Sydney lockdown, Laude murder case, Estrada pork case | The wRap
Today on Rappler.
- Lockdown in Sydney’s business center as gunman, with possible links to Muslim extremists, takes hostages.
- Prosecutors file a murder case against a US soldier accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude.
- The Sandiganbayan’s 5th division wants to back out of the plunder and graft case involving Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
HOSTAGES HELD INSIDE SYDNEY CAFE, ISLAMIST FLAG HELD UP
Hostages are being held inside a cafe in central Sydney Monday with a flag with a Muslim creed displayed against a window. Officials shut down Sydney’s central business district as police surround the Lindt chocolate cafe. Police reports a gunman may be holding as many as 20 people hostage. CNN reports, at least 5 people managed to escape the building. The writing on the flag displayed on the window of the cafe triggered fears the gunman is connected to Islamic extremists. Reports say the gunman became agitated and started screaming orders after some of the hostages escaped.
PEMBERTON FACES MURDER CASE OVER LAUDE SLAY
Olongapo prosecutors file a murder case against US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton the American soldier accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude. Prosecutors cite 3 “aggravating qualifying circumstances” that showed Laude’s killing was a murder aggravated treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty. The Laude family welcomes the decision but slams what they call the special treatment of Pemberton. Pemberton is detained at the Philippine military headquarters but the US keeps custody over him following a 1998 agreement between the two countries.
COURT DIVISION BACKS OUT OF ESTRADA PORK CASE
The 5th division of anti-graft court Sandiganbayan wants to back out of the plunder and graft case involving Senator Jinggoy Estrada.In a letter addressed to Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang Division Chairperson Roland Jurado and fellow Associate Justices Alexander Gesmundo and Ma Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta asked to be inhibited from the cases due to personal reasons. Estrada faces plunder and graft charges for allegedly pocketing millions worth of public funds through an elaborate scheme known as the pork barrel scam.
2016 TALK FOLLOW GRACE POE, VP BINAY AT FPJ ANNIVERSARY
The mass for the 10th death anniversary of actor Fernando Poe Jr. Sunday brought together the two top contenders for the 2016 presidential polls his daughter, Senator Grace Poe, and his former campaign manager, Vice President Jejomar Binay. But the two evaded questions about a possible tandem or face-off. Grace Poe says she may not be ready for the presidency, but expressed some openness to the possibility of a 2016 run. Binay spoke of his closeness with the elder Poe but refused to answer questions about the daughter’s rise in the polls. Carmela Fonbuena filed a video blog on how the late actor’s supporters are counting on his daughter to carry on her father’s legacy.
BRITAIN'S PRINCE GEORGE IN NEW CHRISTMAS PHOTOS
The British royal family releases three Christmas photos of Prince George. George’s parents Prince William and Kate are strict when it comes to the toddler prince’s privacy. They earlier asked the press to let the George grow up without intrusion. While George is often photographed during official engagements, royal lawyers sent a legal warning in October to a photographer reportedly trying to take pictures of him. George’s mother Kate is pregnant with the couple's second child and is expected to give birth in April.
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