Rappler Newscast | April 25, 2014

Today on Rappler.




ALAN CAYETANO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: A hundred percent, I can look at people in the eye and say pag may katotohanan yung issue that I have anything to do with the NGOs of Napoles and kind of fake NGOs, hindi lang ako magreresign, ako pa magsasabi sa Ombudsman na kasuhan na ako.
(I will not only resign, I will even tell the Ombudsman to file a case against me.)

He says he believes he was named because he criticized Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

ALAN CAYETANO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Kaibigan ko si Ms. Sandra Cam. Alam nya pagkatao ko sabi nya sa akin nung nagkikita kami buo ang tiwala nya, but I also know na very close sya sa mga Estrada and I know also people, di ko naman nilalahat, some people in the Tribune, ay malapit sa mga Estrada. I’ve been reading the columns the past three months, parati nila akong inuupakan and every time I mention Vice President Binay, inuupakan din ako.

(Sandra Cam is a friend of mine. She knows my character. When we saw each other she told me she has complete trust in me. But I also know that she’s very close with the Estrada family. I’m not generalizing but I also know some people in the Tribune are close to the Estrada family. I’ve been reading the columns the past three months, they always hit me, they hit me every time I mention Vice President Binay.)

The report in the Daily Tribune quotes anonymous sources claiming to have seen the affidavit of Janet Napoles, at the center of the pork barrel scam.
The report names 2 cabinet secretaries and 11 senators.
Cayetano says the report paves the way for the 2016 polls.
He says he will respond to the allegations and face Napoles.

ALAN CAYETANO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Kung si Sandra Cam or si Napoles nagsasabing kilala nila ako, pumunta sila sa Senado, dun kami magsagutan. Tingin nila kung court ang Senado, name the place, name the time, imbitahin natin ang media, dun tayo magsagutan in a very civilized manner.

(If Sandra Cam or Napoles said they knew me, they should go to the Senate. That’s where we’ll talk. If they think the Senate is a courtroom, name the place, name the time. Let’s invite the media. Let’s talk there in a civilized manner.)

Cayetano says there were only a few times he endorsed non-governmental organizations when he was a Taguig congressman.
Cayetano defends his elder sister, Senator Pia Cayetano, also on the list. 

ALAN CAYETANO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Kung strikto ako, times 10 strikto sa akin si Senator Pia but I’ll let her speak for herself. But I’ve never known her to be involved in any anomaly. (If I’m strict, Senator Pia is 10 times stricter than I am but I’ll let her speak for herself.)

Alan Peter Cayetano and other senators reiterate their call for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former Senator Ping Lacson to release the names of the lawmakers Napoles named.



Janet Napoles is not a credible witness.
That’s what Senator Miriam Santiago says after a newspaper reported Napoles allegedly implicated Santiago and top administration allies.
Santiago says Napoles’ testimony is now worthless.

MIRIAM SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Sa ngayong nagpalit na ang sitwasyon, wala nang kwenta si Napoles. 

(Now that the situation has changed, Napoles is worthless.)

She’s already damaged goods. Her credibility is shot through and through. What’s the point? She’ll only tell us her own pre-fabricated story.

Santiago once urged Napoles to turn state witness. 

Santiago says her bitter rival Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile is running a “big-time, costly operation” against the Aquino administration using Napoles.

MIRIAM SANTIAGO, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: “Napoles and Enrile are logical allies. Because according to Napoles, or former employees of Napoles. they have documented evidence that Enrile was [funneling his] pork barrel to get kickbacks. So logically they are allies. Kung di ako binaggit, sasama pa loob ko! Kasi ibig sabihin wala pala akong epekto. Kailangan ilagay ni Enrile dun, fingerprint. I am honored to be included in Enrile’s roll of victims. It indicates he is feeling my barbs.

Akala ko nakalimutan mo ako. Salamat naalala mo!”
(I thought you had forgotten me. Thank you for remembering.)

He is 90 years old. There are rumors he was a waiter during the Last Supper. He’s that old!

If you’re a 90-year-old sex addict [will you allow to be jailed]? Remember all those years without sex? So he’ll throw everything including the kitchen sink and his drones.

