Rappler Newscast | August 21, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- The body of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo is found, 3 days after his plane crash.
- President Benigno Aquino III brings home a dead colleague and friend on the 29th death anniversary of his father.
- The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo leaves a legacy of transparency and citizen's participation in governance.
Story 1: NATION MOURNS ROBREDO'S DEATH
It’s a sad day for the Philippines.
The city of Naga is in mourning.
Jesse Robredo became its youngest mayor in 1988, winning by a slim margin. He gave meaning to people power, increasing citizens’ participation in city councils.
He instituted reforms that made Naga the most improved city in Asia in 1999. He led by example, living a simple life - with no trappings of power.
When he joined national government, he was the epitome of this government’s battlecry of daang matuwid - the “straight and narrow path.”
His legacy is what he fought for in life - full transparency in governance.
Ayee Macaraig tells us about the announcement that brought tears to many Filipinos.
There are no statements yet, but the body language of top Cabinet, police and military officials speaks volumes.
Soon, aides ask the media to prepare for an important announcement.
MAR ROXAS, TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY: May malungkot tayong balita. JC. Kumpirmado na ang isa sa mga katawan ay 'yung sa kay Secretary Jess Robredo.
British volunteer technical diver Matt Reed finds the body of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo off Masbate, 3 days after a plane crash.
Like Robredo’s colleagues, the news leaves President Aquino speechless.
Immediately, Aquino flies to Masbate to bring Robredo home to his wife and children in Naga.
But for many residents of Masbate, Robredo was also family.
Father Leo Casas officiates the final blessing for his friend of 10 years.
FATHER LEO CASAS, ROBREDO’S FRIEND: Napakasakit but the mere fact nag-bless ka, you entrusted him to God. Yun din ang nagpalakas sa akin but human as we are, di ko mapigilan umiyak. Sabi ko bakit nagkaganito?
While Robredo’s family and friends grieve, the relatives of the two pilots – Captain Jessup Bahinting of Cebu and student-pilot Kshitiz Chand from Nepal – are still waiting for the pilots bodies to be recovered.
They are devastated but grateful.
TEK BAHADUR CHAND, FATHER OF CO-PILOT: Thank you. Thank you to everyone, thank you President.
The search for the others go on but is temporarily suspended after German diver Danny Brumbach suffers from decompression problems.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Masbate.
Story 2: AQUINO BRINGS HOME ROBREDO ON NINOY DEATH ANNIVERSARY
On the 29th death anniversary of his father, President Benigno Aquino III brings home a dead colleague and friend.
Earlier today, the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was brought to the Masbate Airport and given military honors.
Robredo died in a plane crash off Masbate last Saturday.
His body is recovered today. He was 54.
At noon, the plane carrying Robredo's body left for Naga, where his family lives and where he served as mayor for nearly 2 decades.
The President supervised the search and rescue operations for Robredo and his two pilots since Sunday.
He left for Manila Monday night to commemorate the death anniversary of his father, the late Sen Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., who was shot on Aug. 21, 1983.
Natashya Gutierrez reports on Robredo’s last homecoming.
Tears, wails, grief.
The morning starts with devastating news.
Supporters weep when they hear Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo is dead. His body found 3 days after his plane crashed in Masbate.
Volunteers who kept vigil are in shock - their hopes he would come back alive shattered.
In seconds, an empty house fills with people.
The air is heavy, words few and far between.
ERWIN VILLACRUZ, FORMER NAGA OFFICIAL: Ang favorite memory ko kahit po mga personal na namin na problema, tinatanong kami king ano ang mga problema namin, sa opisina, sa aming mga trabaho.
At noon, Robredo's wife, Leni and their three daughters ride a van to the Naga airport to claim his body flown from Masbate.
There, they meet President Benigno Aquino, who helps to bring Robredo's body to the funeral parlor.
Aquino's cabinet secretaries are in Naga, joined by other public officials, to pay their respects to a beloved peer.
Outside the house, yellow ribbons appear and hours before the wake, people are walking, wearing yellow - Robredo's favorite color.
