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The week in photos: May 19-25, 2018

May 26, 2018 - 2:59 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

In this photograph taken on May 21, 2018 an internally displaced Afghan child looks on from a windows in her temporary home at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Herat. / AFP PHOTO / HOSHANG HASHIMI

Duterte's joke to Navy: One day, Philippines will invade other nations

May 22, 2018 - 8:20 PM

With an improved naval force, 'maybe we can start invading other nations,' President Rodrigo Duterte tells the Philippine Navy during its anniversary

Iriga-Navy repels BaliPure, Tacloban rebounds

May 09, 2018 - 7:13 PM

Import Macy Ubben powers the Lady Oragons past the rookie-laden Water Defenders

HIT. Navy-Iriga’s Angela Kim scores against BaliPure import Alexis Matthews as teammate Lauren White and Joyme Cagande of the Water Defenders look on during their PVL clash. Photo from PVL

U.S. Navy reactivates its Atlantic 2nd Fleet

May 06, 2018 - 12:30 AM

'Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we're back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,' says Admiral John Richardson, chief of US Naval Operations

US BASE. This file image obtained from the US Navy shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (left) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer during a surface maneuvers exercise east of the Korean peninsula. Photo by Ryan Harper / US NAVY / AFP

'Sino'ng kalaban? Lumot?': Netizens react to Boracay threat simulations

Apr 24, 2018 - 2:50 PM

Filipinos online mock the security drills for potential terror attacks or hostage-taking incidents in Boracay, calling it 'overkill'

WATCH: Gov't simulates terror attack, hostage-taking in Boracay

Apr 24, 2018 - 12:21 PM

Inter-agency teams, led by the Philippine National Police, rehearse how they would respond to potential 'threats' during Boracay's closure

FACE OFF. Local police and protesters face head on in one of the simulations rehearsed at Boracay Island on April 24, 2018. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

China carries out aircraft carrier drills in Pacific as Taiwan tensions rise

Apr 21, 2018 - 9:46 PM

The exercises took place in an area east of the Bashi Channel, between Taiwan and the Philippines, says the Chinese navy

Navy seizes smuggled rice from foreign ship near Zamboanga Sibugay

Apr 15, 2018 - 11:05 PM

The cargo vessel carried 27,180 sacks of Vietnam rice worth P67.950 million, says the Philippine Navy

Photo from Naval Forces Western Mindanao

U.S., Australia, Japan navies sail in PH as China parades might

Apr 14, 2018 - 11:50 AM

US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Australian long range guided missile frigate HMAS Anzac, and Japanese destroyer JS Akizuki arrive in the Philippines for port visits as China holds a large naval parade in the South China Sea

RECEPTION. Ambassador Sung Kim holds a reception aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt for 300 guests on April 13, 2018

PH Navy approves design drawings for frigates project

Apr 08, 2018 - 9:50 AM

The Philippine Navy says the ceremonial steel cutting will likely happen in South Korea on April 30

SIGNING. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract with South Korean firm Heavy Hyundai Industries in October 2016. Photo from the HHI web site

Philippine Navy gets 3 more patrol planes from Japan

Mar 26, 2018 - 6:56 PM

The Beechcraft King Air TC-90 planes will fly for West Philippine Sea patrols and local disaster response missions

PATROL PLANES. The 3 TC-90 patrol planes are flown over the Philippine Naval Base in Sangley Point, Cavite City. Philippine Navy photo

PH not keen to buy more frigates, opts for smaller vessels

Mar 26, 2018 - 8:05 AM

'I think the two frigates from Hyundai will be the last in the near future,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

SECURITY BRIEFING. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana speaks at a forum hosted by the Foundation for Economic Freedom. Rappler photo

Navy frigates: Rejected Dutch supplier writes to Alejano

Mar 20, 2018 - 5:00 PM

Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano says the letter also confirms how Hyundai Heavy Industries employed the 'bait and switch' stratey to win the bid. It offered known and top caliber systems – including Tacticos – but later switched to cheaper systems.

IN PHOTOS: PH Navy finally retires World War 2 warship

Mar 17, 2018 - 3:31 PM

The BRP Rajah Humabon is a 75-year-old Cannon-class destroyer of the US Navy acquired by the Philippines in 1976

RETIRED. BRP Rajah Humabon served the Philippine Navy for 38 years

Duterte on ICC, CIDG on Kerwin Espinosa, Stephen Hawking dies | Evening wRap

Mar 14, 2018 - 9:35 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

It's final: PH Navy chief says Korean system to be installed in warships

Mar 14, 2018 - 2:20 PM

Philippine Navy chief Robert Empedrad tells the Commission on Appointments that the selection of Hanwha is a 'done deal'

