#ThewRap: Things you need to know, May 17, 2017

Hello Rappler readers,

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the incoming chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs, swiftly hurdled his confirmation hearing – no surprises there since lawmakers said they would give courtesy to a fellow member of Congress.

In the United States, there's more trouble for President Donald Trump as he faces explosive allegations.

Below are the big stories you shouldn't miss.

Cayetano breezes through CA hearing

As expected, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano breezed through the Commission on Appointments confirmation hearing for his new post at the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, on the issue of joint development in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Cayetano earlier said the Philippine Constitution should be checked first.

Taiwan postpones visa-free entry for Filipinos

Taiwan's visa-free privilege for Filipinos won't begin in June, after all. It's been rescheduled to September "to conduct seamless operations, facilitate the entry to Taiwan, and enhance security and safety for everyone," said Taiwan's representative to the Philippines.

Duterte's spokesman Abella to get Cabinet rank

Sources confirmed to Rappler that Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella will soon have the title of "secretary". He will also get an office separate from the Presidential Communications Operations Office, so he will no longer report to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Did Trump try to stop FBI probe?

US President Donald Trump has been accused of pressuring former FBI director James Comey to drop a probe into ex-national security advisor Michael Flynn. Not just that – Trump also faces allegations that he disclosed highly classified information to top Russian officials.

BSP warns banks not to pay cyber criminals

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas warned banks and other financial institutions not to give in to cyber criminals' demands, in case they become victims of a ransomware or hacking attack. The BSP also reminded them that they should do everything to protect their crucial and sensitive data.