Rappler Newscast | March 6, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The foreign affairs department says the Sultan of Sulu refused a deal for their freedom if they leave Sabah peacefully.
- Malacañang says the shootout in Atimonan, Quezon was a rubout.
- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dies after a long fight with cancer.
Story 1: MALAYSIA HUNTS MISSING FILIPINOS
Malaysian forces search house-to-house Wednesday after Filipino gunmen in Sabah apparently escape an air raid and ground offensive.
Malaysia launched an attack Tuesday on Filipino invaders to end the three-week standoff following bloody shootouts that began Friday and continued over the weekend.
Malaysian authorities say the Filipinos escaped to surrounding farmland in the remote region of Borneo island.
Prime Minister Najib Razak says security forces are "weeding out" the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who sailed to Sabah to reclaim the territory.
A leader of the Moro National Liberation Front says fighters from his group arrive in Sabah to support the militants.
MNLF Islamic Command Council chair Muhajab Hashim says the fighters "slipped through the security forces."
He adds, “We are expecting more of them to join the battle, even if our official instruction is for them to refrain from going.”
MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari confirms “freedom fighters” from his group are part of the armed gunmen in Sabah.
Story 2: KIRAM REFUSED PH, MALAYSIA DEAL
The foreign affairs department says the Filipino group in Sabah refused President Benigno Aquino's offer for their peaceful withdrawal.
In exchange the government will not file charges against them.
In a Q&A released Wednesday, the DFA says the government pursued options to resolve the standoff, but the proposals submitted to Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III -- quote -- "did not merit acceptance by all parties."
On Monday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario went to Kuala Lumpur to ask Malaysia to allow a Philippine Navy ship to provide humanitarian services to Filipinos affected by the standoff.
The DFA says the request is "still being considered in light of the security environment" in Sabah.
It also denies a statement from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which claims Del Rosario agreed to label Kiram's men as "terrorists."
Story 3: PINOYS IN SABAH FEAR RETALIATION
Filipinos in Sabah say they fear for their safety after violent clashes between Filipino gunmen and Malaysian security forces.
The Filipinos say those bearing the IMM13 passports are apprehended and their identification cards confiscated.
The IMM13 is a temporary pass given to Filipino refugees in the 1980s.
In a radio interview, a Sabah-based Filipina says their movements are limited and closely monitored by Malaysian authorities.
There are an estimated 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah.
Acting Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov Mujiv Hataman says the government is expecting mass deportation of Filipinos from Sabah.
The Office of Civil Defense says about 280 Filipinos from Sabah arrived in Zamboanga and Tawi-Tawi Tuesday night.
Story 4: TAWI-TAWI TAKING HIT FROM SABAH CONFLICT
Tawi-tawi’s strong links with the rest of Southeast Asia, shapes its culture, history and economy.
Angela Casauay reports how the Sabah conflict affects the island.
Before the Lahad Datu invasion, people from Tawi-Tawi traveled in and out of Sabah without passports.
Residents say Malaysian authorities did random checks but that was all.
Since the followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III invaded Lahud Datu, Malaysian authorities have clamped down on border entries.
SADIKUL SAHALI, TAWI-TAWI GOVERNOR: Dati-rati ang mga taga-rito doon namamalengke sa Sabah dahil mura at saka malapit. E ngayon di na pwedeng pumasok ngayon, mamalengke. Ang mga traders, traders ang tawag natin sa kanila, hindi na rin pwede magpunta roon makabili ng foodstruff para makabalik dito para itinda sa mga nandito. Ibigay sa mga taga-rito. (Before, people here used to do their groceries in Sabah beause it's cheap and near. But now, you can't enter anymore. The traders, we call them traders, they can't go there anymore to buy foodstuff so that they can come back here to sell their stuff.)
It's only 8 hours by boat to the Sabah town of Sandakan, compared to 18 hours if they go to Zamboanga.
The proximity has led to friendly trading between the two areas.
Tawi-tawi's primary source of food is Sabah as well as crude oil.
Even its vices comes from its closest trading partner.
In Bongao, trade center of Tawi-Tawi, basic goods have gone up.
A sack of rice now costs P750 to P800 from P600-P680, while crude oil costs PP60/L to P48/L.
Yet traders still choose to go to Sabah for their supplies.
Buying from Zambonga will only push prices even higher.
SAID ASSIM, TRADING BOAT CAPTAIN: Hindi kami kasama doon. Mga manggugulo yan. Magagandang tao kami, Mag-negosyo lang. (We’re not involved in that. They are just troublemakers. We just want to conduct business.)
The residents of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi say conflict in Lahud Datu has not spread to other areas and they will brave the seas to get their supplies.
For them, it's not a matter of practicality-- it's a matter of survival.
Angela Casauay, Rappler, Tawi-Tawi.
Story 5: AQUINO TURNS EMOTIONAL OVER SABAH
President Aquino continues to join Team PNoy's sorties in Mindanao.
In General Santos City, Aquino speaks about the Sabah standoff.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
The President is not attending one, but two rallies in Mindanao while violence in Sabah continues.
