Today on Rappler.
Story 1: ENRILE TELLS CRITICS: YOU CAN'T DESTROY ME
A defiant Juan Ponce Enrile tells his critics “you can’t destroy me.”
He also confronts head-on claims linking him to his Chief of Staff.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is all smiles, in a campaign sortie in Laguna.
He says he doesn’t regret bringing up the debts of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s late father.
Cayetano and Enrile are in a word war, over the Senate President’s handling of Senate funds.
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, SENATE PRESIDENT: Ang asawa ko ang nagbigay ng pera P1M para matayo ang law office ni Cayetano dahil umiiyak sa akin, wala siyang trabaho dahil pinatalsik ng Accra dahil dun sa Pepsi Paloma case.
Enrile also addresses speculation, about his relationship, with his chief of staff, lawyer Gigi Reyes.
Cayetano criticized Reyes, after she called him a hypocrite for not accepting Senate funds.
Enrile admits Reyes resigned, but he says wants her to stay.
He says he brings the issue before the people, confident of vindication.
Story 2: YOLY ONG FILES P88-M COUNTERCLAIM VS ENRILE
Ad veteran Yolanda Ong files a counter suit against Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Last year, Enrile filed a civil suit against Ong.
He asked for P31.5 million in damages, for an allegedly libelous column.
He claims the column quote -"besmirched" his reputation.
Last week, Ong filed a counterclaim, asking the court to dismiss the damage suit.
Instead, she says Enrile must pay her 88 million pesos in damages, and 1 million in attorney's fees.
Ong says she did not cause Enrile any damage.
His "reputation is not the spotless or untarnished one that he alleges."
If the court favors Ong, she says she will donate the money to the victims of the Marcos dictatorship.
Ong says Enrile can afford to pay P89 million, because he has a net worth of P117.7 million.
That’s based on his latest statement of assets.
Ong’s attorney is human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno.
He says "It is not often that we get a change to litigate history...
and look deeply into the reputation and character, of a public figure as prominent as Senator Enrile.”
Last year, Ong published an article entitled, "Like Father, Like Son."
Enrile's damage suit reads: "The article characterizes JPE [Enrile] as liar, fraud, and manipulator.
It accuses Enrile of attempting to 'revise history' and quote -entice the electorate- to support his son Jack Enrile.
Story 3: CAYETANO: ISSUE WON'T END UNTIL SENATE OPENS BOOKS
After their word war, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano still wants Senate President Enrile to address the selective release of Senate funds.
In an interview Thursday, Cayetano repeats his call to Enrile to allow a private, independent audit of Senate funds.
The argument stems from Enrile’s decision to exclude 4 senators from getting additional Senate funds.
The four Enrile critics only got the first tranche.
The rest got a total of P1.6 million.
He adds, “This issue will not end until they open the Senate’s books.”
On Wednesday, the argument turned personal, when Enrile brought up the debts of Cayetano's late father.
Cayetano says Enrile is not addressing the real issue.
ALAN PETER CAYETANO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Wala na sa akin ‘tong lahat pero ineexpect ko pa rin ang PR campaign nila kasi ganoon talaga ang style nila sa nakaraang labanan. They won’t answer the issue pero mamemersonal pa rin.
Cayetano’s sister Pia says in a tweet: “It’s sad to see my deceased father dragged into this when issues raised by Senator Alan are serious.”
Story 4: US SHIP TO BE LIFTED BY CRANE FROM TUBBATAHA REEF
It's been a week after a U.S. minesweeper ran aground on Tubbataha Reef.
The Americans say they will remove the ship by lifting it with a crane.
The Philippine Coast Guard says --quote-- "The boat will be lifted and brought to a shipyard."
The coast guard says the operation will not begin until early February.
That’s when the Singaporean salvage company hired by the US Navy will be ready.
After a preliminary assessment, the coast guard rules out other options, such as dragging the ship with a tugboat, or dismantling it piece by piece.
The USS Guardian crashed into the reef January 17.
Two days later, it turned 90 degrees because of strong currents and winds.
Story 5: 22 COPS IN ATIMONAN KILLINGS FACE ADMIN RAPS
The Philippine National Police says, 22 police officers involved in the Quezon shooting will face administrative charges.
PNP Director General Alan Purisima says this includes Superintendent Hansel Marantan, who headed the checkpoint.
The 22 cops will be placed under restrictive custody.
This comes after a police probe said, violations were committed by the checkpoint team.
The National Bureau of Investigation will determine, if the policemen will also face criminal charges.
On January 6, police killed 13 alleged gang members in a checkpoint south of Manila.
Story 6: 7TH FILIPINO DEAD IN ALGERIA HOSTAGE CRISIS
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirms Thursday a 7th Filipino worker was killed in Algeria.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez says the body was identified by the Filipino’s British employers.
Six Filipinos were killed, while 12 survived.
The 72-hour hostage drama took place in the north African desert.
Hernandez says -- quote -- "Most of them died from gunshot wounds and explosions."
Two other Filipinos remain missing.
Four more are in an Algerian hospital, recovering from injuries.
