“The President was only joking” is beginning to sound like a mantra from Palace officials. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
Starting a joke
The President started a “joke.” But it looks like the Palace is the only one laughing. President Duterte said he would invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States in its maritime dispute with China. But Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president was only joking. Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio believes the president isn’t serious. In any case, Duterte insisted the country still has sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea despite his decision to allow China to fish in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
President Duterte scored high in the latest trust and approval survey even after the Recto Bank incident. According to the new Pulse Asia survey, 8 out of 10 Filipinos still trust in the President and approve of his actions despite criticisms of his handling of the Recto Bank incident. Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate President Tito Sotto both enjoyed a spike in their trust and approval ratings.
Vietnam took a potshot at China over their dispute in the South China Sea. A spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry reiterated her country’s determination to peacefully struggle against China on violations of Vietnam’s rights over its sea areas. Chinese and Vietnamese ships are reported to be involved in a standoff near the Spratlys.
The Palace, police and militants are gearing up for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday. It is likely he will trumpet the gains of the country’s economy and the war on drugs. The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) will hold a “real numbers” press conference at 10 a.m. on the government’s war against illegal drugs. On the economic front, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) will hold a 3:30 p.m. press conference on the current economic assumptions.
If you love your cocktails and chocolate, this new bar crawl organized by Auro Chocolate may just become your new favorite. This lets participants sample a whole variety of chocolate-infused savory dishes paired with chocolate-themed boozy drinks.