Rappler Newscast | September 23, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Monsoon rain triggers widespread floods Olongapo City and Subic.
- Janet Napoles is arraigned for serious illegal detention.
- A police report shows MNLF members from Basilan tried to surrender in the early days of the standoff.
Story 1: OLONGAPO UNDER STATE OF CALAMITY
A state of calamity is declared in Olongapo Monday as monsoon rain brings widespread floods to the city and neighboring Subic.
Heavy rain triggers landslides, killing 17 people in different parts of Zambales province.
Assistant civil defense director Nigel Lontoc says a 67-year-old woman drowned when her home was submerged by a flood in Olongapo.
Local publications Subic Bay News and Subic Times also post photos of flooded streets in the city.
Eyewitnesses say local officials put up ropes across flooded streets to prevent people from being swept away by strong currents.
In a Facebook post, Olongapo City Councilor Winnie Ortiz says the flooding in the city is the worst they have seen in history.
Subic Times also says Mayor Rolen Paulino is coordinating with the US Navy, currently in Subic for joint Philippine-US military exercises, to help in rescue and relief in Olongapo.
In Subic, 6 are reported killed in landslides.
Subic Mayor Jefferson Khonghun says four rivers that pass through Subic were heavily silted and had overflowed, causing the floods.
Story 2: BATAAN TOWNS SUBMERGED; THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES AFFECTED
Thousands of families are evacuated from the towns of Hermosa, Abucay, and Dinalupihan in Bataan as floodwaters reach up to 3 feet high.
More than 19,000 people or over 4,000 families are affected, with 5 evacuation centers opened for them.
Nonstop rain overnight again flooded the streets of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces on Monday.
Flooding incidents were reported on the streets of Quezon City, Caloocan, Makati, Manila, and Parañaque.
State weather bureau Pagasa says the southwest monsoon will continue to affect large parts of Luzon on Tuesday.
Cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms are expected in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union.
Story 3: MONSOON RAIN BATTERS BATAAN
Flood water rises in Bataan, submerging several barangays and rendering some roads impassable.
Natashya Gutierrez files this video blog.
Monsoon rains here in Dinalupihan, Bataan have been relentless for 3 days now, causing massive flooding to at least 3 barangays. Here at San Ramon Dinalupihan National road, the waters are fast-moving and knee-length making it impassable to light vehicles. This is the main entry road between Olongapo City and Dinalupihan. Olongapo City and neighboring Subic Zambales have declared state of calamity with officials there calling it the worst flooding they have ever seen. Further down in Dinalupihan as you enter, waters have reached chest-level causing residents to evacuate. About 20,000 residents have been affected throughout the province of Bataan. Majority of them come from Hermosa town which is passed Dinalupihan. 23 barangays there are submerged. In Abucay, another town nearby, 8 more towns are flooded.
Residents say they often experience flooding here every year actually, but this year, water levels are particularly surprising. As you can see over here to my left, some of the small house here, some stores, waters have already entered them. There are no residents or people inside. They have all been evacuated. It's night time now, you cannot see but further down there are only roofs that are visible which means the complete structures and buildings are actually fully submerged.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler, Bataan.
Story 4: 2 NAPOLES NGOs GOT P95M IN ONE DAY
Two non-governmental organizations allegedly set up by Janet Lim Napoles got P95 million from the Malampaya Fund in just one day.
Tanglaw sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc and Saganang Buhay Sa Atin Foundation Inc got 11 checks from the Department of Agrarian Reform or DAR on Dec 23, 2009, amounting to P52.5 million and P42.5 million.
Records show 42 checks with a total amount of P377.5 million were signed by then DAR acting finance chief Teresita Panlilio.
The money formed part of the P900 million Malampaya Fund allocation to the DAR intended to help farmers affected by successive typhoons.
In an anomalous set-up, the money went directly to the NGOs, following a Memorandum of Agreement signed by then DAR Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Narciso Nieto and the supposed local government units that were recipients of the funds.
