Rappler Newscast | April 25, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Southeast Asian leaders ask Beijing for a “code of conduct” for the South China Sea at the close of the 22nd ASEAN summit.
- The Philippines comes closer to elevating its claim to islands in the South China Sea to an international tribunal.
- The country’s statistics agency head defends its poverty data after President Aquino questions its numbers.
Story 1: ASEAN TO CHINA: LET'S TALK
Southeast Asian leaders call for urgent talks with China to ensure the tense territorial disputes over the South China Sea will not escalate into violence.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN wraps up a two-day summit in Brunei with a chairman's statement emphasizing the importance of "peace, stability and maritime security in the region."
In a press conference after the summit, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah says the leaders wanted to "urgently work on a code of conduct" with China, following concern among some Southeast Asian countries over China's aggressiveness in claiming the waters.
ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam claim parts of the sea.
In July 2012, an ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting ended without a joint communique because of divisions over how to handle the issue.
Southeast Asian leaders say the 2013 summit led to a regained sense of unity within ASEAN on the issue.
ASEAN and China first agreed to work on a code in 2002, but China has since refused to discuss it further.
Philippine president Benigno Aquino says he is happy ASEAN leaders united to ensure maritime disputes did not "become bloody".
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says ASEAN foreign ministers will hold talks with China during an event in Beijing later in the year.
Story 2: ITLOS APPOINTS TRIBUNAL TEAM ON SOUTH CHINA SEA CLAIM
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea appoints all 5 members of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea to hear the territorial case filed by the Philippines against China over the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.
On January 22, the Philippines elevated the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea to Annex 7 arbitration under the UNCLOS because of the standoff between the Philippine Navy and Chinese fishing vessels that entered Scarborough Shoal.
The government wants the tribunal to declare China's 9-Dash claim as quote "invalid" and "unlawful."
Story 3: NAVY DENIES KILLING 'MILITANTS' TRYING TO ENTER MALAYSIA
The Philippine Navy denies reports navy personnel shot and killed 35 Sulu "militants" trying to enter Malaysia.
Reports in Malaysian media say the militants were killed by personnel from the Philippine naval and coast guard forces before they entered Malaysia.
The Star newspaper in Malaysia, quoting Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, says the group attempted to enter Sabah to -- quote -- "cause problems" during the Malaysian general elections.
But the Philippine Navy says there is no report coming from the Tawi-Tawi naval task force commander.
Story 4: REPORT SIGNAL JAMMERS, PUBLIC ASKED
The Interior department, Commission on Elections and the National Telecommunications Commission launch a campaign asking the public to report signal jammers or anyone possessing the devices.
Signal jammers block cellphone and wifi connections within 10-20 meters.
Government agencies fear it may be used to deliberately interfere with the transmission of results on election day.
MAR ROXAS, DILG SECRETARY: Hindi po tama, hindi po legal ang gamit nitong mga bagay na ito sa araw ng halalan. Mas mabuti nang lahat tayo ay nagmamasid, lahat tayo alerto, lahat tayo ay magbabantay, yung mga magkakatunggali ang magbabantayan imbes na hindi natin ito ibunyag sa publiko. (The use of these are illegal on the day of the elections. It is better we are all alert and guarding, those in opposing sides also guarding this rather not telling the public about it.)
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba says signal jammers are illegal.
Cordoba says the NTC has not released any permits for ownership or importation of the device, so all who own signal jammers possess smuggled items.
Brillantes says jammers will not affect the results of the elections but it may cause a day or two of delay.
SIXTO BRILLANTES, COMELEC CHAIR: Ang target namin dito sa automated elections na ito, as soon as the voting is finished at may pumindot na button sa PCOS, magta-transmit na kaagad yan. (Our target in this automated elections, as soon as the voting is finished and someone presses a button on the PCOS machine, it will transmit immediately.)
Story 5: MIRIAM'S 'MAGIC 12'
Sen Miriam Santiago says she sees a 9-3 win for Team PNoy in the May senatorial elections.
In a speech before the Philippine Masons in Iloilo City Wednesday, Santiago says she sees 9 candidates from administration coalition Team PNoy and 3 candidates from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance forming the Senate, with UNA members Gringo Honasan and Jack Enrile fighting for the last slot.
Santiago also says the next Senate President will come from the administration coalition, naming Cynthia Villar, Sergio Osmeña III, Frank Drilon, TG Guingona possibly replacing Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Santiago also says the Iglesia ni Cristo bloc vote could "radically change" the survey trends.
