Rappler Newscast | January 20, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Sen Bong Revilla accuses the administration of meddling in the trial of former Chief Justice Corona but is silent on key points on his alleged links to Janet Napoles.
- Malacanang denies President Aquino begged Revilla to vote for Corona’s conviction.
- US President Barack Obama clips the power of the National Security Agency but bulk data sweeps will be continued.
Story 1: REVILLA SLAMS AQUINO ADMIN IN 'PORK' SPEECH
Months after the pork barrel scam controversy erupted, Sen Bong Revilla is ready to talk.
He denies allegations he siphoned millions of pork barrel, and turns his sights on the administration, accusing the President of meddling in the trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
It’s an afternoon of heavy drama.
The entire Revilla clan shows up for a star-studded Senate opening.
Now showing is Senator Bong Revilla’s privilege speech, calling plunder allegations against him over the pork barrel scam a show of the Aquino administration.
He links the corruption scandal to the 2016 polls and the government’s alleged incompetence.
BONG REVILLA, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Nito lang, nabisto na substandard, overpriced, at di ayon sa specifications at building code ang mga itinatayong bunkhouses para sa mga biktima ng Yolanda. Mismong mga biktima, binibiktima pa. Anak ng Teteng, yan ba ang Daang Matuwid?! (Just recently, it’s been exposed that the bunkhouses being built for typhoon victims are substandard, overpriced, and non-compliant with specifications. They are already victims, they are victimized twice. Is that the straight and narrow path?)
The actor-politician comes prepared with an audio-visual presentation, including the controversial video of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ meeting with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
BONG REVILLA, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Nang tamaan ng bagyong Yolanda ang kabisayaan, ang tugon nila, bahala kayo sa buhay niyo! (When Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the Visayas, they said, ‘fend for yourselves.’)
But Revilla does not stop with Roxas.
He implicates President Aquino and Budget Secretary Butch Abad, saying they personally appealed to senators to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
He shows a photo he took of his VIP driver.
BONG REVILLA, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Nagulat ako nang sinabi sa akin ng Presidente… “Pare, parang awa mo na, Ibalato mo na sa akin ito. Kailangan siya ma-impeach.” (I was surprised when the President told me, “Friend, I appeal to you. Please give me this. He needs to be impeached.”) Pagkatapos noon, pinasakay ulit ako ni Sec. Mar Roxas sa kanyang itim na SUV, at inihatid niya ako sa isang restaurant sa labas ng Malacañang. Nag-aapura na daw itong si Sec. Boy Pick-up, at kaya naman pala ay may iba pa siyang pipick-upin. (After that, Sec Mar Roxas let me in his black SUV and took me to a restaurant near Malacañang. Sec ‘Boy pick-up’ said he was in a hurry. He had to pick up others.)
It’s not just Roxas who gets a Revilla nickname.
The senator also hits principal whistleblower Benhur Luy for admitting that he faked lawmakers’ signatures.
BONG REVILLA, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Sa makatuwid, eto palang si Benhur Luy ay si Boy Pirma. Ginoong Pangulo, kung ang mismong DBM nga may Boy Xerox na namemeke ng mga SARO, bakit napakahirap paniwalaan na dito sa PDAF ay mayroon namang Boy Pirma na namemeke ng pirma sa mga dokumento? Bakit pag lilinisin ang tauhan nila sa DBM, not guilty without thinking? Pero, kapag kalaban nila, no way? Oh no Mr. President, that’s very aBAD! (So Benhur Luy is Mr Signature. If the DBM has a Mr Xerox in the SARO scam, why is it so difficult to believe that there is a Mr Signature in the PDAF scam who forges signatures in documents? When it comes to defending their people at DBM, they’re already not guilty? But if the accused is from the opposing side, no way? Oh no Mr. President, that’s very aBAD!)
Revilla denies dealing with Napoles and her employees, saying his wealth came from his 30 years in show business.
He discredits the evidence against him by bringing in a special prop.
BONG REVILLA, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: To the pages... pakipasok nyo na ang trak ng ebidensiya…Ito po ang sinasabi nilang isang trak ng ebidensiya. Ito lang naman pala. Trak-trakan ng mga bata! (To the pages, bring in the truck of evidence! This is the truck of evidence they were talking about. Just this. A toy truck for kids!)
The once popular senator pleads to his fans and voters to believe him, saying he too wants justice.
AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: Boy Pick-up, Boy Pirma.
Revilla gives a mouthful on the politics and plot allegedly behind the scam.
But he is silent on many key questions.
How exactly did he know Napoles, and why did he confirm the authenticity of signatures, only to later deny they’re his?
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler.
Story 2: PALACE DENIES AQUINO BEGGED REVILLA TO VOTE VS CORONA
Malacanang confirms President Aquino met with Senator Revilla, but denies he asked the senator to vote for the conviction of former Chief Justice Corona.
In a press briefing, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma says the President met with Revilla to address reports the senators were being pressured by certain groups to influence the impeachment trial.
Coloma says Aquino asked Revilla to decide the case on its merits.
In a statement, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas also disputes Revilla’s account of the details of their meeting.
He tells the senator to face the accusations against him instead of diverting the issue.
Roxas says, “I understand why Sen Bong Revilla may be angry. He faces a difficult situation with witnesses and COA documents showing his connection to the Napoles scam. But diverting the issue, twisting the facts and fooling the people are not solutions.”