She says the Daily Tribune report was his first “drone, weapon of war.”
Calling it an  “obscure opposition newspaper,” she hits it for “cowardly journalism.”
She calls the report libelous for failing to name sources and cite official documents.
In past Senate hearings, Santiago said the testimonies of witnesses like self-confessed bagman Ruby Tuason was strong direct evidence.



The Sandiganbayan issues a hold departure order Friday against former Chief Justice Renato Corona and former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson.
Corona faces pending perjury charges for discrepancies in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth or SAL-N...
and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The Ombudsman also filed charges against Corona and wife Cristina for allegedly amassing over P130 million in ill-gotten wealth.
Singson faces graft charges for alleged misuse of public funds while governor from 1998 to 2001.
He allegedly had agreements with Multi-Line Food Processing International Incorporated…
authorizing the release of tobacco excise tax revenues amounting to over P24 million or almost $541 thousand to unspecified livelihood projects.
The Bureau of Immigration chief was given a copy of the orders.



Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras says it wasn’t easy to resolve an emotional 3 year-old conflict with Hong Kong over the deaths of 8 tourists in a bus hostage siege.
The key, he says, was responding to the unique situation of each family... aside from overcoming cultural and geo-political hurdles.

RENE ALMENDRAS, SECRETARY TO THE CABINET: President Aquino was very emphatic when he said, “The only true win-win situation is a solution that is acceptable to the family.” Therefore any discussion, any interaction should be in the interest of prioritizing the families.. their situation. But the discussions always went back to the pain, the experience, the trauma for those who survived. Some families could actually not achieve closure. Why? Because there was a sense of struggle.
I became very emotional meeting the family. It was started by the Hong Kong government... I studied the circumstance of each of the victims. I knew who Jason was. I knew who Yik was, I knew what they went through. Without meeting them,I had to understand…
The biggest challenge was to convince people that we had no agenda.

Almendras says he’s been criticized for deciding to negotiate with Hong Kong.

RENE ALMENDRAS, SECRETARY TO THE CABINET: I’m being criticized for having buttered up to Hong Kong too much, for having given… parang nagpa-api or what. Imagine yourself, the mother: you lost your husband, you lost two children, only surviving child you have is now, is still in therapy, who probably will not be able to live a normal life. How do I go - how dare I go to that mother and say kalimutan na natin ito. Basta patawarin mo kami.. Hindi pwede yun...

Almendras says the “token of solidarity” the Philippines offered Hong Kong is not public money. 

RENE ALMENDRAS, SECRETARY TO THE CABINET: The government did not spend single peso on compensation. Again, let me repeat, compensation is not the appropriate word. You cannot put value to the life of a person. You can never say, here, x amount to compensate the loss of your loved one. I don’t think it’s appropriate, neither is it appropriate in the Chinese culture. That’s why we call it a token of solidarity -- parang abuloy.
It was through private donations, substantial amount here, some people in Hong Kong actually contributed.
No i cannot disclose amount. There’s no point in talking about the amount. Some people will say ang laki, some will say ang liit...

 Hong Kong demanded a formal apology, which the Philippines refused to give.

RENE ALMENDRAS, SECRETARY TO THE CABINET: The complication is bigger than that. It’s a whole world… about a country saying sorry for a terrorist act or a criminal act in its domain that affects somebody else.

It’s not just national sovereignty… no it has nothing to do with pride, it’s about the word ‘terrorist’ and ‘criminal.’

Almendras speaks about geopolitical power shifts, an increasingly aggressive China, and next week’s visit of US President Barack Obama.

RENE ALMENDRAS, SECRETARY TO THE CABINET: I’d like to see it as friends visiting friends, they may send certain signals to some friends, but I guess it’s an honor for us to be visited by the United States of America. There’s been a historical affinity between the two, we’ve fought together, we’ve gone through challenges together so.. I’d like to stick to that… 


A Virgin Australia plane lands at Bali airport Friday after a suspected hijacking – which turns out to be a drunk passenger who turned aggressive in the cockpit.
National police spokesman Suhardi Alius said the passenger was arrested.
Virgin Australia official, Heru Sudjatmiko says, “This is no hijacking, this is a miscommunication.”



