Rappler Newscast | January 9, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Senate President Enrile confirms he refused to give cash gifts to 4 of his critics in the Senate.
- President Aquino rejects calls for a total gun ban.
- The Philippine National Police fires cops involved in the alleged shootout in Quezon.
Story 1: ENRILE'S 'CASH GIFTS' EXCLUDE 4 CRITICS
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile confirms he excluded 4 senators from the additional funds he distributed before the Christmas break.
The funds are under the Senate’s Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses or MOOE.
Enrile issues a statement Wednesday saying he refused to give "further additional MOOE" for Senators Miriam Santiago, Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes.
The four are his vocal critics.
Enrile responds to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that says he gave 18 senators P1.6 million each as cash gift billed as “additional MOOE” but he approves only P250,000 each to the 4 senators.
Enrile says all 23 senators got P600,000 each for the first tranche of additional MOOE last November.
But he excludes himself and the 4 senators from the second tranche released before the Christmas break.
Enrile says, "I stand by the exercise of my sole discretion not to authorize any further release of additional MOOE last December to the 4 senators.”
Story 2: TRILLANES: PLAYING FAVORITES IS ENRILE'S PROBLEM
Senator Antonio Trillanes says he’s not surprised Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile excluded his critics in the release of additional Senate funds.
Trillanes says the senate president is quote playing favorites.
Enrile and Trillanes are bitter enemies.
Their rift began when Trillanes bolted the Senate majority, accusing Enrile of railroading the division of Camarines Sur upon orders from former President Gloria Arroyo.
Enrile shot back, accusing Trillanes of siding with the Chinese in back-channel talks on the territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal.
Trillanes says he cannot conclude whether there is any irregularity in Enrile’s handling of the funds but says it reflects on his leadership.
ANTONIO TRILLANES IV, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: It’s not my problem now, obviously. It’s his problem why he played favorites as a senate president. It’s up to you to decide what kind of leader would do such a thing.
Story 3: SANDIGANBAYAN JUNKS ARROYO PLEA TO DROP ZTE CASE
The graft case against former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo continues.
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division denies a motion of the Arroyo camp and her 3 co-accused to dismiss the graft case connected to the controversial NBN-ZTE deal.
The court issues a resolution Monday denying the motion of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
Mrs. Arroyo adopts the motion, along with co-accused former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr, and former Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza.
Arroyo’s husband calls the graft case defective, saying the NBN-ZTE deal never pushed through.
He also questions the anti-graft court’s jurisdiction over the case, arguing the contract was signed and executed in China in 2007.
The Sandiganbayan dismisses Arroyo’s arguments, saying the case stated the offense was committed in February to April 2007 in Malacañang.
The court also says the case is not defective even if the deal failed.
Story 4: AQUINO REJECTS TOTAL GUN BAN
President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday rejects calls for a total gun ban.
He says what is needed is better enforcement of the law and higher penalties for irresponsible gun owners.
A gun enthusiast himself, Aquino defends his right to own a gun.
He says he was a victim of violence in 1987, when he narrowly escaped an ambush by rebel soldiers who mounted a coup against his mother, then President Corazon Aquino.
Aquino also stresses how the government is running after private armed groups, which he says are the biggest threats to peace and order.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: So I think, a lot of us will agree with the basic premise na ‘yung outlaw will be one of the first or first groups that will say, thank you na madidisarmahan ‘yung law abiding citizen dahil mas madali na silang mabiktima…It sounds nice, total gun ban, but the total does not happen because the outlaw will not. So we will not stop in our pursuit to follow these people who are outside of the law and get them before the bars of justice.
Story 5: PNP SACKS QUEZON POLICE CHIEF, COPS
The Philippine National Police fires the police chief of Quezon and officials involved in an alleged shootout in Atimonan, Quezon on Sunday.
The intelligence unit under Supt. Hansel Marantan and Quezon police chief Senior Supt Valeriano de Leon are relieved from their posts and ordered to face the National Bureau of Investigation.
On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says the police violated rules during the incident.
