Rappler Newscast | November 20, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says there’s no ground commander in relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan victims.
- After the Supreme Court junked the pork barrel, lawmakers want to use the funds to help disaster victims.
- After 18 years, the anti-political dynasty bill gets through the House committee.
Story 1: HAIYAN CRISIS: NO GROUND COMMANDER
It’s now day 12 since typhoon Yolanda -- international name Haiyan -- hit the Philippines.
The death toll rises to 4,011 people with at least 1,602 still missing.
In the aftermath of the disaster, government agencies scramble to deliver aid to survivors and help them rebuild their lives.
But who calls the shots?
For over an hour, he quizzes disaster officials, aid workers, and government personnel. Other than the President, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is the face of the team handling the biggest humanitarian crisis in Philippine history.
But Interior Secretary Mar Roxas says there's no ground commander.
MAR ROXAS, INTERIOR SECRETARY: There is no such title dahil ayon sa NDRRMC, it's Sec Voltz Gazmin ang aming chairman, at ina-assign-assign niya kami sa kung ano ang aming dapat gawin. [Q: Pero sir, who is calling the shots here in this center?] Wala. You can see the process that is being undertaken, and it is a consultative process. (There is no such title because according to the NDRRMC, it's Sec Voltz Gazmin who is our chairman, and he assigns us to do whatever we have to do. [Q: But sir, who is calling the shots here in this center?] No one. You can see the process that is being undertaken, and it is a consultative process.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman says it's a team effort.
DINKY SOLIMAN, SOCIAL WELFARE SECRETARY: Lahat kami, buong pamahalaan, pambansa at lokal, kumikilos as one. But more than that, 'yun ang gusto kong ipaalam sa lahat – it's also whole of society. Lahat ng private sector, lahat ng volunteers, lahat ng volunteers dito sa Tacloban, nagre-repack sila. This is whole of society, responding to a crisis. Nagkaisa ang bansa; 'yun ang ating mensahe. (Everyone of us, the whole of government, national and local, move as one. But more than this, what I want everyone to know – it's also whole of society. The entire private sector, all volunteers, all volunteers here in Tacloban are repacking. This is whole of society, responding to a crisis. The nation is working as one; that's our message.)
Like the President, she says their boss is the people.
PATERNO ESMAQUEL, REPORTING: In the command center, aid workers say the set-up is frustrating. One of them says they have too many bosses, but no decision-maker.
Roxas defends the current set-up.
He also says intrigue is useless after disaster.
He also denies talk he asked Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez to leave the mayor's office.
In a statement, Roxas says he is “fuming mad.”
MAR ROXAS, INTERIOR SECRETARY: Sa inyo na naandito, kung naghahanap kayo ng kahit anong hudyat na mukhang bumabalik na sa normal, siguro isang hudyat ito: sigurong nagnonormal na nga kasi may puwang na, may lugar na, para sa intriga at pamumulitika. (To all of you here, if you're looking for any sign that things are returning to normal, perhaps this is a sign. Perhaps things are returning to normal because there's already space for intrigues and politicking.)
But this brings us back to the question: who is calling the shots?
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Tacloban City
Story 2: HAIYAN VICTIMS: MORE RELIEF NEEDED
It took 5 days before relief goods reached several barangays in hard-hit Tacloban City.
With just two kilos of rice and some canned goods, residents ask: how much help can they expect from the government?
Bea Cupin reports.
Just a week ago, residents of Barangay 83-C had little to laugh about.
They made do with the little food and water left after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Tacloban City.
Debris blocked the road leading to the barangay.
It took 5 days before relief goods could reach them.
JOEY MERCADO, INCOMING BARANGAY CHAIRMAN: Kanya kanya tapos halos kuwan nalang coffee, noodles, wala nang kanin (jump cut) Yan ang problema, pagkuha ng relief. Kailangan kasi ng sasakyan sa barangay. Di namin makuha dahil walang sasakyan. (We found our own ways but at one point,we only had coffee, noodles, no rice. That's the problem, getting relief goods. The barangay needed a car, but we didn't have one.)
Neighbor helped neighbor, sharing canned goods and rice salvaged from the rubble.
