#ThewRap: Things you need to know, November 28, 2016

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn't miss this Monday.










Dear Rappler reader,

The US presidential transition gets increasingly rough as US President-elect Donald Trump battles calls for a recount in key states. Over the weekend, Trump and his aides pushed back hard and asserted that the billionaire would have won the popular vote had it not been for the millions of people who voted illegally. As the real estate mogul assembles his White House team, the tech sector—whose leading lights considered Trump a 'disaster for innovation'—takes on a new tack as it comes to grips with an impending Trump presidency.

In Europe, French conservatives choose ex-prime minister Francois Fillon, a conservative reformist, as a foil against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the anti-establishment candidate who hopes to emulate Trump's shock victory in the US.

Back in the Philippines, the Philippine military announces that it killed 11 members of a local pro-ISIS group in operations on Saturday, November 26. The Philippine Competition Commission suggests limiting the definition of 'public utility' in a 1930s law in order to open up the telco and energy sectors to foreign investments. Manuel V. Pangilinan, the chairman of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation says he is willing to partner with Henry Sy and Ramon Ang to build a new Manila airport. Finally, Sakay.PH launches Traincheck, a new service that allows users to monitor congestion levels in MRT stations.

Check out the list below for stories you should not miss this Monday.

Trump: #USVote recount a scam, 'millions' voted illegally

With the recount threatening to revive debate about the legitimacy of his victory, Donald Trump and his aides pushed back hard on Sunday and asserted that the billionaire would have won the US popular vote were it not for "millions of illegal" ballots. Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton won far more popular votes, while he carried the all-important Electoral College count. On Sunday, Trump let fly a series of early-morning tweets in which he quoted Clinton about the need to respect the electoral process. Hillary Clinton's campaign says it will join the recount, which was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, although it has not seen any irregularities so far in the White House contest won by Trump.

A 'disaster' for innovation? US tech sector grapples with looming Trump presidency

After disbelief, anger and grief, the US tech sector is looking to come to grips with the presidency of a man described by many of its leading lights as a "disaster" for innovation. Trump sent shivers through Silicon Valley during his election bid by pledging to squeeze trade from China, clamp down on immigration which is critical to many tech firms, and even warning that online giant Amazon could have "a huge antitrust problem" if he were elected. Close to 150 tech icons – including founders of Apple, Wikipedia and Reddit – penned an open letter in July warning that the Republican nominee would be an "disaster for innovation." Tech stocks saw huge declines following the November 8 elections, but most have now rebounded to near their pre-election levels as many tech leaders have since taken a new tack. Some observers are saying it makes little difference who is in the White House, and others argue Trump is unlikely to carry out the promises – and threats – he made during a bitter campaign.

Fillon, a conservative reformist, wins French rightwing primary

Francois Fillon, a conservative reformist who promised to shrink the French state, clinched the rightwing nomination to stand in next year's presidential election with a resounding victory on Sunday, November 27. The ex-prime minister will now become a favorite to be France's next leader after winning the US-style primary to pick the nominee of the Republicans party and its allies. Partial results showed him winning 67% of the vote with results counted from 9,193 polling stations out of 10,229. The French presidential vote is seen as a key test for mainstream political parties after the success of Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign in Britain, both of which harnessed anti-elite anger. Fillon will face fierce competition in the election in April and May from far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the anti-establishment candidate hoping to emulate Trump's shock victory in the US.

11 members of pro-ISIS terror group killed in PH military operations

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it killed 11 members of the Maute terror group during operations on Saturday, November 26. The Maute group is said to have links to pro-ISIS fighters in the region. The military chased the local terror group in Butig town in Lanao del Sur after they occupied a portion of the municipal hall Saturday morning and raised the black flag of the Islamic State (ISIS).

PCC: no need to amend 1987 Constitution to liberalize telco, energy sectors

There is no need to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution to liberalize the country's telecommunications and energy sectors and allow foreign players to operate as public utilities, said the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin Bernabe said all that Congress has to do is to prioritize and pass amendments to the 80-year-old Commonwealth Act No. 146, also known as the Public Service Law. Bernabe's remarks came after President Rodrigo Duterte said last Wednesday, November 23, that foreign players should enter the telecoms and energy sectors. Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, only companies owned at least 60% by Philippine nationals or corporations may operate as a public utility. But the definition of a "public utility" under the Public Service Law is not clear, according to Bernabe. Revising the 1930s registration by excluding telecommunications from the 'public utility' definition will effectively limit the Constitution, Bernabe said.

MVP willing to partner with Sy or Ang for new Manila airport

Manuel V. Pangilinan, the chairman of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), said he is open to partnering with the Sy family's Belle Corporation or Ramon Ang's San Miguel Corporation for a proposal to build a modern international airport in the country. The Philippines badly needs a new airport to ease congestion at the NAIA. Soon after the Duterte administration took over, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said his offices is open to unsolicited proposals for new airport. But the transportation chief has two conditions: The project should not entail government spending and there should be no sovereign guarantee. There have been two unsolicited proposals for a new Manila airport submitted to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sakay.ph's new app shows MRT congestion levels

Describing itself as the "Google Maps or Waze, but for commuting," Sakay.ph launched a new service called Traincheck for passengers of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3). Commuters just need to open the Sakay.ph mobile app or website, and enter the station they plan to ride from. An additional option lets them choose which direction to take, either northbound or southbound. They will also be asked how long they are willing to wait. Traincheck will automatically show the current congestion level at the chosen station, the best time to leave, and a summary of congestion for the day. Traincheck bases its information on footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at every MRT station, which are streamed online by the Department of Transportation. A software captures images from every stream at regular intervals.

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