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Today on Rappler.
- The Freedom of Information bill passes the committee level in the House of Representatives.
- The Court of Appeals nullifies a panel linking the Reyes brothers to the killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega.
- The mastermind of the Rasuman pyramid scam is arrested.
Story 1: FOI HURDLES HOUSE COMMITTEE
In a 17 to 3 vote and one abstention, the Freedom of Information bill hurdles the committee level in the House of Representatives Tuesday.
The bill is put to a vote despite objections from lawmakers who wanted to insert a Right of Reply provision into the measure.
Quezon Representative Erin Tañada, one of the main proponents of the bill, says “The total victory is when the FOI bill is enacted into law.”
Nueva Ecija Representative Rodolfo Antonino, who is pushing for the ROR provision, says the bill was “railroaded.”
Antonino says requiring the media to publish both sides of the story would help minimize media corruption.
But Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño says libel and defamation laws are already in place in case of abuse by the media.
Story 2: PCGG: 146 MARCOS PAINTINGS MISSING
More than 140 paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh and other masters bought with stolen funds by former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos remain missing.
PCGG head Andres Bautista says Marcos distributed his priceless collection of at least 300 artworks to cronies when his regime crumbled in 1986.
He says only about half have been recovered by the government.
Last week, Vilma Bautista, the former personal secretary to Imelda Marcos, and Vilma Bautista’s two nephews were indicted in New York over an alleged conspiracy to sell a Monet that had belonged to the first lady.
The three suspects sold the Monet to an art gallery in London for $32 million, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
The Monet and three other paintings seized by US authorities are on the Philippines’ missing list.
Bautista says he had met the New York prosecutors to ask for the return of the four paintings to Manila.
He adds the 146 missing paintings -quote “could be anywhere.”
The Philippine government drew up the list of missing paintings from art gallery receipts and shipment records left behind by the Marcos family.
Story 3: CA NULLIFIES PANEL THAT LINKED REYES BROTHERS TO ORTEGA SLAY
The Court of Appeals nullifies the findings of a second investigating panel linking the Reyes brothers to the 2011 killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega.
The second panel created in September 2011 by the justice department approved the filing of murder charges against former Palawan Gov Joel Reyes and his brother Coron Mayor Mario Reyes.
A warrant of arrest was issued against the Reyes brothers in March 2012, but they had already left for Vietnam.
Ortega was gunned down in January 2011.
He was critical of the Reyes brothers over the alleged misuse of funds generated from the Malampaya gas field in Palawan.
The justice department will ask the Court of Appeals to reverse the ruling.
Story 4: COMELEC SLASHES PARTY-LIST GROUPS TO 100
The Commission on Elections will grant the bids of no more than a hundred old and new applicants for the 2013 party-list race.
This is around 34% of the 289 groups that submitted party-list applications in April.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento says the Comelec will likely allow only 80 to 100 party-list organizations to run in 2013.
RENE SARMIENTO, COMELEC COMMISSIONER: The Commission is more critical this time and I think that contributed a lot in our desire to trickle down the party-list organizations.
Records show Comelec allowed 187 party-list groups to run in 2010, the last national elections held in the Philippines. In 2007, it accredited 153 groups.
Story 5: SUSPECT IN PYRAMID SCAM ARRESTED
Jachob “Coco” Rasuman, the head of the Rasuman investment group, is arrested in Marawi City, Tuesday.
He is implicated in a pyramid scam in Mindanao.
The Rasuman group allegedly duped around 20 to 30 people in Lanao del Sur and other provinces by promising a return rate of up to 70%.
A National Bureau of Investigation official says Rasuman will be detained in Manila for security reasons.
Story 6: PAGADIAN MAYOR DENIES HAND IN PYRAMID SCAM
Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co denies he is involved in the Aman pyramid scam that robbed thousands of investors in Visayas and Mindanao.
An alleged finance manager of the Aman Futures Group says Co is one of those who sought investors for the group.
Co may face charges of graft and estafa for his alleged involvement in the scam.
In a radio interview, he says he is a victim of the group, having lost P30 million in investments.
He says the National Bureau of Investigation should assess the evidence they have against him.
Story 7: HONG KONG OFWs PRO-ACTIVE ON 2013 ELECTIONS
Jobs and issues affecting migrant workers– Filipinos in Hong Kong say they will scrutinize candidates for 2013 based on their program of action for OFWs.
Devon Wong reports.
Overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong don’t plan to sit on the sidelines for the upcoming 2013 midterm elections.
Nearly 70% of domestic workers here are registered to vote, increasing the number from 95, 000 in 2010 to 115, 000.
