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: AQUINO, POE POST GAINS IN PULSE ASIA SURVEY
Administration candidates Bam Aquino and Grace Poe get the biggest gains in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial preference survey.
The cousin of President Benigno Aquino gains 11.8 percentage points resulting in a 43.2 percentage points rating.
Aquino's jump is enough to put him in a statistical tie for 4th-9th place with former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar, San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, and Nancy Binay.
Poe gets an 11.2 percentage points boost in her rating, landing her in the 4th-10th spot just a few points ahead of re-electionist Senator Koko Pimentel.
Senators Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero continue to lead the survey sharing the 1st-to-3rd place with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Completing the "Magic 12" are Senator Gringo Honasan, ranking 8th to 15th, Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile, rank 9th to 15th and, Senator Sonny Trillanes, also rank 9th to 15th.
Story 2: WILL SOME TEAM PNOY BETS CHANGE STRATEGY?
Some sink, some swim. Team Pnoy candidates receive the latest survey with mixed feelings...
and some of them are tweaking their campaigns.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
Team PNoy bets still dominate surveys but expect changes in strategy at least for some.
In the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted in February social entrepreneur and presidential cousin Bam Aquino joins former censors chief Grace Poe as the highest climbers.
Aquino's wife and proxy, Timi is ecstatic over the results, while Poe refuses to be complacent.
GRACE POE, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: I’m very grateful, I'm thankful for the trust but I continue to pray and work hard. I'm changing my ads already so that my main advocacy will be known.
But while Poe intends to try new tactics, a bet who has yet to make it to the magic 12 is sticking to her strategy.
A confident Risa Hontiveros has no plans of changing the direction of her campaign.
Since her ratings this time are higher than when she ran in 2010.
RISA HONTIVEROS, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: No plans to change strategy, still the old-fashioned but tested 'do more' of what is known as a good campaign. Keep on reaching out on the ground, to other networks who will vote for and campaign for me.
Along with Hontiveros, former senators Jamby Madrigal and Jun Magsaysay are still outside the top 12 and so is Aurora Rep Sonny Angara.
Campaign manager Franklin Drilon says he will focus on getting the 4 into the winning circle.
FRANKLIN DRILON, TEAM PNOY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: We will emphasize the one's not he tail end that have yet to enter the Magic 12. Give them more exposure in television. We need to show that we are one team, and united together.
The top 12 are 8-4 in favor of Team PNoy.
Team PNoy re-electionists Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano and Koko Pimentel are also in the winning circle as well as Las Piñas Rep Cynthia Villar.
Sen Antonio Trillanes, sits at number 12, but he saw the largest drop among all candidates.
The 12 also includes United Nationalist Alliance bets Sen Gringo Honasan, Cagayan Rep Jack Enrile, San Juan Rep JV Ejercito and the vice president's daughter, Nancy Binay.
Two other UNA bets, former senators Migz Zubiri and Richard Gordon, are just outside the magic circle.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ: With the elections still two months away, numbers may change. Team PNoy has more bets in the Magic 12 but with UNA fighting for slots, a 12-0 win for the administration is a greater challenge than imagined.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler. Quezon.
Story 3: LANTO DECLINES COMELEC POST
Hounded by controversy, former Lanao del Norte Representative Macabangkit Lanto declines his appointment as Commission on Elections commissioner --quote "with deep regret.
Lanto writes the president a letter saying --quote "I have arrived at this decision, owing in large part to the controversy that surrounded my appointment."
A former ambassador, Lanto was unseated as Lanao del Norte's second district representative in 1994 due to alleged poll fraud.
The House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal ruled he cheated to win the elections.
He also used to work for Team PNoy campaign manager Sen Franklin Drilon.
Lanto admits Drilon recommended him for the Comelec post.
Drilon declines further comment on Lanto saying "That's a decision he felt was something he had to do to put an end to an issue without any basis."
United Nationalist Alliance senatorial candidate Migz Zubiri welcomes Lanto's move while fellow UNA bet Dick Gordon criticizes the Palaces appointment.
MIGZ ZUBIRI, UNA SENATORIAL BET: That's the best thing that he could do.
Kasi siyempre may konting bahid-dungis sa kanyang pangalan dahil sa mga kasong nai-file sa kanya dati.
(His name is a litte bit tainted because of the cases previously filed against him.)
DICK GORDON, UNA SENATORIAL BET: It shows poor research on the part of the Palace. There's always knee-jerk reaction without studying their moves.
Story 4: POLL CHIEF TO PALACE: APPOINT COMELEC INSIDERS
Aside from Lanto, the palace also appointed election lawyer Bernadette Sardillo, but she too, turns it down.
With the two Palace appointees refusing to assume two vacant poll commissioners' posts, the country's election chief is urging the President to pick from among insiders at Comelec.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr says the poll body's work will be easier if the new commissioners already have working knowledge of the processes in an automated exercise.
