Rappler Newscast | July 11, 2013

Rappler.com
Govt,MILF fail to agree on wealth sharing in talks in Kuala Lumpur. US relaxes rules on Filipino WWII vets. Boston bombing suspect pleads not guilty.

Today on Rappler.

  • The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front fail to agree on wealth sharing in talks in Kuala Lumpur.
  • The United States agrees to look into Philippine army records, extending benefits to more Filipino World War II veterans.
  • Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty to all charges.


Story 1: MILF: NO DEAL IN KL
Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal says the 38th round of talks with government ends without any agreement.
The entire MILF panel leaves the negotiating table shortly past 5pm Thursday without signing any documents with the government.
Both sides could not agree on the details of wealth sharing between the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity and the central government.
The government refused to sign any documents twice – in March and April – even after an initial draft was completed in February.
On Thursday, MILF peace panel members left the venue of the talks at the Palace of the Golden Horses.
In a text message to Rappler, Iqbal says, “[The government panel] is too rigid as if their mandate is cast in stone. There is limited chance we return.”
In an ambush interview after a closed-door caucus with her team, government peace panel head Miriam Ferrer says, “Yes, we’re still trying.”
The visit of Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda apparently didn’t help move the negotiations.
President Benigno Aquino sent Lacierda and Presidential Adviser on Peace Teresita Deles to Kuala Lumpur Thursday to talk with representatives.
A source says Lacierda –quote– “relayed a message” from Aquino to both parties.
Asked about whether Aquino’s message had any impact on the talks, Iqbal says, “Don’t know. I’m out already. 4 days engaged in fruitless talk.”
An agreement would have been a breakthrough for the peace process, since this is tied to power sharing, one of the two remaining items on the agenda.
Both parties are under pressure to arrive at an agreement, given the difficult transition to the envisioned Bangsamoro political entity.
President Aquino and the MILF want all this to happen under his term.
Asked whether a breakthrough is still possible, Deles says there is hope as long as both sides are in problem-solving mode.

TERESITA DELES, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON PEACE: It’s my job to stay hopeful. We know this is a tough job, gets tougher as we get into the details. I’m still hoping that both sides desire more that we are able to move forward than not. And that when the two sides are in that mode, then I can not but hope that we will, in fact, be able to push it forward.

Story 2: PALACE SPENDS P6M ON PRE-ELECTION SURVEYS
A Commission on Audit report shows Malacañang’s communications office spent P5.58 million for commissioned surveys in 2012.
It is the single biggest item in the 2012 expense report of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.
It accounts for 26.71% of the P20.88-million increase in the office’s budget for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses.
It was also an entirely new item in the MOOE because the agency reported no such expense in its 2010 and 2011 expense breakdowns.
The COA report says the money went to private survey firms Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations and was spent to –quote– “assess the public’s perspectives on national issues [and] the performance of the administration.”
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang says his office subscribed to the surveys only in 2012, and adds it is part of his function to –quote– “to know and understand public opinion.”

Story 3: PALACE FINALIZES P2.268-T BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR 2014
President Benigno Aquino approves a P2.268-trillion budget for 2014, following Cabinet deliberations that ended 10:30 pm Wednesday.
The president will submit the proposed budget to Congress when it opens on July 22, after the State of the Nation Address.
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang says the budget’s thrust remains “inclusive growth.”
Carandang adds, “We are enhancing social protections and creating opportunities for employment by focusing on job generating sectors.”

Story 4: NANCY BINAY: UNA TO CHECK DILG, CCT BUDGET
Will the 2016 polls affect the deliberations of the national budget?
Sen Nancy Binay says she and United Nationalist Alliance or UNA senators will check the budget of the Interior Department and the administration’s conditional cash transfer program.
In a meeting Thursday, the UNA senators agree the budget will be the first order of business when the 16th Congress opens on July 22.
President Benigno Aquino approved a P2.268 trillion budget proposal for 2014.
Binay says, “The President said he made the budget in a way that it will ensure inclusive growth, so we will check if that will have a trickle down effect.”
Binay already plans to look into the budgets of particular agencies.

NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Siguro ang DSWD kasi ang mga social services [galing] doon sa agency na iyon. Tsaka kasama na siguro ang CCT at DILG. Kasi unang-una diba sanay ako sa local governments kasi for the longest time, ang father ko, ang mother ko naging mayor kaya malapit din sa puso ko. (I guess DSWD because social services come from that agency. And also CCT and DILG because first of all, I am used to dealing with local governments because for the longest time, my father and mother were mayors so that’s close to my heart.)

Acting Senate President Jinggoy Estrada says UNA will check reports the administration’s conditional cash transfer  program or CCT was used to bankroll the campaign of administration allies.
He says, “We will not be obstructive. In the CCT program, we will check if it is really successful. If not, why waste billions of pesos for dole outs?”
The Senate minority will be composed of Estrada, Binay, Juan Ponce Enrile Tito Sotto, Gringo Honasan, and JV Ejercito.
The group will field Enrile as Senate Minority Leader.

Story 5: CHILDREN BEARING CHILDREN
Today July 11, World Population Day, the United Nations and women’s advocates are focusing on teenage mothers.
Their vision: a world with no unwanted pregnancies.
Buena Bernal reports.

Children bearing children.
Women’s health advocate May-I Fabros says women are more vulnerable during their teens.

MAY-I FABROS, ADVOCATE, WOMENHEALTH PH: This is a stage where they want to try out. Kaya sinasabi nila ‘mapusok ang kabataan’ which puts them all the more at risk especially if they do not have the information and the right decision-making skills.

Government data shows more and more teenagers are getting pregnant, and more of them are dying while in labor.
KC Fernandez bore her baby at age 14.

KC FERNANDEZ, TEENAGE MOTHER: Sana nga na hindi ko ginawa yun. Sana hindi muna ako nag-asawa. (I wish I didn’t do it, so I wouldn’t have to marry early. So I can do what I want in life, like study in school.)

Advocates say comprehensive sexual education and an openness to talk about sex in the family may reverse the trend.
Department of Health official Juan Antonio Perez says with the Reproductive Health Law, schools and health workers will hopefully be more sensitive to adolescents’ sexual curiosity.

DR JUAN ANTONIO A PEREZ III, DIRECTOR, DEP’T OF HEALTH: In some areas of the country, local executives or maybe even health officers may unilaterally say, ‘we will not provide RH services.’ With the law, that will not be possible.

The law is temporarily suspended and is being argued in the Supreme Court.

KC FERNANDEZ, TEENAGE MOTHER: Sabi ko, wala naman sa edad yan eh, basta mahal mo, parang ganon yung sinabi ko po. (I said, age doesn’t matter as long as you love each other – that’s what I told myself.)

KC used to tell herself she was in love.
Now she looks back and says young girls shouldn’t grow up so fast.
Buena Bernal, Rappler, Manila.

Story 6: COPS KILL KIDNAPPERS IN DAVAO, RESCUE VICTIM
Policemen kill 3 of the kidnappers of a Filipino-Chinese in an entrapment operation Thursday.
Davao City police chief Ronald dela Rosa says they received information a payoff was going to happen at the parking lot of a bank.
At least 14 kidnappers arrived in 3 SUVs while police forces took positions for the entrapment operation.
Police arrest only one kidnapper, while the rest fled aboard two SUVs.
Local authorities were alerted that the kidnap-for-ransom group, which was holding captive Sally Chua, was in the city for the payoff.
Chua was allegedly kidnapped in Quezon City last July 5.
She was not harmed during the operation.

