Today on Rappler.
TRIBUNAL ORDERS CHINA TO ANSWER PH PLEADING
A international tribunal orders China to respond to a case filed by the Philippines on its territorial claim over the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.
China has until December 15 to respond.
In March, the Philippines submitted its written pleading in the case, challenging China’s claim to disputed territories like the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.
In a press statement, the Permanent Court of Arbitration says it is mindful of its obligation ‘to determine how to deal with the Philippines’ pleading
while assuring each party a “full opportunity to be heard and to present its case.”
China refuses to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case.
The tribunal's order for Beijing to respond moves the case forward.
The Philippines is preparing contingency plans for these developments.
This follows an incident involving a Chinese ship that rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat Sunday.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday says, "Anything can happen."
The Philippines considers the historic case its last resort, after more than 17 years of dialogue.
FARIÑAS: STOP BYPASS, VOTE ON AQUINO CABINET
Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas questions the 4-year delay in the confirmation of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman.
Fariñas says it’s time the Commission on Appointments or CA end the cycle of bypassing and reappointing Cabinet secretaries and other nominees.
He urges Congress to show political will, adding, “The delay in confirmation is happening because we allow it. That violates the Constitution.”
Fariñas wants to file a motion limiting the number of times a nominee can be bypassed.
After the third time, the CA should vote on the confirmation.
Besides De Lima and Soliman, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has not yet been confirmed 4 years after his appointment and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, 2 years after.
DE LIMA TO JINGGOY, CAM: AFFAIR ISSUE DEMEANING
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima addresses the issues against her during a confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments or CA.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada and jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam raised allegations of corruption, incompetence, and inaction on media killings against De Lima.
The justice secretary responds to the issues, but draws the line on allegations of “illicit affairs” with two men.
Speaking to Estrada, De Lima says it’s -quote- “too demeaning” to publicly address the allegations.
De Lima also defends her decision to consider the testimony of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles in exchange for immunity.
De Lima asks the CA to confirm her, saying she is able to show her record as justice secretary for 4 years.
Malacañang says the deliberations must be based on merit alone.
RUBY TUASON'S P40M RETURN MONEY NOT ENOUGH?
Self-confessed kickback conduit Ruby Tuason returned P40 million in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution in the corruption scandal.
But according to the affidavit of alleged mastermind Janet Napoles, Tuason earned more than P50 million in commissions alone from transactions involving senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada from 2007 to 2009.
Napoles also says Tuason took home around P540 million from the P900 million Malampaya fund meant for energy development projects.
Tuason's lawyer Dennis Manalo says the P40 million amount was based on the records of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy.
The camp of Napoles also denies making any offers to return between 100 to 200 million pesos to the government in exchange for turning state witness.
Napoles’ counsel Bruce Rivera adds, “If you look at our condition now, we don’t have the money... She could barely settle her hospital bill.”
BEIJING IN LOCKDOWN FOR TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY
China deploys thousands of security forces in Beijing on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.
In June 1989, hundreds of unarmed civilians were killed in pro-democracy protests.
Mention of the incident is still taboo in the communist nation, which has censored online networks and detained activists in recent weeks ahead of the anniversary.
The Chinese foreign ministry warns "serious consequences” for
international news agencies in Beijing that will report on the anniversary.
On the eve of the anniversary, Washington urges Beijing to allow greater political freedoms and release those arrested.
On Wednesday, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou describes the incident as “an enormous historical wound.”
He adds, “I sincerely hope that the mainland authorities will seriously consider and speedily redress the wrongs to ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again.”
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved since Ma took office in 2008.
Taiwan has been independently governed since 1950, but China still claims the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification.
SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
25 years after the crackdown in Tiananmen Square the Chinese government continues to censor accounts and deploy security forces.
China wipes out any reference to the massacre of pro-democracy students on Weibo and other social media platforms.
Huffington Post reports, Weibo bans the words "National Amnesia Day" and "June 4th."
Even the words "remember", "today" "tonight,” and the numbers '25', '25 years' and 'square' are blocked.
China's version of Wikipedia -- Baidu -- does not mention the year 1989, except for being a “computer virus name.”
Tweets also mention a 2005 episode of The Simpsons that spoof China’s attempts to censor the commemoration of the crackdown.
Other say, whenever the Chinese Google "Tiananmen" it says "page not found."
The abdication of Spain's King Juan Carlos revives anti-royalist fervor.
Thousands of young Spaniards take to the streets with leftist political parties and anti-monarchist protesters demanding a vote on the survival of the institution.
But Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he believes most Spaniards still support the monarchy.
A 12-year-old girl was stabbed 19 times by her two friends who are of the same age.
Her attackers say they were inspired by a mythical Internet creature known as "Slender Man."
The girl, who was lured into the woods and left there for dead, crawled to the side of a road to find rescue.
She miraculously survived and the two girls were arrested.
But just who is "Slender Man?"
According to Mashable.com, Slender Man is a 'true Internet creation' that started out with a photoshopped picture of a tall white ghost figure haunting children in the woods.
Since then, fans grew the myth with new stories and memes.
The two Wisconsin girls say they tried to murder their friend or else Slender Man would kill their families.
Horror story enthusiasts hit the connection between reading horror stories and murder.
One horror story website owner says, "Most people don't watch Hannibal and turn into serial killers."
A new study at the University of Pennsylvania shows comedy and satire can go a long way in making TV news more informative.
The study says viewers were better informed after watching comedy news reports like The Colbert Report instead of regular news channels like CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.
The researchers say host Stephen Colbert's narrative structure and use of humor and satire made learning more fun.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Newscast Production Staff