#ThewRap: Things you need to know, August 5, 2016

Hello! As we approach the weekend, here's the news round-up for this Friday.

Hello Rappler readers,

Because it says it has no jurisdiction over the cases of key leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the High Court has denied the request of the Duterte administration to allow them to participate in the peace talks scheduled in Oslo later this month.

The administration itself has been busy with its all-out war on drugs, with the latest target being Leyte town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr and his son Kerwin. Strange twist? The PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa offers his home to save on lodging expenses. The business world is also rocked by the President after he warns miners, loggers, and oligarchs that their days are numbered. And in other news, Fil-Japanese Kodo Nakano gets to join the Philippine team for the Rio Olympics. Will being No. 13 turn out to be lucky for him?

Here are the big stories you shouldn’t miss.

SC: No to release of CPP leaders for peace talks 

Not everything granted. The Supreme Court thumbed down the Duterte administration’s plea to temporarily release Communist Party of the Philippines leader Benito Tiamzon and 10 others to allow them to join peace talks in Oslo scheduled later this month. Reason: it has no jurisdiction over pending criminal cases. But the High Court gave its approval to 3 rebel panel consultants being granted bail with conditions – Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and rebels Vicente Ladlad and Randall Echanis.

Special PNP ‘White House’ guest: Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr 

Be my guest. Philippine National Police chief Director General Roland dela Rosa would rather not shoulder hotel expenses of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr so he’s extended his home hospitality instead. The mayor surrendered to Dela Rosa on August 2 after President Rodrigo Duterte urged him and his son Kerwin, an alleged drug lord, to surrender within 24 hours. Unpalatable alternative? Be shot on sight if they resist arrest.

Bye-bye mining, logging? 

Sunset industries. That’s how President Rodrigo Duterte described mining and logging under his administration during the Mindanao Environment Summit held in Davao City on August 4. Often perceived as environmentally destructive, these two industries which have benefitted mostly “oligarchs” from “imperial Manila”, according to Duterte, are something the country can do away with.

Ongpin hastily resigns from PhilWeb 

After President Rodrigo Duterte publicly threatened to “destroy” oligarchs embedded in government, business tycoon Roberto Ongpin resigned as chairman and director of PhilWeb Corporation, a listed online gaming company. PhilWeb shares painfully spiraled downwards by 36.88%.

Don’t you dare ruin the Charter 

Typical Duterte style: he threatens in a humorous way lawmakers who bungle the job of drafting a new Constitution – if and when Congress is convened as a Constituent Assembly. Abuse the power and face closure, said Duterte, who clearly prefers a less expensive Constituent Assembly as a means of amending the charter. So to lawmakers: take your pick.

Harry Potter magic: record UK and US sales 

After its first release on July 31, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has sold more than 680,000 copies in Britain, where it is expected to make a splash as the “biggest book of the year”. The script of a two-part play tells the adult life story of Harry and his family. In the US and Canada, the screenplay sold more than two million copies in just the first two days.

Rio Olympics, here we come  

The 13th and last for the Rio Olympics. That’s Filipino-Japanese judoka Kodo Nakano. The 23-year-old athlete based in Japan will vie in the 81-kg class of the judo competitions on August 9. Nakano will have 4 days to get in fighting form, after battling jetlag too.

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