Faces of the News: Sept. 16, 2018 | Inquirer News

Faces of the News: Sept. 16, 2018

/ 07:08 AM September 16, 2018

Illustrations by RENE ELEVERA

Jack Ma

Internet tycoon Jack Ma, who founded Alibaba Group and helped launch China’s online retailing boom, announced on Sept. 10 that he would step down as company chair in September 2019.


A former English teacher, Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 when e-commerce was still in its infancy.

By 2017, Alibaba reported profits of $9.8 billion, while Ma’s net worth was estimated at $38.6 billion, making him one of the richest men in China.


From 2019, Ma will remain a member of the group of 36 people with the right to nominate a majority of its board of directors, but he will be replaced by CEO Daniel Zhang as chair.

Ma, known in Chinese as Ma Yun, said he wanted to “return to education” where he thinks he could  do better than being CEO.

He can never be as rich as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, but he can retire earlier, he said.

Kelsey Merritt

She’s Kelsey Meritt from the Philippines, the first Filipina to walk the ramp in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which attracts 800 million viewers every year.

Merritt will join Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Martha Hunt, Stella Maxwell, Lais Ribeiro, Taylor Hill, Sara Sampaio and Cindy Bruna in donning the brand’s sexy lingerie.

Described as a “rising star” by British Vogue, she moved to New York to be a full-time model last year after graduating from the Ateneo with a mass communication degree.


She’s been juggling modelling and school since her second year, flying 15 hours between two countries.

And this Kapampangan can’t stop talking about the Philippines.

In a Q&A video released by Victoria’s Secret this week, Merritt said she could eat green mangoes from the country for the rest of her life.

PDEA’s hero dogs

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has remained in the dog house since its claim that an estimated P6.8 billion worth of “shabu” (crystal meth) had been smuggled to a Cavite warehouse through magnetic lifters, even if the actual drugs had not been recovered and the lifters had proved negative for shabu during swab tests.

Despite accusations from the Bureau of Customs and President Rodrigo Duterte that the existence of the drugs was “pure speculation,” the PDEA on Sept. 10, gave the “Medalya ng Papuri” to the K9 unit that determined the erstwhile presence of the drugs in the lifters: 6-year-old Belgian Malinois “Odel” and his handler Ryan Collantes.

Odel was one of 14 “hero dogs” awarded for their significant contribution to the PDEA’s fight against illegal drugs.

Isa Molde

She was heralded as one of the players who could deliver a UAAP championship for the University of the Philippines. Isa Molde, however, will have to be content with a Premier Volleyball League title with the Lady Maroons.

For now. Molde was UP’s source of power in the PVL Collegiate Conference, harnessing her skills to log kills for the Lady Maroons, who soared to the top of the PVL with a gutsy two-game conquest of collegiate heavyweight Far Eastern University in the best-of-three finals series.

Molde was promptly rewarded with the conference MVP trophy, but the Cebuana said the silverware did not distract her from her real goal: The PVL crown. She did not have to wait long.

Naomi Osaka

There are a thousand better ways to celebrate one’s first Grand Slam title. Naomi Osaka, however, had to do so under the shadow of controversy.

She received her US Open trophy in a rain of boos after a New York crowd of Serena Williams fans made their feelings known. To top it all, tennis superstar Williams went on a tirade against an umpire and was docked a point and a game, much to her consternation and that of her fans.

Osaka defeated Williams, 6-2, 6-4 to become the first player of Japanese descent to win a Grand Slam.

But Williams’ tirade cast a negative light on the trophy ceremony, drawing a lot of sympathy for Osaka, who many felt deserved a much more joyous celebration for a momentous feat.

Still, in a show of humility, Osaka apologized for the way the title showdown unfolded.

Washington mystery leaker

On Sept. 5, critics of US President Donald Trump rejoiced at a New York Times op-ed where a supposedly ranking White House executive declared that senior officials were “working diligently from within to frustrate” Trump “and his worst inclinations.”

The author, who remains unidentified, may be called a modern-day Guy Fawkes, whose stylized image now symbolizes anonymous protest.

But Fawkes can also embody the startling changes in the United States, where unelected, unaccountable officials are now conniving against a duly elected head of state instead of declaring him incompetent, as provided for in the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution.

While the United States was quick to demand rule of law, history buffs point out that rule of law also got Fawkes hanged for plotting to assassinate the English king in 1606.

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TAGS: Face of the News: Jack Ma, Isa Molde, Kelsey Merritt, Naomi Osaka, New York Times opinion piece, Odel, PDEA’s Hero Dogs, Ryan Collantes, Washington Mystery Man
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