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- Trillanes: Duterte is hiding something
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday, May 2, hinted that the alleged P2.4 billion worth of deposits in Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s bank account came from illegal drug operations. Asked where he suspects the deposits came from, he said “What are the illegal sources? Corruption, plunder. If it came from illegal activities: illegal drugs, smuggling, and a lot more. Those are the possibilities. But I am not yet ready to pinpoint specifically where it came from.” He added, “It’s baffling to think that he could be the next president of the country.” He said that it would be hard to resolve this allegation if Duterte already assumes the presidency. “Mayor Duterte is hiding something from the public. And he cannot deny my accusation that he has a P2.4-billion transaction in his bank accounts.”
Read more on Trillanes allegations of undeclared wealth.
- Bangko Sentral, AMLC deny leaking Duterte account details
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) denied leaking the bank documents cited by Senator Antonio Trillanes in allegations of undeclared wealth against candidate Rodrigo Duterte. The Davao mayor supposedly kept P227 million in a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) account and did not declare this in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). The BSP and AMLC statements came after Duterte questioned why Trillanes was allowed access to the bank accounts. Under the Philippines’ Bank Secrecy Law, no one can examine bank accounts unless authorized by a court. In a related development, Duterte’s lawyer Salvador Panelo came out empty-handed after spending over two hours inside the Bank of the Philippine Islands Julia Vargas branch. Panelo was there to obtain a “certification” from BPI proving Duterte’s controversial bank account never held P211 million. The bank asked for 7 days to study the request because it has legal issues to consider and will give the account details on May 11, two days after elections.
- Binay, Mar exchange peace greetings in covenant mass
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle told the faithful, “Voting is a duty that is not only nationalistic but godly, holy. Through voting, I participate in the grace given to us to participate, to have a voice, for the good of our society.” It was during this covenant signing at the Manila Cathedral that presidential rivals Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration standard bearer Mar Roxas shook hands in peace during mass. Other presidential candidates Rody Duterte, Grace Poe, and Miriam Santiago were invited but did not attend.
- Voter fights back vs internet bullies
Women’s rights advocate Renee Karunungan stood up against internet bullies and said she will file 34 complaints against social media users who threatened and harassed her for posts against presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte. Karunungan will pursue complaints against 20 alleged Duterte supporters for grave threats under the Revised Penal Code. She will also file complaints against 14 others for alleged violation of the Omnibus Election Code. Karunungan told Rappler, “These are messages and comments made up of things like, “I hope you’re raped, you’re killed, you’re murdered along with your family.” There are also messages that sell me online, saying I’m worth P500, reposting my photos.” The threats came last March after Karunungan posted on Facebook she’s campaigning against Duterte.
Read more on 34 complaints vs internet bullies.
- Iglesia spokesman: Duterte endorsement letter a fake
The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) denied it is endorsing Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for president. This comes after a Facebook post went viral on social media which showed a letter supposedly from INC leader Eduardo Manalo. The allegedly fake letter told members to support Duterte’s presidential campaign, but INC spokesman Edwil Zabala said the letter is not from Manalo and that INC officials intend to file a case against the forgerers. Duterte and other presidential candidates earlier visited INC leaders to court the religious group’s endorsement. The INC is known to vote as a bloc during elections.
Read more on the fake Iglesia endorsement letter.
- Next batch of executions in Indonesia does not include Veloso
Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, who is on death row for allegedly smuggling drugs in the country, will not be among the next round of criminals executed by the Indonesian government. Indonesia halted executions last September, saying it was not their priority at the moment, but recently announced it would resume again. The update raised fears as to whether Veloso would be among those to be executed, but the Attorney General’s Office quelled concerns of Veloso’s inclusion, saying “we respect the legal process that is taking place in the Philippines.” Attorney General HM Prasetyo did not disclose as to when the next round of executions would be, only saying it would not be in May, and that “it is only a matter of time.”
Read more on Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia.
- Bodies of mountaineer, cameraman found after 16 years
The bodies of top mountaineer Alex Lowe and his cameraman were found in a Himalayan glacier, 16 years after they were buried by an avalanche on one of the world’s highest mountains. Two climbers last week came across the men’s remains “still encased in blue ice but beginning to emerge from the glacier”, a foundation set up in Lowe’s memory said in a statement. Lowe and expedition cameraman David Bridges were swept away by a massive snow and ice avalanche on the 8,027-meter (26,335-foot) Shisha Pangma peak in China in October 1999 while attempting the first American ski descent. Lowe, who had climbed Everest twice and had strong ties with Nepal, ranked among the world’s top mountaineers before his death, and was nicknamed the Lung With Legs after a high-speed ascent of Argentina’s Aconcagua, the tallest peak in the Americas.
Read more on the retrieval of the mountaineers’ bodies.
- After many decades, first US-Cuba cruise ship sets sail
The first US cruise ship bound for Cuba in half a century set sail on Sunday, marking a new milestone in the renewing of ties between the two countries. The Adonia raised its anchors and departed from Miami, Florida at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT). With 700 passengers aboard, the ship is scheduled to glide into the port of Havana on Monday, its first stop on the communist-run island. The voyage is the first of what will become weeklong cruises to Cuba twice a month, with the goal of promoting cultural exchange between the two countries following a warming of ties that began in December 2014 and culminated last year with the restoration of full diplomatic ties.
Read more on first US-Cuba cruise.
- Australian entrepreneur claims to have created Bitcoin
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright publicly identified himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. According to the BBC, Wright has technical proof to back up his claim, including coins known to be owned by the creator of the bitcoin system. Prominent Bitcoin community members have also confirmed the claim. Back in 2014, Newsweek linked the creation of bitcoin to a Japanese-American physicist and model train enthusiast named Satoshi Nakamoto, who eventually said he was not involved in bitcoin. The Bitcoin Foundation also said they saw “zero conclusive evidence” pointing to the physicist as Satoshi Nakamoto of Bitcoin fame.
Read more on the Australian claiming to have created Bitcoin.
- On the cover of Vogue: Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, appears on the June 2016 issue of Vogue magazine’s British edition – its centenary issue. This is the first magazine feature the Duchess has given consent to, where she appears in a 10-page magazine spread set in her family’s Norfolk home. The Duchess was involved in selecting the clothes for the shoot and worked with British Vogue’s fashion director Lucinda Chambers and editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman. She has also agreed for two portraits from the shoot to be featured in Vogue 100, an exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery. Her portraits hang alongside those of Prince Charles, Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett, Sofia Coppola, and more. Over the past century, Vogue has captured portraits of other royals including Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, The Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Read more on Kate Middleton’s Vogue cover.