Rappler Newscast | May 11, 2012

Dean Jose Manuel Diokno says summoning the Ombusdman may be a defense ‘ploy’. Filipinos protest Beijing’s arrogance. And, Mon Tulfo talks about the Tulfo testosterone and revenge.

Today on Rappler.

  • Dean Jose Manuel Diokno says summoning the Ombusdman to the witness stand may be a defense ‘ploy’.
  • Filipinos protest Beijing’s arrogance in the Scarborough shoal dispute.


T3 CLIP OF ERWIN TULFO: Tatamaan at tatamaan ka! Wala akong pakialam pati asawa mo tatamaan sa akin.
MON TULFO: If they didn’t go on television, perhaps, probably, we could exact revenge.

  • And, Mon Tulfo talks about the Tulfo testosterone and revenge.

Dean Jose Manuel Diokno says summoning the Ombudsman plus 9 others as hostile witnesses is “legal suicide.”
But he warns it could also be a defense “ploy.”

MARIA RESSA: If this is legal suicide, what is the Defense after?
JOSE MANUEL DIOKNO: I’m not sure. It could be possible a prelude for them to raise that issue before the Supreme Court. You see there’s that pending petition about the foreign currency deposits. They may be using this as a ploy in order to get testimony about the cases filed in the ombudsman in order not only to stop the presentation of the foreign currency evidence in the impeachment but possibly even to stop the ombudsman cases.

Last February, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order or TRO preventing the impeachment court from opening records of Corona’s dollar accounts.
Diokno says the defense can file a supplemental petition and ask the High Court to expand the coverage of its restraining order to include the Ombudsman’s evidence.

RESSA: But as it stands right now, can the ombudsman’s investigation be used in the impeachment
DIOKNO: Well, it’s the defense that called the ombudsman to the stand so they have no choice now. Anything that the ombudsman says on the stand is there evidence whether they like it or not.
RESSA: How do you put this together because the Supreme Court and the senate ruled against using dollar deposits in the impeachment earlier?
DIOKNO: Well, there’s a TRO only as far as I know and no final judgment.
RESSA: Oh yeah, sorry, the TRO is there. So now that that TRO has been pushed aside by this development, is that correct?
DIOKNO: It’s possible that they may ask for a new restraining order on the basis of these disclosures.

But if the SC does issue another restraining order, Diokno says the High Court is headed for a collision course with the Senate – a scenario that happened when the SC first issued a TRO.
The Senate respected the Court’s ruling then, but if the SC stops the Senate once again, what will happen?
Diokno says “There could be a clash between the two.”

The anti-China rally that agitated Beijing, with 1,000 Filipinos expected pushed through Friday morning.
Except only 400 came.
The protesters sing and dance to the tune of “Kung Fu Fighting.”
The rally, scheduled for noon in other parts of the world, took place outside the Chinese embassy in Makati City for less than an hour.
Waving national flags, the protesters ask Chinese ships to back-off from disputed Scarborough shoal where both nations have stationed ships for more than a month.
Rally organizer Loida Nicholas Lewis, a prominent businesswoman in the United States says,”Our protest is directed at the overbearing actions and stance of the government in Beijing which behaves like an arrogant overlord, even in the homes of its neighbours.
The protesters carried placards that read: “China stop bullying the Philippines” and “China, Stop Poaching in Philippine Waters”.
(Video of protesters roll.)

In Hong Kong, protesters holding a mask of Philippine President Aquino and pictures of warships demonstrated outside the Philippine consulate.
They demand Philippine warships retreat from the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
It would have been a tit-for-tat gesture to the Manila protest, had it not been for 1 glaring detail– there were only 8 protesters there.

For our 2013 election update, Former President Joseph Estrada registers as a voter in the city of Manila Thursday – an important move because he plans to run for mayor.
Estrada was a longtime resident and mayor of San Juan City.
Manila City Vice Mayor Isko Moreno accompanies Estrada.
Moreno, the running mate of incumbent Mayor Alfredo Lim, is said to be Estrada’s running mate in next year’s polls.
The Commission on Elections requires a new voter to be a resident at least 6 months before election day.

More on the 2013 elections, will Senator Manny Villar join forces with his former rival’s political party? Maybe, maybe not.
Villar says his Nacionalista Party is considering all options for the 2013 elections including a possible alliance with the Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III.
In 2010, Villar and Aquino were bitter rivals for the presidency.
Nacionalist Party head Manny Villar says “We’re ready to talk to all parties, to LP and to others. We are also ready to go solo.”
Sen Villar is finishing his last term and his wife confirms she plans to run for the Senate in 2013.

