Rappler Newscast | June 3 2013


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Gov orders aviation officials to clear Davao Airport. A Davao university calls for boycott of Cebu Pacific. Taiwanese investigators identify gun used in shooting.

Today on Rappler.

  • The government orders aviation officials to clear the Davao Airport and resume flights after a plane overshot the runway.
  • A university in Davao calls for the boycott of Cebu Pacific.
  • Taiwanese investigators identify the gun used in the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman.

Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya orders the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to clear the Davao Airport runway to allow the resumption of flights at one of the country’s busiest airports.
On Sunday, a Cebu Pacific plane carrying 165 passengers from Manila crash-landed and overshot the runway during a heavy downpour.
No one was hurt in the incident.
CAAP Deputy Director General Captain John Andrews says the deadline for the removal of the plane is 7 am Tuesday.
Cebu Pacific, flag carrier Philippine Airlines and its unit PAL Express are re-routing their Davao flights to General Santos, at least two hours away.
The Transportation Department says affected passengers are entitled to reimbursement for cancelled flights under the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.

In a rare move by a school against an airline company, the Ateneo de Davao University says it is boycotting Cebu Pacific because of the –quote– “insensitivity and ineptness” of its personnel.
In a strongly worded letter Monday, ADDU president Fr Joel Tabora notes the actions of airline personnel after Flight 5J 971 overshot the Davao airport runway.
Tabora says passengers had to endure 27 minutes “in a smoked cabin” before airline personnel allowed them “to leave the plane by coming down emergency slides.”
Tabora adds, “I am incensed not because there was a mechanical failure but because of Cebu Pacific’s manifest human failure…We will generally recommend a boycott of Cebu Pacific. You do not deserve customers.”
Cebu Pacific tells Rappler it is validating Tabora’s claims, and will give more information once available.

Responding to questions on the length of time it took Cebu Pacific crew to evacuate its passengers, aviation expert Benjamin Solis says it is part of standard operating procedure to “immediately evacuate” passengers in an emergency.
It allegedly took Cebu Pacific personnel 30 minutes to let its passengers disembark after the plane overshot the Davao airport runway.
Solis adds, firetrucks should have reached the Davao airport under 2.5 minutes, based on international aviation standards.
The Cebu Pacific aircraft was flown by Captain Antonio Roel Oropesa, who has 1,600 flight hours, and first officer, Edwin Perello, who has 700 flight hours.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says authorities focus on gathering evidence from the Two Serendra condominium unit in Global City, Taguig where a deadly blast occurred on May 31.
Investigation is centered on the “blast site” – Unit 501B.
Investigators are also looking to interview the unit’s occupant Angelito San Juan, who is now in intensive care at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Three were killed in the incident — Marlon Castillo Bandiola, Jeffrey Cunanan Umali, and Sallymar Natividad.
The cause of the explosion is still unknown.
Roxas says 3 teams of bomb-sniffing dogs initially found no residue of bombs or explosive devices in the area.  
Philippine stocks plummet as the strong explosion spooks investors sitting on top of gains from the market’s previous highs.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index nosedives by 3.68% to 6,763.38.

Taiwan investigators on Saturday identify the gun used in the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine coastguard on May 9.
Citing unnamed sources, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports the investigators say two guns were used to shoot at the fishing boat including an M14 rifle suspected of firing the fatal shot.
The report also says a shooter was identified and confessed to opening fire.
A report from Taiwan’s Apple Daily says, 8 Filipino coastguard members admitted to opening fire but said they shot at the sky or into the sea, not the fishing boat.
No one admitted to using the M14 rifle.
The Philippines insists the Taiwanese fishing boat intruded into its waters, forcing the coastguard to open fire.
But Taiwan rejects this, saying the fishing boat was within its exclusive economic zone.
The National Bureau of Investigation has yet to release its findings.
Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says the NBI is rushing the probe to –quote– “douse further speculation” on the matter.
De Lima adds, “If the NBI finds any administrative or criminal liability, I would not want to preempt them. They will make appropriate recommendations… But until then, it’s premature.”

Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro leads the start of classes in public schools nationwide Monday.
He joins us today.

AYEE MACARAIG: This is the 1st day of opening of classes, what’s your assessment, have we addressed problems we have when classes opened? We have 20M students going back to school today.

BR ARMIN LUISTRO: In 46,000 schools, my quick response is I think if I compare it to how we did last year and maybe 2 or 3 years ago we definitely were able to address many of those shortages and I was looking over some reports and I think at the very least they’re finding it difficult to look for places to focus on showing some of those major problems. At least from our perspective compared to last year or 2 or 3 years ago, our teachers are so much better.

AYEE MACARAIG: You’ve said that you addressed shortages in textbooks, seats but there is a backlog in classrooms, teachers, sanitation before end of the year. Can you tell us about these?

BR ARMIN LUISTRO: We have enough in our budget and we continue to replenish textbooks and armchairs as they are reported to us…The only thing they need to do is report. With respect to other 3 shortages, teachers we have hired are 61,500. If you add the teachers that continue to be funded by local school board as well as nationally funded volunteer teachers, we have enough teachers, ratio is 1:37 or even down to 1:35. The other 2 classrooms and toilets, in our budget and as we speak, many are being constructed, 90,000 toilets and maybe 34,000 classrooms. By December, target is 70-80 percent should be finished and turned over for use by students. We’re doing pretty good, more than at any other time.

AYEE MACARAIG: Your primary program is K-12, second year we’re implementing. Have we addressed birthing pains like teachers complaining on modules, are we better off now?

BR ARMIN LUISTRO: The delays last year when we did Gr 1 and Gr 7, we were able to distribute new modules much earlier, there’s an improvement there. That is obviously our major reform and I’ll have to explain we need to understand, we need to do actual content for 12 and this year we added 7 other mother tongue languages.

AYEE MACARAIG: How equipped do you think teachers are now, training?

BR ARMIN LUISTRO: Training is merely an orientation on the curriculum. A total overhaul of curriculum will only happen over time. We will do what we can, there is a lot of improvement…

AYEE MACARAIG: On the opening of classes in Pablo-hit areas. What are classes like there?

BR ARMIN LUISTRO: As early as January this year, we’ve installed at least 200 temporary shelters. Other NGOs also supplied us with extra 10 classrooms. We know we could not rebuild classrooms as fast as in other typhoon hit areas, precisely because key cities hit by Pablo are those that are in the vulnerable areas that could continue to experience same intensity of wind and rainfall. So instruction to us from the President and NDRRMC is that if we rebuild, it’s in areas that already complied with environmental safety standards. We’re going slow on those but we repaired those we can actually put roofs over, temporary repairs, most done by DPWH and in areas where we don’t have assurance of safety standards, we just put in the tent.

Students all over the country troop back to school.
Education Secretary Br Armin Luistro opens the start of class in the former leper colony of Culion Palawan.
Zak Yuson files this video blog.

It’s June 3, the first day of class here at Lumbercamp elementary school, Barangay de Carabao, Culion Palawan.
Earlier Brother Armin Luistro, the Secretary of Education, officially opened the start of class and he also received a donation of school tables and chairs from alumni of La Salle Lipa and a Japanese donor.

BROTHER ARMIN LUISTRO, DEPED SECRETARY: Yung ating gagawin na innovation sa palagay ko kailangan magumpisa sa Palawan. (The innovations that we will do, I think these should start in Palawan.) Pwede po bang tulungan niyo kami? (Can you please help us?) What are the educational solutions that you can think of, pilot test in Palawan and share?

We’re here to see how education is brought to the farthest reaches of the Philippines especially in Culion Palawan which was once a leper colony and off limits to the ordinary Filipino.
Today it’s very open to tourists. Even then despite the influx of tourists there’s  still problems with regards to bringing quality education to the remotest areas.

