#ThewRap: Things you need to know, May 25, 2017

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










Hello Rappler readers,

Martial law stories dominated the news as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and announced he was contemplating expanding its scope from Mindanao to the entire country, if the terror threat from the Islamic State continues. He has congressional approval in his pocket as confirmed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III.

The global terror threat continues as Jakarta was also hit by 2 explosions set off by two suicide bombers in a bus terminal. A whiff of good news came courtesy of Jeff Bezos who gave a media rights watchdog group a generous $1 million!

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

Congress won’t stand in the way of martial law in Mindanao

A Congress packed with allies of President Rodrigo Duterte has no intentions of revoking his declaration of martial law. Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said there is no need for Congress to convene as a body too since members do not have plans to junk the proclamation. The same is true for the Senate, Sotto said.

If ISIS threat persists, Duterte may expand martial law to entire PH

Before you know it, the entire country may be put under martial law – that is, if the threat posed by the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) persists. Initially saying he might declare martial law in the Visayas because it is right beside Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte during a press briefing upon arrival from Russia on Wednesday later said he would also consider putting the island of Luzon under the scope of martial rule.

Military says 78 hostages in Marawi hospital freed

78 civilians held captive by the Maute Group inside the Amai Pakpak Medical Center on Tuesday, May 23, were freed after terrorists fled the public hospital. Clashes with the military in Marawi City forced members of the Maute Group to leave. At least 4 residents, including a priest, were however reportedly taken by the terrorist group.

Jakarta bus terminal suicide bombing leaves at least 5 dead

Suicide bombers caused two explosions in a bus terminal in Jakarta – one in a restroom and another in a parking lot – killing at least 5 and wounding at least 10. Both bombers also died in the daring attack. Both explosions happened at around 9 pm local time in the Kampung Melayu neighborhood of East Jakarta.

AFP chief Año is martial law administrator

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Eduardo Año is martial law administrator, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Wednesday, May 24. This is after Duterte put Mindanao under martial law. The President also said Año's tour of duty would be extended for 6 months, thereby postponing his assumption of his post as interior secretary.

'Keep the pressure' on North Korea, Duterte tells Trump

Which is which? In public, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called on the US and North Korea to "show restraint", while in private he asked US President Donald Trump to keep the pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Duterte also said Trump asked him to call Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene in the Korean Peninsula crisis. A confidential transcript obtained by Rappler from The Intercept, however, showed that it was Duterte who volunteered to do this.

Amazon's Bezos gifts press freedom watchdog with $1M

Media rights watchdog Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press received its largest-ever gift from Amazon co-founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos: $1 million. Reporters Committee chairman David Boardman said the gift will "help us continue to grow, to offer our legal and educational support to many more news organizations, and to expand our services to independent journalists, nonprofit newsrooms and documentary filmmakers."

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