Today on Rappler.
- The Philippines tells its citizens in Thailand to prepare to evacuate after the military declares martial law.
- Napoles asks for an extended hospital stay to finish her affidavit in the pork barrel scam.
- Senator Enrile says he’s confident the senators implicated in the corruption scandal will be vindicated.
Story 1: PREPARE FOR EVACUATION, FILIPINOS IN THAILAND TOLD
The Philippines raises alert level 2 over Thailand and advises Filipinos to prepare to evacuate after the Thai military declares martial law.
The Philippine foreign affairs department advises Filipinos to avoid public places and non-essential travel.
Under Alert Level 2, the labor department will only allow overseas Filipino workers with existing contracts to return to Thailand.
Thailand’s army declares martial law Tuesday to restore order after months of deadly anti-government protests.
They insist the move is “not a coup,” but Thailand’s caretaker government says it was not informed about the move.
A top aide says the government is holding a special meeting in a safe house.
Thailand’s army chief also orders the censorship of the media, stopping media outlets from –quote– “reporting or [distributing] any news or still photographs detrimental to national security.”
The dismissal of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra earlier this month sent tensions soaring in Thailand, which has endured years of political turmoil.
Thailand has been without a fully functioning government since December.
Story 2: WANT NAPOLES AFFIDAVIT? KEEP HER AT MAKATI HOSPITAL
Janet Napoles will be back in her Laguna detention center before the week ends.
Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 orders police to return Napoles to Fort Sto Domingo by May 23.
Napoles was transferred to the Makati Hospital in late March for a surgery to remove a mass in her uterus.
She was detained in Laguna for serious illegal detention charges
filed by former aide turned pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Napoles’ lawyers earlier asked the court for an extended hospital stay, so she could recover from her surgery and finish her affidavit on the pork barrel scam.
Her lead counsel Stephen David says Napoles needs a “conducive place” to finish her list of individuals implicated in the scam and her affidavit.
STEPHEN DAVID, NAPOLES’ LEAD COUNSEL: Just imagine, how can we finish that if she will be detained in Fort Sto Domingo? Our staff are not allowed to stay more than 4:30, so the documents that will be brought there may be voluminous…Kasi we have more than 100 lists di ba, so each person, we have to describe the participation of each person so you can just imagine how tedious the process is, how many documents, volumes of documents that we have to review. We cannot be careless, just accusing people, getting involved in these things, without us getting concrete evidence to support that.
But Alameda says this was a concern of the anti-graft court, not the Makati regional trial court.
Story 3: ENRILE UNFAZED OVER PORK BARREL ALLEGATIONS
Unlike Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile says he isn’t bothered by the possibility of his arrest.
He says he is able to sleep soundly, eat a hearty breakfast, and even exercise.
He is confident the senators implicated in the corruption scandal will win the case.
Enrile adds, he’s not stressed about the charges against him.
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: [You don’t get stressed out?] No, what for? You’re going to get stressed out only if you’re guilty. Why should I get stressed out? I know myself. I know what we did. My office, I think, is blameless…I’m confident that in a fair trial, in a fair court – and I’m sure our courts are going to be fair about this – I’ll have a fair chance of winning this case.
Enrile also refutes Senator Miriam Santiago’s accusations that he is behind the release of several versions of the so-called Napoles list, or the list of officials colluding with alleged scam mastermind Janet Napoles.
As politicians and the media get caught up in the lists, Enrile says he prefers to study the case against him.
Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla face plunder charges for allegedly conniving with Napoles to funnel public funds to fake NGOs in exchange for kickbacks.
Story 4: CHED APPROVES TUITION HIKE IN 171 PRIVATE TERTIARY SCHOOLS
The Commission on Higher Education or CHED approves the tuition hike in 171 private colleges and universities in the Philippines.
CHED says 361 schools sent letters of intent to raise school fees, slightly lower than the 451 schools in 2013.
CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan says the disasters that hit the Philippines last year may be the reason for the decrease in petitions.
Licuanan also says schools hit by Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan did not file for intent to raise fees.
State universities are also not increasing their fees this year.
Story 5: FILIPINO HACKERS DEFACE CHINESE WEBSITES
A Filipino group of hackers known as “Anonymous Philippines” claims responsibility for the hacking of 195 Chinese websites.
Each hacked site takes a shot at China’s claim on maritime territories, and displays the message, “Stand against Oppression, Say NO to China’s Bullying!”
Earlier this month, Chinese fishermen were arrested off the coast of Palawan for poaching.
This comes in the middle of rising tensions between the Philippines and China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.
It’s not the first time Anonymous Philippines hacked websites to protest controversial issues.
In 2012, the group hacked Philippine government websites to protest the Cybercrime Law.
Story 6: MAY 21 AND 22 HOTTEST DAYS OF 2014
Get ready for the hottest days of 2014.
Temperatures are expected to rise on May 21 and 22.
On these days, temperatures may go past 37 degrees Celsius.
Since April, summer temperatures hovered between 35 to 37 degrees Celsius in different parts of the country.
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla says the spike in temperatures is expected to drive demand for power.
Adding to the pressure on energy is the World Economic Forum on East Asia to be held in Manila from May 21 to 23.
This comes at a time when the energy supply for Luzon is below normal.
The region is on yellow alert, which means power reserves are below the minimum level but does not necessarily mean there will be power outages.
But the energy department says the situation might become critical if power plants malfunction.
Petilla says -quote- “It’s difficult to say when a red alert will happen because it will depend on how many plants will shut down unexpectedly.”
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, The US charges five Chinese army officers with hacking into American companies.
The US says the Chinese officers stole trade secrets from five companies and a labor union.
The FBI says the hacking caused “significant losses” to the companies.
Chinese officials deny the allegations and say the move would hurt US-China relations.
The indictment named members of Unit 61398 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said to be the top hacking team of China, as conspirators.
The charges are seen to be largely symbolic.
At number 4, An international crackdown by the FBI and police brings more than 90 arrests of alleged cyber criminals around the world, including the co-creator of malware Blackshades.
Also called the “creepware,” it is used to hijack computers remotely and turn on webcams, access hard drives, and steal passwords.
Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf was one of the well-publicized victims.
In 2013, Wolf received an e-mail containing nude photos of her obviously taken in her bedroom from her laptop.
The e-mail sender demanded more nude photos and a sex show via Skype.
The hacker turned out to be a former classmate who installed Blackshade on her laptop.
At number 9, For years, crime investigators used microscopic hair analysis to prove a suspect was at the scene of the crime.
But the advent of DNA analysis shows hair analysis was not as flawless as experts thought, leading to cases of wrongful imprisonment.
The New York Times reports the case of Kirk Odom, a man found guilty of rape in 1981 and spent two decades behind bars.
The FBI’s crime lab said hair taken from his head microscopically matched the one found on the victim’s nightgown.
DNA testing later showed Odom was not the rapist.
And at number 10, Michael Jackson’s hologram steals the show in the Billboard Music Awards.
It got mixed reactions.
While NBA team owner Mark Cuban was ecstatic, tweeting “He’s baaaccck!”
PR agent Simone Smalls says it was “uncomfortable, odd and eerily interesting.”
Rapper Ludacris, who hosted the show, introduced the hologram as “Live from the MGM Grand, Michael Jackson.”
Jackson died nearly five years ago while preparing for a comeback tour.
Story 8: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
For our social media post of the day: There are a total of 150 new words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and they’re mostly related to social media activities.
There’s selfie, defined as -quote- “an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.”
And hashtag, which is -quote- “a word or phrase preceded by the [pound sign] that clarifies or categorizes the accompanying text.”
There’s the tweep, who is -quote- “a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets.”
And unfriend, which is -quote- “to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person’s social networking Web site.”
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|