Rappler Newscast | December 13, 2012
Today on Rappler.
- In a historic vote, the House of Representatives passes the Reproductive Health Bill on 2nd Reading.
- More than a week later, the death toll from typhoon Pablo climbs to more than 900.
- Japan deploys fighter jets after a Chinese plane is spotted over islands claimed by both countries.
Story 1: RH BILL HURDLES 2ND READING IN HOUSE
Despite intense pressure from the Catholic Church, Reproductive Health bill advocates win a crucial vote early Thursday.
The controversial measure is now a step closer to becoming a law.
Carmela Fonbuena reports.
In a historic vote that lasted 6 hours, the House of Representatives approves the Reproductive Health bill on second reading, the most difficult stage of the legislative process.
The 14-year-old advocacy to provide RH services – including free contraceptives to the poor – is now a step away from final approval in the House.
The vote happens 9 days after President Aquino called the House members to Malacañang and told them he wants the RH bill passed.
It was a difficult road to victory - a war inside and outside Congress.
The Catholic Church and its allies in the House stood their ground against the bill.
MANNY PACQUIAO, SARANGANI REPRESENTATIVE: Manny Pacquiao is pro-life, Manny Pacquiao votes no to the RH Bill.
And in spite of Aquino’s strong push, it’s a close vote – a victory by only 9 votes.
The showdown continues until the final vote --- expected to happen on the 3rd week of December.
RUFUS RODRIGUEZ, CAGAYAN DE ORO REPRESENTATIVE: Imagine 9 votes lang and all the arsenal of government was here.
NEPTALI GONZALES II, MAJORITY LEADER: You have to expect na mas magiging intense lahat ang lobby nito.
The Senate, too, will vote on the measure on the same week.
PIA CAYETANO, SENATOR: I’m excited that we have the opportunity that we have chance to duplicate this success and this joy that many of women fighting for RH...we’ll replicate it on Monday.
It’s the big make or break week for RH Bill-- one that pits the country’s President against the powerful Catholic Church.
No camp can claim victory yet.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Manila
Story 2: 26 LP MEMBERS VOTE 'NO' TO RH BILL
26 members of the Liberal Party vote against the Reproductive Health bill, despite President Benigno Aquino’s support for the controversial measure.
43 LP members vote to pass the bill on second reading.
Aquino pushed the bill to provide reproductive health services, including free contraceptives to the poor.
Short of imposing a party stand, LP President Mar Roxas issued a statement Tuesday that said the LP leadership urges its members to vote for the bill.
Among those who voted against the RH bill was Zamboanga City Rep Ma Isabelle Climaco.
Climaco says the Magna Carta for Women already protects women and children.
Story 3: CHEERS, JEERS ONLINE AS RH BILL HURDLES 2ND READING
Social media buzzes with activity early Thursday, as the lower house votes on the Reproductive Health bill.
Pro-RH politicians celebrate on Twitter.
Former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros tweets: “A night of tears of joy and roses. This is our night, this is our morning.”
RH bill principal sponsor Pia Cayetano says: “Delayed posting because I ran to Rep Lagman to hug him and was jumping up and down!”
Anti-RH Cavite Rep Lani Revilla thanks the people present in the gallery and adds, “We still need your prayers. This is just for the 2nd reading.”
Social media users also weigh in on the vote.
Anti-RH Leecars Carlos tweets, “To control poverty, give jobs to poor people. If they have work, they will be busy and eventually will stop making babies.”
Pro-RH Leslie Gapac says, “The passing of the RH bill on the 2nd reading just proves that the Church can no longer rule over the State.”
Story 4: 'PABLO' TOLL NOW 902; 296 FISHERMEN RESCUED
The death toll from typhoon Pablo reaches 902 more than a week after the storm hit Mindanao.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also reports the number of missing people is down to 635.
The agency adds 296 fishermen from 6 different fishing companies have been rescued.
But fishermen's groups in General Santos City dispute the number of rescued fishermen.
Dino Barrientos of the Umbrella Fish Landing Association says only six of the 310 originally declared missing are found.
On Wednesday, the Interior Department says it is finalizing an order mandating local government units to use part of their calamity funds to provinces struck by the typhoon.
Story 5: EX-THAI PM CHARGED WITH MURDER
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is charged with murder on Thursday over a civilian's death during a crackdown on anti-government rallies two years ago.
Bangkok's Department of Special Investigation formally charges Abhisit and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban making them the first officials to face a court over Thailand's worst political violence in decade.
About 90 people died and nearly 1,900 were wounded in a series of street clashes between "Red Shirt" demonstrators and security forces.
It culminated in a deadly army operation in May 2010 to break up the protest.
