Rappler Newscast | July 29, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Tax chief Kim Henares is being eyed to lead the Bureau of Customs.
- The police release sketches of 3 suspects behind Friday’s explosion in Cagayan de Oro.
- Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe vows to boost the Philippines’ maritime security.
Story 1: KIM HENARES NEXT CUSTOMS CHIEF?
Internal revenue chief Kim Henares is being eyed to replace Ruffy Biazon as commissioner of the corruption-plagued Bureau of Customs.
Two senior advisers of President Benigno Aquino tell Rappler Henares is being considered for the post to reform the bureau.
The move comes after the President hit customs for corruption in his 4th State of the Nation Address.
Replacing the customs chief is one of the many reforms the government is planning for the agency.
Other officials are expected to be replaced as part of the agency's revamp.
Sources tell Rappler as many as 50 officials may be booted out of the bureau in an attempt to reform the mindset and culture of the agency.
Professional services firm Sycip Gorres Velayo chair Cirilo Noel says talk that Henares would be the next Customs head had been circulating for "around 2 or 3 months.”
Henares earned a reputation for being tough-- a key figure in the Aquino administration's efforts to improve the country's revenue collections.
In the days after the President’s address, Biazon dropped hints he is on his way out.
Earlier this week, Biazon told reporters, "I hope you would not take it against me if sometime in the near future I would hang up the gloves...
because sometimes you begin to think if this is all worth it."
Two other Customs officials – Danilo Lim and Juan Lorenzo Tañada – also offered to resign, but Malacañang says Aquino has not yet decided on whether or not to retain them.
Story 2: HENARES ON CUSTOMS POST: IT'S PNOY'S CALL
Tax chief Kim Henares says it’s up to President Aquino to determine who heads the Bureau of Customs.
Henares says Malacanang has not asked her about taking over the post, but adds she is open to the possibility, saying, "I'm here to serve the country and serve the President...I believe it's the President's call...where he needs any of us.”
Henares says she will remain focused on her current role at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Under her watch, the BIR regularly files charges against allegedly erring individuals.
The bureau also improved its collections unlike past leaderships which missed targets.
Story 3: PNP EYES 3 'PROBABLE' CDO BLAST SUSPECTS
The Philippine National Police releases composite sketches of 3 male suspects three days after a bomb exploded in Cagayan de Oro City.
All 3 suspects are unidentified and described by witnesses as medium-built and fair-skinned.
PNP Chief Alan Purisima declines to give more details, saying they do not have sufficient evidence.
Purisima adds, "The case is being investigated. We want to complete our data first so once it’s completed we will discuss details of the incident.”
On Friday, an explosion rocked Cagayan de Oro, killing 8 and injuring 48 others.
Most of the victims are doctors who attended a national convention at the Grand Caprice Hotel.
Purisima says the police are also looking into the actions of first responders and police officers to determine who ordered the clean up of the crime scene.
Purisima says it appears the area had --quote-- "been tampered with.”
He adds, “Why did it happen that the area was cleaned? The cleaning of a crime scene is obstruction of justice.”
Purisima refuses to say whether the police thought the attack was a terrorist act, but says authorities have leads.
Story 4: MIRIAM FINALLY GETS FOREIGN RELATIONS PANEL
Sen Miriam Santiago finally gets the foreign relations committee after accusing former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of depriving her of the panel in the 15th Congress.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano announces the third batch of committee chairmanships.
In an earlier interview, Santiago says Enrile deliberately blocked her from getting foreign relations.
She adds, “In 2010, I understand Enrile said foreign relations [goes] to anyone but Miriam...That's how personal his anger at me is."
Sen Jinggoy Estrada also announces the assignment of chairmanships of the 5 committees Senate President Franklin Drilon offered the minority.
The 5 committees are economic affairs; agrarian reform; social justice, welfare and rural development; housing and resettlement; and labor, employment and human resource development.
Minority senators earlier said they might not accept chairmanships if only “leftover” committees will be offered to them.
But on Friday, Sen Gringo Honasan says his group does not want to appear like they are “sour-graping.”
Story 5: WHY DND PLANS TO MOVE AIR FORCE, NAVY TO SUBIC
The Defense Department is considering moving the Air Force and Navy camps to Subic.
An Associated Press report earlier quoted Defense Sec Voltaire Gazmin as saying the move to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, a former American naval base, would be --quote-- “for the protection of the West Philippine Sea.”
The plan was reportedly hatched "late last year" during the Philippines' territorial row with China.
Citing a confidential government report, the AP reports it will cost at least P5.1 billion.
On Monday, Defense spokesman Peter Galvez says the maritime dispute triggered the plans to move the Air Force and Navy camps to Subic, but adds a plan to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is also a factor.
Galvez says Subic is the "best alternative" because of its existing facilities which can accommodate warships and helicopters.
