Today on Rappler.
Story 1: PH MULLS PROTESTS OVER CHINA’S NEW MAPS
The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs is considering filing a formal protest before China over new maps that claim disputed islands in the South China Sea as part of Chinese territory.
On January 11, Xinhua news agency reports that China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation publishes new national maps that include, for the first time, 130 island and islets in the disputed South China Sea.
Beijing is claiming a wide swath of the South China Sea, rivaling claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.
DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez says they still need to verify the details of the map.
He adds it is important for the international community to accept the new map.
In 2012, the DFA filed 15 diplomatic protests over China’s claims to the disputed Scarborough shoal.
Story 2: COMELEC FOILS SECURITY BREACH AT STORAGE FACILITY
The Commission on Elections says it caught an unnamed group breaching security at a storage facility that houses its ballot-reading machines.
On Monday, COMELEC chair Sixto Brillantes says the poll-body may file charges against individuals for tampering with a conveyor at a COMELEC warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna that houses the precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines.
Brillantes refuses to give details of the breach but adds security will be increased at the site.
Story 3: ELECTION-RELATED PROHIBITIONS BEGIN
January 13 marks the official start of the election period, which lasts a month after the May 13, 2013 national elections.
It also marks the start of restrictions to promote a fair electoral playing field.
Beginning January 13, COMELEC bans the transfer of civil servants, carrying or transporting firearms and other deadly weapons, and the suspension of elected officials.
Other bans are set to take effect as the election day draws closer.
For a full list of prohibited acts during this election period, visit Rappler.com.
Story 4: COMELEC: HOW TO CONDUCT A CHECKPOINT
The gun ban for the 2013 elections starts Sunday, January 13 -- some say a welcome development after indiscriminate gun firing in the New Year and firearm related violence.
Voltaire Tupaz reports.
This Comelec inspection on the eve of the gun ban is a far cry from the controversial checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon.
That January 6th inspection ended in the death of 13 suspected criminals.
On camera, they are courteous, as they block cars, look into vehicles, and look for weapons -- all in about 10 seconds.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez says police should be respectful.
JAMES JIMENEZ, COMELEC SPOKESPERSON: Unless they see something in plain view, they are not going to be able to ask for anything more than inspection.
VOLTAIRE TUPAZ, REPORTING: Based on the guidelines of the Comelec, a signboard measuring 4x3 feet with a white background identifies a checkpoint. The area should be well-lit and manned by either a police officer or soldier with a rank of at least inspector or lieutenant. They should not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at any time.
The Constitution forbids unreasonable searches.
But at checkpoints, officers make the judgment call based on their instincts and a probable cause.
ROLANDO TUMALAD, SUPT. MANILA POLICE DISTRICT: Makikita nyo naman po yung sitwasyon kung yung isang sasakyan o isang bagay na iyong isi-search ay kelanganng i-search po.
In the last elections, at least 2,742 firearms were confiscated and about 3,000 persons were arrested.
The 2013 elections in the Philippines can be potentially violent in at least 15 hot spots.
The hot spots have one thing in common-- private armed groups.
JIMENEZ: If you don't get a PTC (permit to carry) then you don't have a gun with you. If you don't have a gun with you, you can't lose your temper and hurt somebody.
Amid growing calls for stricter gun restrictions, authorities are face two challenges: ensuring peace and order during the election period while protecting civil liberties.
Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Manila.
Story 5: QUEZON SHOOTOUT REPORT ‘POORLY ORGANIZED’ - PNP CHIEF
The chief of the Philippine National Police returns a police report on the alleged shootout in Quezon province for being - quote - ‘poorly organized.’
PNP Director General Alan Purisima returns the report citing problems with its format.
He asks the report be rewritten so it is easily understood, even by those without any investigative background.
Purisima however refuses to talk about the findings of the report or respond to details reportedly leaked to the Philippine Star that the alleged shootout was actually an ambush.
The PNP chief says the NBI will release the official findings, adding he does not want to hear claims of a PNP whitewash over the case.
Story 6: GOV’T WEBSITES HACKED IN PROTEST OF ANTI-CYBERCRIME LAW
‘Anonymous Philippines’ hacks government websites a day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments against the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
On Monday morning, the front pages of the National Food Authority and several other websites are hacked and replaced with a message from ‘Anonymous Philippines’ apparently in protest of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The anti-cybercrime law, passed last year, drew strong criticism for its controversial provisions that impose stiff penalties to vague violations and gives the state sweeping powers to monitor and control online data.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from petitioners who want to stop the law.
A SC-issued temporary restraining order on the anti-cybercrime law expires on February 6.
