Rappler Newscast | February 18, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The foreign affairs department tells Filipinos in the standoff in Sabah to leave peacefully.
- ABS-CBN chair Gabby Lopez posts bail for libel filed by rival network GMA-7.
- Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno says his arrest is politically motivated.
Story 1: PH TELLS PINOYS IN STANDOFF: LEAVE
The Department of Foreign Affairs asks the group of Filipinos who crossed into the Malaysian state of Sabah to “leave peacefully to prevent further bloodshed.”
The group crossed into Sabah last week, claiming they want to reclaim their territory.
On Sunday, Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram says his followers -- some 400 people including 20 gunmen -- will not leave despite being cornered by security forces.
Kiram says, "Why should we leave our own home? Nobody will be sent to the Philippines."
The Islamic sultanate once controlled parts of Borneo, including the site of the standoff.
Its heirs receive a nominal yearly compensation package from Malaysia under a long-standing agreement for possession of Sabah.
Story 2: BAD WEATHER DELAYS TUBBATAHA OPERATION
For the second consecutive day, unfavorable weather delays the start of the USS Guardian salvage operations in Tubbataha Reef.
Philippine coast guard officials say operations were expected to begin at 6 am.
But rough seas and strong wind did not allow the Jascon 25 crane ship to approach the American minesweeper stuck on the reef.
Jascon 25 will be the lead crane ship after the SMIT Borneo was unable to successfully anchor in deep water, to prevent further damage to the reef.
Authorities say they are now trying to tow both crane ships closer together to facilitate transfer of personnel and salvage equipment.
Under the original salvage plan, the cranes were to lift the whole USS Guardian from the reef.
But the US Navy later changed its mind and decided to dismantle the minesweeper and transfer the sections to a barge with the cranes, without moving the vessel to minimize damage to the coral.
The minesweeper ran aground a month ago inside the protected area of the marine park.
Story 3: GABBY LOPEZ POSTS BAIL FOR LIBEL CASE
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court issues a warrant of arrest against ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez III and 12 other former and current executives and employees of the network over libel charges filed by rival network GMA-7.
Lopez posts bail at a Quezon City court on Monday.
The bail was P20,000 for two counts of libel.
12 others are included in the warrant.
Six of them no longer work for ABS-CBN.
On July 27, 2004 GMA-7 sued ABS-CBN for airing reports accusing GMA-7 of “stealing” and “pirating” exclusive footage taken of the arrival of overseas Filipino worker Angelo dela Cruz after he was released by Iraqi militants in 2004.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the case in 2011.
The decision affirmed a 2010 ruling in favor of ABS-CBN’s petition to junk the case.
But Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered prosecutors to file the libel charges against ABS-CBN in January 2012.
De Lima said GMA7 showed all 4 elements that constitute the crime of libel.
Majority of the respondents already posted bail.
ABS-CBN's lawyer says they will ask the court to suspend the arraignment.
In 2004, ABS-CBN also filed a case against GMA7 for copyright infringement.
The case is pending before the Supreme Court.
ABS-CBN issues a statement saying GMA-7's libel charge has --quote "no basis."
The network’s spokesman says "It is unfortunate that the respondents are being pilloried as criminals, when in fact, it was ABS-CBN whose rights were violated.”
Story 4: ISKO: MY ARREST A PRELUDE TO CAMPAIGN
Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno says his arrest for alleged illegal gambling is a preview of a heated campaign period in Manila.
The campaign period for local candidates officially starts on March 29.
Moreno and his running mate, former President Joseph Estrada are up against Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Manila Councilor Lou Veloso.
In a phone interview Monday, Moreno says, "Is that a warning to shut our mouths in campaigning? This is just a prelude.
The campaign period has not even started yet."
On Saturday, Moreno and 5 Manila city councilors are arrested after sponsoring a bingo game in Santa Cruz, Manila.
They were brought to the Manila precinct 3 after a fight broke out.
They were released after about 12 hours because of lack of evidence.
In media interviews, Moreno hinted it was Lim who ordered the arrest.
Lim and Manila policemen denied the charge, with Lim saying he will resign if Moreno proves he ordered the arrest.
Story 5: STORM SIGNALS RAISED OVER 'CRISING'
State weather bureau Pagasa on Monday raises storm signals over 4 areas because of tropical depression Crising.
Signal no. 1 is up over Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.
In a 4 pm bulletin, Pagasa says the tropical depression is estimated at 750 km southeast of General Santos City.
In a phone interview with Rappler, PAGASA forecaster Fernando Cada says Crising will likely make landfall on Wednesday in Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur.
Crising will hit areas already devastated by typhoon Pablo in late 2012.
Story 6: POPE BEGINS WEEK-LONG SPIRITUAL RETREAT
Pope Benedict XVI begins a week-long spiritual retreat Monday ahead of his resignation on February 28.
The pope will be praying together with the Roman Curia in a private chapel in his residence.
After the retreat, Pope Benedict will celebrate his final Sunday prayer on February 24 and hold a last audience for the faithful on February 27.
The conclave to elect his successor may begin earlier than expected.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi says several cardinals raised the possibility of starting the conclave in early March.
It will bring together the world's 117 cardinal electors in the Sistine Chapel to elect the new leader of the Catholic Church.
The New York Times says the process would involve the cardinals measuring each other's "characters, talents and experiences" -- but also "geography, doctrinal approach and style."
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 1, The World Health Organization urges countries to be vigilant about the spread of a potentially fatal SARS-like virus.
This comes after British health authorities confirm a new case of virus transmission, bringing the global number to 12.
Five of them are reported fatal -- three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan.
The WHO says patients with severe respiratory illnesses should be tested for the new coronavirus.
At number 6, Police find a bloody cricket bat in the home of Olympic star and Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius, two days after he is charged with the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Police are investigating whether the bat was used to assault Steenkamp or if she used it to defend herself.
Pistorius spent the weekend in jail and is due to apply for bail on Tuesday, February 19.
He disputed the allegation of murder "in the strongest terms.”
At number 8, The son of a scholar gets six months in prison for waging an Internet war against his father's academic rivals.
Raphael Haim Golb created more than 80 online aliases to promote his father's views about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In the process, he also impersonated other scholars and stole their e-mail identities.
Discovered in the mid-20th century, the Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,000-year-old texts and fragments discovered in caves near Qumran.
And at number 9, Just a day after a meteor strikes Russia, an asteroid half the size of a football field flies past the earth.
Asteroid 2012 DA14, measuring 45 meters in diameter, goes 27,000 km above the earth -- the first time an asteroid of its size came this close to earth.
The event is captured on camera by Mark Vornhusen, who shot about 300 photographs of the asteroid at about 3:30 am Saturday in Makati.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Digital illustration of SARS virus from Shutterstock.
Story 8: REPORT: READER'S DIGEST IS BANKRUPT
Reader's Digest publisher RDA Holding Co. files for bankruptcy to cut its 465 million dollar debt and focus on electronic media.
Bloomberg reports RDA Holding Co. lists assets and debt of more than $1 billion each in Chapter 11 documents.
This is the second time the company filed for bankruptcy.
In August 2009, it cited a drop in advertising funds and 800 million dollar debts.
Bloomberg quotes Reader’s Digest’s chief executive officer Robert Guth as saying the magazine quote--“sold more digital editions in December than we did newsstand editions.”
Reader's Digest joins Newsweek in shifting to an all-digital format.
Newsweek ended its print run in October 2012.
|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|