Fifty-three fellows of Teach for The Philippines begin the challenge of teaching in public schools for two years.
Teach for the Philippines is a non-government organization which recruits and trains talented college graduates to teach in public schools.
The first batch of TFP fellows, composed of fresh graduates, young professionals and returning Filipino Americans graduated from the program’s Summer Institute Saturday night at the Ateneo de Manila University.
One of the fellows, Kilo Henares-Chuidan, says he is excited for his first class.

KILO HENARES-CHUIDAN, TEACH FOR THE PHILIPPINES FELLOW: I guess it was really just amazing the idea of working for a startup and for something I firmly believe in, education.

Education undersecretary Rizalino Rivera says there’s a lot of work to be done for the education system, but he remains positive.

RIZALINO RIVERO, DEPED UNDERSECRETARY FOR REGIONAL OPERATIONS: The challenges are great but if you don’t take the chance, if you don’t take the risk, if you don’t do something about it then we all better migrate to different countries because we’ve given up.

For their two-year teaching assignments, the fellows are spread across ten different public schools around Quezon City.

Turkey’s government faces pressure to end the violence after angry demonstrators clash for a third night with police in a nationwide wave of protests.
What began as local outcry over plans to redevelop a park in Taksim Square snowballs into a protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Violence broke out Friday, spilling into Saturday.
Interior Minister Muammer Guler says more than 1,700 people were arrested nationwide.
He says 58 civilians and 115 security officers are also injured.
On Saturday, Erdogan says his government will continue with the park redevelopment.
He also admits “some mistakes” in the police response and called off the police from Taksim after an outcry.
Many demonstrators say the protest is about freedom of speech and the government’s dictatorial tendencies.
Erdogan’s populist government is accused of trying to make the predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular country more conservative.

At number 4, A top general of China’s People’s Liberation Army says Chinese warships will continue to patrol waters where Beijing has territorial claims despite rows with neighboring countries over the South China Sea and islands controlled by Japan.
Responding to a question at a security conference in Singapore, China’s Lieutenant General says Beijing’s sovereignty over the areas could not be disputed.
He adds, “The Chinese warships and the patrolling activities are totally legitimate and uncontroversial.”
China is locked in a territorial dispute with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

At number 5, The United States and China agree to hold high-level talks in July on rules of behavior for cybersecurity and commercial espionage.
The move addresses what the US alleges as computer break-ins and theft of corporate and government secrets on a daily basis.
But Beijing insists it is the victim of cyberattacks, not the perpetrator.
It cites the US and Israel’s cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program as evidence against Washington.
But the Pentagon claims it has evidence of a unit of the People’s Liberation Army as the group behind the sophisticated attacks.

At number 7, International aid groups appeal to Syrian rebels and government forces to allow civilians trapped in the city of Qusayr to be evacuated as rebel forces brace for a fresh attack by the army and its Hezbollah allies.
The fighting began two weeks ago with the regime’s attempt to gain control of the strategic city bordering Lebanon.
The powerful Lebanese Shiite group, a staunch ally of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, sent thousands of fighters to help put down the uprising.
Activists in Syria say escape routes for civilians have become unsafe, with evacuees being attacked by Syrian forces.

At number 9, In a tell-all TV interview Sunday, international Filipino singer Charice Pempengco responds to rumors about her sexuality and admits she’s a lesbian.
Speaking to tv host Boy Abunda, the young singer says she feels light and free now that she has come out.
Charice apologizes to fans whom she may have disappointed.
The singer first caught international attention in 2007 after talk show host Ellen Degeneres discovered her YouTube videos and invited her to perform.

And at number 10, Movie star Michael Douglas reveals his throat cancer — long assumed to be related to his smoking and drinking habits — was caused by oral sex.
In an interview with The Guardian, the actor says his cancer is caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.
The 68-year-old Douglas was diagnosed with stage four cancer in August 2010.
He is now more than two years clear of cancer after going through an intensive eight-week course of chemotherapy and radiation.

– Rappler.com

Newscast production staff

DIRECTOR Rupert Ambil
  Dindin Reyes
HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER Katerina Francisco
  Exxon Ruebe
  Adrian Portugal
  Francis Lopez
GRAPHICS Jessica Lazaro

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