Today on Rappler.
- Chief Justice Sereno says there’s no time for “intrigue” after reports some justices have yet to recognize her appointment.
- The widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo might end up a Regional Trial Court judge.
- The House of Representatives is drafting a new Reproductive Health bill to address the Church’s concerns.
Story 1: NO TIME FOR INTRIGUE, SERENO TELLS SUPREME COURT
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno says there is no time for “intrigue” in the Supreme Court after reports that senior justices have yet to recognize her appointment.
The 52-year-old chief justice will stay in the post for 18 years, preventing the other 5 senior justices from being appointed to the position.
Justices Antonio Carpio, Teresita Leonardo de Castro, Presbitero Velasco Jr, Arturo Brion and Diosdado Peralta did not attend Sereno’s oath taking on August 25 in Malacañang.
Sereno asks court employees to ignore rumors of divisiveness in the Court.
She says she needs the help of all justices and Court employees to instill reforms in the judiciary.
LOURDES SERENO, PHILIPPINE CHIEF JUSTICE: Narito po ako upang maghanap ng solusyon kasama na po ang aking mga colleagues sa Korte Suprema. Nagsusumamo po ako na pagkatiwalaan niyo kami, na naiintidihan namin ang hinaing ninyo at nais naming makahanap ng solusyon.
Story 2: JBC TO PROBE LEAKED RESULTS OF PSYCH TEST
The Judicial and Bar Council will investigate the leak of psychological tests of contenders for the post of chief justice.
JBC member Jose Mejia says the body will investigate how the results of the tests — which were supposed to be confidential– were released to the media.
The Manila Times reports that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza got a grade of 4 in the tests.
A grade of 5 means failure.
The supposed results of the report describes Sereno as someone who “projects a happy mood but has depressive markers too.”
It adds, “There is a strong tendency to make decisions based on current mood.”
The JBC has required contenders to take psychology tests since 2000.
Story 3: SELECTION OF NEW SC JUSTICE BEGINS SEPT. 5
The Judicial and Bar Council opens the application for the post of associate justice on September 5.
The newest member of the Supreme Court will replace Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was appointed chief justice on August 24.
President Benigno Aquino III has 90 days to name the 15th member of the High Court from the date of the vacancy.
Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr says he will ask the JBC to decide on the amendment of its rules on disqualification.
He says, “I feel that some rules are unfair but we should decide on that before the nomination process.”
Tupas had asked the JBC to relax its rules on disqualification, a proposal seen as a move to stop the disqualification of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima from the race for chief justice.
Story 4: LENI ROBREDO FOR REGIONAL TRIAL COURT JUDGE?
She is not interested in politics, but the widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo might end up as a Regional Trial Court judge.
The Judicial and Bar Council shortlists Leni Robredo for 3 separate vacant positions for Regional Trial Court judge: Calabanga and Pili in Camarines Sur and Ligao City, Albay.
A low-profile political wife, Leni Robredo is being pushed to enter politics after her husband’s death on August 18.
But Budget Secretary Butch Abad says Mrs Robredo does not want to do that.
On August 31, President Aquino appointed Roxas to replace the late secretary.
Last week, Roxas said Aquino is moving DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno out of the department.
Reports say Puno might be moved to the Department of Agriculture.
But Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr says Puno remains the DILG undersecretary.
Story 5: HOUSE DRAFTING NEW RH BILL
The House of Representatives is working on a new set of amendments to the Reproductive Health bill that will try to address the concerns of the Catholic Church.
House majority leader Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II says Catholic bishops do not oppose the use of contraceptives, but the provision that mandates government to finance contraceptives.
The bill will turn into a “poverty measure” that will make contraceptives available only to the poorest of the poor.
RH bill co-author Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin says the bill seeks to allocate 2-billion pesos to reproductive health.
NEPTALI GONZALES II, HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Kaya we’re trying to fine tune the RH in such a manner that a version that allows the government naman to promote and to do it’s job na mag-pondo rin naman.
Story 6: SOTTO ON RH: ‘I WANT THIS OUT OF MY HAIR’
Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto denies accusations the Senate leadership is delaying the RH Bill.
Sotto is responding to RH Bill co-sponsor Senator Pia Cayetano.
