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Today on Rappler.
Story 1: SULTAN TO U.S.: PROTECT US IN SABAH
With the ongoing standoff in Sabah, the spokesman of self-proclaimed Sulu sultan says Jamalul Kiram III will ask the US government to help reclaim the territory from Malaysia.
Spokesman Abraham Idjirani says the 1915 Kiram-Carpenter Agreement assures the Sultan American protection --quote "should a problem arise in Sabah between the Sultan of Sulu and other foreign countries."
Idjirani says they have evidence Sabah belongs to them and the Malaysian government is paying rental fees to the Sultan of Sulu.
He explains the British Empire had been paying them the equivalent of 5,300 ringgit in Mexican gold coins since 1870.
Idjirani adds --quote, "We have receipts of their payment."
The spokes man also says the sultan has not changed his orders to the 180 Filipinos defying Malaysian forces to stay in Sabah.
Mexican gold coins image via Shutterstock
Story 2: AQUINO: WE RECOGNIZE MARTIAL LAW VICTIMS
President Benigno Aquino commemorates the 27th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution by signing the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.
In a speech Monday at the People Power Monument, Aquino says the enactment of the law will help heal the wounds of victims of Martial Law abuses.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Kabilang po ng iba pang mga nagsulong ng batas na ito, tiniyak nilang hindi man maibabalik ang panahon na ninakaw sa mga biktima ng Batas Militar, masisiguro naman ang pagkilala ng estado sa kanilang pinagdaanan at nang sa gayon ay mailapit sila sa tuluyang paghihilom ng mga sugat ng nakaraan.
Under the law, some P10 billion funds recovered from the Swiss bank accounts of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos will be appropriated for victims’ reparation.
Eighty percent of the amount will be spent for existing claims and 20% for future ones.
The law also creates the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission.
The Palace says the commission aims to "educate young people about the abuses committed by the Marcos regime and the heroism by those who opposed it."
The event marks the 27th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, a peaceful uprising that ended the 20-year Marcos regime.
Story 3: END MUDSLINGING? TEAM PNOY SAYS ENOUGH
Team PNoy campaign manager Franklin Drilon says the administration slate wants to stop mudslinging and refuses to fire back.
On Sunday, United Nationalist Alliance campaign manager Toby Tiangco accused Drilon of pushing for a 12-0 win for Team PNoy because of his supposed bid for the Senate presidency.
In a press conference Monday, Drilon says, "I will not dignify those statements because I am not a candidate."
Drilon says the issues of the elections should be focused on the principles of the parties.
Last week, the Diocese of Bacolod campaigned against 5 of the administration’s senatorial candidates -- Senators Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, former Akbayan Rep Risa Hontiveros, and Aurora Rep Sonny Angara -- for supporting the controversial reproductive health bill.
Drilon says the coalition disagrees with the church but will not respond.
He adds, "We are saddened by that decision but we will respect it. Leave it to the people to decide."
Story 4: AQUINO BETS FACE POLL OFFENSE
The Commission on Elections tells all of the President's bets to remove all of their illegal posters.
Comelec legal department head Esmeralda Ladra says the poll body has written all 12 senatorial bets of Team PNoy for an alleged campaign violation.
Ladra says a poster of the Liberal Party-led coalition’s group photo was found on an electric post in a Paranaque City subdivision.
Under Comelec rules, the poll body will charge them with an election offense if they fail to remove the illegal poster within a 3-day grace period.
She says the Comelec will also charge two party-list groups – Piston and Kabataan – for failing to take down their illegal posters even after the grace period.
Comelec Resolution No. 9615 prohibits the posting of campaign or propaganda material “outside authorized common poster areas, in public places, or in private properties without the consent of the owner.”
Story 5: OIL SPILL REACHES LA UNION SURF BEACHES
A citizen reports the oil spill from a cargo ship that sank a week ago near Pangasinan has not been fully contained and is now contaminating the surfing beaches of La Union.
Local surfer Mickey Galang from San Juan, La Union says traces of fuel have been found on beaches in at least 3 towns in the area.
Galang says several surfer clubs are now conducting cleanup operations on the beaches in La Union, a popular surfing destination.
The surfers informed the Coast Guard about the situation Sunday.
Galang posted several pictures of the aspect of the beaches on her Facebook.
Laura Riavitz, a marine biologist in La Union, says the oil spill is --quote "a hazard to marine and terrestrial animals as they may eat them."
At least one person died and 14 others, all Burmese nationals, are still missing after the Panama-flagged cargo ship M/V Harita Bauxite sank off Pangasinan on February 17.
Story 6: BRITISH CARDINAL RESIGNS
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in Britain, announces his resignation after being accused of 'inappropriate conduct.'
This comes following reports that three priests and a former priest complained about inappropriate behavior towards them in the 1980s.
The cardinal denies the allegations.
O’Brien’s resignation is the second major shakeup in the Catholic Church after Pope Benedict XVI announced he is stepping down at the end of February.
Story 7: JOHN PAUL II MULLED RESIGNING, TOO
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this month sent shockwaves across the world.