US President Barack Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage caught Republicans off guard.
It must now decide whether to make gay rights a key campaign issue in the upcoming elections.
Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee reiterates his opposition to gay marriage.
He adds, states should be allowed “to determine what rights would be provided for people of the same gender that wanted to have a relationship.”
Republican Mike Huckabee says “This is going to be a defining issue this election.”

Will Obama’s landmark position create ripples in the Philippines?
It’s a question answered under our Thought Leaders by Jonas Bagas of Akbayan.
Bagas says “don’t expect Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage to have an impact here.”
He calls it a “historic and an inspiring gesture” but adds “don’t hold your breath: it won’t alter anything here fundamentally.”
Still he says the mood is changing, and there’s greater openness.
Bagas says social media has democratized access to a wider range of narratives…
creating a climate that could help dismantle oppressive stereotypes.

Read more about his reference to the “Catholic taliban” – what he calls the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines on Rappler.com.

Story 6: JP MORGAN
US banking giant JPMorgan Chase says it lost $2 billion in derivatives since March in what a bank executive calls a “flawed” and “poorly executed” trading operation.
The same executive says the bank may face another $1 billion in losses through the end of June due to market volatility.”
JP Morgan shares fell nearly seven percent in after-hours trade.

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.

At number 7, 55 people die in attacks in Syria.
The “terrorist suicide attacks” involve two car bombs in Damascus, destroying Syria’s intelligence agency building.
It’s described as the single deadliest attack since the government crackdown in March 2011.
Government blames terrorists for the attack, but rival factions say only the government has the technical capability to carry them out.

At number 8, the double agent who helped intelligence agencies foil an al-Qaeda “underwear bomb” plot is a British citizen of Middle Eastern origin, according to an official familiar with the operation.
He is safe somewhere in Saudi Arabia.
British intelligence allegedly helped recruit the spy.

At number 9, Marvel Comics is on a roll.
After “Avengers” made box office history, it rolls out an exclusive digital comics partnership with ComiXology, an online comic distribution powerhouse.
This means thousands of Marvel comics past issues will be distributed by ComiXology on its own Marvel application and online store.
By June 2012, every issue of a Marvel comic will be available digitally.

And at number 10, Cebu Pacific’s Smile is voted among the world’s best airline magazines by CNN’s travel site.
CNNGo.com says the magazine’s “youthful charm” won them over.
The layout and prose is nothing special, but “frequent portraits of ordinary people having a good time echo the magazine’s spontaneous, low-key voice.”

Story 8: BIKERS
Bikers gather in Baguio City for an adventure with a cause — to help build forests in the Cordilleras.
Rappler’s Voltaire Tupaz reports.
(Video report runs.)

Rappler is in Baguio for the 3rd Cordillera Challenge. Two hundred eighty bikers gather here for a biking adventure with a cause – to help build forests.

The bikers traverse Mt Sto Tomas, the southwestern entrance to the Cordilleras… and Mt. Kabuyao, the site of a water catchment.

This being an upland area, it’s a catchbasin. It’s also a watershed reservoir. So we really need to maintain the forest cover in this area.

The uphill biking adventure raised funds to establish 20 seedling nurseries in public elementary schools across the Cordilleras.
The road to the finish line is as difficult as the challenge to save the rich Cordillera mountains: steep ascents, tricky descents, formidable rocks.
just like the vested interests that threaten forests in the region.
James Dacayanan, the youngest among the bikers, says he joins protests against the cutting of pine and alnus trees in Baguio.

Matagal naman na ang mga puno dito sa Baguio. Bakit pa nila puputulin? Di naman kelangan ang extension, eh.

James biked all three tracks, from the easiest to the most difficult, and beat everyone to the finish line.
For many participants, it is not really a race but a chance to show support.

Na-enjoy ko naman yung ride. Actually, yung effort naman ng lahat to help conserve ang ating Cordillera forest.

Sobrang ganda. Being Manila-based, we forget just how beautiful the Philippines is. And all it takes is for us to go somewhere else. Kahit nagpakahirap ako ng ganito, what I saw was enough to keep the passion alive in giving back to our country.

Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Baguio City.

Story 9: JESSICA
Jessica Sanchez convinces America it isn’t her time to go…
after a breathtaking performance of Dreamgirls hit song And I’m Telling You I’m not Going.
All three judges gave her a standing ovation.
Online, text and phone voters push the 16 year old Jessica to the Top 3 – only the second time someone with Filipino roots has made it this far.
Jasmine Trias was the first in Season three of American Idol.
Sanchez enters the top three with Phillip Phillips and Joshua Ledet.

