Rappler Newscast | December 10, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The bicameral conference committee approves the 2014 national budget with the pork barrel removed.
- The Supreme Court issues new guidelines to speed up the Maguindanao massacre trial.
- Thailand’s prime minister rejects calls to resign ahead of snap elections.
Story 1: BICAM OKs P2.264T NAT'L BUDGET FOR 2014
The bicameral conference committee approves the proposed P2.264 trillion national budget for 2014.
Now it goes to the Senate and the House of Representatives to be ratified before it’s sent to the president for his signature.
The 2014 general appropriations bill includes a P100-billion lump sum rehabilitation fund for calamity-hit areas.
Tuesday's bicam hearing was open to the public after citizens demanded the deliberations be more transparent in the aftermath of the pork barrel scam.
This is the first appropriations bill without the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF, earlier struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
The House of Representatives re-aligned the P25.2 billion fund intended for the PDAF to 6 national agencies.
The Senate deleted the P3.2 billion PDAF of 15 senators and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who chose to forego their discretionary funds.
Story 2: SC TO DBM: SUBMIT LIST OF DAP SOURCES AND USES
The Supreme Court asks the budget secretary to submit a list of sources of funds for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP and where the funds were used.
Deadline for submission is January 21, 2014.
On Monday, the Court postpones oral arguments on the legality of the DAP to January 28.
The DAP came under fire after constitutionalists questioned its legality.
The government says DAP is meant to boost economic growth, but critics say DAP is an “invention” of the executive branch.
Story 3: SC ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES TO EXPEDITE AMPATUAN TRIAL
The Supreme Court issues new guidelines to speed up the Maguindanao massacre trial, which has been going on for 4 years.
In a resolution, the Court directs the presiding judge to require witnesses to submit judicial affidavits instead of direct testimonies.
Under the new rules, the presiding judge is authorized to issue separate decisions for issues which are --quote-- "ripe for resolution"
and hold separate trials for the accused.
In November 2009, armed men killed 58 people accompanying now Maguindanao Gov Esmael Mangudadatu in the filing of his candidacy against Andal Ampatuan Jr.
Members of the Ampatuan clan face charges over the massacre, the worst election-related violence in Philippine history.
Story 4: EO OUT: LACSON POWERFUL REHAB CZAR
Malacanang releases the memorandum order defining the responsibilities of former Senator Ping Lacson in leading rehabilitation efforts after Super typhoon Yolanda, known internationally as Haiyan.
Memorandum Order No. 62 makes Lacson the “Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery."
Lacson will be over-all manager and coordinator of recovery efforts in typhoon-affected areas.
More than 1.1 million houses were destroyed by the typhoon with total damage pegged at more than P35 billion.
Lacson will coordinate with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and consult with local government units.
As Presidential Assistant, Lacson "exercises oversight" over government agencies involved in rehabilitation efforts.
Story 5: KERRY TO VISIT PH TYPHOON AREAS
US Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first trip to the Philippines to visit the storm-hit city of Tacloban.
The Philippines’ central region is still struggling to recover after the super typhoon a month ago.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Kerry will tour Tacloban to --quote-- "witness first-hand the recovery efforts that are taking place there and discuss how the United States can continue to contribute to the relief and reconstruction work."
The US diplomat cancelled a planned to visit the Philippines in October because of a storm.
Story 6: NEDA: MORE POOR FILIPINOS DUE TO CALAMITIES
More Filipino families may become poorer because of the calamities that hit the Philippines this year.
In a press briefing Monday, National Economic and Development Authority Assistant Director General Rosemarie Edillon says a new study estimates poverty incidence could increase by 1.5 percentage points.
This is because of the massive destruction caused by the super typhoon that battered the Visayas last month and the Bohol earthquake in October.
Edillon says this means 1.5 million people may fall into poverty in affected areas.
She adds Eastern Visayas, the second-poorest region in the country, could dislodge the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as the poorest.
Story 7: THAI PM REJECTS PROTESTERS' DEMAND TO STEP DOWN
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra refuses demands by anti-government protesters to resign ahead of snap elections next year.
An estimated 140,000 people gather in Bangkok Monday, calling for Yingluck to step down after more than a month of street protests.
After calling snap polls in a bid to ease tensions, Yingluck says her cabinet is legally-bound to act as an interim government.
She adds, “I would like the protesters to stop and to use the electoral system to choose who will become the next government.”
But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban rejects elections and promises to “uproot the Thaksin regime.”
Thaksin, Yingluck’s brother, was ousted by royalist generals in a coup seven years ago.
The rallies leave at least five people dead and more than 200 injured.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, the New York Times says US and British intelligence spy on the global online gaming world because of fears terrorists could use the popular platform to plot attacks.
Citing classified documents from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, The New York Times says the spies created characters in the fantasy worlds of Second Life and World of Warcraft to carry out surveillance, recruit informers and collect data.
At number 7, The wife of revered democracy leader Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, has barely been seen in public since her husband’s death.
Friends of the family say Mandela’s third wife is holding up.
A UN expert on children in armed conflict, Machel is also leading a global campaign against child brides.
In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the world's 100 most influential people.
And at number 8, A woman who said she was raped and the two journalists who reported her story are sentenced to jail for defamation in Somalia.
A Somali court hands a suspended six-month sentence to the 19-year-old woman for “defamation and lying” while the two journalists are sentenced for defamation and insulting state institutions.
The alleged victim said she was raped at gunpoint by two fellow journalists. The accused reporters were not arrested.
Al Jazeera reports it is the second time this year that Somalia jailed a woman for reporting rape.
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|