Rappler Newscast | March 25, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The family of released Australian hostage Warren Rodwell says he is delighted to be free.
- A Hong Kong court rejects a bid to give foreign maids the right to permanent residency.
- Team PNoy senatorial candidate Bam Aquino says strong political parties can help overturn personality-based politics.
Story 1: RODWELL FAMILY: WARREN 'DELIGHTED TO BE FREE'
Two days after the Abu Sayyaf released Australian hostage Warren Rodwell, his family says he is quote -- "delighted to be free."
In a statement, Warren’s brother Wayne and sister Denise Cappello say Rodwell has --quote "lost a lot of weight and is exhausted. He will need medical support, as well as time and space to recover."
Cappello thanks the Philippine National Police and Basilan Vice Gov Al-Rasheed Sakkalahul for her brother’s release.
Sakkalahul is one of the negotiators, who on Sunday said kidnappers received a ransom of P4 million for Rodwell’s release.
The Philippine and Australian governments state they have a no-ransom policy.
Rodwell's sister adds she hopes the kidnappers are brought to justice "so others won't have to experience what Warren has just been through."
54-year-old Rodwell was kidnapped from his home in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay in December 2011 and held hostage for a little more than 15 months.
His kidnappers raised his ransom to 2 million US dollars.
Wayne asks the media in the Philippines and Australia to respect the family's wish for privacy.
Warren Rodwell arrives in Manila Monday afternoon after receiving medical attention in Zamboanga.
Story 2: THE MEN RODWELL LEAVES BEHIND WITH ABU SAYYAF
A classified intelligence document obtained by Rappler from a western nation shows as of January 18, 2013, the Abu Sayyaf held 11 hostages, 10 of them in Jolo.
The 11th, Rodwell, was in Basilan.
By the time of Rodwell’s release a little more than 2 months later, there are 6 foreign hostages left - a Japanese, Swiss, Dutch, Jordanian and two Malaysians.
Japanese Toshio Ito was kidnapped nearly 3 years ago from Pangutaran Island in Sulu on July 16, 2010.
At numbers 3 and 4 are well-known European birdwatchers: 53-year-old Dutch Ewold Horn and 48-year-old Lorenzo Vinciguerra.
They were bird-watching for 4 days on Tawi-Tawi when they were kidnapped by armed men on February 1, 2012.
Number 5 is Jordanian “Abdulla Atyani” – better known as Baker Atyani, a well-known journalist with Al-Arabiya who interviewed Osama bin Laden.
He was kidnapped on June 12, 2012, along with two Filipino crew members.
His two Filipino crew members, Ramilito Vela and Rolando Letrero, were freed on February 2 this year after 7 months and 20 days in captivity.
Finally, there are 2 Malaysians, Wai Tung and Jie Tung, listed on the Jan. 18 intelligence document.
They were kidnapped on November 14, 2012 by 3 armed men from Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Story 3: HONG KONG REJECTS MAID RESIDENCY BID
Hong Kong's top court rules foreign maids are not eligible for permanent residency.
The Court of Final Appeal says foreign domestic helpers must return to his or her home country.
It adds, “Admission is not for the purposes of settlement and dependents cannot be brought to reside in Hong Kong."
The ruling means maids are excluded from eligibility to settle in Hong Kong without a work visa and access to voting rights.
The decision ends a two-year legal battle by Filipina maid Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a mother of five who has lived in HK since 1986.
In 2011, she won a ruling granting her the right to request permanent residency status.
But the Court of Final Appeal sides with the Hong Kong government, which warns the ruling would swamp the city's population of seven million.
Labor rights group Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body protests outside the court, chanting "No to discrimination, " and "We are not slaves."
Spokesman Eman Villanueva says, "The court gave its judicial seal to unfair treatment and the social exclusion of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong."
The government says it is "carefully" studying the verdict.
There are about 1,000 pending applications from foreign maids seeking permanent residency.
Story 4: HONTIVEROS TO SC: DON'T LET FAMILIES WAIT
Former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros asks the Supreme Court to lift the status quo ante order stopping the implementation of the reproductive health law.
On March 19, the Supreme Court voted 10-5 to stop the government from implementing the RH law, set to take effect March 31.
The order will be in effect for 120 days.
Lawyer Ibarra Gutierrez III says the RH law should still be implemented because it enjoys the presumption of constitutionality.
Hontiveros says the implementing rules and regulations of the law were crafted in consultation with different civil society groups and stakeholders.
She adds, "[These] must be taken into account by this Honorable Supreme Court in determining whether the Status Quo Ante Order is appropriate at this time."
Hontiveros says the RH law does not limit the free exercise of religion, legalize abortion, or undermine the Filipino family.
She adds the petitioners have yet to show they were quote -- “adversely" affected by the law.
Story 5: BAM AQUINO: STRONG PARTIES CAN OVERTURN DYNASTIES
Team PNoy senatorial candidate Bam Aquino says his work in the youth and microfinance sectors gives him firsthand knowledge of the needs of these sectors.
Aquino was former chair of the National Youth Commission and a social entrepreneur.
One of the projects he co-founded, Hapinoy, aims to help and train sari-sari store owners in the Philippines.
BAM AQUINO, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Our people really are expecting a lot from their leaders, rightfully so. And I think PNoy being the president now also raised the bar. They want people who are clean, they want people who are honest, but I think now they also want people who are effective, who can actually do something on the ground.
MARIA RESSA: So you're saying that the work you've done on the ground will actually help you formulate better policies?
BAM AQUINO: I think so because you're grounded, alam mo talaga yung pangangailangan.
He also reacts to the opposition’s statement questioning Aquino's role as an appointee during the Arroyo administration.
BAM AQUINO, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: A lot of the propaganda centered around that right now, but kung tutuusin, none of those really give a clear timeline. I was appointed in 2001 as commissioner, by 2003 I was chairman, by July or August I think was Hyatt 10 of 2005, and shortly after I finished my term and I was not there anymore...They make it seem I was there until June 2010. I finished my term and I left government in February of 2006.
Aquino also comments on the Philippines’ political party system.
He says strengthening political parties can help solve personality-based politics.
BAM AQUINO, TEAM PNOY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: People have asked ano ba yung long term solution sa dynasty. Ang tingin ko it's actually strong political parties that can actually, kumbaga the dynasties won't be as important anymore. What we have are basically parties built on personalities and family names. I really feel that if parties can mature and become stronger down the line, yung usapin ng last name won't be as important.
Story 6: AQUINO VETOES MAGNA CARTA FOR THE POOR
President Benigno Aquino says he refuses to sign into law a bill which will give the poor equal access to basic rights and government services because the country can’t afford it.
The Magna Carta for the Poor seeks to ensure the protection of 5 basic rights of every Filipino: the right to food, employment, quality education, shelter and basic health services and medicines.
Aquino says he finds several provisions of the proposed law unrealistic, particularly the right to shelter which he said would cost the government at least P2.32 trillion.
The government only has a P2.006 trillion budget for 2013.
Aquino says he disagrees with a provision that will allow those covered by the proposed law to sue the National Housing Authority if it fails to provide housing units.
Aquino says in Filipino, "I could have signed this to gain brownie points, but I didn't, since I know we won't be able to meet our commitments."
Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay says Aquino’s move to veto the Magna Carta for the Poor --quote-- “[shows] he has no love and concern for our less fortunate brothers”.
The President says he directed the Social Cabinet Cluster to draw up a substitute measure which will be submitted to Congress.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf returns after more than four years in exile to contest the country's historic general elections on May 11.
Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup and left the country in August 2008, when Asif Ali Zardari was elected president after the murder of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Bhutto's assassination in December 2007 is blamed on Musharraf, but he says the Pakistani Taliban is behind the killing.
The Pakistani Taliban also threatened to dispatch suicide bombers to assassinate Musharraf.
He became a target for Islamist extremists after making Pakistan a key US ally in the "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks.
At number 6, Moaz al-Khatib announces his resignation as the president of the main coalition of the Syrian opposition in exile.
Khatib, who pushed for talks between the Syrian government and its armed opponents, hits foreign nations for withholding aid to the rebels and for trying to manipulate events for their own interests.
A coalition member says Khatib resigned because of interference from Saudi Arabia, which threatened to cut off financing if its favored candidate for prime minister is not elected.
Some say Khatib’s resignation could set back the opposition's efforts to end the two-year-old conflict.
And at number 9, Disease experts call for more research funding to fend off the "very real" risk of an untreatable strain of tuberculosis.
Extensively drug resistant TB, thus far reported in 84 countries, does not respond to a wide range of drugs.
It requires about two years of treatment with more expensive drugs that often cause side-effects and offer no guarantee of a cure.
The World Health Organization says 8.7 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died in 2011.
Over 95 percent of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Story 8: AZKALS OUTCLASS CAMBODIA, 8-0
The Azkals show why they are considered one of the title contenders in the AFC Challenge Cup main tournament in Maldives in 2014.
The Philippine national football team thoroughly outclasses Cambodia, 8-0, Sunday night at the rain-soaked Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Phil Younghusband drills in four goals.
He erases doubts about his waning quality as the country's number one striker by completing a hat-trick in just nine minutes.
Striker Javier Patiño finishes with a brace or 2 goals while Stephan Schrock and Carli de Murga score one goal each.
The Philippines will face Turkmenistan in the final match in the Group E qualifiers on Tuesday to determine who will take the top spot and book the ticket to Maldives in 2014.
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|