Rappler Newscast | November 5, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- The Philippine Stock Exchange's main index hits its 24th record high for 2012.
- The Philippine National Police is investigating 60 suspected private armies.
- Negative campaigning in the US elections alienates many voters.
Story 1: FIL-AM TIRED OF OBAMA, ROMNEY CAMPAIGNS
Days before the US elections, Obama and Romney are stepping up campaign efforts in swing state Ohio.
But a Fil-Am voter says he has had enough of candidates’ ads.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
Filipino-American Leandro Tapay doesn’t like President Barack Obama.
He doesn’t like Mitt Romney either.
LEANDRO TAPAY: The reason also I cannot vote for Democrats is because of abortion and gay marriage. The Republican.. my problem is that I feel like they are for the rich and the social justice is not touched. The comment was very offensive – 47 percent of the people in the United States are depending on the government.
Tapay is one of Ohio's independent voters who could move the needle in a dead heat presidential elections.
A crucial swing state, Ohio is getting more action than other states. Both candidates visited Ohio countless times. Their political ads are all over television. Their volunteers are aggressively calling the Independent voters.
But all these are not working for Tapay. He’s had it with all the negative campaigning, he says.
LEANDRO TAPAY: The campaign is very sickening. As I said, they try to destroy. I would like to have a campaign where they say this is what I’m going to do. Instead of what the other one has not done. I could not stand people destroying each other.
When they call me, I tell them if you call me I will go to the other party. I voted 3 days ago. I voted independent.
He voted for the Green Party, even if he can't recall the name of its presidential candidate.
This frustration is shared by many in Ohio. Glenda Crawford is a supporter of President Obama but even she can’t stand what the campaign has turned into.
GLENDA CRAWFORD: I feel like most people feel. I’m sick to death by it. It’s just way too much. It doesn’t matter what party, what candidate. It’s way too negative. When it comes on, I either turn the TV off or leave the room. I’ll be glad when it’s over.
But Glenda fears the madness won't be over by November 6.
In a presidential race so tight, election scenarios abound, including a repeat of the Gore-Bush election scenario.
Delay of election results will only widen the gap in the already polarized electorate.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Columbus Ohio.
Story 2: SPEAKER BELMONTE ON RH BILL: LET'S DECIDE NOW
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte calls on critics of the Reproductive Health bill to stop filibustering and bring the bill to a vote.
Belmonte makes the appeal as Congress resumes sessions today.
He says new amendments to House Bill 4244 makes it more acceptable.
These amendments dropped provisions on an ideal family size and the section on ‘family planning supplies as essential medicines’.
Despite the changes, some critics are not happy and plan to question the manner lawmakers introduced these amendments.
Proponents also express disappointment, calling the present version a ‘watered down’ bill.
Deputy Majority Leader Janet Garin -- one of the co-authors of the bill -- hopes the measure will be approved on second reading before Congress goes on recess on December 22.
For the full list of amendments, visit our website at www.rappler.com.
Story 3: SEN. DRILON: PASS SIN TAX AND BUDGET BEFORE 2013
Senator Franklin Drilon says he will work to pass both the sin tax bill and the 2013 budget before the end of the year.
Drilon is responding to skeptics who doubt he can pass both in time.
Senator Drilon is the chairperson of the Senate Finance Committee -- which is in charge of the budget -- and the acting head of the Senate Ways and Means Committee overseeing the sin tax bill.
The senator says he will use the version of the sin tax bill filed by senator Ralph Recto instead of introducing a new bill.
Recto resigned as chair of the ways and means committee in October.
Drilon says amendments will be introduced to increase sin tax revenues to fund the 54-billion budget deficit in the Department of Health.
The government seeks to raise around 60 billion pesos from the new tax, but may be amenable to lower targets of 30 to 40 billion pesos.
Drilon also wants to pass the sin tax bill before the 2013 budget.
The lower house is expected to send the two trillion peso budget to the senate floor next week.
Story 4: PSE MAIN INDEX HITS 24TH RECORD HIGH
The Philippine Stock Exchange's main index hits its 24th record high for 2012.
The PSE index closes Monday at a fresh all-time high at 5,457.82, after it hit an intra-day high of 5,483.93.
This beats the previous all-time high finish of 5,443.74 last October 4.
Story 5: PHILIPPINE POLICE PROBING 60 "PRIVATE ARMIES"
The Philippine National Police says it is investigating about 60 suspected "private armies" that could use violence to influence the 2013 elections.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo says police intelligence identified the suspected groups in different parts of the country.
He adds police will validate the information before going after the groups.
Armed followers of politicians are a major problem during elections.
In 2009, followers of the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao killed 58 people to prevent a rival from running against one of the clan members.
Story 6: PINOY DRIVER HELD OVER RIYADH TRUCK BLAST
Saudi authorities arrest a Filipino driver for the truck explosion that killed 22 people and wounded over a hundred others last week in Riyadh.
The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs says the driver, identified as Robin Kebeng, survived the blast and is being questioned by police.
