Rappler Newscast | November 16, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- IMF chief Christine Lagarde says the Philippines is a success story in fiscal reforms.
- President Aquino certifies the sin tax bill as urgent, ensuring its passage as early as Monday.
- Hamas militants fire rockets at Tel Aviv, the first bombing of the city since 1991.
Story 1: IMF HOPES FOR STRONGER TIES WITH PHILIPPINES
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde calls the Philippines a success story in fiscal reforms-- showing countries like Greece what belt tightening can do.
Katherine Visconti reports.
A meeting between one of the most powerful women in global finance and President Benigno Aquino is cancelled because the president is sick.
Still International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is all smiles as she holds a press conference with the president’s economic
Lagarde is touring Southeast Asia to talk to allies.
The lender faces resistance from rich countries over similar austerity measures it prescribed developing countries in the 1990's.
Greece has debts equivalent to 170% of its economy.
Its leaders are against reforms that would cut the debts to 120% by 2020.
The Philippines followed the IMF and it now has debts equivalent to only 2% of the economy.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR: We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the Philippines in a different setting and status.
The Philippines pledged 1 billion dollars to the IMF this year and 125 million dollars in 2011 to help ailing European countries.
It's a role reversal for the country dependent on IMF loans for over 4 decades.
Lagarde says Asian countries who pulled out of that crisis can now teach a thing or two to European countries.
She pays Vice President Binay a visit and asks for continued support helping Europe.
Her visit emphasizes the Philippines growing power in the global economy.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR: And you will be interested to know that this year, 2012, at a very difficult time because of the financial crisis in other parts of the world, the Philippines is probably the only country of which we have increased the growth forecast as opposed to other places in the world where we decreased our forecast.
The IMF expects the Philippines to grow almost 5% this year as rich countries slow down.
Her meeting with the President may not have gone as planned but Lagarde certainly seems bent on keeping the Philippines in her plans.
As European countries face more tough times ahead, the economic success stories of countries like the Philippines may show what reforms can do for their future.
Katherine Visconti, Rappler, Manila.
Story 2: AQUINO CERTIFIES SIN TAX BILL AS URGENT
President Benigno Aquino III certifies the Senate sin tax reform bill as urgent, ensuring its passage as early as Monday.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Franklin Drilon says the certification will allow the Senate to vote on the measure on second and third reading.
He says the Senate can go into a vote and ratify the bill on Monday.
But Senator Bongbong Marcos doubts the bill will be passed that soon.
Marcos says he and several senators still plan to introduce amendments to the measure.
Drilon’s bill aims to raise an additional P40 billion in revenues from tobacco and alcoholic products.
Story 3: SWS: TEEN SMOKERS TO QUIT IF CIGARETTES GET TOO EXPENSIVE
A Social Weather Stations or SWS survey shows Filipino teenagers will only be discouraged from smoking if cigarette prices go up.
The survey was conducted at the height of deliberations on the sin tax bill in August.
The survey’s 1,200 respondents are aged 13 to 17 years old.
8% are current smokers.
28% of the smokers say they will quit if the price of the cigarette stick increases to 10 pesos.
16% say they will quit if prices increase to 5 pesos per stick.
Current prices of preferred brands are 1 peso to 3 pesos per stick.
The survey is commissioned by Health Justice, a group watching the tobacco industry in the Philippines.
Story 4: BRILLANTES HITS SOLON OVER POLL 'RUMORS'
Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr slams an opposition solon for allegedly spreading "rumors" on problems in the printing of ballots for the 2013 polls.
House Minority Leader Representative Danilo Suarez filed a resolution for the House of Representatives to investigate alleged irregularities in ballot printing.
Brillantes says Suarez “is talking about rumors.”
In various interviews, Suarez says the Comelec should handle the printing of ballots instead of the National Printing Office.
Concerns over the printing of ballots rise after an initial test by the NPO.
