Rappler Newscast | January 22, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- President Aquino hits Senator Bong Revilla referring to movie star antics.
- An alleged rice smuggler admits using farmers’ cooperatives to get import permits illegally.
- Thai protesters rage against the government despite a state of emergency.
Story 1: 'NO TIME TO LOSE' IN 43RD GPH-MILF TALKS
Government peace panel chair Miriam Coronel Ferrer opens the 43rd round of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF in Malaysia Wednesday.
Both panels say they hope the latest round of talks will be the last as they work to complete the last two documents before the comprehensive peace agreement can be signed.
Ferrer says there’s no time to lose in fleshing out the annex on normalization and the addendum on Bangsamoro waters.
MIRIAM CORONEL FERRER, GOVERNMENT PEACE PANEL CHAIR: The many pages of the texts that we have initialed and will be initialing soon will have to come alive in the form of real-life changes. Very soon the main challenge would be to make this difference manifest, in the lives of our people, especially of those in Mindanao; in our institutions, especially those of government at different levels; in our mindsets and norms, especially that of our leaders in politics and society. For this reason, we cannot afford to lose more time at the expense of the bigger task of implementation, and of the considerable progress we have already gained. The time to conclude the formal exploratory talks is now.
In his opening statement, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal says the signing of the peace pact is the first step towards lasting peace in Mindanao.
MOHAGHER IQBAL, MILF CHIEF NEGOTIATOR: Let me caution this early, that the final destination of this journey is not within immediate reach yet. We may be able to sign the comprehensive agreement soon, but that is not the end of the odyssey. Remember that the exit agreement that will formally terminate this negotiation will only happen when the two parties satisfactorily comply as part of the deal.
The peace panels want to install the ministerial Bangsamoro government before the Aquino administration ends in 2016.
To provide the legal framework for the new institution a new Basic Law must be passed in Congress.
Iqbal, who also chairs the Transition Commission drafting the Basic Law, says the team set an April deadline for the completion of the draft.
Story 2: AQUINO SLAMS REVILLA: 'THIS ISN'T A MOVIE'
President Benigno Aquino slams Senator Bong Revilla over his controversial privilege speech, where he accused the administration of incompetence and political meddling.
In his Monday speech, Revilla presents a litany of the administration’s alleged shortcomings, including its slow response to Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan.
Revilla also says Aquino meddled with the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona by attempting to influence senators to vote for conviction.
During the groundbreaking of the Skyway Stage 3, Aquino takes a dig at the actor-turned-senator.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Para naman sa mga paulit-ulit na nagtatanong, at sinasadyang magbulag-bulagan sa mga nararating na nating tagumpay: Ito po ang daang matuwid. Hindi pinanday ng pantasya, at mas lalong hindi gawa-gawa na parang eksena sa isang pelikula—totoo at kongkretong mga proyekto ang hatid ng ating tuwid at mabuting pamamahala para sa kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino.
(As for those who have repeatedly asked and have intentionally turned a blind eye to what we've accomplished: This is the straight and narrow path. It was not fabricated by fantasy nor is it made up like a scene in a movie – it's a real and concrete project that is brought by our honest and good government for the benefit of the Filipino people.)
In his speech, Revilla denied allegations of his involvement in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
He says he will deliver a second privilege speech after whistleblower Benhur Luy implicated his father, former senator Ramon Revilla Sr., in the scam.
Revilla said Malacanang “manipulated” Luy to make the accusation.
The senator also calls Aquino “Boy Tango” or “Yes Man” for refusing to answer his claims about the secret impeachment meetings.
Revilla refuses to divulge the gist of his second speech, saying he is anticipating moves from Malacanang.
He adds, “They can drop whatever bomb they have - we are ready.”
Story 3: MALAMPAYA SCAM: PLUNDER COMPLAINT VS AQUINO
A farmers’ group files a plunder complaint against President Aquino and 12 others for allegedly funnelling P125 million of the Malampaya fund to non-existent projects in 2011.
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or KMP says the Malampaya fund is supposed to go only to energy-related projects.
The KMP adds P100 million went to supposed non-existent organic farming projects of two foundations.
Aside from Aquino, other respondents include alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, 5 government officials, and 6 private individuals.
Story 4: ALLEGED RICE SMUGGLER ADMITS USING DUMMIES
The man accused of being a top rice smuggler admits financing farmers' cooperatives so he can use their permits to import rice - a practice senators say is illegal.
In a Senate hearing Wednesday, businessman Davidson Bangayan admits to dealing with Willy Sy, whom past Senate witnesses identified as a broker dealing with cooperatives.