Story 6: ESTRADA EYES LIM'S DISQUALIFICATION
Former President Joseph Estrada says he may file a disqualification case against Alfredo Lim, his rival for mayor of Manila.
Estrada says there is no proof that incumbent Manila mayor Lim was born in the Philippines.
JOSEPH ESTRADA, CANDIDATE FOR MANILA MAYOR: We cannot find any birth certificate, and he cannot produce one. People deserve to know what is really his citizenship. That should be falsification of public documents.
In a press conference on April 4, Estrada's son, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, earlier brought up the issue of Lim's citizenship, saying the National Statistics Office does not have Lim's birth certificate.
But he added, "We will not file a disqualification case, unlike him who filed 3 disqualification cases against my father."
Lim denies he was behind the disqualification bids against Estrada.
This is not the first time Lim's citizenship is being questioned.
In 1998, a disqualification case was filed against Lim when he ran for president.
With 3 weeks before the elections, Estrada says it is not too late for him to have Lim disqualified.
Story 7: 'E-LEKSYON' APP: PRACTICE VOTING, FIND PRECINCTS
The Commission on Elections launches a website and mobile app to help voters learn more about the upcoming midterm polls.
This is e-Leksyon 2013, a free website and mobile app developed jointly by the Comelec and Bitoopi.
Bitoopi is a group of young programmers from Smart Communications Inc.
e-Leksyon allows users to practice filling out a sample ballot, look for the nearest precinct, learn the Comelec's campaign rules, and report campaign violations through text and photos.
The website is accessible at report.mycomelec.tv.
The mobile app will initially be available for iOS devices and will soon be available for Android-powered smartphones.
Story 8: COURT ORDERS ARREST OF EX-GENERAL LIGOT
The Sandiganbayan orders the arrest of retired military comptroller Jacinto Ligot over perjury charges filed against him last week.
The court also issues a hold-departure-order against him.
On April 13, the Office of the Ombudsman filed 11 counts of perjury charges against Ligot before the Sandiganbayan.
On March 6, Ligot won a temporary reprieve from the Supreme Court when it lifted a 2005 freeze order on his assets amounting to 54 million pesos.
He is accused of making numerous false declarations in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth from 1993 to 2003.
Ligot, his wife and children are accused of amassing P700-million in ill-gotten wealth from military coffers.
Story 9: AQUINO DOUBTS OFFICIAL POVERTY NUMBERS
President Benigno Aquino questions the latest poverty statistic because he said they were based on the wrong population data.
The National Statistical Coordination Board reports poverty incidence stands at 27.9%, virtually unchanged from the same period in 2009 and 2006.
In a briefing Thursday, Aquino says, "I have a bit of a doubt since they used the wrong population data, which is basis for computing per capita income. How then can you properly compare 2009 and 2012?"
Aquino says the 2009 population numbers are "questionable" and may not be comparable to the 2012 numbers because his administration improved the population data, particularly in areas like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The ARMM is also the region with the highest poverty incidence nationwide at 46.9% of families living below the poverty line in the first semester of 2012.
The president says the administration's programs already reduced poverty incidence in other regions, citing the Conditional Cash Transfer program that covers 3.8 million families in 2012.
Story 10: NSCB SEC GEN: POVERTY DATA NOT RELATED TO CENSUS NUMBERS
National Statistical Coordination Board secretary general Jose Ramon Albert defends the agency’s poverty data showing the 2012 poverty incidence unchanged from the same period in 2009 and 2006.
On Thursday, Aquino questions the numbers, saying the report may have used the wrong population data to compute per capita income.
But Albert says the NSCB figures came from a sample survey, not census numbers.
JOSE RAMON ALBERT, SEC. GEN, NATIONAL STATISTICAL COORDINATION BOARD: The figures that we generated were all from a sample survey, it had nothing to do with the census figures which he seems to be attributing it to…The way we calculate per capita is actually directly from the household itself. When you come up with the total household income, you find out what is the number of persons in the household sampled, you divide that, that's the per capita income. So total population figures in an area have no bearing, so we did not actually calculate numbers of population directly.
Although poverty incidence on the average is unchanged, Albert says this does not mean the government has not done anything.
JOSE RAMON ALBERT, SEC. GEN, NATIONAL STATISTICAL COORDINATION BOARD: As far as the poor is concerned, the percentages have not changed...When you start drilling down, particularly when you examine across the regions, again there are no...we could not see major changes in poverty rates but if you look at Caraga in particular, from 2009 to 2012 there was a decline.
