Rappler Newscast | June 25, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- Philippine police launches a manhunt for 13 others in the pork barrel scam.
- President Aquino says the court should consider Senator Enrile’s age if he is jailed.
- Terrorist group ISIS says it will take the war to Jordan and Lebanon.
Story 1: MANHUNT FOR 13 CO-ACCUSED OF BONG REVILLA, JINGGOY
The manhunt is on for 13 co-accused of Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada who have not surrendered to authorities.
On June 20, Friday, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan issued arrest warrants for Revilla and 32 others.
Revilla surrendered that same day.
He is now detained in a special detention cell in Camp Crame.
On June 23, Monday, Estrada joined him there after the Sandiganbayan ordered his arrest along with 25 others.
As of June 24, Tuesday, 19 of Revilla’s co-accused posted bail, while 16 of Estrada's co-accused secured temporary liberty.
This leaves 13 others currently at large.
Some of them are charged in the plunder and graft cases of both senators.
They are accused of conniving to pocket funds meant for development projects.
Story 2: WEAK PDAF CASES? OMBUDSMAN AMENDS INFO VS 3 SENATORS
Prosecutors from the Ombudsman want to amend information on the plunder cases of 3 senators filed by Sandiganbayan.
The amendment appears to have been triggered by a point raised by Janet Napoles which could weaken the cases against senators Revilla, Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile.
Napoles is alleged to be the mastermind of the fund diversion scam.
Earlier, Napoles argued she could not be charged with plunder, because her actions were meant to enrich herself and not public officials.
Napoles’ lawyers earlier said there is no plunder if Napoles, a private individual, was the one who "principally and ultimately benefited."
FAYE SINGSON, NAPOLES COUNSEL: To our mind, that is the very argument that we have been raising, right from the start, na there can't be a crime of plunder if the person who ultimately benefitted from the PDAF proceeds is the private individual.
Ombudsman prosecutors file a manifestation before the Sandiganbayan with a motion to admit amended information against Revilla and Estrada.
They want to strike out the phrase that Napoles siphoned lawmakers' discretionary funds "for her personal gain."
Story 3: AQUINO SAYS ENRILE 'DESERVES CONSIDERATION' WHEN JAILED
President Benigno Aquino says the court should consider the age and medical condition of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
The 90-year-old Enrile faces charges before the anti-graft court for allegedly stealing public funds in a corruption scandal.
The court has yet to issue a decision on whether there is probable cause to the charges filed against Enrile.
But Aquino adds, Enrile’s age should also be a factor.
The President cites the Bill of Rights which prohibits inhuman or cruel punishment.
Aquino says, “The way I read that, the senator is 90 years old. The guy is known to have a lot of ailments...It seems like some consideration must be made.”
Critics hit Aquino for allowing Enrile’s co-accused senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada to stay in special custom-built cells.
In an open letter to Aquino, cultural historian John Silva compares the government’s treatment of the three accused to the
imprisonment of the President’s father, Ninoy Aquino, during martial law.
Silva tells Aquino, “Your dad didn’t go to jail for stealing… So why the hell are you treating these senators with kid gloves?”
But Aquino says there’s no basis for comparison.
Story 4: MAKATI CITY RETURNS P55M IN UNUSED PDAF
The Makati City government says it returned to the national treasury unused pork barrel worth P54.7 million or about $1.25 million.
But state auditors say the city may have to return more.
The December 2012 report of the Commission on Audit shows the city’s unused pork barrel is at P123.51 million or $2.82 million.
This is more than double the amount the city returned to the national government.
The report also shows Makati has unused funds from a decade ago.
In November 2013, the court declared the pork barrel unconstitutional, following outrage over a massive fund diversion scandal.
In compliance, local governments started returning un-used discretionary funds to the national treasury.
The first to return funds was the local government of Pangasinan.
Story 5: PHILIPPINES HITS CHINA OVER '10-DASH-LINE' MAP
The Philippines hits China for publishing a new map that uses a 10-dash line to expand its claim over the South China Sea.
The map deviates from the usual 9-dash line that Beijing previously used to claim the sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines.
Philippine foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose says the new map shows China’s --quote-- “unreasonably expansive claim that is clearly contrary to international law.”
He adds, “It is precisely such ambitious expansionism that is causing the tensions in the South China Sea.”
