Rappler Newscast | September 13, 2013

President Aquino says happy days for MNLF are over. Fresh fighting breaks out in Zamboanga. A citizens group files plunder charges against Napoles.

Today on Rappler.

  • President Aquino says happy days for rebel group MNLF are over.
  • Fresh fighting breaks out in Zamboanga.
  • A citizens group files plunder charges against Janet Napoles.

President Benigno Aquino arrives in Zamboanga City Friday.
He claims this is the end of the Moro National Liberation Front’s campaign of chaos.
In his address, the President says the rebel’s “happy days are over.”
He vows government will continue to track down the “lawless elements.”
Aquino says the rebels are now contained in 4 barangays.
He adds the government will not let the rebels spread havoc.
Aquino says while some groups reject the comprehensive framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front there are some groups within the MNLF willing to cooperate with the government.
The MILF is a breakaway group of the MNLF and over the years has become the dominant political rebel group in the region.
He claims the government has not failed in addressing the demands of the MNLF…
adding substantial components of the government’s 1996 agreement with the MNLF was implemented, including rebel integration into the police and military.
Aquino assures charges will be filed against Misuari and his men.


The Zamboanga City Council orders the forced evacuation of residents in 5 villages in Zamboanga City, Thursday night.
Ordinance 418 forced evacuation in barangays Rio Hondo, Sta Barbara, Sta Catalina, Talon-Talon and Mampang.
The Zamboanga City Government said the evacuation is an option “when… danger or loss of lives becomes imminent.”
Local authorities, police and government troops will ensure evacuees do not return to their homes until Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco declares “back to normal” status.

Commission on Muslim Filipinos’ Commissioner for the Youth, Edilwasif Baddiri says the people of Zamboanga are hoping the standoff with the MNLF would end quickly.

EDILWASIF BADDIRI, COMMISSIONER FOR THE YOUTH, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MUSLIM FILIPINOS: They were hoping it would end on the 3rd, 4th day. Now it’s on the 5th day.
There’s a sense of anger on why it’s not being resolved.
Baddiri, who is also part of the tripartite talks with the MNLF, says the panel hoped Misuari had been content with the peace agreement in place since 2007.

BADDIRI: That has been the history with Misuari. We always don’t know where he stands. From 2007 until 2010.
In one meeting he will agree and in the next meeting he will disavow such agreement. In one meeting he will talk about autonomy, the ARMM. In another meeting he will talk about independence for the whole of Mindanao.
It’s difficult to find out what he wants.


Thursday night, Sept 12, Rappler reported about 80 MNLF rebels waved a white flag and surrendered to police forces in Barangay Sta Barbara.
Most of the rebels were from Basilan and they brought with them 35 hostages ready to be released.
A man who introduced himself as Paulo Casa, an MNLF member under Commander George Ismael says he initiated the surrender when he approached government troops positioned across the street around 6:30 pm.
When Rappler received the information, the police had yet to notify their regional commander or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who is in the city as part of the crisis committee.
Roxas denied the report when asked by mediamen.
Members of the Philippine National Police, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Philippine Center for Transnational Crime accepted their surrender.
All of the men who surrendered as well as their hostages waited all night to be quote-unquote “processed” by representatives of the crisis committee.
Nothing happened.
The MNLF rebels who surrendered, the police forces they surrendered to, and the people involved demand their story be told accurately and honestly.
Rappler stands by its story and prays for a peaceful resolution of this crisis.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas tells Rappler the “credible feelers” government received last night from Moro National Liberation Front rebels have “evolved into some positive results.”
In a text message to Rappler Friday morning, Roxas states, “There were some credible feelers last night.
We’re working on it and [it] evolved into some positive results early this morning.”
In an 8 am radio interview with Inquirer Radio, Roxas says there were negotiations with the rebels last night but he denied a Rappler report that between 70-80 already surrendered.
Roxas says in Filipino –quote– “There were negotiations throughout the night on surrendering but no one surrendered last night.
He adds, “Talks are ongoing for them to drop their arms and release the hostages.”
In his address in Zamboanga, President Aquino echoed Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ denial that around 70-80 rebels surrendered Thursday night.
He says in Filipino, “I think the report is wrong. No one has surrendered yet… but there have been some rebels arrested initially.” 

