Rappler Newscast | January 25, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Journalists ask Comelec to junk its rule requiring 'prior approval' for interviews with candidates.
- A petition seeks to disqualify 3 families in the May polls for violating the constitutional ban on political dynasties.
- US Ambassador Harry Thomas apologizes for the damage done by a US vessel to the Tubbataha reef.
Story 1: NUJP: REVOKE 'ABSURD' MEDIA INTERVIEW RULE
Media organizations ask the Commission on Elections to revoke its rule requiring 'prior approval' for interviews with candidates in the May elections.
The National Union of Journalists calls resolution number 9615 'absurd' and 'downright unconstitutional.'
It adds, the rule constitutes prior restraint and curtails press freedom.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes backtracks on the poll body’s rule and says the resolution may only require what he calls "prior notice" rather than "prior consent."
But the NUJP says Brillantes' move only makes matters worse because it will require the media to be "fortune tellers," especially in spontaneous situations like ambush interviews.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas or KBP also raises the same issues.
It says the resolution creates a "chilling effect" on press freedom.
KBP president Herman Basbaño deflects criticism broadcasters merely want to protect their businesses.
Story 2: LAWYER: DISQUALIFY 3 'POLITICAL DYNASTIES'
There’s a petition to disqualify candidates belonging to 3 political families.
Lawyer Alex Lacson says he will lead a "test case" before the Supreme Court seeking the disqualification from the May elections...
of the Pinedas of Pampanga...
the Dutertes of Davao...
and the Villafuertes of Camarines Sur.
Lacson says they will take the case straight to the High Court so Comelec can be compelled to immediately disqualify these families.
He says he chose the 3 clans as test cases because they’re "clear and obvious" political dynasties.
ALEX LACSON, FORMER LP SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Si Justice Antonio Carpio explained and defined political dynasties and he said, "It is a phenomenon that concentrates political power and public resources within the control of a few families who's members alternately hold elective offices definitely skirting term limits.
Lacson says the absence of an implementing law allows political dynasties to skirt the Constitution.
Lacson was one of the Liberal Party's senatorial candidates in 2010.
The Pinedas, the Dutertes and the Villafuertes are not members of the LP.
Story 3: ENRILE CHIEF OF STAFF APOLOGIZES TO CAYETANO
Gigi Reyes, the controversial Chief of Staff of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, says she’s being called the 25th senator, a stab at her allegedly huge influence.
She denies this and says Enrile is no fool.
She reiterates her resignation as she apologizes to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Ayaw na niya eh dahil kung anu-ano ang sinasabi nila that there is an illicit relation involved. Mahirap naman yun eh. Babae yun.(She doesn’t want to resume her post because of the rumors that there is an illicit relation involved.
It’s especially hard for her because she’s a woman.)
There’s no convincing Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s controversial chief of staff.
Despite Enrile’s wishes, lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes insists on resigning.
In a statement Friday, she brands as “malicious” and “horrible” speculation of an affair with her boss.
But that’s not the only reason she’s stepping down.
Reyes reveals she disagrees with how Enrile handles the controversy over his decision not give 4 critics additional Senate funds.
Reyes says Enrile should resign as Senate President for good…
with many allies...
and even the Senate Secretary refusing to defend him.
She also apologizes for calling Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano a hypocrite but says his statements about her influence are total lies.
Cayetano doubts her sincerity.
ALAN PETER CAYETANO, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I haven’t read it may nagsabi lang apology pero may pitik pa rin. Sa akin, wala naman yun.
But I didn’t link her romantically.
(They say there’s an apology but with side comments. It means nothing to me.)
The minority leader also questions Enrile’s apology Wednesday…
as the Senate President goes on digging up his father’s supposed debt a day later.
Cayetano says his family just tries to take it in stride.
ALAN PETER CAYETANO, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: : Biruan lang namin sa pamilya na wala nga kaming utang na loob pero may utang kaming kahoy. Sa susunod daw, pati daw yero, pati semento, pati hollow blocks, icheck na namin saan galing.
(It’s an inside joke in the family that we don’t have a debt of gratitude but we have a debt of wood. Next time we’ll check sources other construction materials.)
Cayetano will file a resolution for an audit of Senate funds Monday.
He says this will finally put the issue to rest.
But Enrile drags the issue farther.
Enrile and allies in the opposition United Nationalist Alliance accuse Cayetano of making noise for his reelection bid.
On the campaign trail, Enrile gets even more personal.