Story 11: SIDELINE SUPPORT
Behind every Palaro player is a coach who molds raw talent into a fighter.
Devon Wong reports.
Athletes rely on their bodies to perform and depend on the agility of youth.
For every athlete, there’s a time when their strength and passion coincide to mark a peak in their sports careers.
But for the coaches and trainers who devote a lifetime’s commitment to each generation of new athletes, there’s pleasure in watching the seasons change.
JUAN T. PASION, GYMNASTICS COACH FROM REGION 2: It’s not at all a very hard job, but it is a job wherein we are helping people grow.
Most athletes would be proud to say they’ve been to one Palaro, but this is Juan’s number ten.
Juan keeps returning because he wants to support his athletes every step of the way.
He says he sometimes feeds his athletes out of his own pocket during training because he believes they’ll be his legacy.
The power of support and dedicated coaching has real life impact on young minds.
IRVIN DHALE LANGAOEN, CAR TAEKWONDO TEAM: My coach invited me to train taekwondo because he saw that I had potential. When I was grade 3 going into grade 4, I was transferred to U.P. to become part of the varsity team to get a scholarship.
Irvin’s coach didn’t hesitate to give him free training when he realized his family couldn’t afford his lessons.
ARNOLD OGLAYON, HEAD COACH OF CAR TAEKWONDO TEAM: You treat them as your family. And you share all the things that they need to learn. I sacrifice, of course. I put up my own gym for the kids. And I’m trying my best to expose them, I’m trying my best to support them.
Coaches and trainers at Palaro put in countless hours without the promise of spotlight or medal. Their commitment to sports rewards them with the most noble satisfaction of knowing their philosophies will move on with their athletes.
ARNOLD OGLAYON, HEAD COACH OF CAR TAEKWONDO TEAM: You'll never know, maybe one day of my students will become a mayor and because of the discipline learned in taekwondo.
Coaches help athletes recognize their own potential.
And remind us that maybe everyone could use a sideline supporter.
Devon Wong, Rappler, Dumaguete
Story 12: CENTRAL VISAYAS SCORES UPSET VS WESTERN VISAYAS IN VOLLEYBALL
Central Visayas scores the biggest upset on day 4 of Palarong Pambansa when they eliminated 5-time finalist Western Visayas in the quarterfinals of the secondary girls volleyball tournament.
Janelle Cabahug and Rica Rivera stun their Bacolod counterparts to join NCR, Northern Mindanao and CALABARZON in the Final Four.
In swimming, Regina Castrillo bags her sixth gold medal.
She set the record in the 100-meter butterfly in the preliminaries before breaking it again when she clocked at 1 minute and 6.92 seconds in the finals.
Catherine Bondad and Rafael Barreto finish the day with five gold medals each.
NCR continues to dominate the standings with 129 medals -- 57 of which are gold.
Western Visayas trails with 66 followed by Calabarzon with 48 medals.
Central Luzon claims the 4th spot finishing with 37 medals, overtaking Central Visayas who ends day 4 with 31.
Story 13: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 2, The US Central Intelligence Agency previously alerted counter-terrorism agencies about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible terror ties.
Tamerlan was the Boston bombing suspect killed in a shootout with police.
More than a year before the incident, the CIA shared information from Russian officials with the National Counterterrorism Center, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation for watchlisting purposes.
Tsarnaev’s name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, maintained by the NCC.
The disclosure fans growing concern about continuing problems with the sharing of information among US government agencies.
At number 6, The 11th-century minaret of the Umayyad Mosque in Syria, one of its most famous mosques, was destroyed after rebels allegedly blew it up.
But activists say the minaret was hit by Syrian army tank fire.
In October 2012, Unesco appealed for the protection of the world heritage site, describing it as “one of the most beautiful mosques in the Muslim world.”
The BBC reports the mosque complex, which dates mostly from the 12th century, is badly damaged by gunfire and shell hits.
And at number 10, A photo of Bill Gates shaking the hand of South Korean President Park Geun Hye with his other hand in his pocket causes a stir in South Korea.
Placing one hand in the pocket when greeting others is considered impolite in the country.
Netizens debate over whether Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the richest people in the world, should be judged by the same rules of etiquette as locals.
Even mainstream media overanalayze the image, comparing it with previous photos of Gates shaking the hands of several Koreans, including former president Lee Myung Bak.
It appears Gates really prefers to hide his other hand during handshakes.
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|