Rappler Newscast | July 31, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- The government tells Filipinos “Leave Libya now” after the gang-rape of a Filipina nurse.
- Is the Philippines ready to deal with the Ebola virus?
- Turkish women turn to social media to protest an official’s call telling them not to laugh in public.
GET OUT OF LIBYA NOW, FILIPINOS URGED ANEW
The Philippines on Thursday tells Filipinos in Libya, get out now.
The sense of urgency goes up a notch after a Filipina nurse was kidnapped and gang-raped.
The Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA says 13,000 Filipinos in Libya will be repatriated…
as clashes continue between rival militias.
The DFA also confirms reports a Filipina nurse was kidnapped outside her home on Wednesday and gang-raped by six men.
A Filipino consular team took her to a hospital for treatment.
The Philippines ordered its nationals out of Libya on July 20, the same day the body of a beheaded Filipino construction worker was found at a hospital in the port of Benghazi.
Reports say the vehicle the Filipino was riding was stopped at a checkpoint.
He was allegedly singled out because he was non-Muslim.
Portugal, the Netherlands, Canada and Bulgaria are some of the countries that evacuated citizens or closed embassies in Tripoli.
ONA: PHILIPPINES READY FOR EBOLA
Is the Philippines ready to deal with the Ebola virus?
Fears that the epidemic could spread to other continents grow…
putting European and Asian countries on the alert.
On Thursday, Philippine Health Secretary Enrique Ona assures the Philippines can make an early diagnosis if the virus reaches the Philippines.
He says a kit to identify the virus is available.
If a Filipino is diagnosed, a laboratory test will be conducted, which the World Health Organization or WHO can validate.
The Ebola virus can be transmitted through bodily fluids.
It causes severe fever, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In some cases, it also causes organ failure and bleeding that won’t stop.
The virus can kill victims in just days.
The WHO says there are 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in the west African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
Philippine airports have thermal scanners to detect fever in arriving passengers.
Passengers are also asked to fill up a form to determine if they are coming from countries with the Ebola outbreak.
Hong Kong also announces quarantine measures for all travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia showing Ebola symptoms.
NANCY BINAY: AQUINO ENDORSEMENT ‘ICING’ ON VP’S 2016 BID
Senator Nancy Binay says her father Vice President Jejomar Binay is not asking for President Benigno Aquino’s endorsement for the 2016 presidential elections.
But she says, he won’t turn it down either.
In his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Aquino recalled the time he was ambushed in 1987 with Vice President Binay.
NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: The mere fact na my father was mentioned during the SONA… na hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin nakakalimutan ni presidente Aquino na during – I guess, yung darkest hour niya ang kasama niya ang ama ko.
(The mere fact that my father was mentioned during the SONA means President Aquino will never forget that during his darkest hour it was my father who was by his side.)
While Vice President Binay is already leading surveys for the 2016 polls…
his daughter says it will be “icing [on the cake]” if Aquino endorses him.
Observers point out Vice President Binay is in an “awkward” position politically.
He leads the opposition while openly saying he supports Aquino. He also sits in the President’s cabinet.
But the Binays have not ruled out a coalition with the administration.
Senator Binay says her family’s ties with the Aquino clan remain strong even if they are on opposite sides of the political fence.
NANCY BINAY, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Yung relasyon na Aquino-Binay, for us it goes beyond politics, eh. So kung magkaroon man ng difference pagdating sa mga polisiya, kumbaga trabaho lang yun, diba? But at the end of the day yung personal relationship namin will not get affected.
(The Aquino-Binay ties go beyond politics. Should there be any difference when it comes to policy-making, it’s all just work. At the end of the day, our personal relationship will not get affected.)
Vice President Binay was a supporter of the President’s late mother, Cory Aquino who appointed him mayor of Makati during her presidency.
The two were together in the anti-Marcos struggle.
POST-SONA ASSESSMENT: ‘PARTIAL INDICATORS’ OF PROGRESS
In his State of the Nation Address, President Aquino highlights significant gains in the Philippine economy under his watch.
From 27.9% during the first semester of 2012 the poverty rate went down to 24.9% in 2013 – a 3 percentage point improvement.
Aquino says this is equivalent to 2.5 million Filipinos crossing the poverty line.
But IBON Foundation's Jose Enrique Africa says, Aquino chose partial indicators that give the wrong impression of progress.
JOSE ENRIQUE AFRICA, IBON FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Supposedly there was a 3 percentage point improvement in poverty. Based on that little movement in the first semester of 2013, the President was confident to say categorically, 2.5 million people have been lifted out of poverty. It's a bit tricky because the poverty line of the government in the first semester of 2013 was P53.
P53 buys a kilo of rice, maybe 3 or 4 pieces of pandesal. So if the government is saying that for the price of 1 kilo of rice and a few pieces of pandesal you're no longer going to be poor, that's going to be problem.
Africa also hits the Aquino administration’s flagship poverty alleviation program: the conditional cash transfer or CCT a cash incentive program for poor households that requires recipients to send their children to school.
But Africa says the CCT is a short-term solution that fails to address the historical roots of poverty, like the inequities in political and economic power.