I’m here in Central Hong Kong to find out what issues matter to overseas Filipinos and what they’ll be looking for in the upcoming elections.
Lydia Anisco has been a domestic helper here for 10 years.
LYDIA CANJA ANISCO, DOMESTIC WORKER: I’m looking out for those politicians, like senators, that they’re willing to help especially OFWs here in Hong Kong and also can protect us with our families in the Philippines and can help those poor people.
Bank remittances of OFWs make up 10 percent of the Philippine economy.
For every 11 males going abroad, there are 10 females, many employed in 3-D jobs: dirty, difficult & dangerous, mostly as caregivers and domestic helpers.
Experts say the social costs is great: there is an emerging “motherless generation” of Filipino youth.
Many domestic workers in Hong Kong are tired of being far from their families and want to see more jobs in the Philippines.
IAN, DOMESTIC WORKER: The main reasons why Filipinos came to Hong Kong is because our government didn’t give more importance on jobs.
MARRZ BALAORO, DOMESTIC WORKER: Migration is no longer a stopgap measure. It’s already for decades. The long-term separation of families is really the lingering problem of migrant workers.
Despite the distance from home, OFWs still hold influence.
Their advice can sway their relatives, and determine how an entire family will vote.
IRENE COLES-PEIJI, DOMESTIC WORKER: I am the breadwinner of the family and I am part of a big family in the Philippines so I think I would be a big influence on them.
No matter where they are across the world, overseas Filipinos are finding their voice– enough that politicians running for office are taking up issues of the OFWs.
Hopefully a time will come when they don’t have to leave home to feed their children.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Hong Kong.
Story 8: MORSI STICKS BY DISPUTED DECREE AFTER MEETING JUDGES
Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi sticks by a controversial decree Monday granting him sweeping powers on the eve of planned nationwide rallies to protest the move.
After a meeting between Morsi and the country’s top judges aimed at defusing the dispute, Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali says there is “no change to the constitutional declaration.”
Ali says the judges express concern over decree.
Morsi clarifies the ruling applies to issues related “to his sovereign powers” and stresses the temporary nature of the decree.
The talks come on the eve of planned protests by rival forces.
A court will examine the legality of the decree next week.
Story 9: DIGITAL GLOBE: IMAGES SUGGEST LOOMING NORTH KOREA MISSILE TEST
Satellite operator Digital Globe says new images suggest North Korea could carry out a long-range missile test in the next three weeks.
Digital Globe says the new pictures show increased activity at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launch Station.
It says the type of activity is consistent with preparations observed before North Korea’s failed launch of its Unha-3 missile in April.
Pyongyang says the April launch bid aimed to put a satellite in orbit, but the United States and the United Nations call the mission a disguised ballistic missile test.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, after half a day of talks, Eurozone financial ministers and the International Monetary Fund strike a new deal to help Greece face its massive debt burden Tuesday.
In the deal, creditors agree to bring down Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio to 124% by 2020, in exchange for the release of 43.7 billion euros for the cash-strapped nation.
The meeting is the 3rd of its kind in the last two weeks.
The 3rd bailout package was supposed to be released in May but the 17 eurozone members failed to come up with a consensus.
Greece has already incurred about 40 billion US dollars in bailout loans.
At number 8, Twitter promises a new feature allowing users to download a full archive of their tweets.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announces the service.
It is expected to roll out before the end of 2012.
But don’t get your hopes up just yet, Tech Crunch reports the CEO made a similar promise at another event last September.
At number 9, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will embark on a mission that will make him the American who has spent the most time in space on a single mission.
Kelly will join a Russian cosmonaut in 2015 onboard the International Space Station for a whole year to study the effects living in space has on the human body.
Only 4 humans have lived in space for a year or more on one single mission.
Cosmonaut Valery Polyakov holds the record whose mission to the Russian Mir space station lasted 438 days.
And at number 10, The world being taken over by robots isn’t an unusual plot for science fiction movies but starting next year, researchers will be looking into the possibility of machines taking over the human race.
Cambridge professors Huw Price and Martin Rees and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn of the Cambridge Project for Existential Risk are setting up the center that will be tasked to look into the dangers posed by biotechnology, artificial life and nanotechnology.
On its website Cambridge scientists state, “the seriousness of these risks is difficult to asses but that in itself is a cause of concern.”
Story 11: CALIGDONG SCORES LONE GOAL AS AZKALS DEFEAT VIETNAM
Chieffy Caligdong plays hero in the Azkals’ match against Vietnam as he scores the lone goal of the game in the 85th minute.
The Philippine team plays tighter defense and are much more aggressive on offense compared to their opener against Thailand.
The win boosts the Azkals’ chance of making it to the semifinals of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup.