#ThewRap: Things you need to know, November 16, 2016

Hello Rappler readers,

A top American commander just said "there has been no change in anything with the Philippines" even if President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly criticized US President Barack Obama.

Duterte, meanwhile, hosted dinner for journalists on Tuesday, November 15, where he spoke about US President-elect Donald Trump and illegal immigrants in the US, Senator Leila de Lima and Ronnie Dayan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier, he granted executive clemency to actor Robin Padilla.

On Wednesday, November 16, the House justice committee holds a hearing on the New Bilibid Prison riot (watch it live on Rappler). The Judicial and Bar Council is also interviewing candidates for Supreme Court associate justice (we have it live here).

Below are the big stories you shouldn't miss.


US-PH military cooperation 'intact'

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte's tirades against the US, a top American commander says their military relationship with the Philippines has not changed. But Harry Harris said there could be "a refocusing or a rescoping of some of the bigger exercises in 2017."

Duterte: Illegal immigrants face consequences under any admin

While President Duterte believes US President-elect Donald Trump will be "fair" in his treatment of illegal immigrants, the Philippine leader noted that "an illegal is always an illegal" – and could face consequences, regardless of who the US president is.

Where's Dayan? 'De Lima admission of affair not enough'

President Duterte said Senator Leila de Lima's admission that she had an affair with her former bodyguard and driver Ronnie Dayan isn't enough to prove she was involved in the drug trade. The President hopes Dayan is "still alive" as he's a "vital witness."

Robin Padilla gets executive clemency

President Duterte granted executive clemency to actor Robin Padilla, who was convicted of illegal gun possession back in 1994. Padilla can now apply for a US visa so he can visit his wife, Mariel Rodriguez, and their newborn girl.

100 feared dead in migrant boat tragedy

Yet another migrant boat tragedy hit the Mediterranean, this time involving around 100 people who are now feared dead. Very rough conditions are making it hard for rescuers to search for the victims.