Rappler Newscast | March 25, 2014

Rappler.com
Malaysia says Flight 370 ended at Indian Ocean. Informants on the Tiamzon couple will get P11.2M reward. PH prepares convincing evidence against China

Today on Rappler.

  • Malaysia says missing Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • Two informants get a combined reward of 11.2 million pesos or around 250 thousand dollars for the arrest of top communist leaders.
  • The Philippines prepares to file “convincing evidence” against China over disputed sea territories.
 

Story 1: MH370 ENDED AT THE SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN
After more than two weeks of searching, Malaysia says Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean.
On Monday, Prime Minister Najib Razak says new satellite analysis of the missing plane’s path puts its last position in remote waters off Australia’s west coast, far from any landing sites.
He says -quote- “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
Najib says Malaysia Airlines already spoke to the families of the 239 passengers and crew on board the jet, which disappeared March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
But the announcement still leaves the question of why the plane veered from its intended course.
Najib says representatives from Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch relayed further analysis of satellite data by British company Inmarsat.
Malaysia Airlines says the search will continue to –quote– “seek answers to the questions that remain.”
Theories about the plane’s disappearance include hijacking, pilot sabotage, or a sudden mid-air crisis that incapacitated the flight crew and left the plane to fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel.
The US Navy sends a specialized device to the search area to help find the plane’s black box and cockpit voice data as deep as 20,000 feet.
The black box is crucial in determining what happened to the plane.
MH370 last made contact over the South China Sea halfway between Malaysia and Vietnam.
It backtracked over the Malaysian peninsula for unknown reasons and flew on for hours.
The search swung deep into the Indian Ocean after initial satellite images showed large floating objects there.

Story 2: SATELLITE ‘PINGS’ REVEALED MISSING MALAYSIA PLANE’S PATH
How did British satellite company Inmarsat find MH370?
The satellite operator says it managed to work out which direction the missing plane flew by measuring the Doppler effect of hourly ‘pings’ from the aircraft.
The Doppler effect is the change in frequency caused by the movement of a satellite in its orbit.
Although the plane’s communication systems were switched off, satellite pings still bounced back from the aircraft.
Inmarsat measured the amount of time it took for the pings to be returned. The results gave them a predicted path both in the north and south routes.
They then compared those figures to data from other planes and similar flight routes, and concluded the plane went down the southern corridor.
Inmarsat’s Chris McLaughlin says it’s the first time the technique was done without GPS data.
He adds, “Because aircraft in that region are not mandated to send out signals of their location, we were working from blind, so this is very much a unique approach.”

Story 3: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
For our social media post of the day:
The latest update on Malaysia Airlines’ Flight 370 was heartbreaking not only for the families of those aboard, but also for the rest of the world.
Netizens commented about China’s outrage and Malaysia’s credibility.
Arthur Go Ifurung says “I sympathize with the families of the victims but protesting will not help. I’m not lawyering for Malaysia but they did everything they could with what they had. No one in Malaysia wanted this to happen.”
Francis Arceta says “‘According to latest data’ – that’s how the Malaysian PM phrased his statement when he concluded that the missing aircraft is in the Indian Ocean.
Not a very assuring statement considering that they seem to have the hobby of issuing flip-flopping statements [on] the whereabouts and the reason why the aircraft disappeared.”

Story 4: PH READIES ‘CONVINCING EVIDENCE’ VS CHINA
The Philippines prepares what it calls “very convincing” evidence against China in the two countries’ dispute in the South China Sea.
Manila is set to file its written pleading, or memorial, against Beijing on March 30 before an arbitral tribunal backed by the United Nations.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario says Manila’s memorial is a “voluminous” document, with more than a hundred pages of evidence.
Based on the Rules of Procedure set by the arbitral tribunal, the memorial should come with “all documentary, witness, expert, and other evidence” that the Philippines intends to rely on.
The Philippines will submit the memorial after China reportedly offered incentives to stop this, while observers also warned about a possible backlash from Beijing.
But the Philippines’ lawyer, Paul Reichler, tells Rappler he is confident about the case.
He adds, “The entire legal team that has been engaged by the Philippines believes that the Philippines has a strong case, both on jurisdiction and on the merits.”

