#ThewRap: Things you need to know, August 4, 2016

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, August 4, 2016
Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Thursday

Hello Rappler readers,

As we put together this list of things you should know about this Thursday, the Internet was abuzz with reports of the supposed appointment of dancer Mocha Uson as social media consultant at the Bureau of Customs

Uson, also a blogger with a sizeable following, supported President Rodrigo Duterte during the campaign. Two days before the reports came out, she had interviewed BOC chief Nicanor Faeldon, who himself was only recently appointed to clean up what’s generally perceived to be one of the most corrupt agencies in the Philippines. Faeldon denied that Uson would be helping the agency in an official capacity, after a TV reporter supposedly took seriously his joke about Uson’s appointment.

So here are the big stories you shouldn’t miss.


Emirates plane crash-lands; fireman killed

An Emirates plane that came from India – Flight EK521 – crash-landed and caught fire in Dubai on August 3, causing a 4-hour shutdown of the busy airport. There are no fatalities among the 300 passengers, but one fireman died “while saving the lives of the others,” said Dubai’s top aviation official.


1 dead in knife attack at London’s Russel Square

A woman was killed and up to 6 other people were injured in a knife attack in London’s Russell Square late August 3 (August 4 in Manila). A statement from London’s Metropolitan Police said that a man has been arrested at the scene, and that “terrorism is one possibility being explored at this stage.”


Duterte on gov’t bidding rules: Lowest offer won’t necessarily bag contracts

DUTERTE'S DECLARATIONS. President Duterte speaks to soldiers at AFP Medical Center on August 2, 2016. Photo by Robinson Niñal/PPD

President Rodrigo Duterte has told state auditors that his administration would not necessarily award contracts to the lowest bidder, as it is “the source of corruption” in government procurement. The Government Procurement Reform Act might just give him a way to do it: 

After competitive bidding, government contracts are awarded to the qualified lowest bidder, except when seen as not favorable to the government. In such cases, the law allows other modes of procurement.


Destroy oligarchs? President wants to start with Roberto Ongpin

President Rodrigo Duterte singled out Filipino tycoon Roberto Ongpin as an example of the oligarchs his administration wants to do away with. He implied that Ongpin used his influence as a Marcos crony for his businesses. Ongpin was one of the 50 richest Filipinos in 2015 according to Forbes Magazine. That year, he supposedly boasted a net worth of $900 million. Two days earlier, the Court of Appeals stopped the Securities and Exchange Commission from enforcing its en banc decision on Ongpin’s insider trading case involving Philex Mining Corporation shares in 2009.


War on drugs: Also wanted in Cebu, Leyte mayor’s son won’t surrender

Kerwin Espinosa, whom his father confirmed is a drug lord, is also wanted in Cebu. He is, armed and dangerous and would not surrender peacefully, despite the appeals of his father, Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. The Espinosas’ relatives in Cebu have cautioned the government about targeting them by mere association with the suspects.


Stories: Real-time posts stay on Instagram for only 24 hours

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the Instagram team announced the launch of Instagram Stories. With this update, users will be able to shoot, edit, filter, draw on, add stickers to, and finally, post photos and videos that would only stay for 24 hours. Users can now just go on a posting spree without worrying about how it would affect your blog’s aesthetic or your followers’ feeds.


Indonesia’s farmer power: Australasia sued over oil spill

Some 13,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers launched a Aus$200 million class action on August 3 over a major oil spill in Australia, claiming the blow-out devastated their livelihoods. The spill in the Montara field in the Timor Sea, north of Australia, leaked thousands of barrels of oil for close to 10 weeks before it was capped. The case filed is filed with Sydney’s Federal Court  against the firm which operated the well-head platform, PTTEP Australasia.


Rappler #Balikbayan launches financial tutorials for OFWs

Balikbayan, Rappler’s section on issues affecting Filipinos abroad, has started its tutorial series to help overseas workers manage their hard-earned money. The series also aims to help their families back home be the OFWs’ partners on this front. Watch the episode #OFWTips: Getting out of bad debt.





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