Today on Rappler.
- 12 Chinese fishermen face bribery charges after running aground on the Tubbataha reef.
- The latest round of peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front starts after a two week delay.
- North Korea urges foreigners in the South to consider evacuating, citing the risk of “thermo-nuclear war” on the Korean peninsula.
Story 1: CHINESE FISHERS TRIED TO BRIBE RANGERS
The Tubbataha Management Office says Chinese fishermen that ran aground on the reefs Monday night tried to bribe park rangers.
In a statement, the park says the fishermen reportedly attempted to bribe rangers with $ 2,400 — about 99,000 pesos.
Tubbataha management says it will file charges against the 12 fishermen for violating Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code, which punishes acts of corrupting public officials.
They will also file other charges for unauthorized entry, damage to the reef and poaching.
The Chinese fishers could face imprisonment of between one year to 12 years and fines of between 100,000 pesos to 4.1 million pesos depending on the violations.
The incident occurs more than a week after salvage teams remove the USS Guardian, which ran aground the reef in January.
Compared to the US minesweeper, the Chinese boat is a commercial fishing vessel, which faces stiffer penalties under the law.
Story 2: AQUINO SALUTES VETERANS, CALLS FOR SACRIFICE
President Benigno Aquino leads the commemoration of the 71st Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor in Pilar, Bataan.
In his speech, he honors the contributions of World War II veterans and remembers the suffering of soldiers in the 1942 Bataan Death March.
Aquino also outlines the benefits and services government offers to veterans.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Ang lahat po ng mga inisyatibang ito ay nakakabit sa pagtanaw natin ng utang na loob sa ‘di matatawarang pag-aalay ng sarili ng ating mga beterano. (All these initiatives are meant to pay back our debt of gratitude to veterans’ sacrifice of self.)
Aquino calls on Filipinos to unite and to offer a different type of sacrifice to move the nation forward.
Aquino speaks before a crowd that included Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.
In his speech, Aquino adds:
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Kasama po ang Amerika at Japan, napatunayan natin na ang pinakamabisang kalasag laban sa ‘di-pagkakaunawaan ay ang matibay na kooperasyon, ugnayan, at pagtupad sa mga pandaigdigang batas. (With America and Japan, we have proven that the best weapon against misunderstanding is strong cooperation, solidarity and upholding international law.)
Story 3: ‘400 ARMED SULTANATE SUPPORTERS ARRIVE IN SABAH’
A member of the Sultanate says at least 400 armed men from Mindanao arrive in Sabah to help the Royal Security Force of the sultanate of Sulu against a full military offensive by Malaysian authorities.
Princess Jacel Kiram, daughter of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, says the men volunteered to fight for the Sabah claim and for Filipinos who allegedly suffer from human rights abuses there.
She says, “These are not members of the RSF. They volunteered to fight.”
There are no reports from Malaysian media about this arrival.
After violence erupted between the Sabah claimants and Malaysian authorities in Lahad Datu, Malaysian security forces launched a crackdown on RSF members in Sabah.
Those who evacuated from Sabah told stories of human rights abuses against Filipinos, especially against Tausugs.
More than 6,600 Filipinos have fled Sabah as of April 6.
Story 4: 37TH ROUND OF PEACE TALKS START
The latest round of peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front starts in Malaysia after a two week delay.
Only discussions on the annex on normalization remain at the level of the technical working groups.
The annex contains the decommissioning, the creation of the Bangsamoro police force, and the deployment of government troops to MILF areas.
Government peace panel members say the annexes on wealth-sharing and power-sharing are almost complete.
Both parties wanted to sign a comprehensive peace pact by April.
But President Benigno Aquino asked the talks be postponed to give him time to review the contents of the annexes.
Story 5: WIKILEAKS: MARCOS STAGED MILITARY DRAG SHOW
Secret US cables published by WikiLeaks say then Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos forced his military chiefs to parade as women during a birthday party planned by his wife, Imelda Marcos.
The US ambassador to the Philippines in the mid-1970s, William Sullivan, wrote about the event in secret cables to Washington published by WikiLeaks.
In a report dated Sept 12, 1973, Sullivan recounts a party that differed from media reports that Marcos “spent a quiet birthday at his desk.”
Sullivan says it was “in questionable taste.”
Under instructions from Imelda Marcos, military chiefs had to perform in a presidential palace floor show in drag.
Sullivan is critical of the Marcoses in a series of reports, in contrast to the United States’ support until Marcos was ousted by people power in 1986.
Story 6: NORTH KOREA TO FOREIGNERS IN SOUTH: PREPARE TO LEAVE
North Korea urges foreigners living in South Korea to consider evacuating, saying there was a risk of “thermo-nuclear war” on the Korean peninsula.
In a statement, the North’s Asia-Pacific Peace Committee says, “In the event of war, we don’t want foreigners living in South Korea to get hurt.”
The warning comes after North Korea told foreign embassies in Pyongyang it could not ensure the safety of their personnel if war broke out.
Some suggest the advisory was a ruse to fuel growing global anxiety over the current crisis on the Korean peninsula.
Story 7: JAPAN PUTS ANTI-NORTH KOREAN MISSILES IN TOKYO
Japan deploys Patriot missiles in its capital to prepare from any North Korean attack.
Two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missile launchers are stationed at the defense ministry in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says, “As North Korea keeps making provocative comments, Japan…will do what we have to do.”
A defense ministry spokesman says Japan’s armed forces are authorized to shoot down any North Korean missile headed towards its territory.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Syria’s foreign ministry says it will not accept a team to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons in the country’s civil war.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon proposes the deployment of a chemical weapons team but Syria’s foreign ministry says it is not what they demanded from UN.
The Syrian official says they cannot accept UN’s proposal because of its negative role in Iraq which –quote “cleared the way for the American invasion.”
At number 6, Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks is at it again.
This time, Julian Assange’s team publishes more than 1.7 million intelligence documents from 1973 to 1976 when Henry Kissinger was secretary of State and national-security adviser.
The website collates cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence and releases them in a searchable form.
Assange says the documents hint at the scope of U.S. intelligence activity around the globe at the time.
And at number 10, Facebook tests charging users a fee to send messages to celebrities and other people outside their network of friends.
Facebook started charging at its US operation in December.
The trial now extends to 36 more countries, including the UK where fees ranging from as much as 10.68 pounds or $16 are charged to contact a celebrity like Olympic swimmer Tom Daley.
Facebook Europe’s spokesman says the charging structure should not be mistaken for a fame barometer.
Story 9: LOUISVILLE WINS NCAA TITLE FOR KEVIN WARE
The Louisville Cardinals claw back from a double-digit first half deficit to win the 2013 NCAA title over the Michigan Wolverines, 82 to 76.
The Cardinals play an inspired ball game following the gruesome leg injury suffered by guard Kevin Ware during the tournament.
Following tradition, Ware cuts the net from the basket.
The ring was lowered for the young player who is still recovering from his injury.
Ware downplays his role in the win saying –quote, “It’s not about me. They got the job done. I’m so proud of them.”
Luke Hancock matches his career high 22 points to lead the Cardinals to victory.
|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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