Rappler Newscast | October 11, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Typhoon Santi -- international name Nari -- intensifies, 14 areas under storm signal no. 3.
- Malacanang says the pork barrel for 2013 is only suspended -- not abolished.
- A chemical weapons watchdog group gets 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
Story 1: #SANTIPH: 14 AREAS UNDER SIGNAL NO. 3
Fourteen areas are under storm signal no. 3 as typhoon Santi -- international name Nari -- moves closer to the province of Aurora.
State weather bureau Pagasa expects the typhoon to make landfall in less than 9 hours.
Signal number 3 is up over Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Mountain Province, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Northern Quezon including Polilio Island, and Northern Zambales.
Signal number 2 is up over Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Rest of Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, and Rizal.
Signal number 1 is up over the Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Northern Mindoro, Lubang Islands, Rest of Quezon, Marinduque, Camarines Provinces, and Catanduanes.
Santi is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility Sunday.
Once it leaves, new storm Tino may enter the country.
Story 2: PALACE CLARIFIES: 2013 PDAF SUSPENDED, NOT ABOLISHED
Malacanang Palace clarifies pork barrel allocations for 2013 are not abolished, but only suspended.
This comes after day 2 of oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte says the PDAF is only suspended because only Congress can repeal, amend or modify a law.
On September 10, the Supreme Court stopped the release of the pork barrel because of petitions questioning the constitutionality of discretionary funds.
In August, President Benigno Aquino said it was “time to abolish the pork barrel" in its present form, and replace it with a reformed system in the 2014 budget.
During the oral arguments, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio called the PDAF unconstitutional "on its face" and questioned statements made by the Executive that pork barrel no longer exists.
Story 3: CARPIO: USE DAP FOR SCHOLARS, PATIENTS
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio rejects the Solicitor General’s argument that the Court must lift the order stopping the release of pork barrel for the sake of scholars and poor patients.
Carpio says the government can use its savings under the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP.
During oral arguments to determine whether or not the pork barrel is constitutional, Carpio says the government can use its P72 billion in savings.
He adds, “The funds are there, it’s political will. If they want to realign that, they can.”
Jardeleza argued for the lifting of the TRO on the PDAF for medical and educational assistance.
But Carpio says the government can source the money from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the President’s Social Fund.
Story 4: GMO DEBATE FOR GOLDEN RICE
The Philippines is seen as a crucial battleground for genetically-modified organisms or GMOs.
After a court bans field trials for the genetically modified eggplant, both anti- and pro-GMO lobbyists are gearing up for the imminent approval of tests for the Golden Rice.
Pia Ranada reports.
These rice stalks at the International Rice Research Institute may look typical, but the grains they produce are a margarine-yellow.
Golden Rice gets its color from a gene inserted from corn and a soil bacteria.
The gene gives the rice beta carotene which generates Vitamin A when eaten.
Golden Rice is being marketed as the cure to Vitamin A deficiency, a leading cause of blindness in the world.
BRUCE TOLENTINO, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: In the Philippines alone, 2 million women and children are affected by Vitamin A deficiency. We have to deal with that. The fact is that Filipinos eat a lot of rice. On the average we eat 123 kilos per head per year. So since rice is so much a part of our diet, why don't we improve it?
Golden Rice is now undergoing multi-location field trials in different parts of the Philippines.
It needs to pass 3 more tests before making it to the dining tables.
But not everyone is convinced by the noble goals of Golden Rice.
CHITO MEDINA, NATIONAL COORDINATOR, MASIPAG: Vitamin A rice actually is a Trojan horse or a poster boy of GMO companies in order to increase the acceptability of GMOs throughout the world. Vitamin A rice produces only 38 micrograms per gram and carrots can produce 130 microgram per gram. It means to say carrots can produce 3 times more vitamin A than golden rice.
Golden Rice is at the forefront of a larger debate on GMOs.
One side sees GMOs as a science used for good.
BRUCE TOLENTINO, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE: We need science to solve the food security problems brought about by rapid population growth. We need to solve the problems brought about by climate change and what is happening to the environment. We need science to ensure that our family, friends and children have nutritious food that they need.
The other side says GMOs will put companies in control of agriculture at the expense of poor farmers.
Farmer alliance Masipag's spokesman Chito Medina says farmers are already experiencing this problem.
CHITO MEDINA, NATIONAL COORDINATOR, MASIPAG: The data that we get from a formal study last year shows that the farmers are spending something like P5,000 on top of the cost of normal hybrid corn produced by the same company. Even if the gross income has increased, the net income has declined because of the greater increase in the cost of production. Farmers use GM corn even if they have a choice because if they borrow money the money lenders require that the farmers plant GM corn.
