Today on Rappler.
- 9 policemen are implicated in a kidnapping on EDSA that went viral.
- President Benigno Aquino blames his predecessor Gloria Arroyo for the MRT’s problems.
- Prince William and Duchess Kate expect their second child.
COPS INVOLVED IN VIRAL EDSA INCIDENT – PNP
Under the guise of a drug bust, 8 current and 1 dismissed cop allegedly robbed, held up and kidnapped 2 people in a vehicle on EDSA in broad daylight.
A photo of the incident shows several men, a sedan and a van surrounding the SUV.
The picture went viral on social media.
Officials say at least 9 police officers – including one already dismissed from the service – were involved.
Two of them – Chief Inspector Joseph de Vera and Police Officer 2 Jonathan Rodriguez – are already under police custody.
Police are looking for the other 7.
AQUINO BLAMES ARROYO ADMIN FOR MRT3 PROBLEMS
President Benigno Aquino blames his predecessor Gloria Arroyo for the problems of the Metro Rail Transit or MRT.
On Monday Aquino says his administration is –quote– “on top of the situation,” but adds it would not be as big a problem if the previous administration dealt with it.
Aquino admits there are complications with maintenance contracts and difficulties in finding the right coaches for the best price.
He also says the government is getting new units to replace the old.
Current units can only accommodate about 300,000 passengers per day, but about 500,000 ride the MRT every day.
Asked how long commuters will have to put up with the problems, Aquino says he would respond after a meeting with Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya.
The MRT 3 has been under public scrutiny since mid-August after one of its trains slammed through safety barriers.
Just last week, an MRT coach ran through Metro Manila with doors wide open, putting passengers at risk.
In a Senate hearing last week, MRT officials listed the problems with the train system: the stations’ escalators and elevators were not functioning, the ticket machines were not working, and the train’s signalling system was obsolete.
COL ENRIQUEZ: ‘I NEVER DEFIED ORDERS UNTIL THE GOLAN STANDOFF’
The commander of the Philippine peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights says he had never defied orders until the unauthorized escape of Filipinos from the standoff with Syrian rebels.
Enriquez was the commander of the Philippine battalion and the chief of staff of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force or UNDOF.
He resigned as UNDOF’s third highest ranking officer following the incident.
The Filipinos defied the order of UNDOF commander Iqbal Singha to surrender their weapons to Syrian rebels.
The Filipinos instead sneaked out after an hours-long firefight.
Singha would later call the escape “an act of cowardice.”
Caught between his two jobs as Philippine battalion commander and as UNDOF chief of staff, Enriquez says he made the right decision ensuring the safety of the Filipino troops.
‘WE DO NOT WANT TO JUSTIFY THE DEATHS’ – ZAMBO MAYOR
Nearly a year after the siege of Zamboanga City, mayor Beng Climaco admits some of the refugees are still living in emergency shelters.
She also admits, there is a rise in the number of deaths among the internally displaced people from the siege.
On September 9, 2013, rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF marched into the city, triggering nearly three weeks of fighting against government troops.
153 MNLF rebels, 38 civilians and security personnel were killed in the 20 day-long stand-off.
The Zamboanga Health Office as of September 3, reported 168 deaths among internally displaced people – an increase from 147 in July.
Half of the casualties were children under 5 years old.
Internal monitoring reports list broncho-pneumonia and diarrhea as major causes of death.
Climaco says more work needs to be done to rebuild the city.
While she promised to meet the December deadline to have 5,000 new houses built, many will still be homeless.
Almost 10,000 homes burned down from the siege, with more than 22,000 families displaced by the conflict.
ARMOR VESTS FOR ZAMBO TROOPS STILL SITTING IN WAREHOUSE
A Rappler exclusive… armor vests intended for troops deployed to last year’s Zamboanga siege are still sitting in a warehouse inside Camp Aguinaldo because of defects.
Rappler learned the defense department tried to rush the delivery of the armor vests from Serbian company UM-Merkata at the height of the siege in September 2013.
The Serbian company was awarded the contract to deliver 3,480 units of armor vests worth P120 million or $2.7 million.
But the vests never reached the soldiers, forcing the army to make an emergency purchase of about 1,000 vests for an additional P28.3 million or about $630,000.
The supplier of the emergency purchase, Stone of David Tactical Equipment Company, is linked to the company who failed to deliver,
Its local representative, Christopher Manaluz, is the general manager of Stone of David.
The Serbian company eventually delivered the body armors in January 2014, but tests showed the vests were defective.
Rappler also obtained documents on the controversial bidding processes for the military’s armor vests.
