May 7, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Lacson: Uncooperative officials derailing Yolanda rehab

    File photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau

    Haiyan rehabilitation secretary Panfilo Lacson said “incorrigibly uncooperative” cabinet members are delaying the government’s post-Haiyan recovery program. He said these cabinet members skip meetings, send representatives who can’t decide for their agencies, and fail to submit reports on time. Known for his hard-hitting statements, Lacson refused to name these officials, however, because “my job is to coordinate and not to quarrel with them.” Anyway, he added, most of his colleagues have been “more than cooperative.” Lacson has repeatedly claimed he is an executive with no budget and no executive powers. “Right now, the only whip that I have is my reputation probably,” he said. UN aid agencies have criticized the lack of progress made in the rehabilitation of areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan but praised the resiliency of the survivors and the sincerity of officials. May 8 marks the 6th month anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan.

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  2. De Lima to public on Napoles list: ‘Trust me’

    File photo by Buena Bernal/Rappler

    Despite public clamor for the Justice Department to release the list of alleged lawmakers linked to Napoles, secretary Leila de Lima asked the public to trust that she would not sanitize the list to protect anyone. “You just have to trust me that I am not gonna do that, na isa-sanitize ko ‘yung listahan. Pangako ko po ‘yan sa taong bayan, na hindi ko gagawin ‘yan, na hindi ko isa-sanitize. Pangako ko rin sa taong bayan na gagawin ko ‘yung mandato ko in a very responsible and prudent manner,” she said in a chance interview Tuesday, May 6. Lawmakers, including senator Bong Revilla and Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco have called for an investigation in aid of legislation to compel De Lima to release the affidavit of Janet Lim Napoles, which contains the reported list of lawmakers involved in the PDAF scam. But the justice secretary says they need time to vet the affidavit’s veracity. “I’m sure people would not want me to take her (Napoles’) word for it,” De Lima said.

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  3. COMELEC expects 3 million new voters

    Michael Bueza/Rappler

    The Commission on Election kicked of its voters’ registration campaign on Tuesday, May 6 to encourage qualified citizens to vote. The poll body expects 3 million new voters in 2016. There are currently 54 million registered voters. The commission also wants at least 9.6 million registered voters with biometrics issues to validate their biometrics data or risk not being able to vote in the next elections. On Tuesday, hundreds of voters braved the summer heat and lined up outside the election offices in the national capital region. Voters’ registration is for all Filipinos who are at least 18 years old by May 9, 2016. The registration period will last 17 months, with Comelec offices open even on Sundays.

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  4. Kiko Pangilinan takes oath as presidential agri troubleshooter

    Malacañang Photo Bureau

    Former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan took his oath of office on Tuesday, May 6 as the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization in Malacanang. Pangilinan said his mandate from President Benigno Aquino was to help clean up agencies under the Department of Agriculture (DA), which have been linked to irregularities. These agencies include the National Food Authority (NFA), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). The President recently signed an Executive Order transferring these four agencies from the DA to the Office of the President. Pangilinan, however, said that his appointment did not mean agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala is failing in his job.

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  5. Senate to look into PH-US defense agreement

    File photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/Senate PRIB

    After much debate, the Senate may decide to review the PH-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), in response to public clamor. Senator Antonio Trillanes, chairman of the senate defense committee, filed a resolution calling for a legislative inquiry into the deal. A supporter of the agreement that gives US troops greater access to Philippine bases, Trillanes reversed his initial position not to call for a hearing. “There appears to be an imperative need to review the EDCA in order to clarify its coverage and contents as well as the extent of the strategic military relationship between the US and [the Philippines] under the said agreement in order to promote transparency,” Trillanes said in Senate Resolution No. 623.

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  6. Obama wants global action against Islamic militants in Nigeria

    Ruth Mcdowall/EPA

    US President Barack Obama Tuesday, May 6, urged global action against Nigerian Islamic militants, as Washington sent in military experts to help track down more than 200 girls seized in a “heartbreaking” kidnapping.  The news of the US deployment came as 8 more schoolgirls were kidnapped by gunmen from the village of Warabe in Nigeria’s embattled northeast, near Chibok, residents said. Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau claimed responsibility and said he would “sell them in the market.” US officials have voiced fears that the girls, aged between 16 and 18, have already been smuggled into neighboring countries, such as Chad and Cameroon.

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  7. Team of PH researchers explore Benham Rise

     Photo from the Benham Rise Program twitter page

    A team of academic and government research scientists and volunteers recently began exploring Benham Rise, a 13-million hectare area off the coast of Aurora. The team, composed of researchers and volunteers from the University of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Xavier University, and the Ateneo de Manila University, left Manila on May 3 on board a government ship to conduct the first ever benthic survey of Benham Rise. The team is led by Dr Hildie Nacorda of UP Diliman’s Marine Science Institute. Bigger than the 10.5-million hectare Luzon, the underwater Benham Rise is believed to be rich in steel-producing minerals and natural gas. The government hopes that natural resources in Benham Rise can help the Philippines become energy self-sufficient and even export it in the future.

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  8. Monica Lewinsky speaks up on Clinton affair

    Ian Stewart/EPA

    Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke her silence Tuesday, May 6, about her illicit 1990s affair with president Bill Clinton, saying she wants to reclaim the narrative of events that brought her global humiliation. Lewinsky, now 40, was in her early twenties when she became the infamous beret-wearing muse who engaged in sexual relations with the president and then endured a colossal backlash that nearly drove her to suicide. “I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past,” Lewinsky wrote in this month’s Vanity Fair magazine. She remains firm that the affair was consensual; but admits that “her boss,” then the US president, took advantage of her.  Lewinsky now wants to work with victims of cyber-bullying and harassment, drawing inspiration from the suicide of a gay Rutgers University student who was humiliated online.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Fans have to wait for 2 years for new episodes of ‘Sherlock’

    It’s going to be a long while before Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson grace our television screens again. Mirror UK reports that Mark Gatiss, co-writer of the BBC mini-series Sherlock, confirmed that at least a two-year wait until season 4 airs. In a Q&A held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for BBC Worldwide, Gatiss explained that the delay is mostly due to the unconventional format of the show, which makes it difficult to align the filming schedules of the actors. But fans may at least find comfort in the long wait to 2016. In an appearance on Alan Carr’s talk show Chatty Man, Martin Freeman gave assurances that the writers had lined up “an idea for a one off special and it is such a good idea.”

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  10. Kevin Durant wins first NBA MVP award

    Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the NBA’s top scorer for the fourth time in five seasons, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013-14 campaign Tuesday. It’s the first MVP award for the Thunder superstar and the first for the franchise, which began as the Seattle Supersonics before moving to the American heartland. “It’s just a surreal feeling,” Durant said. “I never thought I could make it through college to the NBA and be standing here as the NBA Most Valuable Player. Durant paid tribute to his mother who struggled to feed him and his 3 siblings growing up. “You sacrificed for us,” Durant told his mother. “You are the real MVP.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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