The Vatican has launched an investigation into how Pope Francis's Instagram account "liked" a raunchy photograph of a Brazilian bikini model with her bottom on display, an official said Friday.

Vatican vows to get to the bottom of racy Papal Instagram ‘like’

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The Vatican has launched an investigation into how Pope Francis’s Instagram account “liked” a raunchy photograph of a Brazilian bikini model with her bottom on display, an official said Friday.

Natalia Garibotto, 27, posed in a white cropped top, suspenders and the smallest of tartan skirts for a naughty school girl picture that was given the thumbs up by the official Franciscus account last week.

“I’m going to heaven,” the blonde model tweeted after an eagle-eyed fan snapped a screenshot of the “like”.

It was removed a day later by the Vatican’s social media team, which tweets or likes on the pontiff’s behalf.

“The issue is currently being investigated in close contact with Instagram,” a Vatican official told AFP, after speculation someone in the social media team could accidently have liked the picture while logged in as Francis.

Francis has 7.4 million Instagram followers, but does not follow any other profiles and does not appear to have “liked” anything else.

Agence France-Presse

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Infra kesa bakuna? Alan Cayetano bats for ‘Build Build Build’ in tourist spots amid pandemic

By Billy Begas

Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano reiterated his call to implement a “Build Build Build” infrastructure program in the tourism sector as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cayetano said the government should take advantage of the reduced tourist arrivals and movement in the country to implement a massive tourism infrastructure program.

“Ngayon na may COVID, bakit di tayo mag-Build Build Build sa lahat ng tourism-related [areas]?” said Cayetano. “Ang dami dami nating mga hidden gems. Ang dami dami pa ring mga lugar na hindi pa natutuklasan. Ang problema, wala pang imprastraktura.”

He said Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam have long been investing in tourism-related infrastructure like facilities for artisan establishments and clean and accessible washrooms to attract more tourist.

“What makes us think na after COVID, bigla tayong number one [in tourism]? But we can do two things, di ba? Na seryosohin yung sa bakuna. Pangalawa, lahat ng tourism-related na infrastructure and best practices, gawin na natin this year. Para pag reopen natin next year, mas maganda pa ang napakagandang Pilipinas,” he added.

In 2019, some 8.26 million foreign tourists arrived in the country, surpassing the Department of Tourism’s target. However, the figure is a far cry from Thailand’s nearly 40 million international tourist arrivals and Vietnam’s 18 million foreign tourists.

The tourism industry contributed 12.7 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2019.

House to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

The House of Representatives committee on dangerous drugs will start its investigation into the shootout between operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) next week.

“The committee has decided to call for a motu propio investigation on Monday on this incident that happened the other night,” Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said in a television interview

The gunfight outside a mall along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City left four dead and four wounded. Both parties described the incident as a misencounter as they supposedly carrying out separate operations.

The Senate is also set to prove the incident as well as the National Bureau of Investigation.

Aprub Pinoy diyan! Rufus Rodriguez asks Duterte: Keep VFA with US

By Billy Begas

Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez is urging President Duterte to maintain the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States.

“The President wants to feel the public pulse on the VFA. I think most Filipinos not only support the agreement but want the government to strengthen Philippine-US relations,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said he and the residents of the second district of Cagayan de Oro support the continuation of the VFA.

He explained that Pinoys have a natural affinity with America, not only because of our decades of partnership but also because of our close cultural and social ties.

“America is also home for millions of Filipinos,” he added.

Rodriguez said the Filipinos also trust the US to honor its commitments to the Philippines, including those under the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

Despite the Duterte administration’s foreign policy pivot to China, Duterte said Filipinos consider the US as a more reliable ally in all aspects of foreign relations.

“In contrast, they do not trust the Chinese, especially in the wake of their aggressive activities in the West Philippine Sea and inside our 200-mile exclusive economic zone, most of which Beijing illegally claims as part of its territorial waters,” he pointed out.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the abrogation of the VFA in February 2020 claiming that the US is not treating the Philippines fairly.

However, he ordered the suspension of the abrogation until December 2020. The suspension was extended for another six months.

Rodriguez supported Duterte’s suggestion that the US should extend more military and economic assistance to the Philippines in the event the VFA is maintained.

“It’s a reasonable proposal. The President wants fair treatment, comparable to what America is giving its other allies in this part of the world,” Rodriguez added.

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