#ThewRap: Things you need to know, July 19, 2017

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

MARAWI BATTLE. In this file photo, Philippine Marines help in the military offensive against the Maute Group in Marawi City on June 9, 2017. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

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President Rodrigo Duterte writes Congress to ask its approval for an extension of martial law in Mindanao – for a period longer than initially expected by lawmakers.

Days before Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address, lawmakers from the European Union announce they will visit the Philippines for a “fact-sharing” mission on human rights.

After threats from the transportation franchising agency to ban ride-sharing cars was met by commuters’ online rage, stakeholders are finally sitting down to discuss what happens once a July 26 deadline lapses.

Meanwhile, minority shareholder Manuel Pangilinan says he is willing to sell his stakes in the Philippine Daily Inquirer to prospective new owner Ramon Ang.

In the United States, a previously undisclosed meeting between President Donal Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 Summit raises questions.

Here are the stories you shouldn't miss.

Not just 60 days: Duterte wants martial law extended till December

The President wants martial law over the entire Mindanao extended for 5 more months, or until December 31, his letter to Congress reveals. The extended martial law will still cover the entire Mindanao. He said an extension is necessary since the Marawi crisis is not likely to end by July 22, the day his martial law proclamation lapses. He also cited that rebellion in Mindanao as a whole will not likely be resolved by that day.

If the price is right, Pangilinan open to selling Inquirer stake

Manuel Pangilinan will divest and sell his shares in the Inquirer Group if the offer price is right. This was after Ramon Ang disclosed that he is in discussions with the Rufino-Prieto family for a "majority stake" in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Pangilinan, through Excel Pacific Holdings Corporation, owns a 13.08% stake in Philippine Daily Inquirer Incorporated and 25% stake in Inquirer Holdings Incorporated. His group has interests in broadsheets BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation and PhilStar Daily Incorporated, as well as in broadcast units TV5 Corporation and Bloomberg TV Philippines.

LTFRB talks with Uber, Grab on July 26 deadline for 'colorum' drivers

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board finally meets with ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab on Wednesday, July 19, amid the dispute over "colorum" drivers. The agenda includes the order to end the operations of around 41,000 Uber and Grab drivers by July 26, as well as public clamor to have the drivers be retained. According to the LTFRB, the two companies have about 56,000 active drivers combined. Of that, only 15,000 at most can continue operating by July 26.

White House reveals additional Trump-Putin discussion at G20

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had an additional, previously undisclosed, chat at this month's G20 summit in Hamburg, the White House acknowledged on Tuesday, July 18. The disclosure has raised questions about what the pair talked about, who was present and why the meeting was not previously mentioned. The Trump administration has been besieged by allegations that the president's closest advisors colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

EU lawmakers visit PH to check human rights

Lawmakers from the European Union flew to the Philippines to check the human rights situation in the country, the head of this EU delegation said Tuesday, July 18. The delegation head, Soraya Post, told Senate reporters on Tuesday they also plan to visit detained Senator Leila de Lima during their trip to the Philippines. She pointed out that this is not a "fact-finding" but a "fact-sharing mission," where they hope to engage Filipino officials in dialogue. She cited reports of killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and the bid to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 9 years.

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