Today on Rappler.
STORY 1: BINAY: PACQUIAO OUR SENATE BET FOR 2016
First, a world champion boxer. Then, a congressman.
Will Manny Pacquiao soon be a senator?
Vice President Jejomar Binay announces Pacquiao as the first candidate in his new party’s senatorial ticket for 2016.
Binay says Pacquiao was not included in his 2013 senatorial slate because he was underage during the May polls.
The athlete-turned-politician turned 35 on Dec 2013, making him eligible to run for 2016.
Pacquiao juggles boxing and politics.
Hailed as one of the best boxers in the world, he topped the list of absentee congressmen In the 15th Congress.
Although the elections are still two years away, Binay says he is already looking for other senatorial candidates to join his ticket.
He says he doesn’t want to repeat what happened in 2013, when his United Nationalist Alliance had difficulty completing its slate after businessman Joey de Venecia backed out at the last minute.
The move forced Binay to field his eldest daughter, Nancy, who eventually placed 5th in the polls.
Last week, Binay said he is leaving the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban because
the party became “dysfunctional” over his differences with Senator Koko Pimentel.
STORY 2: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
Vice President Binay’s endorsement of Manny Pacquiao got strong reactions.
Some, like Cristine Iza Pilapil, question Pacquiao’s competence because of his frequent absence in House sessions.
She says, “We need to be wiser with our choices… He's in the boxing ring more than he is in congress sessions.”
Some aren’t too happy with Binay’s political announcements, like Percy Reyes.
He says “We are spending for the Office of the Vice President just to allow him to promote his political interests for 2016. Isn't this a violation of the Constitution?”
STORY 3: ACQUIT 'PORK' ALLIES? BINAY SAYS THAT’S FAR-FETCHED
Vice President Jejomar Binay says he will be fair and “not selective” if elected president even if his allies are respondents in the pork barrel scam.
Senator Alan Cayetano, who’s expressed interest in running for president, earlier challenged Binay to make a strong statement on the corruption scandal.
Binay’s allies, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, face plunder complaints for allegedly siphoning funds to fake NGOs in exchange for kickbacks.
Binay says speculation that he will protect the two is “farfetched.”
The Vice President says he still eyes Estrada as a running mate, and says the court still has to determine the guilt of his two allies.
STORY 4: DE LIMA TO CUNANAN: RECTIFY YOURSELF ON PDAF KICKBACKS
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says she’s giving potential state witness Dennis Cunanan a chance to admit he received kickbacks in the pork barrel scam.
During Thursday’s Senate blue ribbon hearing on the scam, Cunanan denies receiving kickbacks from alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
This contradicts the testimony of former Napoles employee turned whistleblower Benhur Luy…
who said the Technology Resource Center chief received P960,000 in a paper bag from Napoles.
With conflicting testimonies, senators ask whether this would affect Cunanan’s bid to become state witness.
But De Lima says an admission from Cunanan won’t affect his bid.
She adds, “Because of his denial [that he got kickbacks]…
we are giving him a chance to explain himself or to rectify himself in that regard.”
De Lima also says Luy remains a “very credible witness,” adding the whistleblower has
“not given [the department] reasons or indications to doubt his credibility.”
STORY 5: GLOBE ASIATIQUE'S DELFIN LEE ARRESTED
Businessman Delfin Lee, wanted by police for the P6.6-billion Globe Asiatique housing scam, is arrested Thursday.
A police source says Lee was brought to police headquarters Camp Crame at around 7 pm Thursday.
Lee and 4 others face syndicated estafa charges filed by the justice department over the alleged use of ghost borrowers to obtain P6.6 billion loans from the Pag-IBIG Fund in 2009.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the charges against Lee in November 2013 and stopped authorities from arresting him.
But Justice Secretary Leila De Lima says the arrest warrant remains valid because the court’s decision is not final.
In a statement Friday, Vice President Jejomar Binay welcomes the arrest but warns several “influential people” tried to stop Lee’s arrest and will try to influence the case.
Binay is the chairman of the Pag-IBIG Fund, which filed the case against Lee in December 2010.
STORY 6: VICTIM IN DAVAO LANDMINE ATTACK WANTS TV APOLOGY FROM NPA
A civilian victim of the landmine attack in Davao Del Sur is not satisfied with the statement of apology by the New People's Army or NPA.
Arnel Valleroso wants a TV apology from the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
RAPPLER: Ano ang gusto mo, Sir? (What do you want, Sir?)
ARNEL VALLEROSO, PDRRMC RESPONDER: Yung mag harap sila sa TV. Mag-apologize para klaro yung mensahe. (I want them to face national television and apologize so their message is clear.)
RAPPLER: Sino ang gusto mong humarap sa TV sir? (Who do you want to face national television?)
ARNEL VALLEROSO, PDRRMC RESPONDER: Yung spokesman nila. (Their spokesman)
RAPPLER: Ano gusto mong sabihin niya sir? (What do you want them to say?)
ARNEL VALLEROSO, PDRRMC RESPONDER: Bakit ginawa nila yun sa amin? May pinirmahang CARHRIHL. Yung civilian hindi isali di ba? (Why did they do that to us? They signed CARHRIHL. Civilians shouldn’t be included right?)
Valleroso was riding an ambulance, the worst hit among 3 ambulances hit by NPA landmines in Davao Del Sur.
Shrapnels hit his neck.
5 civilians were hurt in the attack.
The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command apologized Thursday, saying it committed a lapse in judgment.
The Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Peace Process condemn the attack.
RHODERICK PARAYNO, AFP HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE: It is a clear violation of the international humanitarian law. As a matter of fact we have a law, yung national law natin, RA 9851. Specifies protection of civilians and civilian objects.
STORY 7: PREPARE TO EVACUATE, FILIPINOS IN VENEZUELA TOLD
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA raises crisis alert level 2 over Venezuela and warns Filipinos to prepare for possible evacuation.
This comes after more than a month of street protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Under alert level 2, the Philippines’ labor department will only allow Filipino workers with existing contracts to return to Venezuela.
The DFA says 104 Filipinos live there.
The Philippine embassy in Mexico has jurisdiction over these Filipinos.
STORY 8: MORE US SANCTIONS ON UKRAINE CRISIS
The United States on Thursday imposes visa bans against Russia part of a series of Western sanctions over Russia’s moves into the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
US President Barack Obama says this was a response to Russia’s
“violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The visa bans target Russians and Ukrainians blamed for threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine.
This comes after mass protests forced Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych from power.
On Thursday, pro-Moscow officials on the Crimean peninsula said they would hold a referendum on March 16 on whether to join the Russian Federation.
Obama rejects the move, saying the referendum would
“violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law.”
In a bid to defuse tensions, US State Secretary John Kerry held a second round of talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
But Lavrov tells Russian news agencies, “We cannot report to the international community that we are in agreement.”
At number 4, after a controversial year, US officials say the proposed budget for intelligence agencies will drop by 5% because of issues on electronic spying.
Intelligence Director James Clapper says the requested budget for most of the country's spy services came to $45.6 billion for fiscal year 2015, lower than 2014’s $48.2 billion.
It’s still subject to Congress approval.
The Pentagon also plans to drop its budget for military intelligence activities from $14 billion in 2014 to $13.3 billion in 2015.
At number 5, China's health ministry says the country is not dumping its one-child policy.
As the world's most populous country, China has had a one-child policy for families since the late 1970s.
State media quotes a family planning official saying the government was considering allowing a second child.
At number 9, two privacy activist groups ask US regulators to review Facebook’s acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp to ensure user data won’t be misused.
The groups file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking the agency to investigate the deal and protect against "unfair and deceptive data collection practices" which could be implemented after the takeover.
The complaint says the deal may undermine user privacy by allowing Facebook access to information which could be used for advertising.
WhatsApp allows free cross-platform mobile messaging.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Newscast Production Staff