Today on Rappler.
Story 1: SOUTH KOREA HIT BY CYBER ATTACK
The South Korean government says malicious code from unknown hackers causes simultaneous computer network failures in several television stations, banks and insurance firms.
The Yonhap news agency says at least 3 broadcasters and three banks report their computer networks stopped working around 2 pm South Korean time.
A Yonhap Television News official says their computer network and editing equipment for broadcasting were also paralyzed.
South Korea’s communications watchdog also raises its alert level on cyber-attacks to level 3.
A police official says investigators are --quote-- "reviewing possibilities including cyberterrorism."
The presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, is looking into the possibility North Korea is involved.
Tensions between the two countries escalate in recent weeks, with the North ending a 60-year old armistice agreement and threatening to launch nuclear strikes against South Korea and the United States.
Story 2: 8 PINOYS CHARGED OVER SABAH STANDOFF
Eight Filipinos arrested for the bloody Friday in Sabah last March 1 are charged with belonging to a terrorist group and waging war against Malaysia's king.
The first offense carries a possible death penalty while the second carries a maximum life imprisonment under Malaysia's penal code.
State news agency Bernama reports the 8 accused did not enter a plea and no hearing dates have been scheduled.
It is unclear if the suspects are among the 104 arrested for involvement in the standoff, or if they are Filipino settlers who assisted the Filipino militants.
Story 3: FLEEING SABAH IN A ROOFLESS BOAT
More Filipinos from Sabah arrive in Tawi-Tawi. Their lives and livelihood are affected by the standoff caused by followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
It has become an everyday sight. Filipinos who have settled in Sabah arrive here in Tawi-Tawi because of very strong fears that sooner or later there will be a crackdown on Filipinos there.
Based in Sabah for 23 years, Filipino Mulshidin Ismael and his family arrive in Bongao on March 19. They carry with them everything - clothes, television, DVD player, even livestock.
Armalyn and his family were in the same boat. Originally from Siasi, Sulu, she's not sure what life awaits them there. But she's just happy that for now they are safe.
ARMALYN SAYHON, RETURNEE: Okay na daw, happy na kasi ligtas na. Haka-haka daw, ang sabi raw ng taga-roon pag abutan sa bahay o kahit saan mang lugar, papatayin, pupugutan. Yun ang kinatakutan nila kaya umuwi na lang sila. (We’re okay and happy because we’re safe now. Rumors from the people there are, if they catch you at home or wherever, they will kill and behead you. That’s what they’re scared of so they just went home.)
The travel from Kunak - a village near lahad datu - to Bongao took two days in this small boat without a roof.
They had to stop over some islands to hide, interestingly, from Philippine authorities for fear that they might be arrested.
JALIL JALADIL, BOAT OWNER: Baka Abu Sayyaf kayo. Problema 'yan. (You might be Abu Sayyaf. That’s a problem.)
They were lucky to even get transportation. They met boat owner Jalil Jaladil. He sailed to Sabah to get his regular supply of gasoline, but he was told by Malaysian authorities he could not do that anymore.
Coming home without his supply, he agreed to make space for 26 adults and some children for 100 ringgit per head.
Government data shows about 3,000 have fled Sabah. But out of the 26 who arrived in that small boat, only 10 are here processed by social workers.
SOFIA MOHAMMAD, DSWD SOCIAL WORKER: Basta taga-dito diretso na sila sa bahay nila. Yung mga hindi taga-dito, yun ang mahabol namin. (Those from here go straight to their houses. Those who aren’t from here, those are the ones we can process.)
It’s probably too early to see the full impact of the Sabah standoff on communities here. But the stories of Armalyn and others like her show the need for government action.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler Tawi-Tawi
Story 4: MOVE OVER 'TEAM PATAY,' HERE'S 'PURPLE VOTE'
Advocates of the Reproductive Health law launch a campaign to support pro-RH bets in the upcoming elections.
The campaign called "Purple Vote" will endorse up to 12 senatorial candidates, district representatives and bets running in the local level who are vocal supporters of the RH law.
Likhaan Director Dr. Junice Melgar says -quote, "We want to defend them because they are really being undermined."
But Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development director Rom Dongeto says the Purple Vote is still choosing its candidates.
They are also looking at the candidates’ stand on the freedom of information bill and the sin tax law.
ROM DONGETO, PLCPD DIRECTOR: Hindi pa kami tiyak na 12 sa senatoriables. Hindi lang kasi simpleng personalidad. Issue based at platform talagay yung pino-profile at this point. (We’re not yet certain that we’ll endorse 12 senatorial candidates. We are not just looking at personalities. We’re profiling them based on issues and platforms.)
The Catholic Church fired the first salvo in the debate over the controversial measure with the Diocese of Bacolod's "Team Patay" and "Team Buhay" campaign.
It is now the subject of a case before the Supreme Court.
The Purple Vote launch comes a day after the Supreme Court issues an order temporarily stopping the implementation of the law for 120 days.
If not for the order, the health department would have implemented the RH law on Easter Sunday, March 31.
Story 5: HRW: DELAYING RH BILL PUTS WOMEN AT RISK
Human Rights Watch says delaying the implementation of the reproductive health law puts women at risk.
In a statement, Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams says the law was passed to "address the many grave health risks faced by Filipino women."
