Dear Rappler reader,
August is known as the ghost month. Well, that’s one superstition that’s panning out for bad employers and miners, with President Rodrigo Duterte warning closure for businesses that contractualize and telling mining companies he doesn’t need the billions they funnel to the government. There’s also the President’s shoot-on-sight order for a suspected drug-dealing mayor and his son. And for Tokyo residents, they feel like the butt of a really tasteless joke: an app mistakenly warns of a 9.1 earthquake. But there are spots of sunshine despite cloudy skies courtesy of outgoing weather disturbance Carina: A muppet look-alike of the country’s top police chief makes its public debut. And Selena Gomez and His Airness are in town.
Below are the big stories we think you shouldn’t miss.
The first day of August was a busy day in Malacanang, with the oath-taking of appointees including the recently resigned and controversial appointee Mark Villar. President Rodrigo Duterte warned companies he would be “unforgiving” to those who continue to practice contractualization. He said, “You will not only lose your money, you will lose your pants. I have no tolerance for this.” He also said he still hopes peace talks between the Philippine government and the Left would push through two days after suspending the unilateral ceasefire with communists. After that, reporters were surprised when President Rodrigo Duterte ended a boycott he earlier declared on press conferences and went on to answer questions.
President Duterte issued an ultimatum to the Philippine mining industry. In Monday’s oathtaking, he said, “I can forego the P40 billion I collect from you guys and the Filipinos will survive without you.” Duterte also came to the defense of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez who has closed down at least 6 mining sites in her month in office.
Of course, there’s got to be a shock-and-awe statement from the President, right? He didn’t disappoint, when he told law enforcers to “shoot on sight” the mayor of Albuera town in Leyte and his son, if the two did not surrender within 24 hours. The two are linked to drug trafficking. Fast-forward to Tuesday. The mayor does the sensible thing and surrenders.
But it’s not all warnings and shoot-to-kill orders, the government introduced its newest mascot in its campaign against illegal drugs: P01 Bato, a deadringer muppet of Director General Ronald dela Rosa. There’s also a muppet of President Duterte and a comic book. But seriously, there’s a cheap rehab proposal in congress filed by a and ex-drug-addict turned congressman. Talk about a subject matter expert.
There may be a lot of talk about changing the country’s Constitution but nearly half of Filipinos say they oppose it, that’s according to a Monday survey. Add to that the debate over HOW to go about Cha-cha, and it’s looking like a slow, ardous dance. Is it going to be through a Con-Con (Constitutional Convention), Con-Com (Constitutional Commission) or Con-Ass (Constitutional Assembly)? While congressmen back charter change through Con-Ass, senators are torn between this mode and Con-Con.
Artificial intelligence turning against man is a favorite plot of science fiction. Here’s a preview of what rogue technology can do. An erroneous warning of a 9.1 earthquake about to strike Tokyo was issued by Japan’s weather agency and quickly cancelled on Monday, causing panic among smartphone users. “I prepared to die,” read a tweet in Japanese from one user. But there’s another ripple of concern on technology, one that’s very real. How do businesses navigate this rapidly evolving landscape? Marketing strategist Simon Kemp said there are 5 things marketers should know about the future of their profession.
No matter how old basketball legend Michael Jordan gets, it’s always a bad idea to bet against him. Kids in a basketball training camp learned that the hard way. The other thrill for the first day of August: Selena Gomez’ first Manila concert where she “created electric moments that all concertgoers seek.”
After author JK Rowling said “we’re done with Harry”, the 8th Harry Potter story, Cursed Child becomes all the more endearing to fans worldwide. It follows the story of the boy wizard 19 years after the fall of Voldermort and introduces his son, Albus Severus, who is burdened by his father’s legacy. Here are 10 things you need to know about the last installment (play/book).