Rappler Newscast | September 18, 2014
Today on Rappler.
- Vice President Jejomar Binay answers critics accusing him of pocketing kickbacks.
- Senator Drilon says the Senate has “no time” to discuss the possibility of President Aquino’s second term.
- Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom.
VP BINAY: ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ME CAN'T STAND IN COURT
Facing a plunder case and a Senate probe, Vice President Jejomar Binay says the allegations against him won’t stand in court.
Political rivals and former Makati City employees accused the Binay family of corruption, accusing them of earning from overpriced buildings, various city projects, and cakes for senior citizens.
In a 15-minute address, Binay says claims that he got kickbacks from city projects when he was still Makati mayor are all based on "hearsay" and are not backed by evidence.
JEJOMAR BINAY, PHILIPPINE VICE PRESIDENT: Wala ni isa sa pinangangalandakan nilang testimonya ang tatayo sa isang hukuman ng batas. At dahil hindi tatayo sa hukuman ng batas, ipinalalabas na lang nila sa mala-circus na pagdinig sa Senado. (None of their testimonies will stand in court. Because of that, they are just airing it in circus-like hearings in the Senate.)
He also says the alleged overpriced Makati City hall building, the subject of a Senate hearing, should be compared to other government buildings, like the Iloilo International Convention Center.
But the bulk of Binay's speech was on his apparent campaign platform for the presidency in 2016.
JEJOMAR BINAY, PHILIPPINE VICE PRESIDENT: Ang laban na hinaharap ko ngayon ay hindi lamang laban ni Jojo Binay, ito ay laban para sa bayan. Ito ay laban para sa sambayanang Pilipino. Bugbugin man at laitin tayo kaliwa't kanan, babangon tayo at lalaban. Mga kababayan, Ito naman ang panata ko po sa inyo: Kung paano ko ibinuhos ang kaalaman na tiyakin na ang mga tiga-Makati ay magiging kasalo sa pag-unlad, iyan din ang patuloy kong ginawa bilang inyong halal na pangalawang pangulo ng ating bansa. Walang atrasan, lalaban tayo para gumanda at guminhawa ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino. (The struggle I face is not only that of Jojo Binay’s – it is for the nation. It is for the Filipino people. We may be beaten up, taunted left and right, but we will rise and fight. My countrymen, this I promise: How I applied what I know to steer Makati to prosperity, I will do as Vice President. There’s no backing down, we will fight to improve the lives of every Filipino.)
DRILON: 'NO TIME' TO TACKLE AQUINO'S 2ND TERM
Senate President Frank Drilon says senators have “no time” to discuss the possibility of a constitutional amendment to allow President Benigno Aquino to seek a second term.
In a radio interview Wednesday, Drilon says 3 proposed measures 'will occupy the calendar of the Senate' until the end of 2014.
These include the Bangsamoro Basic Law, the proposed emergency powers for the President, and the national budget for 2015.
On Monday, Aquino told reporters it is possible for him to seek a second term even if it is banned by the Constitution.
Aquino's critics and even a number of allies thumbed down the President’s proposal for a second term.
PALACE ON DAP: UP TO LAWMAKERS TO EXPLAIN PROJECTS
Malacañang Palace says it is up to legislators to explain how funds were used.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte on Thursday says the executive would not compel lawmakers as they -quote- “still belong to an independent branch of government.”
The list includes DAP allotments to senators Miriam Santiago and Bongbong Marcos, names absent from the earlier version.
In the past, senators said they asked for funds for projects but were not aware it came from DAP.
Malacañang’s statement comes after the Budget Department or DBM publicly released a detailed list of Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP projects Wednesday.
Critics earlier criticized the DBM for the “sanitation” of the DAP list that Budget Secretary Butch Abad submitted to the House of Representatives, saying the information on the list was incomplete.
The DAP was a special spending program under the Aquino administration meant to stimulate economic growth.
Implemented from 2011 to 2013, it realigned unused government funds to high-priority projects.
The administration has been under fire for the DAP after the Supreme Court declared parts of the DAP unconstitutional.
SENATE PASSES BILL TO EXTEND CARPER DEADLINE
On its third and final reading, the Senate passes an amendment to the agrarian reform law allowing the government to continue covering lands for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries until 2016.
It’s now up to the House of Representatives to pass their version of the bill, certified urgent by President Aquino.
But Akbayan party-list Representative Walden Bello says the House bill has not been scheduled for second reading.
Once the law is enacted, the agrarian reform department will have another two years to cover more land, and start the process of distributing it to farmers.
POST-HAIYAN INTERNATIONAL AID
The aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan started a massive reconstruction effort, but Brad Mellicker of the International Organization for Migration says it’s important to focus now on climate change adaptation.
Mellicker asks: Are stronger typhoons like Haiyan the new normal?
He says governments should do more to prepare for these disasters.
