Rappler Newscast | August 21, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Heavy monsoon rains affect more than 1 million Filipinos.
- Sen Revilla questions an audit report linking him to Napoles NGOs.
- 300 tons of radioactive water leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Story 1: NDRRMC: MORE THAN 1-M AFFECTED BY MONSOON
The death toll from the monsoon rises to 15, including the first death from Metro Manila.
Most of those who died drowned or were swept away by floods.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council or NDRRMC reports more than a million Filipinos are affected by the monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Maring -- international name Trami.
By Wednesday morning, the storm exits the Philippine area of responsibility.
Heavy rains batter Luzon for the third day Wednesday, shutting down schools and government offices and making many roads impassable.
Damage to agriculture and infrastructure is estimated at P67 million.
Several towns and provinces declare a state of calamity to allow them to draw emergency funds for affected residents.
State weather bureau Pagasa says the weather will continue to improve as the weekend approaches.
Story 2: AQUINO VISITS EVACUATION CENTERS
President Benigno Aquino visits evacuation centers from areas hit hard by the monsoon, but the people say they need more than relief goods.
Natashya Gutierrez reports.
JAN KERVIE NOBERYA, FLOOD VICTIM: Mahirap po tapos wala po minsan makain, naaasa lang sa relief dahil wala pong trabaho. (It's hard here and sometimes there's nothing to eat. We're relying on relief because there's no work.)
12-year-old Jan Kervie says leaving his home during heavy rain is hard, but not unusual.
6 feet of water had submerged his home during Tropical Storm Maring.
This is his 3rd time in an evacuation center.
But this year is different -- the President of the Philippines comes to visit.
President Benigno Aquino III goes to Laguna, one of 4 provinces declared under state of calamity because of the storm.
At De La Paz elementary school, 328 families or over 1,300 people seek refuge. Some have been here for over 3 days.
Aquino offers words of comfort.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Ready po ang inyong gobyerno sa kalamidad na ito, wag tayo magalala marami pa tayong resources para mabalik tayo sa maayos sa lalong madaling panahon. (Your government is ready for this calamity. Let's not worry because we have a lot of resources to rebuild us at the soonest opportunity.)
He hands relief goods to evacuees.
Noralyn Garcia, a mother of 4, is grateful to the President.
But she wants more than just a bag of food.
NORALYN GARCIA, FLOOD VICTIM: Nagpapasalamat po kami dahil nabigyan po kami ng konting tulong. Sana nga po eh… yung mga walang bahay ay mabigyan narin yung mga binabaha yun po mabigyan po ng tulong. (We're grateful we've been given a little bit of help. I hope those without homes will be given homes, and those living in flood prone areas will be given help.)
After Laguna, Aquino also visits Mandaluyong Elementary School where over 1,600 are evacuated.
They are just some of 35,000 families staying in evacuation centers nationwide, part of one million Filipinos affected by the rains and floods.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: President Aquino says the heavy downpour pushes the government more to carry out its plans and build preventive structures. With rains of this intensity happening almost yearly, the pressure is on the government to find lasting, sustainable solutions. Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler Mandaluyong.
Story 3: MONSOON AFFECTS LIVELIHOOD OF RIZAL RESIDENTS
Residents of San Mateo Rizal call for help as their livelihood suffers because of incessant rain.
Paterno Esmaquel files this video blog.
PATERNO ESMAQUEL, REPORTING: Disaster affects the livelihood of the poorest Filipinos. We’re here in Brgy Banaba, San Mateo, Rizal where the livelihood of people is raising pigs which they sell for up to 7,000 pesos.
They say every disaster threatens them because it makes it more difficult to feed these pigs and it also exposes them to thieves.
ASISCLO CALIPAYAN, SAN MATEO RESIDENT: Ang kabuhayan po naming ay nababalewala ‘pag sab aha. Kasi ‘yung pagpapakain ng alaga ko, mahirap. Nasa tabi kasi kami ng ilog eh. Tapos binabantayan po naming nang maigi, para ma-safety ‘yung sa nakawan, kasi dati nu’ng Ondoy, nagkawalaan ditto ng mga alagang baboy. (Our livelihood suffers losses whenever there’s flood. It’s more difficult to feed my pig, because we live by the river. Then we also guard it tightly, to keep it safe from thieves, because during the onslaught of Ondoy, many of us lost our pigs.)
CONCEPCION ESPINA, SAN MATEO RESIDENT: Kung nilalamig, namamatay, sobrang lamig na. Kagaya kahapon, bagyo na. Nalamigan, namatay sila. Pinatapon ko nga eh, kahapon. (When it’s too cold, they die, it’s already too cold. Just like yesterday, when the typhoon was here. Some of them suffered the cold weather and died. In fact I had them thrown away yesterday.)
