Rappler Newscast | August 28, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- President Benigno Aquino III calls the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo an inspiration to a new generation of heroes.
- The late secretary, a man for the masses, is laid to rest in a grand burial ceremony in his hometown, Naga.
- On the day Robredo is buried, jockeying for the position of Interior Secretary starts.
Story 1: FINAL RITES FOR JESSE ROBREDO
The country lays to rest its Interior and Local Government secretary, Jesse Robredo.
President Benigno Aquino III says Robredo will inspire a generation of heroes, calling him a trailblazer of daang matuwid, or the “straight and narrow path.”
His wife Leni says Robredo strove not to get attached to the perks of his public office.
Carmela Fonbuena who is in Naga City filed this report.
The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo is laid to rest.
He is given a state funeral and conferred the Legion of Honor, with the rank of commander in chief, the highest honors the President can give without Congressional approval.
The late Secretary’s widow, Leni is a picture of strength.
The late Secretary is interred here at the Eternal Gardens Memorial Park.
But the mourning is not over.
With the flurry of events, the Naguenos have not really come to terms with his death.
The late Secretary’s brother Butch himself is not as strong as Leni.
In his eulogy, President Aquino tells Naguenos that Robredo was a big loss to the whole country, too.
But the President assures everyone Robredo’s death will not be in vain.
He likens Robredo death to his father’s, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Naalala ko pa po ang mga agam-agam namin nang biglaan ding pumanaw ang aking ama noong taong 1983. Marami po sa amin ang nagtanong: Paano na tayo? Sino ang magtutuloy? Parang ligaw na ligaw po kami; nawala ang aming pinuno. Pero sabi nga po ng aking ina, “If cowardice is infectious, then bravery is all the more infectious." May isang henerasyon na naman ng mga Pilipinong mabibigyang-inspirasyon at mahihimok na maglingkod sa ngalan ni Jesse.
Robredo is going to be a tough act to follow.
But all that his supporters are asking for right now are leaders who will at least continue what he has started.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler.
Watch the full video of the President’s speech and that of Leni Robredo on Rappler.com in the stories "Aquino to Robredo: Mission accomplished" and "Leni Robredo to Jesse: Rest well, we love you forever."
Story 2: JESSE ROBREDO: A MAN FOR THE MASSES
The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was a man for the masses.
Low-key and unassuming, he dressed, acted and lived like the people he served.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
Tsinelas, shorts and a simple t-shirt: this was the favorite get-up of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
When Robredo died, he was among the country's highest ranking officials.
But he returned home every week to his simple life in Naga City, where he was happiest.
LENI ROBREDO, WIFE: Naga has always been his home. He always tells me this is his happy place.
Robredo and his 4 siblings grew up in a simple house in Barangay Tabuko, where his parents still live today.
He went to Naga Parochial for grade school, a private Catholic school, where he is remembered as one of the role models.
During his wake, 5th and 6th graders from the school traveled to the Archbishop’s palace to say goodbye.
Robredo attended Ateneo de Naga University for high school, before going to De La Salle University for college.
After graduation, he worked in a top corporation before returning to Naga, inspired by the People Power Revolution.
Nagueños elected Robredo Mayor of Naga when he was 29.
He worked in City Hall for a total of 18 years.
Unlike traditional offices, his desk came before his secretary's, so locals could enter freely and speak to him directly.
His office stayed simple, unchanged for his 6 terms as Mayor.
When Robredo became DILG secretary, he maintained his modest lifestyle.
He came home on weekends to be with his family in a humble 3-storey home in Barangay Dayangdang.
He biked everywhere around the city, and went to mass every Sunday at the tiny open-air barangay church two streets away before returning to Malacañang for the week.
A true son of Naga, Robredo was a faithful devotee to the Virgin of Penafrañcia, the patroness of Bicol.
Friends and neighbors remember Robredo as generous and always smiling.
His burial is a stark contrast to his life -- fancy and grand.
LENI ROBREDO, WIFE: I know he would shy away from excessive praise. He might find all the fuss pomp and pageantry a little uncomfortable.
But in the words of his wife, it is a fitting celebration to a life well-lived.
LENI ROBREDO, WIFE: I wasn't surprised when I opened the body bag he was still wearing his DILG uniform...When Jess was still Mayor of Naga, we both worked hard in making sure the children did not feel a sense of entitlement.
Naga's favorite son stayed humble despite his accomplishments. To many Filipinos, a life worth emulating.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Naga City.
