#ThewRap: Things you need to know, December 22, 2016

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

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Hello, Rappler readers!

The countdown to Christmas continues. Three days before Christmas, there's a mix of good and bad news. President Rodrigo Duterte still enjoys "excellent" trust ratings despite a drop in numbers across the country, a recent Social Weather Stations survey showed. The Armed Forces celebrated its 81st anniversary, even as the US State Department warned against non-essential travel to Mindanao.

For the carousers among us, Wednesday night was a thrill as it marked the longest night of the year. For Senator Leila de Lima, however, it appears to be a long raging battle against her detractors as the justice department filed its criminal complaint against her on December 21. Not too happy for her, this Christmas, it appears.

Be up to speed with the news. Here's what you shouldn't miss:

Duterte still enjoys 'excellent' trust ratings – poll

President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy “excellent” trust ratings despite a decline in his numbers nationwide, a December 3-6 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said. From net trust ratings of 76% in September, his trust ratings dipped to 72% in December. When he started out, before he assumed the presidency, Duterte had an “excellent” rating of 79%. SWS said 81% of respondents had “much trust” in Duterte while 9% had “little trust” in him, generating a net score of 72%.

PH Armed Forces celebrates 81st anniversary

Happy 81st anniversary to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. On Wednesday afternoon, December 21, President Rodrigo Duterte attended ceremonies at the Camp Aguinaldo grounds where troops paraded before the commander-in-chief and equipment were displayed. The celebration had for its theme, “Conquering Challenges, Harnessing Change”. Lieutenant Junior Grade Reginald Balidoc of the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star.

DOJ files criminal case vs De Lima over Dayan

Senator Leila de Lima now faces a criminal complaint at a Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court after the Department of Justice filed on December 21 a case against her for "willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully" advising her former security aide and alleged bagman Ronnie Dayan not to testify during the House inquiry into the New Bilibid Prison narcotics trade. In a statement, De Lima decried what she termed as the rush to crucify her publicly.

Duterte says Ramon Ang was campaign contributor

Disarmed by the "humility" of San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang, President Rodrigo Duterte accepted "some money" from him during the presidential campaign. Enough to finance a trip here and there, the exact amount of Ang's donation was not disclosed by Duterte, but the businessman's name is nowhere to be found in the Statement of of Contributions and Expenditures submitted to the poll body. Ang was a guest during the Palace Christmas party.

U.S. travel advisory warns vs Mindanao travel

Citing continued terrorist and rebel threats, the US State Department on December 20 warned Americans against “all non-essential travel” to Mindanao. In its latest travel advisory, the State Department said “extreme caution” should be exercised in Mindanao.

December 21 the longest night of 2016

Wednesday, December 21, was the longest night of the year because of the winter solstice. State weather bureau PAGASA said it marks “the time when the Sun lies at its farthest point south of the equator. It signals the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.”

James Taylor calls off PH concert over summary executions

No more “Sweet Baby James” to look forward to in 2017. 68-year-old singer James Taylor cancelled his concert in the Philippines because of summary executions of drug suspects. "I don't think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand,” Taylor said. On his Facebook page, he said the summary executions are “deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law.”

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