They say they are sad because they are not receiving as much attention as other localities and they would like the government and other NGOs to provide them with crucial aid to help them rebuild their lives after Disaster. Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler.
Story 4: STUDENTS LEAD IN RELIEF OPERATIONS
Heavy rain and flood affect more than a million Filipinos and students are leading the way in relief operations.
David Lozada reports.
Donations arrive at the Ateneo college covered courts despite the heavy rains.
After the devastation caused by Typhoon Maring, students and administrators start relief operations for flood victims.
Ateneo students and administration kicks into DREAM Team mode whenever a calamity hits the country.
DREAM stands for Disaster Response and Management.
Sanggunian president Dan Remo says the students’ response is overwhelming.
DAN REMO, SANGGUNIAN PRESIDENT: Really the need now is to try to identify what are the needs on the ground and how we can best help our communities. We really make sure that we reach out to them and make sure we get the needed supplies.
But Ateneo students are not alone.
DAVID LOZADA, REPORTING: The Ateneo community join various colleges and universities in Metro Manila in relief efforts for Typhoon Maring victims. They give food, clothing and other items to hard hit communities.
In the University of Asia and the Pacific, students utilize social media in their operations.
They post the relief goods they need and update the status of operations in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
UA&P student Erica Ng says the use of social media gives them a wider reach.
ERICA NG, UA&P STUDENT: What’s unique about UA&P is that our relief operations has a special team just for social media so that information could be disseminated easily and more effective through the whole UA&P community and even outside. That’s why we also get donations from people we don’t even know, who are not even part of UA&P.
In the University of the Philippines, iskos and iskas lead relief operations.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines organized #TulongKabataan to assist distressed communities near UP.
But UP student Jerome Dela Cruz says relief operations are only short term solutions.
JEROME DELA CRUZ, UP STUDENT: Tinitingnan natin kung ano ba talaga yung problema. Kung bakit nagkakaroon ng biktima. Bakit nagkakaroon ng evacuees. Yung problema sa pagkakaroon ng urban poor, ito ba ay dahil lang wala silang trabaho o kapabayaan ba ito ng gobyerno. Kailangan natin tignan lahat yan. (We should look at the real problem. Why are there victims? Why do we have evacuees? Are the people in urban poor communities simply jobless? Or are they the result of the government’s neglect? We look at all of these issues.)
Relief efforts from other schools can be found in Rappler’s Move.PH.
DAN REMO, SANGGUNIAN PRESIDENT: As long as Ateneo and other individuals are willing to give, the operations will continue. There’s no shortage of enthusiasm from the community.
David Lozada, Rappler, Quezon City.
Story 5: MORE THAN 340,000 IN EVACUATION CENTERS NEED HELP
The Department of Social Welfare and Development says more than 340,000 people are displaced after torrential rain battered Luzon on August 18.
Around 163,000 people are in 501 evacuation centers across Luzon.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman says the agency is now focusing on delivering food packs to affected areas.
The department allots P114.4 million worth of emergency relief resources for affected regions.
Rappler's civic engagement arm Move.PH is compiling a list of relief efforts to help the victims.
If you’re organizing a relief drive or accepting donations, let us know by tweeting us @moveph or by using #ReliefPH.
Story 6: CEBU SHIP COLLISION TOLL RISES TO 71
The death toll from the collision of a passenger ferry and a cargo ship off Cebu on Friday rises to 71.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says 49 people remain missing.
On Wednesday, divers recover 5 more bodies from the sunken wreck of passenger ferry Thomas Aquinas.
The province of Cebu remains under a state of calamity because of the oil spilling from the sunken ferry.
Story 7: BONG REVILLA RAISES DOUBTS OVER COA REPORT
Senator Bong Revilla questions a Commission on Audit report on lawmakers’ alleged misuse of pork barrel.
Revilla is one of the senators tagged in the pork barrel scam.
Revilla's lawyer says the senator is willing to subject himself to --quote-- an "impartial investigation."
He hires a handwriting expert to investigate the possibility the documents in his pork barrel allocations were falsified.
This comes after several lawmakers point out a possible clerical error in the Commission on Audit’s findings after state auditors report one congressman got P3 billion in pork barrel.
The report also shows Revilla’s pork barrel went to non-government organizations linked to alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
According to the report, Revilla released P853 million from 2007 to 2009.
P422.99 million of his allocations was channeled into 5 Napoles NGOs.
Revilla's lawyer asks COA to furnish them a copy of the documents used in the report.
Story 8: DRILON ON PORK PROBE: WE'LL HOLD THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE
Senate President Franklin Drilon backs the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's probe into the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
In a statement, Drilon says, “We heard the people’s loud clamor for accountability from us and they will not be denied.”
