Philippines confirms 'parallel probe' with Taiwan. Nancy Binay says last name is a blessing and a challenge. Team PNoy dominates in 10 poorest provinces
Today on Rappler.
Story 1: BLACK SMOKE AGAIN: NO NEW POPE YET
Black smoke billows from the Sistine Chapel on the second day of the conclave that will elect the successor of resigned Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
115 cardinal-electors fail to elect a pope on the first rounds of voting Tuesday.
The next round of voting will start around 11pm Manila time.
Black smoke indicates no one got the two-third majority vote needed to become the 266th pope.
White smoke means a pope has been chosen.
The atmosphere is heavy with suspense with no clear frontrunner-- though three candidates emerge as favorites: Italy's Angelo Scola, Brazil's Odilo Scherer and Canada's Marc Ouellet, all conservatives like Benedict.
Some analysts suggest Benedict's resignation could push the cardinals to take an equally unusual decision and that an outsider could emerge as a compromise candidate.
Two-thirds of the cardinals are from Europe and North America.
Vatican experts say only someone who knows the Vatican bureaucracy can reform the scandal-tainted Roman curia.
Story 2: ERAP VS LIM: WHO'S THE BETTER CANDIDATE?
The Battle for Manila continues.
After facing-off in a television debate Tuesday, re-electionist Alfredo Lim and former President Joseph Estrada meet again, this time in the University of the Philippines in Manila.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
It’s round two of the Joseph Estrada-Alfredo Lim political battle royal for the country’s capital.
A day after sparring at ABS-CBN’s Umagang Harapan, the two candidates for Manila mayor square off at the “Thrilla in UP Manila” debate.
The title couldn’t be more fitting.
While the debate was supposed to tackle student concerns, Estrada and Lim come swinging at each other.
The former President hits Lim’s leadership, citing the high poverty and crime rate under his watch.
Lim defends his record and it goes downhill from there.
JOSEPH ESTRADA, FORMER PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: In the case of Ermita, SC admonished city for issuing ordinance that legislated morality. Public servants must respect human rights of citizen.
ALFREDO LIM, MANILA MAYOR: Tanungin ko siya, ano nangyari kay Bobby Dacer at ang kasama niya human rights, Bentain, Pagcor employee who gave the tape kay Morato nung nagka-casino, bakit after he won nawala si Bentain, saan ang human rights ni Bentain, what about the human rights of Bobby Dacer? (Let me ask him what happened to Bobby Dacer and those with him. Human rights, Bentain, Pagcor employee who gave the tape to Morato when there was a Casino. Why did Bentain vanish after he won? Where are the human rights of Bentain?)
The hosts remind the candidates that students want to focus on concrete solutions to problems like traffic obstruction because of illegal vendors.
LIM: Dahil prinesenta niyo ang problema, yan ang gagawin natin. In two weeks time magkakaroon ng solusyon. (Because he presented the problem, that’s what we’ll do. In two weeks time we’ll have a solution.
ESTRADA: 15 taon ka nang mayor? ngayon lang niya malalaman ang problemang iyan? Nakapag-ikot na ako. iyang mga vendor na yan ay may lagay kaya di sila bigyan ng lisensya, iligal...alam ni mayor Lim iyan, pulis din iyan eh. (You’ve been a mayor for 15 years and you found out about this problem just now? I have made my rounds. These vendors are bribed that’s why they are not getting licenses. Mayor Lim knows this, he was also part of the police force.)
Lim and Estrada also clash on the transfer of the Pandacan oil depot.
While the mayor says oil companies should be given time for the transfer, Estrada cites the danger of postponing the move.
Yet the debate again digresses when Lim raises Estrada’s plunder conviction in 2007.
Lim says if Estrada were really innocent, he should have appealed the verdict instead of begging for pardon from then President Arroyo.
The mayor says this is his ultimate edge over his rival.
ESTRADA: Sinasabi niya ako nagmamakaawa, kahit kanino di ako nagmamakaawa. (He’s saying I beg. I never beg.)
LIM: Can you stomach somebody who has been convicted for plunder, sentenced for life sentence to be the mayor of the city of Manila, kahiya-hiya yun! (That’s shameful!)
Students could not help but express their dismay, with the mudslinging taking time from questions on flooding, and security.
RENREN RAMIREZ, UP MANILA STUDENT: Sana po may 3rd candidate, may alternative. Abstract po kasi iyong sagot nila. Wala masyadong concrete answers. (I wish there was a 3rd candidate, an alternative. Their answers were all abstract, nothing concrete.)
The students say with the level of the debate, it’s hard to choose who is the better candidate.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: With the personal jabs and attacks, the debate between Dirty Harry and Asiong Salonga turns out to be like an intense boxing bout. But with the focus away from Manila’s urgent issues and problems, students say it’s neither Lim nor Estrada but the voters who will be knocked out.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler.
Story 3: NAVY ARRESTS GUNMEN ON WAY TO SABAH
The Philippine Navy arrests 35 alleged followers of the sultan of Sulu on their way to Sabah.
The group of 34 men and one woman on board 2 vessels was stopped by two patrol ships early Wednesday in Tawi-Tawi.