CONFIRMED. Philippine Navy Chief Robert Empedrad (in dark uniform) gets the nod of the powerful Commission on Appointments. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Trump to meet Kim, Alejano on frigates deal, Uber and Grab | Midday wRap

Mar 09, 2018 - 12:59 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Alejano hits Lorenzana, Navy chief's 'change of tune' in frigates probe

Mar 08, 2018 - 6:55 PM

'Rather than clarifying the issue, what the recent House inquiry on the frigate project revealed is a change of tune,' says Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano

NAVY CHIEF. Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad, Flag Officer-in-Command of Philippine Navy testifies before members of the House Committee on National Defense and Security during a probe into the frigate acquisition deal. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Empedrad OK'd controversial provision in frigates deal

Mar 07, 2018 - 9:27 PM

New Philippine Navy chief Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad says it was a collegial decision of the Technical Working Group to give the shipbuilder 'sole right' to choose makers of the subsystems of the frigates

Resource person Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad, Flag Officer-in-Command of Philippine Navy testifies before members of the House Committee on National Defense and Security during Investigation over the ?16 Billion frigate deal on Wednesday. Photo by DARREN LANGIT

Mercado: Navy did not approve Hanwha Systems as 'substitute'

Mar 07, 2018 - 9:13 PM

Ousted Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado said it was the joint venture company Hanwha Thales that was subjected to post-qualification assessment before the contract was awarded to Hyundai Heavy Industries

Resource persons, relieve Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado testifies before members of the House Committeee on National Defense and Security during Investigation into the his relief over the ₱16B navy frigate deal on March 7, 2018. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Frigates deal pushing through; 1st delivery by 2020 – Lorenzana

Mar 07, 2018 - 6:46 PM

'There wasn’t a problem in the first place… it is continuing now [and] it will be delivered in 2020 and the next one, in 2021,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

DEFENSE SECRETARY. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. File photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Lorenzana: Frigates mess former Navy chief Mercado's fault

Mar 07, 2018 - 3:24 PM

The defense chief pins the blame on the Navy officer he sacked, insisting that Mercado did not follow the law, usurped powers, and failed to follow commands

Resource person DND Secretray Delfin Lorenzana testifies before members of the House Committeee on National Defense and Security during Investigation into the relief of Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado over the ₱16B navy frigate deal on March 7, 2018. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Senate probe exposes root of frigates deal mess

Feb 24, 2018 - 7:00 PM

(UPDATED) Senators fail to probe deeper into why the defense department and the Navy did not come to a compromise

PACKED ROOM. The Senate Session Hall was packed with supporters of Special Assistant to the President Christopher 'Bong' Go. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB

The week in photos: February 17-23, 2018

Feb 24, 2018 - 2:21 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

A cow is prepared for a photo shooting during the 45th edition of the Show of the Best" (Schau der Besten) dairy cow beauty pageant on February 22, 2018 in Verden an der Aller, northwestern Germany. / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Carmen Jaspersen / Germany OUT

5 nagging questions after the Senate frigates probe

Feb 22, 2018 - 9:19 PM

If the innocence of Bong Go depended on a vote among the warm bodies inside the Senate compound, he would have won hands down. But the probe failed to pursue questions that would have given more light on the frigates issue.

LOOK: Robin Padilla supports Bong Go at frigates hearing

Feb 20, 2018 - 2:44 PM

The actor attends the Special Assistant to the President's Senate hearing

Rappler's Pia Ranada barred from entering Malacañang Palace

Feb 20, 2018 - 11:24 AM

(4th UPDATE) The incident happens a day after the Senate hearing on the Navy frigates deal where Special Assistant to the President Bong Go accused Rappler of churning out 'fake news'

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 20, 2018

Feb 20, 2018 - 9:44 AM

Hi! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Tuesday

Lorenzana, Mercado support call to pay extra for preferred frigate system

Feb 19, 2018 - 9:05 PM

It would cost an additional $14 million to install the Combat Management System of Tacticos Thales in the two warships the Philippines is acquiring

Senate hearing on the controversial navy frigates deal on February 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Go on frigate deal, 2 MRT3 glitches on Monday, BIR on Sereno | Evening wRap

Feb 19, 2018 - 7:42 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Senators amp up praise for Bong Go during frigates hearing

Feb 19, 2018 - 5:45 PM

Several senators vouch for the innocence of President Rodrigo Duterte's closest aide

The Senate committee on National Defense and Security hearing on the controversial frigate deal on February 19, 2018. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB

WATCH: Bong Go takes selfie with Trillanes after Senate frigates probe

Feb 19, 2018 - 4:45 PM

The President's top aide and one of his fiercest critics pose for a photo after the hearing on the controversial frigates deal

Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

Korean firm still PH warship supplier despite bad record – Lorenzana

Feb 19, 2018 - 2:50 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says they did not know about the bribery allegations against Hyundai Heavy Industries when they signed a contract with the South Korean firm in October 2016