For more than 2 years, the alleged misuse of the P900-million Malampaya Fund channeled to DAR remained under the radar.
But in March 2012, current DAR chief Virgilio delos Reyes directed officers to validate complaints after his office received letters from local government officials who said they did not get funds from the department.
Seeing a pattern in the reports from the field, delos Reyes ordered an internal audit in late 2012.
In the Malampaya Fund, about 10 Napoles-linked NGOs were involved in channeling the money.
Among the NGOs, Gintong Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc and Karangyaan Para sa Magbubukid Foundation Inc got the largest amount at P82.5 million each, followed by Saganang Buhay sa Atin Foundation Inc, with P80 million and Ginintuang Alay sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc with P77.5 million.
Story 5: 'NOT GUILTY' PLEA ENTERED FOR NAPOLES
Alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Napoles faces a Makati court Monday for arraignment in her serious illegal detention case.
But as Bea Cupin tells us, she refuses to enter a plea.
Under the protection of over a hundred government security men, Janet Lim Napoles steps out into the public eye for the first time after surrendering.
The alleged brains behind the pork barrel scam, Napoles left her detention facility in Laguna to attend her arraignment before a Makati court.
Napoles faces serious illegal detention charges, along with her brother Reynald Lim.
Handcuffed, wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet, Napoles arrives at at the sala of Judge Elmo Alameda.
Napoles is silent during her arraignment. She does not enter a plea.
LORNA KAPUNAN, NAPOLES' LAWYER: Ang nakalagay sa batas natin, sa Rule 116 ng Rules of Court, kung ang akusado ay ayaw mag-enter ng plea, ang korte mismo ang magsasabi ng not guilty plea. So sa arraignment ngayon, ang inenter na plea ni Judge natin ay not guilty si Mrs. Napoles sa charge ng serious illegal detention. (Under Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the accused refuses to enter a plea, the court itself will enter a "not guilty" plea. Judge Alameda entered a "not guilty" plea for Mrs. Napoles in the charge of serious illegal detention.)
After a series of motions from her camp, Napoles is finally arraigned.
Thirty minutes after entering the judge’s sala, she is whisked back to Laguna.
Her lawyers say they want future hearings to be conducted in Laguna.
They claim the route to Makati is too dangerous.
The case involves very powerful people whom her lawyers say would become "better off if Janet is silenced" with the filing of plunder charges before the Ombudsman.
LORNA KAPUNAN, NAPOLES' LAWYER: Versus one judge going to the fort and a whole convoy of security, CIDG... naintindihan naman ni Judge at sabi niya sa susunod na hearing ay mag-file ng motion na i-address sa Supreme Court ang Mrs. Napoles para palitan yung venue. (Versus one judge going to Fort Sto Domingo and a whole convoy of security... Judge Alameda understands [the logistical concerns] and he told us that in the next hearing, we should file a motion asking the Supreme Court to change the venue of the hearing.)
On Friday, September 27, Judge Alameda will hear Napoles' motion for bail.
LORNA KAPUNAN, NAPOLES' LAWYER: Sinabi ng judge kung totoo nga na ready ang prosecution, dapat ibigay na nila yung listahan ng kanilang mga witnesses. Eight daw yung witnesses nila versus yung 17 namin... (Judge Alameda said that if the prosecution is really ready, they should submit names of their witnesses. They have 8 witnesses, while we have 17.)
Convoys, bullet proof vests, and media frenzies.
All eyes are still on the pork barrel queen -- the woman who triggered the nation’s collective anger.
Watchdogs say they’re ready for the long haul.
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila.
Story 6: GIGI REYES: 'NOTHING WORSE THAN BETRAYAL' BY ENRILE
The former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile says she was betrayed by the senator’s camp.
Gigi Reyes was reported to have signed endorsement letters for Napoles-linked NGOs now tagged in the multi-billion-peso scam.
Reyes is among the 38 individuals charged in the controversy.
In a Facebook post Saturday, Reyes writes, “The worst blow has just been dealt upon me…Nothing can be worse than this kind of travesty and betrayal.”
