May 12, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Guingona to De Lima: Show us the list

    Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto “TG” Guingona III and Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday, May 12, signed a subpoena directing Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to present to the Senate the controversial “Napoles list” which reportedly contains names of lawmakers implicated in the pork barrel scam. De Lima said she will comply with the subpoena. Guingona said he will make public the list once it is submitted by De Lima, who earlier said she would need to vet the list before releasing it. President Aquino himself said he has seen two lists which didn’t match. Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson also had a third list reportedly given to him by relatives of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. That same list will also be given to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Guingona said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on Senator Alan Peter Cayetano asking that Napoles be compelled to testify on the list is also on Rappler.

    The story on President Aquino saying he had seen two different versions of the list is likewise on Rappler.

  2. More than half of senators sign pork barrel probe report

    Eleven of the 20 senator-members of the Blue Ribbon Committee have signed the report on the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam. It marks a rare instance in Senate history when legislators turned against each other. Among others, the report recommends the filing of plunder charges against Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada, the 3 senators implicated in the country’s biggest corruption scandal in recent years. Nacionalista Party Senator Cynthia Villar, however, the 11th signatory to the report, however said she is deferring to the judiciary “judgment on innocence or guilt” of her colleagues.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Aquino: Improve ASEAN disaster response coordination

    Malacañang Photo Bureau

    President Benigno Aquino III called on fellow ASEAN leaders to improve the region’s coordination in disaster response. Speaking from the painful experience of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), known as the world’s strongest typhoon to hit land in recent history, Aquino emphasized the need for ASEAN to implement its Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response which provides a framework for the development of operational procedures to collectively and expeditiously respond to disasters. He proposed that ASEAN maximize “standby arrangements for joint disaster relief and emergency response operations and protocols among our individual disaster management agencies.” Aquino also thanked ASEAN leaders and their people for their “overwhelming and inspiring” response after Haiyan hit the Philippines.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. ‘Serious concerns’ about China raised by ASEAN

    ASEAN foreign ministers on Saturday, May 10, expressed “serious concerns” about oil drilling operations by China in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). In a statement released as heads of state and government gathered in Myanmar for the 24th ASEAN summit, the foreign ministers also urged parties involved, in apparent reference to China and Vietnam, to refrain from resorting to threat or using force to resolve their differences. They emphasized the need to work expeditiously “towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.” Vietnam and China had previously clashed over the Paracel Islands in 1974.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Can new ex-Navy chief Pama rescue NDRRMC?

     File photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

    Former Navy chief Alexander Pama has been appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and executive director or the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. He replaces retired Army general Eduardo del Rosario who resigned April 24 over health issues. Pama takes over an agency whose leadership and whose handling of the post-Super Typhoon Yolanda crisis have been criticized. Delays in both response and aid were attributed to the lack of effective coordination among government officials. Pama is the third retired general to assume the post under the Aquino administration.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Tensions rise in Thailand over new government

    File photo by Narong Sangnak/EPA

    Thai authorities warned opposition demonstrators who insist on appointing a new leader by Monday, May 12, could trigger new violence. “Forming an unelected government is illegitimate and will bring more conflict and violence,” Tarith Pengdith of the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Special Investigation said. Demonstrators have warned they will step up efforts to topple a caretaker government clinging to power after the ouster of premier Yingluck Shinawatra. ASEAN foreign ministers called for a “peaceful resolution” of the Thai political crisis during the summit in Myanmar, where a top-level Thai representative was noticeably absent. The ASEAN ministers stressed the importance of “promoting national reconciliation and the return of normalcy in Thailand, in accordance with the will and interests of the people.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the fully story on ASEAN’s call for a peaceful resolution of the Thai conflict on Rappler.

    A related story is on Thailand’s The Nation.

  7. ‘Balikatan’ to boost counter-terror, anti-insurgency campaigns

    Both Filipino and American soldiers trained under punishing heat on Saturday, May 10, in Fort Magsaysay in the northern part of the country. It was the third day of war games, also known as “Balikatan” (shoulder to shoulder) exercises held annually by the two allies. The armies of both countries continue to train because internal threats remain, Captain Mark Anthony Ruelos, spokesperson of the 7th Infantry Division, said. US Colonel Robert McDowell said cooperation with the Philippines is the “most successful foreign internal defense counterterrorist operations” they’ve had. The armies of both the Philippines and the US trained on close quarter battle, long-range target shooting, and jungle survival, among others.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. VP Binay’s party launch postponed

    File photo by Elmer G. Cato/Philippine embassy

    Previously set for June 12, Independence Day, the launch of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s new political party has been deferred indefinitely. Given the controversy generated by the controversial list of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, Binay said they thought it best to postpone the launch of his political vehicle for his 2016 presidential bid. The new party has yet to find a name. A frontrunner in a recent presidential survey, Binay earlier said he was leaving the Partido ng Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) – his party of over 3 decades – following a rift with longtime allies, the Pimentels.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. Francis goes old school on Satan

    Known to be a liberal and an advocate of inclusion and forgiveness, Pope Francis, says the Washington Post, remains locked in an “epic battle with the oldest enemy of God and creation” The Devil.” Citing theologians and Vatican insiders, the Post said the Pope has dwelled extensively on Satan in sermons and speeches compared to his predecessors, and has rekindled his image as a “supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call.” Progressive theologians said Francis is opening the door to superstition, a step back from allegorical references to evil. Exorcists however said the new pope has become their champion in the face of modern skepticism.

    Read the full story on The Washington Post.

  10. Murray, Nadal to play in Manila this November

    Photo by Zipi/EPA

    They will be in Manila to compete in the first-ever International Premier Tennis League (IPTL). Tennis greats Andy Murray of Great Britain will lead Team Manila. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi will play for any of the 4 teams competing in the first leg of the tourney from November 28-30 – Teams Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Manila. An Inquirer report said the IPTL was originally scheduled in Bangkok but has been transferred to the Philippines because of the unresolved political crisis in Thailand. The matches will be held in either the Mall of Asia Arena or Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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