Story 3: BINAY: OCHOA QUALIFIED TO BE DILG CHIEF
Vice President Jejomar Binay backs some names rumored to be the next head of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
These include Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Davao Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
President Benigno Aquino III appointed Ochoa officer-in-charge of the DILG following the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s death.
Binay says local government procedures are not new to Ochoa, who worked in Quezon City before joining Malacañang.
Binay adds, he is no longer interested in the post even if he expressed interest at the start of the Aquino administration.
Since Robredo’s death on August 18, there is speculation the rivalry between the Balay and Samar factions of the administration has been renewed.
The Balay faction is identified with Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, Binay's vice presidential rival in 2010.
The Samar faction is linked to Binay.
Reports say the Balay faction and the ruling Liberal Party are pushing for either Cavite Rep Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, former Isabela Gov Grace Padaca, Duterte, and Lim to bag the post.
Story 4: AVIATOUR FLIGHT SCHOOL APPEALS SUSPENSION
The operator of the plane that crashed off Masbate on August 18 is asking regulators to allow its flight school to operate again.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines suspended Aviatour's licenses while a probe is conducted into the crash that killed company CEO Capt. Jessup Bahinting, his student, Nepalese Kshitiz Chand, and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The company says the suspension order affects over a hundred pilot trainees and instructors.
This is not the first time that Aviatour's flight school was suspended.
CAAP also suspended its school license after a plane crash in Camiguin on March 4, 2012 which killed 2 people.
Story 5: SERENO: SC MUST RETURN TO 'DIGNIFIED DAYS OF SILENCE'
Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno says the Supreme Court must return to the "dignified days of silence" when its "justices were heard [and] read through their writings."
Sereno issues this statement following media requests for interview.
She was named to the position on August 24.
Sereno's move is the opposite of her predecessor's actions, dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, who granted interviews after he was sworn in May 2010 and during his impeachment trial.
UP Professor Theodore Te criticized Corona, saying opinions given outside Court proceedings may be misconstrued by the public.
Sereno says the Court needs to be shielded from "the susceptibility of misinterpretation" because it should be carefully balanced in making its decisions.
She says, "If the Supreme Court is to return to its golden days, then the Chief Justice must respectfully decline all these well-meaning requests for interview."
Story 6: PAL ORDERS 54 AIRBUS AIRCRAFT WORTH $7-B
Philippine Airlines orders 54 Airbus aircraft worth $7 billion, in the first phase of the company's refleeting and modernization plans.
PAL Chairman Lucio Tan says the purchase will play a key role in revitalizing the airline, and growing trade and tourism in the Philippines.
The refleeting plans, which involve the purchase of up to 100 new planes, are meant to reduce fuel and operating costs.
PAL president Ramon Ang says the company is capable of shouldering the expenses, thanks to the capital he infused in the business.
PAL recently announces a net income of P489 million in April to June.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Apple’s 1-billion dollar victory over Samsung in a patent court case will affect smartphone users.
If you own a Samsung phone in the US, note this: there are 8 banned phones including 4 Galaxy S2 models, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail.
A CNN report says customers who own the devices don't need to worry anyone will take their phones away, but expect software updates that tweak how they look and work, such as changes in the zoom.
The verdict could also affect all smartphone titans.
Apple can go on to sue Google and its phone partners.
If you own a Samsung tablet: the ruling won’t impact your phone. The jury ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablets did not infringe on Apple's design patents for the iPad.
At number 6, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says, live with China's "checkbook diplomacy" because that is now a fact of life."
Carr is referring to China’s efforts to gain support in the Pacific region in a seeming contest with Taiwan for diplomatic influence.
He cites some 600 million US dollars in "soft loans" to nations such as Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Island.
The China-Taiwan rivalry saw some Pacific nations constantly change allegiance between Taipei and Beijing in return for increased aid.
At number 9, The Bank of Canada is introducing new 100 Canadian dollar bills, but the draft images are earning flak for being racist.
Businessweek reports the first image on the bill was criticized for featuring an Asian woman looking into a microscope, saying this reinforces the stereotype that Asians excel in science.
When the bank released the bill -- this time, with the new image of a Caucasian woman -- the Chinese groups said minorities were not represented.
The central bank finally says in a statement, it will not be redesigning the note, but apologizes to those who were offended.
And at number 10, Singer Jennifer Lopez and International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde top Forbes magazine's list of Most Powerful Female Philanthropists in 2012.
Forbes says the list comes from a survey of powerful women who donated millions of dollars, helped international humanitarian organizations and raised consciousness and cash for causes they value.
The list also includes Angelina Jolie of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.