Rappler Newscast | May 16, 2012

Today on Rappler.

  • Harvey Keh, the sender of anonymous files to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, gets clobbered in the Senate.
  • Lead Defense Counsel says opening the Chief Justice’s dollar accounts is not a sure thing… when he testifies on Tuesday.
  • And, Dean Tony La Vina says Ombudsman Morales’s testimony is a gamechanger in the Corona trial.

The defense calls 3 hostile witnesses to the stand, Former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, Kaya Natin Convenor Harvey Keh and lawyer Emmanuel Santos.
Hontiveros says she did not mention Corona’s alleged 10 million dollar accounts in her complaint to the Ombudsman.
She adds the evidence she attached to her petition were all gathered from the impeachment trial.
(Video clip of Hontiveros)
(Video clip of Santiago)
Hontiveros was soon dismissed by the Court.

Story 2: KEH & JPE
Kaya Natin Convenor Harvey Keh receives a severe brow-beating from the defense, senator-judges, and Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile.
Defense counsel Dennis Manalo grills Keh about anonymous documents he sent to Presiding Officer Juan Ponce Enrile.
(Video clip of Manalo & Keh)
Enrile asks Keh, why did he send the documents to his office? And why did Keh bring a TV crew with him?
(Video clip of Enrile)
The Senate President orders Keh to, quote, “show cause why he should not be held in contempt” for attempting to influence an officer of the court.
(Video clip of Enrile)

Story 3: KEH & MIRIAM
Harvey Keh’s very public humiliation did not end with the possibility of being held in contempt of court.
Senator Miriam Santiago, livid with rage, went well beyond her alloted time to berate Keh.
(Video clip of Santiago)

Story 4: KEH & JINGGOY
Keh was also questioned by Senator Jinggoy Estrada who zeroed in on his alleged grandstanding for the media.
(Video clip of Estrada)

Former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca laments the way Kaya Natin Convenor Keh was treated in the impeachment court.
In tears Padada asks: In a country where you cannot fight justice face to face, the lawmakers are furious over anonymous sources.
(Video clip of Padaca)

Let’s go to the Senate to talk to Rappler Senate reporter Ayee Macaraig.
We’ve confirmed that the Chief Justice will testify when the court resumes Tuesday.
You’ve talked to the defense, how do they feel?
(Report from live point)
if Chief Justice Renato Corona is going down… he will go down fighting.
This is how lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas describes the impending testimony of his client this Tuesday.
Cuevas says, the biggest issue corona will face is his bank deposits…
because the defense is convinced it has already established that Corona has 5, and not 45 properties.
but contrary to Corona’s media interviews…
Cuevas makes no commitment that he will disclose his dollar accounts…
saying there is still a legal battle in the Supreme Court.
Cuevas also says corona’s team does not consider the ombudsman’s testimony as evidence.
Corona’s lawyers will object to this, saying it’s inadmissible.
Cuevas says the alleged ten million dollars is not in the impeachment complaint…
and covers ill-gotten wealth, a charge that the Senate has already stricken out.
here is Cuevas’ response on whether or not corona will open his dollar accounts.
(Video clip of Cuevas)

Lead prosecutor Niel Tupas Jr. says they are ready for the Chief Justice to take the witness stand in his impeachment trial on Tuesday, May 22.
The team has yet to decide who will cross examine Corona, but they already have a shortlist of 5 prosecutors.
(Video clip of Tupas)

Does the Ombudsman’s power to probe public officials override procedures in the Anti-Money Laundering Act or AMLA?
This was the crux of the issue when Senator Judges grilled the Ombudsman Tuesday on the scope of her power– and it’s possible abuse.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago says under AMLA, a bank inquiry can only be conducted after the following process:
The AMLC first finds probable cause against a public official…
then a complaint is filed with the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman…
and the concerned government agency does a preliminary investigation on the official and examine bank accounts.
In Corona’s case, the Ombudsman went to the AMLC first.
Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Viña says the power of the Ombudsman and the AMLA are based on two different laws that are equal in status.
La Vina adds “Unless the AMLA says the Ombudsman cannot do it, then she can exercise all powers under the Ombudsman law.”
He also says “Plus there’s the SALN waiver.”
Roberto Cadiz, Executive Director of the lawyer’s group Libertas, holds the same view.
“The Ombudsman Act and AMLA can precede each other.”
In the Corona trial, it was the Ombudsman who initiated the fact-finding investigation thus preceding the AMLC.
A private prosecutor in the impeachment trial of ousted President Joseph Estrada…
Lawyer Pablito Sanidad says…
the authority given to the Ombudsman precedes AMLA because it’s stipulated in the 1987 Constitution.
Sanidad says “Constitutional provisions always prevail over any other law.”

