Rappler Newscast | June 12, 2012

President Aquino says the conviction of Renato Corona strengthens the spirit of democracy. | The Palace launches a multimedia timeline of the Philippine Revolution on Independence Day which includes a rare video of First Philippine Republic founder General Emilio Aguinaldo. | The national budget could hit 2 trillion pesos in 2013.

Today on Rappler.

  • President Aquino says the conviction of Renato Corona strengthens the spirit of democracy.
  • The Palace launches a multimedia timeline of the Philippine Revolution on Independence Day which includes a rare video of First Philippine Republic founder General Emilio Aguinaldo.
  • And, the national budget could hit 2 trillion pesos in 2013.

President Benigno Aquino III highlights the importance of the Constitutio in his Independence Day speech at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.
The country’s first Constitution was drafted in Barasoain the first Philippine Republic inaugurated there. The President says 114 years after independence from Spain corrupt politicians use the Constitution for their own interests, blatantly violating the law.
He says the former Chief Justice’s conviction strengthens democracy.

President Aquino:Naging saksi ang buong bansa nang nilitis si Ginoong Corona, ang dating Punong Mahistrado.  Inabot ng limang buwan ang prosesong ito. Gayumpaman, pinatingkad nito ang diwa ng ating demokrasya.
Ngayon pong nakabuwelo na ang ating bayan sa tuwid na landas, hindi natin hahayaan pang maligaw tayo sa dilim ng nakaraan. Gaya ng nakasaad sa Saligang Batas, sa taumbayan nag-uugat ang lakas ng ating bayan.

After the flag-raising in the morning, Aquino went to the Palace to host the diplomatic corps during the traditional Vin d’honneur.
Vice President Jejomar Binay leads Independence Day rites at the Rizal National Monument in Luneta.
He says Filipinos are not yet free because many still yearn for a better life.

Malacanang launches its multimedia timeline on the Philippine Revolution Tuesday, Independence day.
The palace calls it a familiar narrative “translated into a new medium.”
It is a platform that exploits our perspective we are privileged to stand more than a century beyond the history now being recalled.”
The timeline spans the years 1872 to 1907, recounting key events of the Philippine Revolution.
It includes text of the declaration of independence in 1898.
The timeline also gives a peek into the characters of the revolution like General Emilio Aguinaldo whose voice we hear in a rare video.

Did you know, the lyrics of the Philippine national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, were originally written in Spanish?
It was later translated into English and finally into Filipino in the 1950s.
Republic Act 8941 mandates it can only be sung in the national language.
The original hymn composed in 1898 by Julian Felipe was entitled Marcha Filipina Magdalo.
It was named after the group of revolutionaries led by Gen Emilio Aguinaldo who fought the Spanish colonizers and founded the 1st Philippine Republic.
It was not until August 1899 that Jose Palma, a young Filipino soldier, poet and writer wrote a poem in Spanish that became the words of Lupang Hinirang, translated into Filipino.
Historian Ambeth Ocampo says some of the original meaning of Palma’s poem “Filipinas” is lost in translation.
Read more on the story: PHIL NATIONAL ANTHEM: LOST IN TRANSLATION on Rappler.com.

Budget secretary Florencio Abad says the national budget could hit 2 trillion pesos for the first time in 2013.
Key items include “bigger investments” in infrastructure as well as increases in economic and social services.
Abad says budget for the administration’s conditional cash transfer program will increase to benefit an additional 500,000 beneficiaries.
Significant investments will also be made in education. The government aims to narrow the ratio of classrooms to students by adding 25,000 more classrooms and 63,000 teachers.
Abad says the bulk of the 2013 budget will be funded through revenues– much of which will come from tax and customs collections.
2013 is also an election year.

Local budget carrier Zest Airways says the government is asking local airlines to reduce their flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA.
The government mandates airlines to -quote- reduce flying out of Manila by 30% across-the-board, effective July 5.
Zest Airways says this means they will stop flying to Virac, Catarman, and Calbayog by July.
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas says plans to decongest the runways were announced in May.
Roxas adds all the airlines know “their scheduled flights already exceed the runway safety limits.”

