September 13, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Around 80 MNLF rebels surrender in Zamboanga City

    MILITARY ZONE. Soldiers in Zamboanga City. Photo by EPA

    Between 70 to 80 armed followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari surrendered around 8 pm in Barangay Sta Barbara, Zamboanga City on Thursday, September 12, to police troops. Police intelligence sources and residents in Barangay Sta Barbara told Rappler they surrendered to a team of the Philippine National Police, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime. “A certain member of MNLF under commander Ismael with white flag reached our position and negotiated their surrender. About 80 of them are armed and one is wounded,” according to the same sources. One of the hostages they brought with them is a priest — although the identity of the priest was not immediately known.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Why delay resolving the Zambo crisis?

    ZAMBOANGA STAND-OFF. Two cops manning a machine gun stand guard along the boulevard in Zamboanga City as the stand-off between government forces and MNLF rebels continues. TedAjibe/AFP photo

    It’s shameful that MNLF rebels and their hostages must wait overnight after they literally waved the white flag and surrendered to members of the Philippine National Police, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime (PCTC). After confirming with barangay and police sources on the ground, Rappler broke the story of the surrender at about 9:30 pm Thursday night. At this time the regional police director and his superior, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who was in Zamboanga, had not yet been informed. When other journalists who wanted to confirm the surrender and the release of hostages asked him about it, Secretary Roxas denied it took place. It is a decision that is difficult to understand: Why would Secretary Roxas leave them vulnerable overnight in a volatile area? What if gunfire begins again? What if the rebels, losing trust in the police, decide to change their minds and attack again?

     

    Read the full editorial on Rappler.

  3. Luy: Napoles shifted from agencies to LGUs

    ALARMED BY AUDIT. Whistleblower Benhur Luys says he realized Napoles' operations were illegal when government auditors started checking on them. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

    According to whistleblower Benhur Luy, the organizations operated by Janet Lim-Napoles shifted their dealings from national government agencies (NGAs) to local government units (LGUs) under the Aquino administration. This was to circumvent the tighter policies and increased scrutiny of the Department of Budget and Management and the Commission on Audit. Luy told the Senate blue ribbon committee that while Napoles’ NGOs had only ghost projects under the Arroyo administration – the entire PDAFs of conniving lawmakers were split between Napoles and the lawmakers – they were forced to have actual projects and make some deliveries from 2010 to 2012. Luy also testified that the chiefs-of-staff of some senators and congressmen picked up millions of pesos in cash from the office of Naploes as part of the principals’ kickbacks from the pork barrel scam. Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers to channel their PDAF or pork barrel to her fake NGOs and giving them commissions in return. A COA special audit of the PDAF from 2007-2009 revealed that several of Napoles’ NGOs misused P2.1 billion in lawmakers’ pork barrel.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. UN receives chemical treaty documents from Syria

    epa03865029 Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Al-Jaafari hold up a document that he says refers to Israel's chemical weapons program speaks at a press conference at United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 12 September 2013 EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

    The United Nations said Thursday, September 12 (September 13 in Manila) it has received documents from the Syrian government seeking to join the international convention banning chemical weapons. Earlier, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad said it will cede control of its chemical weapons to Russia and other members of the international community. Assad added that the move was prompted by “Russian diplomacy” and not because of an imminent US strike. On September 11, US President Barack Obama asked Congress to postpone a vote on a military attack on Syria that he earlier requested to give way to diplomacy. US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US may still use military force if the Russian plan fails to achieve its objective of disarming Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. MWSS cuts water rates

    NEW WATER RATES. MWSS acting chief regulator Emmanuel Caparas announces rate cuts effective October 2013. Photo by Judith Balea/Rappler

    The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) announced a reduction in water rates in Metro Manila – the first reduction in 16 years. MWSS acting chief regulator Emmanuel Caparas said rates of water concessionaires Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. will go down starting October 2013. The average basic charge of Manila Water will go down by P1.45 per cubic meter (cu.m.), while Maynilad’s will decline by P1.29. Their current rates are P24.57 and P30.28 per cu.m., respectively. The decrease in rates was due to “disallowances for operating and capital expenditures,” he said. In separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Manila Water and Maynilad said they will pursue legal options to assert the provisions in their contract regarding rate rebasing.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Family mourns death of young advertising executive