Story 5: TIAMZONS’ ARREST DOESN’T CRIPPLED CPP – JOMA
The founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines or CPP says the arrest of two top cadres won’t cripple the party.
Founding chairman Jose Maria Sison says comrades are set to replace Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma Austria after they were arrested Saturday in Cebu.
Sison says this won’t set back the armed struggle, adding, “To use basketball parlance, I say the CPP has a deep bench.”
But the military says the Tiamzons’ arrest will result in a “vacuum in leadership” that “will be felt” by the organization.
Military intelligence chief Major General Eduardo Año says it would take the CPP at least 6 months to convene a plenum and elect the replacement of Tiamzon.
The military holds Tiamzon responsible for “the landmining, the killings, and the violence of the New People’s Army.”
But in a statement Monday, the CPP dismisses the military’s claims, saying, “With such deep-rooted causes for the armed conflict, the Aquino regime and the AFP are indeed hallucinating if they believe that the Tiamzons’ arrest will cause the armed struggle to dissipate.”
The CPP claims it has 150,000 “dedicated cadres” in more than 110 front committees nationwide, but military estimates bring the number down to about 4,000.
The CPP demands the release of the Tiamzon couple, saying their arrest was illegal.

Story 6: TIAMZON INFORMANTS TO GET P11.2M, SAYS AFP
Two people who provided crucial information that led to the arrest of the top leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines will get a reward of P11.2 million or about $250,000.
The military says there is a P5.6 million bounty each for Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma Austria, but Major General Eduardo Año says there is a proposal to increase the reward to P10 million for each.
The military and police arrested the Tiamzon couple Saturday.
Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala says it was not easy to locate and identify the two.
Before their arrest, the military’s latest photo on Tiamzon was taken in the 90s.

Editor’s Note: The official shown in this video from 07:22-07:30 is AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista, not General Eduardo Año. We apologize for the error.

Story 7: CUDIA’S MOTHER FILES PETITION AT SC
Cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia is not about to give up his fight.
His mother files a petition asking the Supreme Court to set aside the Philippine Military Academy’s verdict that found him guilty of violating the Honor Code.
Cudia was dismissed for supposedly lying about the “explanation” for his tardiness.
Mrs. Cudia asks the PMA to -quote- “restore Cadet Cudia’s rights and entitlements as a full-fledged graduating cadet, including his diploma and awards.”
She says the trial is a “sham,” citing the real voting result of 8-1.
Included in her petition is an affidavit from Commander Junjie Tabuada of the Philippine Navy, who earlier detailed his conversation with Cadet First Class Lagura, the Honor Committee member who voted against Cudia’s dismissal but was pressured to change his vote.
Mrs. Cudia says Lagura’s admission is -quote- “vital information which could shed light on the case.”
On March 19, the Supreme Court 3rd Division deferred action on Cudia’s initial plea to graduate from the academy.
Cudia’s family says he was expecting to graduate as salutatorian of his class and at the top of his Navy class.
The Honor Committee is a powerful group in the PMA composed of students.
The committee probes and rules on reports of alleged violations of the PMA Honor Code, which orders cadets not to lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those among them who do.
The evening before his graduation, Cudia tried but failed to convince President Benigno Aquino and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to allow him to graduate this year.
Cudia’s appeal before the President led the Armed Forces of the Philippines to order a review of the PMA’s honor system.

Story 8: ISRAEL EMBASSY IN PH CLOSES, STOPS AID
In an unprecedented move, Israel’s embassy in the Philippines says it’s temporarily closing shop because of a global strike among Israeli diplomats.
This means the Manila embassy will stop its visa services, its aid and development programs in the country, and the preparation of important agreements between the Philippines and Israel.
In a statement, the embassy says the decision was made by the Foreign Ministry’s employees’ labor union.
The diplomats’ strike began March 4, after Israel’s Finance Ministry failed to reach a compromise with the union’s demands.

Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 8, an Egyptian court sentences 529 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial.
Islamist backers of Morsi face a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July.
They were accused of attacking people, public property and causing the deaths of two policemen, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps.
A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock Tuesday.

At number 9, a traveller returning to Canada from west Africa is in hospital after displaying symptoms of the Ebola virus that killed dozens in Guinea.
A health official says the patient went to Liberia and developed the symptoms after landing in Canada.
Aid workers and health officials in Guinea are fighting to contain west Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
At least 59 people died in Guinea’s southern forests.

And at number 10, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un may strike fear into some hearts, but photos of a Chinese street food vendor who looks like him amuse netizens.
Chubby, with a round face and sporting Kim’s trademark side-shaved haircut, the unnamed vendor was pictured cooking skewered meat on a rusty barbecue.
Beijing has long been Pyongyang’s closest ally but Chinese social media users often hit the young leader with irreverent criticism.

– 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
  Marga Deona
MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK Exxon Ruebe
  Emerald Hidalgo
  Jaene Zaplan
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN Charlie Salazar
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
  Naoki Mengua
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro
  Raffy de Guzman
3D GRAPHICS Sten Bautista

 

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