#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 28, 2017

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










Hello Rappler readers,

Secret lock-up cell in a police station? And you think you've heard everything scary about the cops. A surprise investigation on Thursday, April 27, by a team from the Commission on Human rights uncovered a hidden lock-up cell in Police Station 1 in Tondo, Manila. The station chief Robert Domingo was ordered relieved and will be investigated.

Still on cops, SPO3 Ronald Alvarez of the Delpan Police Community Precinct has been named by witnesses as the one reportedly behind the killing of 4 drug suspects. Will an investigation also be forthcoming?

The coming week will see a commemoration of World Press Freedom Day. Despite some improvement, the Philippines is still on the list of the most dangerous countries for media, says media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.

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

Manila police station chief relieved over secret cell

The chief of a Manila police station, Superintendent Robert Domingo – found to have illegally detained people inside a secret "lock-up cell" – was relieved on Friday, April 28. This came a day after a Commission of Human Rights team found around 12 men and women locked up inside a cell behind a bookshelf inside Police Station 1 in Tondo, Manila. Domingo will be investigated by the Philippine National Police's Internal Affairs Service.

CHR team finds ‘secret’ police cell with detainees

A team from the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) found about 12 men and women allegedly illegally detained in a "lock-up cell" kept behind a bookshelf in Police Station 1 in Tondo, Manila. Station Commander Superintendent Robert Domingo on Thursday, April 28, claimed the detainees were locked up as their documents were still being "processed." The CHR team was not allowed by the police to take the detainees with them, with police insisting they were persons under arrest.

Duterte out to stop ABS-CBN franchise renewal

President Rodrigo Duterte wants to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise. In a media interview on Thursday, April 27, Duterte accused the network of “swindling.” He claimed ABS-CBN did not show his political ads during the 2016 campaign season though they were already paid for. ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III had earlier said the anger of an administration towards media is “part and parcel” of the work of media.

Witnesses identify Manila cop in drug-related summary killings

Witnesses accused a Manila policeman of being behind at least 4 drug-related deaths within the jurisdiction of Police Station 2-Moriones in Tondo, Manila, according to a Rappler investigative story. At least 7 people identified Police Officer 3 Ronald Alvarez of the Delpan Police Community Precinct, as the one who killed 4 drug suspects. Their testimonies were corroborated by at least 21 interviews in the course of a 3-month investigation by Rappler’s Patricia Evangelista and Magnum Foundation photographer Carlo Gabuco.

Duterte’s drug war drives up prices of shabu, cocaine

The strongest impact of Duterte’s drug war has been increased prices of drugs. According to data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, cocaine was at least P3,600 ($72) a gram in 2015, but now goes for a minimum of P5,000 ($100). Shabu, the poor man’s cocaine, sold for at most P15,000 in 2015 but now sells for up to P25,000.

Irked Duterte tells New York Times to ‘stop publishing’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at the New York Times for saying he is a "man who must be stopped" in its editorial titled, "Let the World Condemn Duterte." The President said on Thursday, April 27, "New York Times – asshole, asshole. You cannot even criticize your own mistake. Invading a country, making up excuses before the world that is not true, then you have the gall to say stop. You better stop your publishing."

PH still among most dangerous countries for media

The Philippines remains one of the most dangerous countries for media despite a lower number of journalists killed in 2016, a 2017 World Press Freedom Index showed. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its report released Wednesday, April 26, that “insults and open threats against the media by President Rodrigo Duterte, another new strongman, do not bode well.” The Philippines ranks 127th out of 180 countries with a score of 41.08 points from 2016’s 138th place with a score of 44.66 points.

Nintendo sees 10M Switch consoles sold till March 2018

Nintendo expects to sell 10 million units of the new Switch game console over the next year, the company said on Thursday, April 27. The forecast came as Nintendo reported that its net profit in the just-ended business year soared more than six-fold, though operating profit and revenue fell from a year ago. The creator of the iconic Super Mario character launched the Switch only last March and said it sold 2.74 million of the consoles in that month alone.

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