July 23, 2014 Edition

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  1. Second impeachment complaint filed vs Aquino

    A day after an impeachment complaint against President Benigno Aquino III was filed, youth organizations filed a second impeachment complaint on Tuesday, July 22. The organizations, led by the Youth Act Now group, accused President Aquino of committing impeachable acts by approving the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The complaint, filed at the House of Representatives, was endorsed by Kabataan party list representative Terry Ridon. The government maintains the DAP was intended as a tool to boost the economy by realigning funds from slow-disbursing government agencies to quick-disbursing projects.The Supreme Court, however, declared parts of the DAP as unconstitutional. Critics of president Aquino point out that the government did not originally reveal where the DAP was intended to go.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Plunder cased filed vs VP Binay and son

    Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Erwin Binay, were accused of plundering government funds in relation to an alleged over-priced multi-million peso carpark building in Makati City. Complainants Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI filed a 9-page complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the Binays and several Makati City officials of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The complainants alleged that a P1.56 billion multi-story parking building was supposed to have cost only P245.56 million. The building was approved in 2007, when the Vice-President was still mayor of Makati. The Binay camp rejected the complaint and said it was politically motivated.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Joko Widodo wins Indonesian presidential polls

    Photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP

    Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and former vice president Jusuf Kalla have won Indonesia’s third direct presidential election with almost 71 million votes or 53.15% of some 133 million votes cast. Widodo won with a comfortable margin of 8.4 million over rival Prabowo Subianto, a former general and his running mate Hatta Rajasa. Prabowo on Tuesday, July 22, rejected the electoral counting process, citing massive fraud. Two hours after he was declared the winner, president-elect Widodo called for a united Indonesia in a victory speech. “We are strong because we are united, we are united because we are strong,” Widodo said.

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  4. Taiwan is battered by its first typhoon for 2014

    Typhoon Matmo (Philippine name Henry) battered the island-state of Taiwan with Category 2 winds of up to 165 kilometers per hour. Matmo made landfall early morning Wednesday, July 23. Prior to landfall, residents were urged to tie down commercial signs and construction scaffolds Around 5,400 tourists were evacuated from Green Island and Orchid Island, two popular scenic spots off the southeastern Taitung country earlier Tuesday. Several ports were packed with hundreds of fishing vessels that returned from sea to avoid the typhoon.

    Read the full story on Rappler and AccuWeather.

  5. Foreign banks now fully welcome in the PH

    The Philippines will now see the full entry of foreign banks after President Benigno Aquino III signed into law Republic Act 10641. The new law allows foreigners to own up to 100% of domestic banks and to facilitate the entry of established, reputable and financially sound foreign banks into the country. The passage comes ahead of the 2015 ASEAN regional economic integration, and is hoped to give an edge to the Philippine banking and finance industries.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. NBA vs Gilas ‘game’ cancelled, refund promised

    Photo by Jane Bracher/Rappler

    At the last minute, the “Last Home Stand” All-Star Charity Event featuring basketball players from the NBA and Gilas Pilipinas was cancelled. But not before organizers tried to salvage the event by demonstrating a live practice at the Smart Araneta Center on Tuesday night, July 22. According to some reports, the participating NBA players were threatened with sanctions if they played in a non-NBA game. Hundreds of disappointed fans, some of whom paid as much as P20,000 for tickets, booed the practicing players. PLDT Vice President for HOME Ariel Fermin said fans would get a full refund beginning Wednesday. In a press conference held after the event, PLDT CEO Manny V. Pangilinan said he was “extremely disappointed” with how everything turned out and apologized to basketball fans. The event promoters, East West Private, said that ‘Last Home Stand was never advertised as a game.’

    Read the full story on Rappler here and here.

  7. Robert Downey Jr. is highest paid-actor – Forbes

    For the second straight year, Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr is the highest-paid Hollywood actor, according to Forbes.com. Downey reportedly earned $75 million from June 2013 and June 2014, with much of the earnings coming from the third Iron Man movie. Former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lands in second place, with an estimated $52 million according to the wealth-tracking list. Bradley Cooper came in third with $46 million followed by Leonardo DiCaprio with an estimated $39 million.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Aquino, Murad to meet to settle key difference on Bangsamoro law

    The final version of a proposed Bangsamoro law is in limbo after both the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could not agree on significant points. Malacanang said the deadlock will need to be settled at the top-most level through a meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim. There is no set date and place for the meeting between the two leaders, but both sides see it as an opportunity to thresh out any issues. The chair of the government negotiating panel, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, said that, with the impasse, the submission of the bill will not happen next week as hoped for, in time for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. 160 government offices linked online by September

    The government announced Tuesday, July 22 plans to link at least 160 national government offices in Metro Manila via fiber optic cable by September this year. Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said the fibre optic interconnection of all government offices will be fully deployed by early 2015. He added the government’s network will enable the creation of an all-in-one portal for the delivery of public services directly to citizens, doing away for the need to line up at agencies of the government. The government previously attempted to create a national broadband network but the project was marred in controversy and a bribery scandal.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Take a quiz: How well do you know Apolinario Mabini?

    Today, July 23, is the 150th birth anniversary of revolutionary hero Apolinario Mabini. He was known as the “Sublime Paralytic” and the “Brains of the Revolution” during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and later the Philippine-American War for his wisdom and conviction. With the memories of the struggle for independence fast fading, Rappler takes a look back at the man who inspired revolutionary ideals.

    Take the Rappler quiz to find out how well you know Mabini here.

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