But Paterno Esmaquel reports, no less than Pope John Paul II, the most beloved Pope in recent history, contemplated resigning from office.
By resigning, is Benedict XVI taking his cue from John Paul II?
A best-selling book reveals John Paul's plan to quit the papacy. The book “Why He is a Saint” contains his resignation letter among other documented details to support his case for sainthood.
In the book, a letter by John Paul shows he considered retiring at 75, like ordinary bishops.
The sickly John Paul asks his closest friends about this, “consulting in particular with then-cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”
The book doesn't discuss the response of the German-born Joseph Ratzinger, who eventually becomes Pope Benedict XVI.
It simply says John Paul abandoned the idea of a retirement age.
In two letters, however, John Paul says cardinals should consider him resigned “in the case of an infirmity that is judged to be incurable and that prevents me from exercising [adequately] the duties of the Petrine ministry.”
John Paul vows to carry on as long as he could.
He tells a doctor in 1994: “You must heal me. And I must heal. Because there is no place in the Church for a pope emeritus.”
The last time he led Holy Week rites, John Paul says: “Jesus did not descend from the cross. Why should I? … I have to make it to the end.”
Two decades after he thought of resigning, his successor Benedict quits the papacy.
He cites health reasons, and says he recognizes his “incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted” to him.
In his biography published in 2010, he already says it's a pope's right – and obligation – to resign if he cannot fulfill his duties.
Another telltale sign: he often prays at the tomb of the 13th century saint Celestine V, who issued a decree allowing pontiffs to quit.
A leading theologian who worked with then Cardinal Ratzinger, Fr Catalino Arevalo says Benedict made a reasonable decision.
FR CATALINO AREVALO, FORMER MEMBER, INT'L THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION: It's a tremendous act of spiritual freedom, and a tremendous act of courage, and it is a great legacy that he leaves behind in the Church. And I say, I think it is a great act of a great man.
Arevalo says Benedict's resignation clarifies the role of a Catholic pope.
AREVALO: By resigning he makes it very clear, the pope is a servant of the Church. The title that has been used for centuries – servus servorum Dei, the servant of the servants of God. The Church is much bigger than the Pope, and here when the Pope, as a human person, as a human being, reaches the point of inadequacy, that's as a human being, but the Church goes on.
Experts say the first resignation in 600 years will have a long-term impact on the Church.
Despite their prominence, will this be the start of former Popes, roaming the corridors of the Vatican, without influence, without a voice?
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila
Story 8: SOUTH KOREA SWEARS IN FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT
Park Geun-Hye is sworn in as South Korea's first female president Monday, February 25, vowing zero tolerance with provocation from North Korea.
As leader of Asia's fourth-largest economy, Park faces challenges including slowing growth and soaring welfare costs in one of the world's most rapidly aging societies.
Park calls on North Korea to --quote "abandon its nuclear ambitions without delay" and rejoin the international community.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 1, It’s the end of an era: Raul Castro announces Sunday he will step down as Cuba’s president in 2018 after he finishes his final term.
Castro says he aims to set two-term limits and age caps for political office, including the presidency.
He names rising political star Miguel Diaz-Canel first in the line of succession.
At number 2, Pope Benedict XVI celebrates his last Sunday prayers in St Peter's Square on February 24 ahead of his formal resignation on Thursday.
The pope says God told him to devote himself to quiet contemplation but says this does not mean he would "abandon" the Church.
In recent days, speculative reports of gay sex scandals in the Vatican dominated headlines in Italian news.
Vatican experts say the explosion of bad press is fed by carefully orchestrated leaks meant to weaken some papal contenders.
At number 7, The Afghan government bars US troops from operating in the province of Maidan Wardak after complaints that Afghans working for the Americans tortured and killed villagers in the area.
The action reflects a distrust of international forces -- a sentiment held by many Afghans, who feel both US forces and the Taliban are responsible for continued violence in the country.
On Sunday, two Taliban suicide bombers kill 3 members of Afghan security forces in two attacks, but police foil a third attack in Kabul.
And at number 8, The Philippines will be one of the first countries to get the first smartphone running the new Firefox OS - the world’s first fully open mobile platform.
The new smartphones are expected to be released summer of 2013.
The Firefox smartphone OS is an extension of the personalized web experience provided by the popular internet browser.
Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs says apps like Facebook and Twitter won't be distributed in just one app store, in keeping up with Mozilla’s aim to “free the web.”
Story 10: 'ARGO' WINS BEST PICTURE ON SHARED OSCARS NIGHT
At the climax of Hollywood's biggest night, the 85th Academy Awards, Ben Affleck's Iran hostage crisis drama "Argo” wins the coveted best film Oscar.
Taiwan-born Ang Lee wins best director for spectacular 3D fantasy "Life of Pi," Daniel Day-Lewis takes home his third best actor trophy for "Lincoln," and Jennifer Lawrence is crowned best actress for "Silver Linings Playbook."
But veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose presidential drama had the most nominations with 12 nods, went home without either of the top awards -- best picture or best director.
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|