Rappler Newscast | May 21, 2012

Today on Rappler.

TRANQUIL SALVADOR: Ang mahirap syempre hindi katulad ng ibang testigo na pwede mong, 'O, ganito,' kasi abogado rin siya eh. Syempre hindi pwede mo sabihan ng ganoon ang Chief Justice.

Corona’s lawyers prepare for the defense of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
as he takes the witness stand in his impeachment trial Tuesday, May 22.
And they’re finding out, like the trial, their client is also sui generis - or a class of its own.
Last Sunday, Corona skipped a scheduled meeting with his counsels.
His lawyers say they expect a wide range of questions from senator judges.
Defense spokesperson Tranquil Salvador III says "The very moment he sits on the stand, we cannot control the range of questions."
The only preparations counsels are able to do now is to put together all possible issues, questions and topics they believe will be raised by senator-judges and give it to the Chief Justice for review -- for answers he seems to be preparing alone.
Salvador says this is because the Chief Justice “will not answer questions in our presence."
Defense Spokesperson Karen Jimeno adds, “We also don't know what the contents of his testimony will be."
Salvador also says “There will be no rehearsal, because the Chief Justice knows what a witness must do.”

Ang mahirap syempre hindi katulad ng ibang testigo na pwede mong, 'O, ganito,' kasi abogado rin siya eh… Syempre hindi pwede mo sabihan ng ganun ang Chief Justice.

"Siya lang and makapagsasabi kung anong gagawin niya. Kasi kami naman basta and mahalaga, binigyan na naming siya ng inputs namin… at bahala na siguro siya mag desisyon para sa sarili niya kung paano niya sasagutin at haharapin ang mga pwede mangyari habang nagtatanong and prosekusyon pati narin and mga senator-judges

Based on Corona’s past statements and analysts’ views...
Rappler put together a list of 10 things the Chief Justice may say on the witness stand.
We’ll discuss 5 now.
Number 1, 'I have neither 82 dollar accounts nor $12 million.'
Corona is expected to rebut the testimony of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
His spokespersons say he only has 3 to 4 foreign accounts, not 82.
Number 2. 'I’m not required to declare my foreign accounts.'
His lawyer Judd Roy says the chief magistrate is under no obligation to declare his dollar deposits...
insisting the Foreign Currency Deposit Act exempts public officials from disclosing foreign denominated accounts.
Roy says the grant of confidentiality is absolute.
Number 3. 'I cannot open my dollar accounts.'
Even though Corona promised to open his dollar accounts, Roy said 2 weeks ago in court “There is a very strong possibility that he will disclose everything.”
Lately though, Cuevas sounds hesitant to honor his client’s statement citing Corona’s petition asking the Supreme Court to stop the disclosure of his bank accounts.

Meron nga kaming petition sa Supreme Court e. Kung ganoon dinismiss na namin yun. (On dollar accounts) Hindi pa kami nagkakausap kung anong final decision niya dyan e.

Number 4. 'Morales’ testimony is inadmissible.’
The defense team rejects Morales’ testimony on grounds that she has no personal knowledge of the data from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Number 5. 'The money is not mine.'
The defense says that assuming but not conceding that the dollar accounts belong to Corona, there is an explanation for this.
Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra says, “Let’s say he admits he has 10 dollars. He can say it’s not mine.
He can say he is holding the money in trust for somebody.
Visit Rappler.com to read the full 10 list.
You can also see the full 22-page Ombudsman report on the site.

Some senator-judges see nothing wrong if indeed the Iglesia ni Cristo or the INC is lobbying for the acquittal of Renato Corona.
Senators Edgardo Angara, Bongbong Marcos, and Vicente "Tito" Sotto III say its normal for groups like the INC to engage in lobbying.
All of them deny they have been approached by the religious group.
An Inquirer report says INC is meeting with some senators to push for Corona's acquittal.

"I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong for constituents to talk because this is a representative government. Hindi ba ganyan ang konsepto ng ating demokrasya? The people are represented by representatives and also the people, through their organization, can talk to their representatives."

In a separate interview, Marcos echoes Angara's views.
He says "INC members are our friends. If there's someone who wants to talk to us, it's just natural for us to listen.”

President Benigno Aquino III met with Iglesia ni Cristo leader Eduardo "Eddie" Manalo Monday on the eve of Corona’s scheduled testimony before the impeachment court.
It was the President who asked for the "private meeting," which was held at the INC headquarters in Quezon City.
The meeting came a day after reports came out in the media about a supposed lobby by INC leaders for Corona’s acquital.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda adds, "we don't believe the INC is lobbying for Corona."
Lacierda  says the talks centered on the "burning issues of the day," admitting the President and the INC leader discussed the Corona trial.

Story 5: LADY GAGA
Lady Gaga’s two-day Manila concerts will go ahead as planned...
despite protests from Christian groups calling for a ban.
Conservative groups say her songs are blasphemous and promote immorality.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda says police authorities are ready to secure the concerts of Lady Gaga.
SM Mall of Asia officials also say they are ready for the thousands of Gaga-fans and even protesters.
It’s still unresolved whether Lady Gaga’s concert in Indonesia will push through amid threats from Muslim hardliners.

Story 6: FB STOCKS
Facebook limps into Monday trading on Wall Street after Friday’s lackluster IPO.
Second-guessing continues as analysts debate whether the leading social network's decision to price its initial public offering at $38 a share over-reached or was right on target.
Shares briefly climbed above $42 Friday before falling back down and finishing at $38.23 with the help of underwriting banks that put a floor under the stock.
Other analysts contend the cool response to the hotly anticipated IPO shows investors are gauging the social network's potential to turn its popularity into profit.
Market trackers report people are much more likely to click on ads at Google than at Facebook.

Story 7: THE wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today...
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.

At number 2, exactly who is Mrs. Zuckerberg?
The wedding of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Priscilla Chan put the spotlight on his college sweetheart.
Chan teaches 4th and 5th grade science in a school in San Jose, California after graduating from Harvard.
She recently finished medical school.
Her influence on Zuckerberg range from vegetarian dishes, Mandarin Chinese classes to the organ-donation initiative on Facebook.

At number 4, Thailand’s economy is up for a rebound after hitting the breaks due to the devastating 2011 floods. A boost in production and accelerated investment spending fueled a dramatic 11% growth in the country’s GDP in the first quarter of 2012.

At number 8, Bee Gees member Robin Gibb dies at age 62 after a protracted struggle with prostate cancer.
Gibb was behind 70’s disco hits Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever and Jive Talkin’. Social networking sites offer obituaries and expressions of gratitude.

And at number 10, are you a tourist in Asia looking for alternative beach spots?
Lonely planet lists 6 places in the Philippines you might want to visit. These are Dumaguete, El Nido, Boracay, Cebu, Pagudpud and Siargao.
Lonely Planet also mentions Baler, Anda, Coron, and Camiguin Island.


(Eclipse photo gallery runs.)

- Rappler.com