Story 3: DE LIMA, BALIGOD SLAM REVILLA'S PRIVILEGE SPEECH
Two lawyers dismiss Senator Revilla’s denial of his involvement in the pork barrel scam.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and prosecutor Levi Baligod hit Revilla’s speech, saying the senator belittled the evidence gathered by the Department of Justice or DOJ.
The DOJ filed plunder complaints against 38 individuals for their involvement in the pork barrel scam, including Revilla and 2 other senators.
De Lima says the DOJ has - quote - “boxes and boxes of evidence" and adds Revilla’s “strategy” was to insult the DOJ output.
During his speech, Revilla brought out a toy truck carrying documents, alluding to what he quotes as truckloads of evidence against him.
Baligod, the legal counsel of whistleblower Benhur Luy, says, “The speech was all for show. For showbiz, all fiction.”
Baligod adds Revilla initially denied knowing Napoles before photos and stories of their association came out.
Baligod also points out an important piece missing in the senator’s speech.
He says, “[Revilla] did not explain the misuse of his PDAF. That’s the missing element of his speech: Where did his PDAF go?”
Story 4: NETIZENS REACT TO REVILLA SPEECH
How did netizens react to Sen Revilla’s privilege speech? For most of them, it was an entertaining show.
The senator denies all allegations and hits the administration for what he calls political attacks against him.
Netizens were quick to weigh in on Revilla's speech -- most of the sentiments were negative.
Many netizens compared his speech to a show or film, while other sentiments on his speech range from apathy, cynicism to anger.
Others also think Revilla is trying to divert the issue by passing on the blame.
Twitter user Rae Emmanuel comments, “Digging skeletons. That is the tempo of Revilla's speech. Just like Enrile's and Jinggoy's.”
Story 5: AGATON WEAKENS, MINDANAO STILL ON ALERT
State weather bureau Pagasa says tropical depression Agaton weakens into a low pressure area late Monday.
In its 5pm update, Pagasa says the low pressure area is spotted 400 km southeast of Davao City.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says at least 42 people are killed, while 65 others are injured and 7 remain missing in Regions IX, X, XI, and CARAGA.
Agaton's strong winds and heavy rainfall affect more than 150,000 families across 15 provinces.
The tropical depression also cuts lifelines and blocks access points, leaving at least 50 roads and 25 bridges impassable.
The total cost of damage is pegged at P367.12 million.
Story 6: SURVEY SHOWS GLOOM IN DISASTER-HIT VISAYAS
A new Pulse Asia survey conducted from December 8 to 15 shows majority of Filipinos felt their quality of life got worse.
The December survey comes after a series of disasters hit the Philippines, including the October earthquake that devastated Bohol and Cebu and super typhoon Yolanda that flattened many towns and cities in November.
Asked to compare their situation in December 2013 to the last 12 months, 60% of respondents in the Visayas say their quality of life got worse.
It's a significant 22 percentage point increase from a survey in September.
29% say they observed "no change in their personal circumstances."
But 11% of respondents say their quality of life improved.
Pulled by the numbers in the Visayas, the nationwide survey shows a significant increase in Filipinos who said the quality of their lives got worse, from only 35% in the September survey to 43% in the December survey.
Story 7: OBAMA CLIPS NSA'S POWERS BUT BULK DATA COLLECTION TO CONTINUE
US President Barack Obama trims the powers of the National Security Agency or NSA by calling for new privacy safeguards, but retains the spy agency’s ability to collect phone data in bulk for anti-terror measures.
Obama also says he stopped the NSA’s taps on world leaders and proposed new protections for foreigners caught in US data collection programs.
BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENT: Given the unique power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say: Trust us, we won’t abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples when that trust has been breached. Our system of government is built on the premise that our liberty cannot depend on the good intentions of those in power; it depends on the law to constrain those in power.
The NSA is now only permitted to access call data from people at two degrees of separation from a terror suspect.
It used to go up to three degrees.
Obama’s proposals are seen as a compromise between the demands of civil rights advocates and the resistance of intelligence agents.
Story 8: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Thousands of domestic helpers protest in the streets of Hong Kong Sunday, demanding justice for an Indonesian maid allegedly tortured by her employers.
The 22-year-old maid is reported to have suffered 8 months of abuse.
She is in critical condition.
The protest raises concern about the treatment of domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
At number 8, Google unveils a prototype of smart contact lenses that help diabetics manage their glucose levels.
The contact lenses contain miniaturized chips and sensors that measure glucose levels in tears.
It’s an answer to the concern of the International Diabetes Federation, which says the world is --quote-- “losing the battle” against diabetes.
And at number 9, How about a Valentine’s date at the Vatican?
Pope Francis sets a date for engaged couples at a special general audience with him on Valentine’s Day.
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family is organizing the audience and participants must register by January 30 to get a spot.
Story 9: SHARAPOVA, WILLIAMS OUT OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova knocks third seed Maria Sharapova out of the Australian Open on Monday.
Sharapova crashes against the 20th seed in the fourth round.
She asked for medical timeout between the second and third sets.
It was the tournament’s second upset following Serena Williams’s loss to former world number one Ana Ivanovic on Sunday.
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|