The Navy says it found "numerous firearms and ammunition" after searching the boats.
A week ago, another group of 67 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were also intercepted in Tawi-Tawi before heading to Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Story 4: PH HAS NO ACCESS TO SABAH DETAINEEES
The foreign affairs department says Malaysia refuses to allow access to Filipinos detained for alleged involvement in the ongoing Sabah standoff.
Malaysia earlier said it arrested more than 60 Filipinos involved in the standoff.
DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez says, "[We want] to meet and talk to our people who have been detained so we can know their condition [and] find out what assistance we can extend to them."
Asked if Malaysia's refusal may have something to do with alleged human rights violations against Filipinos, Hernandez says, "It’s difficult to make such conclusion because we might border on accusation."
Malaysia did allow Philippine consular officials to provide assistance to Filipinos not involved in the standoff.
Story 5: NORTH KOREA CONFIRMS END OF WAR ARMISTICE
North Korea confirms it is ending its armistice agreement with South Korea.
A lengthy statement by the North's armed forces ministry argues the real "warmongering" is coming from the United States and its "puppets" in Seoul.
North Korea's ministry spokesman says, "The armistice agreement is no longer valid. North Korea is not restrained by the North-South declaration on non-aggression."
The spokesman adds, "What is left to be done now is an action of justice and merciless retaliation of the army."
Story 6: NOKOR THREATENS 'MERCILESS RETALIATION'
The move increases hostilities between the two countries.
Josh Villanueva files this video blog.
Tensions between North and South Korea reach new heights today after North Korea threatens a massive and merciless retaliation against its enemies.
That includes "wiping out" the South Korean island of Baengnyeong which is a border island with about 5,000 residents.
Today is also the first time that North Korea confirmed that it was canceling a 60-year armistice between both countries.
Basically a peace pact that ended the Korean War in 1953.
Without that peace pact both nations are literally at war and hostilities can resume.
Now North Korea is reacting to two things.
First, sanctions by the United Nations following North Korea's third military nuclear test last week...
and joint military operations between the United States and South Korea which began on Monday.
North Korea has threatened a nuclear attack on both nations, and while observers believe it is basically blustering on the part of North Korea, they find enough evidence or strong reason to believe that North Korea could carry out some sort of military show of force in the coming days.
Josh Villanueva, Rappler, Incheon, South Korea.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, NASA scientists say the Curiosity rover uncovered proof of an environment that could have supported life on Mars.
An analysis of a Mars rock sample showed minerals, including hydrogen, carbon and oxygen - the building blocks of life.
A project scientist says the environment they found was “habitable, benign and supportive of life.”
At number 9, US authorities begin investigations after hackers post personal financial data of high-ranking officials.
Hackers using a Russian web address publish the credit reports and social security numbers of First Lady Michelle Obama, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and Los Angeles Police Chief Charles Beck.
Personal information of Vice President Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton were also posted.
And at number 10, The New York State Supreme Court rules against New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of large sugary drinks.
A judge says Bloomberg exceeded his authority by addressing the issue before the city’s Board of Health and not the City Council.
Bloomberg’s lawyer says an appeal will be filed to address the --quote-- “erred ruling”.
Story 8: FROM BINONDO TO BELGIUM
Street kids from Divisoria are making their dreams come true-- they are going to Belgium and Paris to sing.
Devon Wong reports.
Every week for the past year, Dioscorra takes the jeepney from her home in Binondo to choir practice in Makati.
It’s a long trek across town, but Dioscorra and her choir mates are passionately preparing for their biggest performance yet.
DOLLY ALEJANDRO, CHOIR COORDINATOR: This is the first time the children will go out of the country.
The Virlanie Children’s Choir is making their international debut in Belgium and France, and they couldn’t be more excited.
JANELLE RABE, FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR: They’re very, very excited! They’ve actually been having French lessons to learn how to speak French when they go there. And they’re also always telling me they want to see the Eiffel tower and other places in Paris!
It’s a dream come true for all the kids in the choir but it’s a particularly special opportunity for the four members who come from Divisoria.
Dioscorra, Ramil, Jomar and Trixie, the choir’s youngest member, were discovered through the group’s street education program.
Volunteer teachers and social workers collect street children in the area for afternoon lessons in a portable classroom.
Most of the students have never gone to an actual school.
These simple lessons are the only way for them to meet positive role models who open their eyes to opportunities in the world.
Dioscorra and the others auditioned for the choir program, and they haven’t stopped coming since.
Now, they’re looking forward to their first overseas performance, and their first ride on an airplane.
DISCORRA: I’m happy and excited that I’ll be able to go to a new place and see new places!
Their big adventure is being supported by a handful of donors, helping out with airline tickets to clothes for the chillier climate.
But they still can’t afford other expenses on the trip.
JANELLE RABE: We’ve been getting some sponsorships and donations, but at the moment we’re still looking for financial donations from individuals or companies who’d want to help in the living expenses for the choir in Europe.
The Foundation hopes that last minute donors will step forward in the final hours.
But for the next three weeks, the choir members are busy practicing their repertoire and excited to pack their bags for new horizons ahead.
Devon Wong, 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|