Binay witness surfaces, China's reclamation, Japanese ISIS hostages | The wRap
Today on Rappler.
- A new witness testifies he’s fronting as the owner of a condo for Vice President Binay.
- Photos show China’s ‘massive’ reclamation in the West Philippine Sea.
- The Japanese government running out of time to free ISIS hostages.
SENATE HEARING ON THE ‘OVERPRICED’ MAKATI PARKING BUILDING RESUMES
Its back to the Senate for the accusers of Vice President Jejomar Binay. This time, the probe will include the Vice President’s ties with Pag-ibig fund and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Bea Cupin files this video blog.
After a 2 month break, the senate resumes its probe into allegations that Vice President Jejomar Binay dipped into the city coffers of Makati where he was Mayor for over two decades.
But in 2015, the senate expands its probe beyond the borders of makati and into other groups and organizations associated with Binay - the Pag-ibig fund and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Binay, chairman of the Pag-ibig fund, supposedly used his position to bag contracts for favored companies including Omni security, which got billions from Makati city contracts in the past.
But Pag-ibig president and CEO Darlene Berberabe denies the accusations.
DARLENE BERBERABE, PAG-IBIG PRESIDENT & CEO: I say that this is most unfair because Pag-ibig has been known, especially for the last four years, for its excellent performance and integrity. We have been very vocal in our collective stand against corruption.
Binay is also accused of short changing the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in a land deal with developer Alphaland. Binay has been that national president of the BSP for over two decades. Chief whistleblower and former Boy Scouts Vice President Ernesto Mercado says Binay used his kickbacks to fuel his 2010 campaign.
ERNESTO MERCADO, FORMER MAKATI VICE MAYOR: Isinangla po yung lupa ng Boy Scouts sa Development Bank of the Philippines kaya po sabi ko diyan, dito na nagsimula ang pagluluto nila VP Binay at ng Alphaland sa Boy Scouts of the Philippines sa sarili pang mantika ng Boy Scouts.
(They mortgaged the land owned by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. That's why I'm saying this is when they began duping the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.)
The Binay camp, as is always the case, denies the fresh allegations against the Vice President and calls on the whistleblowers to show real proof. But thIS not just about showing proof. It is also a perception game. The question is, will Binay win this game as easily as he wins elections? Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila.
Rappler reports talk of Binay owning condominiums in Makati city have been around for a time. But for the first time, a witness has come forward. Engineer Ariel Olivar tells the panel that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the real owner of a condominium unit at the Peak Tower in Makati City.
ARIEL OLIVAR: Totoo po yun ako po ang nakapangalan dito sa condominium unit na ito, pero hindi po ako nag-mamay-ari. Ginamit lang po ang pangalan ko. Ang atin pong Vice President ang talagang nagmamay-ari po nito.
(The condominium unit is listed under my name but I am not the owner. My name was just used. Our Vice President is the real owner of the unit.)
NAIA AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM UPGRADED
The Philippine aviation industry gets an upgrade worth P160 million or $3.6 million. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines improves the air traffic system which can now control arriving and departing air traffic within a range of 250 nautical miles. Under the old system, flights during the rainy season were constantly cancelled or diverted. The upgrade is part of a P13-billion project meant to avoid flight delays, diversions, and cancellations.
DIVERS EVACUATE MORE BODIES AS THEY NEAR AIRASIA FUSELAGE
Divers in Indonesia evacuate more bodies from the crashed AirAsia jet. Divers find five bodies still belted in their seats Thursday. Indonesian officials say the bodies spilled out of the fuselage 50-100 meters or 160-330 feet away. Only 53 bodies have been recovered. The rest are believed to be still trapped inside the fuselage.
PHOTOS SHOW CHINA'S 'MASSIVE' RECLAMATION IN WEST PH SEA
Recent photos of China’s reclamation in Kagitingan or Fiery Cross Reef show the extent of improvements compared to the first published photo in November. Philippine officials describe the changes as quote - “massive.” Taken on December 12, 2014, the photos show dredgers, cargo vessels, and fishing boats. The foreign affairs department says the reclamation is a “clear violation” of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Military chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr says the reclaimed area could be used for “purposes other than for peaceful use.”
CLOCK TICKING FOR JAPANESE ISIS HOSTAGES
The Japanese government says it is working to secure the release of two kidnapped journalists. ISIS released a video Tuesday showing a militant looming over journalists Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, apparently in a desert in Syria or Iraq. Japanese officials say they have not spoken to the Islamic State group but they believe the deadline for the 200-million dollar ransom will end Friday.
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|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|
|GRAPHICS DESIGN / ANIMATION||Acid House