June 9, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Bong Revilla’s speech turns into a show

    Screengrab from Rappler live stream

    Those anticipating another list of officials who were involved in the pork barrel scam were in for a surprise. Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr in his privilege speech enumerated a list of people he wanted to thank and capped it with a music video that featured him singing an original song, “Salamat Kaibigan.” The action star-turned-politician adopted a more conciliatory tone in his speech and appealed to President Benigno Aquino III for unity. He also said in Filipino, “I’ve said it before. My conscience is clear. Now that there is a case, we need to face it in court. Let us leave it to the courts. There, I will defend myself.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Watch his speech on Rappler.

    The full text of his speech and the lyrics of the song are also on Rappler.

  2. Enrile, Estrada, Revilla charged with graft

    After filing plunder charges on June 6 against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla Jr, the Ombudsman also filed graft charges against them with the Sandiganbayan on Monday, June 9. They were accused of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by endorsing to implementing agencies fake non-governmental organizations that siphoned their development funds in exchange for huge commissions. Revilla faces 16 counts of graft involving P517 million; Enrile faces 15 counts involving P345 million; and Estrada faces 11 counts involving all of P278 million. Graft is punishable by 6-15 years imprisonment, permanent disqualification from public office, and government seizure of assets.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. At least 5 dead in Las Vegas ambush

    Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

    Two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian were killed by two gunmen who ended up killing themselves on Monday, June 9, Manila time. The two officers were eating lunch at Cici’s Pizza when they were shot and stripped of their weapons and ammunition. The attackers then exchanged gunfire with a civilian who was carrying a concealed weapon. The civilian was found dead inside the front door of a nearby Walmart store where the attackers ran to. The two gunmen, one a man and the other a woman, went to the back of the Walmart store for “some kind of suicide pact,” the police said. The woman shot the man before taking her own life.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on the LA Times.

  4. Gunmen attack and kill at Pakistan International Airport

    Heavily armed gunmen attacked Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, leaving 24 people dead. An army spokesman said all 10 of the gunmen who attacked the airport’s old terminal were also killed. 14 dead bodies – including 8 security personnel, a ranger, a civil aviation official, and 4 Pakistan International Airlines staff – were brought to the hospital. At least 21 people were injured in the gunfire that lasted for hours before the airport was secured. Army commandos were called in as all terminal operations were suspended and all flights diverted to other airports. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group said the attack was meant to avenge the killing of their leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a drone strike in November 2013.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on the resumption of security operations after renewed gunfire is also on Rappler.

  5. SC asked to order return of P6.2B misused funds

    Three anti-corruption advocates and a Christian bishop asked the Supreme Court to order the return of misused discretionary funds to the national treasury. They petitioned the High Court to require the Commission on Audit to issue notices of disallowance in relation to the P6.2 billion (US$141.1 million) misused Priority Development Assistance Fund. The notices of disallowance will force lawmakers or fake non-governmental organizations who benefitted from the funds to return them. The petitioners included former senatorial candidate Greco Belgica, anti-corruption advocates Quintin Paredes San Diego and Jose L. Gonzales, and Christian bishop Reuben Abante.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. PH-Vietnam in friendly Spratly games

    Photo by Dennis Sabangan / EPA

    As a way of easing tensions springing from conflicting territorial claims, the Philippines and Vietnam engaged in sports diplomacy on Sunday, June 8. Soldiers of both countries played volleyball and football on one of the islands in the Spratlys controlled by Vietnam. Besides the Philippines and Viet Nam, China, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also claim the Spratlys in the South China Sea. Hosted by Vietnam, the friendly games which are expected to be hosted by the Philippine Navy in 2015, hope to draw in other claimant countries as well.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Belmonte, most House leaders richer from 2010

    On the whole, the wealth of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr, along with those of most House leaders, increased over the past 4 years, the summaries of their Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth show. A remarkable increase was seen in 2011 – a year after he re-entered Congress and following years spent as Quezon City mayor – when his wealth almost tripled. He attributed the spike from P283.3 million in 2010 to P726.22 million in 2011 to the sale of his shares in the Philippine Star to businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan. As of 2014, based on his 2013 SALN, Belmonte remains one of the wealthiest congressmen in the country with a net worth of P819.75 million. In comparison, House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II recorded a net worth of P18.34 million in 2013, a big drop from his P42.48 million net worth in 2010.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Jinggoy: Jail time before Aquino’s SONA?

    File photo by Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB

    Declaring that his conscience is clear, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said he suspects the administration wants him and two other senators accused of plunder to be jailed before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address in July. Along with Estrada, opposition senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr were charged with plunder before the anti-graft court on Friday, June 6. “Of course he will highlight the 3 of us: ‘We put in prison one president and 3 senators’ in their anti-crruption drive,” Estrada said in Filipino. He added once the arrest warrant is out, he would willingly surrender and not evade arrest. This is the second time that a plunder case has been filed against Estrada.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A cartoon on the 3 senators facing jail time is also on Rappler.

  9. Nadal clinches 14th Grand Slam; Sharapova wins

    File photo by Yoan Valat/EPA

    Tennis star Rafael Nadal won his 9th French Open and 14th Grand Slam title on Sunday, June 8, besting Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. The victory made him the first man to win 5 Roland Garros crowns in a row, recording 66 wins and only one defeat. Nadal’s 14-title record puts him at par with Pete Sampras and just 3 titles short of the all-time record of Roger Federer who is almost 5 years older than him. Meanwhile, 27-year-old Maria Sharapova defeated Romania’s Simona Halep on Saturday, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4. It was the Russian’s 5th Grand Slam title, putting her on the same level as Martina Hingis.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Read the full story on Sharapova’s win on Rappler.

  10. CIA joins Twitter and Facebook

    “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet,” the secretive Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) twitted on its new official Twitter page. The CIA jumped deeper into the world of social media and created official Twitter and Facebook accounts, in addition to existing accounts on YouTube and Flickr. Within two hours of its Twitter post, the CIA received at least 90,000 retweets and counted at least 115,000 followers. Twenty-four hours later, it had over 448,000 followers. On its profile, the spy agency described itself as “the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on Forbes.com

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