Saudi police suspect the Filipino is responsible for the accident, but Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago says he is not aware of any charges filed.
Story 7: PROBLEM OF BULLYING IN PHILIPPINE SCHOOLS
The case of a father who pulled a gun on a teenager highlights the growing problem of bullying in Philippine schools.
Carlos Santamaria reports.
Jamie Garcia is 18 years old and a victim of bullying in an exclusive private school.
Two months ago, he fought back and attacked his bullies.
The father of one the boys, Alan Bantiles, went to the school and pointed a gun at Jamie's head.
MIKE GARCIA, JAMIE'S FATHER: Personally, what he did is not the behavior of a rational, sane, civilized person.
The Garcia family filed criminal charges against Bantiles, who claims he is innocent but refuses to be interviewed.
Jamie's parents want Bantiles to pay for what he did to their son, who is now suffering from anxiety and depression.
TONI GONZALES GARCIA, MOTHER: My stomach, every time I just think of what was done to him, and what is still being done by these cruel, malicious people in school, it turns my stomach. They think that we want this. Take it please! Take it, you can have it!
As a mom, I wish I could take away his pain, but I can't. So all we can do is make Jamie feel that we are here, and we are here till the end.
Experts say cases of bullying are piling up and are becoming a serious problem in schools.
ANDREA MARTINEZ, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Bullying in the Philippines is becoming very rampant, and very difficult to address, especially because some of the authorities are mum about it.
Psychologists say adults should learn how to detect the symptoms before the bullying occurs.
Teachers need to be more vigilant and parents must not meddle.
ANDREA MARTINEZ, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Let the kids learn how to fix their problems, make their peace, because most often if adults, especially parents get involved directly, the bully would tend to retaliate again and just start a vicious cycle of bullying.
Bullying can lead to long-term effects such as low self-esteem for the victim. The bully, on the other hand, continues to abuse others as a form of self-affirmation.
CARLOS SANTAMARIA: Jamie's case is but one of many which are reported daily in Philippine schools where most teachers don't want to get involved and parents tend to protect or even retaliate.
Experts say, education for teachers and parents is key to ending bullying.
Carlos Santamaria, Rappler, Manila
Story 8: ANONYMOUS HACKS BEGIN: PAYPAL, SYMANTEC AFFECTED
The hacking collective Anonymous says it hacked several websites in commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day, November 5.
The group claims it dumped the user and employee account information of PayPal, Symantec, and Australian government websites.
The hackings, announced through the group's Twitter account, appear to be anti-surveillance protests.
The group is also attempting to organize a public protest at the Houses of Parliament in London, a reenactment of a scene from the film V for Vendetta.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, tens of thousands of New Yorkers need housing after superstorm Sandy swept through the eastern border of the US last week.
In a press conference Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says, “It is starting to get cold, people are in homes that are uninhabitable.”
According to Cuomo, “Sandy” left more than 100 dead in 15 US states and Canada and left behind damage estimated at tens of billions of dollars.
Over 700,000 in New York state are still without electricity, including 130,000 in the city.
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimates about 40,000 people in the city alone will need housing.
At number 7, Documents indicate Apple paid less than 2% in corporate tax made on profits outside the US.
It paid a higher rate of 2.5% the previous year.
Apple is the latest company identified to be paying low rates of overseas tax, after Starbucks, Facebook and Google.
But a BBC report says this does not mean these companies’ tax avoidance schemes are illegal.
The British broadcaster says Apple’s total profits for 2012 are up 24%.
And at number 9, Bishop Tawadros is the new pope of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, Egypt’s Coptic Christians.
A blindfolded boy, one of 12 shortlisted children, picks the name of the 60-year-old bishop and doctor from a glass bowl during a ceremony at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo.
Bishop Pachomius, acting leader of the Copts, took the ballot from the altar boy’s hand and read “Bishop Tawadros.”
The British-educated Tawadros succeeds Pope Shenouda III who died in March.
He will lead Egypt’s Coptic Christians who fear the rise of Islamists under president Mohamed Morsi.
Story 10: 'BWAKAW' BRIGHTENS PHILIPPINE INDIE FILM INDUSTRY
A Philippine independent film about a grumpy gay man and his faithful dog wins rave reviews abroad.
Critics say the film “Bwakaw” dispels the belief that local independent films have to focus on the darker side of life to win recognition.
Bwakaw is the Philippines' submission for an Academy Award for best foreign film.
It tells the story of 70-year-old Rene, a villager who only recently realized he was homosexual.
He looks forward to his death, only to have his dog -- Bwakaw -- teach him the value of life.
The film premiered in independent film festival Cinemalaya in July, winning the "audience's choice" award and a best actor prize for lead actor Eddie Garcia.
Time magazine chose "Bwakaw" as one of 10 films to watch in the New York Film Festival held in September and October.
Prominent film critic Nathaniel Rogers calls it "a true gem... and an absolutely worthy Oscar submission."