Rappler Newscast | February 13, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The Commission on Elections rules out manual elections for 2013.
- The United Nationalist Alliance may drop common candidates Escudero, Legarda and Poe.
- In his first public appearance since his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI prays for the Church through the papal transition.
Story 1: COMELEC RULES OUT MANUAL ELECTIONS
Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes Jr rules out the possibility of manual elections despite the lack of a source code review.
The Automated Elections Law requires a review of the machine source code or the “human readable instructions that define what the computer equipment will do.”
Last week, an election watchdog questioned the security of ballot-counting machines because these lack a source code certification.
But Brillantes says a technical evaluation committee report certified the entire automated process as quote-- "okay, beginning to end.”
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR, COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS CHAIR: Manual is already impossible. With the certification issued by the TEC, we're going to proceed, automated, no matter what happens. Source code is there or not – better if it's there, not necessary if it's not.
A legal issue between Smartmatic, which sold Comelec the machines, and Dominion Voting Systems, which owns the system used by Smartmatic, prevents SLI Global Solutions from releasing its certification of its source code review.
Story 2: UNA TO COMMON BETS: NO MORE PROXIES
After its proclamation rally in Cebu, United Nationalist Alliance candidates troop to Bohol, a place that did not vote for UNA head Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The opposition’s common candidates -- Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, and censors chief Grace Poe -- are still no-shows in the Bohol sortie.
The three also snubbed Tuesday’s UNA proclamation rally for Team PNoy in Manila.
Legarda and Llamanzares sent proxies to the UNA rally, but Escudero did not, saying he was not aware he could send a representative.
UNA campaign manager Toby Tiangco says he will no longer allow proxies in future UNA events.
Binay says the three must make up their minds.
He adds, a worse case scenario is for UNA to drop the three candidates.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Tatanungin naming sila paano ba, ano ang reaksyon niyo sa sinabi ni Sen Drilon.
Story 3: TEAM PNOY VISITS VOTE-RICH BATANGAS
President Benigno Aquino's senatorial slate visits Batangas Wednesday in its first campaign stop after Tuesday's proclamation rally.
Team PNoy spokesperson Miro Quimbo says the region of Calabarzon -- Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon -- traditionally delivered votes in past elections.
Batangas has 1.2 million registered voters, one of the highest in the country.
But the province supported Vice President Jejomar Binay of UNA in the last elections.
But Team PNoy campaign manager Franklin Drilon says he doubts votes will be split between the two coalitions.
FRANKLIN DRILON, LIBERAL PARTY CHAIRMAN: The president has presented to the Batangueños his candidates. Ang mga Batangueño, sila po ang maghuhusga. Tama ba ang ginagawa ng Pangulong Noynoy sa nakalipas na dalawang taon at kalahati.
Drilon also addresses the controversy over three Team PNoy candidates adopted by UNA: Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda, and former censors chief Grace Poe.
Binay threatens to drop them from the slate if they do not attend UNA events.
But Drilon says, the three are President Aquino’s candidates.
FRANKLIN DRILON, LIBERAL PARTY CHAIRMAN: Ang tatlong kandidato ay kandidato ng administrasyon. In-adopt po sila ng UNA, yan po ay desisyon ng UNA. Ngunit sila po ay kandidato ng Pangulong Noynoy, na pinili ng pangulo sa kanyang matuwid na daan at plataporma. Maliwanag na in-adopt lang sila.
Story 4: PH SOARING ECONOMY, LOOKING BACK AND FORWARD
President Aquino’s economic managers take credit for the economic gains of the past year, but now they face the huge challenge of sustaining the growth.
Lala Rimando reports.
If different countries are in a party, the Philippines is the most attractive one in the room.
An investor explains, this is why fund managers, bankers and businessmen from all over the world are coming in droves to business events like this.
They want to get a piece of the "rising tiger" that grew a phenomenal 6.6% in 2012, one of the world's fastest.
SIMON BAILEY, FOREIGN FUND MANAGER: A lot of foreigners here, that should tell everybody a great deal. Normally, there aren't a lot of foreigners here. About 2 years ago, there were very few, but the fact that there are a lot who are here, and very quietly as well, who flew in from all over the world, that's the future of the market and what we're doing here.
They are voting with their presence and their pockets, even before the Philippines formally joins the A-lister countries with an investment grade.
DIWA GUINIGUNDO, BSP DEPUTY GOVERNOR: We believe this is the tipping point for the Philippines. We are at the cusp of an investment grade rating.
Three international agencies rate the Philippines one notch below investment grade -- a seal of good housekeeping and tells investors it's safe to do business here.
Even world-renowned economist Nouriel Roubini is convinced.
NOURIEL ROUBINI, ECONOMIST: The success of this country is consistent with the fact of developing the institution that imply strong economic growth, strong economic activity… and hopefully rating agencies are gonna understand that sooner rather than later….deserve the upgrading into investment grade status of the country that should occur this year.
The Bangko Sentral notes that as funds flow in, the peso gets stronger.
Dollar-earners like Filipinos overseas, exporters and outsourcing firms complain of slashed earnings.
The socio economic planning chief says this highlights the need for more higher paying jobs.
The transportation chief cites rail, road and airport projects that need to get off the auction mill.
Even with so many patting them at the back for job well done -- so far -- these economic managers know they cannot be complacent.
The world's attention can turn elsewhere anytime.
Lala Rimando, Rappler, Manila.
Story 5: POPE EXPLAINS RESIGNATION
Pope Benedict XVI makes his first public appearance since announcing his decision to step down.
In a speech before huge crowds at the Vatican, the pope says he is aware of the seriousness of his decision, but acknowledges he could not “carry out the ministry with the strength it requires.”
He adds, “I've done this in full freedom, for the benefit of the Church.”
On Monday, the Pope announces he will resign on February 28, citing old age and declining health as reasons.
Story 6: UN COUNCIL VOWS ACTION AFTER NOKOR NUCLEAR TEST
The UN Security Council condemns North Korea's latest nuclear test, with the United States calling for tougher sanctions against the state.
All 15 council members back a statement which says North Korea is in "grave violation" of UN resolutions.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang says it detonated a miniaturized device as a response to “US hostility.”
North Korea's international ally China also condemns the test.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi summons North Korea's ambassador in Beijing to express "firm opposition" to Pyongyang's action.
But North Korean envoy Jon Yong Ryong says the state “will never be bound to any resolutions.”
He adds, “The US and their followers are sadly mistaken if they miscalculate that the DPRK would accept the entirely unreasonable resolutions against it.”
Story 7: OBAMA STAKES SECOND TERM ON AMBITIOUS REFORM
In his third State of the Union Address, US President Barack Obama focuses on domestic priorities in a bid to strengthen America.
Obama says the government must fix its gaping budget deficit.
He also wants comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and sets aside special tax breaks.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries. Most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let's be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts.
Obama also highlights the need to reduce gun violence.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around common sense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.
He also promised to reform the immigration system to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Filipina nurse Menchu de Luna Sanchez is part of 23 “extraordinary Americans” mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.
When Hurricane Sandy cut power at a New York hospital, Sanchez devised a plan to transport 20 infants to intensive care units around the city.
Sanchez, who migrated to the US in the 1980s, has been working as a nurse for over 25 years.
At number 9, With Pope Benedict XVI stepping down at the end of February, it also means the end of his short stay on Twitter.
Active for only two months, the pope has sent out only 34 tweets since starting his @Pontifex account on December 12.
His messages to an estimated 1.5 million Twitter followers promoted Catholic teachings and encouraged reflection.
CNN compiles his 5 most popular Twitter messages, starting with his first one which got over 64,000 retweets.
He said: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
And at number 10, The act of being in love may actually be good for your health, even as the moments of first love involve some stress.
A study of those newly in love shows the stress hormone cortisol is higher in recent lovebirds than in those who are single or in long-term relationships.
This shows the stress of falling in love is momentary but the benefits of being in love remain.
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|