PETER GALVEZ, DEFENSE SPOKESMAN: May existing runway na doon, deepwater port, we don’t have to replicate those so cost savings yan for our armed forces. It's a very strategic location to address whatever issue there may be in the west side for our country. (There’s already an existing runway there, a deepwater port. We don’t have to replicate those so it’s cost savings for our armed forces.)
Story 6: BENGUET, 9 LUZON PROVINCES CITED FOR HIGH HDI SCORES
Ten provinces -- all in Luzon -- are cited for their performance in human development for 2009 in the Philippine Human Development Report.
This means that in 2009, they were the best performers in terms of per capita income, public spending on health, and schooling for its residents, among other factors.
The list is topped by Benguet, followed by Batanes, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, Bataan, Laguna, Nueva Vizcaya, Ilocos Norte and Pampanga.
Nine of the 10 bottom provinces in human development for 2009 are all in Mindanao, with Sulu at the bottom of the list.
The report also analyzed the performance of provinces from 1997 to 2009.
Benguet tops the list of most improved provinces, followed by Biliran, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Catanduanes.
Five provinces from Mindanao are among the 10 less improved provinces during the 10-year period.
Story 7: JAPAN PM VOWS STRONGER TIES WITH PH
Japan’s Prime Minister concludes his official visit to the Philippines over the weekend.
His words are cryptic, with vague references to the neighborhood bully-- China.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the Philippines with the official line: its all about friendship and aid.
Abe meets with Philippine President Benigno Aquino and pledges more help, including boats and communication systems.
Like the Philippines, he also vows to uphold international law.
SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER: Japan and the Philippines as neighbors connected by the sea, developed a long history of friendship. Both countries share a strategic interest of making the Asia Pacific region a free and open region not by coercion or intimidation but by the rule of law.
Abe promises other forms of aid, such a credit loan for disasters, a topographical map of Mindanao to help in the peace process, and more flights to the Philippines to improve tourism.
SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER: Going forward, I want to strengthen the relationship with the Philippines in all areas including politics, security, economy, and people-to-people exchange.
Analysts agree security is the real reason for Abe’s visit.
It’s part of the strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines, which involves boosting maritime defense.
Japan is in a hostile dispute with China over the Diaoyu or Senkaku islands.
The Philippines and China are locked in dispute over the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.
Japanese Studies expert Lydia Yu Jose says its mere “image-building.”
LYDIA YU-JOSE, JAPANESE STUDIES EXPERT: I’m not happy about that strategic partnership...because it will not solve the issue. The territorial disputes will remain there. That’s the basic reason. Another reason is, you only provoke China, and it’s not good to provoke China. Better engage China; better keep on talking with China.
Jose is on one side of the raging debate in the Philippines on how to handle China.
Former President Gloria Arroyo used same the strategy of engagement.
But President Benigno Aquino departs from that thinking.
The Philippines, like David challenging Goliath, filed a historic case against China before a UN tribunal.
For Aquino, the old saying keep your enemies close may not be enough.
It’s now: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Paterno Esmaquel II, Rappler, Manila.
Story 8: PH PURSUES AIR TALKS WITH FRANCE, ITALY
The Civil Aeronautics Board confirms the Philippines is scheduled to hold air talks with Italy and France, barely a month after the European Union lifted the 3-year old ban preventing Philippine carriers from entering European airspace.
Civil Aeronautics Board Director Carmelo Arcilla says talks with Italy are scheduled on September 4 and 5, and France in early 2014.
Governments engage in bilateral air talks to negotiate on destinations covered in each country and frequency of flights, among other details.
On July 10, EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux announces the partial lifting of the ban, allowing Philippine Airlines to fly to the 28-member bloc.
The EU says it was impressed by the efforts of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and PAL to enhance safety oversight.
Arcilla says the talks will --quote-- “also pave the way for other Philippine carriers to eventually compete in the European market."
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, High-level envoys from Israel and Palestine will meet in Washington on July 29 to restart stalled Middle East peace talks.
The US State Department announcement comes after Israel says it plans to release more than 100 Palestinian prisoners.
The talks will be the first direct dialogue since the peace process fell apart in September 2010.
At number 5, Pope Francis challenges the youth to spread the Catholic faith even to the “most indifferent.”
In the concluding Mass for World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis urges the 3 million delegates to share “the wonderful experience of meeting Jesus.”
By making this challenge, Francis involves the youth in a key theme of his papacy: promoting a missionary Church.
And at number 10, Panda lovers around the world will be able to watch live 24-hour Internet broadcasts of the iconic Chinese animals starting August.
Xinhua news agency reports the “giant panda channel” will start broadcasts of pandas in the Sichuan province.
28 high definition video cameras will capture the activities of the pandas living at the base.
The broadcasts can be accessed through ipanda.com.
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|