Story 6: JAPAN DEPLOYS FIGHTERS FOR CHINA PLANE
Japan deploys fighter jets on Thursday after one Chinese state-owned airplane enters airspace over islands at the center of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.
Japan mobilizes F-15 jets after a Chinese maritime aircraft ventures over the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus.
Chinese government ships have moved in and out of waters around the islands for more than two months.
But this is the first time since the dispute flared that Tokyo claimed any airborne incursion into what it claims is Japanese territory.
Story 7: INQUEST: NURSE IN UK ROYAL HOAX FOUND HANGED
A nurse duped by a prank call to the London hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife Catherine was found hanging in her room, according to an inquest.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, had injuries on her wrist and also left 3 notes before she died last week.
She answered a prank call to the hospital made by Australian radio presenters asking about the duchess’ condition, who suffered from acute morning sickness.
Australia's media watchdog opens an investigation into the prank call Thursday.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, After his devastating loss to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao drops from number 2 to number 7 in pound-for-pound rankings globally of world-class boxers in The Ring magazine.
Its list is considered the most accurate and prestigious in boxing.
Marquez moved up from number 6 to number 3 with Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire at number 6, a notch ahead of his idol, Pacquiao.
At number 6, A day after US President Barack Obama recognizes the rebels in Syria, US officials announce President Bashar al-Assad's forces are firing ballistic missiles at rebel fighters.
A civil war that's been raging for nearly two years seems to be shifting as the insurgency gains momentum. More than 40,000 people have been killed according to human rights activists.
At number 8, It's been a difficult transition for Egypt, and now the December 15 vote called by President Mohammed Morsi is becoming a major test for its budding democracy. The original vote to ratify a new constitution will now be split into two.
After two weeks of often violent protests, main opposition National Salvation Front, announces it would campaign for 'no' votes instead of boycotting.
It might still call for a last-minute boycott if several conditions aren't met by Saturday morning.
And at number 9, The FBI announces Facebook helped in the takedown of an international crime ring that cost online users more than US$850 million.
Ten people were arrested from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, New Zealand, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Story 9: AZKALS BOW OUT OF SUZUKI CUP FINALS
Filipino sports fans suffer another heartbreak following Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez as the Philippine Azkals bow out of contention from the AFF Suzuki Cup finals for the second consecutive season.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
The Philippine men's football team has reached the end of their Suzuki Cup journey.
After losing to Singapore 1-0 in the second leg of the semifinals, the Azkals bow out of the tournament.
The first leg of the semis held in Rizal Memorial Stadium ended in a scoreless draw.
This meant that if the Azkals won the next match or tied with Singapore with at least one goal, they would advance to the finals.
Before the second leg in Singapore, Azkals head coach Michael Weiss was optimistic about the team's chances.
MICHAEL WEISS, PH HEAD COACH: We have to find the right strategy on this day against the Singaporean side on this same level. As I said before [they have a] slight advantage on experience, but maybe our advantage of hungriness of getting into the finals can make up for that.
But on game day, the Azkals looked disjointed on offense, conceding a goal to Singapore on the 19th minute.
A long range shot by Kahirul Amri sealed the deal for the Azkals, who were unable to respond.
They came back more determined on the second half, but despite consecutive attempts to score, the Singaporean defense stayed tough denying the Philippines the equalizer.
Before the defeat, the Philippines was only one goal away from making the finals.
This is the second time in a row that the Philippines has failed to make it past the semifinals, the first time in 2010.
After the loss, team manager Dan Palami turned to Twitter to pump up heartbroken fans.
Palami says: We can focus on the "what ifs", or we can concentrate on what can be... more pages in history yet to be written. The Azkals will be back.”
The loss comes just days after the stunning loss of another Filipino athlete, Manny Pacquiao.
But like the boxer, the Azkals vow to return stronger, especially for the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup in March, their next major tournament.
Analysts agree the team needs to work on their offense.
The Philippines only scored 4 goals in this tournament -- the least among semifinalists.
The good news? The Azkals' second semifinals trip proves that the Philippines is now one of the best teams in Southeast Asia.
The challenge is to continue improving.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler Manila.
Story 10: GOOGLE MAPS FOR IPHONE RELEASED
Google releases the long-awaited Google Maps app for the iPhone and says the app is rolling out worldwide.
The verge reports majority of the app's features like traffic, turn-by-turn navigation, street view and others are all there.
Gizmodo adds Google will also be coming out with a "Google Maps SDK for iOS and a URL scheme to get third party applications to launch the Google Maps app.
It is a welcome development especially after the Australian police on Monday rescued people left stranded in the wilderness by following directions from the Apple Maps app.