The ANC Brief: July 18, 2018


Posted at Jul 18 2018 04:01 AM

Just some of the stories ANC will be covering today:

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua converse during groundbreaking ceremonies for the two China Bridges project held in Intramuros, Manila, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

China crisis
The Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said the Philippines is not and never will be a part of China. The remarks were made after a Chinese research ship docked in Davao. The Palace said they found nothing wrong with the ship docking and only “Sinophobes” would object. Let’s remember Chinese military planes have refueled in the past landed in Davao. Also, the President also claimed China never asked for anything in return for aid. He said China “will be fair,” just dropping a hint on a joint development with China in the disputed South China Sea. Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide also said the draft federal charter skipped any mention of the West Philippine Sea in provisions on national territory. He said it was probably a move by the Duterte administration to not offend China. In the afternoon, there will be the launch of a book on the country’s maritime case against China before an international tribunal in the Hague, a case which the Philippines won. Expected to attend are Vice President Leni Robredo, Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and former DFA Sec. Albert del Rosario. 

House divided
Differing statements from members of both houses of Congress on charter change. On one hand, there's the House of Representatives filled with the President’s allies led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who said they are willing to push charter change despite a recent survey that showed Filipinos object to moves to change the Constitution. Then there’s Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia floating the idea that Congress can convene as a constituent assembly during the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). On the other side of the ring, the Senate is still split on the issue. Senate President Tito Sotto saying a “no-elections” scenario is possible to facilitate the shift to federalism. Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri saying he is still iffy on charter change and that senators would walk out of if Congress tried to convene itself into a constituent assembly during SONA day. Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, saying there is no solid ground yet in the Senate for charter change. It’s a battle of wills that has yet to reveal who has the upper hand. In the meantime, DILG Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya claimed there is a misinformation campaign against federalism. Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide will be on Headstart to talk about charter change and the draft federal constitution.

BBL in focus
The Bangsamoro Basic Law is still being discussed in Congress. In fact, the committee missed its intended deadline to approve the BBL. Also, how does it fit into move to federalism? ANC will provide updates on the bicameral meeting on the BBL today. Mohager Iqbal will be on Early Edition to talk about the BBL and the peace process.

Residents cross the flooded Araneta Avenue in Quezon City, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 as the southwest monsoon brings heavy rains to different parts of the country. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News.

Dark skies
The enhanced southwest monsoon is due to bring rains to Luzon and the Visayas today. Rains on Monday brought floods in parts of Manila, Bataan and Bulacan. ABS-CBN reporters are spread out to cover important points to report on the floods. ANC will give you updates of the floods and rains in these areas.