Today on Rappler.
- Corona lawyers say, they will block any evidence from the Obudsman’s investigation into alleged $10-M bank accounts of the Chief Justice.
- Video of celebrity couples Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto in a fight with columnist Ramon Tulfo spread like wildfire on the internet.
- And, despite adversity, Palaro athletes reach for victory.
Story 1: JPE SPEEDS UP TRIAL
Senator-judges set a May 31 target to finish the impeachment trial.
Presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile cuts short the testimonies of 5 defense witnesses.
Enrile also gets impatient with witnesses he says had no relevance to the case.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada echoes Enrile,
saying the senators want to hear from chief justice renato corona.
Defense counsel Serafin Cuevas objects…
and his words anger Enrile.
Story 2: CJ TO BLOCK EVIDENCE
The defense team of Chief Justice Renato Corona says it would block any evidence from an Ombudsman investigation in the impeachment court.
Defense counsel Judd Roy III said in an interview hours before the resumption of the Corona trial. “Of course, we are going to stop it. Why should we allow it to come in?”
He adds, “Remember there is a TRO on all kinds of dollar accounts and information regarding foreign currency deposits.”
Corona’s counsel adds, “We want to put the Office of the Ombudsman in its proper place.
Why should we allow the Chief Justice to submit to the Ombudsman? There is no jurisdiction there.”
In an April 20, 2012 letter, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales ordered Corona to explain assets that are-quote- “grossly disproportionate” to his salary, referring to the alleged dollar accounts that total at least US$10-million.
Carpio-Morales, a former Supreme Court Associate Justice, maintains she has jurisdiction, saying her office can pursue an investigation for the purposes of an impeachment complaint.
The Chief Justice denies he has 10-million US dollars.
Story 3: CELEBRITIES VS COLUMNIST
After the Mayweather-Cotto fight Sunday, a scuffle broke out between celebrity couple Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto, and columnist Ramon Tulfo.
According to reports, Barretto was scolding a Cebu Pacific ground stewardess for their lost luggage when Tulfo started recording the heated conversation with his cellphone.
Santiago challenged Tulfo, and things turned ugly. The celebrities claim Tulfo landed the first punch. Tulfo said he was just defending himself from the couple and their entourage.
Photos of Tulfo and Barretto showing their injuries are spreading on social networking sites. Both camps threaten to file legal charges.
Story 4: KIDNAPPED AUSSIE
Kidnappers sent new video of Australian Warren Rodwell who was abducted by suspected members of Muslim extremist groups in the southern Philippines.
He was taken from his home in Ipil town, Zamboanga del Sur on December 5.
In January, a video sent by his kidnappers show him pleading with authorities to do all they can for his freedom.
Australia’s department of foreign affairs said Philippine authorities received a second recording of the former soldier, providing proof of life on March 26.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation says the new video showed him holding up a newspaper dated March 26 while pleading for ransom to save his life.
His captors are reportedly demanding US$2 million.
Story 5: EURO AFTER ELECTIONS
After elections in France and Greece, the Euro nose-dived to a 3 month low against the dollar setting off a slump in Asian currencies.
French and Greek voters said no to belt-tightening efforts, electing leaders who are against austerity measures considered vital for fixing the European debt crisis.
Nicolas Sarkozy became the first president in more than 30-years to lose re-election.
His defeat brings uncertainty for the Euro zone, which was long led by Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The anxiety over the Euro triggered a sell off in Asian currencies with South Korea’s won dropping to its lowest level in a month and Malaysia’s ringgit following close behind, dropping .4 percent.
The Philippine peso remains resilient shedding only .17% to close at PHP42.35 to the dollar.
Story 6: ADB IN RETROSPECT
The Aquino government pulled out all the stops to spotlight the Philippines as an investment and tourist destination when Manila played host to the ADB’s Annual Governors Meeting.
Taking advantage of having 4,000 high-level finance officials and investment bankers in one event, officials pitched trade, tourism, and transportation plans to a captive audience.
As part of the concerted strategy, the country spent P63 million or about $1.5 million for its tourism campaign, “It’s More Fun In the Philippines,” on CNN.
Its “Eye on the Philippines” interviewed President Benigno Aquino III who talked about the economic gains of his almost 2-year-old government.
CNN also interviewed the owners of conglomerate Ayala Corporation. Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his brother, Fernando, were bullish about the country’s future.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima candidly pitched to credit rating agencies for a much-coveted upgrade.
Story 7: THE wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today, a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
For our number 6, It’s Valérie turn as First Lady of France following the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in the elections.
Socialist François Hollande takes the reins of a country trying to recover from the European economic slump. Trierweiler, a 47-year-old journalist who tweets, is a twice-divorced mother of 3 teenagers.
Unlike Bruni who is a millionaire heiress and former supermodel turned folksinger, Trierweiler comes from a modest family in eastern France and says she wants to keep on working because she doesn’t want to be supported by the state. Trierweiler, like Hollande, styles herself as the antithesis of “bling”.
For our number 8, the Marvel film featuring superheroes Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Hawkeye earned a whopping $200.3 million in its opening weekend, setting a new record high. “Avengers” overtook previous record-holder Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
And for number 9, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking executives at Facebook, Gmail and Skype to give the agency easier backdoor access to spy on suspected criminals. That becomes more important for spy agencies as communication shifts online.
