#ThewRap: Things you need to know, March 21, 2017
Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Tuesday.
How's the day so far, Rappler readers?
President Rodrigo Duterte continues on his two-country trip Tuesday, March 21, flying to Thailand after a two-day visit in neighboring Myanmar. Back home, a high-profile chase of a road rage suspect – a relative of alleged drug lord Peter Lim – has ended in a surrender, thanks in part to the President's close aide himself. The noise surrounding a possible impeachment case against Vice President Leni Robredo also grows, with two pro-Marcos personalities urging the House Speaker to go on and proceed with a complaint they drafted.
Meanwhile, abroad, France gets to know its top presidential candidates in a televised debate, while the US gets a shocking confirmation of what has been suspected all along: that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing potential links between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign team.
These stories, and more, are in today's wRap.
David Lim Jr., the nephew of prominent Cebuano businessman and alleged drug lord Peter Lim, surrendered to Central Visayas police at 2 in the morning on Tuesday, March 21, after a highly publicized chase led by no less than Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña. The younger Lim was caught on camera shooting Ephraim Montalbo Nuñal, after a road-side altercation early morning Sunday, March 19.
Osmeña even sought help from Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s aide. Go helped facilitate communication between Lim’s mother and Cebu regional police.
FBI chief James Comey confirmed Monday, March 20, a probe into Donald Trump's election campaign's links to Russia last year while repudiating the president's claim that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama. Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Administration, confirmed that they believed Moscow aimed to hurt Clinton's campaign and support Trump.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, March 20 presented Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi with a bouquet of roses and $300,000 (P15 million) for humanitarian assistance to the marginalized Rohingya people in the Rakhine region, part of his trip to the ASEAN country. Malacañang said the gift was also the country's way of thanking Myanmar for being among the first to help the Philippines when the country was hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.
Marine Le Pen's hardline stance on security and the place of Islam in France came under attack from her fellow presidential hopefuls in a crucial TV debate Monday, March 20, a month before the country goes to the polls. Le Pen and chief rival Emmanuel Macron shared the stage in the TF1 debate with the candidates currently in third and fourth place, Francois Fillon of the right and Benoit Hamon of the left, along with the fifth-place Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon.
Two members of the Volunteers for Good Government asked Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to endorse an impeachment complaint they drafted against Vice President Leni Robredo. In their letter to Alvarez on Monday, March 20, lawyer Oliver Lozano and broadcaster Melchor Chavez – both known Marcos loyalists – called Robredo "the termite of the government." This comes after Alvarez said he is mulling filing an impeachment complaint against Robredo after he accused her of being behind the first impeachment complaint against Duterte, the Speaker's longtime friend and political ally.
The number of Filipinos who made it to Forbes’ 2017 list of "wealthiest people on the planet" reaches 14. This is a record count since businessmen from the Philippines first joined the ranks of World Billionaires in 2003. The aggregate wealth of the 14 Filipino dollar-billionaires is $45.8 billion. Their average net worth is $3.27 billion. Henry Sy is still on top of the list, now worth $12.7 billion, lower than his $12.9 billion estimated wealth the year before.
To ride the infrastructure boom, SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation has offered to acquire the mothballed National Steel Corporation (NSC) in Iligan city. SteelAsia is the largest reinforced steel bar maker in Southeast Asia, while NSC was once the largest steel mill in Asia until it failed to modernize, eventually declared bankruptcy, was privatized thrice, and mothballed again in 2009.
In its proposed acquisition to National Development Co.’s general manager Ma. Lourdes Rebueno, SteelAsia said it will pursue an asset-purchase agreement and will negotiate with all valid claimants, including the government.
The groundbreaking public television children's program Sesame Street is introducing a new character, a muppet named Julia who has autism, the show's creators revealed on the CBS News show 60 Minutes broadcast on Sunday, March 19.
"The big discussion right at the start was, 'How do we do this? How do we talk about autism?'" Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro told 60 Minutes. "It's tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism."
Angel Locsin will no longer play Darna in the upcoming superhero movie, to be produced by Star Cinema. In an interview with ABS-CBN, Star Cinema's managing director Malou Santos confirmed that Angel can no longer take on the role due to health reasons. Angel said that she did her best to recover, but her training coach reported she was experiencing pain again in her back.
Back in 2015, she announced that she was leaving the Darna project after she suffered an injury. But in 2016, Angel's fans were given some hope when she said that she was doing therapy for her back problem. At that time, she could not really say if she could push through with the project.
Top photo: Myanmar President U Htin Kiaw presents a token to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during the State Banquet at the Presidential Palace in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, March 20, 2017. Also in the photo is Myanmar State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi. Malacañang Photo