Reyes resigned in January after the Senate fund scandal involving Enrile.
She says a certain lawyer, Enrique dela Cruz, told media Enrile did not authorize her to sign pork barrel documents for NGOs on his behalf.
She says Dela Cruz also said Enrile's office was investigating her, and that she, not the senator, will be held liable.
On Monday, Enrile responds to Reyes’ statement.
JUAN PONCE ENRILE, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I am not out to betray any of my people. I’ve never been known for that...I will not discuss my case if you don’t mind. You wait until I face [it], you see me in the court room.
Story 7 : PNP: MNLF MEMBERS 'REPEATEDLY' TRIED TO SURRENDER
Police interrogation of Moro National Liberation Front fighters in government custody shows they "repeatedly" tried to surrender in the early stages of the standoff but "attempts" to contact government officials "failed."
According to a police report released Sunday, the Yakan group tried to state its opposition to the actions of MNLF commander Habier Malik.
Region 9 police spokesman Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca tells Rappler this was the result of police interrogation of MNLF fighters who surrendered.
Rappler earlier reported about 70 to 80 MNLF members, mostly from the Yakan tribe based in Basilan, surrendered in Sta Barbara on September 12.
They waited the entire night for their surrender to be processed by the Crisis Management Committee, but the committee later denied reports of the surrender.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also denied a surrender took place.
But Rappler stands by its story.
According to the police report, those who surrendered admitted they initially engaged government troops before later deciding to surrender.
Story 8: REBELLION CHARGES READIED VS MISUARI
The Justice Department prepares rebellion charges against MNLF founder Nur Misuari over the violent standoff between government troops and rebels in Zamboanga City.
Regional state prosecutor Peter Medalle says the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has witnesses who can testify against Misuari.
It's not the first time Misuari was involved in rebellion charges.
He faced the same charge in 2001 after his supporters launched a deadly attack against a police station in Sulu.
President Benigno Aquino says many of the MNLF fighters who surrendered claimed they were misled.
He says Misuari cannot claim the government has been ignoring him, adding several plebiscites were held for provinces to decide whether or not they want the autonomous region.
BENIGNO AQUINO III, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Misuari is supposed to have said he wants another plebiscite and he wants a provisional government. Yung plebiscite, we've had 2. One during my mother's term, the other one in 2001 on which provinces wanted to join ARMM or the Autonomous Region. In both instances, the total of 5 who have opted to join and the rest, his so-called 13, the 8 have refused to join. So will a third plebiscite change that condition? If the end point for him to be satisfied is to get all 13 under a regional government of which he will head, how can I force that on anybody?
Story 9: MNLF TO FILE COUNTER-CHARGES VS GOV'T
The MNLF says it will file counter-charges against the Philippine government over the Zamboanga crisis.
On Monday, the MNLF’s Absalom Cerveza says Misuari’s group will also sue the government for damages in the conflict.
Misuari’s lawyer in Manila, Rexie Bugaring, says the group will sue the government using the laws of the Bangsamoro Republik, whose independence Misuari declared in August.
The Aquino administration refuses to recognize this, saying there is only one government.
MNLF spokesperson Emmanuel Fontanilla says the government’s move to file charges against Misuari is not productive.
He adds, “The government is pushing the other party to the extreme…If the government will not the allow the MNLF to play in the political arena, what will be the alternative now?”
The Zamboanga conflict has dragged on for two weeks now, killing over 100 people and displacing 100,000 residents.
Story 10: CLOSE TO 2,000 FAMILIES DISPLACED IN COTABATO FIGHTING
At least 1,800 families leave their villages in Midsayap, North Cotabato, while 15 civilians remain trapped after gun battles between government troops and members of the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF.
The BIFF attacked three Barangays in Midsayap early Monday morning.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso of the 6th infantry division says at least one member of government security forces was reported dead.
Hermoso says civilians also saw four BIFF members killed.
BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama claims responsibility for the attack, saying he already warned the government and residents about it.
