#ThewRap: Things you need to know, November 18, 2016

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Friday.

Hello, Rappler readers! 

Former President Ferdinand Marcos will be buried at noon at the Heroes’ Cemetery today. If you’re surprised by this news, so is most of the country – the family and the government kept secret the date for the burial, and the preparations got frenzied only on Friday morning. 

On his way to the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Peru, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to follow the lead of his “idol” Russian President Vladimir Putin to leave the International Criminal Court. If the Philippines indeed pulls out, it will join the roster of other countries who have done so: Gambia, South Africa, and Burundi.

While Duterte’s gone, a person of interest was flown into Manila: alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, who was among the earliest named from the President’s drug list and whose mayor father was killed while inside a provincial jail in Leyte weeks ago. Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa said Kerwin is the “missing piece in the puzzle” as the authorities further map out their drug matrix.  

Meanwhile, here are the other big stories you shouldn’t miss: 


Low-profile preps: Marcos to be buried at LNBM today  

Former President Ferdinand Marcos is set to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani noontime Friday, November 18, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said. He said the police were only informed about the final schedule of the burial on Thursday night. The family of the dictator had kept quiet on plans for the burial since the Supreme Court decided on November 8 to allow a hero’s burial for him. 


Duterte threatens to pull out PH from ‘useless’ ICC 

President Rodrigo Duterte said he may just order the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, following the actions of his “idol” Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The International Criminal Court is useless,” Duterte said, expressing dissatisfaction over the tribunal’s failure to help small countries like the Philippines wracked with violence and injustices. His nemesis, Senator Leila de Lima, reminded the President that he cannot make such decision unilaterally – it will need the concurrence of the Senate


Ranking customs exec killed in ambush 

Art Lachica, the Bureau of Customs’ deputy commissioner for its Internal Administration Group, was killed in an ambush Thursday evening on España Boulevard in Manila. He sustained multiple gun shots to the chest but died in the hospital. Lachica was appointed to his post during the time of former BOC Commissioner John P. Sevilla, and is a holdover official from the Aquino administration.


Supreme Court aspirants: Their thoughts on major issues

The Judicial and Bar Council interviewed this week 10 aspirants for two seats about to be vacated at the Supreme Court. Here are the highlights from the public interviews.


PH calls off auction for South Line of North-South Railway

The Duterte administration has called off the public-private partnership auction for the South Line of the North-South Railway Project, and will instead finance the project through official development assistance either from China or Japan. “We will instead look for financing – either Japan or China. With the government, we can borrow with a lower cost. We don’t need return on investment,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno announced on the sidelines of the 22nd ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Pasay City.


US intelligence chief James Clapper resigns

United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he had submitted his resignation, stepping down as President-elect Donald Trump begins to assemble his new administration.Clapper, whose job is to coordinate the work of 17 disparate agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said resigning “felt pretty good” after 6 years in the job. In a Congressional hearing he made clear he was not available to stay on in the job after Trump takes office on January 20.


Leader of the free world: Obama passes torch to Merkel

United States President Barack Obama paid a farewell visit on Thursday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seen by some as the new standard bearer of liberal democracy since the election of Donald Trump. In a joint article to coincide with his arrival in Germany, Obama and Merkel appealed for ongoing cooperation on the basis of shared principles to fight climate change, ensure collective defense within NATO, and promote free trade. In a swat at the “America First” rhetoric favored by Trump, they wrote: “These values of democracy, justice and freedom form the foundation of our successful economies. We owe it to our industries and our peoples – indeed, to the global community – to broaden and deepen our cooperation.”