#ThewRap: Things you need to know, January 18, 2017

Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Wednesday

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Hello!

Hello Rappler readers,

Seoul, citing findings of Manila investigators, said the South Korean businessman who went missing in the Philippines 3 months ago was kidnapped and murdered on the same day.

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, met with a ranking Chinese diplomat at Malacañang Palace and also wrote a personal letter to Pope Francis.

HSBC also said Duterte's war on drugs could affect foreign direct investments in the near future.

Below are the big stories you shouldn't miss.

South Korean 'kidnapped, murdered by PH cops'

An official at Seoul's foreign ministry said a South Korean businessman was kidnapped and murdered by Filipino policemen 3 months ago, based on findings of investigators in the Philippines. SPO3 Ricky Sta Isabel is one of the cops earlier tagged in the case.

Duterte meets with Chinese diplomat

Malacañang said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte – a meeting that came after Manila revealed it recently filed diplomatic protests against Beijing. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also criticized China's militarization in the South China Sea as troubling.

Duterte writes letter to Pope

President Rodrigo Duterte just wrote a personal letter to Pope Francis, thanking the pontiff for visiting the Philippines two years ago. Chief peace adviser Jesus Dureza, who's in Rome for the 3rd round of talks with communist rebels, hopes to give Duterte's letter to Pope Francis during a side trip to the Vatican.

Pacquiao on death penalty: Look at Jesus

Senator Manny Pacquiao again pulled the Bible card to defend the death penalty, this time saying that "even Jesus was sentenced to death." What the senator didn't point out, however, was that Jesus was crucified over false accusations.

Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence

US President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of transgender soldier Chelsea Manning, who leaked 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning is serving 35 years behind bars, but thanks to Obama, she'll walk free in May.

War on drugs may turn off investors – HSBC

Banking giant HSBC warned that the Philippines' bloody war on drugs could be scaring off foreign investors in the near future. But it did say that the country's strong economic fundamentals will likely be the focus in the long term.

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