#ThewRap: Things you need to know, January 6, 2017

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










Hello, Rappler readers!

We're approaching the weekend after the New Year. Preparations for a safe procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila on January 9 are underway following reports of a possible terror threat. In Mindanao, the military and police scored major points in their counter-terrorism campaign when they killed Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, a top leader of Ansar Khalifa Philippines, a terror group that had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Elsewhere, in the United States, Hamza bin Laden, the son of jihadist leader Osama bin Laden, has been put on the terror blacklist.

The biggest jailbreak recorded in the nation's history also happened this week, even as the police have recaptured at least 50 escapees as of January 5. Be up to speed with the news. Here's what you shouldn't miss:

No guns in Manila from January 8-10 – PNP

Only police and military personnel in uniform can carry firearms in the city of Manila before, during, and after the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said January 5. The 48-hour suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence in the city of Manila will take effect starting 8 am, Sunday, January 8, until 8 am Tuesday, January 10. Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno earlier said law enforcement personnel would be placed on "full alert" following intelligence reports that terror groups may launch an attack during the Traslacion.

US puts Hamza bin Laden on terror blacklist

Hamza bin Laden, son and heir of the late global jihadist leader Osama bin Laden, is now on the United States terrorist blacklist. Only in his mid-twenties, Hamza has become active as an Al-Qaeda propagandist since his father's death at the hands of US special forces in 2011.

50 inmate escapees recaptured, over 100 still on the run

At least 50 inmates out of a total 158 who escaped from the North Cotabato District Jail have been recaptured as of late Thursday afternoon, January 5, provincial police announced. Some of them said they decided to surrender because they had gotten tired of running and hiding. They also said they ran away because they heard somebody shouting the facility would be set on fire. The jailbreak is the biggest in the country’s history.

Comelec chair Bautista ‘criminally liable’ for data leak

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista is "criminally liable" for the leak of data of millions of voters in March 2016, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) said. The privacy body also said his disregard of his duties as head of agency “is tantamount to gross negligence." Bautista countered that the privacy body's decision was based on "misappreciation of several facts, legal points, and material contexts."

CHED’s Vitriolo ordered dismissed by Ombudsman

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on January 5 ordered Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Executive Director Julito Vitriolo dismissed after finding him guilty of several administrative offenses. The order was in connection with the 1996 agreement between the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the National College of Physical Education (NCPE) to operate diploma programs using PLM's facilities. This was later found to be irregular.

Military, police kill top leader of pro-ISIS terror group

Operatives of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the police killed Mohammad Jaafar Maguid or "Tokboy" of the Ansar Khalifa Philippines (AKP) – among the groups responsible for terrorist attacks in southern Mindanao. Maguid, who was the top leader of AKP, which had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), was killed in Sarangani on January 5. His death was seen as a major success for the country's counter-terrorism campaign.

PH economy to grow 8% in 2017

Despite some global and local risks, the Philippine economy is projected to grow by as much as 8% in 2017. This can be attributed to the country's sound economic fundamentals, the investment banking arm of the Metrobank group said. Economist Victor Abola said on January 5, GDP growth will be “doable with low inflation.”

National Artist Virgilio Almario named new NCCA chair

Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature and chair of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, is the new chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). This was announced by the NCCA on its website.

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