Rappler Newscast | March 19, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- The Supreme Court stops the implementation of the Reproductive Health law.
- Gunmen fire at the convoy of senatorial candidate Jack Enrile.
- Pope Francis calls on world leaders to protect creation in his inaugural homily.
Story 1: SC STOPS RH LAW IMPLEMENTATION
The Supreme Court temporarily stops the implementation of the Reproductive Health law.
Implementation was supposed to start March 31, after the health department approved the law’s implementing rules and regulations Friday.
The justices vote 10-5 in favor of the status quo ante order which is effective for 120 days or 4 months.
The justices who voted for the order are Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita de Castro, Arturo Brion, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Roberto Abad, Martin Villarama Jr., Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, and Bienvenido Reyes.
Those who voted against are Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Mariano Del Castillo, and Marvic Leonen.
The court sets oral arguments on June 18.
Pro-life groups welcome the order.
After more than a decade of opposition by the influential Catholic Church, legislators passed the measure late last year.
Story 2: SC ALLOWS CAYETANO TO INTERVENE IN AIRTIME LIMITS CASE
The Supreme Court allows re-electionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to intervene in the case filed by media companies against the Commission on Elections’ revised airtime rules for political ads.
Media companies question Comelec Resolution 9615, which allows only 120 minutes of television advertising and 180 minutes of radio advertising per candidate.
In an earlier statement, Cayetano said the restrictions will lessen the opportunities for voters to get to know their candidates.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. says he has no problem with the Supreme Court allowing a third party in the case.
Cayetano welcomes the decision, saying “This shall serve as the first step to leveling the playing field for the candidates and having a more mature election system.”
Story 3: UNA SCALES DOWN CAMPAIGN IN COMVAL
United Nationalist Alliance campaigns in Southern Mindanao.
The opposition coalition criticizes the government’s response to the provinces most affected by Typhoon Pablo.
Ayee Macaraig files this video blog.
To give or not to give, that is the question.
The United Nationalist Alliance is here in Southern Mindanao, caught in an awkward position of campaigning in typhoon-hit provinces.
UNA visits Compostela Valley, one of the provinces worst hit by Typhoon Pablo.
The candidates decide not to give donations, wary of Comelec rules against vote-buying.
They opt for market tours instead of rallies, and just shake people's hands and greet voters.
UNA visits towns like Maco, Mabini and Pantukan but notably skips towns hardest hit by Pablo like New Bataan.
UNA criticizes the administration for the supposed inefficient delivery of services to victims and calls for the passage of the Land Use Bill.
But some candidates are more engaged in the issue than the others.
REP MITOS MAGSAYSAY, UNA SENATORIAL BET: Ilang buwan na ang Pablo, wala pa ring visible rehabilitation na nagnormalize na buhay ng mga tao. Kaninong kasalanan yun, gobyerno? May calamity fund, may presidential social fund, di mo naman pwede sabihing kulang ang pera, may P500B si PNoy na binigay ng kongreso na he can realign to any project he wants. Miski yung PDAF ko na hindi na nila ni-release for 2 and a half years e di ibigay nila sa Typhoon Pablo. (It’s been months since Typhoon Pablo passed but there’s still no visible rehabilitation showing daily life here have normalized. Who’s fault is that, the government? We have the calamity fund, presidential social fund, so you can’t say there’s no money. President Aquino has Php 500 billion from Congress which he can realign to any project he wants. Even my PDAF that they didn’t release for 2 and a half years, just give it to the victims of Typhoon Pablo.)
TINGTING COJUANGCO, UNA SENATORIAL BET: I think because VP Binay is in charge of housing, I’m sure that’s in his plan but since we’re not into housing, he has not discussed that with us.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile all unable it make it.
Still, UNA hopes to replicate the success of the Estrada-Binay 2010 tandem, with the two winning in Compostela Valley and the 3 Davao provinces.
UNA bets will campaign in Davao City and nearby provinces in the coming days.
This is UNA's second Mindanao leg after holding big rallies in Northern Mindanao.
Whether they can translate the support for their top leaders to votes for the senatorial candidates is the big question here in the so-called Erap country.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Tagum City.
Story 4: GUNMEN FIRE AT PNP VEHICLE TAILING ENRILE
Gunmen fire at a police vehicle following the 7-car convoy of senatorial candidate Jack Enrile in Mawab, Compostela Valley.
Enrile says they were travelling from the town of Nabunturan when he heard two distinct gunshots.
Enrile downplays the incident, saying it’s “isolated.”
JACK ENRILE, UNA SENATORIAL BET: It was a little scary. It hit the Philippine National Police vehicle, Compostela Valley provincial [police]. Hindi po sa akin yun (vehicle). The shots were fired at the PNP vehicle and soon right after we could hear a volley of return fire. It was 2 or 3 vehicles (PNP vehicle) behind us. It was following us. I’m not sure what you would like to call it. If it was me, then it probably was not an ambush but if it was the PNP, it was probably a target of opportunity for somebody who has some gripes against the PNP.
The son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile says this incident cannot be compared to what happened to his father in 1972.
JACK ENRILE, UNA SENATORIAL BET: No similarities at all. Difference is like night and day. I don’t believe we should imply anything like it.
