Rappler Newscast | July 8, 2013
Filipina wins human trafficking case. Gov't, MILF hope for peace talks breakthrough. Asiana airlines says pilot in plane crash still in training.

Today on Rappler.

  • A Filipina caregiver in Canada wins a human trafficking case against her former employer.
  • The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front resume talks in Kuala Lumpur over wealth and power sharing issues.
  • Asiana Airlines says the pilot of the plane that crash landed in San Francisco was still in training.

A Filipina caregiver based in Canada wins a human trafficking case against her former employer, the first of its kind in British Columbia history.
The verdict came after a 4 week trial intensely followed by local media.
On June 26, Franco Orr was convicted of 3 counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Orr could face a maximum life sentence or a $1 million fine or both.
In an interview with Philippine Asian News Today, Leticia Sarmiento says the conviction is a victory for fellow live-in caregivers who are oppressed abroad.
Sarmiento was brought to Canada by the couple in September 2008 under a visitor’s visa.
Instead of just taking care of the couple’s 3 children, Sarmiento says she was made to do household chores and worked 16-hour days with no days off for close to two years.
Police rescued her in June 2010 after she called 911 following a heated argument with Orr’s wife.

A day before the start of Ramadan, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front resume negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, hoping to come closer to a peace agreement.
Before the formal meeting, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal tells Rappler the MILF is returning to the negotiating table with guarded optimism as both sides attempt to resolve the deadlock on wealth-sharing and power-sharing.
Iqbal says, “The fact that we are here shows we are committed but the issues are really tough.”
Top of the agenda is to complete the wealth-sharing annex between the Bangsamoro political entity and the national government.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports the MILF wants a 75-25% wealth-sharing across the board, which is higher than what the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao currently enjoys.
But the government says there is a formula to be followed in computing wealth-sharing.
Of the 4 annexes needed to complete the final peace pact, only the annex on transition arrangements and modalities has been signed.
Aside from the wealth-sharing annex, the annexes on power-sharing and normalization have yet to be completed.
In an interview, government chief negotiator Miriam Ferrer says President Benigno Aquino ordered them to come up with an inclusive agreement that will get broad public support.

MIRIAM FERRER, GOVERNMENT PEACE PANEL CHAIR: I think we’re very conscious that this is a problem-solving session, the discussions for these rounds are all geared at finding solutions to the issues that have long been discussed.

At least 31 Muslim rebels and 5 soldiers are killed in clashes as the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front resume peace talks in Malaysia, Monday.
The military says the splinter rebel group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, or BIFF, set off a roadside bomb as a military truck drove past in Datu Piang Saturday, killing 3 soldiers.
The rebels simultaneously attacked an army detachment in another section of the town, killing two other soldiers.
In a statement, regional military commander Maj Gen Romeo Gapuz says, “The BIFF is hell-bent on derailing the peace talks by launching simultaneous attacks against civilian and military installations.”
A military spokesman confirms soldiers penetrated Ganta in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, a BIFF stronghold, resulting in heavy casualties on the enemy side.

Two of the biggest contributors to the campaigns of senatorial bets Jack Enrile and JV Ejercito seem to have contributed beyond their means.
Based on the Schedule of Contributions Received submitted by the candidates to the poll body, Enrile got P150.8 million in campaign contributions.
The Enrile family’s Pacific Royal Basic Foods Inc. practically bankrolled his failed bid with a generous P135.96 million contribution — even though the company only had a net income of P81.84 million in 2011.
JV Ejercito’s senatorial campaign got P43.96 million from an NGO called JV Para sa Bayan Movement Inc, despite reporting a capital of only P90,000.
The NGO was incorporated on December 13, 2012, or 5 months before this year’s midterm elections.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines names a protege of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin as its new president.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan will succeed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.
Cardinal Sin ordained Villegas in 1995.
In 2001, Villegas is appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila.
He was named bishop of Balanga diocese in 2004, and archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in 2009.
He assumes his new post on December 1.

They live under the bridge to survive. Now the government is offering informal settlers along the Tullahan river a chance to move to houses safe from floods.
Raisa Serafica reports.

To motorists, this bridge is just another road.
But to Juliana Paquibot and her neighbors, it’s home.
Juliana is one of 1,400 informal settler families living by the Tullahan River in Valenzuela City.   
She earns three hundred twenty five pesos a day as a janitor, way below the daily minimum wage of P450, barely enough for basic needs.
So despite the danger, Juliana decided to settle under the bridge.

JULIANA PAQUIBOT, INFORMAL SETTLER: Eh dun kasi, kahit squatter, nag-uupa kami ng 1,500. Ang liit liit lang ng kwarto dun kasi mas puntahan siya sa tubig kaysa dito. Nag-evacuate-an kami, dyan kami sa kalsada natutulog. Kasi yung inupahan namin, itnangay yung pinakalikod niya. Halos kaming lahat naman. (Even if I rent in a squatter area, it still costs P1,500 .  The room is small outside because water directly flows there. They say it is also dangerous to live here under the bridge but I haven’t experienced it yet.  Nevertheless, we have nowhere else to go.)

But if plans push through she’ll no longer be at risk every time it rains and the river swells.
The government plans to relocate settlers in waterways in Metro Manila as part of its anti-flood masterplan.  
The National Housing Authority says 19,400 families will be relocated before the year ends.

CHITO CRUZ, GENERAL MANAGER, NATIONAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION: Maganda na yung ating mga units. Nothing comparable to what they used to, yung dating mga relocation sites natin, maganda na ngayon. And we’re actually proud of what we have, the new relocation site that we’ve been building for them. (Our housing units are good and they’re nothing comparable to the old relocation sites.  And we’re actually proud of our new relocation sites that we’ve been building for them.)

NHA says that Juliana Paquibot and her neighbors will be moved to a relocation site called Disiplina Village, also in Valenzuela City.
To Juliana, this is good news.

JULIANA PAQUIBOT, INFORMAL SETTLER: Mas mabuti pa yun eh, meron kang bahay, makakapagnegosyo ka pa. Kaysa sa mangupahan pa. Being relocated is better since we will be given a house. We could even run our own business. It’s better than having to rent an apartment.)

The village is composed of 25 buildings that can house 600 families.
With their new houses, the danger and the fear will all be water under the bridge.
Raisa Serafica, Rappler, Manila.

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash lands at the San Francisco International Airport Saturday — Sunday in Manila — killing 2 teenage girls and injuring 182.
CNN reports the bodies of the 2 girls were found on the runway next to the burning plane.
Authorities say one of them may have been struck by a first responder’s vehicle.
Asiana Flight 214 was at the end of a 10-hour direct flight from Seoul, South Korea.
The aircraft touched down heavily on the runway close to the water’s edge before it disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
CNN reports pilots tried to abort the landing just 1.5 seconds before the plane crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilots appear to have increased speed 7 seconds before impact and then –quote– “called to initiate a go-around 1.5 seconds to impact.”
Preliminary assessment of the plane’s cockpit and flight data recorders show the flight was coming in too slow.
On Monday, Asiana Airlines says the pilot in charge of the plane when it crashed was still in training for the Boeing 777.
But Asiana says he was accompanied by an experienced trainer, who acted as co-pilot.

At number 4, the New York Times reports American diplomats are trying to persuade the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to accept the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.
But an Islamist comments,“They are asking us to legitimize the coup,” adding accepting Morsi’s ouster would spell the death of Egyptian democracy.
Splits among the country’s newly dominant political forces already show.
On Saturday, state news media report diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei was chosen as prime minister, but the presidency later backed away from the report after ultraconservatives reject ElBaradei for being too secular.
The infighting leaves a power vacuum that makes it unclear who is running the country.

At number 5, Radical cleric Abu Qatada is being held in a high security jail near the Jordanian capital Amman, after being deported from the UK.
A BBC report says Prime Minister David Cameron is “delighted” at his removal.
Abu Qatada was first arrested in the UK over terrorist connections in 2001 and fought deportation since 2005.
His deportation proceeded after the UK and Jordan signed a treaty agreeing that evidence obtained through torture would not be used against him.
Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Othman, was granted asylum in the UK in 1994 but was later seen by authorities as a threat.
Military prosecutors charge Abu Qatada with conspiracy to carry out a plot to bomb American and Israeli tourists during Jordan’s millennium celebrations.

And at number 10, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia offer asylum to fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Nicaragua reveals details of Snowden’s letter, in which he says he’s unlikely to receive “a fair trial” in the United States.
On Saturday, Russian lawmaker Aleksei Pushkov says political asylum in Venezuela would be the “best solution” for Snowden.
He tweets, “The country has a sharp conflict with the United States. It will not be worse.”
The New York Times reports the US and Venezuela recently began talks for reconciliation, but a senior US official says this would end if Venezuela helped Snowden.

A historic win and a shocking defeat — Here’s a quick wrap of an eventful weekend in Sports.
World number 2 Andy Murray dominates world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s final, ending a 77-year drought in the tournament for British men.
Murray took 3 straight sets against Djokovic who committed several errors early on and couldn’t get into the rhythm.
Djokovic’s frustrations mounted as he kept slipping on the court.
Murray’s Wimbledon championship is his second Grand Slam title, following his breakthrough win at the US Open in 2012.
In mixed martial arts, Chris Weidman shocks the world after knocking out Ultimate Fighting Championship Middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Silva, considered the best pound-for-pound fighter, was careless in the fight.
He stood square in front of Weidman with his hands down, tapping his chin, inviting the American to throw punches.
Weidman finished the fight halfway through the second round.
Still in UFC, Mark ‘The Filipino Wrecking Machine’ Muñoz makes a successful return to the Octagon after nearly a year of battling injury and depression.
He defeats Tim Boetsch via unanimous decision after landing 160 strikes at 90% accuracy.
In Basketball, Dwight Howard, the biggest star in this year’s NBA free agent class decides to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Howard is expected to form a deadly inside-outside combo with young All-Star guard James Harden.
In Philippine college basketball, De La Salle University uses a second half assault to defeat arch-rival Ateneo de Manila University, 82 to 73 in the 76th UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
Arnold Van Opstal and Luigi Dela Paz deliver key baskets in the second half as the Green Archers overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to grab their second win in 3 games.
The Blue Eagles built momentum early on as dynamic forward Chris Newsome exploded for 18 points in the first half.
But it was not enough as the Blue Eagles absorb their 3rd straight loss and their worst start in UAAP since 1997.


Newscast production staff

DIRECTOR Rupert Ambil
  Dindin Reyes
HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER Katerina Francisco
  Exxon Ruebe
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
  Naoki Mengua
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro
  Matthew Hebrona

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