November 14, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. PH president: China’s ‘friendship’ welcome, but fix sea dispute first

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III thanked China for its offer of friendship treaty with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but made it clear the economic giant has to address the South China Sea issue based on the rule of law. Speaking at the ASEAN-China Summit Thursday before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and other ASEAN member states, Aquino said the issue is one that concerns not just the region but the world. “ASEAN has expressed concern over developments in the South China Sea. This is not only an issue between ASEAN and China; countries outside the region also have a legitimate and strategic interest in the South China Sea since a substantial percentage of world trade traverses this international body of water.”

    Aquino also said all the efforts of ASEAN and China to have hotlines and search and rescue arrangements will not be meaningful unless “there are concrete positive developments on the waters of the South China Sea.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. No proof so far Senate President’s pet project in Iloilo is overpriced

    Former Iloilo provincial official Manuel Mejorada admits he has no evidence to prove that the Iloilo Convention Center is overpriced, but believes the project presented ‘opportunities for corruption’ A former aide of Senate President Franklin Drilon failed to present proof before a Senate committee that the unfinished Iloilo Convention Center, supposedly a pet project of Drilon’s, is overpriced. Manuel Mejorada said he based his allegations – also the subject of a complaint filed with the Ombudsman – on online news research and found that the project’s projected cost rose from P450 million to P700 million. He spoke of an “unseen hand” – obviously referring to Drilon – which orchestrated a “conspiracy” with government officials, which led to “big opportunities for corruption.” The Senate is investigating the ICC since the contractor for the project was Hilmarc’s Construction, the same firm that built the supposedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 that the committee is also investigating.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Police generals face raps over AK-47s that ended up with communist rebels

    Several retired and incumbent police generals are facing criminal and administrative complaints over 1,004 missing firearms that were later found to have ended in the hands of the communist New People’s Army. In 2013, the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office discovered some 1,004 AK-47s supposedly bought by mining firms and security agencies could not be accounted for. It turned out, they were bought by a suspect from a licensed gun seller after the NPA supposedly threatened to harm his family. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) reneged on its promise to file charges against the 19 police officers from the FEO, prompting the Ombudsman to build up the case even without a complainant.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Aquino pushes for OFW protection in partner countries

    File photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

    President Benigno Aquino III at the ASEAN-related summits in Myanmar pushed for increased protection for migrant workers, pointing out to leaders that “migrant workers contribute significantly to the economies and societies of their host governments.” Thus, he said, “We have a collective responsibility and moral duty to uphold their dignity and promote and protect their human rights.” There are an estimated 10 million overseas Filipino workers, keeping the Philippine economy afloat with dollar remittances. “Of course, it is necessary for us to ensure the safety and security of all our peoples. For this reason, the Philippines supports efforts to address migrant workers’ issues under the APT Cooperation Work Plan,” Aquino said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Filipinos can now get UK visa in a day

    Starting April 2015, the United Kingdom will allow Filipinos to get a visa in 24 hours – if they pay an additional amount of £600 (P42,534) on top of the usual requirements. The British embassy in the Philippines said the UK will also offer its Super Priority Visa Service as well to residents of Turkey, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand. It will also be available at visa processing centers in New York and Paris.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Japan seeks more military cooperation with US, Australia

    In remarks that will likely irk China, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country wants stronger defense ties with the United States and Australia to ensure peace throughout the Asia-Pacific region. “As the United States is the most important ally for Japan and Australia, I am determined to expand trilateral cooperation between the 3 countries, to realize a peaceful, secure, and prosperous future for the Asia-Pacific region,” he wrote for the Australian Financial Review. The prospect of a stronger alliance between the 3 countries could stoke fears in Beijing that they are ganging up to limit China’s increasingly assertive expansion in the region. China claims rights over Tokyo-administered islands in the East China Sea, with several other countries in the region also at loggerheads with Beijing over territorial disputes. Abe visited Australia in July and became the first Japanese leader to address the national parliament in Canberra, also sealing a deal on the sharing of defense technology during the trip.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. Indian doctor behind sterilization deaths arrested

    An Indian doctor who conducted mass sterilizations that killed 13 women and left dozens in critical condition has been arrested. RK Gupta was taken into custody as anger mounted over the botched operations in central Chhattisgarh state. He claimed, however, that he was being made a scapegoat by the government, saying it was not the procedure he performed but the drugs provided after that caused the damage. Gupta operated on 83 women in just 5 hours – or less than 4 minutes on each patient – at a state-run camp in Bilaspur district over the weekend. The impoverished women were paid 1,400 rupees ($23) to undergo the surgery. “I have done so many operations before this and there have never been any problems… This is all because of the drugs, the drugs given to the patients. The symptoms developed only after they were given the drugs,” he said.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. European probe working well on surface of host comet

    The European probe Philae was “working well” on the surface of its host comet, though likely perched on a steep slope, ground controllers said a day after the probe made its historic landing. Some data suggested the washing machine-sized probe may have touched down 3 times on the low-gravity comet, which is zipping towards the Sun at 18 kilometers per second (11 miles per second). Philae’s anchoring harpoons failed to deploy, but it still managed to send back scientific data for the European Space Agency (ESA) flagship mission as well as the first-ever picture taken from the surface of a comet. “Philae is working well. Its battery is working well and is providing power,” mission head Philippe Gaudon of France’s CNES space agency said.

    Read the full story on Rappler. Scientists explain here what kind of data they expect the spacecraft to harness.

  9. P50M installation near airport to be demolished for expressway

    The rotunda called Circulo del Mundo – including the controversial sculpture “Layag Islas” within it – will soon be demolished to give way to the NAIA Expressway, and to ease traffic jams around Manila’s international airport. Original plans for the expressway did not include the struture’s removal, but the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and project concessionaire Vertex Tollways made the decision to complete the project faster. Completed in 2010 and costing P50 million, the structure was supposed to showcase the Philippines’ top tourist destinations, but has since been causing gridlock in the area. It was part of the beautification project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), based on a design selected in a nationwide competition in 2008.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. How to help achieve #ZeroHunger in PH? Start here

    MovePH, the citizens’ engagement arm of Rappler, conducted a forum with various stakeholders, with Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, World Food Programme Country Representative and Director Praveen Agrawal, and Senator Grace Poe speaking on how to achieve #ZeroHunger in the Philippines. The event is just the latest of various initiatives under the #HungerProject, a platform for meaningful discussion and informed action on how to end hunger in the Philippines.

    Watch the event here.

    Check the #HungerProject page here.

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