REMEDIOS PERILLO, NAGA RESIDENT: Nawala na po siya. Maraming natutulungan yun e. Hindi siya patay...ang ala-ala niya hindi patay.
Hundreds are expected to attend the wake to say a final goodbye to the man who served Naga for 18 years.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: The outpouring of support and grief here is symbolic of the admiration accorded Robredo by those he served. While his passing saddens locals, they find comfort that his body was found and that he has made it back to Naga. To them, Robredo is home. Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Naga City.
Story 3: FILIPINOS ONLINE SAY #SALAMATJESSE
Most Filipinos never met the late DILG secretary.
But many used social networking site Twitter to remember Robredo, who despite his numerous awards and honors remained a humble man.
President Aquino calls him sincere and genuine.
Vice President Jejomar Binay offers condolences to the Robredo family and urges everyone to pray for them.
Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney says the DILG secretary will be deeply missed.
Senator Pia Cayetano prays the families of Sec. Robredo and pilots Bahinting and Chand be “enveloped in love at this difficult time.”
Twitter user Aryann Avenido says her entire family is affected by Sec. Robredo’s death, while Alejandro Rex tweets, “He led by example, now it’s our turn to do our part.”
Michel Eldiy says, “Sec. Jesse Robredo proved that honorable and effective governance is not a myth or a mere ideal.
Arnold Romero says Robredo is “a fresh break” from traditional politicians.
And Zee Codizar tweets, “We need more government officials like him.”
Story 4: ROBREDO'S LEGACY: FULL DISCLOSURE
Until the eve of the plane crash that killed him, the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo aggressively pushed for the Full Disclosure Policy, a DILG initiative that ensures government transparency.
DILG says Robredo wanted the public to support it.
It requires local governments to disclose 12-15 important financial documents to show the public how funds are spent.
DILG says based on Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys, nearly 1,700 or 99% of local government units have complied with the policy as of June.
Story 5: 'TEMBIN' MOVES TOWARD TAIWAN
Typhoon Igme -- international codename Tembin -- strengthens as it moves northwest and heads toward Taiwan.
It is last spotted 320 km east northeast of Basco, Batanes.
Storm signal no. 1 is up over the Batanes group of islands.
The typhoon enhances the southwest monsoon, bringing light to moderate rain over Luzon, particularly over the western section.
Another weather disturbance, tropical storm Julian, continues to intensify over the Pacific.
It will be named "Bolaven" when it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
Story 6: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, technology giant Apple set another record on August 20: It became the most valuable public company in history.
Apple's market value hit $623 billion intra trading, eclipsing the previous record set by Microsoft.
The anticipated September launch of the new iPhone, coupled with rumors of a smaller iPad and a more feature-rich Apple TV, lift Apple’s stock in recent weeks.
Apple is on track to be the world's largest technology company in terms of sales by the end of the year.
At number 7, A Chinese court suspends the death sentence of Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced political leader Bo Xilai.
She was found guilty of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood in a case that rocked the Communist party.
The case brought down her husband Bo, a charismatic but divisive politician, and exposed deep divisions in the ruling Communist party before a generational handover of power due to start later this year.
Gu confesses to killing 41-year-old Heywood by pouring poison down his throat, saying Heywood threatened her son after a business deal went sour.
At number 8, A new high-speed undersea data cable connects Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. The 7,800 km Asia Submarine-cable Express transfers data via an optical fibre system at 40 gigabits per second.
It is equivalent to downloading a high-resolution DVD in about two seconds -- three milliseconds faster than any other cable between Singapore and Tokyo.
Involved are Japan's NTT, Philippines' PLDT, Singapore's StarHub, and Telekom Malaysia.
And at number 9, US President Barack Obama bluntly warns Syrian president Bashar al-Assad not to cross a "red line" by using chemical or biological weapons in his country's bloody conflict.
The US President suggests it would prompt the United States to consider a military response.
This is Obama's strongest language to date.
Obama has been reluctant to get the US involved in another war in the Middle East, refusing to arm rebels fighting Assad.