Story 11: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gets a landslide victory in the polls for guiding Europe's top economy unharmed through the debt crisis.
Voters kick her pro-business junior partner, the Free Democrats, out of parliament for the first time since their founding after World War II.
Merkel's victory means she nearly became the only chancellor to win an absolute majority since Konrad Adenauer, 56 years ago.
At number 6, Kenyan troops corner Somali militants holding hostages inside a Nairobi shopping mall in a terrifying siege that left at least 69 people dead.
Witnesses recount scenes of horror as masked gunmen toss grenades and spray automatic gunfire in the September 21 attack.
And at number 8, video game "Grand Theft Auto V" rakes in more than a billion dollars in a record-shattering first 3 days on the streets.
Take-Two Interactive Software says the blistering pace of the game’s sales is the fastest for any entertainment property, including video games and feature films.
Play in Grand Theft Auto games has included simulated sex with prostitutes and drunken driving.
Reviewers say the latest version has more of the same, along with profanity-packed dialogue.
Story 12: 'BREAKING BAD' AMONG BIG WINNERS IN EMMYS 2013
Cult crime show "Breaking Bad" wins the best drama award at the 65th Primetime Emmy awards in Los Angeles.
It was a success for the critically-acclaimed show, which airs its series finale next week after 5 seasons.
‘Breaking Bad’ has been nominated for the top prize 3 times before.
There was disappointment for political drama “House of Cards,” which aimed to become the first online-only series to win in major categories, but only took home a prize for best directing for David Fincher.
Story 13: PH+SOCIALGOODSUMMIT: DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
Rappler kicks off Social Good Summit 2013 with a conference in Manila. Experts, government officials, and volunteers come together to discuss disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
Carol Ramoran reports.
MARIA RESSA, RAPPLER CEO: Hopefully by next year, we will come together to say we helped prevent the loss of life.
Disasters are a fact of life in the Philippines, taking lives and destroying property every year.
This year's Social Good Summit focused on how to mitigate the effects of disasters.
United Nations’ Country Director for the Philippines Toshihiro Tanaka says sharing helped Japan through one of its worst disasters — the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.
Live from Qatar, Digital Humanitarians’ Patrick Meier talks about crowd sourcing information during disasters.
PATRICK MEIER, DIGITAL HUMANITARIANS: Access to information is equally important as access to food, water, to shelter, and so on.
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa says mapping social networks helped track down terrorists.
In times of crisis, she says the internet shows how people tend to form information hubs.
MARIA RESSA, RAPPLER CEO: What is social media? It’s your physical social network on steroids. You just take your family and friends and get rid of boundaries of time and space, and that’s social media.
Google Product Manager Andrew McGlinchey says his company’s mission is to work with authoritative agencies to make critical information more accessible during disasters.
Climate Change Commission Secretary Lucille Sering says maps can help mitigate the problem predict risks.
LUCILLE SERING, CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION: I hope I didn't scare you, but I just wanted to let you know that there is really hope for our country.
The afternoon was for panel discussions and the entertaining yet very informative presentation of Albay Governor Joey Salceda about the constant hazard under his jurisdiction.
JOEY SALCEDA, ALBAY GOVERNOR: Hazards? Hindi ko naman mapaalis ang Mayon. Ang hazard, nagiging risk pag alam ng tao.
The event culminates with the launching of Project Agos — Rappler’s initiative that brings together the public and private sectors to improve disaster risk reduction strategies.
VOLTAIRE TUPAZ, RAPPLER: Think of Project Agos as a reservoir of government [and] private sector efforts...enhanced by social media, by big data. In other words, by you, the people.
It's basically a platform that gathers and maps information during disasters through texts, tweets, and posts on social media through a unified hashtag and a number that you can text for free. In 2 to 6 months, Rappler and its partners aim to have Project Agos up and running.
CAROL RAMORAN, REPORTING: The Manila Social Good Summit ended with a performance from Up Dharma Down and a call to action; urging Filipinos to volunteer, and in their own little way, become a hero. Carol Ramoran, Rappler Manila.
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|