The United Nationalist Alliance rebuts a stinging statement from its partner’s co-founder.
PDP-LABAN stalwart former senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, the father of Senator Koko Pimentel says, “It seems that money is now the principal measure of what is right and good in the political arena.”
UNA says the allegations are “far from the truth” adding Nene Pimentel may have “overstepped the bounds of civility”.
Senator Koko Pimentel threatens to bolt UNA if the slate includes his rival Juan Miguel Zubiri.
UNA announces its slate Monday which includes both Pimentel and Zubiri.
Pimentel and Zubiri were rivals for the last slot in the Senate during the 2007 elections.
Pimentel claims Zubiri is an election cheat who had deprived him of his seat in the Senate.

Rappler advocates institutional, sustainable reforms.
In part 2 of our series, we look into at the role the Judicial and Bar Council plays in the selection of a Chief Justice.
This report from Purple Romero.

In 1998, a man almost became a Supreme Court justice through a midnight appointment. But Chief Justice Andres Narvasa stopped it.
Narvasa, who headed the Judicial and Bar Council, told then President Fidel Ramos the appointment ban prohibits him from making any appointments two months before the elections and until his term ends on June 30.
Ramos wanted to appoint his legal counsel, Renato Corona to the High Court.
Narvasa refused to convene the JBC, the sole body mandated by the constitution to screen aspirants to the judiciary.
12 years later, the JBC did the exact opposite. It initiated the selection of the next chief justice in 2010 amid the appointment ban.
Rep.Matias Defensor, a partymate of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, proposed it.
Chief Justice Reynato Puno supported it, undoing what Narvasa did.
Different parties asked the High Court to decide on the issue does the appointment ban apply to the judiciary?
In a decision that divided the legal community, the Supreme Court said in 2010 that no, it does not. The SC, like the JBC, made a shocking turnaround.
Arroyo was allowed to the name the next chief justice and she selected her former spokesman, chief of staff and legal counsel – Corona.
Retired Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban says that SC decision “definitely eroded the high moral ascendancy of the highest court of the land.”
He adds  “It is bad enough that the tribunal is now freely labeled as the ‘Arroyo Court.’
Worse, the appointee will be branded the ‘midnight chief justice.”
The last JBC was instrumental in installing Corona as Chief Justice. This time will this JBC select an ally of President Aquino?
Purple Romero, Rappler.

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, Change is in the air giving this year’s Independence Day celebrations new meaning. It’s a time of soul-searching as Filipinos around the world try to define exactly what it means to be Filipino.
On Rappler, anthropologist Erin Sinogba talks about Pinoy diversity, followed by several pieces on the controversy around the Bayo ad, and the latest by physicist Reina Reyes, who gives third culture kids a new twist.
What do they all have in common? They’re helping define exactly what #PinoyAko means in an increasingly interconnected, global world.

At number 6, Spain receives approval over the weekend for 100 billion euros in loans from the European Union for its ailing banks. Asian markets gain Monday buoyed by relief over the weekend news as well as numbers from China that exceed expectations.
Overnight though, European markets drop and in the United States, skepticism over Madrid’s weekend agreement snaps a 4-day winning streak, pushing the Down Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index down.

At number 7, There are two images of Syria – the brutal regime which is leading massacres against its own people, and the polish of its English speaking first couple, burnished, it turns out by western PR agencies.
The New York Times takes a look at what happens when highly paid image machines help dictators create an image worthy of Camelot.
Among those caught in the web: Vogue and ABC’s Barbara Walters.

And at number 10, Lady Gaga gets hit on the head with a pole while doing her concert in New Zealand. She goes offstage for a short while to recover and comes back to finish the show. Aides say it took effort and stamina to do this because the hit caused a concussion.

Apple unveils the next generation MacBook Pro in its conference in San Francisco. It features the Retina Display which is the super high resolution display also found on the x 4S and the new iPad. Apple says the new MacBook Pro is built from the ground up and is thinner, lighter, and more powerful than previous models. To save on space, Apple gets rid of what it calls “legacy technologies” like the optical drive and FireWire.
Apple says it will continue to sell its existing 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. Apple also gave users a preview of its upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 6 which includes 200 new features including Facebook integration, a new and improved mail app, a Smarter Siri who now speaks Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese and others. Apple also drops the use of Google Maps in favor of its own mapping program. Apple says iOS 6 will be available in the fall, which is around August to October, 2012.

The Azkals end their 3-game series of friendlies with a dominating victory over Guam, 3-0.
All 3 goals came in the first half, two from Anghel Guirado and one from Carlos Demurga.
Earlier, the Azkals faced Indonesia and Malaysia. Both games ended in a draw.