental.
It was felt in most of Panay, Negros, and Cebu.
Phivolcs records intensity five in six towns in Negros Occidental which are Cauayan, Ilog, Kabankalan, Binalbagan, Hinobaan & Hinigaran.
It also records the same in Iloilo City.
Rappler editors and reporters, who are in Bacolod City for the #MoveBacolod chat series, also report feeling the tremor.
Students were sent home after the earthquake.
The chat series was moved to the office of the Negros Press Club.
Story 4: PARTY-LIST WAR: SOLON QUESTIONS BRILLANTES 'MENTAL FITNESS'
Disqualified party-list group Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy wants a House inquiry into the mental fitness of chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. to head the Commission on Elections.
Incumbent Anad Representative Jun Alcover urges the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms to “make sure” Brillantes “is physically and psychologically fit to respond to the rigors and demands of his job."
Alcover is reacting to Brillantes' order reviewing the accreditation of all party-list organizations, including those already holding seats in Congress.
The poll body has disqualified at least 100 party list groups, but the Supreme Court stops the disqualification of 8 party-list groups from the 2013 elections.
Story 5: POLITICAL DYNASTIES OF CAMARINES SUR
Rappler goes around provinces in the Philippines for an in-depth look at the politics and the people, 6 months before the 2013 elections.
Here’s a look at the political dynasties of Camarines Sur and the attitudes that perpetuate these clans in power.
Taxi driver Jojo Estrada lived in Camarines Sur all his life.
He tried to work in Manila, but eventually returned.
He says he is happier and less stressed here.
But Jojo is frustrated with the divisive politics-- he says its to blame for the slow progress of the province.
JOJO ESTRADA, TAXI DRIVER: Sa Camarines Sur sana maayos, magkaisa yung issue ng mga pulitiko para maging matagumpay yung isang bayan, para yung mga tao ba mabigyan ng pagkakataon na maginhawa rin sila.
Estrada's sentiment is common in CamSur, one of the country's poorest provinces.
Voters say they want change.
In the province, there's bickering not just between parties, but even within families.
77-year-old incumbent 3rd district congressman Luis Villafuerte Sr. is running for governor.
His opponent? His 24 year-old grandson.
He had a falling out with his rival’s father-- incumbent third-termer Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte.
Congressman Villafuerte is also fielding his wife, Nelly Villafuerte, to take his position in the House.
She will go against late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's widow Leni.
The Villafuertes are only one of several political dynasties that ruled the province for decades.
Ironically, voters say they want improvement but also don't see anything wrong with the ruling families.
They say they vote for these clans because they have the experience anyway.
This is the challenge for new candidates: to convince voters hope lies outside traditional politics.
Leni Robredo says she is running to end the Villafuerte dynasty, but she says in order to win, she must change voters' mentality.
LENI ROBREDO, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Parang yung konsepto ng pulitika dito sa amin patronage talaga. Ako if I will be given this chance gusto ko mapalitan ko yung lahat. Kasi yung asawa ko yung nadatnang ditong pulitika ganun rin pero during his first term of office nabago niya yun ganung mentality at nung nabago niya yung mentality ang mga tao dito sa amin mas naniwala sa kanilang sarili nila.
Candidates have six months to make voters believe they are not just subjects, but also stakeholders.
Most voters in CamSur are like Jojo, who dream of change -- but don't fully understand what it takes to get there.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler.
Story 6: CHINA PARTY CONGRESS SETS XI ON LEADERSHIP PATH
China's ruling Communist Party ends its congress Wednesday that put Vice President Xi Jinping a step closer to taking power in the next decade.
The week-long Communist Party ends after over 2,000 delegates from around the country select a new leadership committee of roughly 200 party members.
Xi was renamed to the Central Committee.
President Hu Jintao closes the Congress saying it has -quote “come to a victorious conclusion.”
Hu opened the meeting warning the party faces the threat of "collapse" if it cannot rein in rampant corruption.
The congress, held every five years, selects a new circle of leaders at a time when China faces major economic challenges and growing scrutiny from its citizens.
The party did not immediately release the full Central Committee list.
Story 7: GOOGLE: GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE ON THE RISE
A transparency report released by Google points to the rise of government surveillance of online activities.
A Google senior policy analyst notes a clear trend from analyzing 6 transparency reports since 2010.
The report, released Wednesday, lists the number of government requests for information and content removals related to copyright.
The US government made the most number of information requests.
From January 1 to June 30, 2012, the US government made 7,969 user data requests.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, President Barack Obama expresses “faith” in General John Allen despite a recent report involving the high ranking general in a “flirtatious” email exchange with a Florida socialite.
According to a spokesperson for Obama, the newly re-elected president “thinks very highly of Gen. Allen and his service to the US as well as the job he has done in Afghanistan.”
He served as deputy commander to General David Petraeus, the former CIA director who resigned this weekend after the FBI uncovered his extramarital affair with his biographer.
General Allen, who currently leads 68,000 troops in Afghanistan says he has done nothing wrong.
At number 7, Animated GIFs - those image files containing several frames that make an image look like a short video clip - were a big hit during the late nineties and are making a comeback on social networking sites like Tumblr.
This is probably why the Oxford American Dictionaries has chosen it as its 2012 word of the year.
According to the dictionary, the word GIF is a verb that means to create a GIF file - an image or video sequence.
GIF beats out other words including YOLO which means ‘you only live once’.
And at number 8, After the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, the International Cycling Union or UCI sets up a doping hotline for cyclists who want to blow the whistle on fellow riders.
In an online statement made on its website, UCI head Pat McQuaid says the hotline will be confidential and will take time to build trust but he hopes it will eventually -quote “accelerate the change in culture that we need in our sport."
Mcquaid also rejects complaints that the UCI does not follow up tip-offs.
He says it does and will continue to do so -quote “within the bounds of what is legally feasible.”