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- Obama congratulates Duterte
US President Barack Obama congratulated Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his win in the Philippine presidential elections. In a brief statement, the White House said Obama and Duterte spoke on the phone on Tuesday, May 17. “The President highlighted the enduring values that underpin our thriving alliance with the Philippines and the longstanding ties between our two peoples, including our shared commitments to democracy, human rights, rule of law, and inclusive economic growth,” said the White House.
Read more about Obama’s message to Duterte.
- Mark Villar: Yes to DPWH post
Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar is set to become the next chief of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Villar said he decided to “humbly accept” the offer of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to lead the DPWH after he consulted his family and constituents. Observers have raised the issue of conflict of interest, however, as Villar is the son of real estate magnate and former senator Manuel “Manny” Villar.
Here’s the story on Mark Villar’s acceptance of Rodrigo Duterte’s offer.
Mark Villar’s mother, incumbent senator Cynthia Villar, remains the richest senator based on her 2015 SALN.
Meanwhile, check out this in-depth piece on Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol, the agriculture secretary in the Duterte Cabinet.
- Marcos still confident of victory
The camp of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr remains confident that he will win the vice presidential race. Citing figures from 104 out of 108 Certificates of Canvass (COCs), lawyer Jose Amorado said Marcos leads Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Leni Robredo by more than 100,000 votes. Amorado, however, did not discuss the 56 COCs for absentee votes.
Get details about the Marcos camp’s data.
- Soldiers, cops, media: Palparan for senator
If local absentee voters had their way, the retired general known as “The Butcher” will become one of the Philippines’ 12 new senators. Now detained, Palparan was one of the top 12 senatorial candidates chosen by local absentee voters from April 27 to 29. Overall, however, Palparan is only 39th in the latest partial and official tally released by the Commission on Elections.
- Smartmatic: No overstepping of boundaries
Technology provider Smartmatic assured the public that it is not overstepping its boundaries after a reported breach in election-related protocol involving a hash code. “It’s really Comelec that runs the show, not Smartmatic,” said Karen Jimeno, the company’s voters’ education head. “Before anyone alleges there’s a breach in protocol, I think what’s important here is first to look at whether there is a protocol for a minor change like a correction of a typographical error.”
Read more about Smartmatic’s side.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon also reprimanded Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia. Here’s why.
- Filipina teacher killed in Mozambique attack
A Filipina teacher was killed in an ambush on a passenger bus by Renamo rebels in Mozambique over the weekend. A spokesman for the Philippine embassy in neighboring South Africa said the teacher’s name “can’t be revealed at this stage because we are still busy with internal processes.” There has been a spike in deadly clashes between security forces and Renamo rebels in central Mozambique.
Here’s the story on the deadly ambush in Mozambique.
- World response ‘shockingly low’ – UN
The United Nations has raised only 16% of the $1.8 billion needed to help war-torn Yemen. This is a “shockingly low” level of response to a funding appeal, said senior UN aid official John Ging. There are around 7.6 million people in urgent need of food aid in Yemen, and 2.5 million who have been displaced.
Read more about the Yemen crisis.
- Australian immigration chief draws flak
Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is being accused of xenophobia, after he said that taking in more refugees would lead to “illiterate” people taking local jobs. Dutton was responding to proposals by the Labor opposition to boost Australia’s annual refugee intake from 13,750 to 27,000. Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young described Dutton’s comments as “vile” and “steeped purely in xenophobia.”
Here’s the story on Peter Dutton’s controversial remarks.
- LIVE BLOG: Rain or Shine vs Alaska
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters will attempt to finally finish off the Alaska Aces in Game 6 on Wednesday, May 18, to claim the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. The Painters once led the series 3-0 and are a win away from their first title in 4 years. However, the Aces are on a roll, winning two straight games to narrow the series at 3-2.
- FULL LIST: Gawad Urian nominees
Independent films Honor Thy Father and Heneral Luna lead this year’s nominees in the 2016 Gawad Urian Awards. Honor Thy Father received 10 nominations, while Heneral Luna got 9. Actor John Lloyd Cruz is also nominated for Best Actor for two movies – Honor Thy Father and A Second Chance.
Take a look at the full list of nominees.