Rappler Newscast | June 14, 2012

Rappler.com
A former election official testifies ex-Pres. Arroyo ordered the ex-Gov. of Maguindanao to cheat for her party in the 2007 polls. | PAGASA ugprades Butchoy, international name Guchol, to severe tropical storm. | Liberal Party has unofficial list of 15-20 names for senatorial slate.

Today on Rappler.

  • A Former election official testifies former President Gloria Arroyo ordered the former governor of Maguindanao to cheat for her party in the 2007 elections.
  • PAGASA upgrades Butchoy, international name Guchol, from tropical storm to severe tropical storm.
  • And, the Liberal Party has an unofficial list of 15-20 names for its senatorial slate.


Story 1: WITNESS: ARROYO ASKED AMPATUAN TO CHEAT FOR HER PARTY
Former Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas testifies former President Gloria Arroyo ordered former Maguindanao Gov Andal Ampatuan Sr to ensure a 12-0 victory for her senatorial slate in Maguindanao in 2007.
Comelec says Unas’ testimony is key to prosecuting Arroyo in the electoral sabotage case which now has her under hospital arrest.
Unas is the right-hand man of the former Maguindanao governor.
Unas says days before the elections, he went with Ampatuan to a dinner with Mrs Arroyo and presidential adviser for political affairs Gabby Claudio.
Also present were Arroyo administration’s candidates for senator led by Prospero Pichay, Vicente Magsaysay, Tessie Aquino-Oreta, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Mrs Arroyo allegedly emphasized that her senatorial bets should win in Maguindanao.
In response, Ampatuan supposedly promised “Maguindanao was the extension of Pampanga” referring to her home province and “Maguindanao will deliver the votes.”
Unas claims that after the dinner he heard Mrs Arroyo tell Ampatuan, “It should be 12-0 in Maguindanao in favor of the administration…
even if you have to manipulate the results.”
During cross-examination, lawyers for Arroyo establish that Unas did not witness actual cheating himself.
Unas counters, “I have not seen how they did it but I know they are doing it.”
Defense lawyer Sigfrid Fortun attempts to dismiss Unas’ testimony as hearsay.
Questioning Unas, Fortun establishes that only three people were present when Mrs Arroyo allegedly instructed Ampatuan Sr, to rig the 2007 senatorial elections –Unas himself, Ampatuan and Arroyo.
Fortun says this means no one else can corroborate Unas’ affidavit describing it as “his word against theirs.”
The Pasay court is hearing Mrs Arroyo’s petition to post bail.
If the court finds no strong evidence of guilt against her, it could allow the former President to post bail and be released from hospital arrest.

Story 2: PANGILINAN ON GMA-7 & TV-5 MERGER: MAYBE END OF THE YEAR
The much discussed merger between the second and third largest television stations GMA-7 and TV-5 could be completed before the end of the year says TV-5 chair Manny Pangilinan.
He says there were -quote- “positive vibes” between the two companies. Discussions began before he left for the United States with President Aquino.
The news comes as San Miguel president Ramon Ang says they may buy into a broadcast media firm but declines to give any details.
Ang, who is also the President of Philippine Airlines also reveals they are considering a deal with a regional airline to be more competitive.
PAUSE FOR SOT

Story 3: FRANK CHAVEZ, TEDDY BOY & LEONEN NOMINATED
University of the Philippines Professor and lawyer Katrina Legarda accepts her nomination as Chief Justice. A source from the Judicial and Bar Council confirms Legarda sent her acceptance letter on June 11 — the second to do so after former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan.  Pangalangan tells Rappler he accepted his nomination on June 8. Other nominations for Chief Justice pour in the latest that of former Solicitor General Frank Chavez former Makati Congressman Teodoro Teddy Boy Locsin and government peace panel chairman Marvic Leonen. Chaves was former soliticitor general from ‘87 to ‘92 was a candidate for Ombudsman in 2011 which he declined and filed numerous cases against various public officials– the latest, a plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Locsin was an editorial writer for the Philippine Free Press and publisher of the newspapers The Daily Globe and Today. He is the former press secretary, speechwriter and presidential legal counsel of President Cory Aquino. Locsin was a candidate for associate justice in the Supreme Court in 2009, but was not appointed. Marvic Leonen is a former law professor who went on to become dean of the UP Law School. He was admonished by the Supreme Court in 2011 for leading 36 other faculty members of the UP Law School in calling for the resignation of Justice Mariano del Castillo who allegedly plagiarized parts of his decision in a case. He is now the chairman of the peace panel in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Story 4: CHOOSING THE CHIEF JUSTICE
How does the Judicial and Bar Council assess a candidate for chief of the highest court of the land?
Purple Romero files this report for our series, Choosing the Chief Justice.

Story 5: LP BEING LEFT BEHIND BY UNA
The Liberal Party lists 15-20 names in its senatorial slate for the 2013 elections.
L-P secretary-general Joseph Emilio Abaya told Rappler quote “It’s a fluid list. It’s overflowing.”
Thursday was the first time party leaders discussed their senatorial ticket.
But Abaya says the list is not official.
It was quote “preparatory work” before they convene the LP National Board.
Abaya refused to give names but admits that re-electionist senators are on the list.

Story 6:BUTCHOY INTENSIFIES TO SEVERE TROPICAL STORM
PAGASA upgrades “Butchoy”, International codename Guchol, from tropical storm to SEVERE tropical storm.
The weather bureau spots Butchoy last  780 kilometers east of Eastern Samar.
Bicol and Eastern Visayas will also feel the effects of the enhanced monsoon by Friday.
PAGASA forecasts the storm will miss land, but is not discounting it may cross the Visayas…
but – for now – is expected to curve west northwest in the next 24-48 hours.

Story 7: WBO TO REVIEW PACQUIAO-BRADLEY FIGHT
The World Boxing Organization will review Timothy Bradley’s shock split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao.
WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel says in a statement that the body’s championship committee will review the fight but he says “I want to clarify that in no way this says that we are doubting the capacity of these judges.”
Valcarcel says the committee will meet soon and evaluate video of the fight with the help of 5 “recognized international judges.”
They will make a recommendation to the WBO based on -quote- “what emerges.”

Story 8: LANCE ARMSTRONG FACES DRUG ALLEGATIONS ANEW
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong confirms he is facing new doping allegations from the US Anti-Doping Agency or USADA.  It can result in the stripping of Armstrong’s 7 Tour de France titles.
He vehemently denies using performance enhancing drugs during his career…
and calls the new charges – which stem from discredited allegations from the past – baseless.
USADA says its case is supported by evidence.
But the multi-titled athlete maintains his position and says -quote- “I have never doped.”

Story 9: 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, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff opens the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, dubbed Rio+20, on Wednesday.
She calls on all countries to commit to an agreement on how to address serious environmental issues — like over consumption that’s straining earth’s resources.
Over a hundred leaders are expected to attend, including French President Francois Hollande and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

At number 6, Prosecutors seek the death penalty for former Tunisian leader Ben Ali who has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia.
He presided over the crackdown which ignited the Arab Spring.
Ali initiated a clampdown that killed at least 22 people, after which he fled the country.

At number 7, Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, arrives in Geneva, Switzerland to address the United Nations at the start of her European visit.  On Thursday, she speaks to the International Labor Organization, which leads a  campaign against child and slave labor in Myanmar. She will also give her long-awaited Nobel lecture in Norway on Saturday, June 16.  She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Oct 14, 1991 for her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.”  Suu Kyi spent much of the past 24 years under house arrest.

And at number 8,
Chinese authorities will investigate the case of a woman forced to have an abortion 7 months into her pregnancy .
The move was triggered by public uproar caused by the image of the baby’s corpse posted online.
The mother failed to pay the fine imposed on women who violate China’s one-child policy.
Zhenping county, where the abortion took place, promised a transparent probe under a special committee.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’

– Rappler.com