Rappler Newscast | March 3, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Alan Cayetano get ready for the 2016 presidential elections
- Pork barrel scam provisional state witness challenges Senators Enrile, Estrada, and Revilla to a lifestyle check
- Ukraine warns Russia: any form of invasion “would mean war.”
Story 1: PRELUDE TO 2016: BINAY VS. CAYETANO?
The countdown to the 2016 presidential elections begins.
As early as March, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Alan Cayetano gear up for the next elections.
Binay bolts political party PDP-Laban and says he will form a new party.
In a TV interview Sunday, he says PDP lacks unity.
He adds, internal power struggles caused divisions within the party.
Binay also admits he is considering Batangas Governor and movie star Vilma Santos as running mate in 2016.
As this develops, staunch Binay critic Senator Alan Cayetano...
forms his own campaign strategy team, with headquarters in Cayetano bailiwick Taguig City.
Sources say the senator plans to come out with ads to generate buzz and monitor surveys to get the pulse of voters.
Although currently a member of the Nacionalista Party, Cayetano may run as an independent.
While not denying the reports, Cayetano thanks supporters who are urging him to run for president.
Makati is the bailiwick of the Binays, where Jejomar’s son Junjun is mayor and daughter Abby a representative of the 2nd district.
The Cayetanos dominate Taguig politics, where Alan’s wife Lani is mayor and brother Lino is the 2nd district’s representative.
Highlighting the Binay-Cayetano rivalry is the fight between Makati and Taguig over business district Bonifacio Global City.
In August 2013, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Makati over the jurisdiction of the booming business area. The decision is under appeal.
Story 2: CUNANAN TO SENATORS: GO THROUGH LIFESTYLE CHECK
Provisional state witness Dennis Cunanan challenges Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla to a lifestyle check.
All three are implicated in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
Cunanan says, “If you have nothing to hide, submit yourselves to a lifestyle check.”
He also challenges the senators to execute bank waivers that set aside the bank secrecy law “so the public may know once and for all who is telling the truth.”
Cunanan is the outgoing chief of state firm Technology Resource Center or TRC.
State witnesses say the agency was a conduit for pork barrel funds funneled to fake non-governmental organizations.
In his testimony, Cunanan says the 3 senators handpicked and even endorsed fake NGOs as "legitimate."
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says Cunanan's testimony debunks the senators’ statements they did not know the NGOs were fake.
Cunanan earlier said he is willing to go through a lifestyle check to prove he did not benefit from the pork barrel scam.
He also denies reports he did not declare a P40-million property in an exclusive Quezon City subdivision in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
Cunanan says his brother owns the property.
Cunanan says his family started receiving threatening phone calls and text messages.
De Lima says the justice department’s Witness Protection Program and the National Bureau of Investigation are looking into the threats.
LEILA DE LIMA, JUSTICE SECRETARY: There are real security reasons surrounding Dennis Cunanan and even the other state witnesses. We cannot be disclosing to you details because we’re still verifying those reports... In the meantime, WPP in coordination with NBI are doubling their efforts and the security measures.
Story 3: INCLUSIVE GROWTH AND CITIZEN ACTION TO END HUNGER
Is it possible to end hunger in the Philippines?
Based on a scale by the Global Hunger Index or GHI where 0 denotes no hunger and 100 denotes hunger, the Philippines scored 13.2 in 2013, categorized as “serious.”
Though hunger declined in the past years, the country still ranks 28th in the world overall.
A UNICEF study in 2013 said about 15.6 million Filipinos were undernourished from 2011 to 2013.
UNICEF also ranked the Philippines the 10th country in the world most affected by acute malnutrition.
Delegates from public and private sectors discuss the grim realities of malnourishment and ways to solve it during the launch of #HungerProject.
Social welfare secretary Dinky Soliman says fighting hunger is everyone’s responsibility.
DINKY SOLIMAN, WELFARE SECRETARY: This is the future of our country... It’s really the children who are first and foremost affected... These are the people who will be ruling the country in the next generation so we should all be involved.
Sharing her own experience as a public officer, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo says politics compounds the problem.
LENI ROBREDO, CAMARINES SUR REPRESENTATIVE: Politics affects hunger in the biggest sense of it. I have seen how people get hungry in my own district because of politics.
