Rappler Newscast | June 22, 2012

China establishes a city over disputed islands. Jordan confirms Atyani kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf. And Senator Santiago urges colleagues to do a Flavier, vote for the RH bill.

Today on Rappler.

  • China establishes a city over the Spratlys, Paracel, and Macclesfield Bank to shore up its claim over the islands.
  • Jordan’s Foreign Ministry confirms journalist Baker Atyani has been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf.
  • And Senator Miriam Santiago urges her colleagues in the Senate to do a Flavier and vote for the RH bill.  


Story 1
China is firming up its claim over South China Sea islands.
On Thursday, China established Sansha, a city that administers the 3 disputed island groups of Nansha or Spratly Islands Xisha or Paracel Islands and Zhongsha or Macclesfield Bank.
The new city also covers the surrounding waters around the 3 island groups.
The Philippines claims portions of the Spratly Islands while Macclesfield Bank includes Scarborough Shoal, the site of a 2-month standoff between the Philippines and China.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte says the Philippines has a presence in the Spratlys too located under Palawan, known as Kalayaan.

Story 2
A spokesman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry says Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani has been kidnapped.
The Jordan Times quotes the spokesman as saying,–“We are following up the case in order to secure his safe release.”
DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo earlier said Atyani is with the Abu Sayyaf but is not threatened.
He wants the Jordanian journalist deported.
Sulu Governor Sakur Tan supports Robredo’s recommendation.

Story 3
An Indonesian court sentences bombmaker Umar Patek to 20 years’ in jail for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings, the nation’s deadliest terror attack.
45-year-old Patek was found guilty Thursday of 6 charges for the twin suicide bombings on a Bali nightclub and bar, that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
He was also found guilty of premeditated murder for Christmas Eve bombings on several churches that killed 19 people in Jakarta in 2000.
Patek’s lawyer says “Umar Patek is very disappointed with the sentence and considers it too severe.”
Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Patek, unlike 3 other Bali bombers who faced the firing squad because he had shown remorse during the 4-month trial.

Story 4
There’s a glimmer of hope for kids growing up in a lawless land.
Philippine Marines are teaching the children of Sulu football and giving them an education.
Carlos Santamaria reports.

(Report runs.)
In Sulu, most children don’t go to school and have no future beyond violence.
Many end up joining gangs or rebels like the Abu Sayyaf.
Now they have a choice, to get away from violence playing football, trained by people they regarded as the enemy, the Philippine Marines.

MAJOR STEPHEN CABANLET, PHILIPPINE MARINES: If you go to Sulu, the way of life is guns, everywhere in the house there are guns. So we need to change the perspective from bullets into balls, from fighting in the jungle to fighting on the soccer field.

For the past two years, Major Canablet and other marines have been teaching the children of the island to play football.
It was difficult, but they are learning discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork.
The kids play for a few hours at the Marine detachment. 
After training, they are taught basic math and learn to read and write.

MAJOR CABANLET: When you go to some places in Sulu, you may be afraid of the people or even the children there, because they do not wave or give you a smile. But now, the children, when we pass by, they are very happy to see us and they wave at us.

The program is slowly bringing change: now more kids want to learn rather than fight.

MAJOR CABANLET: Children in Sulu are already into gambling at 8 years old, they smoke already, so basically it is changing the lifestyle of these children.

After organizing two tournaments of the Football for Peace on the island, 
the marines are able to raise enough funds to take the best players to visit Manila.

MAJOR CABANLET: When they arrived in Manila, they saw these big buildings, good movie houses and even the people. It is very different from their place.

Football is a good first step, but the long-term goal is for the kids to get the education that is not available in Sulu.
The marines believe winning the peace is more important than winning the war and hope that someday the island will produce a member of the Philippine Azkals.
Carlos Santamaria, Rappler, Manila.

Story 5
Dolphy’s son Eric Quizon says his father has pneumonia on both lungs and is being treated with antibiotics.
This is the 11th time in 11 months the Comedy King has had pneumonia.
He says, they are glad the pneumonia was detected early.
Quizon also says his father’s platelets are still down, although his hemoglobin count is up after dialysis.
His blood pressure has been regulated, although his heart rate is still fluctuating.
Quizon adds Dolphy is responsive, though not as responsive as Thursday.
Dolphy, 84, is one of the country’s most enduring tv and movie icons.

