Rappler Newscast | October 28, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- At least 22 people killed in election-related incidents in the barangay polls.
- Delayed precinct openings and violence raise tension in the future Bangsamoro entity.
- A new report says the NSA tracked 60.5 million calls in Spain in a single month.
Story 1: OVER 6,000 BARANGAYS UNDER PNP POLL WATCH
Filipinos troop to polling precincts Monday to vote for their officials in the 2013 barangay elections.
The Philippine National Police says election day was --quote-- “generally peaceful,” although there is a rise in the number of poll-related deaths during the campaign period.
64 cases of election-related violence are recorded nationwide: at least 22 killed, 27 wounded, 7 unharmed, and 8 missing.
The number of those killed this year is higher than the 15 recorded in the 2010 barangay polls.
Police also identify some 6,216 barangays as priority areas.
Many of these barangays are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.
Some 490 barangays in ARMM are found to have intense political rivalry and cases of election-related violence.
More than 800,000 candidates are running for barangay posts nationwide.
More than 54 million voters were expected to participate in the polls.
While villages are the smallest government units, they are hotly contested because they serve as the connection for major political parties to widen their support base.
The Commission on Elections and a poll watchdog reports at least 30 incidents related to the elections.
These include reports of ballot box snatching, delays in the opening of polling centers, disruptions in police operations, and physical harm on individuals.
Story 2: BARANGAY POLLS 2013
Here's a quick wrap of the news from today’s barangay polls from around the Philippines.
Delayed precinct openings and incidents of violence raise tension in the future Bangsamoro political entity on the last barangay polls before the creation of the new Bangsamoro in 2015.
The military reports at least 11 incidents of violence in 4 ARMM provinces.
The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front are finalizing a peace deal that will usher in the creation of a new Bangsamoro entity.
The goal is to create the Bangsamoro by 2015 so the new entity can elect their new leaders in the 2016 presidential and local polls.
In North Cotabato, at least 14 barangays in Pikit town fail to open the polling precincts on time.
An army officer says the Board of Election Tellers of the 14 barangays wanted to hold polls elsewhere.
BETs in 2 of the 14 barangays eventually agreed to report to the designated voting areas.
Also in Pikit, the military reports a 6 am strafing incident in the vicinity of Barangay Macasendeg.
A similar incident happened Sunday night. Initial reports show candidates are involved, supposedly to block voters from proceeding to voting centers.
In Maguindanao, the military reports "sporadic gunfires" at Sitio Lakpan in Barangay Cabayuan of the town of Buldon.
An army spokesman says high-powered firearms were used in an attempt to block the delivery of ballot boxes to Poblacion Buldon.
In Davao del Sur, voters decide whether they are for or against the creation of the province of Davao Occidental.
The proposed province will include the towns of Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos, Malita, Sarangani and Sta Maria.
The current province of Davao del Sur, which has two legislative districts, will be reduced to one legislative district with 9 municipalities and 1 city.
In Digos City, Barangay tanod Larry Remios is killed after armed men opened fire at a village hall, a day before the barangay polls.
Unknown men also attempted to burn a public school in Digos City Sunday evening.
In Negros Occidental, two people are killed in a shooting incident in Toboso.
Leony Belleza and Brian Bacordo died after they were shot, allegedly by a candidate for barangay captain and his companions in Sitio Kinalumasan, Barangay Poblacion.
And in Luzon, polls in the main island of Calayan in Cagayan are rescheduled to October 30 after bad weather delays the delivery of official ballots and other election materials.
Elections in the other 3 Calayan islands – Babuyan, Camiguin and Dalupiri – will be on October 31.
Polls are also delayed in three barangays in Vinzons, Camarines Norte because of the late deployment of election materials.
Story 3: FAMILY, FRIENDS CONTENT FOR BRGY POSTS
Over 800,000 candidates vie for positions in the Philippines' most basic political unit – the barangay. Here, friends, family, and neighbors are pitted against each other.
Bea Cupin reports.
Emotional and deeply personal — it's how many officials describe the barangay elections. Five months after the 2013 midterm polls, Filipinos once again head out to vote. This time, for barangay captains and members of the barangay council.
RICOJUDGE ECHIVERRI, LIGA NG MGA BARANGAY PRESIDENT: Compared to national and local elections which is wider in scope, the barangay is smaller and it's really personal because the people involved are magkakapit-bahay and relatives at the same time.
Violence becomes part of the dynamics in an election that pit friends and family against each other.
Since the campaign period started, at least 64 election-related incidents have been tagged by police.
At least 22 people died from election-related violence, a figure higher than the 2010 barangay elections.
Comelec says they expect more electoral protests to come, especially in barangays where rivalries run deep.
But the problems aren't just about political conflict.
It's the way the country runs elections.
70-year-old Lucila Savilla is having a tough time making it up a flight of stairs at the Morning Breeze Elementary School in Caloocan City, where over 10,000 voters are registered.
There is no special polling area for persons with disabilities or senior citizens in the school.
LUCILA SAVILLA, CALOOCAN VOTER: Nahirapan talaga ako, ang sakit kasi ng paa ko, hindi na ako naka-inom ng gamot, nagboto na ako. (It’s hard because my leg hurts. I wasn’t able to drink my medicine because I wanted to vote early.)
Forbes Park is one of the more affluent barangays in the country.
It’s easy for PWDs and senior citizens to vote here.
An air-conditioned pavillion awaits the barangay’s 4,000 or so voters, over 60% percent of whom are among household staff in Forbes.
Board of election tellers and canvassers expect a swift canvassing of votes – the barangay captain candidate runs unopposed and only 11 are vying for 7 barangay council slots.
The Commission on Elections has to deal with a P400 million shortage in funds, for the deputization of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces, and teachers who serve as Board of Election Tellers.
But political rivalry is the last thing on Lucila's mind.
She just wants a barangay captain the community can count on.
LUCILA SAVILLA, CALOOCAN VOTER: Para makatulong sa gusto kong kapitan, sa gusto nating mayor... kung sino ang gusto natin na nakakatulong sa atin. Eh di tutulungan rin natin, diba? ([I vote] because I want to help the barangay captain, the mayor who I want. They are able to help us. So we should help them too.)
Barangay politics is extremely up close and personal. Still, the core issue is the candidate's ability to serve.
BEA CUPIN, REPORTING: By days' end, the Philippine's basic unit of politics will have new leaders at their helms. Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila.
Story 4: DID VOTERS DELIVER? VOTE BUYERS ASK FOR SELFIES
The Commission on Elections discovers a new way to cheat in manual elections: taking selfies.
Hours after the polls opened on Monday, Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes launches a fight against taking selfies at polling precincts apparently because the act was linked to a new vote-buying scheme.
In an interview with GMA News TV, Brillantes says vote buyers required voters to take photos of themselves and their ballots to show that they delivered.
In past elections, taking of pictures inside the polling centers were prohibited.
Story 5: DATA PRIVACY MAIN ISSUE IN 2013 IGF FORUM
Questions on data privacy dominate this year’s Internet Governance Forum in Indonesia, raising questions on the moral authority of China and the United States following allegations of spying.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
It’s a unique venue for a unique forum.
Over 2,000 delegates from all over the world head to Bali, Indonesia for the United Nations’ 8th Internet Governance Forum.
It’s the first time the forum is held in Southeast Asia, but revelations of mass surveillance in the US and Europe steal the show.
US officials are on the defensive over allegations the US spied on its own citizens and world leaders.
Activists question the moral authority of America and China as they point fingers at each other’s spying.
MICHAEL HARRIS, HEAD OF ADVOCACY, INDEX ON CENSORSHIP: It’s incredibly depressing watching the Chinese lecture the US government on mass surveillance. It’s an incredibly depressing sight to watch when we’ve got the major leading nations of the world all engaging in gross systematic mass surveillance.
Human rights groups also call out companies like Google for collecting and handing over user data to governments.
But business and aid organizations say there are benefits in using big data to solve problems like disease and hunger.
For civil society groups, the danger to privacy and free expression must not be overlooked.
ALEXANDRINE PIRLOT, PRIVACY INTERNATIONAL: Your data that is online in different sources: Facebook, Twitter, your mobile contacts if you do online payments, shopping on Amazon, eBay, all this information with the way technology is being deployed, has the capacity to aggregate all this data to create a profile about yourself.
Civil society groups cite best practices in digital activism like Filipino netizens’ successful pushback against the cybercrime law.
VIRAT BHATIA, INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: We’ve had very frank, honest dialogue, direct criticism and some reasonable defense so you know the truth lies in the middle. The trust needs to be rebuilt together in an inclusive dialogue for institutions.
All parties agree to work together to ensure that issues like surveillance do not undermine the Internet’s power.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: The Snowden revelations raise new challenges for the different players in cyberspace. For governments and companies, a challenge to be more accountable in their use of big data, and for civil society and ordinary Internet users, to make a stronger push for the protection of their rights. But the bigger challenge is how to translate this discussion to concrete policy changes in the regional and national levels. They all agree that the work is just starting and the conversation in the post-Snowden era has only just begun.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Bali, Indonesia.
Story 6: NSA 'TRACKED 60 MILLION CALLS IN SPAIN IN A MONTH'
A Spanish newspaper reports the US National Security Agency or NSA tracked 60.5 million phone calls in Spain in a single month.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo publishes a classified graph of 30 days of telephone call tracing.
The NSA reportedly tracked the origin, destination and duration of telephone calls – a criminal offense in Spain without the proper legal authority – but not the content.
This comes following a series of new allegations the US spied on France and Germany.
Story 7: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 3, High-ranking German officials will meet with the White House and the National Security Agency this week over allegations US intelligence tapped the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel earlier told US President Barack Obama that spying would be a "breach of trust" between international partners.
A German newspaper reports the US has been bugging Merkel’s phone since 2002, when she was not yet Germany's chancellor.
At number 6, Syria hands over a detailed plan to destroy its chemical stockpile, following a US-Russian deal last month that headed off military strikes on Syria.
The agreement gives Syria up to mid-2014 to destroy its chemical arsenal.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime already handed over an inventory of its chemical weapons, and international inspectors are already inspecting and destroying them.
And at number 10, American singer-songwriter Lou Reed died October 27 of complications following a liver transplant. He was 71.
Viewed by many as the godfather of punk, Reed forged a new cultural universe with his art house band the Velvet Underground.
He became rock’s most famous chronicler of city life, and had an indelible influence on generations of rock bands like REM, Nirvana and Sonic Youth.
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|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista|