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From the Newsrooms: Filipinos caught in battle between Israel and Palestine; Rodrigo Duterte resurfaces to defend daughter’s confidential funds

WAR HAS as soon as once more led native newscasts and captured entrance web page headlines as Israel countered the October 7 brutal assault of the militant Hamas whose fighters and bombs killed principally civilians, taking the aged and kids as hostages. From Gaza, Hamas breached Israel by land, air and sea operations on October 7.

International media famous that the Hamas assault was carried out 50 years and someday after the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel declared conflict on October 8, retaliating with aerial munitions. Israel’s siege trapped Gaza residents who’re operating low on meals, water and important provides. Medical personnel nonetheless working within the space are calling for humanitarian corridors to be opened for protected passage of two million civilians.

Much of native protection relied on wire reviews containing reactions from world leaders, briefings and statements of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Some reporters interviewed abroad Filipino employees (OFWs) in Israel, who readily recounted to reporters what it was like to stay within the space amidst the assaults. Many of them stated they weren’t keen to depart Israel over fears of dropping their supply of revenue, and the shortage of job prospects as soon as they return to the nation.

Meanwhile, the DFA confirmed that as of October 13, three OFWs in Israel have been killed within the assaults, all of them healthcare employees. The DFA has not ordered a compulsory repatriation for Filipinos in Israel, however has acquired 22 requests. For Gaza, the DFA raised Alert Level 4 on October 15, making repatriation necessary for the 131 Filipinos residing there – most of whom the company stated are spouses of Palestinians. Philippine authorities assured readiness to assist, however clarified they’re ready for humanitarian corridors to open.

News protection of the battle has been usually parochial with headlines on variety of Filpinos within the battle zone. TV5’s Frontline Tonight explainer in Filipino was a surprising feat in presenting the lengthy historical past of the territory as residence to completely different peoples, together with its contentious occupation in latest historical past. So far, specialists quoted within the news say that the impression of the conflict on Philippine financial system and remittances is minimal at this level.

The longstanding battle between Israel and Palestine should encourage media to report extra on the inherent instability of the Middle East that might trigger the outbreak of a conflict on many fronts. Few reviews touched on the specter of wider battle. Nor have news targeted on the failed mechanisms and initiatives that have been being pursued earlier than the Hamas assault.

There just isn’t a lot to anticipate from the Philippine press by way of wider protection. Philippine newsrooms have lengthy given up doing worldwide news on their very own.

Mr. Duterte defends Sara

Media didn’t say it, nevertheless it was like his journey to China yet again: former President Rodrigo Duterte made a shock public look on October 10 to defend the confidential funds of his daughter, Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte. Frontline Pilipinas and 24 Oras aired clips of his interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on SMNI, throughout which he claimed his daughter supposed to make use of the funds for “preparatory military training.” But Duterte stated he suggested his daughter to inform critics as an alternative that the cash shall be used towards “communists in Congress,” naming as first goal Rep. France Castro who led with the primary inquiries to open up dialogue of the vice chairman’s secret funds.

Reports additionally carried the previous president’s different accusations that the House has its personal confidential funds, and that Speaker Martin Romualdez is main assaults towards his daughter and paying off different representatives with pork barrel.

Still within the SMNI interview, Duterte known as Congress the “most rotten institution,” which the chamber didn’t take flippantly. In a transfer described as “rare” and “unprecedented” by news accounts, leaders of House political events issued final October 14 a press release calling out Duterte for his accusations and for threatening hurt to one in every of their very own. The House additionally stood by its resolution to strip Sara Duterte’s workplaces and some different civilian businesses of confidential funds, stressing it was in the very best curiosity of nationwide safety.

More information breaches

Following the September 22 PhilHealth information leak, news accounts reported this week official confirmations that the Philippine Statistics Authority, Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine National Police additionally suffered cybersecurity breaches. All three workplaces stated the breaches have been “limited” and that no “sensitive information” was leaked. On October 15, media additionally reported that the web site of the House of Representatives was defaced, with a bunch known as “3musketeerz” taking credit score for the hacking.

How ought to the federal government reply to the string of cybersecurity failures? A report from news.ABS-CBN.com cited the advice of Dominic Ligot, founding father of Data Ethics PH that the nation be proactive and maintain drills for cyberattacks, and make investments not simply in software program however in tech specialists. Referring to a examine by IBM, the news report famous that in 2021, the Philippines solely had 202 cybersecurity professionals with Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications-considered the gold-standard within the trade. In comparability, Singapore had 2,804 CISSP holders that very same 12 months. The Philippine determine was additionally considerably decrease than that of India, Japan and China.

That was news for a lot of working journalists.