Rappler Newscast | August 15, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- Vice President Jejomar Binay says a politicized Charter Change is “destabilizing and divisive.”
- The Philippines’ new military chief wants to turn the Spratlys into a tourist site.
- In his final address, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono apologizes for his shortcomings as he says goodbye.
Story 1: BINAY CALLS CHA-CHA DIVISIVE, ROXAS OWNS UP TO 2ND TERM IDEA
A day after saying he respects the President’s position, Vice President Jejomar Binay now takes a stronger stance against proposals to change the political provisions of the Constitution.
President Benigno Aquino earlier said he is now open to changing the 1987 Constitution, a move that could allow him to run for a second term, possibly threatening Binay’s own presidential bid in 2016.
Aquino says he would – quote – “listen to his bosses” -- the Filipino people -- regarding the possibility of a second term.
But Binay says changing the political provisions of the Constitution would be – quote – “destabilizing and divisive.”
He adds, “To blur the delineation between selfish interest and public interest is dangerous and despotic.”
The Vice President also blames Aquino’s advisers for the proposal.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was the first to publicly propose lifting the President’s term limits.
Roxas is widely seen as the presidential bet of the ruling Liberal Party, but lags behind Binay in surveys.
In an interview with News5, Aquino said he began considering Charter change after the Supreme Court ruled against key acts under his administration’s spending program.
The President said it seems the judiciary is checking the executive and legislative branches “without restraint,” and is using its power more often.
But Binay opposes the idea of clipping the Supreme Court’s powers.
He says the Court’s power of judicial review is – quote – “the best safeguard against dictatorship in whatever form.”
After Aquino’s statements on charter change, Roxas admits he had floated the idea of Aquino running for a second term without consulting his party mates.
Roxas says he first brought up his “personal” view in an interview before Aquino’s controversial announcement.
Asked whether it was he who planted the seed in Aquino’s head, Roxas jokes, “Everything is blamed on me.”
Roxas did not answer when asked whether there was an actual move toward making possible a reelection for Aquino.
Amending the provision of the Constitution on reelection would require the vote of two-thirds of Congress.
Story 2: NFA CHIEF TENDERS COURTESY RESIGNATION
National Food Authority administrator Arthur Juan offers to resign following a rice trader's extortion allegations against him.
Rice trader Jomerito Soliman said Juan and his assistant tried to extort P15 million from him.
In exchange, Soliman said charges against him would be dropped and his warehouse, raided last month, would be reopened.
Soliman said the P15 million included a cut for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Kiko Pangilinan.
Juan denies the allegations.
Pangilinan says Juan, who is barely 2 months in office, was nominated by a search committee of management experts.
Story 3: 810 FILIPINOS FROM LIBYA TO ARRIVE IN PHILIPPINES
Up to 810 Filipinos from Libya will soon arrive in the Philippines after fleeing the strife-torn country.
The Philippine government earlier chartered a ship to bring Filipinos out of Libya and into Malta, where a flight will take them to Manila.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA says up to 1,625 Filipinos from Libya have returned to the Philippines.
Around 10,000 Filipinos still remain in the North African country on the brink of civil war.
Thousands refuse to leave, fearing joblessness back home.
The DFA says land evacuation will be the only option for the remaining Filipinos if they decide to head back home.
Story 4: WILL YOU PAY FOR A CRUISE OF SOUTH CHINA SEA ISLANDS?
Would you pay for an island cruise in disputed territory?
Philippine military chief General Gregorio Catapang shares his dream of turning the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea into a tourism destination.
Catapang wants a cruise ship to tour the islands near the disputed parts of the South China Sea and land on Pag-asa, an island part of the Palawan command area.
This comes as tensions with China continue to build up in disputed territories.
Catapang cites Palawan’s potential not only as a tourism destination, but also as a site rich in resources.
But his idea isn’t new.
Last year, CNN reported China is also planning sightseeing cruises to disputed islands.
Up to 6 Chinese coast guard ships are patrolling the South China Sea.
The Philippines protests the reclamation of Mabini or Johnson South Reef, which the military fears China will turn into a base.
The Philippines seeks regional support for its proposed Triple Action Plan that includes a moratorium on provocative actions -- a proposal China rejected.
Story 5: CHINA AIRLINE SUED FOR REJECTING HIV CARRIERS?
Two HIV-positive passengers and a friend are suing a Chinese airline for refusing to let them on board.
