Things you need to know today: July 18, 2016

Hello! Here's a round-up of news you need to know this Monday.










Dear Rappler readers,

The Duterte administration's war against drugs remains in full swing amid mounting criticism that it only counts the poor as its casualties. While President Duterte himself named several generals and businessmen who are allegedly involved in the drug trade, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa admits, it is harder to go against big-time drug lords and appeals to the public for patience. Elsewhere in the world, the US and Australia are working together on an extensive database of cancer patients. Google defends its tax practices in Europe. A murdered Pakistani's celebrity brother sees no shame in killing her. Closer to home, ASEAN diplomats will not comment on the Hague tribunal’s ruling in the Philippines-China arbitration case.

Below are the big stories we think you shouldn’t miss.

Duterte to pardon 'truthful' cops

President Rodrigo Duterte vows to protect law enforcers doing their part in the war against drugs by pardoning them should they be wrongly accused of abusing their authority. As before, however, he said he would only pardon cops and military who “tell the truth.”

'Their time will come'

Some 65,000 people – supposed drug users and pushers – all around the country have surrendered to authorities, fearing the government's crackdown on the illegal drugs. Hundreds have also been killed in police operations and what many call vigilante killings. But only one suspected drug lord has been killed thus far. Is the Duterte administration's war against drugs only targeting the poor? Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa admits that mayors and governors involved in the illegal drug trade 'won't die easily.' He asks the public for patience and assures them that 'their (big-time drug lords') time will come.'

ASEAN will stay silent on Hague court ruling

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will not comment on the July 12 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) which favored the Philippines in the case it brought against China. Insiders say China has succeeded in splitting the ASEAN on the issue through its allies.

Google CEO defends Europe tax practices

Amid accusations that the global Internet giant failed to pay enough taxes in Europe, CEO Sundar Pichai hit back Sunday, July 17, saying Google invested "very heavily" in Europe and employed 14,000 people there. "As a global company, we find ourselves between the conflicting priorities of international tax law," he told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Brother 'not embarrassed' killing Pakistani celebrity

As the death of Pakistani celebrity Qandeel Baloch reignites polarizing calls for action against the "epidemic" of honor killings, the brother told reporters in a press conference that he is "not embarrassed" to have killed her saying her behavior was 'completely intolerable.' Hundreds of women are murdered for "honor" every year in Pakistan.

'Unprecedented’ US-Australia cancer database available by 2021

US Vice President Joe Biden has announced that the US and Australia have agreed to create an international research database of cancer patients. The collaboration will see an 'unprecedented international dataset' of at least 8,000 US patients and 50,000 from Australia made available to cancer researchers and doctors by 2021.

Watch our Rappler Talk where PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa talks about the war on drugs and enforcing the rule of law.

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