Rappler Newscast | April 15, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The United Nationalist Alliance attacks Team PNoy campaign manager Frank Drilon.
- The World Bank expects the Philippines to grow more than 6% every year in the next two years.
- The United States says it will talk with North Korea if it takes "meaningful steps" towards peace.
Story 1: UNA CAMPAIGNS IN WESTERN VISAYAS
The United Nationalist Alliance - UNA - campaigns in Western Visayas -- a region the administration claims.
With Team PNoy campaign manager Frank Drilon promising a sweep for the administration slate, UNA candidates go on the offensive.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Balita ko ang mga kandidato sa kanila they’re all running scared so they really have to work double time.
Vice President Jejomar Binay is in fighting form as he and his senatorial candidates enter yellow turf.
Binay leads the opposition’s campaign in vote-rich Iloilo, the home province of Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Frank Drilon.
UNA’s founder lost to the Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas in the province and the rest of Western Visayas in 2010.
After all, it is Roxas’ home region, but in politics, Binay says there are no permanent friends and bailiwicks.
This time, Binay counts on new allies in Iloilo.
He is fielding the Biron clan against the LP’s troika: the Defensors, Tupases and Garins.
With Drilon promising a sweep for Team PNoy in Iloilo, the Vice President’s allies go on attack mode.
REP FERJENEL BIRON, UNA GUBERNATORIAL BET: In 2010, Sen Frank Drilon endorsed my opponent, Gov Niel Tupas. The results of his endorsement? Tupas lost by 50,000 votes. That’s how strong his endorsement is.
Even in UNA’s proclamation rally in Barotac Nuevo, Drilon and his projects get a beating.
REP AUGUSTO SYJUCO JR, UNA REELECTIONIST: Drilon bridge is falling down, Drilon bridge is falling down, Drilon bridge is falling down.
UNA’s senatorial candidates admit winning in the region is an uphill battle.
They come together to visit Iloilo, Aklan, Antique and Negros Occidental, criticizing Team PNoy for deserting President Aquino in the administration’s recent sortie in Iloilo.
Yet UNA bets say, in the coming weeks, they will have also have to go on their own.
NANCY BINAY, UNA SENATORIAL BET: Eventually baka magkanya-kanya din kami individually as a candidate like ako, may mga probinsya na mas priority sa akin compared to the other candidates. Ang aim is to win. (Eventually, we may have to go on our own, individually as a candidate. Like me, there are provinces that are higher on my priority list as compared to the other candidates. The aim is to win.)
Cagayan Rep Jack Enrile says the candidates will focus on areas where they are strong.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: With less than a month left before the polls, UNA campaigns in waterloos like here in Western Visayas to win or at least narrow the margin with Team PNoy.
But as the race tightens, the opposition admits the game is boiling down to every candidate for herself.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Negros Occidental.
Story 2: JACK ENRILE AND 'CRAZY ALLEGATIONS'
Cagayan representative Jack Enrile says he is expecting more attacks following questions about his role in the 1975 murder of student Ernest Lucas Jr.
In a cable released by Wikileaks last week, then US Ambassador William Sullivan said he was convinced Enrile killed Lucas.
In September 1975, then 16-year-old Enrile asked Lucas to leave a party exclusive to Ateneo students.
Later that night, Lucas died of a bullet shot in the forehead.
Enrile's aide said he killed Lucas.
Lucas' uncle, activist priest Fr. Robert Reyes said they did not pursue charges against Jack Enrile because his father, then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile, had tremendous power in the Marcos years.
In a 2011 court deposition, Lucas' father claims the elder Enrile allegedly offered him two blank checks to drop the case.
In a press briefing Sunday, Jack Enrile says the court records will --quote-- "bear me out."
He says the issues was dug up to bring down his chances of getting a Senate seat.
JACK ENRILE, CAGAYAN REPRESENTATIVE: Lumang tugtugin na iyan. It’s 4 decades old. It happened to a young boy when he was 16 years old. That young boy grew up to be a man. His life has changed… Bakit tuwing eleksyon na lang? (Why raise this every election?) We are expecting more attacks, more black propaganda, more crazy allegations that are thrown at us.
Enrile calls the renewed allegations a demolition job “done in order to derail my plan to look into and expose a government project that is highly questionable and grossly disadvantageous to the public.”
Asked to elaborate, Enrile says he will make the expose soon, adding the project involves --quote-- "very high-ranking officials."
Story 3: MEET WHITE VOTE'S FIRST SET OF SENATE BETS
Charismatic group El Shaddai leads the White Vote Movement and endorses its first group of senatorial candidates who are against the reproductive health law, same-sex marriage, and divorce.
