#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 13, 2017

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

CRACKS. Motorists pass a building damaged by the strong earthquake that struck Surigao City on February 10, 2017. Photo by Erwin Mascariñas/AFP

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Hello!

Dear Rappler reader,

While the probability of a stronger earthquake hitting the area is low, Surigao city may continue to feel aftershocks from several days to weeks after the February 10 quake, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs). The state seismology institute, which has recorded 130 weaker quakes in the area so far since Friday, reminds people to be cautious of structures visibly weakened or with signs of damage, as these may be further damaged by aftershocks. Engineers should inspect buildings and other infrastructure in the area to determine their integrity, and recommend appropriate actions to concerned affected groups or individuals, according to Phivolcs.

In world news, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the expression of 'Islamophobic feelings' is 'sometimes the best support' that ISIS can have for its propaganda. Guterres makes this statement amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment in some countries.

Here are the top stories for the day.

Duterte on mining closures: 'they will never be able to restore nature'

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez earlier said that closure of the 23 mining operations will only be final once Duterte decides on the appeals of the mining companies. It looks like the president has made his decision. On Sunday, February 12, Duterte said there is "nothing" he can do about the mining closures. Speaking in Cebuano during a visit to residents of earthquake-hit Surigao City, the president said he saw firsthand the environmental destruction caused by mining operations and noted that "they will never be able to restore nature to what it was before." He also assured workers who will be affected by the closures that he will find new jobs for them.

Aftershocks in Surigao after strong quake

The probability of an earthquake higher than magnitude 6.7 will occur days after the 6.7-magnitude quake struck Surigao and nearby areas late Friday, February 10, is low. But the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) aftershocks may continue to occur for several days to weeks, according to Phivolcs, some of which may be felt. It has recorded 130 weaker quakes so far in the area since Friday. Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum reminded people to be cautious of structures visibly weakened or with signs of damage, as these may be further damaged by aftershocks.

'Islamophobic' statements best way to support ISIS propaganda – UN chief

As anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the expression of 'Islamophobic feelings' could be "the best support that Daesh can have to make its own propaganda." Guterres was using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS) group of Sunni extremists in Syria and Iraq. He made the comment to reporters after talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Guterres said "we will never be successful in fighting terrorism in Syria if an inclusive political solution is not found for the Syrian people. A new round of UN-sponsored peace talks is scheduled for February 20 in Geneva.

EastWest Bank head for BSP governor?

The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) wants EastWest Bank president Antonio Moncupa Jr to become the next governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Besides heading EastWest Bank since 1997, Moncupa also heads the PDP-Laban policy think tank. Prior to EastWest Bank, Moncupa was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the International Exchange Bank. He was also a former activist and political detainee, according to Pimentel.

Tokyo Metro: time to build a subway in PH, but fix MRT first

Tokyo Metro Company Limited, operator of 9 subway lines in Japan's busy capital, offered unsolicited advice to the Philippines for its horrendous traffic situation: revive the Metro Manila subway system project. But before the country starts to build its first subway, the Tokyo Metro official said it should fix and improve the congested MRT3 first.

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