Rappler Newscast | January 3, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Police arrest suspects in the death of seven-year-old Stephanie Nicole Ella.
- Proponents of the Reproductive Health law are ready to defend the legality of the controversial measure before the Supreme Court.
- CBCP legal counsel Jo Imbong says opposition to the RH law is not just a Catholic issue.
Story 1: POLICE ARREST SUSPECTS IN NICOLE ELLA SHOOTING
Authorities arrest four suspects in the death of seven-year old Nicole Stephanie Ella.
Arrested is Juan Agos, a former soldier, and a resident of Barangay Malaria, Tala, Caloocan City -- the same barangay where Nicole is hit by a stray bullet on December 31.
Three other suspects are arrested with Agos.
Agos reportedly owns a gun and admits firing it on New Year’s Eve.
But authorities say they still need to determine if the bullet that hit Nicole came from the suspect’s gun.
On Wednesday, Nicole dies from severe head injuries.
There is an outpouring of public sympathy for her family.
Police say the shooter probably fired the gun from 50 meters away, based on the autopsy report.
Story 2: PALACE, LAGMAN DEFEND LEGALITY OF RH LAW
Malacañang and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman say they are ready to defend the reproductive health law before the Supreme Court, a day after a petition is filed challenging its constitutionality.
On Wednesday, James Imbong and his wife ask the Court to strike down the law, saying it "mocks the nation's Filipino culture."
Imbong is the son of Jo Imbong, legal counsel of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
On December 21, President Benigno Aquino quietly signs the RH bill into law.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda dismisses the points raised by Imbong as "nothing new."
Lagman, the bill’s sponsor in Congress, says the law will - quote - ‘surmount any attack or test on its constitutionality.’
He also debunks the arguments raised by the Imbong family.
Lagman says contrary to their claims, the RH law does not violate Section 12 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which says the State "shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn."
He says the "life" of the unborn is protected from conception and not before, as the unborn under the Constitution does not refer to the fertilized ovum.
Story 3: IMBONG: RH LAW IS NOT A PURELY CATHOLIC ISSUE
Earlier today, Rappler spoke with Lawyer Jo Imbong.
She tells us about her son’s petition to stop the implementation of the Reproductive Health law.
Imbong says the government is overstepping its powers by passing the measure, adding it will wreak havoc on Filipino culture.
She also responds to criticism that the Church is meddling in state affairs.
MARIA RESSA: Where's the separation of church and state here? Shouldn't the state go ahead and push this forward despite what the church wants?
JO IMBONG, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CBCP LEGAL OFFICE: Separation of church and state is meant in jurisprudence to impede or prevent or proscribe the state from intruding into religion or church affairs, that is the legal meaning of the separation clause. It's not the other way around.
Imbong also addresses criticism that anti-RH groups frame their arguments using a Catholic perspective.
MARIA RESSA: Why should Catholic culture and norms prevail over a hundred million Filipinos?
JO IMBONG, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CBCP LEGAL OFFICE: This is not a Catholic issue. The pillars of arguments that we are bringing forth applies to any person, Catholic or not. Why? Because we are all the same.
MARIA RESSA: But these particular views though stem from conservative Catholic perspective.
JO IMBONG, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, CBCP LEGAL OFFICE: It so happens that the Church is the most vocal about it, so it is now perceived as a purely Catholic voice. It is not.
For the full interview, visit Rappler.com and click on the TalkThursday page.
Story 4: PH STOCK EXCHANGE BREAKS NEW RECORD
The Philippine stock market is on a roll as it reaches new heights on the second trading day of the year.
On Thursday, the PSEi climbs 1.25 percent to break the 5,900 level.
It closes at 5,934.05 points.
This is 73.06 points higher than Wednesday’s close of 5,860.99.
Market watchers are now speculating when the stock market will breach the 6,000 level.
On December 3, 2012, President Aquino congratulates the stock exchange, expressing hope that it would reach the 6,000 level by year’s end.
BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, PRESIDENT: In 2011, the Philippine Stock Exchange ranked as the top performing broad equity market index among the 55 members of the World Federation of Exchanges. The way things are going now, there is no reason not to believe that the stock exchange will continue to perform well, and that we will be able to realize our dream as promised by Eusebio Tanco of breaking the 6,000 index perhaps in the next 28 days. It goes without saying that if it comes earlier, I will be more thankful.
Though the President’s prediction did not come true, many are still optimistic that the Philippine economy will continue to outperform its ASEAN neighbors.
Analysts credit this to a healthier fiscal position due to new revenue-raising measures, high foreign currency reserves, and sound monetary policies.
Story 5: ONGPIN DECRIES BSP'S 'UNFAIR' TREATMENT
Businessman Roberto Ongpin resigns from the Board of the Philippine Bank of Communications or PBCOM after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas defers his confirmation as director of the commercial bank.
In a December 28 letter to the BSP’s Monetary Board, Ongpin says he resigned because he did not want the bank's operations undermined.
He says his confirmation as PBCom director was deferred because of his alleged involvement in a criminal complaint filed with the Ombudsman.
He further criticizes the Board for acting on allegations of irregularity in his dealings in another bank, despite the absence of a filed court case.
Ongpin took out an alleged P660 million behest loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines in 2009.
Story 6: SANDY HOOK STUDENTS RETURN TO SCHOOL
Students of Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conneticut return to school for the first time since a deadly shooting in December 2012.
CNN reports the students are brought to another school in neighboring Monroe.
The middle school there is renovated to resemble the old school, which remains closed pending a police investigation.
Newtown Public Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson says this is to ‘ease the tension for the students in the new environment.’
On December 14, a gunman enters the Sandy Hook school and shoots indiscriminately, killing 26 children and adults.
The school shooting shocks the world and leads to increased calls for tighter gun control in the US.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number two, US stock markets rally over a congressional budget deal that steers the economy away from a fiscal cliff.
On Wednesday, The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumps by 308.41 points to 13,412.55 points.
The S and P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index also get a boost.
Global markets rise sharply after the US House of Representatives adopts a Senate bill to increase taxes for the wealthy and reduce the US deficit.
At number four, the Philippines’ top economic managers say the country is now one of the world’s best-performing economies.
In the third quarter of 2012, the country is the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia and third in the continent after China and Mongolia.
Analysts say the growth is sustainable and are optimistic for 2013.
At number seven, a government airstrike in Syria kills at least 30 people waiting in line for gasoline.
Meanwhile, the UN announces that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war between rebels and the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The conflict is now 22 months old with no clear end in sight.
And at number 10, Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly tie the knot on Christmas Day, after seven years together.
The UK’s Telegraph tabloid reports the couple secretly marry in the
Caribbean’s Turks and Caicos Islands on December 25.
But other magazines quickly point out it’s not confirmed whether the power couple married or simply spent time with family.
The pair first announced their engagement in April 2012.
They have six children, three of whom are adopted.
Story 8: UN GIVES US$10 MILLION IN AID FOR VICTIMS OF TYPHOON PABLO
The United Nations extends 10 million US dollars or 408 million pesos in aid to families devastated by Typhoon Pablo.
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund says it is allocating the amount to seven priority sectors, including: emergency shelter, sanitation, and health.
UN Resident Coordinator Luiza Carvalho expresses her shock at the scale of destruction in areas affected by Typhoon Pablo.
She adds, ‘cities and villages are completely devastated and entire plantations wiped out.’
Typhoon Pablo killed over 1,000 people and hundreds remain missing.
It destroyed more than 200,000 houses and displaced over 970,000 people.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|