Story 7: SM POST OF THE DAY
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA has a new vehicle coding scheme called the EDSA Road Space Rationing Program.
MMDA says this is expected to reduce by 40% the volume of private vehicles passing through EDSA during peak hours.
The plan will stop private vehicles with specific license plate endings from driving on EDSA 7-10am and 5-8pm.
For our Social Media post of the day: Gerald Santos comments on the proposal.
He says –quote–, Why punish the car owners? More than half of the buses plying the EDSA route, observe them and you’ll see that they are always half empty. Buses are simply not optimized. If the MMDA or the government really do want the people to use the public transportation, by all means, improve first the MRT/LRT systems.

Story 8: US RELAXES RULES ON FILIPINO WWII VETS
The United States government will give more Filipino World War II veterans benefits after it agreed to consider Philippine Army Records to verify veterans’ claims.
In a tweet Thursday, the Philippine Embassy in the US says the White House –quote– “agrees to consider Philippine Army records in evaluating appeals of WWII veterans for benefits.”
This means over 4,000 WWII veterans will get a “second chance to avail of benefits” under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund.
Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia says, “We’re hopeful that the procedures introduced will result in more appeals being approved and the processing time (being) reduced.”
Rosye Cloud, director of policy for veterans at the White House, says the US Department of Veterans Affairs created a special team to process appeals for the FVEC Fund.
This is a departure from previous US policies on Filipino veterans.
Before this, the US refused to acknowledge records from the Philippine Army.
This prevented up to 4,000 Filipinos from availing of the one-time, lump-sum payment US President Barack Obama awarded to Filipino World War II veterans in 2009.

Story 9: EU GIVES P540M TO HELP PH SOLVE HUMAN RIGHTS CASES
The European Union and the Philippines launch a joint program worth P540 million to help the government address human rights violations.
Called the European Union-Philippine Justice Support Program II, it aims to improve the poor’s access to an efficient justice system.
It will take more than 4 years to reach its goals in partnership with different government agencies.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says the program will help the government’s efforts in strengthening law enforcement, the judiciary, and prosecution to quickly resolve cases.

Story 10: BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT PLEADS NOT GUILTY
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty to all charges during his arraignment in a US federal court Wednesday.
In handcuffs and shackles, wearing an orange jumpsiut, the 19-year-old pleads not guilty to charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy and bombing of a place of public use, and carjacking.
The courtroom in Boston is filled with emotional victims of the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line and a few others who say they were friends or supporters of the teenager.
The bombings killed 3 and injured more than 260.
Tsarnaev is accused of plotting and carrying out the attacks with his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan, who died in a shootout with police.
The trial is expected to last 3 to 4 months, with the next hearing set for September 23.

Story 11: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, police say 20 people are confirmed dead and 30 are missing in Saturday’s train crash in Lac-Megantic, Canada.
The freight train carrying oil crashed after rolling downhill towards Lac-Megantic, sparking a massive inferno that tore through part of the town.
Police say the crash was likely caused by an engineer’s failure to set the brakes.

At number 8, A judge finds Apple guilty of a price-fixing conspiracy for electronic books.
Judge Denise Cote says the company –quote– “conspired to restrain trade” with publishers to boost the price of ebooks.
She orders a new hearing to determine damages.
On Wednesday, Apple says it will appeal the decision.

And at number 10, Lady Gaga, one of the most followed celebrities on Twitter, shuts down her account.
The international singer’s picture is now of a Twitter egg along with a bio which reads: “This interface has been shut down temporarily. Please check back for updates.”
Tweets posted after February 6 have also been deleted.
Her last post refers to her upcoming album “ARTPOP,” slated for release this year.


– Rappler.com

Newscast production staff

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER Lilibeth Frondoso
DIRECTOR Rupert Ambil
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER Rodneil Quiteles
  Dindin Reyes
HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER Katerina Francisco
MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK Vicente Roxas
  Exxon Ruebe
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN Charlie Salazar
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
  Naoki Mengua
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro
  Matthew Hebrona

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