Story 6
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago urges her re-electionist colleagues to pass the Reproductive Health bill once session resumes on July 23.
Santiago says senators should not worry about the Catholic Church and speak up in support of the bill.
The co-sponsor of the RH Bill cites former Health Secretary Juan Flavier, who distributed condoms for free without any legal basis.
She says –quote “The Catholic Church campaigned against him but he won as senator anyway.”
Santiago adds –quote “There is no such thing as a Catholic vote.”
The RH Bill is now in the period of amendments.

Story 7
Former Senator and human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag says Associate Justice Antonio Carpio the most senior justice in the Supreme Court, must wait two more years to become Chief Justice because of the controversial past of the law firm he founded, Villaraza Cruz Marcelo & Angangco, known as ‘The Firm’ in legal circles.
In an interview on Rappler’s #TalkThursday, Saguisag says he salutes Carpio for his key decisions in the Supreme Court, but is not keen on having him appointed Chief Justice at this time.
Saguisag is referring to The Firm’s former ties with ex-President Gloria Arroyo who was once its most prominent client before a falling out.

FORMER SENATOR RENE SAGUISAG: Dahil ako talagang mula nitong um-argue kami sa Korte Suprema dun sa People’s Initiative, talagang pinahanga kami ni Tony Carpio dun so the last few years talagang saludo ako ke Tony Carpio, pero may kasaysayan sya at saka ung the firm, kaya ako din meron ding reservation kung sya dapat ma-appoint na kung may mga kasalanan ang the firm noong araw, e ito siguro ang penance magtiis pa ng another 2 years dahil un nga nasingitan sya ni Corona for very unclear reasons in 2010, so whats another 2 years under hanggang 2019 when he can really make a mark continuing his excellent movesKaya pag si Tony Carp hindi matitigil siguro yung mga iringan. Kaya I would like for him to consider…wow…kasi pag sinabi ni Tony Carpio, today o tomorrow, I’m declining…aba’y papatayo na ako ng monumento.

Story 8
Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes turns down his nomination for chief justice.
He is the third Supreme Court magistrate to do so.
In a letter to the Judicial Bar Council, Reyes says –quote  “being one of the most junior members of the court, I defer to the more senior colleagues.”
Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. is also nominated but latest reports say he has declined.
Others who declined their nomination Thursday and Friday are Justices Jose Mendoza, and Mariano Del Castillo.

Story 9
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 2, Moody’s downgrades the credit ratings of 15 of the world’s largest financial institutions, casting doubt on their financial health.
Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank saw their ratings slashed, spelling potentially higher borrowing costs.
Moody’s explains the banks’ actions inherently risked massive losses.

At number 6, the video of an American grandmother being bullied by a busload of school kids went viral on Thursday tugging at the heart strings of sympathetic strangers who donated more than 330-thousand US dollars to send her on a trip to recover from the ordeal.
The 10-minute video of school bus monitor Karen Klein being harassed by 12- and 13-year-olds went viral shortly after it appeared on YouTube and Facebook late Tuesday.

At number 7, Twitter said a “cascading bug” caused outages Thursday affecting millions of users of the wildly popular site.
Twitter dismisses claims of a hacker attack.
The outage led to a barrage of complaints and comments.
Twitter says the reaction underscores quote–“how critical Twitter has become.”

And at number 9, American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez will join the cast of “Glee” for a number of episodes.
Sanchez will appear in the series’ upcoming 4th season.
No other details about her character have been released by Fox.
Sanchez will be part of Idol’s summer concert tour which includes a stop in Manila on September 21.
For the full top 10, visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’

Miami Heat takes down Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of their best of 7 Finals series 121 to 106, to win the 2012 NBA Championship.
LeBron James dominates with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds to get his first NBA title.
James is also the Finals MVP making him the first player to win both Season and Finals MVP in the same year since Tim Duncan in 2003.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is the first ever Filipino-American head coach to win an NBA title.