Rappler Newscast | March 18, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- President Aquino acknowledges government’s atrocities in the Jabidah Massacre 45 years ago.
- Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance draw small crowds in simultaneous rallies in Baguio City.
- The University of the Philippines Manila says it is not to blame for the suicide of a student.
Story 1: AQUINO LEADS JABIDAH REMEMBRANCE
President Benigno Aquino acknowledges a government atrocity committed 45 years ago under Marcos rule-- the Jabidah massacre.
Angela Casauay reports.
Forty-five years ago, a presidential helicopter arrived in Corregidor Island to sweep the charred remains of Moro trainees under the Jabidah commando unit.
Called Operation Merdeka, it was a secret plot to seize Sabah under then president Ferdinand Marcos.
Today, another presidential helicopter lands in this island, whose history is written in blood, to commemorate the gruesome killings known as the Jabidah Massacre.
Speaking at the very airstrip where the Moro trainees were shot dead, president Benigno Aquino is the first president to lead and mobilize government to remember the massacre.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Kaya nga po, ngayong araw, binubuksan natin ang mata ng sambayanan ukol sa Jabidah Massacre. Totoo pong nangyari ito. At tungkulin nating lahat na kilalanin ito bilang bahagi ng ating pambansang naratibo. (This is why today, we are opening the eyes of our nation about the Jabidah Massacre. This really happened. And it is our duty to acknowledge this as a part of our national narrative.)
Aquino’s move is a fitting gesture for the son of the man who exposed the Jabidah Massacre in March 1968 - then Senator Ninoy Aquino.
Yet even as he makes history, Aquino notes how history repeats itself through the current standoff in Sabah.
As the President speaks, Malaysian authorities continue to hunt the followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who sailed to Sabah a month ago.
Just like Operation Merdeka, the President says the current Sabah standoff once again sees ordinary Moros being used by individuals in power for their personal interests.
AQUINO: Hindi po ba't nakikita natin sa mga pangyayari nitong huling mga linggo: tila umuulit yata ang kasaysayan? Trahedya po ang nangyayari ngayon sa Lahad Datu, gaya ng trahedya na nangyari sa Jabidah. Ngunit marahil ang pinakamalaki pong trahedya ay tila yata hindi pa tayo natututo sa mga aral ng nakaraan... (Aren't we seeing in the recent events in the past weeks that the history seems to be repeating itself? What is happening in Lahad Datu is a tragedy, just like what happened in the Jabidah. But the bigger tragedy is that we haven't learned from the mistakes of the past…)
Aquino hopes to correct these mistakes by acknowledging the massacre occurred.
Until today, the only remembrance of Jabidah are these walls.
Regular tours in the island exclude mention of the tragic event.
Today, a “garden of peace” stands at the site where the Moro trainees where shot and burned to death.
Will all this finally heal the wounds of the past? Or will they re-ignite interest in a territory we sometimes forget is still ours? Angela Casauay, Rappler, Corregidor
Story 2: FILIPINOS FLEE SABAH
272 Filipinos from Sabah arrive in Tawi-Tawi's Taganak island on Sunday.
Crisis Management Committee Coordinating Center Chair Sharifa Pearlsia Dans says the Philippine Navy is arranging for their pick up and transport to Tawi Tawi's capital, Bongao.
Based on government data, 2,631 Filipinos were assisted from March 5 to March 13.
Dans says the number of those fleeing Sabah is "definitely" higher.
She says many of the Filipinos left Sabah because they are afraid of the possible crackdown as a result of the stand-off between Malaysian security forces and the followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
SHARIFA PEARLSIA DANS, CHAIR, CRISIS MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE COORDINATION CENTER: Yung dalawang natanong ko doon, bakit sila umuwi…Sabi niya "Kasi Mam, parang mayroon ding advance notice sa kanila na magkakaroon ng operations ang Sabah police by March 25…Sabi niya "Mam, bago kami maabutan ng ganun, minabuti na nilang umalis. (The two people I was able to question on why they've gone home said, "Because Mam, we received advance notice that the Sabah police will have operations by March 25. We thought it would be better to leave than get involved in any of it.)
There is an estimated 800,000 Filipinos in Malaysia, most of them in Sabah
Story 3: DETAINED KIRAM SOLDIERS MAY BE RELEASED ON BAIL
The 38 suspected members of Kiram’s Royal Security Force detained in Tawi-Tawi may be released soon.
The Philippine Navy arrested them Wednesday.
On Friday, Sulu Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani confirmed 22 of the 38 belong to their Royal Security Force.
Kiram’s followers are charged with illegal possession of firearms, inciting to war, and violation of election gun ban.
All three are bailable offenses.
Chief Public Attorney Persida Acosta is in Tawi-Tawi to provide legal assistance.
She is asking the local court for a reduction of the bail to P3000 per detainee.
Story 4: TEAM PNOY OFFERS EXCUSES FOR SMALL BAGUIO CROWD
Team PNoy says its Baguio sortie isn’t small-- it just looks small.
Campaign manager Franklin Drilon estimates the crowd at 3,000, but says it looks smaller because the Melvin Jones Field is spacious.
Team Pnoy defends its crowd-drawing power as the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, also holds an event in Baguio.
This is the first time both coalitions are holding rallies in the same city simultaneously.
UNA criticizes Team PNoy for being unable to gather big crowds, but Drilon says surveys matter more than crowd size.
Team PNoy has dominated surveys so far, despite smaller crowds in its sorties.
Senatorial bet Alan Peter Cayetano has this to say about the small turnout.
ALAN PETER CAYETANO, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL BET: May kasalanan ang pangulo sa atin ngayong araw na to. Dahil sa ganda ng ekonomiya, 6.6 yung GDP growth, marami sa dapat nandito sa rally nandoon sa ukay, sa palangke, bumibili ng raisin bread. (Today’s low turnout is our president’s fault. Because of our economy’s good performance, our GDP growth is at 6.6. Many of the people who are supposed to be in this rally are at the thrift stores and the markets, buying raisin bread.)
Story 5: UNA FAILS TO LIVE UP TO HYPE IN BAGUIO SORTIE
UNA insists size does matter when it comes to sorties, a dig at its opponent’s poorly attended events.
But in Baguio, UNA gets a taste of what it’s like to be snubbed by the masses.
Ayee Macaraig files this video blog.
They said the heat is on but is it really?
The opposition sortie here in Baguio City fails to live up to its hype, drawing a crowd of just about 3,000 people.
The United Nationalist Alliance fails to muster a huge crowd in its so-called showdown with Team PNoy, as the two hold simultaneous rallies here in Baguio.
UNA says it opted for a smaller venue, the Baguio Convention Center, because of weather concerns but it fails to fill up even this space.
The thing is it’s UNA that has been making an issue out of crowd sizes, taunting Team PNoy in the run-up to this event.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Eh tingnan niyo na lamang basta’t kami sa lahat ng napuntahan namin, nung nagsimula kami sa Cebu, libu-libo ang dumalo, ‘di bababa sa 50,000, sa Cagayan de Oro, sa Bukidnon. ‘Di pa yata kami nakakatikim ng paisa-isang libo. (Just take a look at all the places we’ve been to. When we started in Cebu, thousands attended, not lower than 50,000 in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. I don’t think we’ve ever had a crowd of just a thousand.)
JOSEPH ESTRADA, FORMER PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Sila nga Plaza Miranda, ang liit-liit, ‘di pa napuno. Kami sa Cebu, ang dami. (They were in Plaza Miranda - a small venue but they failed to fill it up. We had a thick crowd when we were in Cebu.)
Still, former President Joseph Estrada gets a warm welcome from the crowd, which responds to his jokes and antics.
Estrada questions his defeat here in 2010 despite his support for city projects when he was still president.
Erap connects with the voters along with UNA’s Ilocano senatorial candidates.
The candidates point out problems like drugs and informal settlers, promising to address these if they win Senate seats.
Another UNA crowd drawer, Vice President Jejomar Binay, skips the rally as he prepares to leave for the Vatican for the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis.
Still, the lesson for UNA is to manage expectations, not just of the public but also its own.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Baguio City
Story 6: PNOY SPEAKS AT PMA GRADUATION CEREMONY
President Aquino tells the graduating class of the Philippine Military Academy they start their careers during times of conflict for Philippines international relations.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
After four years of intense training , the 2013 Philippine Military Academy class is ready to defend the country from land, air and sea.
The class 'Pudang Kalis' boasts of 124 cadets, 105 male and 19 female.
'Pudang Kalis' means "sacred sword," -- soldiers with heart and honor, unified in strength.
The President attends with vice president Jejomar Binay, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Emmanuel Bautista.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: These cadets join the military as the government makes peace with muslim rebels but is also caught between Malaysia and Filipinos reviving their stake on Sabah.
