Today on Rappler.
Pope Francis as a head of state for the Vatican meets President Aquino in Malacanang Palace.
In his first speech in the Philippines, Pope Francis talks about corruption to the nation’s political leaders, some of whom are facing corruption charges.
POPE FRANCIS: As many voices in your nation have pointed out it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.
Earlier, President Benigno Aquino criticizes the ‘silence of the Church’ during the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo. He adds some members of the clergy seem to find fault in all he does, but says the Pope restored his faith.
BENIGNO AQUINO, PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT: Some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticize, even to the extent that one prelate admonished me to do something about my hair, as if it were a mortal sin.
Natashya Gutierrez reports on the Pope’s visit to Malacanang as the Vatican’s head of state.
A different side of the pope. This is what government officials see when Pope Francis comes to Malacañang as the head of state of the Vatican.
Pope Francis arrives in a black Volkswagen Touran and is greeted by President Benigno Aquino III.
Every single member of Aquino’s Cabinet is also present to welcome the pope as well as church officials.
The welcome ceremony is significantly more grand than others, compared to those accorded to the likes of US President Barack Obama.
The Pope is scheduled to walk around Kalayaan grounds where government workers wave Philippine and Vatican flags. But the Pope does not walk the whole scope of the red carpet as planned and heads straight to Malacanang. Along the way, he blesses children.
Inside, he has a one on one talk with the President before delivering a speech. Before government officials, church leaders and the diplomatic corps, he makes a strong statement warning against corruption.
POPE FRANCIS: As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good. Thus will they be able to marshall the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace."
He also hails the strength and cooperation showed by Filipinos after Typhoon Haiyan.
POPE FRANCIS: In a particular way, this visit is meant to express my closeness to our brothers and sisters who endured the suffering, loss and devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda. Together with many people throughout the world, I have admired the heroic strength, faith and resilience demonstrated by so many Filipinos in the face of this natural disaster, and so many others.
The Pope praises government efforts to bring peace to Mindanao as well, and highlights the need to keep families together.
As expected, the outspoken pontiff comments on state issues, taking on the role of diplomat.
As with his leadership of the church, Pope Francis as head of state is just as frank and just as effective in communicating his ideal vision of society.
Natashya Gutierrez, Rappler Manila
From the Diplomat, Pope Francis, with full pomp and circumstance, transforms into the leader of the Catholic Church at a Mass in Manila Cathedral. Speaking in English, the Argentinian Pope delivers his homily before priests, bishops and religious leaders. He begins with a quote from the Bible, in which Jesus asks Peter: “Do you love me?"
To the eager Filipinos, it sounded like a question.
POPE FRANCIS: Do you love me? Thank you!
Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters.
Then it was Pope as the leader of his flock - his theme of renewal, this time focused on the Filipino family.
Thousands of families welcome Pope Francis to the SM Mall of Asia Arena around 5:30 Friday.
Chosen delegates of Filipino families talk about poverty, migration, and disability – and how they stayed through prayer.
In a mix of Spanish and English the Pope tells the families to be careful of the “ideological colonization” that, in his words, “tries to destroy families.”
POPE FRANCIS: When you lose the capacity to dream, you lose the capacity to love. It is important to dream in a family. Please don't lose ability to dream in this way. Don't ever lose the illusion of when you were boyfriend or girlfriend. Remain together. That’s important.
The Pope is now the Philippines’ social media darling.
On Twitter, "Welcome to the Philippines Pope Francis" becomes the number 1 trending topic worldwide, with tweets, graphics, and video clips of his zucchetto blown away spreading like fire.
Filipinos online call the Pope “cute,” “huggable,” and “a child stuck in a pope's body.”
Pope Francis in his official Twitter account @Pontifex tweets in Filipino – “Ang Pilipinas ay patunay ng kabataan at kasiglahan ng Simbahan” or
“The Philippines bears witness to the youthfulness and vitality of the Church.”
Filipinos online praise the Pope. Many zero in on his message on corruption.
when he says “reject all forms of corruption that diverts resources from the poor.”
Many react negatively when President Aquino criticized the Church for its silence during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo.
@limbertqc says: Ironically, this morning @pontifex delivered a speech & @noynoyaquino gave a sermon.
@residentrebel says: in the spirit of mercy and compassion, i'll just think of President Aquino's speech this morning as "sorta inappropriate."
On Saturday, Pope Francis flies to Leyte - a packed day in Tacloban hard-hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda.
He leaves from Villamor Air Base at 8:15 AM.
He will celebrate Mass near the Tacloban airport at 10AM.
At 12:45 pm he will have lunch with typhoon survivors at the Archbishop's Residence in Palo, Leyte.
At 3 pm he will attend the blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo, Leyte.
At 3:30 he will meet with families who survived Haiyan and members of the clergy at the Palo Cathedral before leaving for Manila at 5PM
Tropical Storm Amang internationally known as Mekkhala is expected to hit the neighboring province of Samar Saturday night but state weather bureau PAGASA raises only Signal Number 1 on Leyte.
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In other news…
HK YOUTH LEADER ARRESTED
Hong Kong police arrest teenage pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong Friday.
the 18 year-old Wong says he was held for three hours on charges of calling for, inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly.
Three other student leaders face similar charges. All have been released.
AL QAEDA-ISIS RIVALRY
Terrorism experts say the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo puts jihadist group Al-Qaeda back in the saddle in its rivalry with ISIS or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks both at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket.
ISIS is an Al-Qaeda offshoot and is largely responsible for major jihadist attacks in the past year.
EBOLA ‘TIPPING POINT’
The United Nations says the Ebola crisis already "passed the tipping point.”
UN Ebola coordinator David Nabarro says there is a chance the deadly outbreak could end quickly.
Nabarro shows data from the World Health Organization where three of the hardest-hit countries in West Africa –Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – registered the lowest weekly tally of new cases in months.
More than 8,400 people died since the Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.
JOKOWI’S 1ST CRISIS
Barely seven months in office Indonesian president Joko Widodo or Jokowi faces his first major political crisis.
Jokowi is under fire for nominating Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan as the next chief of the Indonesian National Police.
Gunawan on Tuesday was accused of accepting bribes from 2003-2006.
The move enraged anti-corruption activists and some loyal supporters causing the hashtag #ShameOnYouJokowi to trend on Twitter Thursday.
GOODBYE GOOGLE GLASS?
Google halts sales of wearable device Glass.
The internet-linked eyewear was on sale as part of an “explorer” program, retailing for $1,500 apiece.
But Google adds, the technology will be available in a future consumer product. – Rappler.com
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