The group endorses United Nationalist Alliance bets JV Ejercito, Gregorio Honasan, and Mitos Magsaysay, and Team PNoy's Cynthia Villar, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Koko Pimentel.
In his homily, Bishop Teodoro Bacani criticizes groups that are against the so-called Catholic vote.
He says in Filipino, "We, men of the altar, are not allowed to endorse. But we could whisper it to you."
He adds, "No group should tell us, 'You cannot endorse!' That's the right of every responsible Catholic."
Story 4: #RAPPLERDEBATE: 1 MONTH BEFORE ELECTIONS
A month before the Philippines goes to the polls, six senatorial candidates face the public in the Rappler Senatorial Debate Saturday.
It was the first media debate held in an open space to allow a free exchange of ideas on issues that matter.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
GRACE POE, TEAM PNOY: Nakakakaba naman ito! (This is nerve racking!)
"Nerve-racking" is the word candidates use to describe Rappler's first-ever senatorial debate.
Held at the Quezon Memorial Circle, it is the first time in this elections a debate is staged in a public place.
Viewers and listeners vote how candidates make them feel after every round, through Rappler's mood meter.
A mixed audience of real and virtual participate, and the format includes a face-off section where bets shoot each other questions.
Among the fieriest exchange?
Teddy Casiño of Bayan Muna and Risa Hontiveros of Akbayan from rival groups in the Philippine left.
Akbayan is allied with the president's slate Team PNoy for the 2013 elections.
TEDDY CASIÑO, MAKABAYANG KOALISYON NG MGA MAMAMAYAN: Ikaw ba ay pabor na si Ruffy Biazon ay tanggalin o umalis na sa pwesto dahil hindi niya nagagampanan ang kanyang tungkulin? (Are you in favor of removing Ruffy Biazon from office since he isn’t fulfilling his responsibilities?)
RISA HONTIVEROS, TEAM PNOY: Ang pinaka magandang sagutin ay sa contexto ng mas malawak na pagbabago…Dapat isang mas radikal na pagbabago ang gawin sa Customs. (The best answer is to look at the issue in a wider context of change. We need a radical change in the Bureau of Customs.)
RISA HONTIVEROS, TEAM PNOY: Bakit sa loob ng 9 na taon niyo sa House, parang hindi ko pa kayo narinig ni minsan na magsalita kung pang-aabuso na ng New People’s Army sa ordinaryong mamamayan ang naging issue. (Why is it that in your 9 years in the House of Representatives, I haven’t heard you speak about the abuses of the New People’s Army to ordinary citizens?)
TEDDY CASIÑO, MAKABAYANG KOALISYON NG MGA MAMAMAYAN: Kung pang-aabuso ang pag-uusapan, talagang ang mga persons in uniform ang may pananagutan at mga may sala pagdating sa human rights violations. (If we’re talking about abuse, the people who must answer to the abuses are the people in uniform. They are the people who have committed human rights violations.)
Bets also answer questions from the audience and social media.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: A lot of us non-JIL Filipinos are worried, how sure are we that you will not continue to promote the interest of your group?
BRO EDDIE VILLANUEVA, BANGON PILIPINAS PARTY: Ang JIL movement ay hindi sectarian religion, this is a non sectarian movement na ang layunin ay turuan ang taumbayan na mahalin ang Diyos at mahalin ang bayan. (The JIL movement is not a sectarian religion. This is a non-sectarian movement whose aim is to teach people to love God and love the country.)
QUESTION: What exactly was FPJ's political legacy that you want to continue since he had no political experience?
GRACE POE, TEAM PNOY: Si FPJ, bilang isang artista, kahit wala naman siya sa pwesto, kung ano man ang kanyang kinita...Natulungan niya ang maraming tao. (FPJ was an actor. Even if he didn’t hold a government position, whatever he earned... He was able to help a lot of people.)
The debate ends with Candidates summing up why the viewers should vote for them.
BAM AQUINO, TEAM PNOY: Higit pa po sa si Bam Aquino bilang isang lider ng kabataan, higit pa po sa Bam Aquino na nagtrabaho sa mga maliliit na komunidad upang matulungan ang mga maliliit na negosyante, si Bam Aquino po ay isang anak ng People Power. (More than being a youth leader, more than being someone who worked in small communities to help micro-entrepreneurs, Bam Aquino is a child of People Power.)
DICK GORDON, UNA: I did not inherit my father's name or my mother's name or their work. Ako po, ginagawa ko yung tungkulin ko. Because I was told you earn everything. You do not inherit fame.
The debate gives candidates an opportunity not just to share their platforms, but to get a feel of voters' sentiments.
#RapplerDebate trends worldwide and in the Philippines, while the debate's mood meter registers tens of thousands of votes.