BRAD MELLICKER, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: One of the primary objectives that we have going forward is to support the Filipino government and the people frankly in what we call climate change adaptation, the term used more often is, is this the "new normal?" Is Yolanda the new normal? Now for me, it's probably, but could it get worse? So because of climate change, some of these factors are within the control of the Philippines, some are not. But what is there in the control of the Philippines is how you adapt, how you create resilient infrastructure, how you train and drill the population, how you aim to reduce environmental vulnerability, plant mangroves, create natural barriers, these need to be scaled up dramatically.
The strongest storm to ever hit land ravaged Tacloban City in Leyte, leaving millions without homes and livelihood.
Sean Ng, director of the Haiyan Response Program at World Vision, says it’s important for authorities and humanitarian agencies to intervene and help locals build back better in safer places.
SEAN NG, WORLD VISION: They are building back, but they're not necessarily building back better. Our job as agencies and what we've tried to do in our reconstruction programs is try to meet them on that trajectory, because if we for example if we were to go to someone and say we have this set of new materials and this is how you should build your house but if they've already reconstructed back, it's extremely unlikely they'll tear it down.
Nearly a year after the storm, the city is rebuilding itself, but more needs to be done.
Mellicker also says there’s a risk of a secondary disaster - after the damage left by the typhoon reduced the coping mechanisms of the local communities.
BRAD MELLICKER, INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION: I see two very very large challenges ahead. The first is the scale, the sheer size and scale of this emergency, the number of families who lost their house or whose houses were destroyed...The second is the risk of a secondary disaster, because of the extremely heightened vulnerability as a result of Yolanda, anything new that comes in, even at a lower level than Yolanda can cause extensive damage. The effect of Yolanda among many things was to reduce the coping mechanisms of the communities, because of the loss of resources, because of the loss of livelihood, of everyday life that existed prior to Yolanda.
DENIECE CORNEJO RELEASED ON BAIL
Model Deniece Cornejo, who was involved in the mauling of actor Vhong Navarro, is released on bail.
Cornejo is released from Camp Crame Thursday after her camp posted a bail of P500,000.
This comes after a Taguig court granted her motion to post bail in the illegal detention case filed by Navarro against her, businessman Cedric Lee, and Zimmer Raz.
Lee and Raz were freed Tuesday after posting bail of P500,000 each.
Navarro accused Lee's camp of mauling him in January.
The actor says he’s dismayed over the court’s decision.
Cornejo accused Navarro of raping her in January twice.
The justice department and the Taguig Prosecutor’s Office dismissed both complaints.
MARIO MAINTAINS STRENGTH, 4 AREAS UNDER SIGNAL NO. 2
State weather bureau PAGASA says Tropical Storm Mario, international name Fung-Wong, maintains its strength as it moves toward Northern Luzon.
As of 4 pm, the center of Mario is located at 576 km east of Infanta, Quezon.
The tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 65 km per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km per hour.
Storm signal number 2 is up over Cagayan, the Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, and Northern Isabela.
Signal number 1 is up over Catanduanes, the rest of Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte, and the Batanes Group of Islands.
The combined effect of the storm and the Southwest Monsoon will bring moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Central Visayas.
Mario is expected to be in the vicinity of Sta Ana, Cagayan by Friday afternoon.
PROJECT AGOS MICROSITE
Check out Rappler’s Project Agos microsite, a one-stop shop to help the public prepare better for disasters.
Project Agos aims to raise awareness on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management.
You can see what to do before, during and after natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.
POLLS OPEN IN SCOTLAND INDEPENDENCE VOTE
Scotland begins voting Thursday on whether to stay or leave the United Kingdom in a referendum that electrified the nation.
While the outcome looks too close to call, the pro-independence camp gets a surge of support in recent weeks.
On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron made a last-minute bid to convince Scots to vote in favor of staying, warning the break-up would be a "painful divorce" full of economic uncertainty.
If Scots vote "Yes," it would end a union dating back to 1707 and could force Cameron to resign.
About 4.3 million Scots are expected to be at the polls.
Undecided voters will be crucial, with opinion polls suggesting only a few points’ difference between the “Yes” and “No” camps.
Polls close 9pm or 6am Friday Manila time.
THE wRap: YOUR WORLD IN ONE READ
At number 5, Hundreds of Australian police conduct counter-terrorism raids across Sydney and Brisbane Thursday.
Those detained are suspected of links to jihadist group ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The operation comes barely a week after Australia raised its terror threat level to “high” as concerns grow over the return of militants from fighting in Iraq and Syria.
At number 8, The Philippines climbs 3 notches from 34th place to 31st in the latest FIBA Rankings.
It’s a welcome change, but Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes says he’s 'disappointed' and 'not happy' with it.
Reyes says he felt the Philippines should have overtaken longtime basketball rival South Korea after Gilas finished better in the recent FIBA tournaments.
South Korea rises to 27th, 4 notches higher.
And at number 10, A Chinese woman who sued an ex-boyfriend for --quote-- "violating her right to virginity" gets $5,000 in damages.
Shanghai media reports, the woman found out her boyfriend was already married and sued him for swindling her out of her virginity.
The two met online in 2009.
The man denies having sex with the woman.
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|