Boon or bane? It’s the perennial question when technology tinkers with our food.
As the court battle nears, the global spotlight is on the Philippines.
Advocates say if Golden Rice is approved here, it will be very hard to stop the technology in other parts of the world.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Manila.
Story 5: CHEMICAL WEAPONS WATCHDOG WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons or OPCW wins the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
In a press release Friday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the group for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
The committee adds the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria have --quote-- “underlined the need to enhance efforts to do away with such weapons.”
Story 6: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, a new study on climate change shows extreme climates will affect more than one billion people in tropical areas.
Scientists say if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the present rate, it would be hotter than it’s ever been between 1860 and 2005.
The authors say the countries to be affected by extreme climates are those "with the least capacity to respond."
Co-author Ryan Longman adds, "Ironically, these are the countries that are least responsible for climate change in the first place."
At number 8, Writer Alice Munro wins the Nobel Literature Prize for her short stories focusing on the frailties of the human condition.
She is the 13th woman to win the coveted award, and the first Canadian.
The Swedish Academy describes Munro as a "master of the contemporary short story," a genre rarely honored with the prestigious literary award.
Her works include "Who Do You Think You Are?" "The Moons of Jupiter" and "Too Much Happiness". Her most recent collection is "Dear Life."
And at number 9, Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai wins the prestigious Sakharov human rights prize by the European Parliament for her campaign to get children in schools.
The 16-year-old became a symbol of the fight against radical forms of Islamism after she was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban last year for speaking out against them.
But on Thursday, the Pakistani Taliban says Yousafzai did "nothing" to deserve the Sakharov prize, and promises to try to kill her again.
A spokesman adds, "She is getting awards because she is working against Islam.
Her struggle against Islam is the main reason for getting these awards."
Thermometer in the sky, the heat image from Shutterstock
Factory pipe polluting air image from Shutterstock
Story 7: NBA IN MANILA: ROCKETS ZOOM PAST PACERS
James Harden and Jeremy Lin star as the Houston Rockets defeat the Indiana Pacers, 116-96, in the first NBA preseason game in the Philippines.
Harden scores 21 points, while Lin steers the Rockets' second unit with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in front of almost 15,000 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Houston scores the game's first 12 points as the Rockets record their first win of the preseason.
New acquisition Dwight Howard had a quiet 9 points and 3 rebounds, while fan favorite Chandler Parsons tallies 15 points for Houston.
The Rockets will face Indiana again in Taiwan Sunday.
Story 8: HOW DO YOU WIN A UAAP MEN'S BASKETBALL CROWN?
The UST Growling Tigers and DLSU Green Archers will face off in a winner-takes-all Finals match-up.
What does it take to win the championship?
Bea Cupin asks the teams’ head coaches.
These men say it all boils down to the right mindset.
The Tigers bring with them a wealth of experience.
This is Jarencio's 3rd Finals appearance in 8 seasons and the squad's second straight appearance in the UAAP Finals.
Fresh off a Game 2 win are the Green Archers.
Absent from the UAAP Finals for a while now, this is the team's first appearance since 2008.
Newbie head coach Juno Sauler, came in only 3 weeks before the season started.
Even after losing Game 1, morale was high.
JUNO SAULER, DLSU GREEN ARCHERS COACH: We lost the game but the season wasn't over...we just focused on the next game and tried to work on the things that we needed to work on.
The Tigers and the Archers have been through hell to get to the finals.
The Tigers knocked-out the Ateneo Blue Eagles to secure the last slot in the Final Four.
Then they defeated top-seeded National University twice in a row.
Jarencio says the week-long break between Game 2 and 3 is a huge respite.
He says in Filipino --quote--, “The one week break is a big deal because we've been through one knockout game after another."
Prior to Game 1 of the Finals, La Salle went on a wild winning streak sweeping the second round and booting out the FEU Tamaraws in a best-of-three series.
JUNO SAULER, DLSU GREEN ARCHERS HEAD COACH: I can accept that there are other teams that are probably taller, stronger, more athletic than us... but I just want us to be in a very stable and mental stage wherein we can say that we're the smartest.
History will be made on Saturday.
Will La Salle beat an experienced UST squad, ending the university’s drought?
Or will UST go on to break another UAAP record and be the first 4th seed to clinch the crown?
Bea Cupin, 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|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista|