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FACES OF THE NEWS: July 21, 2019

/ 05:50 AM July 21, 2019
FACES OF THE NEWS: July 21, 2019

Illustration by RENE ELEVERA

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is turning the race for the most number of Grand Slams into a three-man contest.

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Roger Federer owns the men’s record of 20 Slams while Nadal has 18.

By virtue of his dramatic victory against Swiss maestro Federer in the recent Wimbledon final, Djokovic is now within sniffing distance of the lead after collecting his 16th Grand Slam crown.

And he did it the hard way, becoming the first man to rule Wimbledon after facing two championship points.

It took four hours and 57 minutes to finish—the longest Wimbledon final — but Djokovic’s 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) victory over Federer meant that the race is on for the top spot Federer now occupies.

And he is the youngest of the three tennis stars at 32. Nadal is 33 while Federer turns 38 next month.

Djokovic is currently No. 1 in the world but once the careers of the big three are over, their place in history will be measured using a different metric. And Djokovic is coming in fast and hard, ready to take the top spot that matters.

Isko Moreno

A decades-old problem in Manila was fixed in two weeks. Thanks to Isko Moreno, the city’s new mayor who  showed everyone it could be done.

It wasn’t so complicated after all — you just need what most politicians don’t have or refused to grasp: political will.

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Moreno cleaned some streets of Manila of garbage, “epal” and illegal vendors.

The parks and the streets now belong to the public again. He also told barangay and school officials to remove symbols of abuse of power — politicians’ names and faces.

Moreno is no different from any other human being or politician for that matter — except that when he vowed to serve, he showed that he meant to serve the people.

Now Manila, which long stood as a symbol of chaos, is slowly regaining its prestige and emerging as a symbol of hope.

Like Moreno, a former scavenger, who walked literally from mounds of garbage to the halls of power.

He showed us that nothing is impossible if we really want something. No excuses, no luck. Just hard work.

Matteo Guidicelli

Actor and triathlete Matteo Guidicelli has successfully passed a monthlong training as a member of the Scout Rangers, a unit in the Philippine Army that specializes on antiguerrilla jungle warfare and close quarters combat, among others.

Despite undergoing what he said was “one of the hardest of trainings,” Guidicelli has been  encouraging other show biz celebrities to join the reserve (civilian) force.

“Pinoy tayo, so to serve the country should be one of our priorities,” he said. In fact, Guidicelli recently flew with the military to war-torn Sulu, which suffered twin bomb attacks in June, to speak with the soldiers there.

Guidicelli  added that, while working full-time as an actor, he would still join future social activities that the military would organize.

Anybody can enlist, Guidicelli said.

“If you decide to be on active duty, you will receive a salary,” he explained. “It was indeed the best experience of my life… We are not after all going to engage in any fighting. Only when the country is at war, God forbid.”

Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the nation on Monday halfway into his six-year term.

The midterm mark may have been the beginning of the end for other leaders, but the President enters the second half of his administration with high trust and approval ratings.

A Malacañang official said the President may focus on his legacy in his State of the Nation Address, which is poverty alleviation, improving infrastructure, and restoring peace and order.

That is what the public might want to hear — improving workers’ salaries, creating jobs and lowering the prices of goods.

There are also those who want him to discuss Philippine-China relations, which has been a magnet for controversy as he has been accused of subservience to Beijing.

This intensified after he disclosed a deal with China to allow it to fish at Recto Bank.

It remains to be seen whether the President will talk at length about the issue, but he has not shied away from attacking critics, not even when he is addressing the entire nation.

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman

From being a feared kingpin of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is now the latest inmate of ADX federal maximum security prison in Colorado.

Guzman, 62, was sentenced on Wednesday in New York to spend the rest of his life in the supermax “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” where he will join other high-profile prisoners like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

His incarceration at ADX is preceded by his two escapes from Mexican jails: once in a laundry cart and the other through a mile-long tunnel.

Loathed by US authorities for his “overwhelming evil,” Guzman is considered a folk hero in Sinaloa, where many put his plaster image beside colorful beads of the Rosary and images of Jesus Christ.

El Chapo will never be back in Sinaloa again after he was found guilty in February of flooding the United States with tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana along with involvement in murder conspiracies.

Authorities expect him to die in prison.

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TAGS: El Chapo, Faces of the News, Isko Moreno, Joaquin Guzman, Matteo Guidicelli, Novak Djokovic, Rodrigo Duterte
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