FACES OF THE NEWS: March 10, 2019 | Inquirer News
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FACES OF THE NEWS: March 10, 2019

/ 07:07 AM March 10, 2019

Illustration by RENE ELEVERA

Eduardo Año

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año stirred up a storm when he announced last weekend that the narcolist of local officials will be released before the start of the campaign period for local elections on March 30.

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No less than the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) appeared to have been left out of the loop, with PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino opposing the release, saying that the narcolist of 82 politicians, from vice mayor to congressman, was still being validated and that he preferred charges to be filed first.

Apparently following Aquino’s advice, Año had yet to confirm Malacañang’s statement that the narcolist would be out this coming week.

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Validation was still ongoing, was all he would say in a text message to reporters.

Guillermo Eleazar

Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, courted controversy this week after he roughed up arrested antidrug enforcement officer Cpl. Marlo Quibete in front of media cameras.

Quibete was arrested on Tuesday night in a sting operation after a complainant alleged that he had demanded more than P60,000 in cash and valuables from a drug suspect’s family in exchange for dropping the case against the suspect.

The incident led to the relief of the entire drug enforcement unit of the Eastern Police District (EPD), including its chief and the EPD director himself.

After criticisms for his rough handling of the handcuffed suspect, Eleazar apologized but claimed that it was only the camera angles that made it seem that he had hurt the suspect.

Martha McSally

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US Sen. Martha McSally, the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat, revealed in a public hearing that she was raped by a superior officer while she was in the service.

McSally served in the Air Force from 1988 until 2010 and rose to the rank of colonel before entering politics.

She was deployed six times in the Middle East and Afghanistan, flying 325 combat hours and earning a Bronze Star and six air medals. She didn’t report the rape, she said, because she “felt like the system was raping [her] all over again.”

Demanding changes in how society deals with rape victims, she said it was difficult to reveal her experience but was glad she did it.

McSally served two terms starting in 2014, but narrowly lost her Senate bid this year.

She was appointed to replace Sen. John McCain who died in office in 2018.

Manny Villar

After a failed presidential bid in 2010, “brown taipan” Manny Villar focused on growing his real estate and retail empire.

The former seafood vendor from Tondo has become the richest man in the country with an estimated net worth of $5.5 billion, according to Forbes Magazine.

His wealth is mostly due to the lofty valuation of Golden Bria Holdings Inc., a memorial park developer that has diversified into mass housing and home-builder Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc.

With a capital of P10,000, Villar bought two reconditioned trucks and started a gravel and sand delivery business in Las Piñas in 1975, the same year that he married now senator Cynthia Villar.

He later entered politics and eventually became Speaker and Senate president.

Globally, he is ranked 317th among 2,153 billionaires listed by Forbes.

Benjamin Diokno

While most people were surprised when President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Benjamin Diokno to head the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) after the death of its former chief, Nestor Espenilla Jr., the former budget secretary wasn’t.

The banking community thought a BSP “insider” or perhaps a banker or a politician (no less than House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to rumors) would be made in-charge of monetary policy and bank supervision.

But Diokno himself revealed how he got the job during a meeting with other economic managers on the rice tariffication law on Feb. 26.

“I said don’t appoint a banker or a former banker. And [Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III] asked, ‘why not you?’”

Replied Diokno: “Sure, why not?”

Just a week later, Diokno started to serve Espenilla’s unexpired term ending in 2023.

Lebron James

LeBron James has been climbing the all-time scoring ladder since he became the No. 1 overall pick in 2003.

And there are more steps to climb — James is still at fourth place after all.

But this particular rung, this particular milestone, meant more to him than to every other player he’d passed along the way.

Well, it’s best for him to explain that in his own words: “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, who needed inspiration, needed some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me. Wanted to be like MJ, wanted to shoot fadeaways like MJ, wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like MJ, wanted to wear my sneakers like MJ … I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ.  It’s crazy, to be honest. It’s beyond crazy.”

MJ is Michael Jordan, whom James overtook for fourth place in the all-time scoring list.

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TAGS: Benjamin Diokno, Eduardo Año, Faces of the News, Guillermo Eleazar, LeBron James, Manny Villar, Martha McSally
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