Today on Rappler.
- Pope Benedict XVI vows “unconditional obedience” to his successor on his final day as Pope.
- UNA links the Liberal Party to the release of a Commission on Audit report saying its leaders donated to a bogus NGO.
- The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front sign the transition annex for the Bangsamoro region.
Story 1: BENEDICT LEAVES MARK ON GLOBAL POLITICS
On his final day as pope, Benedict XVI vows “unconditional obedience and reverence” to his successor.
Benedict is the first pope to resign in 600 years.
Paterno Esmaquel reports on the legacy he leaves after 8 years leading the Church.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI creates ripples that go beyond the Vatican.
Experts say the first papal resignation in 600 years will change global views on leadership and politics.
For a Malaysian priest who helps run a pastoral school, Benedict’s resignation is a model against totalitarian rule.
He says Benedict is a role model for leaders who can’t effectively rule their people.
FR JOJO FUNG, THEOLOGIAN: You ought to learn the lesson that power is for service. If power is for lustful self-gain, in terms of corruption, then I think that power has lost its legitimacy, its moral legitimacy. So any power that has lost its moral legitimacy calls for, I think, resignation on the part of the leaders.
Sociologist Randy David describes Benedict as a leader who knows the modern age, someone who puts his institution over his lofty position.
David calls Benedict “the first truly modern pope.”
RANDY DAVID, SOCIOLOGIST: Hindi ka superman. Even if they say that this position is for life, it’s not fair to the institution to cling to it, even after you have realized that your own intellectual and physical powers are no longer adequate. So when you’re no longer adequate to the tasks required by that position, you should say so.
Through his teachings on religion and politics, Benedict leaves another legacy.
In a speech in 2007, Benedict says the Church should stay away from partisan politics “because she would lose her independence and her moral authority, identifying herself with a single political path and with debatable partisan positions.”
Critics of the bishops in the Philippines say Benedict, who drew clear lines between Church and politics, would have disapproved of this.
Last week, the Bacolod diocese endorsed and denounced senatorial candidates based on only one criterion: if they supported a birth control measure opposed by the Catholic Church – the reproductive health law.
RANDY DAVID: Endorsing candidates would mean being identified with particular partisan interests. I would think that Benedict would feel very uncomfortable about that.
In his final speech on Wednesday, Benedict says he steps down for the good of the Catholic Church.
Vatican watchers say, in a few decades, his 8 years as Pope may only be remembered for his resignation.
But with that act of ultimate humility, Benedict sets an example, that will be a tough act to follow.
Paterno Esmaquel II, Rappler, Manila.
Story 2: UNA: LP BEHIND COA REPORT
The United Nationalist Alliance links the Liberal Party to the release of a Commission on Audit report critical of its leaders.
In a press statement Thursday, UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco branded as “demolition work” the COA report showing UNA leaders Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada used their pork barrel to help what turned out to be a dubious non-government organization.
COA says the release of P194.7 million Priority Development and Assistance fund to a certain Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc is questionable.
But Enrile says it is the responsibility of the agriculture department to ensure the funds go to the right beneficiaries.
In a statement, Enrile says the senators are “merely asked to indicate confirmation” regarding the intended recipients of projects.
Tiangco accuses the Liberal Party of being involved in the release of the report.
He says, “This is clearly an act of desperation. The demolition work against UNA leaders has intensified because big crowds are attending UNA rallies and sorties.”
But Team PNoy spokesperson Miro Quimbo denies Tiangco’s allegations, and says UNA should not blame LP for its problems.
He says UNA also slammed a Social Weather Stations survey released Tuesday that showed only 3 of UNA’s 9 candidates in the Magic 12.
Quimbo adds, “This is the same survey company they praised a month ago when the results favored them.”
Tiangco’s statement comes after former President Joseph Estrada and vice presidential daughter Nancy Binay decried what they called attacks against UNA’s top leaders meant to discredit UNA.
Story 3: UNA SENATORIAL BETS: LET’S FOCUS ON CANDIDATES
Here’s more on that story.
Ayee Macaraig is in Cavite and talked to UNA candidates campaigning there.
Cavite is a free zone for LP.
This means that while the LP is allied with the Nacionalista Party in the national level, they are fielding opposing candidates in Cavite.
Here’s her report.
Politics, politics, politics.
The United Nationalist Alliance links the ruling Liberal Party to the release of a report critical of two of its leaders.
While campaigning here in Cavite, UNA senatorial candidates say they are confident senate president Juan Ponce Enrile and senator Jinggoy Estrada can address questions about the use of their pork barrel.
But UNA also questions the timing of the release of the report coming after what it calls a trend of attacks to its leaders with huge endorsement powers.
UNA also takes swipe at the administration saying had it prioritized the passing of the Freedom of Information Bill, all these questions about the use of pork barrel would have been addressed.
MITOS MAGSAYSAY: Jinggoy naman is not running. Senator Enrile is not running so let’s just look at the candidates themselves. Mahirap naman yun e. They can also say na yung mga questionable na ginagawa ng Aquino administration, is it fair to say na dapat ipataw ko din yun sa mga kandidadatong tumatakbo?