She adds, empowering poor communities by providing livelihood opportunities pave the way for inclusive growth, lessening poverty.
LENI ROBREDO, CAMARINES SUR REPRESENTATIVE: Hunger is very much interrelated with poverty and we can only combat hunger more permanently if inclusive growth is really achieved... Ironically our food producers are the most poor in the community and that should stop.
I saw how Naga did it. The poor are the beneficiaries of the feeding program but as beneficiaries they will also be the ones that will be molded so they will be made the suppliers of the hunger program.
The World Food Program (WFP) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will apply Brazil’s Zero Hunger Program, a model that empowers small farmers to produce for the government’s social assistance programs.
Soliman says she’s hopeful hunger can be stopped.
DINKY SOLIMAN, WELFARE SECRETARY: There are so many pockets of hopes and energy zones that I encounter... Citizen led solutions, citizen led actions that change their life and their community.
If they don’t address this problem on hunger they will die, their children will die. So they are acting. Join them in addressing hunger by 2016.
WFP Country Director Praveen Agrawal says the Philippines should go beyond band-aid solutions to hunger.
PRAVEEN AGRAWAL, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM COUNTRY DIRECTOR: It’s not just the issue of hunger, it’s not just the issue of feeding... In terms of empowerment. Are we empowering the main actors?
Let’s not forget who we’re doing it for, and that is for the people.They must be partners. They are not just beneficiaries.
The #HungerProject is a partnership between Rappler, the DSWD and the WFP.
It’s a platform for meaningful discussion and informed action towards a future without hunger.
Story 4: BANSIL SISTERS: STORYTELLERS EVEN IN CAPTIVITY
Not even captivity can keep the Bansil sisters from doing what they loved best – telling stories.
Nadjoua and Linda Bansil are filmmakers.
They were working on a documentary about Mindanao coffee growers when they were kidnapped in June 2013.
In an exclusive interview with Rappler, the sisters say the Muslim narrative is close to their hearts, adding, “It was a chance to give a voice to our own people."
For months, Nadjoua and Linda came up with ideas for future documentaries and spoke to some of the people they met in the jungles of Sulu.
The women lost 40 percent of their body weight in captivity.
They say the hunger was too much to bear at times.
But the sisters say life in captivity was not all bad.
On good days, they would help locals with planting.
On bad ones, the steady sound of gunfire kept them company.
The sisters were under the protection of the Abu Sayyaf Group while filming, but were later abducted by a breakaway faction.
Documents obtained by Rappler show their captors demanded P50 million in ransom.
Rappler sources say the group holding the sisters were forced to free them after a series of military operations in the area.
Story 5: CUDIA FACES PMA APPEALS BOARD
Philippine Military Academy cadet Jeff Cudia faces the Cadet Review and Appeals Board or CRAB to present his case against the decision of the academy’s Honor Committee to dismiss him.
The CRAB is reviewing the decision that declared Cudia guilty of violating the Honor Code.
The Code states cadets "do not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those among them who do so."
Cudia's tactical officer reported him for allegedly lying about being late to class – an offense that supposedly violates the Honor Code.
Cudia’s family and friends led a campaign on Facebook to bring his case to the public.
Story 6: CHINA ON 'OFFER' TO PH: 'SHEER FABRICATION'
China denies offering the Philippines incentives to stop it from pushing through with a historic case against Beijing over the South China Sea.
In a media briefing Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says reports about this are “sheer fabrication.”
Qin says “No one can shake the Chinese government's resolve of safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.
We will never trade away our sovereignty and territory.”
Philippine former national security adviser Roilo Golez says the offer was coursed through back channels.
Two government insiders confirm Golez’s claim.
China's reported offer drew the ire of Filipinos.
Party-list group Akbayan protests in front of the Chinese consulate in the Philippines Monday.
The group slams China for using water cannons to drive away Filipino fishermen near the disputed Scarborough shoal.
Akbayan Rep Walden Bello says “The Filipino people will not fall for this crude ‘good cop, bad cop’ antic being employed by China.”
The Philippine government hopes to win the case by 2015.
Story 7: UKRAINE PM: RUSSIAN INVASION ‘WOULD MEAN WAR’
Newly-installed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warns Russia:
any form of invasion "would mean war.”