If it was a bluff, it certainly backfired.
This is the opening line in Dean Tony La Vina’s blog on
La Viña says the defense strategy to summon Ombudsman Morales boomeranged.
The Dean of Ateneo’s School of Governance says:
Perhaps, by now many are entertaining the suspicion that the millions of dollars are owned by somebody else other than the that he was a mere dummy, a bagman, a depository of sorts.
The latest statement by the Ombudsman that significant transactions coincided with certain significant events…
such as the elections, or the filing of the impeachment case give credence to these insinuations.
It’s not yet “game over” but certainly the game has changed.
The bar the Chief Justice must hurdle to be acquitted is much higher now than before Morales testified.
Using her powers in the constitution and existing law…
she has opened a pathway to transparency and accountability we have never seen before.
Read more of Dean La Vina’s views on in Thought Leaders.

Story 10: PACQUIAO
World Boxing Champion Manny Pacquiao looks like he’s getting pummelled after speaking his mind on gay marriage.
In an interview with the National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao criticizes US President Obama’s support for gay marriage.
The Saranggani representative says “God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.” The report referred to a Biblical quote from Leviticus saying, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they must be put to death.”
Pacquiao’s statement enrages the LGBT community.
The Group Gay Marriage USA initiates an online petition for sportswear supplier NIKE to end sponsorship of the 8-world division champion.
The gay community, a strong presence online, hit Pacquiao repeatedly in the virtual world.
Celebrity make-up artist Jigs Mayuga tweets, “Am so angry. This statement from
Pacquiao will resonate to his million fans who will think it’s cool that ‘gay men should be put to death.”
Twitter user Ralph Thomas comments, “you cannot please everybody” and says Pacquiao “is just being true to his faith and belief in the Bible.”

Story 11: TOP10 PALARO
Rappler looks back at the 10 best moments of the 2012 Palarong Pambansa.
At numbetr 10 on our list, lights fill the sky as thousands of athletes gathered and released sky lanterns in the closing ceremonies.
At number 9, the special games reminds us no obstacle is too big to overcome.  You have to try.
At 8th, Belgian-Chinese Maureen Emily Schrijvers breaks the secondary girls high jump record, clearing 1.62 meters and finishes first in every event she competed in.
At 7th, rivalry continues as Western Visayas faces off with NCR in the secondary girls volleyball finals.
The two regions have met in the finals since 2008. NCR took home this year’s title.
At sixth, President Aquino opens Palarong Pambansa and promises an increased commitment to developing sports in the Philippines.
At fifth, Central Visayan archer Karl Kristian Mari breaks 4 palaro archery records helping his region take the secondary boys archery title for the second year in a row.
At fourth, barefoot sprinter Dexter Galos of Western Visayas overtakes CAR’s Arnold Galap to take home the first gold medal of this year’s Palarong Pambansa. Galos beat Galap by a fraction of a second.
At third, after a year-long break from Palaro, NCR’s Delia Cordero rejoins the competition in glorious fashion breaking two swim records this year.
At number 2, Angelica de Josef of Western Visayas breaks 2 records running barefoot through the tracks in Pangasinan.  
She also won 2 gold medals for her team.
And at number 1, the most inspiring story this year. Athletes from Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, the cities hardest hit by tropical storm Sendong dedicate their performance this year to the loved ones killed by the devastating calamity. They finished among the top 5, one of their best showing in years.

Story 12: GMA FOR SALE
Felipe Gozon, the chairman of the Philippines 2nd largest media group GMA7, says more than one group wants to buy the network.
Gozon says Businessman Manuel Pangilinan of PLDT & TV5 has been interested in GMA since he tried to negotiate a deal nearly a decade ago.
Pangilinan denies ongoing negotiations at this time but expressed varying degrees of interest last year.
Pangilinan holds massive communications infrastructure that could help GMA7 since the group has no cable or broadband assets.
The 3 families who own GMA-7 have agreed to sell their nearly 75% stake for the right price.
I’m just waiting for an offer that will be acceptable. So far we have not received any offer that is acceptable. I am not closing the book.

Story 13: 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 3, newly inaugurated French President Francois Hollande went straight to business on Tuesday, flying to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the debt crisis in the eurozone. France and Germany are the largest economies in the EU. Both leaders pledged to work together and prepare for a regional meeting next week.
Fuelling the uncertainty – at number 5, Greek elections again!  Greece’s future in the eurozone is in doubt after a last-ditch effort to form a government failed 10 days after its last elections.  This political limbo – until elections next month – is increasing anxiety.  Depositors withdraw nearly $900 million Monday alone.  
At number 8, researchers develop a new generator that can produce electricity simply by pressing a finger on genetically engineered viruses. The M13 virus when coated on an electrode can produce enough energy equivalent to a quarter of a triple A battery – that’s enough power to make one digit appear on an LCD display.
And at number 9, Indonesian police cancel Lady Gaga’s concert scheduled for June 3 after Indonesia’s hardline Islamic Defenders Front known by its Indonesian acronym FPI warned of violence if Mother Monster, whom they call “the devil’s messenger,” arrives.  Fans started hashtag Indonesia saves Gaga to try to overturn the police decision.


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