Story 1: CORONA TRIAL REWRITES ENRILE STORY
Once associated with the most unpopular Philippine presidents, Juan Ponce Enrile now enjoys high trust and approval ratings as head of the impeachment court. Rappler’s Ayee Macaraig takes a look at Enrile’s enduring story.
(Ayee Macaraig report follows)
Story 2: STUDENTS BANNED FROM GRADUATION DUE TO PRANK KISS, BIKINI ON FACEBOOK
On Friday, 6 senior high school students from a Marikina Private School are barred from attending graduation ceremonies, after a prank the management found “damaging” to the school’s reputation. The male students of Infant Jesus Academy in Marikina posted their photos online “kissing” in public. Except the students said the “kisses” were fake and that it was a camera trick. The boys, aged 16 to 17, and their parents went to a national newspaper for help.
The school justifies its action, saying the boys did not deserve to get their diplomas. The school claims the students are still graduating, and promises to give a certificate that will allow them to enroll in college. This comes after St. Theresa’s College in Cebu City banned the graduation of two girls whose bikini photos were posted on Facebook. The Cebu City court issued a cease and desist order in response to a suit filed by the girls parents, commanding St. Theresa’s College to allow the students to graduate.
Story 3: AIRASIA, NEW KID IN PH SKIES
On Thursday, the newest player in the Philippine airline industry launched its first domestic flight from its hub in Pampanga. AirAsia group officials vow to change the landscape of budget travel in the philippines. This report from Rappler’s business news editor Lala Rimando.
(Lala Rimando report follows)
Story 4: GOING BEYOND EARTH HOUR
Earth Hour is here! The lights go out from 8:30 to 9:30 on Saturday night in 3 cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Switch-off ceremonies led by Earth Hour co-founder andy Ripley will happen in Makati, Cebu and Davao. Ripley started Earth Hour in 2007 to create awareness for climate change. He is in the Philippines this weekend because there are, apparently, more local governments and Filipinos who participate each year. Earlier, he came by the Rappler office and told us how to take it beyond the symbolic gesture to change reality.
(Ripley interview video clip follows)
Story 5: FUGITIVE EX-PALAWAN GOVERNOR’S AUDIO CLIP: I AM INNOCENT
Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, charged with the murder of environmental activist Gerry Ortega, rejects calls for his surrender, insisting he is an innocent man. Reyes released an audio message after a lower court ordered his arrest this week for the january 2011 killing of Ortega. In a taped message, Reyes says “I am hiding… not to avoid justice but to stop the accusations, charges and persecution that have no basis. Speaking in the local dialect, Reyes adds “we will fight against this.” Reyes, 59, still wields substantial political influence in Palawan. He is among 8 people ordered arrested for the murder of Ortega, a radio broadcaster who accused the former governor of corruption. Police says the handgun used in the ortega killing was registered in the name of reyeses aide. The ex-governor is accused of masterminding the killing. Reyes, whose wife is the current Palawan vice-governor, alleges he was not given due process.
Story 6: CLAMOR FOR ARREST OF PALAWAN EX-GOVERNOR
The government is under pressure to act on Ortega’s killing in the wake of criticisms from media and rights groups. The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines or NUJP today criticized the government for allowing a fugitive politician time to surrender instead of ordering his immediate arrest. Interior and local government secretary jesse robredo was quoted as saying he is giving reyes and his brother until the weekend to surrender. This angered the NUJP, which accuses the government of abetting impunity. In a statement, the group says Robredo’s order to to grant Reyes and his brother a grace period is “clearly illegal.”
Story 7: PICTURE OF GALAXY’S EDGE RELEASED
How many stars can you fit in a photo? If you ask scientists, a billion. An image of the edge of our Milky Way galaxy was released by researchers in Great Britain, after combining infrared images taken by the UK Infrared telescope in Hawaii, and the European Space Agency’s Vista telescope in Chile. What you see onscreen is just a small part of the image, showing stars being formed. The full image, the product of a 10-year project of scientists from 3 countries, is a 39,000 by 3,000 pixel photo–and will be used by scientists for further studies.