RAMON CLAROS JR, BGY 83-C RESIDENT: Yung mga naanod na tindahan dito sa amin, namamahagi naman sila sa amin kaya nakasurvive din. (The stores here gave out food, so we survived.)
On Wednesday, the national government turns over relief distribution to the local government.
This is Joey Mercado.
He's last the last official standing in Barangay 83-C.
The others left because of security concerns.
JOEY MERCADO, INCOMING BARANGAY CHAIRMAN: Wala ma'am, may kanya-kanya namang buhay sila. Di natin malalaman kung ano sa isip nila, kung bakit sila umalis. Nagse-safety kasi sila... baka, baka. (They have their own lives. I don't know why they left. Maybe because they don't feel safe? Maybe.)
Nearly two weeks after Yolanda, Social Welfare And Development Secretary Dinky Soliman says all barangays in Tacloban received relief goods.
Mercado confirms the flow of relief goods is stable.
Two to 3 kilos of rice, 3 sardine cans, 3 packs of instant noodles for 2 days.
In nearby Barangay 83-A, Chairwoman Maria Resthia Tan says it's not enough.
MARIA RESTHA TAN, BARANGAY 83-A CAPTAIN: Per family, two kilos lang. Paano ang malalaking pamilya? Hindi yun kakasya sa dalawang kilos sa isang araw. (Each family gets two kilos of rice. But what about the bigger families? Two kilos is not enough.)
Residents are wondering: how long will it take them to get back on their feet?
And how much help will government give them?
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Tacloban
Story 3: HAIYAN TAKES LIFE AND LIVELIHOOD IN BANTAYAN
The super typhoon left a trail of destruction when it barreled through Central Philippines nearly two weeks ago.
For residents of an island paradise in Cebu, the typhoon ended lives and livelihood.
A treasure amid the rubble.
Lorliza Batiancela finds her wedding photo in the debris of what once was her home.
It’s one of her few possessions left after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Bantayan Island in Cebu.
The storm spared her and her family but not much else.
LORLIZA BATIANCELA, HAIYAN VICTIM: Sana ang mga mabuting loob, tulungan kami sa Bantayan Island na makatayo kami uli ng aming mga bahay. Pero sa awa ng diyos, meron dito mga kaibigan ko na nagtulong sa akin. Hindi ako pinabayaan. Nag-iyakan na lang kami, no choice na kami, wala na kaming magawa. Pero iyong ano namin, sige lang magawa naming uli ito, importante ligtas tayo pero masakit talaga sa dibdib. (We hope the kind-hearted will help us, the people of Bantayan Island, rebuild our homes. Thankfully, I have friends here who helped me. We just cried. We didn’t have a choice and there was nothing we could do. We just do what we can. It hurts but the important thing is we are safe.)
A tourist destination, Bantayan island is a far cry from the picture-perfect island it once was.
Power is still out and many are homeless.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: This is what’s left of Bantayan, an island paradise once known all over the world for its beaches. Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed resorts and coconut trees, taking away people’s livelihoods and homes.
Lorliza is jobless with most of the islands’ resorts closed or damaged.
REY ADLAON, ANIKA ISLAND RESORT MANAGER: Ang laking source of income. Talagang apektado kasi number 1 dito ang tourism. Talagang apektado kasi bihira na lang ang pumupunta dito as of now. (That’s a huge source of income. The industry most affected is tourism. It’s really affected because not a lof people go here as of now.)
Santa Fe Municipality Mayor Jose Esgana says it’s not just the island that’s affected.
Bantayan’s poultry industry also suffers a beating.
JOSE ESGANA, SANTE FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND MAYOR: So apektado ang egg industry baka magkaroon ng high prices ng eggs dahil Bantayan Island is the number one supplier ng eggs sa Cebu, Negros, Visayan part so definitely apektado lahat. Parang kinalbo talaga ang lugar namin. (The egg industry is affected. Egg prices might increase because Bantayan Island is the number one supplier of eggs to Cebu, Negros, and Visayan part so definitely, everyone’s affected. The place was practically flattened.)
Despite the devastation, the Bantayanons are determined to survive and to thrive again.