She is reacting to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s radio interview Sunday when he said debates and amendments may extend voting on the bill to June 2013.
Sotto says if it were up to him, the Senate will vote on the bill now.
He says, “I want this out of my hair. I want this out of the Senate hall. Either reject it, dispose of it, or approve it in whatever form.”
But he says -quote- “there are processes to follow.”
The Anti-RH Senator says the period of amendments will determine whether or not the vote on the bill will be extended to June 2013.
Story 7: CASIÑO CONFIRMS SOLO SENATE RUN
The leftist Makabayan coalition is fielding Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño for the 2013 senatorial elections.
Casiño says the coalition opted not to join either the ruling Liberal Party or the opposition group United Nationalist Alliance.
In a statement, Casiño says he is “better off running solo” to avoid being tied down by “political complications and baggage.”
Story 8: NDRRMC: EASTERN SAMAR QUAKE DAMAGE RISES
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says damage caused by the magnitude 7.7 earthquake off Eastern Samar, Friday, reaches 14.73 million pesos.
The damage report spreads across 3 Regions: Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and CARAGA.
Of the three, Eastern Visayas reports the most damage at 12.8 million pesos.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology says at least 370 aftershocks were recorded after Friday’s quake.
The institute also reports a 5.9 magnitude earthquake off Sultan Kudarat.
Intensity 4 was felt in Cotabato City; Intensity 3 in Datu Unsay and Datu Hoffer in Maguindanao and Intensity 2 in Zamboanga City, Kidapawan City, and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.
Phivolcs says it expects aftershocks.
Story 9: PHILEX EYES REPLACING BENGUET FACILITY AFTER ANOTHER MINE SPILL
After another waste leak at its Padcal mine in Benguet, Philex Mining may replace its only active tailings pond.
Philex Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs Mike Toledo says an outsourced team of experts will evaluate the integrity of the tailings pond.
He says if the expert team recommends the pond be decommissioned, Philex will close it and invest in a new one.
A team from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau or MGB is in Benguet determining the extent of the damage.
Based on the Mining act, MGB Director Leo Jasareno says Philex will be fined 50 pesos per ton of mine tailings.
The volume of the spill is still being determined.
Philex was fined P325 million for the first leak and says it loses P22 million a day for each day the mine is closed.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 1, South Africa’s lead public prosecutor drops murder charges filed against 270 miners whom local authorities blame for the murder of 34 other miners during a protest in Marikina, South Africa last August 16.
The 34 miners were reportedly shot dead by police but authorities using a controversial law from the apartheid-era arrested their fellow strikers.
No police officer has been charged in relation to the incident.
The incident sparks national outrage.
One official says the incident has “induced a sense of shock, panic and confusion.”
At number 3, The civil war in Syria reaches a new low in its 18-month history. The United Nations says 1,600 people were killed last week making it the deadliest week since the war broke.
A spokesperson from the United Nations Children’s Education Fund says that number includes children.
A separate group, the Center of Documentation of Violation in Syria says almost 5,000 died in the month of August.
At number 6, with two months to go before the deadline for overseas Filipinos to register to vote in the 2013 elections, the Department of Foreign Affairs reports the number of registered OFWs surpassed those registered for the 2010 elections in the same period by 6%.
The DFA says, “this indicates the increasing political consciousness of Filipinos overseas.”
At number 10, despite an online petition calling for the release of recipe of the much talked about “White House Beer”, Obama and other White House officials kept the recipe a secret … until this weekend.
‘The White House in a blog post entitled, “Ale to the Chief” released the recipe for two White House beers, “The White House Honey Ale” and “The White House Honey Porter” including an instructional video.
Observes say it is part of a campaign strategy that makes Obama relate more to voters.
Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a Mormon and does not drink alcohol.
Story 11: SNIPER, NURSE EXCHANGE VOWS AS BOMBS DROP IN WAR-TORN SYRIA
A young couple finds love in the city of Aleppo, even as fighting rages on in war-torn Syria.
For a moment, the violence is forgotten as couple Abu Khaled and Hanan exchange wedding vows.
The two met when Hanan, a nurse, treated Khaled’s wounds when the rebel sniper was shot in the leg.
Their wedding is attended by fellow activists, who congratulate the couple and chanted slogans of the revolution against the Assad regime.