December 2, 2013 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Ping Lacson, rehab czar

    REHAB CZAR? Former senator Panfilo Lacson is reportedly being eyed to lead the government's post-Yolanda rehab efforts. Photo from Senate PRIB

    President Benigno Aquino III has asked former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to oversee government’s massive and costly rehabilitation and reconstruction program for areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The President met with Lacson in Malacañang on November 29, where they discussed in broad strokes the former senator’s functions. The government needs to allocate P40.9 billion for the typhoon-hit areas. The President earlier designated Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to head a task force that outlined an action plan on how the government would address the basic needs of the typhoon survivors. He approved the plan but said he needed more details. It’s not clear how Lacson’s new role would fit into the existing processes of the Cabinet.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Will Aquino ally quit?

    DELICADEZA. Secretary Herminio

    Customs chief Rosanno Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon has become the first party mate of President Benigno Aquino III to be included in a batch of complaints filed by the justice department before the Ombudsman in relation to the pork barrel scam. The department is accusing him of spending his pork barrel on a non-governmental organization associated with alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, when he was still congressman of Muntinlupa. The President is scheduled to meet with Biazon this week on the matter, but Biazon himself has remained mum on whether he would quit or not. A member of the ruling Liberal Party, Biazon ran – but lost – for senator in the 2010 elections that Aquino won as president. He offered to quit in July after the President lambasted his agency for corruption and incompetence.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Yolanda: Too many actors at play

    Despite existing mechanisms, the government relied on too many officials with overlapping functions as it prepared for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) before it struck central Philippines on November 8, a Rappler investigation showed. Based on how the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council was organized, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin should have been in charge of disaster preparation and response. But he was sidelined. Other people who took charge before and after  Yolanda included Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr, Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. The result was initial chaos on the ground, delaying relief operations for survivors.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Protest leader vows to topple government

    'NO BARGAINING'. In his meeting with Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said that the only solution is

    The leader of mass opposition protests in Thailand said he had held crisis talks with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but vowed to continue his fight to topple the government. The meeting, which was held in secret in the presence of the army, navy and air force commanders, followed an eruption of violence in the Thai capital. Police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters trying to storm the government headquarters on December 1. The street rallies, aimed at replacing Yingluck’s government with an unelected “people’s council,” are the biggest since mass pro-Thaksin protests in Bangkok 3 years ago left dozens dead in a military crackdown.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Island nations fret over tuna supply

    GOOD CATCH. Tuna at the General Santos City fishport. Photo by Edwin Espejo

    The future of the world’s largest tuna fishery will be decided at a meeting in Cairns, Australia, this week, with Pacific island nations demanding tighter controls on a catch now worth US$7.0 billion a year. A record 2.65 million tons of tuna was hauled from the Pacific last year, accounting for 60% of the global catch, with most of the fishing conducted by so-called “distant water” fleets from as far afield as Europe, the United States, China, Korea and Taiwan. The fear is that stocks are becoming unsustainable. Many distant water fishing nations are resisting attempts by coastal states to improve the management of the tuna resource. A showdown at the forum looms.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. When BIR guns for gold

    RUNNING AFTER EVADERS. The BIR says its crusade against the wealthy is part of the administration's efforts to curb tax evasion throughout all sectors

    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has long struggled to compel the country’s elite pay its fair share, but a name-and-shame campaign targeting one of history’s greatest boxers, Manny Pacquiao, is aiming to change that. A crusade against wealthy Filipinos is part of President Benigno Aquino III’s high-profile effort to curb tax evasion throughout all sectors of society, a central plank of his quest to fight widespread corruption. The BIR has so far filed criminal complaints or charges against 200 wealthy Filipinos it accuses of avoiding a combined P44.45 billion (US$1.02 billion) in taxes. Among those facing criminal prosecution are actor-model celebrities, including Solenn Heussaff, named by the Philippine edition of Esquire magazine this year as “the sexiest woman alive.” Wealthy individuals who are away from the limelight are also being pursued.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. App to give earthquake alert

    AN APP FOR QUAKES. An app hopes to provide precious extra time to find safe ground when a quake strikes.

    It is is capable of providing an alert between a few seconds and one minute before a tremor hits, depending on where an individual using it is in relation to an earthquake’s epicenter. A smartphone app designed to give early warning of earthquakes could be ready as early as next year, according to scientists at the World Science Forum in Rio de Janeiro. The app is based on technology used in an early warning system prepared by a team under Professor Richard Allen, director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. The technology uses algorithms to detect rapidly when a quake is starting and determine its strength and location.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. First moon rover, courtesy of China

    Chinese workers make final preparations to the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan on December 1, 2013. China launches its first lunar rover mission, the latest step in an ambitious space program seen as a symbol of its rising global stature. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO

    China launched its first moon rover mission on December 2, state TV showed, the latest step in an ambitious space program seen as a symbol of its rising global stature. The Chang’e-3 rocket carrying the Jade Rabbit rover blasted off around 1:30 am (Sunday 1730 GMT) into the dark sky, the CCTV official broadcaster showed in live footage from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest of the country. It is the world’s third lunar rover mission following those by the United States and former Soviet Union decades earlier. China’s military-led space program aims to establish a permanent space station by 2020 and eventually send someone to the moon.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Bonifacio at 150

    On November 30, the Philippines commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of one of its most celebrated heroes, Andres Bonifacio. Young and adults alike took time to remember the man, his past, and even the myths surrounding him. Is the hero of the masses really poor? Was he really uneducated? Was Jose Rizal Bonifacio’s hero? There has been a longstanding debate on who the Philippines national hero really should be, with supporters of Rizal arguing that Bonifacio revolted through violent means when their hero was a peace-loving man. But if his war strategy during the 1896 Battle of Manila is any indication, it supports accounts that he didn’t attack aimlessly.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Paul Walker, 40, dies in car crash

    WALKER, 40. In this file photo, American actor Paul Walker presents a creation by Colcci during the 2013 Summer collections of the Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 21, 2013. AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba

    He had been at an event to raise money for victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines for ROWW, a non-profit disaster relief group he founded. On November 30, American Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role as undercover agent Brian O’Connor in the “Fast and the Furious” movie franchise, died in a car accident in California. Walker was killed when the red Porsche sports car he was traveling in slammed into a tree and caught fire in the town of Santa Clarita, in Los Angeles county, local media reported. Walker appeared in all but one of the six movies in the popular franchise, and was a leading protagonist along with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez. He was 40.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!