A day after protests in Manila over President Aquino's alleged mishandling of Sabah, he is in Mindanao to join his coalition Team PNoy on the campaign trail.
In General Santos City, a huge crowd welcomes Aquino.
He gets emotional as he talks about Sabah.
But also asks the region to support his slate.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Tama ho ba yung sinususog ng ilan na dapat suportahan natin yung mga nandoon na may dalang mga armas na nagkaroon na ng patayan? Dapat ho maliwanag na maliwanag dito. Itong pangyayaring ito ay mali. Kung mali, bakit natin susuportahan? Ako po baka mag-retire na sa 2016, sinong magpapatuloy? Ipapakita ko po sa inyo, na ngayon pa lang magpapatuloy na. Ito po ang ating Team PNoy na mga kandidato. (Is it right to listen to those pushing to support those in Sabah who brought arms... when a shootout has already happened? This should be clear. What happened in Sabah is wrong. If it’s wrong, why should we support it? I might be retiring in 2016, who will continue what I do? These people who, as early as now, are already doing their part. This is our Team PNoy.)
Bets find nothing wrong with Aquino joining them.
They argue his presence here does not mean he is not on top of the situation, especially with the Dept of Foreign Affairs currently in negotiations with Malaysia.
Mindanao bet Koko Pimentel says the President can monitor the situation from here.
KOKO PIMENTEL, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: The president’s schedule can accommodate going to sorties, so why not? Just because there is Sabah…magkukulong na lang siya sa Malacañang Palace? (He’ll lock himself up in Malacañang Palace?)
Candidates argue Aquino's decision to come to Mindanao is not just about the elections.
Campaign manager Franklin Drilon says he is talking to leaders here about Sabah.
Former senator Jamby Madrigal says Aquino coming here is a good thing, especially because those most affected by the conflict are Mindanaons.
JAMBY MADRIGAL, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: It’s good that he’s reaching people in Mindanao because Mindanao people are also affected by this Sabah stand. I think you shouldn’t look at this as campaigning. You should look at this as the president trying to get the opinions, the consensus, of all the people affected by the Sabah stand.
In 2010, Aquino lost in Mindanao to former president Joseph Estrada, who now heads the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: Insensitive? Or understandable? Aquino's decision to go on sorties is viewed as a non-issue by his bets, who benefit from his presence here. Elections is still two months away and voters may forget about Sabah by then. But they will likely remember the time he spent here.
Natashya Gutierrez, General Santos.
Story 6: PALACE ON ATIMONAN: IT'S A RUBOUT
Citing the results of a government investigation, Malacañang says evidence on the Atimonan incident point to a rubout - a planned execution.
In a press conference, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte says says all victims were summarily executed.
Valte says President Aquino accepted in full the National Bureau of Investigation's executive report about the incident in Atimonan, Quezon.
She says the president directed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to file the appropriate criminal and administrative charges against Hansel Marantan, James Andres Melad, and others involved in the incident.
On January 6, a total of 13 suspected robbery gang members died in the incident.
23 officials of the Philippine National Police and 25 members of the military were involved.
Story 7: 5 MORE BISHOPS CAMPAIGNING VS 'TEAM PATAY'
Five bishops in different provinces will hang “Team Patay” posters in their dioceses.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Bishops Buenaventura Famadico, Jose Oliveros, Antonio Palang, and Reynaldo Evangelista will follow the lead of Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra in campaigning against senatorial candidates who supported the Reproductive health law.
This comes after the Bacolod Diocese got a temporary restraining order preventing the Commission on Elections from taking down the posters.
Story 8: PHILEX GETS FINAL GO SIGNAL TO RESUME MINING
Philex Mining gets the approval to resume operations at its copper-gold mine in Benguet.
The Pollution Adjudication Board approves lifting the cease and desist order on the use of the tailings pond at Philex's mine.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau previously allowed Philex to temporarily resume operations after the firm paid over P1 billion in fines.
Story 9: HUGO CHAVEZ DIES AT 58
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday after months of battling cancer.
An emotional Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s successor, announces the news.
He says the army and police have been deployed --quote "to accompany and protect our people and guarantee the peace."
Leaders in Latin America express their condolences while the United States say this could lead to better diplomatic relations.
The Venezuelan foreign minister says Maduro will be interim president and an election will be called within 30 days.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Tensions in the Korean peninsula continue after North Korea says it might nullify the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.
The state’s official KCNA news agency says this could happen if new sanctions are imposed on the country over recent nuclear tests, which angered many countries.
At number 9, BlackBerry launches its latest smartphone in the Philippines.
The BlackBerry Z10 is the first smartphone to run BlackBerry's new smartphone operating system - the company's latest effort to regain users lost to iOS and Android.
The phone will be available in black and white models beginning March 19 with a suggested retail price of P29,900.
And at number 10, "Good, old-fashioned revenge", Iron Patriot, and the Mandarin.
These are some of what fans are waiting for in Iron Man 3.
Its latest trailer was recently published exclusively by Yahoo!.
The movie is loosely based on the Extremis comics storyline, where Iron Man gained the ability to control his armor through his nervous system.
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|