He adds, "While we respect the judicial process in the Philippines, Filipino women and families have waited and suffered long enough."
This comes a day after the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order delaying the law’s effect for 4 months.
The health department was set to implement the law on March 31.
RH law principal author Albay Rep Edcel Lagman says the order is --quote-- "only a temporary delay" to give the justices time to study the petitions challenging the law's constitutionality.
Story 6: COMELEC SIGNS DEAL WITH ONLINE NEWS GROUP
The Commission on Elections embraces online and social media as it gives Rappler access to real-time data on the results of the May 2013 elections.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.
For the first time, an online newsgroup will directly access real-time data on Philippine election results.
In a unanimous decision, the Comelec allows Rappler to host a fourth server for the May 13 elections.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr seals the deal in a memorandum of agreement with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.
This adds to the three servers allowed to access election data in 2010: the Comelec central server, the boards of canvassers, and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
The Comelec requires Rappler to pay for the server and other related expenses.
Rappler also agrees to host connections from other media outlets with clearance from Comelec.
In the memorandum of agreement, Comelec explains why it allowed a fourth server upon Rappler's request.
It says it acknowledges the potential of Rappler's Mood Meter, Mood Navigator, and other mapping tools “in capturing the imagination of netizens and the youth and helping them understand and get more involved in the electoral process.”
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR., COMELEC CHAIRMAN: We will go into the social media aspect of this elections, and with Rappler actually at the head of this endeavor.
Broadcast giant GMA Network, however, files a motion for reconsideration. Brillantes says the Comelec will resolve this motion on Thursday.
Ressa says the partnership of 4 groups – Comelec, Rappler, telecommunications giant Smart, and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting – will make the 2013 election coverage more responsive than 2010.
MARIA RESSA, RAPPLER CEO: Now with technology, when they come together, now, it's a whole different thing. Technology, social media, the Internet, and the last part, big data, will give us great insight into our Filipinos, into our politics.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila.
Story 7: BAR PASSING RATE HITS NEW LOW
The results of the 2012 Bar Examinations are out, with the lowest passing rate in a decade.
Only 949 of the 5,686 examinees pass the test.
The passing rate of the 2012 Bar is 17.76%, the first time since 2003 the percentage dropped below 20%.
Passing rates since 2003 have been between 20 to 32% with last year's rate being a high 31.95%.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Martin Villarama says the multiple choice format of the examination made this year's test harder.
In 2011, the committee on bar examinations introduced multiple-type questions to better measure examinees’ ability to recall and review laws.
A graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University Law School tops the list again for the third consecutive year.
Ignatius Michael Ingles leads the list of bar passers with an 85.64% rating.
Ingles shares his thoughts on social change and how to deal with people’s views on lawyers.
MICHAEL INGLES, 2012 BAR EXAMS TOP NOTCHER: You can have change and it can be fast change. If people put their self interests aside and put the interest of the people first, I think there can be changes quickly in the judiciary. The only way you can deal with it is being the best lawyer you can be. That doesn't mean you win all the cases. It means being honest, having integrity, keeping to your word.
Ingles is also an athlete. He is a three-time UAAP football champion and was co-captain of Ateneo’s 2004 squad.
MICHAEL INGLES, 2012 BAR EXAMS TOP NOTCHER: A lot of the things I learned in football, I got to apply it in law school. For example our coach, my dear coach Ompong, who was even the ninong in our wedding, always told us that if you can't do things in practice you won't be able to do it in the field, during the game. So I applied that in law school.
Six out of the 10 bar topnotchers are from the Ateneo Law School.
Four come from the UP College of Law and one from Aquinas University in Legazpi City.
Story 8: MBC SURVEY: 91% FAVOR CHARTER CHANGE
Almost 91% of the surveyed members of the Makati Business Club say they favor Charter Change.
The results of the latest Executive Outlook Survey show members are in favor of amendments to the economic provisions of the constitution, specifically the removal of restrictions on foreign ownership.
More than 59% say they are in favor of amendments within the next 12 months.
31% say this should be done after the next 12 months.
6% do not favor charter change at all.
President Benigno Aquino says charter change is unnecessary to boost economic growth.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, US intelligence officials say chemical weapons may have been used in the ongoing war in Syria.
US House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers tells CNN there is “high probability” chemical weapons were used but adds they still need “final verification.”
The statement comes after both sides of the conflict accuse each other of using such weapons.
If reports are substantiated, the US could possibly step in on the crisis.
President Barack Obama previously said the use of chemical weapons was a “red line” for his administration.
At number 4, The President of Cyprus calls an emergency meeting after lawmakers reject the bailout aimed at saving Cyprus from bankruptcy.
Under the deal, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will provide Cyprus with 10 billion euros, but a levy of up to 9.9% will be imposed on all Cyprus bank deposits, a move that triggers outrage among savers.
Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will meet with Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov in the hope of winning an extension of a 2.5-billion-euro loan Moscow gave Nicosia in 2011.
And at number 10, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai returns to school for the first time since she was shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education.
The 15-year-old, who has now moved to the United Kingdom, says she "achieved her dream" and is looking forward to meeting new friends.
Malala was flown to Britain to undergo surgery for her head injuries.
In October, a Taliban gunman boarded Malala’s schoolbus and shot her at point-blank range in an attack that drew worldwide condemnation.
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|