Dear Rappler Reader,
Puerto Rico's Stephanie del Valle won this year's Miss World crown. Meanwhile, Philippine bet Catriona Gray finished in the top 5 of the competition which was held at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, USA.
In the Philippines, a new survey shows that most Filipinos are worried that they, or someone they know, will be victims of extrajudicial killings. Lawmakers have called on President Duterte to disclose the status of his health after he revealed that he has been using fentanyl, a powerful drug often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments. An Ayala-led group becomes the 3rd consortium to express interest in bidding for the proposed Manila airport upgrade. Meanwhile, the Philippine military says it has yet to receive reports of ISIS fighters arriving in the Philippines.
Elsewhere in the world, the electoral college is set to select Donald Trump as the next US president. Finally, despite resistance from Russia, the UN Security Council is set to vote on a French proposal to send observers to the Syrian city of Aleppo to monitor evacuations and report on the protection of civilians.
Here's the list of stories you should not miss this Monday.
New poll shows most Filipinos fear death by summary killings
While many Filipinos support President Rodrigo Duterte's war on illegal drugs, most of them also fear that they, or someone they know, will be victims of extrajudicial killings. A new Social Weather Stations survey, first published on BusinessWorld, found that 78% of respondents were worried they could be the next victims (45% "very worried," 33% "somewhat worried). Of the respondents, 10% were "not too worried" while 12% were "not worried at all." Filipinos still have trust issues with the Philippine National Police when it comes to their implementation of the anti-illegal drugs campaign, according to the survey.
Lawmakers to Duterte: disclose medical status
President Rodrigo Duterte's admission that he used a powerful painkiller has prompted concern about his health, with lawmakers urging him Sunday, December 18, to undergo a medical examination and disclose the results. Duterte on Monday, December 12, revealed that he used to take fentanyl, often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents. He however said his doctor made him stop using it on learning he was "abusing the drug" by using more than the prescribed patches.
Ayala-led group is 3rd consortium planning to bid for Manila airport upgrade
Ayala Corporation, the country's oldest conglomerate, formed a consortium with 3 foreign airline operators to bid for the P74.56-billion ($1.66-billion) deal to upgrade the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The consortium of Ayala will be battling with Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDC) – a firm built by taipans in 1993 during the term of then president Fidel Ramos. Aside from AEDC, Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and San Miguel Corporation have expressed intention to bid for the NAIA public-private partnership (PPP) deal as well.
PH military: no report of notorious ISIS fighter entering the country
Did ISIS fighters enter the Philippines to link up with local terrorist groups? Indonesian police claimed last week that Indonesian-born Islamic State (ISIS) fighter Bahrun Naim is already in the Philippines. But Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Año said they have yet to get any report of the ISIS fighter's presence in the country. If true, it will be the first confirmation of direct links between ISIS fighters and local terrorist groups.
Electoral College prepares to anoint Trump
The Electoral College, a peculiarly American institution charged with translating the wishes of American voters into reality, is set to select Donald Trump as the 45th US president today, December 19. Trump won a clear majority of electoral college votes – 306, with 270 needed for election – despite dramatically losing the popular vote to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump's fiercest critics may be dreaming of a last-minute revolt but this appears to have almost no chance of succeeding at this point. A requisite 37 Republican electors will need to abandon Trump for an upset to happen. To date, only one elector, Christopher Suprum of Texas, has publicly announced his intention to stage such a revolt.
UN Security Council to vote on Aleppo observers
The UN Security Council will vote 11 am New York City time (1600 GMT) of Sunday, December 18, on a French proposal to send observers to the flashpoint Syrian city of Aleppo to monitor evacuations and report on the protection of civilians, diplomats said. France circulated a draft text late Friday, December 16, stating that the council is "alarmed" by the worsening humanitarian crisis in Aleppo and by the fact that "tens of thousands of besieged Aleppo inhabitants" are in need of aid and evacuation. Russia, Syria's ally and a veto-wielding Security Council member, is expected to resist the resolution.
Puerto Rico's Stephanie del Valle wins Miss World 2016 crown
Puerto Rico's Stephanie del Valle is the new Miss World 2016! Miss World 2015, Spain's Mireia Lalaguna, crowned her successor on December 18 at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, USA. The Philippines' Catriona Gray won one of the pre-pageant challenges, Multimedia. Catriona was among the Top 5 finalists of the competition. Here's the link for the full list of winners.
Finally, watch our Christmas live jam featuring singers Jose Mari Chan, Noel Cabangon, Ryan Cayabyab , Rachel Alejandro and Nino Alejandro.