Philippines confirms 'parallel probe' with Taiwan. Nancy Binay says last name is a blessing and a challenge. Team PNoy dominates in 10 poorest provinces
Today on Rappler.
Story 1: RH LAW OR R.A. No. 10354 SIGNED
After 15 years, the Philippines now has a Reproductive Health law, a historic milestone in Philippine legislation.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales says President Benigno Aquino signed the Reproductive Health bill into law as early as Friday, December 21.
The measure, which provides access to reproductive health services - including contraceptives - is now known as Republic Act 10-35-4.
A new law takes effect 15 days after it is published in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspapers.
Thursday afternoon, news broke out on social media sites that the RH bill was signed into law after a staff member of the House of Representatives posted a copy on Twitter.
The post and the account has since been deleted.
Despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church...
the House and the Senate ratified the measure on December 19 after President Aquino certified it urgent.
Story 2: SWS: AQUINO RATINGS DIP IN ALL AREAS, ALL CLASSES
A Social Weather Stations survey says the net satisfaction ratings of President Benigno Aquino dip by 12 percentage points in December in all areas, socioeconomic classes and gender.
Business World says the President's December net satisfaction of +55 is down 12 percentage points from the +67 recorded in August.
In Luzon and Metro Manila, the president's ratings drop 16 percentage points.
Ratings dip by 12 in Visayas and 4 percentage points in Mindanao.
SWS conducted the survey at the height of debates on the divisive Reproductive Health bill that both chambers of Congress passed on December 19.
Story 3: HOPE OVER FEAR
The latest Social Weather Stations survey says 2013 brings hope for most Filipinos.
92% of adult Filipinos feel hopeful compared to 7% who say they are fearful of the coming year.
This is a slight drop from last year where a record high 95% say they entered 2012 with hope.
Filipinos are usually hopeful for the coming year.
But Filipinos in Mindanao are noticeably less hopeful compared to the rest of the nation, with only 85% of adults there expressing hope for 2013.
The number dropped 9 percentage points from 2011 and is the lowest recorded since 2006.
The country had a phenomenal year as one of the world's fastest growing economies in 2012.
Story 4: ONLINE CAMPAIGN FOR RODWELL’S RELEASE
Concerned Australians launch an online campaign for kidnapped countryman Warren Rodwell.
The reaction comes two days after kidnappers post a proof-of-life video of Rodwell on YouTube.
Aurpar25 picks up the idea, saying "if we all put in 1 dollar ..."
But Gary Cannell disagrees, "Unfortunately, pay one lot of idiots it encourages others."
BS2502 says “government do pay ransoms when it’s in their best interest.”
Roddykay observes “Somali pirates get paid, obviously cargo is more important than human life.”
A group of Australians who set-up a Facebook page for Rodwell soon after he was kidnapped, began an online petition.
The petition, which has been shared on Facebook and other social media sites, is addressed to the Australian government and says...
"Warren Rodwell has been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a Muslim terrorist group for over one year.”
Enough is enough. Get him out now."
As of Friday, Dec. 28 Manila time...
less than a day after it was started, there were 105 of 200 targeted signatures.
A Philippine intelligence document obtained by Rappler shows that as of August 15, 2012, Rodwell was being held by the Abu Sayyaf in Al-Barka, Basilan...
the site of the controversial killing of special forces soldiers in November, 2010.
Other foreign hostages of the Abu Sayyaf include 2 European birdwatchers...
a Jordanian journalist and his Filipino cameraman...
and a Japanese treasure hunter.
Kidnap-for-ransom is a cottage industry for the Abu Sayyaf, a group once funded and supported by al-Qaeda in the early 90's.
Rodwell, in his video recorded December 16, seems angry but resigned.
WARREN RODWELL: I personally hold no hope at all for being released. I do not trust the Abu Sayyaf. I do not trust the Australian government. I just don’t trust anyone. Personally I don’t care.
Story 5: FORMER PNP CHIEF RAZON TO FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES
Former Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon Jr and 22 other police officers and civilians will face criminal charges for the anomalous repair and maintenance of light armored vehicles worth over P400 million.
The charges stem from the August 2007 request of then PNP chief Oscar Calderon for the repair and refurbishing...
Of 10 V-150s with a budget of over P275 million.
His successor, Razon, subsequently asked for an additional budget for the repair of the remaining 18 V-150s.
The office of the Ombudsman allege there are irregularities in the bidding process up to the awarding of contracts for the repair of the vehicles.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered the filing of charges.
Story 6: THREE LESSONS FROM 2012
The events of 2012 offer many great lessons.
Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug offers three to carry over to 2013.
Here’s her video blog.