DND secretary Delfin Lorenzana attends the senate hearing on the controversial navy frigates deal on February 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on navy frigates deal

Feb 19, 2018 - 1:20 PM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

Some Bong Go supporters clueless about frigates controversy

Feb 19, 2018 - 12:45 PM

While Special Assistant to the President Bong Go attracts a large crowd of supporters at the Senate, some of them don't understand why Go was called to the hearing

Photo by Angie de Silva

Navy chief still wants proven technology over Korean system for warships

Feb 19, 2018 - 12:20 PM

'I'm still preferring Tacticos. However, the contract says it is the supplier (HHI) that will have sole decision on what system to put in our frigate,' says Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad

Navy officers attend the senate hearing on the controversial navy frigates deal on February 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Bong Go says his office 'endorsed' frigate supplier's complaint to DND

Feb 19, 2018 - 11:21 AM

Reports that claim his involvement in the warships deal are only meant to bring down the Duterte administration, says Special Assistant to the President Bong Go

Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go attends the senate hearing on the controversial navy frigates deal on February 19, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ousted Navy chief denies favoring supplier in frigates deal

Feb 19, 2018 - 10:47 AM

'HHI offered Thales Tacticos to the Philippine Navy during bidding process,' says Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado

EX-CHIEF. Former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado. Rappler file photo

Bong Go faces Senate on frigate deal

Feb 19, 2018 - 9:18 AM

With a large gathering of supporters outside the Senate, President Rodrigo Duterte's closest aide arrives for the hearing on the P16-billion Navy warships deal

ARRIVING AT THE SENATE. Special Assistant to the President Christopher 'Bong' Go (center) speaks to supporters outside the Senate, February 19, 2018. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

DOCUMENTS: How Bong Go is linked thrice to frigates deal

Feb 19, 2018 - 9:00 AM

The big-ticket modernization project of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is embroiled in controversy following the ouster of former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado in December 2017

REPORT TO DUTERTE. The Navy official in charge of the frigates project submits a written report to President Rodrigo Duterte and Special Assistant to the President Christopher 'Bong' Go. Screenshot of a sourced document

TIMELINE: PH Navy's P15.7-B frigates acquisition project

Feb 19, 2018 - 8:45 AM

The problem begins during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, after the P15.7-billion deal was signed in October 2016

SIGNING. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract with South Korean firm Heavy Hyundai Industries in October 2016. Photo from the HHI web site

U.S. seeks to continue 'working closely' with Philippine military

Feb 18, 2018 - 6:05 PM

'The Philippines is one of our 5 allies in the region. We've had a close relationship for a very long time and we want to continue that relationship,' says a spokesman of the US Navy's Carl Vinson Strike Group

US AIRCRAFT CARRIER. USS Carl Vinson arrives in Manila for a routine port call

U.S. flexes muscle in the Philippines amid concerns vs China

Feb 18, 2018 - 8:34 AM

'We wish to continue working closely with the Philippine military,' says Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins, USS Carl Vinson public affairs officer

US PRESENCE. The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier of the Philippine Navy arrives in Manila for a routine port call. Rappler photo

Bulacueña serves on US Navy’s largest amphibious warship

Feb 17, 2018 - 4:59 PM

Petty Officer 2nd Class Precious Varilla hails from Baliuag, Bulacan

IN THE NAVY. Petty Officer 2nd Class Precious Varilla is serving aboard the USS Boxer, which is based in San Diego, California. Photo from the US Navy Office of Community Outreach

Navy chief wants executive session if weapons system discussed in frigates probe

Feb 17, 2018 - 3:59 PM

The Senate is set to start its probe into the P15.5-billion warships deal, amid allegations that top Duterte aide Secretary Bong Go intervened in the project

NAVY CHIEF. Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad says the Navy's weapons systems are matters of national security. Photo from the Philippine Navy Facebook page

Poe on fake news bill, Mercado on frigates probe, Basyang slows down | Midday wRap

Feb 12, 2018 - 1:08 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Mara Cepeda

Ousted PH Navy chief welcomes transparent frigates probe

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:37 AM

'The hearing will shed answers and more information on the Frigates Acquisition Project,' says former Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado

FLOATING. Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado is put on a floating status after he was removed from his post. He retires in March 2018. Rappler photo

Duterte rejects executive session for Bong Go in frigate hearing

Feb 10, 2018 - 9:58 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte wants his aide to participate in an 'open and transparent' public hearing about the P15.5-billion warships project

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in an interview on the sidelines of the inauguration of the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (PATMC) in Pasay City on January 16, 2018, insists that the closure of the online news site Rappler was not an attack on press freedom but rather a matter of upholding the Constitution. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO