Rappler Newscast | August 24, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- Supreme Court Associate Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is the country's first female chief justice.
- The body of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo arrives in Malacañang for a two-day public wake.
- The government will conduct an exhaustive investigation to determine the cause of the Masbate plane crash.
Story 1: SERENO IS FIRST FEMALE CHIEF JUSTICE
Supreme Court Associate Justice Ma Lourdes Sereno is the country's new chief justice and the first woman to hold the post in Philippine history.
She is the 24th chief justice of the country, replacing dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Sereno will serve for 18 years until she reaches the retirement age of 70.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda says, "Chief Justice Sereno will lead the judiciary in undertaking much-needed reforms."
He adds, "The judiciary has a historic opportunity to restore confidence in the judicial system."
She stirred up the judiciary with her candid disclosure and criticism of the High Court's inner workings.
Sereno wrote the dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court’s decision imposing a restraining order on a travel ban on former president Gloria Arroyo.
She said Corona's version of the resolution did not truthfully reflect the High Court's vote in November 2011.
It wasn't the first time she exposed alleged loopholes in the Court's procedures.
In 2010, she said the Court issued an order in favor of then Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez even if some of the justices had not yet seen the petition.
Story 2: ROBREDO'S REMAINS ARRIVE IN MALACAÑANG
The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo is given the highest honors in Malacanang.
Ayee Macaraig reports about Friday’s memorial ceremony for the man who showed transparency and professionalism is possible in governance.
He was a simple man, not fond of pomp and pageantry.
But on the day Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo returns to Malacañang, he is welcomed back with the highest honors.
Robredo’s remains are flown back to Manila from Naga Friday for the state funeral in the country’s seat of power.
The Secretary’s family and 6 of his closest friends and colleagues accompany Robredo’s casket as the military pays him tribute at the Villamor Air Base.
Robredo’s wife says her husband often wondered if his works were appreciated.
Residents of Manila come out to answer his question.
President Aquino watches on as guards bring Robredo’s body into the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañang to honor the leader inspired by the EDSA Revolution to join government.
The national anthem is played. A 19-gun salute booms in the background.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: Secretary Robredo returns to Malacañang for the last time. President Aquino honors a man who left his comfort zone in Naga to join the Aquino Cabinet and serve on a national scale.
Robredo’s colleagues in the Cabinet and local governance remember him fondly.
ROGELIO SINGSON, PUBLIC WORKS & HIGHWAYS SECRETARY: He’s such a pleasant person to deal with. Alam mo his motives are very clear. Di mo tatansyahin kung namumulitika ba siya. You know the motives are pure.
DR EDDIE DOROTAN, EXEC. DIR., GALING POOK FOUNDATION: Pinakita ni Sec. Jess ang mga guapo kayang talunin ang mga trapo, mga guapo, genuine, authentic politicians...Pinakita niya na kung ayaw ng mayor ng jueteng, walang jueteng.
But Robredo did not just inspire government officials and civil society leaders.
Urban poor groups say they lost a rare and key ally in government.
They say Robredo helped them find better living conditions, safe from disasters.
FILOMENA CINCO, COMMUNITY LEADER, ESTERO DE SAN MIGUEL: Di niya kami tiningnan bilang basura, eyesore ng lipunan…Lagi niya sinasabi sa amin di niya kami maliligtas sa tubig. Tapos siya pala iyong napunta sa tubig.
The Kaya Natin Movement also salutes Robredo as a man who showed good governance is possible in the Philippines.
Reflecting on Robredo’s legacy, the people he touched say they owe it to the former Naga Mayor and Secretary to carry on with his difficult but important task.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler.
Story 3: DONATE TO ROBREDO'S CHARITIES OF CHOICE
The family of the late Secretary Robredo says instead of flowers, they would appreciate donations to Robredo's favorite charities.
Robredo mentioned 3: Missionaries of the Poor, Physicians for Peace, and the Lolo Jose Foundation.
The Lolo Jose foundation was started by the Robredos to reach out to other people afflicted with blindness.
Robredo's father Jose, his brother Butch, and his sister Jenny, are all blind because of a genetic disease.
Story 4: ROXAS: CRASH PROBE WILL BE 'EXHAUSTIVE'
The government will conduct an "exhaustive" investigation to determine the cause of the plane crash that killed Secretary Robredo and 2 pilots.
Based on the initial inspection by the the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the plane's emergency location transmitter or ELT was found in the off position, indicating it failed to activate upon impact.
The ELT is a device that automatically activates when a plane is involved in an accident to allow authorities to easily find it.
CAAP director general William Hotchkiss III says it was functioning properly when a routine check was conducted November last year.
Hotchkiss says they are still looking for the plane's right engine, a key part of the investigation.
He also dismisses speculations the crash was caused by the use of diluted aviation fuel.
Story 5: SOTTO PLAGIARISM PROTEST GOES VIRAL
Days after Sen. Tito Sotto denies plagiarizing a blog for his speech against the Reproductive Health bill, the online protest against him continues.
Tweets with the hashtag #SottoPlagiarismProtest went viral Thursday after Twitter user Brian Giron started the trend as an act of protest.
He tweets, "Senator Sotto needs to learn that the internet will fight back when you abuse it, and there is no excuse for plagiarism."
Netizens tweet pop culture references and lines from famous personalities and attribute them to the senator.
The online protest started when Filipino Freethinkers blogger Alfredo Melgar discovered that a portion of Sotto's speech was copied from an American blogger.
Sotto enraged the online community when he refused to apologize for the plagiarism.
He also says he would not quote a blogger.
Story 6: SOTTO'S 2 DEADLY SINS
Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug looks at plagiarism charges hurled at Senator Tito Sotto as well the impact on the Senate as an institution.
Here’s that video blog.
Senator Tito Sotto did not only plagiarize. He lied about it.
He denied that he lifted chunks of words from an American blogger’s work.
Sotto’s staff admitted that parts of the speech were indeed copied. But till today, the senator has not apologized. He has not shown a single moment of remorse or humility.
Worse, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile came to his defense. What then can we expect from the Senate when its leader has spoken?
It looks like Sotto will get away with these two deadly sins—fraud and dishonesty—without any sanction.
Sadly, the Supreme Court, which is supposed to be the conscience of our nation, has condoned plagiarism. It cleared one of its own justices who heavily plagiarized a decision.
Elsewhere in the world, public officials resigned because they plagiarized. One was the president of Hungary; the other was the defense minister of Germany.
In Australia, a judge was forced to resign after she was found to be a serial plagiarist. In the US, a judge was publicly censured.
Philippine society tends to treat these ethical violations lightly; some rationalize and say that these sins don’t kill.
But they do. Slowly, they are killing our values of honesty and integrity.
Story 7: DELAYED MRT FARE HIKE TO PUSH THROUGH IN 2013
The fare increase at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 pushes through in 2013.
Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas says MRT fares will be raised to match bus rates.
He says it would be unfair to the provinces if the government continues to subsidize Metro Manila.
Roxas says the government has spent 75 billion pesos so far to subsidize MRT operations.
Last year, the Department of Transportation and Communications approved fare hikes for both the MRT-3 and Light Rail Transit lines.
The approved fares require a boarding fee of 11 pesos for both train lines, and a 1-peso charge for every kilometer.
The fare hike was suspended after various sectors complained.
Story 8: MVP: TV5-GMA7 DEAL TALKS LIKE LOVERS' QUARREL
Businessman Manuel Pangilinan compares the ongoing deal between his TV-5 group and GMA Network to a lovers' quarrel.
During the Internet & Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines summit, he says TV-5 and GMA-7 are "sometimes on, sometimes off."
He says, "We're currently on."
Pangilinan's camp is negotiating with GMA Network for a possible deal which would transfer control to Pangilinan's group.
Pangilinan also announces his new Twitter account, mimics internet hit "Call me Maybe" and asks listeners to ‘follow me, maybe!’
Pangilinan says this marks his transformation into a true "digital native.”
He now has more than 7,000 followers.
Story 9: S. KOREA COURT SAYS SAMSUNG, APPLE INFRINGED PATENTS
A Seoul court says Apple and Samsung infringed on each other's patents on mobile devices.
It awards damages to both technology giants and imposes a partial ban on product sales in South Korea.
The Seoul Central District Court says Apple breached two of Samsung's technology patents, and ordered it to pay 40 million won or $35,000 dollars in damages.
It also orders Samsung to pay 25 million won or $22,000 for violating one of Apple's patents.
The ruling is part of an international patents battle between the 2 firms.
It comes ahead of a US jury verdict after Apple filed a lawsuit in April 2011.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, After floods, beware of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that comes from direct contact with water contaminated with the urine of infected rats.
The health department places all government hospitals in Metro Manila under Code Blue Alert after 20 hospitals reported 783 leptospirosis cases.
34 people died.
Code Blue means hospitals should be ready for 20 to 50 patients.
The incubation period for leptospirosis is between 5 to 10 days.
The DOH urges Filipinos who develop a fever after wading in flood water see a doctor immediately.
At number 4, Violence increases in and near Damascus in what activists say is the heaviest fighting in Syria's capital this month.
It coincides with the pullout of UN monitors because of deteriorating conditions.
The UN Security Council set a ministerial meeting in New York for August 30, the day the last UN observers are due to leave Syria.
At number 8, The United States is planning a major expansion of missile defenses in Asia, part of the Obama administration's new defense strategy.
US officials say the build-up is designed to counter threats from North Korea, but could also deal with increasingly aggressive moves from China on the South China Sea.
Plans call for a new radar in southern Japan and perhaps another in Southeast Asia.
And at number 9, A former Google executive tells the New York Times the number of women in Google's leadership circle is decreasing as women are passed over for promotion.
The latest defection is 37 year old Marissa Mayer, the first female engineer who ran Google's search, its most profitable business.
In 2010, Google insiders say she was assigned a new job largely seen as a demotion.
Google now says it will use algorithms to identify women to bolster its leadership ranks.
Story 11: LANCE ARMSTRONG TO LOSE 7 TOUR DE FRANCE TITLES
New York Daily news reports cyclist superstar and iconic cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will be stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles and will receive a lifetime ban from Olympic sports.
This is the consequence of Armstrong's decision to no longer fight doping charges against him.
The report says Armstrong "will be disqualified from every competition he entered since Aug. 1, 1998."
This includes the Tour de France races where he built his legend and the 2000 Summer Olympics, where he won a bronze medal.
He is also prohibited from participating at any event whose organizers are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code.
Armstrong’s fans leave messages of support and encouragement on his Facebook Fanpage saying he is “still the best,” and “You will always be an inspiration to millions of people all over the world.”