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, SENATE PRESIDENT: Ako ang pinakamatanda dito. 89 años, gurang na gurang na. Mahina na ang tuhod pero pinagbibintangan pa rin nila na merong mga iniibig. JC Kaya nga okay lang pinagbibintangan ng mga kasama ko sa Senado sapagkat ‘di nila siguro kaya gumawa ng bata
(I’m the oldest here at 89. My knees are already weak but I’m still being accused of having an affair.
It’s okay my colleagues in the Senate accuse of such things because they cannot conceive a child.)
Enrile says he brings the issue before the people.
He may not be running but he tells voters that his son, Congressman Jack Enrile, will be his political heir.
“Let the people judge.” Enrile brings his war against his critics from the Senate to the campaign trail. With Cayetano seeking reelection in May and Enrile’s own son running, the rivalry may culminate in the ballot.
Story 4: SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
And our social media post of the day is for this story.
Disqus user Light Post leaves this comment on Rappler.com.
Another farce diverting from the real issue. Where do our funds go?
We don't care if the cash gifts are legal.
We care that it's our money and it's not yours to spend for political gain.
Story 5: VITUG VLOGS: MEDIA COVENANT
This week, nearly 20 prominent journalists and politicians pledge not to accept pay for favors, specially with the upcoming elections.
Marites Vitug files this video blog.
For the first time in contemporary history, journalists and politicians signed a covenant to fight corruption in media.
It was timed to coincide with the start of the election campaign, a fertile season for bribes and favors.
The signatories pledged not to engage in envelopmental journalism—the practice of paying off journalists to get to the front pages, TV and radio prime time, and the websites.
Of course, the outcome will not be dramatic. But it will lead to 2 significant things.
First, we in the media are opening the gates to public scrutiny. We are making ourselves the subject of news. We are asking the public to hold us to our promise to say no to corruption.
Second, we are encouraging media to report on media. After all, we are fair game.
I liken the covenant to an acupuncture treatment. We’re sticking a few needles to parts of our body. The disease will be healed only after continuous treatment.
Similarly, the campaign for zero tolerance against corruption needs to be sustained over a period of time until it becomes part of our culture.
This is just the beginning.
This is Marites Vitug for VitugVlogs.
Story 6: US APOLOGIZES FOR REEF DAMAGE
The US government formally apologizes for its grounded ship that damaged the Tubbataha Reef.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas says the US extends its “profound regret.”
He says, “This was an unfortunate accident.
‘I recognize the legitimate concerns over the damage caused."
Tubbataha is no ordinary reef.
It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
It is also the Philippines' first marine protected area, which not only attracts divers worldwide, but also helps provide food for millions of Filipinos.
But Thomas is silent on the protest of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park against the demeanor of the ship's authorities.
The park lodged a protest with the US government last January 18.
Its chief supervisor says, “The ship's commander ordered a general alert and deployed personnel into battle position...
when our rangers tried to approach their ship."
A US Navy official says they will have the issue investigated.
ANCHOR BACK ON CAM
Story 7: US BUSINESSMEN IMPRESSED BY PH, WORRIED ABOUT CORRUPTION
Anti-corruption efforts and economic reforms in the Philippines impress visiting US businessmen, but lingering issues concern them.
United States-Philippines Society president John Maisto says the Aquino government's battle against graft inspires investor confidence.
USPS co-chair Manny Pangilinan says members of the US delegation are impressed with the reforms.
But the businessmen say, other factors are deterring investments
like high energy costs and inadequate infrastructure, especially for the growing tourism sector.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today…
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
At number 1, The United Nations launches an investigation into the impact of drone strikes and targeted killings on civilians.
UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights Ben Emmerson says there’s a need "for accountability" when strikes go wrong.
Emmerson says the huge expansion in the technology used in drones requires a new legal framework.
The probe will focus on 25 case studies in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories.
Findings will be reported to the UN General Assembly before the end of the year.
At number 4, an American who admits scouting targets ahead of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks is sentenced to 35 years in prison.
David Coleman Headley pleads guilty in 2010 to 12 charges related to the carnage in Mumbai, and a second plot to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
He convinced US prosecutors to let him live after he was caught on tape plotting the attack.
At number 7, a regional party in India's Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena, gives away knives to women supporters to help protect themselves from rapists.
The move comes after protests over the brutal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi in December.
The knives were given away at a birthday celebration of a party official.
Thousands more will be distributed in the coming days.
And at number 10, online auction giant eBay bans the sale of dolls linked to Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked Western film about a freed slave "Django Unchained."
Ebay says the dolls are "offensive."
The toymaker who manufactured the dolls already discontinued them, after protests from advocacy groups.
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|