#ThewRap: Things you need to know, March 30, 2017

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterates in his speech during the People's Day celebration at Barangay Batong Dalig, Socorro town in Oriental Mindoro on March 29, 2017 that he has to have a friendly approach in addressing the territorial dispute with China to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. TOTO LOZANO/Presidential Photo

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Hello!

Hello Rappler readers,

The Philippines plans to bring up China's reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) in their talks in May. President Rodrigo Duterte also raised the issue in his recent meeting with US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, asking the envoy why the US didn't stop China from building a runway.

One of Duterte's men, meanwhile, said the President had invited foreign ships to Philippine waters – speaking in the context of the Chinese survey ship in Benham Rise.

Below are the big stories you shouldn't miss.

PH to ask China about reclamation in talks

The Philippines will ask China about its reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) when they begin one-on-one talks in May. "I think this will simply be one of the issues that we will ask China: 'What is the intention of building this?'" said Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo.

Duterte asks envoy why US didn't stop China

President Rodrigo Duterte said he asked US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim why the US didn't stop China from building a runway in disputed waters. Duterte, in a speech, then said Kim responded that he was not involved in the South China Sea issue at the time because he had a different assignment.

Duterte 'invited' foreign ships to PH waters, says Esperon

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr downplayed concerns about the presence of a Chinese survey ship in Benham Rise last year, telling senators that President Rodrigo Duterte himself made a "general invitation" for foreign ships to enter Philippine waters. "What is really so harmful with having a research ship [there]?" added Esperon.

Filipino fisherman survives 58-day ordeal at sea

A Filipino fisherman who had been given up for dead managed to survive 58 days at sea. Rolando Omongos, 21, said he stayed alive by drinking rainwater and eating moss growing at the hull of his boat, which drifted all the way to Papua New Guinea. A Japanese fishing vessel eventually rescued him. But his uncle, who was with him, died.

Australia reeling from Cyclone Debbie

Torrential rain and floods are hampering relief efforts in cyclone-hit Australia. Cyclone Debbie had crashed ashore last Tuesday, March 28, causing widespread damage in Queensland state. More rain is expected in the popular Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas.

Samsung Galaxy S8 coming to PH on May 5

Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, is coming to the Philippines on May 5. The 5.8-inch S8 costs P39,990 while the 6.2-inch S8+ is priced at P45,990. Samsung, during the unveiling, promised "a new era of smartphones." Will it rebound after the Note 7 fiasco?

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