Hello, Rappler readers!
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte puts a bounty on the head of each Abu Sayyaf terrorist who escaped the clash in Bohol, while also issuing an executive order that removes the authority of the defense secretary to sign contracts. The Philippine Competition Commission warns that the days of unscrutinized deals among big business is over, as it asks the Supreme Court to allow the review of PLDT and Globe's buyout of San Miguel Corporation's telecommunications assets. These and more in the stories in the Philippines and around the world you shouldn't miss.
P1M for arrest of each Abu Sayyaf in Bohol clash – Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to give P1 million as reward for the apprehension, "dead or alive," of each Abu Sayyaf member behind the foiled terror attack in Bohol. He was in the Central Visayas province on Wednesday, April 20, to attend a security briefing. Some of the ASEAN 2017 Summit events will be held in Bohol this week. The President said He said 6 Abu Sayyaf members are thought to have escaped during a clash between government forces and their group on April 11.
Duterte removes defense chief's authority to sign contracts
President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order removing the authority of the defense chief to sign defense contracts. Executive Order Number 18, released on Monday, April 17, intends to "streamline" rules and procedures governing defense contracts entered into by the Philippine government. It repeals EO 235, signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003. Duterte blamed EO 235 for "bureaucratic impediments and unnecessary delays" in the procurement process at the defense department.
Public bus that led to 30 deaths was overloaded, local police say
The public transport bus that figured in one of the deadliest crashes in the country so far, this year, was overloaded. The Leomarick Trans minibus carried 77 passengers, far more than its 45-person capacity, Senior Superintendent Antonio Yarra, Nueva Ecija police chief, said on Wednesday, April 19, a day after the vehicle fell into a ravine in Nueva Ecija, leading to over 30 deaths.
PH competition body asks High Court to let it probe San Miguel telecoms buyout deal
The Philippine Competition Commission has asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunction on the review of the P69.1-billion San Miguel Corporation telecommunications buyout deal, and to prevent parties from further implementing terms of the deal. The Court of Appeals Special 12th Division earlier denied the petition of the PCC to investigate PLDT Incorporated and Globe Telecom Incorporated’s buyout deal of the telecommunication assets of SMC. “Through this petition, we also would like to send a strong message to consumers and businesses that the PCC – as the country's primary competition authority – will not back down…or be intimidated by companies who have grown accustomed to unregulated business practices that hamper competition and ultimately hurt consumers,” said PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan.
Is moderate Islam under threat? Jakarta governor loses in polls to hardliners' bet
Jakarta's Christian governor on Wednesday, April 19, has lost heavily to a Muslim former government minister, private polls indicated, after a divisive battle that has damaged Indonesia's reputation as a bastion of tolerant Islam. Surveys showed Anies Baswedan winning by over 10 percentage points against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok. The former was accused of pandering to hardliners to win votes, while the incumbent stood trial for blasphemy. Official results are not expected until early May but the private pollsters, who count a sample of votes, are usually accurate.
Filipino singer not allowed to sing in Filipino in, well, a Philippine mall
Singer-songwriter and Sponge Cola vocalist Yael Yuzon resorted to translating his band's song "Jeepney" at the LG G6 launch at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall last Tuesday, April 18, after he was reportedly told by SM Megamall management that he was not allowed to play Filipino songs at the event. "Technically, I'm not allowed to speak in Filipino," Yuzon told the crowd at the launch, "so I'm going to translate this song for you." Yuzon likened the experience to an "obstacle course," telling his audience he was translating on the spot. The SM management said, "Yes, we do encourage global language in the mall," but vowed to look into the incident.