Story 5: KIRAMS ASK DFA FOR LEGAL HELP IN SABAH
The family of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III asks the government to provide legal assistance to Filipinos detained in Sabah.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says the Kiram family sent a letter through the Public Attorney's Office.
The foreign affairs department says at least 10 members of the Kiram family are among the 104 people arrested by Malaysian security forces for being involved in the Sabah standoff.
Hernandez says the DFA is also asking the Malaysian government to allow consular officials to give legal assistance to the detainees in Sabah.
Story 6: NO SIGHTINGS OF RAJA MUDA IN PH
The Philippine government says the leader of the armed Filipino group in Sabah has not been seen in the Philippines despite Malaysia’s claims on Friday that Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram left Sabah.
On Monday, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Acting Governor Mujiv Hataman says, "We have not seen him in the Philippines. But the Malaysian government already has a declaration there are no more Royal Security Forces in Lahad Datu."
Hataman adds that in his last conversation with Agbimuddin last March 1 or 2, Agbimuddin indicated he wanted to be fetched from Sabah.
The Kiram family’s spokesman Abraham Idjirani denies Agbimuddin has left Sabah.
Story 7: SOLAIRE CASINO BANKS ON HIGH ROLLERS
The Philippines launches its latest bid for a spot in the elite gaming map with a billion-dollar casino complex.
Aya Lowe reports.
Glitz, glamor, gaming and guests.
These are the promises of the new mega casino and tourism complex in Manila Bay.
Solaire Resorts and Casino is the first of the four-billion-dollar development project to open its doors to the public.
Bloombery Resorts, the operator of Solaire spends one-million-dollars to bring the stars and sparkles on opening day.
But Solaire’s opening is not controversy-free.
Twenty-one years ago, the Manila City Council prohibited reclamations on Manila Bay out of fear it will lead to flooding.
The council reversed its decision-- greenlighting the casino complex but activists launch a catchy campaign call ‘save the sunset’.
Maybe that’s why feng-shui experts were called in and Solaire is opened at exactly 2:28 on March 16 for good luck.
Betting on these grand projects are the Philippines' richest: Ricky Razon, Henry Sy, Andrew Tan, and maybe John Gokongwei too.
Billionaires James Packer from Australia, Lawrence Ho from Macau, and controversial Kazuo Okada from Japan want a piece of what may become the newest gaming capital in Asia.
Analysts and investors says Manila will rival Macau and Singapore, the world's two biggest casino destinations.
DENNIS ANDREACI, SVP GAMING & OPERATIONS: By the time we have the three or four casinos in Entertainment City, it becomes a very big destination like Macao has become a destination, like Singapore has become a destination. That will happen. It will take a few years but it will happen.
Razon’s Bloombery Resorts wants to attract the high-rollers---the Asians who spend up to 50-million-pesos per visit through lower taxes.
Compared to Macau's 39%, Manila will only slash 27 percent off the players' winnings.
High rollers have it even better with just 15%.
MICHAEL FRENCH, COO SOLAIRE: Mostly Chinese. Probably 60-65 % will come from the Guandong river delta area, the same customer that goes to Macao then Southeast Asia will be our next big market. Then Taiwan and Korea….
Operators say the complex may not bring in the head count for tourism but it may become the Philippines' six-billion-dollar money maker.
FRENCH: Our contribution is more on revenue than it is bodies of people coming in. Not so many people coming but their spend in tremendously higher than the average tourist.
Solaire alone has brought home hundreds of Filipino overseas workers who managed, cooked or served customers in Macau, Singapore or Dubai.
More jobs are waiting for OFWs when the other three gaming and hotel projects open.
AYA LOWE, REPORTING: After years of priming up Entertainment City, the goal to put Manila in Asia's network of casino hubs is starting to come true. So far, the odds are in the favor of casino money and tourism dollars. Aya Lowe, Manila, Rappler
Story 8: POPE'S 1ST CLARION CALL: PROTECT CREATION
Pope Francis calls on world leaders to protect "the beauty of creation" during his inaugural mass in St Peter's Square Tuesday.
He says, "Let us be 'protectors' of creation…let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world."
The Pope earlier said he named himself after St. Francis of Assisi, whom he describes as “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and safeguards creation.”
Before the mass, Francis also receives the pallium and the Fisherman’s ring, symbols of the papacy.
Defying security concerns, Pope Francis rides an open-air popemobile on his way to St Peter's Square and stops to greet those attending the ritual.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 7, former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she backs gay marriage in an online video released by the Human Rights Campaign.
Clinton says she supports gay marriage, both "personally and as a matter of policy and law."
While Clinton pushed gay, lesbian and transgender rights during her four year term as America's top diplomat, this is her strongest statement supporting it yet.
At number 9, security blogger Brian Krebs writes about his experience of having his blog attacked and his home raided by police last March 14.
Krebs says the denial of service attack on his site didn't last long, but adds he is concerned about "SWATting," or the practice of tricking actual police to raid innocent people.
Krebs believes the incidents are related to an earlier report he made about underground sites peddling credit reports and Social Secur ity numbers.
And at number 10, Nora Aunor and Eddie Garcia get top acting honors at the 7th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong.
Aunor earns her trophy from her powerful portrayal as a barren Badjao midwife in the Brillante Mendoza film “Thy Womb.”
Garcia wins two trophies for playing a grouchy gay man and his faithful dog in “Bwakaw.”
Newscast production staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|