Story 7: NORTH KOREA SAYS PLANNED NUCLEAR TEST AIMED AT US
North Korea says Thursday it plans to carry out a nuclear test and more rocket launches, targeting the United States.
North Korea's National Defense Commission says -- quote --"The high-level nuclear tests are aimed at our arch-enemy, the United States."
It does not indicate when the test might be carried out, neither does it explain the meaning of "high-level".
North Korea also condemns the sanctions announced by the UN Security Council in response to its rocket launch last month.
Reports say Pyongyang finished technical preparations and could conduct an atomic test within days of a decision by leader Kim Jong-Un.
Story 8: EMOTIONAL CLINTON ANGRILY DENIES BENGHAZI COVER-UP
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denies Republican charges of a cover-up over the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
On Wednesday, Clinton testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Republican senators question her on the lack of security at the compound in Benghazi, where US ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed.
Senator Ron Johnson repeatedly asks Clinton, why the administration initially blamed the attack on protests against an anti-Islam video.
Clinton responds, "What difference does it make?"
"It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again."
Speaking before a Senate panel, Clinton says there was no administration cover-up.
But top Republican senators reject her explanations.
Senator Rand Paul says she should have been fired, for ignoring requests for additional security.
Clinton says she takes full responsibility.
HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: We’ve come a long way in the past four years, and we cannot afford to retreat now. When America is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences. Extremism takes root; our interests suffer; our security at home is threatened.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, in a move that marks another change for the military, the US defense department says it will lift a ban on women serving in combat.
Last year, the American military allowed openly gay troops for the first time.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Armed Forces chief General Martin Dempsey are expected to announce the "lifting of the direct combat exclusion rule.”
This would open hundreds of thousands of combat posts to American women.
At number 5, a government panel reviewing India's sex crime laws proposes tougher jail terms, but stops short of calling for the death sentence.
The review was prompted by the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi.
A panel member says the maximum sentence for gang-rape should be raised to life imprisonment.
India's 153-year-old criminal code says rapists should serve a minimum of 7 years and a maximum life term.
And at number 9, US company Deep Space Industries announces plans to send a fleet of spacecraft into space.
Its purpose: to mine asteroids for metals and other materials for further space exploration.
DSI plans to send "asteroid-prospecting spacecraft" into space.
DSI predicts that in 10 years, it will be able to harvest metals from asteroids to build space-based infrastructure.
Story 10: TRANSGENDERS SHAKING UP TRADITIONAL SEXES
Leaders of transsexual groups say gender identities are evolving.
They also challenge stereotypes, calling for more openness and acceptance.
Bea Cupin reports.
Girl, boy, gay, lesbian -- sexuality and gender identities are straight-forward that way, right? Think again.
In the latest of Rappler's #SexTalk series, resident sex writer Ana Santos hosts a Google Hangout about why Filipinos need to rethink their concepts of human sexuality.
Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines secretary Charlese Sabelle goes over the basic concepts of gender and sexuality.
She says, there's your gender identity, or a person's sense of his or her body.
Biological or assigned sex is the gender you're born with.
Sexual orientation on the other hand is an individual's preference when it comes to love, romance, and intimacy.
So how do you ”define” a transgender person?
CHARLESE SABALLE, SECRETARY, SOCIETY OF TRANSEXUAL WOMEN OF THE PHILIPPINES: A transgender person is an individual whose gender identity and/or our gender expression is not traditionally aligned with the assigned sex.
But the word’s definition is still changing. And that’s where the confusion--and sometimes, insensitivity happens.
Transmen, for instance, are often labelled “tomboys.”
They aren’t, says Dei Cayosa, member coordinator for Transman Pilipinas.
DEI CAYOSA, MEMBER COORDINATOR, TRANSMAN PILIPINAS: We are living as men trapped in a woman's body.
The difficulties of transgender people in the Philippines don’t end there.
The most basic of daily tasks become tricky.
CHARLESE SABALLE, SECRETARY, SOCIETY OF TRANSEXUAL WOMEN OF THE PHILIPPINES: Sa MRT, diba merong female train? The guards would sometimes not allow transwomen to board the train. They would say: 'ah di ka pwede diyan, lalaki ka. So dun ka sa kabila.'
The Philippines lags behind when it comes to addressing LGBT issues.
The Philippines lacks laws that allow transgender people to change their genders on official documents.
Getting documents for employment wasn’t a walk in the park for Dei.
DEI CAYOSA, MEMBER COORDINATOR, TRANSMAN PILIPINAS: Titignan ka nila and then sasabihin nila, ikaw ba to?
As with most “taboo” topics, the problem’s there because people don’t talk about it enough.
RAMILLE ANDAG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BABAYLANES: For the longest time ang mga pinag-uusapan, lesbians, gay and bisexuals. But discussions around transexuals and transgender... kulang na kulang pa rin.
Ramille challenges Filipinos to go beyond the stereotypes and question close-minded views on sexuality and gender identity.
RAMILLE ANDAG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BABAYLANES: We have those social constructs na parang pinanganak palang, naka-assign na sa atin. I think it's high time that we question also these constructs--how empowering are these constructs, or how disempowering or limiting these constructs are?
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila
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|