The ANC Brief: Causing a commotion


Posted at Jul 16 2020 05:00 AM

Wednesday was not a good day for Health Sec. Francisco Duque. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

COVID commotion
Imagine the country's highest health official causing a commotion and confusion with his statements on COVID-19. Health Sec. Francisco Duque raised a howl on Wednesday when he said we flattened the curve since April despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Later he caused an even bigger ruckus when corrected his statement, saying the government managed to "curve" the curve. 

It looks like the Filipino saying that a fish is caught in its own mouth applies to the recent statements of the president on the ABS-CBN franchise. In a speech given by Duterte in Sulu, he said, without mentioning ABS-CBN or the Lopezes, he "dismantled" the oligarchy without having to declare martial law. But in an unedited audio recording of the speech, he did mention ABS-CBN and boasted that he brought down the network for personal reasons, or "for defiling" him. Also, in what looks like an unguarded moment, also said he wants helpful friends get rich. The Palace was quick to parry accusations of cronyism by the highest official in the land. 

Speaking of the ABS-CBN network, the network and its fans have yet to get over the killing of the franchise renewal in Congress when Rep. LRay Villafuerte filed a bill that urges the government to use ABS-CBN's frequency for distance learning. On the same day, the network announced retrenchment of some of its employees.

Word war
A fiery exchange of words between the Philippines and China had marked the fourth anniversary of the victory of the Philippines over China's claims on the South China Sea before a maritime arbitral tribunal. But on Wednesday, the Foreign Affairs department said the two sides agreed to hold " friendly consultations" on issues related to the West Philippine Sea. But the recent rhetoric from the US State Department directed at Beijing showed Uncle Sam isn't backing down from China just yet.

Virtual grief
When Bocaue’s beloved Mayor Joni Villanueva passed away at the height of the health crisis, his friend experienced what it’s like to grieve for someone through the Internet. Grieving, even online, remains a painful experience.