Rappler Newscast | February 19, 2013
Today on Rapper.
- Party-list representatives say the government should drop its claim over Sabah.
- The Commission on Elections foils an attempt to rig ballot-counting machines in Mindanao.
- A US security firm says the Chinese military is behind a series of hacking attacks.
Story 1: GOV'T TOLD: DON'T PURSUE SABAH CLAIM
With an ongoing standoff in Sabah, party-list representatives say the government should forget its claim that dates back to the sultanate of Sulu.
In a statement Tuesday, Akbayan Rep Walden Bello says, "The last thing we need at a time when we have a territorial dispute with China is another territorial dispute."
Agham Rep Angelo Palmones says the issue over Sabah should be settled through diplomatic channels.
The sultanate of Sulu once controlled parts of Borneo, including the site of the current standoff between a group of Filipinos and Malaysian security forces.
The Philippines has not pursued its claim over Sabah since 1964.
On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs urged the group of Filipinos who crossed over to Sabah last week to leave peacefully.
But Sulu Rep Tupay Loong says, "If they leave the area, their claim will die a natural death."
Story 2: CHINA REJECTS ARBITRATION OVER WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
China on Tuesday formally rejects arbitration proceedings initiated by the Philippines to resolve its territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.
In a statement, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says it received a note verbale from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing "stating that China rejects and returns the Philippines’ Notification and Statement of Claim.”
The DFA says China reiterated its position that it has “indisputable sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea.
But the DFA says, “This excessive claim is the core issue of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China.”
The department says China’s action will not interfere with the Philippines’ move to raise the territorial dispute to a United Nations arbitration tribunal.
Story 3: COMELEC FOILS OFFER TO RIG PCOS
The Commission on Elections says there is a group offering to manipulate ballot-counting machines in a small town in Mindanao.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr says the National Bureau of Investigation caught the suspects in an entrapment operation in Manila on Monday.
The suspects introduced themselves as engineers from Smartmatic and offered to rig precinct count optical scan machines for 5 million pesos.
The suspects proposed this to mayoralty candidate Abdulsalam Hadji Harun of Simunul, Tawi-Tawi.
The NBI arrests the suspects after receiving marked money from Harun.
The two are accused of estafa and usurpation of authority.
But Brillantes says the PCOS cannot be manipulated.
He says Comelec publicized the rigging attempt to deter similar offers.
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR, COMELEC CHAIRMAN: Ang posibilidad ay kasama ito sa syndicate o maraming gumagawa na hiwa-hiwalay. So lahat sila nawa-warningan ng Comelec. Gusto n'yo bang hindi namin i-announce para continuous pa rin sila na manloko ng mga tao? Kaya nga tayo humuhuli eh.
But election watchdogs doubt the security of the machines, particularly the source code, or set of instructions for the PCOS.
International experts certified the source code but local groups cannot review it because of a legal dispute
Story 4: iPAD PUTS AQUINO BET IN TROUBLE
Commission on Elections chair Sixto Brillantes Jr says it may disqualify an administration candidate after she reportedly engaged in illegal campaigning.
Brillantes did not name the senatorial bet, who hosted a game on Facebook and Twitter with an iPad as the prize.
A check on Twitter points to senatorial candidate Jamby Madrigal.
SIXTO BRILLANTES JR, COMELEC CHAIRMAN: Wala pa tayong sinasabi, chine-check pa namin. This will fall under probably the illegal campaigning law kasi nagbibigay ka ng premyo.
In a tweet dated February 15, Madrigal wrote, "Speak your mind about corruption and win an iPad."
Brillantes says if Madrigal pulls down the online campaign material, the Comelec may not push through with the charges.
Section 97 of the Omnibus Election Code says it is illegal to hold contests for the support of any candidate.
Rappler is still trying to reach Madrigal and her staff for comment.
Story 5: TEAM PNOY IN CEBU
Team PNoy holds a campaign rally in Cebu - a territory of the Garcia clan which is an ally of opposition United Nationalist Alliance.
UNA held its proclamation rally in the vote-rich province last week.
Carmela Fonbuena files this video blog.
Tropical depression rains on the Team PNoy campaign rally in Talisay City here in vote-rich Cebu province. They had to move the venue from the open grounds located across the street from the Talisay city hall to this gym.
President Aquino is here but only 4 of his handpicked candidates are with him. The others sent representatives. The crowd is smaller than the crows last week of rival senatorial slate, United Nationalist Alliance or UNA of Vice President Binay chose Cebu for its proclamation rally.