The Philippines filed a historic case against China before an international tribunal.
The Philippines argues the 9-dash line contradicts the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Story 5: 5.7 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE HITS BATANGAS
An earthquake shakes part of the Philippines Wednesday 7:52 pm.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHIVOLCS reports the quake has a magnitude of 5.7, with an epicenter located 22 kilometers south west of Calatagan, Batangas.
The quake is tectonic in origin.
No damage has been reported so far, but the PHIVOLCS report expects aftershocks to follow.
Story 6: PH INTERNET PENETRATION DOUBLES IN 4 YEARS
Ratings firm Nielsen says the percentage of Filipinos with access to the Internet nearly doubles in the last 4 years.
In its Pinoy Netizen report, Nielsen said 52% of Filipinos have access to the Internet, up from 27% in 2010.
More Filipinos turn to mobile phones, as desktop users decline, dropping to 35% this year from 63% in 2012.
Laptops remain the most preferred device for accessing the web, with tablets gaining ground.
Story 7: IRAQ CRISIS: FEARS OF ADVANCING ISIS THREAT
The International Business Times reports a video showed terrorist group Islamic State of Syria or ISIS promising to take the holy war to Jordan and Lebanon.
Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi established al-Qaeda in Iraq, a forerunner of ISIS.
ISIS fighters seized control of more than a dozen cities and towns across western and northern Iraq, along with border crossings into Syria and Jordan, in a bid to create an Islamic state stretching from Syria to Iraq.
The advance of the group raises fears the conflict could spill into neighboring countries.
On Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Al-Qaeda’s Syrian offshoot made an oath of loyalty to ISIS at a key town on the Iraqi border.
Story 8: SILENT JOURNALISTS' PROTEST FOR JAILED AL-JAZEERA STAFF
Hundreds of journalists from the BBC and other news organizations held a silent protest in London Tuesday in support of Al-Jazeera reporters imprisoned in Egypt.
The journalists, with black tape over their mouths, gathered outside the BBC headquarters to show support for former colleague Peter Greste, and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and producer Baher Mohamed.
BBC news head James Harding said the verdict was "unjust" and the case "unfounded."
Investigative reporter John Sweeney said, "Journalism is not a crime."
The protesters earlier sent a letter to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asking for help, but the president said Tuesday the government would not interfere.
Al-Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips said his colleagues would keep up their pressure on the Egyptian authorities and hoped it would force them to free the journalists.
The three got prison terms of between seven and 10 years for quote- “spreading false news” and aiding ousted president Mohammed Morsi’s supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood.
Story 9: RAPPLER: JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME
Rappler issues a statement on the imprisonment of the Al-Jazeera journalists.
Led by its veteran journalists Glenda Gloria and Chay Hofilena, the group joins journalists around the world in denouncing the attacks on press freedom in Egypt.
Journalism is not a crime. The convictions of the 3 Al Jazeera journalists are unjust and detrimental to freedom of expression. We call on Egypt to free them now.
Story 10: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 4, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is convicted of phone hacking in a trial that stirred controversy in Britain.
His colleague, news editor Rebekah Brooks, was cleared of all charges.
The jury delivered their verdicts Tuesday.
The News of the World, a British tabloid, allegedly hacked the phones of Britain's royal family, politicians, and celebrities.
News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch shut down the Sunday tabloid in July 2011.
Coulson had once served as the communications director of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Following the verdict, Cameron apologized for hiring Coulson.
At number 5, France’s top administrative court approves ending life support for a 38-year-old quadriplegic in a vegetative state, despite his parents’ wish to keep him alive.
Vincent Lambert’s doctors, wife, and siblings support the decision.
He has been a quadriplegic since a 2008 car crash.
Lambert’s parents and two siblings oppose the decision.
The European Court of Human Rights is looking into the issue.
France legalized passive euthanasia in 2005.
And at number 10, Queen Elizabeth visits the Game of Thrones set and met a few cast members of the hit fantasy series.
On a visit to the studio of the HBO show in Northern Ireland, the
Queen met British actors Lena Headey, Kit Harrington, and Maisie Williams.
She was reportedly impressed with the iron throne prop used in the television series but did not try sitting on it.
Instead, the producers and actors gave her a miniature version to take home and put beside her real throne.
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|