A Youtube video shows precinct count optical scan machines rejecting 60% of sample ballots in September.
NPO bids and awards committee head Sylvia Banda says the Youtube video “was edited.”
Story 5: GAZA STRIKE TOLL RISES AS ROCKETS POUND ISRAEL
Hamas militants fire rockets targeting Tel Aviv in Israel, killing 3 Israelis and sparking panic.
As Palestinian deaths from continuous air strikes rise to 19, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak gives the go-ahead for 30,000 reservists to be called into service.
Israeli news networks say this is the first time rockets had been fired at Tel Aviv since the 1991 Gulf War.
Hamas militants say they hit an Israeli drone Thursday, with a surface-to-air missile east of Gaza City.
Israel's military campaign against Gaza began Wednesday with the targeted killing of Hamas commander Ahmed Jaabari.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil arrives in Gaza Friday after Israel agreed to halt its campaign against militants during his brief visit.
Story 6: VITUG VLOG: SEX, SCANDAL, AND ACCOUNTABILITY
A celebrated American general faces a sex scandal.
Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug talks about the accountability of public officials in issues involving their private lives.
Here’s her video blog.
A smart, accomplished woman—Paula Broadwell—and the most celebrated American general of his generation, David Petraeus.
Petraeus was credited with turning around the war in Iraq. He was a fast-rising star even considered by some as presidential material.
Broadwell and Petraeus. A biographer and her subject. Two star-crossed lovers.
Their relationship led to the fall of the head of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful intelligence agency, the CIA.
Petraeus resigned early November after the FBI uncovered the affair amid fears of the security risks it posed.
Surely, Petraeus is not the only ranking public official in the US who stepped down after an embarrassing extra-marital affair.
By leaving, they acknowledged that their indiscretions have harmed their office. They take accountability seriously.
In our country, the inevitable comparison has to be made. Have any of our officials resigned because they were found to have mistresses or lovers?
On the contrary, they thrive. Former President Joseph Estrada is the best living example.
Our society, though Catholic, doesn’t frown on extra-marital affairs. There’s a layer of hypocrisy underneath our religion.
We don’t demand honesty from our officials’ private lives.
But what happens in the bedroom cannot be completely isolated from one’s public duty.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 7, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before Congress on the attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Leaders of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs say Clinton commits to testify after an internal review of events is finished by mid-December.
Congress is probing the CIA’s handling of the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 others.
At number 8, Resigned CIA director David Petraeus says he never passed classified information to Paula Broadwell, the woman he had an affair with.
In his first interview after the scandal broke out, Petraeus also says his resignation had nothing to do with the attack on the US consulate in Libya.
He says his testimony before Congress on the attack will push through on Friday.
The fallen general maintains the affair was a personal failing, and he is lucky “to have a wife who is far better than he deserves.”
And at number 9, US President Barack Obama’s digital fundraising for the 2012 presidential race outperforms his online campaign in 2008.
Obama raises $504 million online, up from $403 million in 2008.
Total campaign funds are calculated to reach $1 billion, breaking the 10-figure milestone for the first time in history.
Obama’s small-dollar fundraising through email, social media, mobile and website during the final months of the race is credited for the breakthrough.
Story 8: ALL EYES ON SACAPANO AS AZKALS BEST SINGAPORE
The Philippine Azkals proudly heads to Bangkok after a resounding 1-0 victory over Singapore in Cebu City Thursday in their FIFA-sponsored international friendly.
Marwin Angeles scores his first international goal for the Philippines in the 54th minute.
But the night's superstar is goalkeeper Eduard Sacapaño who made several crucial saves in the game.
Story 9: #MOVEDUMAGUETE: SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Rappler brings its Move.PH chat series to Siliman University for #MoveDumaguete.
The chat series dubbed 'Social media for social change' aims to inspire young minds to interact and participate in nation-building by providing a credible, creative, and interactive platform through social media.
Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa spearheads the event with her keynote address about the power of social media.