Today on Rappler.
- Arrested Communist Party of the Philippines leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon say their arrest is illegal.
- The Metro Rail Transit breaks down over the weekend and is operating only half its routes Monday.
- Turkey shoots down a Syrian military jet that strayed into its airspace.
STORY 1: TIAMZONS LEAVE ‘IRREGULAR’ INQUEST
Handcuffed but defiant, Communist Party of the Philippines top leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon walked out on inquest proceedings for their arrest at Camp Crame.
While being led out by police Benito Tiamzon shouts in Filipino: The fight continues!
National Democratic Front chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni says the arrest is illegal because the couple is supposedly covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees under the peace negotiations between the government and the NDF.
The Tiamzons’ legal counsel Rachel Pastores says the inquest was ‘highly irregular.’
The couple were slapped additional charges of illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of explosives, and harboring criminals.
The Tiamzons also question the validity of holding the inquest proceedings in Camp Crame when the alleged crimes occurred in Cebu.
RACHEL PASTORES, LEGAL COUNSEL: Hindi nating pwedeng hayaan na magkaroon lang ng justification yung illegal arrest na ginawa sa kanila by belatedly filing this case of alleged illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
(We can’t let allow the illegal arrest done on the Tiamzons’ and 5 others to be justified)
But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says the arrest is legal.
She says ‘Existing warrants of arrest have not been nullified, so it’s presumed to be valid and regular.’
The two top CPP cadres were arrested in Cebu Saturday over standing warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity, including murder, multiple murder, and frustrated murder charges.
President Benigno Aquino believes the arrest brings the government a step closer to crushing the communist insurgency.
He says “I believe it does deliver a serious blow. And it shows you also the competence of our security forces.”
But the President was also quick to say in order to end insurgencies, the government must address “the root causes of the problem.”
Military intelligence chief Major General Eduardo Año, on Sunday, says they expect retaliatory attacks from the guerrillas.
AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista adds the arrest created a vacuum in the groups leadership.
GEN EMMANUEL BAUTISTA, AFP CHIEF OF STAFF: When you get the leader of the organization, it has a very telling effect on the rest of the organization because it provides the leadership, the cohesiveness. Hopefully, all of them now realize the futility of armed struggle.
Editor’s Note: The official shown in this video from 03:05-03:35 is AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista, not General Eduardo Año. We apologize for the error.
STORY 2: PALACE: BANGSAMORO SIGNING MARKS ‘FUTURE OF SECURITY’
The administration of President Benigno Aquino takes a step closer towards one of its biggest goals – the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF.
In a statement Monday, Malacañang says it is “a milestone that heralds one of the final stops on our nation’s journey to a just and lasting peace.”
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and is expected to pass by the end of 2014.
The goal is to elect a Bangsamoro government by 2016.
The government and the MILF want the region set up before Aquino steps down from office in 2016.
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak will attend the signing of the historic agreement because Malaysia played a significant role in the negotiations.
The 16-year peace talks between the government and the MILF concluded on January 25 after both sides agreed on a historic firearms deal requiring the rebel group to gradually decommission their firearms.
It was the last document needed to be settled before the comprehensive peace agreement could be signed.
Earlier, the panels signed annexes on transition, wealth and power-sharing, and the much-disputed provision on water territories.
STORY 3: MRT 3 ON ‘PROVISIONAL OPERATION’
The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 or MRT goes on “provisional operation” early Monday morning after communication systems broke down Saturday.
MRT general manager Al Vitangcol says the trains only run from North Avenue station in Quezon City until Shaw Station in Mandaluyong City.
He says the communication system was unable to detect trains from Buendia to Taft Avenue stations.
He adds the MRT’s reverting to partial operations is “for the safety of commuters.”
Earlier, authorities extended the MRT’s operating hours to cut long lines but passengers continue to complain about the trains’ slow arrival and sudden breakdowns.
STORY 4: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
What do our followers have to say about the MRT breakdown?
Gerard Lim thinks it’s high time for a rate increase.
“You want good service, learn to pay for it.”
“Don’t expect other taxpayers to pay for your daily commute.”
Pems Dev suggests: “Bring your bicycles and hit the road. No need [for] cars on EDSA.”
STORY 5: UP DILIMAN TO SHIFT SCHOOL CALENDAR TO AUGUST
In a referendum Monday, the University of the Philippines-Diliman university council or UC voted for of a system-wide shift in the academic calendar of UP Diliman from June to August 2014.
284 are in favor, 164 are against, 8 abstained.
The decision of the University Council will be discussed and raised to the Board of Regents meeting on Thursday.
The Diliman campus is the last to decide on the calendar shift.
On February 6, the UP Board of Regents approved the shift of opening of classes for UP Manila, UP Los Baños, UP Baguio, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao, UP Open University and UP college in Cebu.
In an earlier statement, UP President Alfredo Pascual said the shift is -quote- “part of the continuing efforts of UP to develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN integration and global educational partnerships.”
Prior to the UC’s announcement, UP professors convened and discussed the pros and cons of shifting the academic calendar in a referendum arranged by the office of the chancellor.
A survey was also held to gather the instructors’ stand on the issue.
STORY 6: TAIWAN POLICE USE WATER CANNON TO RETAKE GOV’T HQ
Taiwan riot police use water cannons to dislodge hundreds of demonstrators who stormed government headquarters, Monday.
The protesters condemn a trade pact with China parliament is deliberating.
The pact is designed to open up trade in services between China and Taiwan.
In wild scenes, demonstrators pulled down barbed wire barricades surrounding the Executive Yuan, and used ladders to break into offices.
Attempting to remove the protesters, police used riot shields to push the crowds back while some demonstrators tried to grab their batons and pelted them with plastic bottles.
Two water cannon trucks were deployed, eventually subduing the crowd and clearing the building.
A total of 32 people were arrested.
Taiwan’s TVBS news channel adds around 120 people were injured in the clashes, but police were not immediately able to confirm the figure.
Opponents of the trade pact say it will damage Taiwan’s economy and leave it vulnerable to political pressure from China.
STORY 7: 8 DEAD, 18 MISSING IN DEADLY US LANDSLIDE
A massive landslide hits a mountainside community in the northwestern part of the United States Sunday.
4 are killed, 8 injured, and 18 went missing for more than 24 hours following the accident.
Rescue operations say a wave of mud, water and rock smashed into the rural town of Oso, northeast of Seattle in Washington state.
Six homes and a large part of a highway were destroyed.
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee declares a state of emergency and puts rescue operations on full throttle.
Senator Patty Murray assures federal resources will be made available, as she offered thanks to rescue workers and her prayers to the families of the ravaged community.
STORY 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey shot down a Syrian military jet Sunday after it strayed into Turkish airspace.
He adds Syria’s action deserved a “heavy response.”
Syria countered, accusing Turkey of “blatant aggression.”
Syria claims the plane was over northern Syria when it was shot down. The pilot ejected and was rescued.
At number 8, researchers at Northeastern University release a study trying to explain why some people readily believe fake news.
The study says those who are most vulnerable are people who mistrust mainstream media and tend to believe conspiracy theories.
They studied Facebook users among Italians leading up to the 2013 elections.
At number 9, celebrity singer Bruno Mars donates $100,000 for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan Saturday.
The donation was handed to ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.
A large portion of the money will go to scholarship programs for children.
The half-Filipino Mars held a concert Saturday. It was his 2nd show in Manila.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Newscast Production Staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Exxon Ruebe|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|Raffy de Guzman|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista|