Rappler Newscast | March 28, 2014

Rappler.com
Bangsamoro Draft Law complete but needs polishing. Court allows Napoles to receive treatment in public hospital. PH, 99 others reject Crimean referendum

Today on Rappler.

  • A day after the peace pact is signed, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission begins working on a draft of the Basic Law.
  • Court allows medical treatment for alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles but not at St Lukes.
  • The Philippines, along with 99 other countries, reject Crimea’s decision to join Russia.

 
 

Story 1: BANGSAMORO DRAFT LAW COMPLETE BUT NEEDS POLISHING – IQBAL
After 17 years of negotiations, the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro Thursday.
Now, the hard work of implementation begins.
The next step: crafting the proposed law for the Bangsamoro political entity.
Bangsamoro Transition Commission chair Mohagher Iqbal says the first draft of the Basic Law is complete but still needs polishing.
He says the commission has to smooth out “hard issues,” which he says are related to “internal processes” within the 15-member commission.
Once complete, the commission will submit the final draft to Malacanang, which will then transmit it to Congress.
Congressional leaders earlier promised to pass the measure before end-2014.
To complement the peace deal, the government will allocate more funds to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad says the historic deal will allow Bangsamoro communities to experience socio-economic development after decades of armed conflict.
He adds, sustained peace would transform the area into a hub for tourism, investment and commercial activity.

Story 2: HOPE FOR MINDANAOANS WITH SIGNING OF PEACE PACT
To be recognized as the Bangsamoro.  
That is a dream for many who spent decades fighting for justice.
For fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Thursday’s historic signing for peace was an emotional day.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front member Rasid Ladiasan sits alone, away from his group.
He says he wants to be on his own to take in the magnitude of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the MILF and the government.
Ladiasan joined the MILF in 1996 when he was just 23 years old.
18 years and four kids later, he’s at a loss for words to explain what he feels.

RASID LADIASAN, MILF MEMBER: It’s really unexplainable. The feeling that you could only feel when you think that everything has turned right. That everything that you have done in my modest capacity were all worth it. And that cannot be explained by any word.

Ladiasan is only one of nearly 600 MILF members who flew from Mindanao to Manila to witness the historic event.
They arrived yesterday via 3 chartered flights through Philippine Airlines.
They enter Malacañang in good spirits, smiling and donning their traditional headpiece, flaunting their identity with pride.
Mindanaoan music plays while traditional dancers perform before the signing.
It is a celebration of their culture, but above all, it is a celebration of their success.
When their leader Al Haj Murad Ibrahim takes the stage, he emphasizes the significance of the signing, which marks the end of their decades-long struggle.

AL HAJ MURAD IBRAHIM, MILF CHAIRMAN: The CAB is the restoration of our identity, powers and resources of the Bangsamoro. These 3 things unjustly taken during the colonization are now returned to us.

The Muslims in the audience are emotional.
They smile, they cry, they applaud, overwhelmed by what the signing means.
Ina Ambolodto who grew up in Mindanao says she too was overcome with happiness, remembering her own sufferings.

INA AMBOLODTO, MINDANAOAN: I could relate…

It took the MILF 17 years before agreeing to a peace pact with the government.
They acknowledge there will be obstacles and challenges, but today the focus is on the promise of the future.
Ladiasan, who dedicated almost half his life to his search for justice, is optimistic.

RASID LADIASAN, MILF MEMBER: I have the personal commitment and the people have the commitment too. The nation has the commitment to peace, the commitment to live in peace and prosperity together because this will be better for all of us and it will make a better future for all of us.
President Benigno Aquino III vows his government will do its best to ensure the Agreement is implemented, while Murad too promises to do his part.

The goal is for the Bangsamoro to establish its own government by 2016.

NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: To the people of Muslim Mindanao, the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro is personal, emotional. The air of hope is almost palpable in the signing: from bullets to books, from war to peace, the parties to the historic signing swear this is the dawn of prosperity for the Bangsamoro. Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler Manila

Story 3: COURT APPROVES OSPITAL NG MAKATI FOR NAPOLES
The Makati Regional Trial Court grants the request of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to stay in a hospital for treatment.
But it won’t be the hospital she asked for – St Luke’s Medical Center – but at the government facility Ospital ng Makati.
In a radio interview, clerk of court Diosfa Valencia says the court chose the government hospital because the prosecution opposed St Luke’s.
Napoles’ counsel says the cost of her treatment will be shouldered by her relatives.
Her doctors say her treatment and possible surgery may cost up to P70,000.
On Friday, Napoles asked the court to allow her to go through surgery because of a myoma discovered in her uterus.
Napoles’ lawyers say their client does not want to be confined in a government facility because of a “bad experience” at the Camp Crame General Hospital.

