Daily News Highlights – July 5, 2016 Edition

Gwen De La Cruz

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

  1. First Duterte EO streamlines anti-poverty agencies

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed his first executive order streamlining 12 agencies with existing anti-poverty programs. The EO puts the agencies under the supervision of Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco. The Duterte administration will evaluate existing programs to reduce poverty and will formulate a “more responsive set of programs complementing existing ones.” Some of the agencies to be streamlined are the National Anti-Poverty Commission, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Food Authority, National Youth Commission, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA. 

    Read more on 1st EO and Duterte’s management clusters.

  2. Duterte-Robredo meeting

    Vice President Leni Robredo visited President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang Palace Monday afternoon. Robredo’s visit was not open to media coverage but was broadcast briefly via Facebook Live video by the State-run RTVM. In the video, Duterte can be heard offering Robredo a snack. Their interaction for the rest of the meeting was inaudible. This was the first formal meeting between the two leaders though they met each other briefly during the turnover ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines last Friday.

    Read more on Duterte-Robredo meeting.

  3. Yasay: National interest paramount in dealing with China

    Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr on Monday said the Philippines will remain cautious if China offers it aid. President Rodrigo Duterte himself said China has offered to build the Philippines a railway from Metro Manila to Clark, Pampanga, in two years. Yasay said: “We know that this will be beneficial for our people. But we must also not just take this hook, line, and sinker.” Yasay’s statement comes as an arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, is expected to issue a ruling on the Philippines’ case against China by July 12.  The DFA secretary said, “The paramount national interest cannot be compromised.” 

    Read more on Yasay and China’s offer.

  4. Cusi to Lopez: Find balance between coal and renewables

    Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi asked Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to consider a balance between coal and renewables. Lopez is a staunch critic of coal-fired power plants. In a statement Monday, Cusi said, “Coal is more dependable and a more reliable source than renewables.” He also said the Philippine cannot be dependent on just a single energy source. The use of fossil fuels like coal as an energy source is the number one cause of global warming.

    Read more on Cusi’s message to Gina Lopez.

  5. Constituent Assembly for ChaCha on the table

    Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Alfredo Benitez filed House Joint Resolution Number 2, which proposes a Constituent Assembly (Con Ass) for the Philippine government to switch to federalism. In a statement Monday, Benitez said that Con Ass “is the most expeditious and less costly [mode] of charter change. Benitez’s proposal comes after incoming House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez filed a bill calling for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) to pave the way for federalism. Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella said on Monday afternoon that Duterte prefers Con-Con over Con Ass to shift to federalism.

    Read more on lawmakers’ moves for charter change.

  6. Trump strategist under scrutiny for Marcos links

    A Politico magazine article from June 2016 reported that Paul Manafort, chief campaign strategist of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, received millions of dollars while working with several controversial leaders – including former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. According to Politico Magazine, a front group for Marcos agreed to pay Manafort’s firm a whopping $950,000 a year. According to the magazine, Manafort and his associates advised the Marcoses on electoral strategy, and downplayed concerns in the US about human rights abuses, corruption, and poll fraud in the Philippines. Manafort told Politico that the money he got from Marcos’ allies had been disclosed to the US Justice Department, and that rumors that he accepted and hid millions of dollars are false.

    Read more on the links between Trump’s strategist and Marcos.

  7. Death toll rises to at least 213 in Baghdad blast

    The death toll for last Sunday’s Baghdad suicide bombing rose to at least 213, making it one of the deadliest militant attacks on Iraq. More than 200 are also wounded. Officials said the Islamic State (ISIS) group claimed the attacks. The bombing came just a week after Iraqi forces won a major victory over ISIS, retaking the city of Fallujah, one of the jihadist group’s last remaining strongholds in the country. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi vowed “punishment” for those responsible, and declared three days of mourning for the victims of the attack.

    Read the updates on the Baghdad blast.

  8. Trudeau first PM to join Toronto Pride march

    Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau made history Sunday (early Monday in Manila) by marching with tens of thousands of people in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade, becoming the country’s first sitting prime minister to participate. The procession observed a minute of silence to pay respect to the victims of the June 12 nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida that left 49 dead. Trudeau also walked in the annual parade in 2015 as head of the Liberal Party, shortly before he became prime minister. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – Canada’s first openly gay head of a province – and Toronto Mayor John Tory marched alongside Trudeau.

    Read more on Trudeau joining the Pride march.

  9. PH vs France in Olympic qualifying tournament

    Philippine men’s basketball team Gilas will face France on Tuesday night to kick off the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Gilas will be led by naturalized import Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, and June Mar Fajardo, while France will have NBA stars Tony Parker and Boris Diaw at the helm. Gilas aims to join the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro this coming August. The Philippines’ men’s basketball team hasn’t competed in the Olympics since 1972. 

    Follow Rappler’s live blog of the FIBA Olympic qualifier.

  10. Durant leaves OKC, joins the Warriors

    Basketball superstar Kevin Durant is leaving the Oklahoma City Thunders to join the Golden State Warriors. The 7-time NBA All-Star is set to sign a two-year, $54 million contract. In a statement, Durant says he already has reached a point in his life where he has to leave his comfort zone for a new city which offers the “greatest potential” and room for personal growth. Durant spent 9 years with the Oklahoma City franchise.

    Read more on Durant’s move to the Warriors

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