Daily News Highlights – May 22, 2015 Edition

Aika Rey

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Over 200 members of Congress richer in 2014

    Over half of the present members of the House of Representatives were wealthier in 2014, according to their latest net worth declarations. DIWA partylist representative Emmeline Aglipay recorded the highest gain among the 290 congressmen, as she declared a more than 7,000% increase in her net worth from P9.68 million in 2013 to P689 million in 2014. The increase in wealth was reported after her marriage to Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar in 2014. Villar is the son of billionaire and real estate developer Manuel Villar Jr, also former Senate president and House speaker. 65 members of the House declared a decrease in their wealth from 2013 to 2014, while 11 reported no changes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. China warns US surveillance plane

    Screenshot from CNN

    The Chinese navy on Wednesday, May 20, warned a US surveillance plane 8 times as it hovered over man-made islands China is building and developing in the South China Sea. In an exclusive report, CNN which was given access to join the surveillance flights over the disputed waters, heard and recorded the Chinese warning: “This is the Chinese navy…This is the Chinese navy…Please go away…to avoid misunderstanding.” CNN showed the Chinese have constructed an airport tower and installed an early warning radar at Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross), where a runway has been built.

    Read the full story on CNN.

    More details are on Rappler.

  3. US planes, ships to test China’s claims?

    Weighing its next step in the disputed South China Sea, the Pentagon is still contemplating sending surveillance aircraft and naval ships close to artificial islands built by China in the sensitive zone. While the US does not recognize China’s claims of sovereignty around the manmade structures, US planes and vessels have not ventured within 12 nautical miles of the islands. If they do so, it would be with the intent of testing China’s territorial claims. This move could, however, raise tensions in the area, which is vital to global shipping lanes.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  4. KL orders search of boatpeople

    As Myanmar hosted talks with representatives from the US and Southeast Asia on migrants, Malaysia on Thursday, May 21, ordered search and rescue missions for boatpeople stranded at sea. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak earlier said, “We have to prevent loss of life.” Malaysia and Indonesia had announced an end to their policy of rejecting boatpeople. Thailand has declined to take them in, saying it is already home to over 900,000 refugees. Meanwhile, foreign ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia met with Myanmar officials to talk about the fate of the stateless Rohingya people.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  5. ISIS in full control of ancient city of Palmyra

    The Islamic State (ISIS) seized Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra on Thursday, May 21, as UNESCO warned its destruction would be an “enormous loss to humanity”. The capture of the 2,000-year-old city puts more than half of Syria under ISIS control and comes days after it expanded its control in Iraq. ISIS proclaimed its capture of Palmyra online and posted video and several photos, but none of the ancient site. Jihadists are notorious for demolishing archeological treasures since declaring a caliphate in an area that sits between Syria and Iraq. Palmyra, according to UNESCO chief Irina Bokova is the “birthplace of human civilization”.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story is on CNN.

  6. PAGASA’s storm warning system includes Signal No. 5

    State weather bureau PAGASA has added Storm Signal No. 5 to its list of public storm warning signals. This represents the super typhoon category which covers typhoons with maximum sustained winds of more than 220 km/h. In a statement, PAGASA said the “extensive and devastating damages caused by strong typhoons, such as Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, made the 4-level warning system (PSWS) Numbers 1-4 inadequate.”

    Read the full story on Rappler.
  7. Limlingan denies being Binay ‘henchman’

    Speaking for the first time through his counsel, the financial adviser of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Gerardo “Gerry” Limlingan, said on Thursday, May 21, he and his brother Victor are neither “aides” nor “henchmen”. In a statement, lawyer Grace Reyes said the brothers are “both entrepreneurs and industry experts, each with a long list of accomplishments and with vast experience in their respective fields.” The Court of Appeals issued a freeze order on 242 accounts and investments of Binay, his family and associates, including the Limlingans. Gerry Limlingan’s name had been linked in Senate hearings to the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall parking building. He had also been identified as a dummy of Binay. 

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. MMDA pushing for metrowide quake drill

    The Metropolitan Development Authority is pushing for a metrowide drill that would simulate the disastrous effects of a 7.2-magnitude quake, chairman Francis Tolentino said. If signed by President Benigno Aquino III, an executive order will make the drill that will run from 3 pm to 8 pm possible. This will involve shutting down schools, offices, malls, cutting electricity and communication lines to prepare residents for a possible 3-week disruption of routines and cycles. Metro Manila has been warned it is due for a “Big One” which could strike when the West Valley Fault moves.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

    A related story on the West Valley Fault is also on Rappler.

    A listing of subdivisions and villages traversed by the West Valley Fault is on Rappler too.

  9. NAIA Terminal 3 sets new passenger flow scheme

    To allow passengers to get to check-in counters on time, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said they are implementing a new scheme for passengers entering the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3. Starting this Friday, May 22, Honrado said, only passengers with travel documents will be allowed to use the first 5 entrances at the departure area. Well-wishers will be limited to the 6th entrance at the far end of the lobby. In April the number of passengers departing from Terminal 3 rose to over 840,000.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Spotify ventures into video, original content

    In an effort to turn a profit, streaming music leader Spotify announced on Wednesday, May 20, it was expanding into video and original content. Acknowledged as the largest company in the booming streaming industry, Spotify said it was eyeing a more personalized and broader platform to attract more subscribers. The founder of the 8-year-old Swedish company, Daniel Ek, said they want to give users more incentives to turn to Spotify to read the news or watch video.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at