Rappler Newscast | May 17, 2012


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Senators say Chief Justice Renato Corona will likely attack the credibility of evidence. Vitug says the country’s bank secrecy laws are out of sync with campaigns against corruption and money laundering. And how did Jessica do in the last elimination round of American Idol?

Today on Rappler.

  • Senators say Chief Justice Renato Corona will most likely attack the credibility of evidence presented when he takes the witness stand Tuesday.
  • Rappler’s Marites Vitug says one of her takeaways from the trial: the country’s bank secrecy laws are out of sync with campaigns against corruption and money laundering.
  • And, the other cliffhanger, aside from the Corona testimony next week, how did Jessica do in the last elimination round of American Idol?

Senators predict what Chief Justice Corona may say on the witness stand Tuesday.
Sen Francis Pangilinan says he expects Corona to attack the credibility of the evidence presented against him.
Pangilinan says Corona’s lawyers hinted at the topic of their client’s testimony Wednesday when they said the evidence “is fabricated, grossly exaggerated, unreliable or at the very least comes from an illegal source.”
Senator Franklin Drilon says the data on the AMLC report match the account numbers presented by Philippine Savings Bank President Pascual Garcia III.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is also examining the AMLC report.
He says, “We should not take the report hook, line and sinker but we need to take it in good faith.”
May 17 marks the second anniversary of Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
Political analysts say if he is not able to prove he is still morally fit to stay in his position, it might also be his last year.

Rapper Editor at Large and author of the book on the Supreme Court, Shadow of Doubt, Marites Vitug, writes in Rappler “There are 3 things I will take away from this breath-taking and historic episode.”
First. The SALN, a document taken for granted by public officials, is at the center of the anti-corruption battle.
The trial serves as an awareness campaign on the SALN and what its uses are.
Second. Our bank secrecy laws on foreign currency deposits are out of sync with the international community’s campaign against corruption and money laundering.
Third. We have found a groundbreaking route to fight corruption through the Office of the Ombudsman who can use the waiver in the SALN- to start a fact-finding investigation.

House leaders want to review the powers of the Ombudsman to acquire bank records from the secretive Anti-Money Laundering Council without a court order.
House Speaker Sonny Belmonte Jr says the Ombudsman did not abuse her authority but he concedes there may be a need to revisit laws involving the AMLC.
Earlier, senator-judges raised concerns over Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’s vast powers that the Ombudsman law and the Constitution provide.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte says “I believe there was no abuse of authority.” But he adds “Should we allow it?
(Run clip Belmonte)
House majority floor leader Neptali Gonzales II adds “If you say that it’s very dangerous to give the Ombudsman unbridled and unlimited powers, I myself may agree.”

The Philippines’ newly appointed economic czar Arsenio Balisacan says the Scarborough Shoal conflict will have “modest effects” on Philippine exports.
China advises its citizens not to travel to the Philippines and blocked the entry of Philippine bananas supposedly due to crop diseases.
But former Neda director-general Cielito Habito sees the situation as a two-way loss.
If China completely stops importing our electronic semiconductors and circuit boards our nickel and copper ore our bananas, pineapples and mangoes our furniture and other products then it would have the problem of sourcing these from somewhere else, and many of these cannot be readily bought from our neighbors or elsewhere.

Story 5: 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 6, a decade after winning independence from Indonesia, East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste, will elect a new prime minister and government in elections this coming July.
On May 19, President Jose Ramos-Horta, will hand over power to his elected successor, Taur Matan Ruak.
A decade ago, Ruak lived in the jungle – the leader of the Falintil rebels.  
He will need to rebuild a nation that needs to fight corruption, poverty and an over-dependence on energy revenues.

At number 7, will Greece leave the euro zone, where 17 countries use a single currency? Following a failure to form a coalition government earlier this May, Greeks face confusion, fear and frustration as it prepares for new elections on June 17.

At number 8, Gaydars exist, at least according to research published in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE, which finds that most people have an automatic gaydar that allows them to evaluate sexual orientation in less than a blink of an eye. Participants were 65% accurate when guessing sexual orientation of women, but only 57% correct when it came to men.

At number 9, coffee drinkers, rejoice!
A report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, says coffee drinkers have a lower risk of dying from a variety of diseases than those who drink little or no coffee.
The largest study of the link between coffee consumption and health it found that while coffee is a stimulant, it also contains hundreds of compounds and anti-oxidants that are beneficial to health.

And at number 10, will the next iPhone measure 4 inches? Apple refuses to comment but reports say the tech company is working with South Korean & Japanese TV companies for its latest release.
If the iPhone’s screen size changes, it will be a first since 2007.
Main competitor Samsung sells a more diverse variety of phones – grabbing 30% of the global market in the first quarter of 2012.

American Idol contender Jessica Sanchez has 3 chances to showcase her singing prowess to win America’s votes and gain a spot in the Finals of the hit show.
Fans worry after the 16-year-old tweets her throat was not at its best a day before performance night.
Sanchez first sings Mariah Carey’s “My All” chosen by judge Jennifer Lopez.
Judge Steven Tyler tells her she could be the last one standing in the competition.
She follows it up with her own song choice – Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Idol judge Steven Tyler.
All 3 judges say Sanchez does the song justice.
For her final song, selected by mentor Jimmy Iovine Jessica performs I’ll Be There by the Jackson 5.
Judge Randy Jackson says it does not have a ‘moment’ while the other 2 judges applaud it.
One last finalist will be eliminated from the show and the two remaining contestants will slug it out in the show’s Finale next week.

In an exclusive interview with Rappler, Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza says boxing promoter Bob Arum is the sole reason why the Pacquiao fight against undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather hasn’t happened yet.
Arum is the founder and CEO of Top Rank, the boxing promotion company that handles Pacquiao.
He says Arum does not want Pacquiao to fight Mayweather, because he wants all the money for himself.
Mayweather is handled by a rival company, Golden Boy Promotions, which retired boxer Oscar de la Hoya owns.
Ariza bashes Arum and calls him greedy and selfish.

Arum is greedy, he’s selfish, and he doesn’t care about the sport, you know. Why don’t they take some of the cues from UFC, put the best fighters against the best fighters. He keeps everything in-house, he’s not gonna let anybody of his fighters fight anybody outside because he has to win. Walk in with a champion, walk out with a champion. He doesn’t care whether Manny wins or loses ‘cause no matter what, he walks out with the winner, ‘cause the winner is under top rank banner.

Story 8: Rappler Documentary: THE TULFO
(Run documentary)


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