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UNTV underwater drone: A new first in Philippine broadcast

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – UNTV pioneered drone journalism in the Philippines in 2013 during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda.

Viewers were given a picture of the devastation in a different perspective uncommon to traditional news reporting.

Through the years, UNTV has shown the public the beauty of different places in the Philippines; the extent of damages brought about by illegal mining; the massive fires; the raging volcanoes and other important events in the country.

This year, UNTV has set another milestone in Philippine broadcast industry with the use of a Remotely-Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) drone.

This can be used in exploring the beauty of aquatic bodies and the problems that water creatures are suffering as a result of urbanization.

Such is the case in Manila Bay when UNTV explored its seabed to reveal the extent of the damage in its underwater environment.

During UNTV’s Digital Interactive Broadcast, the station’s drone journalism chief Argie Purisima described how the underwater drone struggled during its exploration in Manila Bay.

Ang makikita nyo po sa seabed is puro burak. Maraming mga basura. Katunayan nga, pag-ahon ng drone natin, lahat po ng elesi natin, itong tatlong elisi, punong puno ng basura. Puro mga plastic, (What you can see on the seabed is pure mud. A lot of trash. In fact, when the drone emerged, all its blades were tangled with trash, plastic trash,)Purisima said.

UNTV’s underwater ROV drone can go up to 150 feet underwater.

In Manila Bay, it was able to reach 10-feet deep but the environment was already zero visibility.

Mayroon diyan kuha akala mo corals, parang corals na mga basura. Then iyong iba, burak talaga (In one shot, it looked like corals, corals made of trash. The rest was mud),” he added.

UNTV drone journalism is the brainchild of the company’s
chief executive officer (CEO), Daniel Razon who has contributed a number of innovations in the Philippine broadcast industry.

UNTV is proud to be the only TV station that was given three licenses by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in June 2015:

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Controller Certificate of Registration (license for drone pilots)   

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Certificate of Registration (license for drone units)    

*Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) Operator Certificate of Registration (company license)     

These certificates attest that all drone units of UNTV are safe to use and can be used for commercial purposes like in news broadcasting. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Official count gives Widodo election victory in Indonesia

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Indonesian president Joko Widodo speaking during a field visit, interview with Widodo’s supporters | Courtesy: (c) 2019 Thomson Reuters

Incumbent President Joko Widodo won last month’s Indonesian election with 55.5 percent of votes against 44.5 percent for his challenger, retired General Prabowo Subianto, the election commission’s official count announced early on Tuesday (May 21).

“The valid ballots voted for presidential candidate number one, Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, is 68,650,239 or 44.5 percent of the total national votes,” said Commissioner Evi Novida Ginting of Indonesia’s National Election Commission.

The official result released by the General Election Commission (KPU) confirms unofficial counts by private pollsters of the April 17 election, giving Widodo a comfortable victory, though it could trigger a legal challenge and potential street protests after Prabowo claimed widespread cheating.

Widodo won with over 85 million of the total 154 million votes cast in the world’s third-largest democracy.

“The valid ballots voted for presidential candidate number one, Joko Widodo and Maruf Amin, is 85,607,362 or 55.5 percent of the total national votes,” Ginting said.

An election supervisory agency earlier on Monday (May 20) dismissed claims of systematic cheating because of a lack of evidence and independent observers and analysts have said the poll was free and fair.

The losing party can lodge a legal challenge at the constitutional court. Otherwise, the commission will officially declare the winner by May 28. (REUTERS)

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Ex-Ombudsman Morales temporarily held at HK airport

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
FILE PHOTO: Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

MANILA, Philippines – Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was temporarily held at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday (May 21).

According to Deputy Consul General Germinia Aguilar-Usudan, Morales arrived at 12:20 p.m. along with her family for a vacation.

Her family was allowed entry but the Hong Kong Immigration Officials stopped her and held her at the airport.

With assistance from Philippine Consulate officials, Morales was allowed entry at around 3:00 p.m but she decided to just take a flight back to the Philippines.

Aguilar-Usudan said, however, they were not informed of the exact reason why Morales was held.

The former Ombudsman and her family will take Philippine Airlines flight PR307 to Manila.

In March, Morales along with former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, filed a complaint of crimes against humanity against Chinese President Xi Jinping at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for purportedly damaging the resources at the disputed territory in West Philippine Sea through China’s ongoing reclamation activities in the area. —Marje Pelayo (with details from Ferdie Petalio | UNTV Hong Kong)

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Blast hits tourist bus, injuring over 10 in Cairo

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

An explosion hit a tourist bus near Cairo, Egypt that left 10 people injured. | Image grabbed from Reuters footage

An explosion hit a tourist bus near the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday, injuring at least 10 people.

The blast occurred in the afternoon when the bus carrying 25 foreign tourists was hit by an explosive device near the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Some witnesses heard a huge sound at that time and state-run Nile TV said the blast shattered the glass windows of the bus and other nearby vehicles.

According to Egypt’s security department, the blast was caused by unknown explosive put outside the fence of the museum. Preliminary investigation shows that the blast was triggered by a remote-controlled device.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities said the blast didn’t cause damage to the museum, which is under repair and scheduled to open to the public next year.

As of now, no individual or organization has claimed responsibility for the blast. (REUTERS)

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