The ANC Brief: From Russia with love


Posted at Aug 12 2020 05:00 AM

The Duterte administration is making beautiful music with Mother Russia. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Pandora's box?
Russia President Vladimir Putinn boasted his country has developed a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev said there are already proposals for clinical trials and local production of the vaccine. President Duterte volunteered to test the vaccine himself. But the World Health Organization (WHO) said it wants to review the vaccine. A clinical trial group based in Russia warned the vaccine might be a Pandora's Box.

World's strictest lockdown
President Duterte said he might tap the military to enforce lockdown if the public won't cooperate. The Philippines already has the world's longest and strictest lockdown, characterized by an inordinate focus on security operations more than being science-driven. As a result, the number of COVID-19 cases is still going up. And it looks like all this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Head to foot
A former head executive assistant told Tuesday's Senate hearing that he resigned from PhilHealth because he could no longer stomach the corruption inside the agency. Presidential Anti Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica said corruption in Philhealth runs from "head to foot." Sen. Miguel Zubiri said some individuals are being paid to act as patients coming in for reimbursements from PhilHealth. It's the turn of the lower House to probe the agency today.

Legal eagles
Expect a battle royale as legal eagles square off on the controversial Anti-Terror Bill. The Supreme Court has set oral arguments on petitions assailing the bill in September.

Future film
Cinemalaya is leading the way for festivals in the age of COVID. By making its films available online, not only in the Philippines but to TFC subscribers around the world, the indie film audience just got bigger.