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- Comelec moves ballot printing to February 8
“With a heavy heart,” the Commission on Elections again moved the start of ballot printing for the May elections. It was originally set for January 26, then moved to February 1, and now, February 8. The Comelec was forced to delay the printing as it awaits the decision on Senator Grace Poe’s petition at the Supreme Court. There are also pending disqualification cases against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Get more details about the delayed election calendar here.
- SC resumes oral arguments on Poe petition
The Supreme Court resumed hearing oral arguments on the petition filed by Senator Grace Poe against the Comelec, which earlier ruled to bar her presidential bid. On Tuesday, January 26, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said that Poe’s lawyers may have focused just on international law, thus missing “the richness of domestic law.” Senior Associate Justice Carpio, meanwhile, asked Poe’s camp to explain why they believe principles of international law bind the Philippines, when the country “does not want to follow” many regional principles.
Read about the second round of oral arguments here.
- Senate wraps up Binay investigation
The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee ended its probe into corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay, holding its 25th and last hearing on Tuesday, January 26. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of Binay’s staunchest critics, said he is satisfied because the Vice President now seems less certain of winning the May polls. Binay’s camp, however, maintains that the Senate inquiry was just a waste of time.
Here is the full story on statements from Trillanes and the Binay camp.
- Caloy Loyzaga passes away
Filipino basketball legend Carlos “Caloy” Loyzaga has died at 85. Loyzaga, touted as “The Big Difference,” dominated Philippine basketball in the 1950s to the early 1960s. He is best known for leading the Philippines to a bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championship.
Here is Rappler’s story on the death of Caloy Loyzaga. More details to follow.
- Pope’s envoy meets Cebu dancing inmates
Myanmar Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, envoy of Pope Francis for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, visited Cebu’s famous dancing inmates on Tuesday, January 26. Bo offered inspiring words, telling them that Jesus was also a prisoner who had “inner storms.” The inmates said they were thankful and overwhelmed that the Cardinal took time to meet them on the sidelines of the IEC.
Find out more about Bo’s visit to the Cebu detention facility.
Follow Rappler’s special coverage of the 51st IEC.
- UN sends invitations for peace talks
The United Nations has sent invitations for new peace talks on the Syrian crisis, but did not say who had been invited. The talks were originally scheduled to begin on Monday, January 25, but were postponed to Friday, January 29. Opposition leaders are still debating over who will attend.
Read more about the Syria peace talks here.
- Can Balisacan fight vested interests?
Outgoing National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan will take on a new – and perhaps more complex – terrain when he moves to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) next week. As the first chairperson of the newly-formed commission, Balisacan has to guard against companies’ predatory tactics and fend off entrenched special interests.
What could be in store for Balisacan at the PCC? Read this Rappler story.
- Philippines to face powerhouse teams
The Philippines will compete against France, Canada, Turkey, Senegal, and New Zealand in the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, set for July 4 to 10. All of the other teams, except for Senegal, are ranked higher than the Philippines. Manila is one of the host cities for the qualifiers.
Get more details about the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament here.
- Apple expects decline in iPhone sales
Tech giant Apple expects the sales of the iPhone to drop for the first time ever. The decline could come this quarter, according to Apple chief executive Tim Cook. But Cook also said that they remain optimistic about the overall smartphone market despite economic woes in many countries.
Check out the full story on Apple sales here.
- Anne Curtis defends sister, boyfriend
Actress-host Anne Curtis defended her sister, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and her boyfriend, Erwan Heussaff, after a photo of the two of them hugging spread online. Anne called out social media users who reacted maliciously to the photo, saying that it was merely an inside joke. “Please stop saying awful things about my sister and boyfriend,” Anne said. “Nothing happened, we are all fine.”
Read more about the controversial photo here.