LORLIZA BATIANCELA, HAIYAN VICTIM: Sana balak ko mag-karinderya na lang ako para makasuporta sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko lalo na ang anak ko sa Cebu. Sana ihinto ko sa pag-aaral pero naka-enroll na siya. Di na daw pwede istop. Sabi ko anak sige hayaan mo na lang, tiisin na lang namin. (I wanted to put up an eatery to support the my children’s studies, especially my child who is in Cebu. I was thinking of having him stop but he’s already enrolled, can’t drop out anymore. I told my child we’ll just try to live through it.)
JOSE ESGANA, SANTE FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND MAYOR: Ang panawagan ko nga is magtinabangay kita, magtulungan tayo. Ireach out ang dapat tulungan. Ang mga kababayan naming nasa ibang lugar, ito na nag panahon na sila ay tumulong para makabangon muli ang bayan namin. (I ask everyone to help each other out. Reach out to those who need help. To everyone from Bantayan Island now living elsewhere, now is the time to help so our town can rise again.)
Like many of her townmates, Lorliza draws strength from people’s generosity, bent on rebuilding her home and her life.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Bantayan Island.
Story 4: USE SCRAPPED PORK FOR DISASTER AID
After the Supreme Court junked the pork barrel as unconstitutional, lawmakers plan to pass a supplemental budget for 2013 to help disaster victims.
Senate President Franklin Drilon says the P14.5 billion unused Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF for 2013 should go to relief efforts for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda and typhoons Santi and Labuyo, the recent Visayas earthquake, and the Zamboanga siege.
Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr support the proposal.
On Tuesday, the Court declared the PDAF unconstitutional, particularly laws that allow lawmakers to --quote-- “intervene, assume, or participate in any of the various post-enactment stages of the budget execution.”
Before the Court’s decision, lawmakers intended to realign the PDAF to help calamity victims.
But Drilon says this can no longer be done, because the unused PDAF goes back to the national treasury and cannot be realigned.
The Supreme Court decision comes after national outrage over the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, where lawmakers allegedly channeled their PDAF to fake NGOs in exchange for kickbacks.
Some lawmakers hail the Supreme Court decision as a step toward transparency.
Drilon says it will --quote-- “dismantle the system of political patronage.”
But for Senator JV Ejercito, the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP must also be declared unconstitutional.
The DAP has been criticized as the President’s pork barrel.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago also welcomes the ruling, adding, “There’s a God after all.”
But other lawmakers question the decision.
Senator Sonny Angara and Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo say the government must now look for ways to fund scholars and poor patients affected by the ruling.
Story 5: ANTI-POLITICAL DYNASTY BILL HURDLES HOUSE COMMITTEE
For the first time in nearly two decades, the anti-political dynasty bill hurdles the committee level at the House of Representatives.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms approved the consolidated bill seeking to prohibit relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity to hold or run for both national and local office in "successive, simultaneous, or overlapping terms."
The proposed law also bans relatives from running at the same time even if they are not related to an incumbent official.
The 1987 Constitution mandates equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibits political dynasties.
But this provision has not been implemented because of the lack of an enabling law.
The bill will now be referred to the plenary before the period of amendments can be opened.
But will a body traditionally dominated by political dynasties legislate against itself?
Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares says the real challenge is in the second phase, when the bill is tackled on the floor.
In the last Congress, Malacanang had no official stand on the measure.
President Benigno Aquino himself comes from a political dynasty from both sides of his family.
Story 6: PH MAY GET US AVIATION UPGRADE NEXT WEEK
The Philippines may get a much-coveted aviation status upgrade from the US Federal Aviation Administration or FAA as early as next week.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines or CAAP says a team from the US will meet Philippine aviation officials on November 25.
The upgrade to Category 1 status from Category 2 will allow local airlines to open new routes and mount additional flights to the US.
The US FAA downgraded the safety rating of CAAP in 2008 because of “significant concerns” over the ability of CAAP to meet global aviation safety standards.
In July, the European Union lifted a ban imposed on the Philippines in 2010.
EU allowed flag carrier Philippine Airlines to fly to the 28-nation bloc.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, US President Barack Obama goes back to his grassroots-organizing past as he asks his supporters for help over the botched rollout of his health care law.