Bangayan is suspected of being the same person as rice smuggler David Tan.
While Bangayan did not call the farmers’ cooperatives his “dummies,”
agriculture committee chairperson Senator Cynthia Villar says the set-up is illegal.
Villar says that in the scheme, financiers and brokers tap farmers’ cooperatives and groups as “fronts” to secure rice importation permits.
Bangayan also admits employing Sy, whom witnesses tagged as a broker of the rice importer caught in Davao City for lack of an import permit.
Story 5: IMELDA VISITS GMA, FEELS SORRY FOR ‘CRUEL’ TREATMENT
Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos visits Pampanga representative Gloria Arroyo Wednesday and criticizes what she calls “cruel treatment” of the former President.
Arroyo faces plunder charges for alleged misuse of charity funds.
She is under hospital arrest because of a spine problem.
At the sidelines of Congress, Marcos says Arroyo was in a good mood but was “not well.”
She also hits the policy limiting Arroyo's visiting hours.
IMELDA MARCOS, ILOCOS NORTE REPRESENTATIVE: What is worse is that she is only visited by her husband, her children from the afternoon to 9 o'clock. Then she has no one. It's so cruel. It is so unjust. It is not human. I am so sorry, so sad to be there.
Story 6: THAI PROTESTERS FIGHT ON DESPITE STATE OF EMERGENCY
Defiant Thai opposition protesters continue to fight the government despite a state of emergency imposed in Bangkok.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces intense pressure to step down after more than two months of street rallies against her government.
The 60-day state of emergency allows authorities to impose a curfew, ban public gatherings of more than five people, detain suspects for 30 days without charge and censor media in Bangkok and surrounding areas.
Since the protests began late October, nine people were killed, and hundreds injured in grenade attacks, drive-by shootings and street clashes.
Shinawatra called an election for February 2 but the Election Commission asks the Constitutional Court to delay the polls because of the unrest.
Story 7: KIEV PROTESTS LEAVE 3 DEAD IN CLASHES WITH POLICE
Three protesters die in Kiev following bloody clashes with police over controversial new laws restricting the right to protest in Ukraine.
Television footage shows ongoing violent rallies with protesters setting buses and trucks on fire while tear gas fills the air.
The clashes are an escalation of previous weeks of peaceful protests against President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to ditch a trade pact with the European Union under Russian pressure.
Story 8: TORONTO MAYOR CAUGHT DRUNK IN NEW VIDEO
He promised to stay clean after admitting to drug use and heavy drinking, but Canadian mayor Rob Ford is back on the booze.
A new video surfaces Tuesday, showing the Toronto mayor in a fast food restaurant slurring his words and swearing.
Ford admits he had been drinking, but says he did not find anything offensive about the profanity-laden clip.
He says “If I speak that way, that's how I speak with some of my friends.
I don't think it's discriminative at all. I didn't drive. It's my own time."
Ford has faced scandal since October 2013, accused of improper behavior and sexual harassment during a series of drunken rampages – in addition to his admitted crack use.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 6, the Russian lawyer of Edward Snowden says the fugitive US whistleblower fears for his life after reading about explicit threats against him by unnamed Pentagon officials.
The former National Security Agency contractor is wanted by US authorities on treason charges for disclosing details of a vast data gathering operation.
Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia in August – a move that angered the United States.
Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says Snowden is always accompanied by security guards and is considering additional security measures.
At number 9, A picture of a men’s cubicle with twin toilets and no dividers draws attention in Russia, host of this year’s winter Olympic games in Sochi.
The picture, taken by a BBC journalist, goes viral on Twitter with users linking the twin sharing toilets to Russia’s ongoing debate on gay rights…
following a recent law against gay and pedophile propaganda.
And at number 10, Arnold Schwarzenegger goes undercover with a fake mustache and a wig at a local California gym as part of a campaign in support of after-school programs for children.
Dressed up as “Howard the fitness instructor,” the former body building champion gives tips to unsuspecting gym users.
Many of the gym goers suspected they were talking to the Hollywood star, but others were totally clueless.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Story 10: WAWRINKA UPSETS CHAMPION DJOKOVIC AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN
This year’s Australian Open continues to be a stage for upsets.
After unexpected losses by Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic falls to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
The Swiss eighth seed’s win ends a 14-match losing run against Djokovic.
The stunning defeat also halts Djokovic's 28-match unbeaten run since the US Open final and his 25-match winning streak at the Australian Open stretching back to 2011.
Djokovic also becomes the first defending champion to lose before the Australian Open semi-finals since Rafael Nadal retired injured against Andy Murray in the quarter-finals in 2009.
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|