Spring Airlines barred the two passengers after they informed the staff of their status.
The Global Times reports, the two passengers and an HIV-negative companion were told their tickets had been cancelled.
All three sued the budget airline, accusing it of discrimination and demanding an apology and compensation of 48,999 yuan or about $8,000.
A Shenyang court accepted the case, making it the first lawsuit against an airline for discriminating against an HIV-positive person in China.
The airline’s president Wang Zhenghua blames the incident on staff anxiety, but also blames the passengers.
He says the firm would not deny HIV-positive travellers, as long as they did not make themselves --quote-- "overly noticeable" to avoid scaring other customers.
Story 6: IN FINAL ADDRESS, YUDHOYONO TOUTS ACHIEVEMENTS, APOLOGIZES
In his final state of the nation address, outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono trumpeted his administration's achievements, but also apologized for his shortcomings.
In a speech before Parliament, Yudhoyono touted how Indonesia became the 16th largest economy in the world and home to the largest middle class in Southeast Asia.
Under him, Indonesia’s economy stabilized and poverty rates declined.
But Yudhoyono leaves behind an unsustainable subsidy policy and a worrying budget deficit.
He also ends his term with members of his Democratic Party jailed over a massive corruption scandal.
Saying it was a "great honor" to lead Indonesia, a visibly emotional Yudhoyono also acknowledged his mistakes.
He says, "From the bottom of my heart, I ask forgiveness for all those shortcomings and oversights.
Although I always want to do my best, I am still human.”
Yudhoyono will step down on October 20 after 10 years in office and will be replaced by Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo.
Story 7: ISRAEL PREPARES 'LEGAL IRON DOME' DEFENSE AGAINST WAR CRIMES
Israel prepares what it calls a “legal Iron Dome” to defend itself against potential allegations of war crimes in Gaza.
For weeks, Israel has been locked in a tense conflict with jihadist militants from Gaza, launching strikes across the border and blocking Hamas rockets through its Iron Dome air defense system.
A United Nations committee is set to investigate – quote – “all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law” in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Investigators are due to present their findings in March 2015, but Israel denounced the head of the probe as anti-Israeli.
The Jewish state says it’s ready to face the legal battle, saying it has already prepared its own committee of military experts since its operation into Gaza started on July 8.
Story 8: PEACEFUL PROTEST IN 'WAR ZONE' US TOWN
US President Barack Obama urges an end to violence in the town of Ferguson in Missouri state Thursday night -- Friday morning in Manila.
The chaos in Ferguson’s St. Louis county comes after a police officer reportedly shot 18 year-old black teen Michael Brown last Saturday.
The local police continue to face criticism for refusing to name the officer who shot Brown.
Obama says local officials had a “a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death.”
The New York Times reports clashes between a mostly white police force and a predominantly African-American community of protesters, with the police threatening protesters with weapons and firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Obama denounces the actions of police and protesters.
On Thursday, Missouri’s governor Jay Nixon ordered the state highway patrol to take over security operations from local police.
Story 9: THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 7, A 17-year-old student in Malaysia faces a sedition investigation for clicking “Like” on a pro-Israel Facebook post.
The post had the words “I love Israel” and features a picture of the Israeli flag.
The teenager reportedly told police he only accidentally clicked the “Like” button.
Sedition can result in 3 years in jail in Malaysia.
Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel, but the Jewish state's policies toward the Palestinians are fiercely criticized by Malaysian Muslims.
The incident stokes public fears of mounting intolerance in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
At number 8, a plane carrying Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos crashes into houses in Santos, Brazil.
Campos and 6 others on board were killed.
He was flying to Sao Paulo to record a TV segment.
Campos is a 49-year-old socialist and a popular former governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco.
He had been running third in opinion polls for the October election.
President Dilma Rousseff, who is standing for a second 4-year term, declared a state of national mourning and suspended her campaign for 3 days.
And at number 9, Five years after his death, Michael Jackson is back with a new video that breaks new ground by premiering on Twitter.
Jackson’s estate and Epic Records decided to premiere an accompanying video of the song “A Place With No Name," written by the late King of Pop and released in May on his posthumous album XSCAPE.
The video features archival footage of a mid-career Jackson, dancing in a tight tank top against a black and white backdrop.
Jackson, who pioneered music videos in the 1980s, was an early enthusiast of matching videos to his songs.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
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|