The stand-off between government troops and followers of MNLF founder Nur Misuari enters its fifth day.
Carmela Fonbuena joins us live from Zamboanga. Carmela, it’s been a dramatic day. What happened today?
What about Basilan?
So what’s the mood? 

In other news in Manila, a citizens’ group files plunder and graft complaints before the Ombudsman against businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and 28 former and incumbent lawmakers.
The Citizens’ Crime Watch or CCW cites media reports on the pork barrel scam as basis for their complaint.
Among the respondents in the complaint are 5 incumbent senators, and 23 other former and current legislators.
CCW also asks the Ombudsman to immediately order the suspension of all incumbent respondents to prevent the tampering of evidence.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales heads an inter-agency commission that is building a case against government officials and individuals involved in the scam.
The initial case against Napoles of illegal detention will be brought to court on September 23 after a Makati court junks a motion to delay the arraignment and suspends the proceedings.
She and her brother Reynald “Jojo” Lim are facing charges for serious illegal detention of Behur Luy, Napoles’ cousin and state witness in the ongoing investigation.
The Department of Justice plans to file more charges against Napoles on Monday.

Is Sen Jinggoy Estrada the mysterious Mr “Sexy?”
On Thursday, principal whistleblower Benhur Luy testified before the Senate on the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Luy revealed he would visited a certain senator at the Senate sometime in 2011 and 2012. He names the senator, “Sexy.”
Some point to Senator Jinggoy Estrada — the once overweight senator told ABS-CBN he had “bariatric” surgery to control his appetite.
Estrada denies knowing Luy.
In a radio interview with DZMM on Thursday, Estrada says he never received any money from Luy or anyone linked to his second cousin, Janet Napoles.
He adds in Filipino, “I want to clarify that I do not know Benhur, I do not see him in my office… I do not know Benhur Luy.”
While Estrada denied knowing Luy, he admits he knows Napoles — quote —  “through a friend.”
Sources furnished Rappler with photographs of the two at a party.
Estrada says he does not know whether or not he will attend future hearings of the Senate panel to avoid being accused of influencing the investigation.
In past hearings, COA chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan and former heads of implementing agencies said on the record that Estrada, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile
endorsed Napoles NGOs to be recipients of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Senator Estrada says, “I am alarmed with the COA audit because it’s always the 3 of us, Sen Enrile, Sen Revilla and myself who are mentioned how come the 3 of us are the subjects of a wide audit while my fellow senators from the other camp, some of the congressmen, were only audited 8%, 10%, 20%?”

The Devantes family is your typical OFW family– the parents are abroad while the children are in the Philippines.
Family reunions were cherished occasions until this last one.
The eldest daughter Kae was found dead in Cavite last Sept 6.
Bea Cupin reports.

Overseas filipino workers Peddy and Beth Davantes had a heart wrenching homecoming this week.
They’re used to eager hugs from their three children.
But on Monday, the couple came home to lay to rest their eldest, 25-year-old Kristelle “Kae” Devantes.
PEDDY DAVANTES, KAE’S FATHER : Kaya ako naiiyak kasi kulang na kami. Yun laging ano… kulang na kami… hindi na babalik yung dati. (We’re incomplete now. It’s not the same as before.)
Kae was missing last week after a night out with friends in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
She was last heard from around 1am Saturday, September 7.
She was in her car, on her way back home in Las Pinas.  
Five hours later, she was found dead under a bridge in Silang, Cavite.
Five stab wounds in her body, including one in her neck, her mouth gagged, and her hands tied with a car seatbelt.
PEDDY DAVANTES: Minsan naiisip ko: nagkamali ba ako? Saan? I don’t see anything wrong. Hindi ko naman sila pinapapabayaan, hindi naman ako nag kulang ng paaral. But again, that’s god’s willl… hindi ko alam.
Born in Saudi Arabia, Kae had a bright future ahead of her.
A marketing and advertising graduate…
she was one thesis defense away from a master’s degree.
She was engaged to be married next year.
PEDDY DEVANTES: Sayang talaga… lalo na’t… pero we are god fearing people here. Kung ano ang bigay ng diyos, tanggapin natin.
Metro Manila Chief Superintendent Marcelo Garbo Jr forms Task Group Kae to move the case forward.
The NBI begins a parallel investigation.
So far, authorities have no leads in the case. The motives behind her death are also unknown.
Kae’s Toyota Altis with plate number PIM 961 remains missing
Police and her family ask the public for leads through the Task Force Kae hotline.
Peddy Devantes says the family has accepted Kae’s death but says he is still angry.
PEDDY DEVANTES: Parusahan ang dapat parusahan… hindi na ako nag-ano, sabi ko nga Lord, just give me a clear heart… na mawala ang galit sa puso ko. Galit ako dahil sa ginawa.
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila.