More on the ongoing controversy with the Tulfo brothers, who used their TV5 program to threaten a celebrity couple who fought with their elder brother, Mon.
Here are excerpts from Patricia Evangelista’s interview with Mon Tulfo.

T3 CLIP OF ERWIN TULFO: Alam po naming kanina pa ho ninyong hinihintay ang reaksyon po naming magkakapatid sa pangyayari po kahapon…
MON TULFO: You smell testosterone, plenty of it at work, during the episode. Tulfo testosterone. Pure. Pure, unadulterated. Primitive. I feel sad that when they went on television, they didn’t consult me. Otherwise what they did they… that was very unacceptable.
T3 CLIP OF BEN TULFO: Doon sa mga sangkot, pakinggan niyo sasabihin ko: read my lips. Di pa tapos.
MON TULFO: Oh my God, it was—oh my God, what are those guys doing? Oh my God, you know its… wow! Stupid guys.
T3 CLIP OF RAFFY: Wag lang sana tayo magpang-inabot sa mall. Idasal mo, iho de P.I. ka!
MON: They shouldn’t be saying those things on television!
T3 CLIP OF ERWIN TULFO: Tatamaan at tatamaan ka! Wala akong pakialam pati asawa mo tatamaan sa akin.
MON: If they didn’t go on television, perhaps, probably, we could exact revenge. We’ve been stopped dead on our tracks; even if we don’t do it, we will become natural suspects. And then, that’s what I’m scared of.

Let’s go on to Pangasinan for an update on the Palarong Pambansa.
Natashya Gutierrez is there live.

Natashya, what do you have for us today?

(Live point for Pangasinan)

GUTIERREZ: Well Maria only the best of the best have events left for tomorrow because that’s when the finals for the rest of the games are scheduled.
For those who didn’t make the cut like this boxer, their losses only served as inspiration to do better.
(Video report runs.)

Billy Ray Naelgas has been boxing since he was 6.
Unlike most, his mother pushed him to fight.
His father, a tricycle driver, drives him to training every day.

Sama sama lang po ako sa training ng kuya ko. Doon na po ako nag-umpisa mag-boxing.

His 12th birthday is the same day as his Palarong Pambansa semifinals fight.
He loses the bout and settles for bronze…
But he says his fights here are much easier than those at home.
Billy Ray is from Palawan, where boxing at a young age is the norm.
Even before Manny Pacquiao, kids in their town boxed to provide entertainment.

Yun po ang hobby namin ma’am. Kasi masaya tuwing sa baranggay maraming nanonood.

Boxing is MIMAROPA’s pride and Billy Ray is a star at home for making it to Palaro.
But being a young boxer is difficult.
Training is intense, and so is making weight.

LEO PAGDATO: Biro mo, mag-reduce iyan dadalhan lang namin ng sabaw, sabaw lang talaga pinapakain namin tapos konting kanin. Kung minsan pinapakanin namin ng mansanas lang. Talagang mahirap ang boksing, biruin mo matulog yan gutom.

But Billy Ray is willing to make all the sacrifices.
He says he will keep boxing to make money, get a scholarship and help his family.
Billy Ray may have missed the gold but the fight to a better life continues.
Only the best of the best have events left tomorrow as finals for the rest of the games are scheduled for tomorrow. But for those who didn’t make the cut like this boxer, their losses only serve as inspiration to be better.

GUTIERREZ: Many athletes here usually qualify for the games more than once, so we’re expecting a lot of them to return next year unless they of course graduate from high school or they get invited to train with the national team, Maria?

RESSA: Natashya, you’ve been there all week, lots of records that were broken this week, what happened today?

GUTIERREZ: We got a lot of rain today, which postponed some games but all the events scheduled to end today did, despite the weather.
In softball, Western Visayas won both elementary and secondary overall getting 50 points total for their wins.
In volleyball, defending champions Western Visayas and archival NCR will meet in the finals for secondary girls.
Athletics ended today but we do not yet have official results, although it will most likely be between NCR and Western Visayas, both of which have dominated athletics events.
For more updates, we have the latest news and medal tally on Rappler under the Palarong Pambansa microsite.

RESSA: Natashya is there a moment that stands out in your time, something that you will remember for a long time?

GUTIERREZ:Yes Maria there was one specific event wherein I just got chills.
One of the students from Western Visayas broke 2 records here, she broke the 800 meter record as well as the 1500 meter record but what’s most impressive about her run is she actually races barefoot.
Its pretty inspiring to see them race and win at the same time.

RESSA: Fantastic, we’re looking forward to hearing more from you.
Natashya Gutierrez live from Pangasinan.

We leave you with fascinating images from Palarong Pambansa.

(Palarong Pambansa picture gallery runs.)