Daily News Highlights – April 10, 2015 Edition

CJ Maglunog

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

  1. Filipina, Australians on death row seek case reviews anew

    Lawyers for the Filipina and two Australians who are on Indonesian death row for alleged drug smuggling are seeking a second review of their cases, despite the country’s attorney-general declaration that all legal remedies for them have been exhausted. Sisca, one of the Indonesian lawyers representing 30-year-old Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, told Rappler they would file a second case review request as soon as they receive the official Supreme Court decision rejecting the first one. The lawyer said they will prove that Veloso’s rights were violated when she was questioned by police without proper legal representation. Lawyers for Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, meanwhile, filed a judicial review request with Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, days after a separate court dismissed an earlier challenge.

    Read the full story on Rappler Indonesia.

  2. Teen unhappy over ‘lost identity’ due to Filipina mother’s visa problems

    If only Filipina Herminia Garcia, a former domestic helper, sought help about her expired visa and illegal stay in Hong Kong, the suicide of her teenager daughter would probably not have happened, according to non-governmental organizations. Their Filipina mother, who had overstayed her visa for 20 years, was hesitant to apply for birth certificates for her daughters for fear of exposing herself. This caused her older daughter to be unhappy, apparently because she and her younger sister had never attended school because they did not have identity papers. The parents have since been allowed to post bail, while the younger daughter, whom social welfare officials initially took in, has been returned to the family. Garcia was granted HK$100,000 cash bail ($12,900) with an extra HK$100,000 surety given by a friend. She is to return to court in June.

    Read the full story on Rappler Balikbayan.

  3. US, Japan pledges: ‘When PH is threatened, it is not alone’

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and the ambassadors of the United States and Japan commemorated World War II by vowing to work closer together in facing new challenges like maritime security and “terrorism.” During the anniversary of the “Fall of Bataan” – marking the surrender of US and Philippine forces to Japanese invaders in 1942 – Aquino said, “We stand united with former allies and foes in continued pursuit of widespread peace and prosperity throughout the world.” The Philippines and Japan have been broadening their security cooperation at sea as they both deal with their own respective maritime territorial disputes with an increasingly aggressive China. The US has also been expanding its own defense cooperation with the two countries as part its strategic “pivot to Asia.” US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said: “Whether we are fighting terrorism or responding to the devastation of natural disasters, we face them together. And when the Philippines is threatened, it is not alone.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. BIR hit for last-minute requirement for online tax filing

    Senator Benigno Aquino IV, cousin of the Philippine president, called on Bureau of Internal Revenue to either go lax on taxpayers who cannot comply with the bureau’s new electronic filing system, or extend for another 3 months the April 15 deadline for filing of tax returns. “We should make things easier for our taxpayers, not make things difficult for them,” he said. The BIR issued the regulation on March 15, giving taxpayers, long used to manual filing, less than a month to comply with the new policy. “The fines are not commensurate to the ‘offense’ of manual filing,” Aquino said. The senator asked why the government would fine those who are willing to pay their taxes, albeit doing so manually. He said the BIR personnel are also unable to explain the new procedures further, thus burdering the taxpayers more.

    Read the full story on Rappler Business.

  5. All PH religions, except Iglesia, trust Pope Francis more after visit

    Catholics, Christians, and Muslims in the Philippines trust Pope Francis more after he visited Asia’s most predominantly Catholic country in January, polling firm Social Weather Stations said. His ratings fell dramatically, however, among members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, one of the Philippines’ most politically influential religious groups. The survey was done more than two months after Francis visited the Philippines from January 15 to 19 – the first time a pope visited the country in 20 years. The Pope’s visit, which drew crowds of more than 6 million people, came 5 months after the INC marked its 100th anniversary in a new 55,000-seater structure in Bocaue, Bulacan. More than 2 million people reportedly attended the grand INC event. Francis broke the record of the late Pope John Paul II, who registered a rating of +72 (excellent) in April 1995, 3 months after he visited the Philippines. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.


  6. Suu Kyi won’t rule out election boycott if constitution is not amended

    Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party wants to amend constitutional clauses that block their leader from the presidency and hands a crucial say over changes to the charter to the military, which holds a quarter of parliamentary seats. The NLD is expected to hoover up votes in November’s election, but Suu Kyi failed to offer reassurances her party would participate in the polls, as the NLD struggles to amend the charter to allow her to take the top job. “We are not closing off any options. No one can know what will happen, so we have to calculate for every possibility,” she told reporters in the capital Naypyidaw.

    Read the full story on Rappler

  7. China defends, US warns against reclamation of disputed islands

    Beijing reaffirmed its right to build on disputed islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, April 9, after satellite imagery emerged of construction operations turning tropical reefs into concrete artificial islands. The Philippines – one of the most vocal of China’s neighbors in defending its competing territorial claim – reacted strongly, calling for the Asian giant to “dismantle” the reclaimed land. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama warned that China should not “elbow aside” countries it is in conflict with in the South China Sea.

    Read the full story on Rappler
    Read about US President Obama’s reaction on Rappler

  8. Japanese breakthrough test will yield results in 11 minutes

    A Japanese research team said Thursday, April 9, it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes – down from the 90-minute test used now. The breakthrough by Nagasaki University’s Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the hemorrhagic fever, Professor Jiro Yasuda told Agence France-Presse. “The result time was unexpectedly short,” said Yasuda of the trial conducted in Guinea last month on 100 samples, of which 47 proved positive. The Guinean government has now asked the institute and its collaboration partner Toshiba to supply equipment to roll out the test, he added.

    Read the full story on  Rappler.

  9. Native Philippine wine gets Monde ‘gold’ award

    The Philippine lambanog now finds itself among the top liquors of the world. Lakan Extra Premium Philippine Lambanog,is the first Philippine lambanog brand to be awarded a Gold Medal certification by Monde Selection, one of the most prestigious international quality-certifying bodies in the world. This award, according to their website, means Lakan obtained an average result of 80% to 89% in scores from a series of evaluation and tasting sessions. The Gold Quality Award is the second highest among 4 awards: Bronze (60-69%), Silver (70-79%), Gold (80-89%) and Grand Gold (90-100%).

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. iPhone emojis just got one more skin color

    In its latest iPhone update – iOS 8.3 – Apple released new emoji options that let’s the user decide the skin tone of the emojis before sending them. From Simpsons yellow to radiant ebony, iPhone users now have 6 choices of skin color for most of the People Emojis built into the iPhone’s messaging system. Once you’ve selected a skin tone for an emoji, it becomes the default choice displayed on the screen, but simply press and hold on the image again to open up the color-menu.

    Read the full story  on Rappler.

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CJ Maglunog

CJ Maglunog has been a content strategist for Rappler since 2015. Her work includes optimizing stories for various platforms. She’s a journalism graduate from Centro Escolar University.