Daily News Highlights – October 1, 2015 Edition

Gwen De La Cruz

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Duterte still ‘in a quandary’ over 2016

    Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is “really in a quandary,” explaining that if the decision were his alone, he would not seek the presidency. He told Rappler Wednesday, September 30, “Other candidates are searching for their vice presidents. I have too many!” Duterte has yet to conclude his “final soul-searching” over whether or not he will run for president. The day before he met with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who declared he would run for vice president and who expressed hope Duterte would be his running mate.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. Ombudsman probes Abad, DBM official over DAP

    Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos face administrative cases and a preliminary investigation for technical malversation over government’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). The Office of the Ombudsman said Wednesday, September 30, a special panel of field investigators noted irregularities in the cross-border transfer of DAP funds to the Commission on Audit (COA) and the House of Representatives. The House project, which involved the construction of a legislative library and archive building, is not among those approved by the President. Investigators also found that funds were released to the COA to augment its IT infrastructure program and hiring of litigation experts. The Supreme Court ruled two executive acts under DAP as unconstitutional – the cross-border transfer of savings of the Executive to augment funds outside the department and the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies and their use as savings before the end of a fiscal year.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  3. Grace Poe explains why she renounced Filipino citizenship

    Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe said on Wednesday, September 30, that it was “love” that pushed her to choose to be a full-fledged US citizen and renounce Philippine citizenship. As a mother and wife, she said, her duty was to support her family. She married Neil Llamanzares, a dual citizen since birth, in 1991, and became a naturalized US citizen in 2001. Being Filipino, according to Poe, is more than what’s indicated on paper. Her renunciation of her citizenship has been among the points of criticism of those unsupportive of her bid for the presidency in 2016.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. PH rises 5 notches in WEF competitiveness rank

    The Philippines improved its rank in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, rising from its previous rank of 52nd to 47th out of 140 countries for 2015-2016. Singapore ranked 2nd in the overall index and was cited as the most competitive Southeast Asian economy. First place went to Switzerland for the 7th consecutive year. Since the start of the Aquino administration, the Philippines has jumped up a total of 38 slots, from 85th in 2010-2011 to the current 47th. Competitiveness is defined in terms of institutions, policies and factors that determine a country’s level of productivity.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. Palestinian flag flies at UN


    The flag of Palestine was raised at the United Nations (UN) in a symbolic gesture on Wednesday, September 30, as leader Mahmud Abbas sought full membership to avert religious conflict. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Abbas presided over the historic ceremony. The 80-year-old Palestinian leader said, “I say to my people everywhere: raise the flag of Palestinians very high because it is the symbol of our identity.” The US and Israel disapproved the flag-raising, saying it will not serve the cause of peace.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  6. Human Rights group hits PH gov’t on child miners

    The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the Philippine government for its failure to stop child labor in mines. In a report released Wednesday, September 30, HRW said government has failed to “protect children who dig and dive for gold in dangerous and small-scale mines.” They are made to mine gold underwater or in rivers with oxygen tubes in their mouths, and process gold with toxic mercury – in the process exposing themselves to possible mercury poisoning. About 96% of child laborers are involved in dangerous work.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  7. US pulled CIA officers from China after hack – report

    Several Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers were recalled from the US embassy in Beijing following a hack of US federal employee records, a report from The Washington Post said. Senior officials had described the intrusions as spying aimed at identifying agents, potential recruits for espionage, or people who could be blackmailed to obtain information. The withdrawal of the CIA officers was meant to protect them from being discovered, the Post reported.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. Mar Roxas officially nominated as LP standard-bearer

    The ruling Liberal Party (LP) officially nominated Manuel “Mar” Roxas II as standard-bearer in the 2016 elections. At the party’s National Executive Council meeting, 3 reelectionists and one returning senator were also formally included in the party’s senatorial slate – Senate President Franklin Drilon, current Senators Teofisto Guingona III and Ralph Recto, and ex-senator Francis Pangilinan. The party’s top officials also authorized Roxas to choose his running mate, expected to be Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo. The LP’s complete slate will be announced on Monday, October 5 at Club Filipino.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on Robredo being Roxas’ VP is also on Rappler.

  9. Oxfam: 10 million poorest will go hungry due to El Niño

    At least 10 million of the world’s poorest will go hungry this year as a result of El Niño, charity organization Oxfam has reported. The climatic phenomenon has been predicted to be strongest on record since 1950, according to The Guardian, with famine hitting west Africa. Titled “Entering Uncharted Waters,” the Oxfam report said El Niño will rival that of 1998 where droughts, floods and forest fires caused 2,000 deaths and property damages amounting to $33 billion. Neighboring Indonesia has declared drought in 34 provinces because of the weather phenomenon.

    Read the full story on The Guardian.

  10. Smithers to come out of the closet on ‘The Simpsons’

    Waylon Smithers Jr of The Simpsons is finally coming out as gay. Smithers, who has unsuccessfully hidden his sexuality for years, will reveal himself to his boss Mr Burns during two episodes of this year’s season which began September 27. Smithers’ infatuation with his billionaire boss had been hinted at in past episodes of The Simpsons, the longest-running prime-time sitcom in the US. His coming out reinforces acceptance of the LGBT community.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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