Rappler Newscast | June 6, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Tito Sotto resigns as Senate Majority Leader a day after ally Juan Ponce Enrile resigns as Senate President.
- Dinagat congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao says her narrow win in the province shows the continuing influence of the Ecleos and the thirst for change.
- North and South Korea agree to hold their first official talks after months of military tensions.
Story 1: AFTER ENRILE, SOTTO RESIGNS AS MAJORITY LEADER
After the resignation of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, his close ally Senate Tito Sotto also resigns as Senate majority leader.
Before the start of session Thursday, Sotto says he will step down at the end of the last session day.
Asked what triggered his decision, Sotto says he is tired.
He adds, “I don’t think I can top the time, effort, blood, sweat and tears I put into the last 3 years."
Sotto says his resignation is a way of sympathizing with Enrile, who stepped down after criticism of his selective handling of Senate funds.
TITO SOTTO, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Una sa lahat pagod na ko e. Napakahirap. (I’m really tired. It’s so hard.) I don't think I can tap the time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears that I put into the last three years, into the next three years.
Sotto says Assistant Majority Leader Gringo Honasan will take his place.
As majority leader, Sotto was in charge of the Senate agenda, and trafficking bills introduced in the floor.
He became controversial after he opposed the Reproductive Health law and plagiarized online articles in a speech against it.
Story 2: COMELEC COMPLETES SENATE TALLY
The Commission on Elections on Thursday releases the final tally of votes in the senatorial race, validating the winners' initial rankings in the partial canvass report Comelec used in the May 18 proclamation.
Surprise frontrunner Grace Poe Llamanzares keeps the top spot, with more than 20 million votes.
The winner in the 12th spot, Gringo Honasan, has more than 700,000 votes over former senator Richard Gordon.
Story 3: BAG-AO: THE PEOPLE OF DINAGAT STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE
Dinagat Congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao says her victory over Gwen Ecleo in the congressional race shows the people of Dinagat Islands want change.
Her win disrupts the nearly 50-year political reign of the Ecleos in the province.
Bag-ao won by a slim margin of 3,200 votes.
KAKA BAG-AO, CONGRESSWOMAN, DINAGAT ISLANDS: It means that a lot of the people in Dinagat are still trapped in that consciousness that the Ecleos, who are so entrenched, have really established their power in Dinagat. The 3,000 margin could be seen as a small margin but also could be seen as say, a large window for a lot of people that says that a lot of people in Dinagat still believe in hope and still believes in the possibility of changing what is the situation right now.
Bag-ao though says her working relationship with the Ecleos will not get in the way of the reforms she plans for the province.
KAKA BAG-AO, CONGRESSWOMAN, DINAGAT ISLANDS: They accept the idea that I am the elected and congresswoman of Dinagat. They don't talk to me personally, they only have conversations when we are in a formal gathering with other government agencies so as long as we maintain that relations I'm still good. But I also know that they are not happy with the fact that I won the elections. There were attempts at hiring gunmen to try to make sure that either I am threatened, intimidated, or even actually ensure that I don't go back to Dinagat anymore...As long as they work with me officially as the representative, and even if they don't, it will be very difficult but it will not stop me from doing what I decided to do.
Story 4: INQUIRER SUSPENDS PUGAD BABOY OVER GAY COMIC STRIP
The Philippine Daily Inquirer suspends the publication of popular comic strip Pugad Baboy because of a strip criticizing the supposed hypocrisy of Christians on the issue of homosexuality.
The strip appeared Monday on Inquirer.net.
It shows two characters talking about how hypocritical it is for Christians to denounce homosexuality when gays and lesbians are tolerated in Catholic all-girls schools.
The strip draws public ire after it named all-girls school St Scholastica in the last panel.
In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, St Scholastica says it sent a letter to Inquirer on the day the comic strip was published.
The school says it protests how it was singled out and how its Sister-administrators were --quote-- "accused of allowing homosexual relationships between its female students."
The school says it will file a lawsuit if it does not hear from Inquirer and cartoonist Pol Medina Jr.
Reacting to the news, Medina says the strip first appeared in March but did not get any reaction.
He says it was re-issued after he made a series of strips denouncing former president Ferdinand Marcos.
First published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 1988, Pugad Baboy is known for its satire on Philippine society and politics.
Story 5: FILIPINO PEACEKEEPER WOUNDED IN GOLAN HEIGHTS
A Filipino soldier serving as a peacekeeper with the United Nations is wounded in the Golan Heights.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines says the soldier, whose name is undisclosed, was hit by shrapnel above the right ankle.
The military spokesman says the soldier is being treated by medics and is in stable condition.
Story 6: NORTH, SOUTH KOREA AGREE TO OFFICIAL TALKS
North and South Korea agree to hold their first official talks in years, signaling a possible breakthrough in cross-border ties after months of military tensions.
The surprise offer comes from Pyongyang.
The North proposes talks on a range of commercial and humanitarian issues from reopening a joint industrial complex to resuming cross-border family reunions.
The South's Unification Ministry says it views the offer "positively" and will announce a date, venue and agenda later.
It adds, "We hope that South and North Korea can build trust through this opportunity."
South Korea President Park Geun-Hye says bilateral talks will require the North to show commitment to abandoning its nuclear weapons program.
But Pyongyang repeatedly insisted its nuclear deterrent is not up for negotiation.
Analysts welcome the development, but advise caution.
University of North Korean Studies professor Yang Moo-Jin says --quote--, "I think this is an attempt by the North to seize the initiative...
but it's premature to say whether the offer is likely to lead to a sincere dialogue."
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, Turkey's embattled government insists it is --quote-- "not a second-class democracy" even as police tear-gassed protesters who massed in the streets calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to quit.
Two people are killed in the six days of unrest nationwide.
The national doctors' union says more than 4,000 had been injured in protests police tried to quell with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons.
Turkey's Western allies express concern about reports of police violence but Ankara hits back at criticism of its handling of the crisis.
At number 8, A starter kit of baby clothes, sheets and toys given by the Finnish government to expectant mothers is said to have helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
A tradition that dates back to the 1930s, the maternity package is designed to give all children in Finland an equal start in life.
The BBC reports many Finnish babies take their first naps within the 4 cardboard walls of the box.
Mothers can choose to take the box or a cash grant of 140 euros.
About 95% choose the box which is worth much more.
And at number 9, 8-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 units will expand the range of the Galaxy Tab 3 from the original 7-inch gadget.
The SamsungTomorrow blog says the new 8-inch model, appears to be positioned as a travel companion.
The 10.1-inch version is pushed as a home-based media entertainment gadget that can be shared with the family.
Both the 8-inch and 10-inch tabs have cameras.
Story 8: PARIS JACKSON HOSPITALIZED AFTER SUICIDE BID
The daughter of late pop icon Michael Jackson is hospitalized Wednesday after trying to commit suicide.
Celebrity website TMZ says the 15-year-old Paris Jackson tried to cut her right wrist and wrote a suicide note.
A family source says the teenager suffered from depression and is put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold in hospital.
Story 9: GILAS IN SAME GROUP AS TAIWAN IN FIBA ASIA
Gilas Pilipinas picks to join Group A of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship to be hosted by the Philippines in August.
The national team under coach Chot Reyes will join Middle Eastern teams Jordan and Saudi Arabia and neighbor Chinese Taipei or Taiwan in group action.
Taiwan, host of the Jones Cup tournament, where the Philippines are defending champions, uninvited the country because of tensions brought by the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters in May 2013.
Gilas is looking for at least a third place finish in the FIBA Asia cup to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Spain.
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|