Faces of the News
Rep. Edcel Lagman
He fought martial law enforced by strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s onward, even losing an activist-brother to the cause. Four decades later, he finds himself railing again against martial law declared by President Duterte in Mindanao to quell a plot by militants allied with Islamic State to overrun Marawi City. Appearing before the Supreme Court early this week, the Albay lawmaker articulated the petitioners’ argument to void Mr. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 216. Given pronouncements by defense and military officials that the situation in Marawi was under control, he asserted that there was no factual basis for declaration of martial law. When Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo pointed out that the President has access to the government’s vast intelligence network, he countered: “Access does not mean to say that what he has accessed is valid.”
It fell upon him, as solicitor general, to justify President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Playing with words, he argued that martial law was the President’s “calling out power on steroids.” The calling out power is the first of three measures available to the President to quell lawless violence, invasion or rebellion. But Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said steroids could give the appearance of increased muscular presence, but could not address the ill. Realizing his error, he asked the justices not to take his phraseology literally. But he didn’t stop there. He said martial law was an “exclamation point” in the fight against the militants, prompting Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to ask, “So it’s golpe de gulat?” Otherwise, all the elements of rebellion were present in Mindanao, hence the necessity for Proclamation No. 216, he said.
The country’s new tourism ad was meant to show the exhilaration that a blind Japanese tourist experiences as he tours famed destinations, talks with locals, and feelsthe wind on his face while riding on the back of a motorcycle, according to Frederick Alegre, Department of Tourism spokesperson. “Here, you don’t have to see the sun to discover radiance,” M. Uchimura himself narrates in the ad. It seemed refreshingly new, until someone pointed out that it had an uncanny resemblance to South Africa’s ad. Last Thursday, the DOT announced it was severing its relationship with McCann Worldgroup Philippines “after a diligent review of the ad materials in question.’’ It also said that they expect a “public apology” from the ad agency due to the “similarities between McCann’s ‘sights’ ad and South Africa’s ad released in 2014.”
Niño Rey Boniel
They were a “power couple” in Bohol. Niño sits in the provincial board, while his wife Gisela, a former airline pilot, was mayor of Bien Unido town. Like any couple, they had fights and their relationship turned sour. But nobody thought it would end in tragedy, as it happened last week. Allegedly, on Niño’s orders, Gisela was kidnapped from a resort, tied up, gagged, wrapped with a blanket and forced inside a fishnet, then shot dead before she was dumped in the waters between Cebu and Bohol. Gisela’s friend, Angela Leyson, reportedly saw Niño punch and drag Gisela from the resort, while the former was subjected to electroshock. Leyson and her 17-year-old son were spared, and ended up reporting the crime to the police. After his cohorts confessed to the crime, Niño was charged in court along with his henchmen. Gisela’s body remains missing.
Scorned for leaving Oklahoma City to chase a crown in Golden State, Kevin Durant delivered the perfect response—his first NBA championship. And there’s even the Finals Most Valuable Player plum to boot as Durant averaged 35.2 points and 8.4 rebounds in the Warriors’ conquest of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the eight-time All-Star throws credit back to his star-studded squad led by two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. “To have teammates that encourage you, that lift you up, that’s what we all need in life,” Durant said. “It was amazing to just see that all year.” His stellar numbers in the title series—which the Warriors won at 4-1—made Durant the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 to make 30 or more points in five finals games. “The way he embraced the opportunity in the finals was unbelievable,” Curry said of the 2014 season MVP.
For someone who once thought that only football can be played on grass, Jelena Ostapenko has certainly come a long way. Ostapenko will head to Wimbledon as tennis’ newest star after the 20-year-old Latvian pulled off a shocker in the French Open. “It was always my goal to win a Grand Slam title, now I want to win them all,” she said. Ostapenko stunned World No. 4 Simona Halep, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the women’s finals of the French Open to become an unlikely Grand Slam champion. In winning her first career title at No. 47, Ostapenko emerged as the lowest-ranked winner in the Paris clay court. In a couple of weeks, Ostapenko will see action in the grass courts of Wimbledon where she’s now listed at No. 12. “I thought grass is for soccer,” Ostapenko said. “But then I learned how to play on it and understood the movement. Now I really like it.”
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