JOSE ENRIQUE AFRICA, IBON FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Okay siya as a palliative, but is poverty just about a sequence of palliatives? Is poverty reduction a series of charity and dole-out measures? It's not.
Asked about Aquino’s ‘big sin of omission’ in his administration’s fight against poverty, Africa says it’s agrarian reform.
Although he notes some gains in distributing land to farmer beneficiaries, Africa says the government should have mentioned the lack of support services to farmers.
JOSE ENRIQUE AFRICA, IBON FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: The government should also have mentioned that right now, 3 out of 4 agrarian reform beneficiaries are not able to pay for their land.
The countryside has the highest unemployment rates, has the worst poverty levels, has the most backward economic systems. Agrarian reform would've given the big push to actually start resolving that.
FOI, BANGSAMORO AMONG AQUINO'S PRIORITY BILLS
President Aquino didn’t mention the Freedom of Information or FOI bill in his State of the Nation Address but it's included as one of his priority bills.
On Wednesday, Malacanang submitted to the House of Representatives its list of priority legislation.
The list includes the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and the 2015 budget.
Also included is the supplemental budget for programs affected by the Supreme Court ruling on the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP.
The Court declared 3 schemes in the DAP unconstitutional.
25,000 STILL IN ZAMBO EVACUATION CENTERS
It’s been 10 months since the bloody siege in Zamboanga City, but more than 25,000 people remain in evacuation centers.
Thousands still await the government's promise to rebuild their homes destroyed in fires inside the combat zone.
A July 21 situationer reports most of the displaced have been living in bunkhouses and temporary shelters in the city grandstand.
Over 2,000 more families are temporarily renting houses or are staying with relatives.
Among them are hostages taken by followers of Moro National Liberation Front commander Habier Malik…
when they swooped into the coastal villages of Zamboanga City in September 2013.
The standoff with government forces lasted 20 days.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Aquino says those displaced by the siege will start moving into permanent houses in August.
But his promise is only for the 45 families in one subdivision.
The rest -- thousands more -- will have to wait for permanent houses until June 2015.
BLOODY MAYHEM AT GAZA MARKET AS ISRAEL OBSERVES 'LULL'
Three weeks of unrelenting Israeli strikes in Gaza push the death toll to 1,360.
At least 17 people were killed and 200 wounded in a packed Gaza market Wednesday.
The air raid came as Israel observed a four-hour humanitarian lull.
The rare pause in attacks was supposed to allow Gaza's battered population of 1.8 million to safely stock up on supplies…
and for medics to evacuate the dead and wounded.
But Israel says the truce does not apply to areas where troops were "currently operating."
The deadliest strike that day was at a school run by the United Nations in northern Gaza.
Israeli tank shells rammed into the school, killing 16.
Washington condemns the UN school attack even as it agrees to restock Israel's dwindling ammunition.
Israel is mobilizing 16,000 additional reservists Thursday to bolster its forces in the Gaza Strip.
THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
HOUSE VOTES TO SUE OBAMA
The US House of Representatives votes to sue President Barack Obama for allegedly overstepping his powers.
With a vote of 225 to 201, the Republican-dominated House votes to take Obama to court for not following the law while implementing his health reform bill, or "Obamacare.”
But Obama dismisses the suit, saying, "Instead of suing me for doing my job, I want Congress to do its job...
and make life a little better for the Americans who sent them there in the first place."
ASIAN COUNTRIES RUSH TO BUILD NEW AIRPORTS
From China and India to the Philippines and Indonesia…
the fast-growing middle class turns upwardly mobile,
leading to a boom in tourism in the Asia-Pacific.
As airlines set up budget carriers and fly new routes to accommodate the market, many airports are unable to cope, forcing governments to either expand or simply build new airports.
International tourist arrivals in Asia-Pacific grew an annual 6% to 248 million last year.
WHAT'S TO BLAME FOR SINGAPORE'S SUICIDAL YOUTH?
Singapore's youth suicide rate shows little sign of dropping in 2013.
Suicide prevention group Samaritans of Singapore says a widening "disconnect" with family members is to blame.
The group says 100 people below 30 years old committed suicide in 2013…
a small change from the 101 in 2012.
But it’s still nearly double the 58 people in 2011.
People under 30 account for an average 20% of those who committed suicide in the past decade.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
ORLANDO BLOOM TRIED TO PUNCH JUSTIN BIEBER, REPORTS SAY
Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom versus Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.
Entertainment site TMZ.com reports Bloom punched Bieber in a restaurant Wednesday.
A video shows Bieber’s bodyguard was able to deflect most of the blow.
US news sites report the fight was over Bloom’s ex-wife, supermodel Miranda Kerr.
Following the confrontation, Bieber posted a photo of a crying Bloom on Instagram.
The post gets 550 thousand likes in less than a day.
TURKISH WOMEN PROTEST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Turkey’s deputy prime minister Bülent Arinc draws flak for saying women should not laugh out loud in public.
During a post-Ramadan celebration Monday Arinc said “She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.”
This sparks outrage on social media.
Photos of Turkish women laughing make the rounds online…
using the hashtags #kahkaha or “laughter” and #direnkahkaha or “resist laughter.”
Newscast Production Staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Exxon Ruebe|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|Raffy de Guzman|