At least 51 killed as tornado hits Oklahoma suburb. 30 Chinese vessels, 1 warship sighted in Palawan. Chiz poorest Senator, Manny Villar still richest.
Today on Rappler.
Story 1: NO MORE PRIVATE PLANES IN NAIA BY 2015
Transportation secretary Jun Abaya says the government will not allow private planes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by 2015 to ease congestion.
Abaya says this will allow commercial airlines to mount additional flights.
Private planes and flying schools operating in the Manila airport will be transferred to Sangley Point in Cavite.
Abaya says --quote "We hope to operationalize Laguindingan in April this year. DOTC or CAAP will then take over Sangley and develop it as the general aviation hub.”
Small aircraft operators, including flying schools and private airlines of the country's richest, have been using NAIA for decades.
NAIA congestion delays flights and causes numerous passenger complaints.
Story 2: AQUINO: DON'T BELIEVE IN 'AGIMAT'
President Benigno Aquino tells Cavite voters, don’t rely on chance, much less lucky charms.
It’s a dig at Bong Revilla-- the amulet-touting senator catapulted to fame and national politics by his movies.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
Let the election season begin.
A few days before the official start of the campaign period, President Benigno Aquino III visits vote-rich Cavite and endorses his local and senatorial candidates.
Aquino takes the opportunity to push for the Liberal Party and slam his opponents. Aquino's target?
The Revilla clan.
Sen Ramon "Bong" Revilla is being groomed by the Lakas-CMD as its 2016 presidential bet.
His son Jolo is running for vice governor, against Aquino's candidate, Jay Lacson.
Aquino pokes fun at the amulet Bong Revilla wears, which allegedly brings him luck.
Revilla, like his father before him, movie star and Senator Ramon Revilla Sr became box office stars in a string of movies about a local hero who wears an amulet.
That also came in handy when they entered politics.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Paalala lamang po: asahan na po ninyong may mga nagpapanggap, at may mga nakikisakay diumano sa ating krusada, may mga nakikisuot ng kulay dilaw, pero hindi tiyak kung anong kulay ang nasa loobin. Huwag po tayong umasa sa tsamba, o sa agimat o anting-anting.
Cavite has about 1.6 million voters, one of the highest in the country.
Aquino topped the polls in Cavite in 2010 garnering about half a million votes.
He harnesses his influence in the province, urging them to vote for his gubernatorial bet, former governor and incumbent Cavite 3rd district representative Erineo "Ayong" Maliksi.
Aquino says his candidates are the only ones he trust will continue his reforms.
AQUINO: Simple lang naman po ang inyong pagpipilian. Sa isang ruta, ang landas kung saan pansariling kapakanan ng mga opisyal ang nangunguna habang naiiwang nakalugmok sa kahirapan at kawalang-pag-asa ang buong Cavite. Sa kabilang ruta naman ay ang tuwid na daan, kung saan walang-pag-aalinlangang naglilingkod ang inyong mga pinuno.
Also in Cavite with Aquino are his senatorial candidates: his cousin Bam Aquino, and former Akbayan Party representative Risa Hontiveros.
The two lag behind in ratings, and they need the exposure with the president.
BAM AQUINO, TEAM PNOY: Hindi na po kailangan lumayo, dito na mismo sa probinsya natin, dito po mismo dapat ang trabaho.
RISA HONTIVEROS, TEAM PNOY: Para sa akin po, nais ko pong maipagpatuloy ang laban natin para sa pangkalusugan.
It's an LP event turned political rally.
Traditionally, a province's support for a national leader does not translate to votes of the same party in the local level.
This is why Aquino draws clear lines between his camp and the opponent's, a strategy he hopes will work in the the hotly contested province of Cavite.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Cavite.
Story 3: MITOS: I AM NOT CLOSE ARROYO ALLY
Zambales Representative and UNA senatorial candidate Mitos Magsaysay says she is not a close ally of former president Gloria Arroyo.
Magsaysay says she only defends Arroyo when she feels the former president is being deprived of her right to due process.
MITOS MAGSAYSAY, UNA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Even in the Arroyo administration they used to question whether I was part of the majority. Because I sounded more like I'm opposition asking them questions and her Cabinet secretaries then would tell GMA, are you sure she's part of the majority? How come she keeps on calling us out in committee hearings?
Magsaysay adds, she did not benefit from Arroyo.
MITOS MAGSAYSAY, UNA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I was the one who was the least close to GMA in the past administration. I never went to presidential trips, I never had any extras as far as my PDAF is concerned. I didn't benefit anything from her and she was wary of me also because I'm too vocal for her.
Magsaysay also talks about her position on the controversial reproductive health bill and the sin tax bill.
She says the RH bill is redundant because its provisions are already covered by an existing law, the Magna Carta for Women.
MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Why do we need to pollute too many laws in this country when existing laws already take care of them?
MARIA RESSA: So you support basic framework for it, the reason for the RH?
MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Exactly. We never consider the taxpayers in this issue. When we asked the pro-RH side, how much money do you think we should allocate for condoms and contraceptives, and they said 3 billion. And for me that's a big amount, it's too steep.
Magsaysay also explains her opposition to the sin tax law, which would raise prices for alcohol and tobacco.
She says there is no safeguard to protect tobacco farmers affected by the law.
MITOS MAGSAYSAY, UNA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: I don't just look at it at the point of view of the health issue. When you pass a law you have to look at the overall picture and get everyone involved, all the stakeholders should be involved and should be heard. I don't mind increasing the taxes on tobacco and alcohol, but it shouldn't be too steep that it will affect the industry itself.
Story 4: PRO-RH POLITICIANS NEED TO WIN IN 2013 POLLS
Reproductive health advocates celebrate the passage of the law that took almost 14 years.
Now they’re gearing up for the next fight-- the 2013 elections.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
The men and women who worked hard to pass the Reproductive Health law gather in February to celebrate the historic passage of the controversial measure.
ESPERANZA CABRAL, FORMER HEALTH SECRETARY: Were it not for the movement to promote reproductive health i would not have known many of the legislator which changed my mind about legislators.
It’s a night to recognize the champions – inside and outside Congress – including the very first lawmakers who filed the measure back in the 11th Congress.
JANETTE GARIN, ILOILO REPRESENTATIVE: Para kaming nahulugan ng kidlat when former Speaker JDV came and said, mahirap. Nakikiusap ang simbahan. I was very much discouraged. We started sitting down with all energy lost. It was Tita Josie who said Hindi pwede. She said it very slowly. Pero may dalang takot sa mata niya. Walang nagawa si JDV.
ESPERANZA CABRAL, FORMER HEALTH SECRETARY: I think that I really stimulated rage from the Catholic hierarchy when I was secretary of health as well as secretary of DSWD.
FELICIANO BELMONTE, HOUSE SPEAKER: We finally managed to get it through because the other side thought they had the numbers.
Numbers naman was quite fluid… Talagang napaka-close. Even we were really in the minority pero nagawa natin. Congratulations sa inyong lahat
It’s also a night to remind themselves, the passage of the RH law does not end there.
There are petitions before the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the law.
They should make sure the law is actually implemented.
And that funding is guaranteed.
EDCEL LAGMAN, RH AUTHOR: Onwards and we must assure in the forthcoming in the May elections. That RH advocates get the people's mandate so that adequate and responsive appropriation will be allocated for the RH law.
They sing, they dance, they cheer. A well-deserved break before they face the next battle.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler Manila.
Story 5: CASINOS EXEMPT FROM AMLA AMENDMENTS
The new and tougher anti-money laundering law excludes casinos and internet gaming.
On Wednesday, Congress ratifies amendments to expand the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
Senator Teofisto Guingona says casinos and internet gaming were excluded at the request of the House and of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
He says, "[They] excluded casinos from coverage because [House members] warned it would deter investors."
The passage of the law comes five weeks before the opening of Entertainment City, a 4 billion dollar Manila casino complex.
Story 6: GOVT MAY ALLOW PHILEX MINE TO REOPEN TEMPORARILY
The government may allow Philex Mining Corp. to resume its Padcal mine operations as early as next week.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau Leo Jasareno says they are considering Philex’s request.
Philex wants to produce tailings and fill the void in its compromised pond.
Heavy rain in August 2012 caused a leak in Padcal's tailings pond.
Foreign consultants hired by Philex recommend a process called “beaching,” where 3.5 million tons of fresh tailings must be dumped into the pond to push the water away.
Jasareno says there is no other way to fill the void.
Representatives from indigenous groups also filed a petition for Philex to resume operations, saying the suspension order hurt their livelihood.
Story 7: ALLEGED KILLER OF US MARINE IDENTIFIED
Less than 3 months after the death of a US Marine in Makati, the alleged killer is identified.
A policeman and digital imaging expert examine the CCTV footage and point to a hand coming close to the victim's neck.
In the next frame, the victim's neck is gushing blood.
He later collapses on the side of the road.
The witness presented by the prosecution did not identify the assailant by name, but says his description matches that of 24-year-old Juan Alfonso Abastillas.
Abastillas and 3 other Filipinos are charged with the murder of George Anikow on November 24, 2012.
The judge will rule on their petition for bail in 2 weeks.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, The world is closely watching North Korea’s upcoming atomic test.
Scientists say it will give a glimpse of where its nuclear program is headed-- more importantly what type of device is detonated and how.
Speculations point to the first time test of a uranium device.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies says this means the North can produce weapons-grade uranium which --quote “doubles its pathways to building more bombs in the future.”
At number 4, The White House bows to Congress’ demands to release its legal basis for the killing of US citizens by armed drones.
The move is seen as an attempt to ease pressure on John Brennan, the architect of the drones strategy.
Brennan has an upcoming Senate confirmation hearing as CIA director Thursday.
The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama ordered the release of the 50-page legal rationale to Senate intelligence committee members.
In September 2011, drones killed US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, Said al-Shehri, a senior al-Qaida commander.
The revelation is an embarrassment to the White House, which pressured news outlets to kill the report for 12 months on grounds of national security.
At number 6, Software makers Microsoft Corp and Symantec Corp disrupt a global cyber crime operation that infected thousands of PCs with malicious software.
Technicians raid data centers on Wednesday to shut down servers of the cybercrime operation, known as the Bamital botnet.
The servers communicated with an estimated 300,000 to 1 million PCs.
The companies say the operation hijacked internet search results, installed computer viruses for identity theft, and fraudulently charged businesses for online ad clicks.
Microsoft and Symantec offer users of infected PCs free tools to restore access to web searches.
And at number 9, Supporters of King Richard III reconstruct the face of the medieval king.
Richard III is portrayed in history as a murderous villain who killed his nephews to usurp the throne.
The Richard III Society commissions the reconstruction after a skeleton found under a parking lot in Leicester, England was confirmed to belong to the king.
The society says the reconstruction gives a human face to an unfairly maligned king.
Scientists use CT scans of the skull and portraits as reference for the reconstruction.
Story 9: AZKALS DEFEAT MYANMAR IN FRIENDLY
The Philippine Azkals are off to a great start of their 2013 campaign as they beat Myanmar, 1-0, in their friendly match in Yangon on Wednesday.
OJ Porteria scores the winning goal on the 77th minute for the Philippines in the FIFA-sanctioned international friendly against the White Angels.
The Azkals were effective in the midfield at the start of the second half.
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|