In 2013, UM-Merkata was also set to win the bidding for 44,000 units of armor vests worth P1.76 billion or about $40 million following the disqualification of the lowest bidder Kolon Global of South Korea.
But the Serbian company’s ability to secure deals changed in 2014 when the leadership in the defense department’s bid and awards committee also changed.
RAUL GONZALES, FORMER JUSTICE CHIEF, DIES
Former justice secretary Raul Gonzalez dies Sunday due to multiple organ failure. He was 83.
Gonzalez served as justice secretary under former President Gloria Arroyo from 2004 to 2009.
Before that, he was the representative of the lone district of Iloilo City from 1995 to 2004.
He was also part of the prosecution panel during the impeachment trial of ousted President Joseph Estrada.
From 1986 to 1988, he served as Tanodbayan or Ombudsman during former president Corazon Aquino’s term.
Gonzales was also known as an opposition activist during the Martial Law years, and was a lawyer of slain Senator Ninoy Aquino.
Gonzalez’ Interment will be on Sunday.
SUBIC TAPPED AS EXTENSION OF MANILA PORT
Cargo bound for the north and south of Luzon will no longer have to pass through Manila soon.
The Philippine Ports Authority or PPA and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or SBMA are set to sign an agreement allowing the Subic port to become the extension of the Port of Manila.
The government is also eyeing the same arrangement for the port of Batangas.
Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya says this will enable cargo bound for Southern Luzon to move faster and easier.
The government already started shipping out overstaying cargo to Subic.
Importers and brokers have a 5-day grace period to clear out overstaying cargo effective Monday.
The port congestion is blamed on the Manila city government’s truck ban.
To ease heavy traffic triggered by the ban, authorities implement counterflow schemes and designated truck lanes along C5.
WHO IS RUNNING ISIS SOCIAL MEDIA?
US authorities say former Boston resident and U.S. citizen Ahmad Abousamra may be the social media guru behind the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq or ISIS’ brutal online propaganda.
CNN reports while there’s no specific evidence pointing to Abousamra’s involvement in the terror group’s social media campaign, federal investigators think he may have joined the group and is helping with online efforts.
Experts say ISIS appears to have a well-funded, well-organized social media and video production effort.
Abousamra, who holds dual U.S. and Syrian citizenship, is fluent in both English and Arabic, and has a college degree in computer science.
He is wanted by the FBI on terrorism charges issued in 2009, with a $50,000 reward for his capture.
THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Hong Kong police launch an animal cruelty investigation after a man joked online about killing a dog by putting it in a churning washing machine.
A man named Jacky Lo posted photos on Facebook showing a small, white dog trying to climb out and struggling to keep its head above water with the washing cycle at full speed.
He even told a commenter he killed the dog.
An online petition urging the authorities to take action goes viral and draws close to 20,000 signatures.
At number 8, CNN columnist Agnes Poirer looks at the impact of a tell-all book by former French First Lady Valérie Trierweiler.
She says the ex-First Lady’s book about her relationship with President Francois Hollande was damaging beyond repair.
A new poll shows Hollande’s approval rating reached an all-time low of 13%.
Poirier also says Trierweiler appeared as a “scorned woman” by dishing the details on Hollande’s affair with actress Julie Gayet.
And at number 10, Two adventurers went into an active volcano… and lived to tell the tale.
In a video uploaded online, adventure enthusiast Sam Cossman and photographer George Kourounis dive into the Mt. Marum volcano in the South Pacific.
They got so deep into the crater that specks of lava melted their protective gear as they descended.
In a Huffington Post report, Kourounis describes diving into the volcano as “kind of like a reverse climbing of Everest.”
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
JACK THE RIPPER IDENTIFIED? DNA SAYS SO, CLAIMS SLEUTH
A businessman interested in the case of Jack the Ripper claims he has identified the serial killer through DNA traces found on a shawl.
The identity of the infamous killer, whose grisly murders terrorized east London in 1888, has been a mystery ever since.
But in a book out Tuesday, Russell Edwards claims the Ripper was Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski.
In 2007, Edwards bought a bloodstained shawl that reportedly came from the murder scene of Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim.
With the help of scientists and genealogists, the DNA from the shawl was matched with the relatives of both the victim and Kosminski.
Some are doubtful of Edwards’ findings, with researchers calling for further verification.
PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE EXPECTING SECOND BABY
Prince William and Duchess Kate are expecting their second child.
The duchess is supposed to attend an official engagement Monday but cancelled because of morning sickness.
The prince’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is said to be “delighted” at the news, which comes less than 14 months after the birth of the couple’s first child, Prince George.
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|
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