Rappler Newscast | June 27, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- Crime rates increase for the first half of 2014.
- Camp Crame is ready for a possible hospital arrest for Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
- President Benigno Aquino decides to import rice starting early July.
PNP REPORTS SURGE IN CRIME
The Philippine National Police on Friday reports an increase in crime from January to May this year, compared to the same period in 2013.
Data shows total crime volume was up by 17.86%.
Total crime volume is the sum of reported index and non-index crimes.
Index crimes include murder, homicide, rape, robbery and theft while non-index crimes include estafa, prostitution, kidnapping, and carnapping.
The numbers don’t come as a surprise.
The PNP is being criticized for the crime surge – from mall shootings, murders, and unsolved media killings.
Several groups are calling for the removal of PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
Malacanang says it stands by the PNP and DILG leadership, saying “the government is firmly determined to stem the tide of criminality
and improve the ability of law enforcement agencies to solve crimes.”
But the PNP says the increase in statistics do not necessarily represent a worsening peace and order situation.
It adds, there is a possibility local police units underreported crimes in previous years, making current figures the truthful count.
HOSPITAL ARREST FOR ENRILE? PNP READY
Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac says
Camp Crame has the facilities to ensure the health of the 90-year-old senator.
President Aquino himself seems to favor hospital arrest for Enrile. He said Tuesday that Enrile’s "advanced age" should be considered by the graft court, Sandiganbayan.
The senator faces graft and plunder charges for allegedly pocketing millions of his discretionary funds through bogus NGOs.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to issue an arrest warrant against Enrile.
On June 13, Enrile submitted a motion for bail ahead of the issuance of a warrant due to his ailing health.
Plunder is a non-bailable offense but the accused may be granted bail if the evidence is weak or if a person’s "life will be endangered as a result of incarceration.”
In his motion, Enrile said he was not a flight risk, citing his "poor and frail condition requiring consistent medical attention.”
DENNIS CUNANAN TO COURT: LET ME TRAVEL ABROAD
In his motion, Cunanan says his duties as World Secretary General of the Junior Chamber International require him to be in Japan on the second week of July and in the US for the last week of the same month.
Cunanan adds, he is willing to cut short any of his trips once ordered by the court to return.
Cunanan says he was also abroad at the time charges were filed against him, but he did not flee.
Earlier, the Ombudsman denied Cunanan’s application to become state witness in the multi-million-peso pork barrel scam cases.
In an order released Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales denied his application for immunity and motion for reconsideration.
Cunanan is accused of graft for diverting lawmakers' funds to fake projects coursed through the Technology Resource Center.
PROSECUTORS FLIP-FLOP ON CHARGE SHEET VS JINGGOY
This comes after the chair of the division handling Estrada’s case warns Prosecutor Danilo Lopez that amending the information would mean the findings of probable cause could be recalled by the justices.
Once recalled, Estrada could be released from detention.
The amendments initially involve a change in the wording of the charge sheet from “conspiracy” to “connivance.”
During the hearing in Sandiganbayan's 5th division Friday, Justice Alexander Gesmundo noted the difference between the two words.
The 5th division is hearing Estrada's plunder and graft charges over his involvement in the pork barrel scam.
AQUINO: PH TO IMPORT RICE AS PRICE HIKE PROBE CONTINUES
The decision comes at a time when prices of basic commodities are on the rise.
Aquino says the price hikes of rice and basic commodities "do not make sense."
He says economists are saying "there is enough supply.”
The president adds, “The suspicion is there are those colluding to keep the prices high, especially the price of garlic."
AGRI CHIEF IS HIGHEST PAID CABINET OFFICIAL
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is the highest-paid member in the Aquino cabinet in 2013.
A Commission on Audit or COA report shows Alcala earned over P4.2 million or over $96,000.
But Alcala’s pay is roughly a quarter of the highest paid government official in 2013 – Government Service Insurance System President and General Manager Robert Vergara, who had a take-home pay of almost P12.1 million or over $275,000 in 2013.
US TO DISBAND ANTI-TERROR TEAM IN PHILIPPINES
US Embassy spokesman Kurt Hoyer confirms the US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines or JSOTF-P “will no longer exist” after a transition plan is set.