Even at a joyous affair, Aquino slams Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram.
Kiram sent hundreds of followers to invade Sabah, an operation which resulted in a deadly attack.
Aquino criticizes Kiram for thinking only of himself -- the root of all problems, he adds.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES: Naisip kaya ng mga pasimuno nito na napakaraming apektado sa paggawa ng gulo? Nariyan ang mga tinatayang walondaang libong Pilipino naninirahan at naghahanapbuhay nang tahimik sa Sabah; paano kung bigla silang pauwiin ng ating kapitbahay na kaytagal na panahon ang binuno natin para magbalik ang tiwala? (Did the perpetrators of this think of the many who would be affected by the mess? How about the 800,000 Filipinos living quietly in Sabah? What if they're suddenly sent home by our neighbor, who we have courted for so long to trust us again?)
Using the example of Sabah, he urges the cadets to always opt for dialogue to solve conflict, citing the Bangsamoro Framework.
He also leaves them with this advice.
AQUINO: At bilang medyo nakakatanda sa inyo, marahil ito na ang maiiwan kong aral: Sa tuwing haharap kayo sa isang sangandaan, ilagay lamang ninyo ang sarili sa lugar ng mga pinaka-agrabyado, ng mga pinakaapi, ng mga pinakadukha, ng mga pinaka-naghahanap ng lingap—at tiyak, lilinaw kung ano ang tama at kung ano ang mali. (As someone older than you, let me leave this lesson: Every time you reach a crossroad, put yourself in the shoes of the most affected, the most discriminated, the poorest, the ones looking most for care -- and surely, what is right and what is wrong will be clear.)
Aquino is not the only one with wise words for the cadets.
22-year-old Jestony Lanaja grew up in Davao del Sur.
From working in a coconut farm and harvesting sugar cane, he is this year's valedictorian.
He reminds his class to stay true to their values, and echoes Aquino's push for peace.
JESTONY LANAJA, 'PUDANG KALIS' VALEDICTORIAN: As we go out into the world, let us keep the values of courage, integrity and loyalty intact, and let it be a beacon that would guide us daily in our thoughts and deeds...To the Filipino people, who will continue to be a source of inspiration: as we were custom-fitted in the tenets of peace, so shall we win the war through peace.
As the freshest class of soldiers enter the workforce, peace is the message most emphasized -- a fitting theme at a time when it may be endangered.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Baguio City.
Story 7: UP MANILA CHANCELLOR: NO GUILT
The University of the Philippines Manila says they did everything they could to help the freshman student who committed suicide Friday reportedly over failure to pay tuition on time.
In a press conference Monday, UP Manila Chancellor Manuel Agulto says the school only followed the rules when it denied the student’s request for a loan.
Agulto says the student’s father was late in appealing for a loan for the second semester.
Agulto also defends the university from allegations of being "cold-hearted.”
He says UP Manila officials allowed the student three extensions to pay for her loans.
MANUEL AGULTO, UP MANILA CHANCELLOR: We do not wish to give anyone a difficult time. We dream for them as they aspire for their future. As administrators we are not enemies. We do not wish to post obstacles in realising their dreams.
UP President Alfredo Pascual says they are studying revisions in the university's financial assistance program.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, The Cyprus bailout plan fuels fears of an escalation of the eurozone debt crisis.
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund want bank depositors in Cyprus to share in the cost of the 10 billion euro bailout.
This is the first time the eurozone allowed the use of people's savings to finance a bailout.
EU leaders want a 6.75 percent tax on bank customers with less than 100,000 euros and a 9.9% tax on those with more than 100,000 euros.
News of the deal cause a rush to cash machines as people tried to withdraw their money.
Asian markets fall after news of the Cyprus bailout plans.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index falls 1.9%, Australia's ASX 200 goes down 1.4% and South Korea's Kospi dips 0.4%.
At number 5, Police arrest five men for the rape of a Swiss tourist in central India on Friday.
The woman and her husband were on their way to Agra when seven to eight men attacked them while they were camping.
Several of the men raped the woman in front of her husband.
The attack comes months after protests against India’s treatment of women, following the gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in December.
And at number 6, Syrian activists say army logistics chief General Mohammed Khalluf and his son defect to Jordan Saturday.
A YouTube video shows a man with white hair in civilian clothes getting into a car and an offscreen narrator naming him.
In another weekend incident, activists say about 20 soldiers also defect, signs the rebels may be gaining ground in the two-year civil war.
Syrian state television has not addressed these claims.
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|