It's interesting because Cebu delivered overwhelmingly in 2010 elections for the Liberal Party tandem President Aquino and defeated vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
President Aquino got about 800,000 votes but former President Erap Estrada of UNA got 70,000. Mar Roxas also got about 800,000 votes while vice president Binay got 300,00.
The crowd here in Cebu show that while the Liberal party has taken over the capitol because of the suspension governor Gwendolyn Garcia, this vote-rich county remains the territory of the Garcia clan that beat by 100,000 votes the same gubernatorial candidate that the liberal party is fielding now.
But the local campaigns has not started.
The Liberal party says it wants this province, it wants the capitol and President Aquino hopes personal campaigning will achieve that.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Cebu.
Story 6: TROPICAL DEPRESSION CRISING MAKES LANDFALL
PAGASA says tropical depression Crising hits land over the southern tip of Davao Del Sur and is moving in a west northwest direction.
The weather bureau says Crising has maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center.
It expects the tropical depression to be at 250 kilometers west of Zamboanga City.
Pagasa raises public storm warning signal number 1 in Southern Palawan in Luzon.
Signal number 1 is also raised in the following areas in Mindanao:
Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Samal Island, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, southern part of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu, and, Tawi-Tawi.
Estimated rainfall amount is from 5 - 15 mm per hour within the 300 km diameter of the Tropical Depression.
Story 7: FIRST TIME: PSEi BREAKS 6,600 LEVEL, HITS 18TH RECORD
The Philippine Stock Exchange Index breaks the 6,600 level Tuesday for the first time.
It hits an intraday peak of 6,632.56 before settling at 6,620.72 by end of trading.
This is the 18th record high for 2013 and reflects a 55-point increase from Monday's close of 6,565.23.
Bloomberg notes the PSEi climbed 13% since January.
Story 8: CHINESE MILITARY BEHIND HACKINGS?
A report by American computer security firm Mandiant suggests a Chinese military unit is responsible for cyberattacks against various companies around the world.
Mandiant says the security breaches attributed to Advanced Persistent Threat groups show--quote “the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in China and that the Chinese Government is aware of them."
Mandiant says the most persistent of these is a group it called APT1.
Some findings indicate APT1 is located in Datong Road within Shanghai.
It adds, APT1 is located in the same area as the People Liberation Army’s Unit 61398.
The nature of Unit 61398’s work is considered a state secret, but Mandiant believes it engages in harmful computer network operations.
The report says Unit 61398 is --quote "similar to APT1 in its mission, capabilities, and resources."
The New York Times says the attacks focus not just on stealing information, but on --quote--"obtaining the ability to manipulate American critical infrastructure."
The American government is hesitant to link the two groups because of diplomatic issues.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei dismisses the findings as “groundless accusations.”
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 1, Thailand’s economy soars by 18.9% in the 4th quarter of 2012 after growing a meager 0.1% in 2011, when floods swamped most of the country and crippled production in the auto and electronics sectors.
Thailand performs a remarkable 6.4% in 2012, putting it at par with the Philippine's 6.6% performance and Indonesia’s 6.23%.
At number 7, Several BBC programs -- including flagship shows Today and Newsnight -- fail to air Monday after journalists walk out for a 24-hour strike as a campaign against another round of job cuts.
Journalists set up picket lines after union leaders and managers fail to agree on the redeployment of about 30 staff facing the axe.
The job cuts are driven by a fall in the revenue BBC gets from the license fee, paid by everyone in Britain with a television.
BBC is struggling to restore order in its ranks following the crisis over child sex abuse allegations.
At number 9, Jerry Buss, who guided the Los Angeles Lakers to an unprecedented run of success over the past 3 decades, died Monday.
He was 80.
Buss won 10 NBA titles as owner of the Lakers, more than any other team owner in league history, after purchasing the team in 1979.
NBA commissioner David Stern says the league --quote "lost a visionary owner whose influence on our league is incalculable and will be felt for decades to come."
And at number 10, a study shows two factors have an effect on kids who watch TV: the quality of the shows and the length of time kids spend in front of the TV.
If kids watch violent shows, they are more likely to exhibit aggressive tendencies.
But if they watch the same amount of television but tuned in to shows promoting healthy social interactions, they exhibit healthy social behaviors such as empathy, helpfulness and concern for others.
Digital illustration of Child watching TV during the breakfast from Shutterstock
Story 10: RAPPLER'S PATRICIA EVANGELISTA WINS DEVEX AWARD
Devex, the world's largest community of aid and development professionals, awards 40 individuals it sees as the next generation of leaders in the development community.
Rappler multimedia reporter Patricia Evangelista is one of the people receiving the award.
Devex says the awardees are --quote "selected based on their influence on the development agenda and impact on development results in the Philippines and abroad."
|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|