Rappler Newscast | May 2, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Former police officer Cezar Mancao escapes from the NBI and accuses Sen Lacson of plotting revenge against him.
- The Philippines gets another vote of confidence - an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s.
- Romeo Montenegro of the Mindanao Development Authority says it will take 2 years to solve the power problem in Mindanao.
Story 1: MANCAO HITS LACSON, FEARS FOR LIFE
More than 10 hours after walking out of his jail cell, the fugitive Cezar Mancao grants phone interviews to TV stations, saying he escaped because of alleged improper treatment by the justice department.
The former state witness and ex-police officer escapes from the National Bureau of Investigation around 1:40 am Thursday.
He faces murder charges over the 2000 killing of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
In an interview on ANC, Mancao says, "Witnesses are supposed to be given protection, but in my case I was put in jail…Isn't this a form of harassment?
He also accuses Sen Panfilo Lacson of plotting revenge against him.
Mancao testified Lacson and his former police aides Michael Ray Aquino and Glenn Dumlao were behind the Dacer murder.
But in 2011, the Court of Appeals dismissed the case against Lacson and declared Mancao an "incredible and unworthy witness" because of his contradicting testimonies.
The Supreme Court upheld the CA ruling favoring Lacson and ordered Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in February 2012 to transfer Mancao to the NBI.
Mancao confirms he is about to be transferred to the Manila City jail, and says he would be in more danger there.
He accuses a "certain senator," whom he later identified as Lacson, as behind the planned transfer.
Sought for comment, Lacson says in a text message: "That's his and his custodian's problem right now. Aside from that, I would defer any further comment."
Story 2: DOJ APPROVES TAX EVASION RAPS VS CORONA
The Justice Department on Thursday recommends the filing of tax evasion charges against dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The DOJ finds probable cause to charge Corona with failing to pay P120.5 million in taxes and to file his income tax return for six years within 2003 to 2010.
The charges are based on a Bureau of Internal Revenue case filed with the DOJ in August 2012.
It would be the first court case against Corona after he was relieved from his post last May, following his failure to declare his bank deposits.
The BIR said Corona underdeclared the value of his cash assets from 2003-2010 by P546 million.
Corona says the BIR failed to take into account that part of the funds in his bank accounts came from family members.
But the DOJ says, "The BIR sufficiently proved that there is probable cause to believe that the increase in his net worth came from sources which are taxable."
Story 3: HONTIVEROS: NO SUCH THING AS CATHOLIC VOTE
Team PNoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros says she is cautiously optimistic about her improved ranking in the April Pulse Asia survey.
After hovering between 13th to 18th place in previous surveys, Hontiveros makes it to the Magic 12 for the first time.
RISA HONTIVEROS, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Lumulundag kami, lumuha nung pumasok yung recent Pulse Asia Survey results. We’ve really needed that break. I’m still so happy, but I have to confess, it’s guarded optimism, I feel. (We were overjoyed when we saw the recent Pulse Asia survey results.)
Hontiveros is most visible as an advocate of the Reproductive Health bill.
Several church dioceses are campaigning against candidates who supported the bill, but Hontiveros says she believes it may help her.
RISA HONTIVEROS, SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: If at all it will affect the final days in a positive way, yeah I think magdadagdag siya ng extrang sipa sa homestretch, because if the surveys are to be believed then I do have faith in them and the surveys about the then RH bill were consistently highly in favor, and I believe even among my fellow Catholics.
MARIA RESSA: Do you believe that there is a Catholic vote?
RISA HONTIVEROS: Di ako naniniwala na may Catholic vote na anti RH. Kung may Catholic vote man naniniwala ako na ano mang Catholic Vote ay pro-RH and I say this as a Catholic. (I don’t believe that there is a Catholic vote that is anti-RH. If there is a Catholic vote, I believe that any Catholic vote is pro-RH and I say this as a Catholic.)
Story 4: SURVEY: MOST VOTERS GET INFO ON BETS FROM TV ADS
A Pulse Asia survey says television advertisements are voters' biggest source of information about senatorial candidates for the coming May 2013 elections.
The survey, conducted from April 20 to April 22, shows 85% of the respondents get information from TV ads.
In the National Capital Region and the Visayas, the number rises to 90%.
31% of voters say they get their information from posters and campaign materials.
22% say they get information from TV news programs and radio ads.
Nationwide, the internet and social media is a source of information for just 3% of voters, which rises to 7% in the national capital region.
There are fewer political ads running on TV since the Commission on Elections limited the airtime of senatorial candidates to 120 minutes total for all TV stations.
Brillantes warns candidates against exceeding airtime limits.
Story 5: COMELEC TESTS PCOS ONE LAST TIME
The Commission on Elections runs ballot counting machines in a final dry run before the May 13 elections.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.
The Comelec tests ballot-counting machines one last time before the midterm elections.
In Pasay City, Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes leads the final testing and sealing of PCOS machines.
Election inspectors check if the PCOS works.
Ten voters also fill out sample ballots, to test if the PCOS will accurately count their votes.
Later, election inspectors count the votes manually to verify the PCOS tally. They find no discrepancy.
PATERNO ESMAQUEL, REPORTING: The final testing and sealing of PCOS machines here in Gotamco Elementary School in Pasay City finished with no major glitches. But 7 votes went to waste after some people voted more than the required number of candidates. So a reminder: do not overvote.
