FACES OF THE NEWS: May 26, 2019 | Inquirer News

FACES OF THE NEWS: May 26, 2019

/ 05:38 AM May 26, 2019

Illustrations by Rene Elevera

Theresa May

As home secretary of former Prime Minister David Cameron, Theresa May originally favored Britain remaining in the European Union, but later embraced Brexit after the 2016 referendum showed that 51.9 percent of voters chose to leave.


She formally set the process in motion but failed to muster enough support in Parliament, which defeated her exit plan thrice, leading to her resignation on Friday.


In an emotional statement, May said it was a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to deliver Brexit.

The Conservative Party said May’s successor would have to be in place by Parliament’s summer recess on July 20.

Some of the candidates — like former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and current Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt — said they would seek changes in the divorce deal that May had negotiated.

But the European Commission said its 27 leaders had approved the deal as it stood, so it appears likely that Britain would leave the bloc without any kind of deal on Oct. 31, the extended deadline agreed on.

Myla Villanueva

Newly appointed Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chair Myla Villanueva had her baptism of fire during the midterm elections when she found herself burdened with assuring the public of the integrity of the vote.


A tech expert and PPCRV trustee, Villanueva was elected in November last year to head the Church-based poll watchdog, which had been led by former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa.

On election night, Villanueva, along with other PPCRV officials, found themselves scrambling to explain why results stopped streaming into the transparency server after the initial release of data.

While she would later confirm PPCRV findings that there was indeed a data bottleneck, the PPCRV official took the Commission on Elections to task for the incident.

Despite the glitch, Villanueva, who once served as a poll watcher, rejected calls for a return to manual voting.

She urged people to remember what the country’s situation was like when no computers hastened the count.

Dionne Mae Umalla

If her father attends Sunday’s graduation ceremony at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Mabalasik Class valedictorian Cadet First Class Dionne Mae Umalla says he would be welcome, although she believes that will be unlikely.

Umalla and her three brothers were raised by their mother, retired high school teacher Dionisia in the mountain town of Alilem in Ilocos Sur province, after Umalla’s father, Reuben Sr., abandoned them decades ago.

“I miss him,” admitted Umalla, who reconnected with her father when she was recognized as a PMA cadet four years ago.

The cadet, who considers her mother her female hero, said Dionisia taught them not to nurse any rancor against their estranged father.

Umalla was enrolled in an education course and was majoring in mathematics when her mother prodded her to join the PMA.

She excelled in most fields because she didn’t want to let her mother down.

Umalla is the fifth female cadet to graduate as class valedictorian since the PMA started accepting women in 1993.

She will be joining the Navy.

Cynthia Villar

Reelected Sen. Cynthia Villar outperformed herself in the recently concluded midterm polls: she not only more than doubled her 2013 votes when she first ran for the Senate, she also led her closest competitor by more than 3.2 million votes.

When Villar ran six years ago, she found herself almost at the bottom rung of the so-called Magic 12, finishing in 10th place with just a little over 11 million votes.

But by the end of the counting on Tuesday, Villar had solidified her hold on the top spot, recording a total of 25,283,727 votes.

Because of her strong showing this election cycle, talks have been rife that Villar may be a shoo-in for the 2022 presidential race.

Her answer?

“Unless God gives it to me on a silver platter, I’m not going to exert any effort to be President.”

It is a matter of destiny, she added.

Villar also nixed the possibility of running for Senate President, saying that she would rather focus on heading the Senate committees on agriculture and food, and on environment and natural resources.

Joko Widodo

Post-election riots that resulted in the death of seven Indonesians may have dampened Joko Widodo’s reelection as president of the world’s third-biggest democracy, but 85.6 million Indonesians have spoken.

This was Widodo’s second win over rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired Army lieutenant general whom he beat in the presidential elections five years ago.

Widodo, 57, had been widely predicted to win, but Subianto, 67, has vowed to challenge his rival’s victory and has alleged widespread fraud and cheating.

He warned that questionable election results could spark street protests across the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation. But election officials and international observers have discounted Subianto’s claims.

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Still, on Wednesday afternoon, Indonesia’s communication minister, Rudiantara, restricted access to social media, with Widodo saying his country “will not tolerate anyone who interferes with [its] security and democratic processes.” The situation, he said, was under control.

TAGS: Joko Widodo, Theresa May

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