An enthusiastic audience both on site and online highlights the willingness of Filipinos to engage in the lead up to the May 2013 elections.
The debate's ability to reach a wider group of voters means more opportunities for conversation.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Manila.
Story 5: WORLD BANK: PH TO GROW OVER 6% IN 2013, 2014
The World Bank forecasts the Philippines will grow more than 6% every year the next two years.
In its East Asia and the Pacific Economic Update report released Monday, the bank says the country is expected to grow to 6.2% in 2013 and 6.4% in 2014.
While the forecasts are lower than the 6.6% growth posted by the Philippine economy in 2012, these are higher than the Asian Development Bank outlook of 6% in 2013 and 5.9% in 2014.
The World Bank says the Philippines’ macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong and reform efforts by the government appear sustainable.
It adds, strong domestic demand is an indicator that growth will be robust in 2013.
Other indicators remain positive for the Philippines, especially the recent upgrade to investment grade by Fitch Ratings.
The World Bank urges the government to continue investing in infrastructure and human capital.
Story 6: COAST GUARD: CHINESE BOAT CARRIED ENDANGERED PANGOLINS
The Philippine Coast Guard says it found hundreds of frozen anteaters or pangolins in the cargo hold of the Chinese boat that ran aground in Tubbataha last week.
Coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo says authorities found 400 boxes containing anteaters on board the vessel.
He could not say whether the pangolins were frozen alive, or had already been butchered as meat.
The International Union of Conservation of Nature says all eight species of the pangolin are protected by international law.
In China, they are considered a delicacy and are said to have medicinal qualities.
Pangolins are found roaming in the wild in Palawan, the nearest land area to Tubbataha Reef where the Chinese boat ran aground.
The discovery could lead to more charges for the 12 Chinese men, who are charged with illegal poaching and attempting to bribe Filipino officials.
Story 7: US URGES TALKS, WORLD WAITS FOR MISSILE
US Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States will talk with North Korea if it takes "meaningful steps" towards peace as the world waits to see if Pyongyang will fire two medium-range missiles in honor of late former leader Kim Il-Sung.
Speaking in Japan on the last leg of his Asian tour, Kerry appeals to the North to step back.
He says, "The United States remains open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearization, but the burden is on Pyongyang."
Washington says the "six-party" talks on denuclearization -- which include North and South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the US -- is the only forum at which it will sit with Pyongyang.
South Korean president Park Geun-Hye signals the need to open a dialogue and "listen to what North Korea thinks".
But the North dismisses this as "empty talk" and a "crafty trick" to conceal Seoul's aggressive intentions.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Venezuelans flock to the polls Sunday to pick the successor of their late leader Hugo Chavez.
Voters choose between the anointed heir, acting President Nicolas Maduro, and his opponent Henrique Capriles, who vowed change in the divided nation.
Maduro wins by a razor-thin margin of 50.66%.
He promised to continue oil-funded anti-poverty programs that cut poverty from 50 to 29 percent.
Maduro and Capriles engaged in a bitter campaign marked by insults and accusations.
Capriles though refuses to concede defeat.
The winner will be sworn in Friday.
At number 9, The US Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether to allow private entities to patent genes they have isolated and identified.
The Court will review a 2012 appeals court decision that allowed biotechnology company, Myriad Genetics Inc, to patent two genes it found had links to breast and ovarian cancer.
The ruling drew protest from associations representing researchers, doctors and patients, who want the court to overturn the decision.
Lawyer Sandra Park of the American Civil Liberties Union says extracting a gene from a cell to isolate it does not constitute an invention by itself.
Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, says Myriad's patents create a --quote-- "lack of access for further development of basic research."
But Myriad says it created synthetic molecules of DNA in the laboratory.
The Supreme Court's decision is expected in June.
And at number 10, A text message changes a ruling that could've seen celebrated golf player Tiger Woods disqualified at the Master's, the sport's biggest event.
Woods was given a two-stroke penalty on Saturday for hitting from the wrong spot on Friday, a violation flagged by an observant television viewer.
The viewer notified the Masters rules committee, which decided there was no violation.
Later, Woods unwittingly admitted playing from the wrong spot.
He could have been disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard, but the committee says it could not impose the disqualification penalty because its earlier decision mitigated his culpability.
Story 9: THE AVENGERS WIN BIG AT MTV MOVIE AWARDS
Action adventure film "The Avengers" is the big winner at the MTV Movie Awards, which celebrates the best movie moments of 2012.
The film wins best fight and best villain for actor Tom Hiddleston and the coveted Movie of the Year award.
Comedy-drama film Silver Linings Playbook also gets top awards, winning best male and female performance, best on-screen duo, and best kiss for leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
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|