The US formed the JSOTF-P in 2002 to help the Philippine military respond to extremist threats.
Hoyer says the US and Philippine partnership has been “successful in drastically reducing the capabilities of domestic and trans-national terrorist groups in the Philippines.”
He adds the terror groups have “devolved” into criminal groups.
In an interview with Rappler, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg cites two reasons behind the decision.
PHILIP GOLDBERG, US AMBASSADOR: Well, I assess the mission to have been very successful in two regards. One, as we were discussing, the threat we believe, at least the transnational threat is much reduced. And that is a really good thing. And a lot of progress has been made. Number two, the ability, the capacity of the Philippine armed forces and special forces has increased. So we now believe we’re in the point of we can now turn this over to the Philippines.
OBAMA SEEKS $500M TO TRAIN, EQUIP SYRIAN REBELS
The White House asks US lawmakers for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels, in what would be a significant escalation of US involvement in the region’s conflict.
The funding comes from America’s’ $1.5-billion Regional Stabilization Initiative to bolster stability
in neighboring countries Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and support communities hosting refugees.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin supports the White House’s move, saying it is “appropriate spending.”
Following signals from US president Barack Obama, the White House intends to "ramp up US support to the moderate Syrian opposition."
The request comes at an extraordinarily sensitive time in the Middle East, with terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS joining forces with other insurgents in Syria.
Despite ISIS threatening to tear Iraq apart, Obama repeated his pledge to avoid sending US ground troops back to that country.
He said, "They're going to have to contribute to solving their own problems here
although we'll protect our people and we'll make sure that we're going after terrorists who could do us harm."
ECUADOR LAWMAKERS PROPOSE UNLIMITED PRESIDENTIAL TERMS
The move comes after incumbent president Rafael Correa made a similar request last May.
In office since 2007, Correa was re-elected in February 2013 for a 4-year term, the last he is currently allowed under the law.
The constitutional court has 45 days to rule on the initiative, which also aims to lower the minimum age for a presidential candidate from 35 to 30.
Ecuador's constitution only allows two consecutive terms for public office, including the president.
Correa initially said he had no intention of running for a third term but later asked the national assembly to modify the constitution to allow unlimited terms.
THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
wRap #7: ASIANS TOLD: REDUCE RISKS, DON’T WAIT FOR ANOTHER CATASTROPHE
United Nations’ Margareta Wahlström warns Asians
against slipping back to complacency after a natural catastrophe.
She says, “It is morally unacceptable that we need regular big catastrophes to continue to action.”
Wahlström says it takes 18 months after a catastrophe for people to forget,
and this “short-term memory” poses the problem of “inability to link issues together.”
wRap #9: GARY OLDMAN’S APOLOGY OVER JEWS-IN-HOLLYWOOD COMMENT REJECTED
British actor Gary Oldman apologizes to the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish rights group for his remarks that Hollywood is “run by Jews” and for defending actor Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant in 2012.
The league dismisses Oldman’s apology as “insufficient,” saying his remark “has a very familiar sinister ring to it that is the anthem of bigots and anti-Semites everywhere.”
wRap #10: LONDON DESIGNER ASKS WIKILEAKS FOUNDER TO DO THE CATWALK
British designer Ben Westwood wants WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange to walk the catwalk.
Westwood asked Assange to model in the London Fashion Week along with Hollywood celebrities.
Westwood’s mother Vivienne is a keen supporter of Assange, who’s trying to avoid extradition to Sweden for publishing highly classified American military and diplomatic documents in 2010.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
FIL-AM DRAFTED IN NBA
6-foot-5 combo guard Jordan Clarkson was selected 46th overall in the NBA Draft Thursday night in New York.
Clarkson was originally selected by the Washington Wizards, but was immediately acquired by the LA Lakers through a trade.
He is the second Fil-Am player to be drafted in the NBA.
The first was point guard Raymond Townsend who was selected 22nd overall by the Golden State Warriors.
Clarkson is part of a deep draft class that featured forwards Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.
Wiggins, whose father played as an import in the PBA, was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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|