The Comelec is also pressed for time in the preparations, since the elections are only two months away.
Story 5: ROXAS, KIRAM DISCUSS ‘DISENGAGEMENT’
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III discuss “disengagement” as part of efforts to seek an end to the 4-week Sabah standoff.
Roxas and Bantilan Esmail Kiram II meet for nearly two hours in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The two refuse to divulge specifics of their discussion, saying the details will first have to be reported to President Aquino.
Esmail Kiram is the younger brother of Jamalul, and the elder brother of Agbimuddin, also known as Raja Muda, who is leading the Kiram followers in Sabah and escaped an arrest.
The Secretary says he gave the Kirams updates on government efforts to coordinate with Malaysia to ensure the safety of innocent civilians in Sabah.
Roxas says the Kirams in turn raised their questions and concerns.
MAR ROXAS, PHILIPPINE INTERIOR SECRETARY: Napag-usapan lang halimbawa nasa sa publiko naman na sinabi ng lider ng Malaysia na pagbaba ng armas ang pinakakondisyon para magtigil putukan.
At nung pinarating ni Sultan Esmail na bukas ang Malaysia sa pag-uusap, pinaghandaan ng pamahalaan subalit di na nga natuloy ito. Sa anong dahilan ‘di ko alam.”
(We discussed for example that it is already made public that the leader of Malaysia asked that they surrender to stop the fighting. And when Sultan Esmail conveyed that Malaysia is open to talks, the government prepared for that but it did not push through. I don’t know why.)
Story 6: VATICAN PREPARES FOR CONCLAVE
Cardinals assemble in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel for the start of the conclave Tuesday, March 12 in a centuries-old ritual.
All the cardinals swear a solemn oath of secrecy and hold a first vote, where the challenge will be to find a 266th pope able to deal with the many challenges assailing the Church.
The church faces growing secularism in the West and rising Islamic radicalism.
Internally, it’s Roman Curia is hounded by infighting over sexual abuse by pedophile priests and cover-ups known as "Vatileaks".
The 115 "cardinal electors" – cardinals below the age limit of 80 – are unlikely to veer far from the conservative views of Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II since they were all appointed by the two popes.
Seasoned Vatican observers admit the field is still wide open, though the most oft-cited names are three cardinals in the same mould as Benedict:
Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, Odilo Scherer, the archbishop of Sao Paulo and Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops.
A two-thirds majority – 77 votes or more – is needed to elect a pope.
The voting ballots will be burnt at around 1100 GMT following two rounds of voting in the morning and 1800 GMT after two rounds in the afternoon.
The smoke from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel turns black to signal that there has been no decision.
It turns white if a pope is elected and the cardinal has accepted his nomination.
The new pope retires to the "Room of Tears" next to the chapel before emerging onto a balcony over St Peter's Square to cheering crowds and the cry of "Habemus Papam!" which means "We Have a Pope!"
Story 7: THE wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today…
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
At number 4, A close friend of the fallen Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius says the six-time Paralympics winner is "on the verge of suicide" as he fights a charge of premeditated murder.
Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day.
Close friend Mike Azzie says Pistorius has been --quote "a broken man" since the incident.
Azzie adds --quote, "He just always seems to mention Reeva and to ask us to pray for her and her family."
At number 7, The Philippines welcomes the release of its 21 UN peacekeepers after they were freed by Syrian rebels.
The members of a UN force monitoring a 1974 ceasefire between Syria and Israel were abducted Wednesday.
The abduction is a grim reminder that two years after the Arab spring brought hopes of democracy across the Middle East and North Africa, Syria is still mired in a devastating civil war.
The United Nations says "Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster."
At number 10, Japan marks the second anniversary of a deadly tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 and sparked the worst nuclear accident in a generation.
In a national ceremony in Tokyo, the government will observe a moment of silence at 2:46 PM, Japanese time - the moment a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck on March 11, 2011.
The quake triggered a killer tsunami that swallowed coastal communities and forced the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to go through meltdowns.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Story 8: PBA ISSUES LIFETIME BAN ON FORMER NBA VETERAN
The Philippine Basketball association issues a lifetime ban on former NBA veteran and Petron Blaze Boosters import Renaldo Balkman over a choking incident, Friday.
Balkman held his teammate Arwind Santos by the neck after a frustrating loss against the Alaska Aces.
Santos was trying to calm the import down.
Balkman has apologized for the incident.
The two players appeared on TV together on Sunday with Santos asking the PBA and its fans to give Balkman a second chance.
The PBA, taking into account Balkman’s history of losing his temper, also fined the import 250,000 pesos.
The San Miguel Corporation, which owns Petron and two other teams in the PBA, also issues an apology but says it will re-evaluate its participation in the league.
morrow begins today.
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|