Family of the passengers of sunken South Korean ferry Sewol are furious and frustrated over the pace of recovery operations.
A group of irate parents storm into the office of the South Korean coastguard’s deputy head on Thursday.
The angry relatives accuse them of lying about the recovery operation and demand they bring in more resources.
The families demand that all of the bodies be retrieved before the weekend.
121 are still missing as the death toll for Sewol stands at 181.
The ferry capsized on April 16 with 476 people on board.
325 high school students make up most of the passengers.
Around 250 are either confirmed or presumed dead.
The Sewol's captain, along with 10 other crew members are arrested on charges ranging from criminal negligence to abandoning passengers.
The captain is also criticized for delaying the evacuation order.



At number 7, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says his government will release its preliminary report on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
In an interview with CNN, Najib says the report will be released next week.
It’s been over 40 days since the plane went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The International Civil Aviation Organization says Malaysia recommends the world to look at real-time tracking of commercial aircraft...
the same recommendation made after the Air France Flight 447 disaster in 2009.

At number 9, the Philippines now ranks 78th in terms of "networked readiness,"
according to the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Information Technology Report.
The Philippines’ ranking increases 8 notches from 86th place in 2013.
It is also ranked 6th out of 10 countries in the ASEAN region.
The report sees an economy's preparedness when it comes to using information and communications technology to improve growth and well-being.

At number 10, Hollywood director Peter Jackson changes the title of the final film in his Hobbit trilogy.
The movie was initially titled From There and Back Again.
It will now be called The Battle of the Five Armies.
The new title is a reference to the climactic battle at the end of The Hobbit.
The film will be out in December.

For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’



As tech giant Microsoft acquires mobile phone maker Nokia Friday,
we ask our followers their fondest memories of owning a Nokia phone…
using the hashtag #NokiaThrowback.
From changing phone cases…
to composing ringtones…
to customizing logos…
to Snake high scores…
the texting capital of the world has much to thank Nokia for.



Hollywood movie “Ghost” is adapted into a stage musical.
Does the adaptation stay faithful to the original film?
G Tongi reports:

Atlantis Productions opens its 2014 season with Ghost the Musical adapted from the 1990 Oscar-winning feature film Ghost starring Demi Moore & Patrick Swayze about everlasting love, even in the afterlife.
The musical features original music by Grammy awardees Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard..
In an exclusive sneak peek,  the cast performs "Suspend My Belief" led with by pop star Christian Bautista as Sam and  theater actress Cris Villonco as Molly.    

CHRISTIAN BAUTISTA, THEATER ACTOR AND TV PERSONALITY: Yes, I just found out that my best friend backstabbed me... That my best friend arranged the murder. Who does that?

Di ba? 


Why are you doing that? I gave you everything. And now pala you want to kill me, get my girl, get the money, get my job. What did I do? So parang it’s all like I’m lost, you know, I’m lost…parang “how could you do this to me?” so that’s the end of act 1, and then everything else unfolds in act 2.. 

This is Villonco’s third collaboration with Atlantis.
She says the music makes the stage version of Ghost a sensual experience.

CRIS VILLONCO, THEATER ACTRESS: I really hope because it’s seen live, it’s more intimate, it’s more in-your-face, it’s all of that combined. And the music of Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard is…it’s really quite beautiful. It’s a whole other ballgame, and a whole other story. So I couldn’t even help but tear up because it’s…it’s so beautiful.

Seasoned theater actor  Hans Eckstein joins the production as Carl.
Eckstein says romantics will enjoy the musical.

HANS ECKSTEIN, THEATER ACTOR: If anyone is a hopeless romantic, like…I like to think I am. Then they should watch this show. It’s just a beautiful story about love… and how it just love conquers all, and you know, that even beyond death, you know, love still conquers all.

Part of the plot is the character that Whoopi Goldberg portrays in the film.
Ima Castro takes up the role of Oda Mae for the stage.
Castro says Director Bobby Garcia’s version of  the musical stage adaptation stays true to the film version.

IMA CASTRO, THEATER ACTRESS: And it’s a pretty much like the the film. We tried to be true to what the film told us, you see. And so we have iconic roles, obviously. Oda Mae, and iconic lines in the show…so you will really recognize so many scenes from the film on stage. And also the tricks. We love magic. So, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy that. The audiences will enjoy that.

A powerhouse cast that will make you believe in love, in fate, in forever.
G Töngi, Rappler Manila

Ghost opens on April 25 at the RCBC theater.

– Rappler.com

Newscast Production Staff