These include the following:
1. The police did not use a marked vehicle at the main checkpoint;
2. They did not put up signs at the checkpoint to indicate the PNP set it up;
3. Except for one, the cops at the checkpoint wore civilian clothes.
Reports show there are 23 police officials involved in the alleged shootout.
On Sunday, 13 alleged members of a gang reportedly involved in robbery and illegal drugs are killed by police in Quezon.
In a press conference, President Aquino says he doubts the incident was a shootout.
He adds, "Other information started to come in that appeared inconsistent with the purported story."
Story 6: BLACK NAZARENE DEVOTEE: IT'S ABOUT FAITH
To the outsider, the Feast of the Black Nazarene may look like an extreme religious ritual.
But for devotees, suffering is a badge of honor.
Devon Wong reports.
There doesn't seem to be any method to the madness.
Frenzied worshippers climb over one another to grab at what they believe is their chance at a miracle.
DEVON WONG, REPORTING: I'm here in Quiapo to witness my first Feast Day of the Black Nazarene. It's a daunting spectacle that looks more like a stampede than an act of worship to the outside eye.
But for the devotees, suffering through the Nazarene is worn as a badge of honor.
Mark Puyao became a devotee three years ago when he was invited by his friends to the event. He says he will continue to come because he believes the Nazarene hears his prayers.
MARK PUYAO, DEVOTEE: All my prayers are answered because of Him. And He gives my family good health.
The strong faith of devotees keeps them returning to the event each year. For some, it's a family tradition. Gloria Kayunda has attended the Nazarene since 1979 to pay homage to the statue. It may seem like an extreme religious ritual to some, but Gloria disagrees.
GLORIA KAYUNDA, DEVOTEE: Us Filipinos are not like that. If it's about faith, it's about faith for us.
(What are you praying for this year?) To have our own house, because we were affected by typhoon Ondoy. We live far. We come from Santa Maria Bulacan. We're hoping to have a relocation.
It's the individual hopes and prayers surging into a collective active of piety that makes the Black Nazarene a powerful event. It may look like chaos from here, but perhaps it makes more sense to someone from a higher place.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Quiapo.
Story 7: VIETNAMESE DIPLOMAT IS NEW ASEAN SEC GEN
A Vietnamese career diplomat assumes the top-post at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN at a time of simmering tensions between ASEAN and its powerful neighbors.
On Wednesday, Vietnamese deputy foreign minister Le Luong Minh is inaugurated as ASEAN’s new Secretary General, replacing Surin Pitsuwan from Thailand.
Minh will serve a term of five years until 2017.
He inherits the goal of an integrated ASEAN community by 2015 and must navigate the 10-member organization amidst tensions between
some of its members and China over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, With NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan ending in 2014 White House officials say the US government is thinking of pulling out.
The White House is considering several options but a decision will depend on whether or not they adhere to the objective of --quote "making sure there's no safe haven for al Qaeda within Afghanistan."
Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are scheduled to meet in Washington, Friday.
At number 6, The inauguration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is postponed indefinitely to allow the leader to recover from complications from surgery in Cuba. He has cancer.
The decision by legislators to postpone his swearing in comes after controversy over whether his current term can be extended beyond January 10, and calls by the opposition for the Supreme Court to intervene.
At number 8, Day one of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has been a let down to some because of the lack of any ground breaking announcements.
Known as the one of the biggest annual tech events in the world, CES is the place for major tech announcements but there were few a day into the weeklong event.
There are interesting devices like Kingston’s 1 terabyte USB thumb drive, no specifics on pricing yet but the device is set for commercial launch in the 1st quarter of 2013.
Several television manufacturers also show off new large screens, ultra HD 4K televisions.
ZTE also announces a 5-inch Android phone with a 13-megapixel camera.
And at number 10, Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will talk about the doping scandal that dramatically brought down his cycling career in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in the third week of January.
The famed talk show host says a 90-minute special show will address --quote "years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs" throughout Armstrong's "storied cycling career."
The interview will be Armstrong's first since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year.
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|