Malacanang admits the security of some government websites is weak.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says the National Bureau of Investigation already has leads on the hackers.
Story 7: SWS: MORE FILIPINO FAMILIES SAY THEY ARE ‘POOR’
Despite the country’s strong economic performance in 2012, more Filipino families consider themselves poor.
Results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey conducted from Dec. 8 to 11, 2012 found that 54% of respondents or 10.9 million households felt they were poor.
This is 7 percentage points higher than the 47% in August.
Self-rated food poverty also spikes to 44% from 35% in August.
Mindanao respondents still top self-rated food poverty in the country.
The SWS says natural calamities in the latter part of 2012 could have heightened perceptions of being poor.
Story 8: PNOY YET TO ACCEPT DISASTER CHIEF’S RESIGNATION
The outgoing head of the country’s disaster management agency introduces his successor to the public, but learns his resignation had not yet been accepted by President Aquino.
On Monday, Undersecretary Benito Ramos, the executive director of the national disaster risk reduction and management council or NDR-RMC,
holds a press conference to introduce retired army general Eduardo del Rosario as his successor.
But Ramos suspends the press conference after learning that the President had not approved his resignation.
Ramos, a retired military general, wants to resign to take care of his sick wife.
Story 9: ANGER AT SUICIDE OF US INTERNET ACTIVIST
The death of prominent Internet activist Aaron Swartz on Friday sparks grief and anger from online rights advocates.
Swartz hanged himself in his New York apartment, months before he was due to stand trial for allegedly hacking into servers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to download millions of academic journal articles from the subscription-only JSTOR service.
He was 26.
Swartz had written openly about suffering from depression, but his family suggests the trial contributed to his suicide.
In a statement, the family says Swartz’s death is “the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
After news of his death spread, friends and supporters post tributes thanking the internet activist.
World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee tweets, "Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down."
Fiona Bateson writes, "All of us who value freedom of expression...owe him a huge debt of gratitude."
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Seven men are arrested by police after they allegedly gang-raped a 29-year-old woman on a bus in the northern part of India Friday.
This is the second incident of sexual assault just weeks after a 23-year-old medical student died from injuries inflicted by her attackers.
The bus driver and conductor reportedly refused to stop when she asked them to and instead took her to a place close to the city of Amritsar.
The two were allegedly joined by 5 others who took turns raping the woman. She was dropped off near her village the next morning.
The first incident sparked protests which prompted the government to set up special courts to deal with rape cases and to strengthen sexual assault laws.
At number 6, An appeals court overturns the life sentence of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Sunday.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in 2012 for directing the killing of more than 800 protesters who sought an end to his 3-decade rule.
The judge who gave the verdict said he saw no evidence of Mubarak personally ordering the killings.
His lawyer says ordering a new trial for the same crimes is tantamount to double jeopardy.
The ruling by the appeals court could prolong the legal battle over the fate of the 84-year-old Mubarak, who is held in a military hospital for health reasons.
At number 9, The world’s biggest religious festival, Kumbh Mela, opens Monday with hundreds of pilgrims flocking to the sacred river Ganges.
Taking place only once every 12 years, more than 100 million people are expected to visit the city of Allahabad for the 55-day festival.
Hindus believe that taking a dip in the river will cleanse them of sin and help them achieve salvation.
The festival prompts health concerns because the rivers are heavily polluted, and many pilgrims drink a few drops of the Ganges water.
And at number 10, The Philippines makes it to the New York Times’ list of 46 places to see in 2013.
Landing on No. 17, the country secures its spot through local luxury hotels and resorts, particularly in Siargao Island, a popular surfing destination.
The Times also mentions the private island resort of El Nido in Palawan.
Topping the Times’ list is Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, which is preparing for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Philippines also gets the “Best Tourist Destination” award from China’s Oriental Morning Post, following poll results that showed it is still a popular destination among Chinese.
The award comes 2 years after the tragic Manila hostage crisis.
Story 11: 'LES MIS', 'ARGO', 'HOMELAND' TOP GOLDEN GLOBES WINNERS
Ben Affleck’s Argo and the musical Les Miserables get big wins during the 70th Golden Globes Awards.
After the Oscar snubs him for the best director nominations, Ben Affleck wins the Golden Globe best director award for his Iran hostage crisis thriller "Argo," beating rivals including Steven Spielberg, nominated for "Lincoln."
Spy thriller "Homeland" takes three awards while comedy-drama show "Girls" wins two awards on the night of its second-season premiere.
Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman wins awards for their roles in musical adaptation "Les Miserables".
The film, based on the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, also wins the award for best comedy or musical.
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|