#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 9, 2017

Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Thursday.










Hello Rappler readers,

The controversy surrounding US President Donald Trump's travel ban continues to rage with the American leader criticizing US federal courts. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte does not take kindly the advice given by former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria on how to deal with the drug problem.

In April, the Philippines will play host to ASEAN heads of state. Another summit in November will be attended by over 20 heads of government. Given the "state of lawlessness" previously declared, security is top priority and a major expense item for the 2017 summit.

In the House of Representatives, lawmakers continue to argue over the merits of reimposing the death penalty. No less than Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is cracking the whip, warning House leaders to toe the administration line.

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

Trump hits ‘political’ federal courts, defends travel ban

Federal judges are “so political,” US President Donald Trump said, as an appeals court deliberated on whether to reinstate his controversial travel ban on nationals from 7 mostly Muslim nations. He defended his order, saying, “I think our security is at risk today.”

Security eats up a third of ASEAN 2017 budget

About a third of the P15-billion budget earmarked for the hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit will be set aside for security, Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr said. Paynor, appointed envoy to Washington, is also National Organizing Council Director-General for Operations. Leaders of the 10 ASEAN member-countries will be attending the April 29 summit, while over 20 heads of state and government are expected to attend the November summit.

Duterte to ex-Colombian president: 'Idiot'

Idiot. That’s what President Rodrigo Duterte called former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria for “lecturing” him about his war on drugs. Gaviria said force alone won’t solve the drug problem, but Duterte said the situations in Colombia and the Philippines are different because whereas cocaine was trafficked in Colombia, shabu is the drug of choice in the Philippines.

Lagman: Death penalty no antidote to criminality

Albay 1st district Representative Edcel Lagman argued against the reimposition of the death penalty for 21 heinous crimes, refuting claims it would address the rising number of vigilante-style killings in the country. Listing 15 main arguments, the congressman said, among others, “The severest penalty is not the antidote to criminality.”

Free housing for 200,000 Yolanda victims – Duterte

As many as 200,000 victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) will get a free house and lot package that costs around P290,000 each. President Rodrigo Duterte announced the free housing during the National Housing Summit on February 8 in Quezon City. The house grants are worth about P50 billion.

Alvarez warns Arroyo: You’re out if you don’t support death penalty

Toe the line or risk losing leadership positions. This was the message of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to lawmakers opposing the death penalty bill. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, among the deputy speakers, had also been warned about replacement, Alvarez said, because she continues to oppose the measure. Other lawmakers also opposed to the death penalty warned Alvarez he may lose allies in the House.

Facebook gives employees ‘paid family leaves’

Facebook is giving employees who need to take care of an ailing family member up to 6 weeks of “paid family leaves”, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said. In addition, employees who need to take care of a family member with a short-term illness will get an added 3 days of paid leaves, and 20 days of bereavement leave, Sandberg announced.

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