The activity teaches the public a lesson.
The PCOS ignores a person's vote for the party list, after he chooses more than one candidate.
The machine also junks a set of 6 votes for councilor. This is after the voter casts an extra vote.
Despite minor problems, Brillantes says the testing process boosts the credibility of elections.
SIXTO BRILLANTES, COMELEC CHAIR: Pampalakas-loob ito kasi sa dami ng detractor namin na ang iingay 'pag malapit na ang eleksyon, na sinasabi puro doubt, speculation. Gusto namin ipakita na ito, ginagawa namin. Ito, alinsunod sa batas. (This is a confidence-building measure, because we have a lot of detractors who come out as election day nears, spreading doubt, speculation. We want to show that we're doing this. This is in accordance with the law.)
He also says the Comelec has improved based on its experience in 2010.
Back then, the Comelec found errors in 76,000 compact flash cards during the final testing and sealing.
Brillantes vows this will not happen again.
SIXTO BRILLANTES, COMELEC CHAIR: Ang nangyari noong 2010, hindi sila nagkaroon ng preliminary testing before the final testing. Which we corrected. Nagkaroon na kami...Dapat naman mas handa kami. Second na 'to eh. (What happened in 2010 was, they didn't do a preliminary testing before the final testing. Which we corrected. We already did that. We're supposed to be more ready. This is the second time.)
Brillantes says the final testing and sealing will happen in most other precincts on May 6.
The next few days will test the chairman's promise, as the nation approaches D-Day.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila
Story 6: PH WINS 2ND INVESTMENT GRADE
The Philippines wins its second investment grade rating from Standard & Poors.
S&P upgrades the Philippines' credit rating from BB+ to BBB-.
This comes after Fitch Ratings also raised the Philippines' credit rating in March to the same level as A-lister countries.
S&P’s credit analyst Agost Benard says, "The upgrade on the Philippines reflects a strengthening external profile, moderating inflation, and the government's declining reliance on foreign currency debt.”
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco says the upgrade -- quote -- "cements the Philippines' status as an economy with one of the brightest prospects globally."
An investment grade tells investors it is safe to do business in the Philippines, and encourages them to put huge capital in the country.
Story 7: 'MINDANAO POWER PROBLEMS TO CONTINUE UNTIL 2015'
Romeo Montenegro of the Mindanao Development Authority says power problems will continue until additional infrastructure is built by 2015.
On Tuesday, Montenegro says the Mindanao power grid is on red alert status.
This means it lacks 200 megawatts to meet energy demands.
Montenegro says underinvestment in the power sector affected development.
ROMEO MONTENEGRO, DIRECTOR FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION, MINDANAO DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: There was a bit of underinvestment in the power sector. When EPIRA was passed in 2001 it demonopolized from government the power sector and it was left to the private sector to do everything. The thing is many in the private sector have opted to take the wait-and-see attitude.
MARIA RESSA: Because they were uncertain about government policies.
Montenegro says the government’s short-term goal is to address blackouts before focusing on policy change.
ROMEO MONTENEGRO, DIRECTOR FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION, MINDANAO DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: Right now we're just focusing on generating the capacities that we wanted to have to address the brownouts. Our next step actually form part of our long-term processes which is the policy...That's part of our agenda to look at certain provisions in the EPIRA that need to be modified or need to be addressed just so EPIRA could be attuned to the realities of the time because it was implemented 10 years ago.
Story 8: 3 CHARGED WITH BOSTON BOMBING COVER-UP
Three friends of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are charged Wednesday with trying to cover his tracks and lying to police.
Kazakh nationals Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov are accused of conspiring to destroy items belonging to Tsarnaev, while Robel Phillipos, an American, is charged with lying to police.
The three are accused of trying to help Tsarnaev avoid arrest after seeing his picture on television after the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
According to the formal complaint released by the Justice Department, the three met in Tsarnaev's dormitory room on April 18, where Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov took a backpack containing fireworks to help Tsarnaev avoid trouble.
When questioned by police, Phillipos initially said they did not go to Tsarnaev’s dorm room, but later confessed he lied to agents.
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Phillipos faces up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Tsarnaev is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, speaking at a Mass Wednesday, Pope Francis condemns the exploitation of workers and slave labor in a subtle reference to the tragedy in a Bangladeshi garments factory.
The pope says, “...focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!"
The death toll at the collapsed garment factory in the outskirts of Dhaka rises to over 400 a week after the incident.
At number 5, around 100,000 people are chosen from several million to get a head-start on a US Green Card, in what could be the last such annual lottery.
Created in 1995, the lottery system leads to the awarding of permanent residency permits to 50,000 people from countries that send few emigrants to the United States.
But US Republican lawmakers included a plan to scrap it in the comprehensive immigration reforms.
A final vote on the reforms is not expected before this summer.
And at number 10, Facebook says it will delete video of beheadings posted on the social network.
It earlier refused to ban the clips, saying people had the right to show the quote “world in which we live.”
Facebook later shifted its position, saying it will remove video reported to the site while it evaluates its policy and approach.
The warning comes after a video of a masked man beheading a woman was uploaded on the site.
The Family Online Safety Institute says Facebook --quote -- “crossed a line” and failed to consider psychological damage on viewers of violent material.
|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|