Another year is coming to an end. Amid the merry-making, let’s step back a bit and ask ourselves: What can I take away from 2012?
Let’s start with 3 lessons from memorable national events:
First, be honest and truthful. The historic impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona made that loud and clear to our public officials.
A SALN—or statement of assets, liabilities and net worth—is like an oath of office. It is not to be trifled with.
Second, be unafraid. Slay the dragon.
This is what President Aquino did when he took a stand for the reproductive health bill—though tentative at first—despite howls of protest from the bishops.
This is what most of our lawmakers did when they passed the RH bill despite intense opposition from the Catholic church, a pillar of influence in Philippine society.
Third, make disaster preparedness a way of life. Integrate it in household, community and local government programs.
In the future, we are bound to experience variations of Pablo and habagat.
Let’s take a leaf from Albay, Makati, and San Francisco town on Camotes Island in Cebu which were cited by the UN as among the top model communities worldwide in managing and reducing disaster risks.
Let’s include these lessons in our toolkit in 2013.
Wishing you all a happy new year!
Story 7: OBAMA RETURNS TO WASHINGTON AS FISCAL CLIFF BATTLE HEATS UP
US President Barack Obama rushes back to Washington Thursday in a last ditch effort to stop the "fiscal cliff."
Obama cuts his Hawaii vacation short and returns to a sharply divided Washington.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner says the Senate Democratic majority has yet to offer a viable solution.
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Boehner is running a -quote- "dictatorship" in the House.
He says the Republican refuses to put to a vote a Senate-passed bill which would prevent taxes from rising on all households making less than $250,000 per year.
The fiscal cliff refers to the economic effects of tax increases, spending cuts and a reduction in the US budget deficit in 2013 if existing laws remain unchanged.
Proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff involve extending Bush era tax cuts or changing the 2011 Budget Control Act or both.
A sharp decrease in the deficit will likely lead to a mild recession in early 2013.
Story 8: THE wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today…
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
At number 2, Norman Schwarzkopf, the US general who led 1991 Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, dies at age 78.
Schwarzkopf is a former commander-in-chief of US Central Command, known popularly as "Stormin’ Norman."
Former president George H. W. Bush is first to issue a statement mourning the loss of the man he chose to lead the war that defined their careers.
At number 5, According to Washington think tank New America Foundation,
US drone strikes against Islamist militants decreases in Pakistan's tribal regions for the second year in a row but intensifies in Yemen.
In Pakistan, 46 strikes were carried out in 2012, compared to 72 in 2011 and 122 in 2010.
But Yemen sees an equally drastic increase in the clandestine attacks, with strikes against Al-Qaeda militants rising from 18 in 2011 to 53 in 2012.
The US does not provide any information on the strikes.
President Barack Obama, who used more drones compared to his predecessor, George W. Bush, only incidentally recognizes their existence at the end of January in an online exchange.
At number 7, three ageing former world leaders suffer ill health.
South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is recovering at his Johannesburg home after a nearly three-week hospital stay.
The revered 94-year-old underwent hospital treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.
In the US, former President George H. W. Bush is still under intensive care Thursday after persistent fever.
The 88-year-old Bush was admitted to a Texas hospital last December shortly before Christmas.
In Egypt, a state prosecutor orders the transfer imprisoned former dictator Hosni Mubarak to a military hospital due to deteriorating health.
Mubarak, serving a life sentence over the killings of protesters, was briefly taken to the hospital after he fell in his prison bathroom and hurt his head.
At number 8, The Indian government says it will post the photos, names and addresses of convicted rapists on official websites to publicly shame them, in a new measure to combat growing crime against women.
India's junior home minister, says the campaign will begin in New Delhi, where the brutal gang-rape of a student on December 16 by 6 drunken men sparked nationwide protests.
The announcement comes a day after India says it launched a judicial probe into the attack on the 23-year-old medical student.
At number 9, Pope Benedict the 16th galvanizes Catholics at the close of 2012 to go on the offensive over key faith issues, forging new alliances and fighting secularism in the West with a media campaign.
After joining Twitter this month...
The Pope also takes the unusual step of writing an editorial for Britain's Financial Times newspaper, urging business and political leaders to adhere to Christian ethics and moral codes in their daily lives.
And at number 10, On the day director Brillante Mendoza complains "Thy Womb" is being pulled out of theaters, he receives his first Best Director award from the Metro Manila Film Festival.
"Thy Womb" lead actress Nora Aunor also gets her 8th Best Actress award during the ceremony.
The film, which is not doing well in the box office, tells the story of the peace loving Badjaos based in Mindanao.
"Thy Womb" also wins Best Cinematography and Original Story. - Rappler.com