Rappler Newscast | August 14, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says the JBC, the IBP and the Supreme Court conspired to disqualify her from the chief justice race.
- RH bill critics win round 1 in the House, as filibustering prevents the plenary from tackling the measure.
- Scientists say the Fukushima radiation leak causes genetic mutations in butterflies.
Story 1: DE LIMA: SC, JBC, IBP CONSPIRED AGAINST ME
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, disqualified from the post of chief justice because of pending cases, says the Judicial and Bar Council, the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines conspired against her.
Speaking in Filipino, De Lima says: “It's obvious that the SC, the IBP and the JBC all agreed to pin me down as if they have the objective that it should be anybody but De Lima."
De Lima will move for a "review" of what she calls a "lopsided" disqualification rule of the Judicial and Bar Council which junks contenders with pending criminal and administrative cases.
The JBC disqualified De Lima because of 3 cases filed against her in 2011.
The cases seek to disbar De Lima for defying a Supreme Court temporary restraining order in November 2011, stopping her from implementing a travel ban on former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo.
De Lima says the SC acted late on the disbarment complaints against her, and referred the cases to the IBP only in July.
Yet, she notes, the SC quickly dismissed a disbarment complaint filed against Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio who is also vying for the post of chief justice.
Justices are immune from prosecution and can only be impeached.
De Lima says she will no longer question the decision of the JBC dropping her from the shortlist.
Story 2: TUPAS: DE LIMA WAS NOT SINGLED OUT
The 8-member Judicial Bar Council is split on the suspension of its rule disqualifying candidates with pending cases from the chief justice race.
JBC member Rep. Niel Tupas Jr says the JBC discussed the motion to suspend the rule on disbarment.
Four voted in favor of the motion and four voted against it.
The suspension would have benefitted Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the reported choice of President Benigno Aquino III for chief justice.
Before the JBC's Monday meeting, 3 candidates stood to benefit from the JBC's suspension of its rule: De Lima, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, and Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa.
Acting on motions for reconsideration, the JBC ruled that Jardeleza and Herbosa were qualified.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines previously ordered a full-blown probe of the disbarment complaints against De Lima.
Tupas says the IBP decision hurt De Lima’s chances.
REP. NIEL TUPAS, JBC MEMBER: Bottom line, the reason why De Lima was disqualified. She was never singled out. It was really based on the rules of the JBC.
Story 3: CBCP HITS GOVT FOR 'RAILROADING' RH BILL
Despite languishing in Congress for 17 years, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines finds it unfair the government is now quote--“railroading” it.
In a stinging statement Monday evening the CBCP denounces the House of Representatives' decision last week to end debates on the RH bill.
It's the first statement delivered right after the opening song at a Mass with anti-RH bill legislators in St Peter's Parish, Quezon City.
The CBCP says the voting should have been done on August 7, as initially scheduled.
In a statement, the CBCP says, "People were caught off-guard by the suddenness of the execution."
It adds, "We are dismayed by the display of naked power."
CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma says he would have wanted to attend the voting.
ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA, CBCP PRESIDENT: It's unfair, as I said. You schedule it on the 7th, then all of a sudden, on the 6th, you make that decision. People were not there; they did not expect that...We’re not imposing, we’re only asking to respect us.
Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay was at the mass and debunks arguments the bill has languished in Congress for almost two decades.
MILAGROS 'MITOS' MAGSAYSAY, ZAMBALES REPRESENTATIVE: Every Congress we have different members of the house of representatives. They're all entitled to understand the bill, and they're also entitled to their own opinions. You cannot say that this measure has been there for so long.
Story 4: ANTI-RH WINS ROUND 1 IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Critics of the Reproductive Health bill win Round 1 in the House of Representatives.
They successfully block the House plenary from tackling the controversial measure through a series of privilege speeches Tuesday.
The legislative chamber was scheduled to begin period of amendments on RH bill Tuesday.
But RH bill principal author Albay Rep Edcel Lagman says it is only a temporary victory for the critics of RH bill.
REP. EDCEL LAGMAN, RH BILL PRINCIPAL AUTHOR: Delay is a very temporary victory because that will only temporize the passage of the measure. i think by tomorrow, we will have to try again more particularly on the part of leadership to muster a quorum.
Story 5: PRO-RH BILL SOLONS AGREE TO DELETE CONTROVERSIAL PROVISIONS
RH bill proponents in the House agree to delete controversial provisions to avoid delay in the passage of the bill.
The House plenary begins the period of amendments today.
Supporters and critics of the bill are allowed to change, delete, or add several provisions.
Among the provisions that pro-RH bill lawmakers agree to change include deleting Section 20 of the bill which encourages couples to have two children as the ideal family size; deleting Section 21 which requires companies with at least 200 employees "to provide reproductive health services to its employees”; deleting the provision that prohibits people from peddling "malicious disinformation" on the bill; amending Section 15, which requires district representatives to fund the proposed "Mobile Health Care Service," and including a provision that will relax the responsibilities of hospitals owned by the religious.
Earlier, critics of the bill threatened to introduce amendments that will "kill the bill."
RH Bill principal author Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman says they will accept amendments that will not destroy the essence of the bill.
Story 6: MORE AREAS UNDER SIGNAL NO. 2
Tropical storm Helen -- international name Kai-Tak -- intensifies as it moves closer to Northern Luzon, leaving one person dead.
It is last spotted 230 km east southeast of Tuguegarao City.
Signal no. 2 is up over Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan Islands; Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and Batanes group of islands.
Signal no. 1 is up over Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, Mt. Province, La Union and Ilocos Sur.
The storm will enhance the Southwest Monsoon that will bring rain over Luzon and Visayas especially over the Western section.
Story 7: WEATHER FORECASTERS PROTEST UNPAID WORKERS
President Benigno Aquino III meets with officials of state weather bureau PAGASA in the middle of protests by employees.
Employees wear black armbands in protest over unpaid benefits since March.
They promise work at the state weather bureau will not be affected.
Employees’ demands include release of hazard and longevity pay.
President Aquino says the hazard pay will be given to workers on hazardous assignments.
He adds those who are not should not feel entitled to it.
The employees will hold a noise barrage on Friday.
Story 8: REBEL ATTACK IN MAGUINDANAO LEAVES 1 DEAD
A rebel attack in the boundary of Datu Piang, Maguindanao and Midsayap, North Cotabato leaves one soldier dead.
The attack by MILF breakaway group - the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters also wounds another army personnel.
The BIFF engages in a firefight with a detachment of the 401st Brigade that lasted around 45 minutes.
Last week, the BIFF also attacked 11 towns in Maguindanao, killing 3.
Story 9: AYALA LAND WINS FTI WITH P24-B BID
Ayala Land wins the 74-hectare Food Terminal Inc, one of the largest state-owned industrial complexes in Metro Manila and one of the government's last available assets for sale.
The FTI agro-industrial complex is home to over 300 lessor-companies.
Ayala Land bests bids by property groups Empire East and Robinsons Land Corp.
Ayala's bid of 24.331 billion pesos is more than double the property’s floor price of P10.2 billion.
Proceeds of the sale will go to the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Reform for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Duetsche's chief economist for Asia Michael Spencer, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, says "The strongest performing economy in Asia today is the Philippines," which recorded a 6.4% growth in the first 3 months, making it the best performing economy in the region next to China.
The Philippines has been getting a lot of attention from foreign investors that traditionally only had Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in their investment radar.
The Philippine Stock Exchange hit record highs nearly 20-times since President Aquino took over in 2010, making it the most expensive stocks in Asia.
At number 5, The farm sector registers a paltry 0.93% growth, far below the 4% to 5% target for the year.
Agriculture is a key indicator of the Philippines' ability to post a robust economic growth and lift more people out of poverty.
Agriculture officials cite the 2-month fishing ban on the overfished parts of the Pacific Ocean.
Agriculture officials remain optimistic of better performance in the last half of the year, despite bad weather and floods that inundated crops and hit the country before the 4th quarter.
At number 7, Pope Benedict XVI's former butler, Paolo Gabriele will stand trial for "aggravated theft".
The butler is accused of stealing secret documents that exposed feuds within the Church and of leaking them to journalists.
Also charged is Claudio Sciarpelletti, an analyst and computer programmer in the Vatican.
The butler faces up to 6 years in prison.
The Vatican has been shaken by the scandal.
And at number 10, A survey shows 46% of respondents in the US claim they are less productive at work without coffee.
The results show 61% drink at least two cups each workday, and that more younger workers, aged 18 to 24, claim coffee helps their career by providing an opportunity to network with other co-workers.
Story 11: SCIENTISTS: FUKUSHIMA CAUSED MUTANT BUTTERFLIES
Radiation from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant causes genetic mutations in butterflies, raising fears radiation could affect other species.
Around 12 percent of pale grass blue butterflies exposed to nuclear fallout as larvae had abnormalities, including smaller wings and damaged eyes.
Three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant went into meltdown last year, in the world's worst atomic disaster in 25 years.
The findings raise fears over the long-term effects of the leaks on people exposed to radiation in the weeks after the accident.
But researchers say it's too soon to conclude if the radiation that caused genetic mutation in the Fukushima butterflies will also affect humans.
Workers of the decommissioned plant worry about long-term effects.