DOJ charges rebels, DAP reversal, Pope Francis' apology | The wRap

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DOJ TO FILE CHARGES VS 13 MILF, BIFF COMMANDERS
The Justice Department says it will file criminal charges against 13 commanders from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters…over the deaths of 44 elite cops in the Maguindanao clash last week. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday said her office is gathering evidence. An order from President Benigno Aquino prompted the move. At a committee hearing at the House of Representatives Tuesday lawmakers warned they will stall the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law if reports from government agencies on the Mamasapano clash are not in by Monday. The agencies include the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police. Some lawmakers also propose that President Benigno Aquino form a truth commission. But Vice President Jejomar Binay says it can't be an independent body if its members are appointed by President Aquino.

EXCLUSIVE: MARWAN’S TIES THAT BIND – ALJEBIR ADZHAR AKA EMBEL
A Rappler exclusive: How did one of the most wanted terrorists bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan evade arrest since 2003? The answer is simple: he burrowed into the fabric of Philippine society in lawless areas a US special forces officer called “impenetrable.” Marwan had three Filipino wives in the Philippines who cemented him into the landscape. Filipinos like Aljebir Adzhar or Embel show how working with the Abu Sayyaf can become a family business. Embel’s father worked for top Abu Sayyaf commander Abu Pula or Doc Abu, work he passed on to his two sons. Embel shopped for Marwan, gave him a place to stay in his family home and was the conduit for the conjugal visits of his 17 year old wife. At least two of the men trained by Marwan “were from Cotabato and had a strong alliance with the MILF.”

SC PARTIALLY GRANTS GOV’T APPEAL ON DAP
On the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP. The Supreme Court on Tuesday reverses one of the 3 provisions it declared unconstitutional last July. The provision involves funding of projects not covered by any appropriation in the national budget. The High Court also clarified whether officials of the executive department may be held liable over the DAP. In its earlier ruling, the High Court said while recipients cannot be held liable for benefiting “in good faith” from projects, the executive branch is not exempt from prosecution. But spokesman Theodore Te says the Court decided to “clarify the language it used.” In its February 3 ruling, the high court said only quote- “authors” of the DAP may be held liable, not the people implementing the project.

POPE FRANCIS SAYS SORRY FOR 'IMPATIENCE' IN LEYTE
Pope Francis writes a letter to the Archdiocese in Palo, Leyte apologizing for his rushed visit. In his letter dated January 21, Francis said: “I was deeply saddened that the weather warning forced us to anticipate our departure by 4 hours…” “I ask your forgiveness for any impatience on my part at that time.” The Pope visited the Philippines mainly to console survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan locally known as Yolanda. But when he got to Leyte, he had to leave at 1 pm, instead of 5 pm to escape the wrath of Tropical Storm Amang or Mekkhala.

PAGEANT MELTDOWN: BRAZIL BEAUTY CONTEST ENDS IN CHAOS
A beauty pageant in northern Brazil ends in chaos when a runner-up tears the sash and crown from the winning contestant. Sheislane Hayalla hugged Miss Amazon 2015 Carolina Toledo seconds before she yanked off the crown and sash. The rude departure was greeted with cheers and screams from the crowd. Hayalla says Toledo was given special privileges other contestants didn't have. She adds, “I'm showing the people of Amazonas that money is not in charge here, she did not deserve it."

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