Yatsenuk’s threat comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin sent military troops to Crimea, a Ukraine territory with a complicated past.
Russia turned over the territory to Ukraine 60 years ago when both were republics under the Soviet Union.
Speaking on Ukrainian television, Yatsenuk says, "We are on the brink of a disaster. This is not a threat. This is a declaration of war on my country."
Ukraine mobilizes its own army two days after Russia sent its troops marching, including all military reservists.
Pro-Kremlin forces seized government buildings and blocked military bases in Crimea.
These developments threaten to blow up into the worst crisis between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.
Russia's move draws sharp criticism from the United States and its Western allies.
US Secretary of State John Kerry warns Putin that Moscow risks losing its place among the Group of Eight nations because of the move.
US President Barack Obama calls Putin’s move a "violation of Ukrainian sovereignty."
Russia’s aggression began after the overthrow of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych following months of bloody protests.
Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union, triggering mass outrage.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, it’s been 4 months since the political unrest in Thailand started.
At least 22 people have been killed, four of them children.
The head of Thailand's top investigative agency warns the nation’s crisis could escalate into a civil war.
With both sides refusing to back down, there are fears the violence will get worse.
The protesters want to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and end the political dominance of her billionaire family.
At number 7, documents released by the Clinton Presidential Library reveal the struggles of former United States first lady Hillary Clinton as a politician.
Mrs. Clinton served as State Secretary under President Obama.
She is seen as a frontrunner in the Democrat’s stable of potential candidates for 2016.
Hillary’s issues included having to deal with the media and advisers constantly telling her to show her “human” side.
And at number 9, US-based inflight connectivity suppliers Honeywell Aerospace and Gogo are collaborating with satellite giant Inmarsat to implement the Global Xpress Aviation network.
It is said to be the first global high-speed broadband for the skies.
Wifi in aircraft was hobbled in the past by slow speeds.
But more airlines are rolling out new and improved services.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Story 9: PINOY BIOLOGISTS CHALLENGE IDEA OF PLANT LIFE
A team led by Filipino scientists reveals a flower native to the Philippines functions without the chloroplast genome - a basic component required for a plant to thrive.
The Rafflesia lagascae is a parasitic plant species found in Luzon.
It’s best known for its huge, five-petaled flower that smells like rotting flesh.
The scientists, led by Jeanmarie Molina and Michael Purugganan show this particular Rafflesia species may be missing the genetic code in the chloroplast.
Though the Rafflesia has a host plant that goes through the photosynthesis process, it should still have the chloroplast gene to do other essential chemical processes.
But the team discovers this particular plant species doesn't have an intact chloroplast genome.
The traces of chloroplasts found in the Rafflesia are from its host plant.
Story 10: WINNERS AT THE 2014 OSCARS
Actors Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett lead the winners in the 86th Academy Awards.
Historical drama "12 Years a Slave" wins Best Picture, while 3D space thriller "Gravity" bags seven awards.
McConaughey wins Best Actor for his lead role in the biopic "Dallas Buyers Club," edging out Leonardo di Caprio and Christian Bale.
Cate Blanchett wins Best Actress for the Woody Allen drama "Blue Jasmine," beating out veterans Judi Dench and Meryl Streep.
McConaughey’s co-star Jared Leto bags the Oscar for the actor in a supporting role category.
Lupita Nyong’O is Best Supporting Actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” earning a standing ovation as she took the stage to accept her prize.
Animated film "Frozen" brings home two Oscars - Best Animated Feature and Best Original Music for the song “Let It Go,” written by Filipino-American songwriter Robert Lopez and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Story 11: ELLEN'S OSCARS 'SELFIE' IS MOST RETWEETED POST OF ALL TIME
It’s the selfie that launched over a million retweets.
Oscars host Ellen Degeneres tweets a star-studded selfie featuring Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Lupita Nyong’O, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie along with Channing Tatum and Lupita’s brother Peter.
The post sends Twitter crazy with users reporting internal server errors.
With over one million retweets it breaks the record for the most-retweets previously held by US President Barack Obama, whose historic “Four More Years” post was retweeted 778,000 times.
Newscast Production Staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Exxon Ruebe|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|Raffy de Guzman|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista|
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.