Moving on to world news…
The judge hearing the case of 4 men convicted for a shocking gang rape on a bus in New Delhi last December sentenced them to death on Friday.
The judge says the case fell into the “rarest of rare category”, which justified capital punishment.
One of the men, Vinay Sharma, breaks down in tears as the sentence was announced.
crowds inside the building and outside the courtroom roared with cheers and applauded the judgment.
The father of the victim says the family is satisfied with the decision saying –quote– “Justice has been delivered.” 

Story 11: 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 4, the United Nations says it received documents from the Syrian government seeking to join the international convention banning chemical weapons.
Earlier, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad said the government will cede control of its chemical weapons to Russia and other members of the international community.
Assad adds the move was prompted by “Russian diplomacy” and not because of an imminent US strike.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama asked Congress to postpone a vote on a military attack on Syria.
US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US may still use military force if Russia fails to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons.

At number 7, On Wednesday, Chile marks the 40th anniversary of the coup which brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power, in the middle of violent protests and a call for reconciliation by the president,
Unrest erupts overnight in and around the capital Santiago ahead of commemorations of the September 11, 1973 overthrow of then leftist president Salvador Allende.
President Sebastian Pinera used a ceremonial address to urge fellow citizens to come together. Pinera, stressing reconciliation will require Chileans “to continue on the path of truth and justice.”

At number 9, for the Potterheads out there, get your cloaks and wands out of the closet because the magic continues with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the first of JK Rowling’s upcoming wizard-film projects with Warner Bros.
Inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook of the same name, the film will feature the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander, who lived 70 years before Potter’s time.
Rowling says the project in discussion will be, “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

And at number 10, Twitter “confidentially submitted” an S-1 to the US Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC for a planned Initial Public Offering, or IPO.
Talk of an IPO has circulated about Twitter for some tim with the Wall Street Journal estimating the company to be worth some $10 billion.
Founded in 2006, Twitter is one of the fastest-growing and most influential social media services used widely by celebrities, journalists, politicians and others.


Runner Mac Milan will run across the Philippines for underprivileged children.  This is the prelude to a much more ambitious project– to run across 40 countries in 6 continents.
David Lozada reports. 

Mac is an ultra-runner.
He is also the founder and CEO of Pray-Read-Eat-Play Foundation, an organization that seeks to educate underprivileged children.
A former teacher, Mac says he realized his dream through running.
MAC MILAN, ULTRA-RUNNER: I found myself na it is not enough for me to stay in the classroom for the students. I have the responsibility also of reaching out to children outside the classrooms. Especially those children not given enough opportunity to have classrooms and go to schools.
For the past eight months, Mac has been preparing for his dream project.
He will run across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao for Tatakbo Pilipinas, an advocacy run that aims to raise awareness on education.
The project aims to give a million books and toys to underprivileged children.
After running across the Philippines, Mac plans to cross forty countries in six continents.
MAC MILAN, ULTRA-RUNNER: The end goal is very simple. To give awareness, to share the awareness of everyone that we all have the responsibility of teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives of other people, most especially the children
Mac admits the journey will not be easy.
MILAN: If I can’t run, I will walk. If I can’t walk, I will crawl. The most important thing is that I reach my dreams.
After raising awareness, Mac aims to move people to action.
MILAN: Everyone has the responsibility of making each other’s dream come true. Same also with me. The run will be a bridge for the children’s dream to come true also.
His journey will be featured in Rappler’s MovePH.
David Lozada, Rappler.

– Rappler.com

Newscast production staff

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

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