February 24, 2015 Edition

Valerie Castro

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

  1. Did officials lie about Aquino?

    Noting changes in their recollections of when President Benigno Aquino III was informed about what happened on January 25, the day Mamasapano operations were launched against wanted top terrorists, senators said the deviations were either an inconsistency at best, or lying under oath at worst. In the last hearing, they said the President was informed between 3 pm to 5 pm. In executive session, resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima said 5 am. In Monday’s hearing, security cluster officials said it was early morning. Opposition Senator JV Ejercito said, “So that inconsistency alone, what’s with that? They lied under oath? They are covering for someone?”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Surviving trooper kills unarmed rebels, civilian

    Moro Islamic Front rebel Mama Dagadas pointed to Police Officer 2 Christopher Robert Lalan as responsible for the January 26 killing of 4 unarmed, sleeping rebels in a Tukanalipao mosque. The lone survivor of the January 25 massacre that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers emerged from the water lilies where he hid and ran, shouted, and started shooting. One of the 36 members of the 55th SAF company that served as blocking force in Tukanalipao, Lalan, a former catechist from Ifugao Province, also reportedly shot and killed a civilian, Mohammad Ambilang.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Aquino: I asked Purisima to loop in Espina

    Malacañang file photo

    In a meeting with leaders of the House of Representatives, President Benigno Aquino III said he asked then-suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima to inform PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina in early January about the Mamasapano operation. Aquino later found out that these instructions were not followed, a Palace statement said. It was only after the operation against top terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir and Abdul Basit Usman that Aquino discovered Espina was never looped in. When confronted by the President and asked why, Purisima reportedly could not answer. Two weeks later, Aquino announced he had accepted the resignation of Purisima.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. Aquino – misinformed or liable for Mamasapano?

    Senators were divided on the President’s possible liability for the Mamasapano clash, with some saying he was misinformed about the situation on the ground, and others saying this appeared to be a strategy of his subordinates to shield him from accountability. During the Senate hearing on Monday, February 24, a series of text messages between the President and then-suspended, now resigned Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima also belied the President’s claim that he consulted Purisima only about “jargon” on the operation.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    Another story on contradictions involving the President is also on Rappler.

  5. Filipino NASA scientist: more super typhoons to come

    Is there a correlation between record-high sea surface temperatures and super typhoons? Dr Josefino Comiso, Filipino senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said the increasing trend of ocean temperatures suggests that highly destructive cyclones like Yolanda are likely to happen again. When the super typhoon struck in November 2013, the mid-Pacific Ocean was at its warmest since 1981. Comiso said the sea surface temperature is “shown to be correlated with maximum winds as observed from historical typhoons.” Yolanda is acknowledged to be the world’s deadliest typhoon to have hit land.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. France seizes passports of 6 would-be jihadists

    For the first time, French authorities confiscated the passports of French nationals believed to be bound for Syria to join jihadists. This is part of new counter-terrorism measures adopted by France in November 2014. It also comes after 3 British schoolgirls were reported to have left London to travel to Syria via Turkey. The passports and identity cards of the French nationals have been seized for 6 months, after which the order can be renewed, the BBC reported.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on the BBC.

  7. US names first special envoy for LGBT rights

    The United States on Monday, February 22, appointed its first special envoy for gay and lesbian rights: Randy Berry, current consul-general in Amsterdam. Berry will be tasked to help coordinate American strategy on rights for gays and help eradicate discrimination worldwide. State Secretary John Kerry said, “It’s time to assert the quality and dignity of all persons, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Anti-graft court orders Jinggoy Estrada’s assets frozen

    The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Monday, February 23, ordered the freezing of Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s assets amounting to P183.79 million. The amount corresponds to the total funds he is accused of plundering from his discretionary Priority Development Assistance Fund. His frozen assets include 4 bank accounts with P76.4 million, as well as his shares of stock, loan, real and personal properties, and other financial instruments. Estrada maintains his innocence.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  9. From trash to treasure in Marikina

    Marikina City’s 3-month-old food waste truck program, is earning the city from P3,000 to P6,000 ($68 to $135) a month, Oliver Villamena, City Environmental Management Office acting assistant said. Special trucks, which each cost the city P2 million, collect food waste from 40-45 food establishments every day and put them into a one-ton-capacity bioreactor, which produces compost used as fertilizer for plants. The program has also generated savings for the city amounting to P225,000 ($5,080) per day.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. ‘Birdman’ wins Best Picture

    Top favorite “Birdman,” a story about an actor’s bid to make a comeback, won the Oscar’s best picture award. Alejandro G. Iñarritu also won best director for the same film, as did Emmanuel Lubezki for best original screenplay and cinematography. Julianne Moore won best actress for “Still Alice”, a story about her faltering college professor who struggles with Alzheimer’s. Eddie Redmayne won best actor for his depiction of Stephen Hawkingin “The Theory of Everything.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    More details are on the New York Times.

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