Senators earlier agreed not to conduct a parallel probe, citing a conflict of interest.
But on Tuesday, the Senate backtracks and decides to push through with the investigation after the Commission on Audit or COA released a report showing at least P6.1 billion of lawmakers' funds were misused.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Gringo Honasan, Bongbong Marcos and Bong Revilla were tagged in news reports among the lawmakers who gave money to fake non-governmental organizations controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.
The COA report shows Estrada, Enrile and Revilla were "patrons" of Napoles' NGOs.
The Senate majority bloc is set to file a resolution for senators not to avail of their pork barrel until "stricter measures" are installed.
This comes after President Benigno Aquino announced Malacañang will hold pork barrel releases until the probe on the scam is completed.
Story 9: WORST RADIOACTIVE LEAK FROM FUKUSHIMA WASTE TANK
Japan issues its highest-level warning over the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant after some 300 tons of radioactive water leak from a tank.
Tokyo Electric Power Company or TEPCO says puddles of water with extremely high radiation levels are found near the water tanks at the plant.
The radiation is the equivalent of five years worth of normal exposure for a power plant worker compressed in one hour.
In March 2011, a tsunami struck Fukushima, knocking out reactor cooling systems and sparking meltdowns.
TEPCO says the toxic water might flow into the Pacific Ocean "in the longer term," but adds it’s working to avoid further damage.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will visit Manila on August 29-30 as part of A Southeast Asian tour of 4 countries.
Hagel's visit coincides with the ASEAN Defense Ministers annual retreat in Brunei.
His visit to Manila comes at a time when the US and the Philippines are framing a new agreement that will allow increased presence of US troops in the country, including giving them access to military bases.
At number 6, Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is indicted for the 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
It is the first time a current or ex-army chief is charged with a crime in Pakistan.
Musharraf denies any involvement in Bhutto's murder.
He says the charges are politically motivated.
4 suspected militants and 2 senior police officials are charged with Musharraf.
And at number 9, nearly one million tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil goes on sale online.
The chase for tickets begins Tuesday, even though World Cup qualification is far from over.
Tickets for the opening match on June 12, 2014 in Sao Paulo cost between $220 and $495, while those for the July 13 final at Rio de Janeiro cost between $440 and $990.
Story 11: MUSICAL 'WICKED' COMES TO MANILA
Wicked, Broadway’s top grossing musical, comes to Manila.
G Tongi reports.
A musical extravaganza bigger than Mama Mia, Cats and Phantom of the Opera is coming to Manila.
Lunch Box producer James Cundall says Filipinos are clamoring to see Wicked.
JAMES CUNDALL, PRODUCER, LUNCH BOX THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS: I didn’t think there was a bigger musical than Phantom of the Opera but there is! And it’s called Wicked! Even more than Phantom, this is the show that people want!
A phenomenon that started 10 years ago on Broadway, Wicked makes history as the biggest grossing musical of all time.
A parallel tale to the famous Wizard of Oz, Wicked tells the untold tale of two witches from Oz and their unlikely friendship.
Elphaba and Glinda the Good sing the most memorable songs from the musical soundtrack.
Australian Suzie Mathers is Glinda the Good witch -- pretty, vain and above all “popular”.
Australian Jemma Rix is the wicked green witch Elphaba -- sensitive, passionate.
She “defies gravity”.
Mathers and Rix are looking forward to performing before a Philippine audience.
SUZIE MATHERS, ‘GLINDA THE GOOD’: We actually had our first taste of Filipinos in Singapore, we had our fair amount of people fly over to see us there and also I heard there was a petition on Facebook to get us here so that’s super exciting for us knowing that we’re coming, an audience that’s gonna embrace us with open arms.
JEMMA RIX, ELPHABA: Knowing that the audiences are gonna enjoy the show already gives you a buzz because to me, when you hear the applause, when you hear the laughter, it gives you so much energy and you love what you do, because you see how it affects people and so I think that’s really exciting and I can’t wait to experience that!
Cundall says the props, sets and costumes are exact replicas of the Broadway play.
Besides the spectacle of a grand production, the cast says the story of Wicked will captivate Filipinos.
SUZIE MATHERS, ‘GLINDA THE GOOD’: Things aren’t always as they seem, Elphaba has a heart of gold and what she does gets misconstrued and mis-communicated and so she is dubbed as “wicked” and it does challenge the belief: “What is Wicked ”? There’s love, comedy, loss..all the good qualities of a great story!
Wicked opens at the CCP Mainstage on January 22, 2014, but only for a limited run of three weeks.
G TONGI, REPORTING: The Australian cast of Wicked Manila promises to be an exact replica of the show on Broadway. Don’t miss your chance to see this spellbinding musical! G Töngi, Rappler- Manila.
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|