Obama faces a political crisis over the signature domestic achievement of his presidency, which brings the White House under siege from Republicans who sense a chance to doom the law they staunchly oppose.
At number 4, a United Nations committee slams human rights abuses by the Syrian government.
The UN General Assembly rights committee votes overwhelmingly for a Saudi Arabia-drafted resolution, expressing "outrage" at the escalation of the 32-month-old Syrian civil war.
The resolution condemns the --quote-- “continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights” and violations of international humanitarian law by Syrian authorities.
In condemning a chemical weapons attack near Damascus in August, the resolution comes close to blaming President Bashar al-Assad’s government, which points to Syrian rebels as the perpetrators of the attack.
A UN inquiry confirmed the use of chemical weapons but did not blame any side.
And at number 9, Nokia shareholders vote in favor of selling the company's mobile business to Microsoft.
Nokia says the deal was almost unanimously approved by a majority of shareholders.
Nokia's share price doubled since the plan was announced early September.
Microsoft agrees to pay 5.44 billion euros or $7.35 billion.
The sale of the assets, which include the Lumia smartphone trademark, must take place in early 2014.
Story 8: PACQUIAO'S, RIOS' COACHES GET INTO HEATED SCUFFLE
Tensions rise as Manny Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach gets into a scuffle with members of Brandon Rios’ camp, days ahead of the Clash in Cotai.
A warning to our viewers, this report contains explicit language and curse words.
Natashya Gutierrez files the story from Macau.
It's the talk of the town in Macau.
Days before Sunday's main event between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, their coaches take the spotlight.
It all starts when Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach enters the Venetian Hotel gym at around 11am.
He see Rios' camp still training.
Rios reserved the gym from 9 to 11am.
Pacqiuao has the gym from 11-4pm.
Rios' training started late because of an ESPN interview.
Roach approaches Rios' trainer Robert Garcia, and tells them to leave.
Garcia, refuses, angering Roach.
Other members of Rios' camp jump in.
One of them: Pacquiao's former conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
He makes fun of Roach's Parkinson's disease.
Ariza kicks Roach so hard his shoe flies off.
Security try to break up the fight.
Roach verbally attacks Rios' camp assistant Donald Leary.
Leary finds the slur racist, and attempts to attack Roach. He is held back by security.
Ariza also picks on Pacquiao's new conditioning coach, Gavin McMillan, who refuses to engage.
McMillan asks for security to call police.
Saying Ariza kicking roach is assault.
Rios stays out of the scuffle and watches entertained.
Ariza is unapologetic.
ALEX ARIZA, RIOS' CONDITIONING COACH: I'm not a physical person, the only reason I did is because you saw him, he cocked his fist back and to me that was a threat he was gonna punch me. Believe me if I wanted to get physical I would've gotten physical.
Roach denies he went after Ariza.
FREDDIE ROACH, PACQUIAO'S TRAINER: Everyone has his own opinion. [Q: Were you gonna hit him?] I wasn't even close enough to hit him but no.
Rappler's video shows Roach only took a step towards Ariza.
Bad blood exists between the two because Roach fired Ariza after Pacquiao's last fight.
Roach calls Ariza incompetent and questions his background.
ROACH: He doesn't know what he's doing and he's been fired 7 times by 7 different groups and there's a reason he's been fired and it's because he's a bad guy. His knowledge of sports is very limited.
Garcia says Roach was disrespectful.
ROBERT GARCIA, RIOS' TRAINER: He could've just sat down, waited, his fighter is actually not even here. He could even be wrapping his hands, I don't give a f*** if they're wrapping their hands together its not like going to see anything from him doing that machine.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum says he hasn't seen anything like this in his years in the business.
BOB ARUM, BOXING PROMOTER: I can't remember a situation with two trainers started fighting or a situation where a conditioning coach attacks the trainer of the other camp. I mean boxing has enough problems without having hooligan behavior.
Both camps claim, the rumble won't affect their fights.
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ, REPORTING: Roach says he won't pursue charges against Ariza so the team does not get distracted. But it's clear the stakes are now higher for both camps, with injured pride and personal animosity thrown into the ring.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Macau.