Story 8: MAYWEATHER
American boxer Floyd Mayweather remains undefeated after taking the World Boxing Association super welterweight title from Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in a unanimous 12-round decision.
Cotto clearly won the middle rounds but Mayweather used his superior hand speed and solid defense to ultimately win the fight.
Mayweather says he has not given up on the possibility of meeting Manny Pacquiao in the ring, but the undefeated boxer has to face jail time first for violence and harassment charges.
Story 9: PALARO WRAP
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III opens this year’s Palarong Pambansa, the Philippines’ largest sports games.
Natashya Gutierrez is spearheading Rappler’s coverage and joins us live from Pangasinan.
(Pangasinan live point)
(Students in costumes dancing.)
It’s a celebration of youth, excellence and community.
This is Palarong Pambansa, the Philippines’ largest sporting competition.
The cheers are loudest for region 10 – which include cities hardest hit by tropical storm Sendong.
It took effort to get here today – and the athletes thank those who helped them make it.
President Benigno Aquino opens the games, trying the local dialect.
He struggles, coughs … and cracks a joke.
Meron sigurong nakaalala sa akin!
(Laughter and chanting.)
He salutes the young athletes and promises a better future for the games – at least P200 million set aside for a “focus sports policy.”
The Department of Education’s games has tried to build the Filipino spirit in competition for nearly 60 years. It’s a breeding ground for champions, which includes home-grown Danny Ildefonso, 2 time PBA MVP.
Good luck at galingan niyo!
Palarong Pambansa torchbearer
The games will run until Saturday, May 12 – pushing young athletes – some without the basics like this barefoot runner – to reach for victory.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Pangasinan
Story 10: PALARO RESULTS
In the medal standings Western Visayas took an early lead winning 5 of the possible 11 gold medals awarded on Day 1 of Palarong Pambansa 2012. with a near sweep of the the athletics events.
The National Capital Region meanwhile dominated in Men’s Gymnastics, taking four golds, with a sweep of the boys individual all around and team titles for both elementary and secondary boys.
The points system that Palarong Pambansa follows awards more points for team events. NCR is ahead in the leader board with 66 points, Western Visayas follows with 49 points, Southern Tagalog is a close third with 41 points, Central Luzon is fourth with 24, and Cagayan Valley fifth at 20.
Story 11: SENDONG ATHLETES
About 5 months ago, most of the members of the Northern Mindanao volleyball team were fighting for their lives – in the middle of Tropical Storm Sendong. Some lost family members to the floods.
Despite that, they are out in force at Palarong Pambansa.
David Santos reports.
The Northern Mindanao volleyball team almost did not make it to Palarong Pambansa this year.
More than half of the12-member team were victims of Tropical Storm Sendong, which struck Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in December 2011.
At least 800 people died from Sendong, thousands of families displaced.
16-year old spiker Renz Enerio watches from the sidelines, as his team battles it out against CARAGA Region– their first game.
Enerio lost his mom, Emelita, to Sendong.
A former team member and Palaro veteran, Lloyd Damalan, is one of 400 who remain missing.
The team’s coach is himself a Sendong survivor.
Unlike Enerio, Alex Adeva is grateful he only lost things he owned to the flood.
But Alex was not sure he could gather his players together for training.
After the flood, Enorio was not even sure he could join Palaro.
Kaya ako patuloy na naglalaro, sabi ng ate ko wag na ako maglaro dito, para na rin sa kinabukasan ko kasi may scholarship ako makukuha pag sumama ako dito sa palarong pambansa, kaya sumama ako.
Inisa-isa ko sila, lalo na yung si renz, kasi nawala yung mama niya. sabi nila, sir, kung biktima kami then mawala pa kami, love namin ang volleyball. so kung hindi mo palaruin, mas lalong biktima kami
Taking off from the determination of the players, the team trained hard for more than a month.
Pag wala sigurong sports, hindi namin alam kung saan kami, saan kami mapunta kasi kita mo yung ibang biktima, wala talaga. kung makapunta ka sa cagayan de oro, parang walang wala na sila. parang end of the world para sa kanila.
Enerio says, he has recovered from the tragedy, largely due to his non-stop training for the Palaro.
Hindi ko na iniisip ang trahedya kasi, tapos na yun. wala na. wala na tayong magagawa, hindi na natin maibabalik kaya tuloy ang recovery. hindi ko na iniinda ang sakit/JUMP CUT/pagnaglalaro na o before mag laro, parang sinasabi ko nga: ma, para sa yo to.
Region 10 will face tough opponents Central Visayas and Calabarzon for the eliminations.
But against all the odds, they are keeping their eye on the goal– to land in the top 3.
For now, they conquer Caraga, winning them over in two sets.
Not bad for a team still in mourning.
But more than competing and rising above adversity..
Region 10 wants to say thank you to the world, for helping them through the tragedy.
(Players cheering, then bowing.)
David Santos, Rappler, Pangasinan.
Story 12: ANDI
Up and coming teen actess Andi Eigenmann had a run-in with her fomer boyfriend. Eigenmann says the past came rushing back after she saw the alleged father of her daughter. Rappler’s Patricia Evangelista interviewed Eigenmann 9 months ago, in this portrait of a teenage mother.