FACES OF THE NEWS: June 2, 2019
Jose Laurel V
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V found himself in an awkward situation when asked to comment on President Rodrigo Duterte’s four-day working visit to Tokyo last week.
Asked by reporters if the President’s trip was a “balancing act” of our strong ties with Japan and China, Laurel dismissed the idea and remarked that the trip of the Cabinet officials accompanying the President was a postelections “reward,” given the President’s elation over the victory of the administration-backed senatorial candidates.
Malacañang later said Laurel may have been misinformed or “innocently speculating” about the issue, while Justice Secretary Mernardo Guevarra, the officer in charge during the President’s absence, said Laurel had been “rebuked” for his comments.
But the Palace said the envoy, a member of the illustrious Laurel clan, would not be replaced by the President.
Vicente Sotto III
Senate President Vicente Sotto III found an unlikely challenge to his command of the upper chamber as Senators-elect Imee Marcos and Francis Tolentino, both known to be close to President Rodrigo Duterte, made overtures about a change in the Senate leadership even before they could officially assume office in the 18th Congress.
While saying he was ready to relinquish his seat anytime, Sotto warned that fiddling with the power structure in the Senate may only leave the President a lame duck and undermine his legislative agenda in the second half of his presidency.
Sotto’s allies, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, drafted a manifesto of support to rally behind the embattled Senate President.
The resolution, now circulating among the senators, is meant to identify this early those who support Sotto’s leadership and those who do not, Lacson said.
The burned-out employee
For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the suffering of legions of workers who constantly have to deal with stress in the workplace.
In the latest update of its International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic benchmark for physicians and health insurers, the WHO defined burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
It said the syndrome was characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativism related to one’s job and reduced professional efficacy.
The syndrome was first thought to be a form of depression until the WHO classification, which may pave the way for its coverage by medical insurers.
But the WHO also clarified that burnout is an “occupational phenomenon,” not a medical condition.
He previously landed in the headlines for being the coanchor of “Kilos Pronto,” a blocktimer on PTV flagged by the Commission on Audit for entering into an “anomalous” P60-million advertising contract with the tourism department then headed by his sister Wanda Tulfo-Teo.
This week, radio host Erwin Tulfo made the news again for berating Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista on air.
In his radio program “Tutok Erwin Tulfo” aired on May 27, Tulfo called Bautista “mentally deranged,” “inutile” and “useless” on air for supposedly refusing to grant him a live interview.
His diatribe immediately drew fire from enraged citizens and Bautista’s fellow government officials and military colleagues, with Philippine Information Agency chief Harold Clavite calling Tulfo a “pretentious, poisonous media personality.”
Talk about getting a dose of one’s own bitter medicine!
Four bounces. The moment the Toronto Raptors fell behind, 0-2, in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the loaded Milwaukee Bucks, it seemed like Kawhi Leonard’s season with the Canadian squad would be defined by four bounces.
It took four bounces before Leonard’s buzzer-beating shot dropped into the basket in Game 7 of the Eastern semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, a moment that will go down in history as one of the most thrilling NBA highlights.
The Raptors also bounced back four times against the Bucks. Toronto dug out of that series hole and won four straight to shut out prospective MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the favored Milwaukee squad — the No. 1 NBA team in regular season.
With Leonard back in the finals with another crack at the Golden State Warriors, he could get lucky. It might not take four bounces of the ball at the buzzer to win a first NBA title.
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