    SIMPLE, STRESS-FREE. Kae's uncle Vince remembers her as someone who always seemed to enjoy life. Photo from Kae Davantes' Facebook account

    Kristelle “Kae” Davantes’s mysterious and tragic murder on the night of September 6 has shocked many. Davantes, a 25-year old advertising executive, was found under a bridge in Silang, Cavite – strangled and stabbed but not sexually assaulted. Initial investigation, police says, indicates she met a very angry attacker. Kae’s belongings were not found. Her car has yet to be traced almost a week later. The family is now deep in mourning. Both Davantes’ parents are overseas Filipino workers who met in Saudi. They would send their children home to the Philippines to study. Kae’s parents arrived Tuesday, 3 days after they received confirmation that it was their daughter’s body that was found in Cavite. The family said public and social media outcry over Kae’s death has been a source of comfort to the family. The hashtag #JusticeForKae and the Facebook page are giving them hope.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Chile commemorates 40 years after Pinochet coup

    REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11. Lighted candles outside Londres 38 (one of the main centers of torture during the Chilean dictatorship by Augusto Pinochet), in Santiago, Chile, on 11 September 2013. EPA/Mario Ruiz

    Chile marked the 40th anniversary Wednesday, September 11, of a coup that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, amid violent protests and a call for reconciliation by the president. In a sign of persistent divisions in the South American country, unrest erupted overnight in and around the capital Santiago ahead of commemorations marking the September 11, 1973, overthrow of then leftist president Salvador Allende. President Sebastian Pinera used a ceremonial address to urge fellow citizens to come together. Pinera, Chile’s first conservative head of state since democracy was restored in 1990, stressed that reconciliation will require Chileans “to continue on the path of truth and justice.” There is increasing pressure in Chile to unmask the whole truth about the dictatorship, which was hated for its human rights abuses but also put Chile on a market-economics path to prosperity.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Afghanistan stuns India to win South Asia Football title

    FIRST-EVER CHAMPIONSHIP. Afghanistan's players celebrate with the trophy, following their victory over India in the SAFF Championship football Cup final match in Kathmandu on September 11, 2013. Afghanistan won the match 2-0. AFP/Prakash Mathema

    Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India’s stranglehold on the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on Wednesday, September 11. The sturdy Afghans never looked back after Mustafa Azadzoy put them ahead in the ninth minute of the fast-paced final, with Sandjar Ahmadi extending the lead in the 62nd minute. An estimated 5,000 fans at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in the Nepalese capital were treated to attacking football in a repeat of the previous final in 2011 in New Delhi between the same teams. It was Afghanistan’s maiden victory in the SAFF tournament, while India has won the event six times, including the last two in 2009 and 2011.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Harry Potter author to write new wizard series

    THE MIGHTY PEN. Meet JK Rowling, screenwriter

    Get your cloaks and wands out of the closet, Potterheads, because the magic continues with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the first of JK Rowling’s upcoming wizard-film projects with Warner Bros. Inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook of the same name, the film will feature the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander, 70 years before Potter’s time, according to a Facebook post by Rowling herself.  She said the project in discussion will be “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Twitter files IPO papers

    IPO FILING. Twitter announces it has 'confidentially submitted an S-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a planned IPO. Screen shot from Twitter

    Twitter “confidentially submitted” an S-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a planned Initial Public Offering, or IPO. The S-1, known as a Form S-1, is filed with the SEC by public companies to register that company’s securities. The form would generally contain the basic business and financial information of that company. Talk of an IPO has circulated about Twitter for some time, and the Wall Street Journal estimated the company founded in 2006 is worth some $10 billion. Twitter has become one of the fastest-growing and most influential social media services, used widely by celebrities, journalists, politicians and others. In a sign of the growing importance of Twitter, tweets have been analyzed to measure happiness of cities and countries, and some scholars claim Twitter was an important factor in uprisings such as the Arab Spring.

     

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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