ERNESTO MACEDA: Dirty tricks coming out. There’s so many text blasts or text issues that are, have been centered on Jack Enrile for one, on Migz Zubiri. Ika nga nila, all is fair in love, war and politics.
UNA is campaigning here in Cavite. A province that the Liberal Party has declared as a free zone.
UNA is banking on the support of personal allies and friends like governor Jonvic Remulla of Lakas.
Cavite is one of the most vote-rich province in the Philippines with over 1.6 million voters.
UNA’s candidates say Cavite’s local dynamics will show that voters choose to support candidates, not based on their party-lines but on personal preference.
Ayee Macaraig, Rapper. Cavite.
Story 4: TAÑADA: IT’S NOT ABOUT DISCLOSURE OF REPORT
Quezon City 4th district representative and Liberal Party’s Erin Tañada responds to UNA’s comment saying –quote– “It is not a question of who was behind the disclosure to the media of the COA report. The point is whether the COA report is true or not.”
Story 5: GPH, MILF SIGN TRANSITION ANNEX
The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front sign the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities or TAM Wednesday night.
The annex outlines the transition process and defines the mechanisms for the creation of the Bangsamoro political identity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Under the annex, the Bangsamoro TAM Annex is defined as the –quote “main mechanism for the MILF’s leadership in the Bangsamoro during the transition process.”
The question of who will lead the BTA was contentious in the past round of talks.
Both sides also signed the Terms of Reference for the Independent Commission on Policing or ICP.
The ICP will be tasked to submit recommendations to the peace panels on the appropriate form, structures and relationships of the police force for the Bangsamoro.
Government peace panel chair Miriam Ferrer says both sides are optimistic they will complete work on all annexes by March.
Story 6: STANDOFF LEADER WON’T BACK DOWN
The leader of the Filipino standoff in Sabah says they are running short of supplies but refuse to leave until the Philippines and Malaysia discuss the Sulu Sultanate’s historical claim over the area.
Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram, the brother of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, also tells a Malaysian newspaper he has enough manpower and weapons to defend themselves from an attack.
In an interview published Thursday, he says: “We came here in peace and we don’t want bloodshed but if the situation forces us, we will do so.”
The Philippines on Wednesday asks Malaysia to extend the deadline for the Filipinos to leave to give Kiram time to study the message sent to him by President Benigno Aquino.
Malaysia has yet to respond to that request.
On Tuesday, Aquino warned the sultan he would face the “full force of the law” unless he withdraws his gunmen from Malaysia.
But Kiram’s spokesman says the sultan wants to talk directly to Aquino.
The sultan also wants a share in Sabah’s future profits.
Story 7: GOV’T MULLS CHARGES VS SULTAN, FOLLOWERS
The Philippine government forms a fact-finding committee to look into possible charges against Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram and his followers.
Justice secretary Leila de Lima says Thursday they will determine if Kiram’s group committed any violations, such as illegal possession of firearms, illegal assembly and violation of Article 118 of the Revised Penal code, or inciting to war.
The DOJ and foreign affairs department start a legal study on the claims of the Sultan of Sulu over Sabah.
Story 8: PHILEX HOPES TO REOPEN PADCAL NEXT WEEK
Philex Mining Corp. may temporarily resume its Padcal mine operations next week.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau allows Philex to reopen the mine for up to 4 months to produce tailings.
It says new tailings would fill the void in the mine’s compromised pond, preventing it from breaking again.
Philex Chairman Manny Pangilinan says –quote, “We’re just waiting for the go signal from the Pollution board.’
If things work well, Pangilinan says they will ask government to allow them to resume full operations.
But he says, “For now, we’re just focused on slowly getting back on day-to-day operations.”
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, Former President Fidel Ramos calls for changes in the Philippine Constitution to allow more foreign investments to flow in.
The Philippines limits foreign ownership of land and public utilities to 40%, while Filipino investors take in the remaining 60%.
In a business forum Tuesday, Ramos says the Constitution needs amendment to — quote — “be more in sync with the development we’re trying to achieve.”
Ramos pushed for Charter change when he was president.
But it’s not a priority of the Aquino administration.
At number 5, A sign at a Beijing restaurant barring citizens of nations involved in maritime disputes with China triggers online outrage among Vietnamese and Filipinos.
The Beijing Snacks restaurant near the Forbidden City posts a sign reading “This shop does not receive the Japanese, the Philippines, the Vietnamese and dog(s).”
Vietnam’s state-run paper says many Vietnamese feel this is an example of Chinese “extreme nationalism that deserves to be condemned”.
The restaurant manager removes the sign Thursday, but refuses to apologize.
And at number 9, Countries around the world join the race to tap space science and technology.
But Filipinos feel the country is left on the sidelines as our neighbors launch satellites and engage in various space-related projects.
This begs the question: does the Philippines need its own space program?
A UP Los Baños astrophysicist says the functions of a space agency are scattered across the Philippine government bureaucracy.
Rappler has a special report on this.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
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