Story 4: CHINA WARNS PH ABOUT FURTHER DAMAGE TO TIES
China warns the Philippines about -quote-“further damage” to their ties days before the deadline for a historic pleading on maritime territorial disputes.
The Philippines is set to file before an international court on Sunday its written pleading, or memorial, that will contest China’s claims on the South China Sea.
But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei says China will -quote- “never accept nor participate in the international arbitration unilaterally initiated and pushed by the Philippines.”
He says China’s resolve to defend its territory is “unswerving.”
Observers warn about a possible backlash from China, which may include the possible sabotage of power distribution.
Former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan says the State Grid Corporation of China owns 40% of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines or NGCP.
Alunan adds, “Because they control the distribution of power throughout the grid from Luzon to Mindanao, they also have the capability of sabotaging our economy by shutting off the power.”
But the Philippines shrugs off China’s warning.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says the Philippines is “fully committed” to file the memorial.

Story 5: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
For our social media post of the day…
Filipinos are rallying behind the government’s defiance of China’s warning.
Louie N. Reyes says, “If China wants negotiation, they should pull out their armed forces from the disputed islands/seas.”
Anna Lappay says, “Let the rule of law speak for itself. Intimidation and threat will not work. Bring it on legally.”
Responding to reports that China owns 40% of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Mon Mayuga says “The Chinese should have not been allowed to own any public utility company which they can use to blackmail us.”

Story 6: IT’S FINAL: UP ADOPTS AUGUST-JULY SCHOOL CALENDAR
After months of debate, the entire University of the Philippines system will adopt the August to July school calendar for school year 2014 to 2015.
The UP Board of Regents approves the shift Friday, a month after they gave the go signal to 7 of its constituent units to change their calendars.
UP Diliman did not immediately adopt the new calendar, after opposition from various sectors.
But on Monday, the UP Diliman university council voted 284-164 to change the calendar.
UP President Alfredo Pascual says the decision is part of the institution’s efforts to –quote– “develop into a regional and global university and to maximize the opportunities offered by ASEAN integration and global educational partnerships.”

Story 7: IN UN VOTE, PH REJECTS CRIMEA REFERENDUM
The Philippines joins 99 other countries in rejecting Crimea’s decision to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.
In an overwhelming vote, 100 countries in the United Nations General Assembly reject Crimea’s referendum and refuse to recognize Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.
More than 20 countries abstained in the vote.
The foreign affairs department says the Philippines voted to support the UN General Assembly –quote– “based on its principled position on sovereignty, territorial integrity, rule of law, and peaceful settlement of disputes.”
Ukraine urged the international community to back the resolution, hoping the show of support would ward off Russian intervention in its territory.
Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya says, “It sends an essential message that the international community will not allow what has happened in Crimea to set a precedent to further challenges to our rules.”

Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, While Filipinos celebrate the Bangsamoro agreement, US investigators try to establish if California State Senator Leland Yee traded weapons with Philippine “Muslim rebel groups.”
Yee was arrested in his office in Sacramento, California, on charges of public corruption and trafficking firearms.
An affidavit complaint says the senator was allegedly proactive in illegal arms trading with both Russian organized crime groups and what they described as “Muslim rebel groups” in the southern Philippines.

At number 5, Turkey bans Youtube after the video-sharing website was used to leak incriminating audio files from a state security meeting.
The recording reportedly had senior Turkish government, military, and spy officials discussing possible military action in Syria.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames his political opponents for leaking the recording.

And at number 8, US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis agree on a “common commitment” to fight human trafficking.
In a statement, the Vatican says Obama and the Pope emphasized the need for international law to be respected in conflict zones around the world and for a –quote– “negotiated solution between the parties involved.”
Political observers say Obama’s meeting with the Pope could be a bid to boost his support among Catholic voters.

– 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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