FACES OF THE NEWS: Aug. 18, 2019
It seems anti-Dengvaxia crusader and Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta is facing a mutiny.
In an anonymous manifesto, several ranking lawyers from the PAO’s central office exposed Acosta’s alleged entrenched and systemic corruption.
The lawyers, who said they had knowledge of the goings on in Acosta’s office, said she had placed in the PAO’s finance department loyal certified public accountants who helped her funnel the agency’s budget for her personal use.
She is also allegedly an “ambulance chaser,” forcing the families of children who have died after reportedly receiving the dengue vaccine to get the PAO’s services.
She also allegedly diverted the office’s budget to buying tarpaulins, T-shirts and coffins used in these families’ rallies against officials involved in the Dengvaxia issue.
Acosta, known for theatrics to call attention to her crusade, vehemently denied the group’s allegations.
Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman, landed in the news after she was barred from using the women’s restroom in a Quezon City mall, despite the city’s Gender Fair Equality ordinance.
Diez asserted her right to the facility and posted on social media the video of her altercation with the cleaner.
After being dragged to and detained at the mall’s security office, she was brought to a police precinct where she was handcuffed and arrested.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community, concerned netizens, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman and Sen. Risa Hontiveros quickly made representations on Diez’s behalf and had her released from police custody.
Despite the mall management’s apology, the incident brought into focus instances of discrimination based on gender and how the city ordinance still needs to be disseminated for proper implementation.
The issue isn’t just about what restroom to use, Diez said: “This can happen to anyone.”
Monique Wilson has always shuttled between art and activism. As an actress, she was acclaimed for her roles in controversial plays like “The Vagina Monologues,” “Angels in America” and “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”
She won an Urian for “Laro sa Baga” and an Aliw for “Cabaret.”
But in recent years, acting had to take a backseat after the former TOWNS awardee was tapped to lead One Billion Rising, a global campaign founded by Eve Ensler to end rape and violence against women.
On her return to acting last week, the former “Miss Saigon” star fused her two passions by playing a male character.
In Tanghalang Pilipino’s steampunk musical “Mabining Mandirigma,” she plays the “Brains of the Philippine Revolution” Apolinario Mabini, a role that earned her a standing ovation during the press preview on Thursday. Her “ideological commitment … lent gravitas to her interpretation” of the role, said the play’s director, Chris Millado.
Jayson Castro walked to the TNT bench with his head bowed and defiantly clapped his hands as if in mock praise of his last foul.
He would have loved another shot at this conference. He and his team had zipped through the elimination round with three-point shooting ease and became the No. 1 team of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But basketball gods don’t hand out reboots. And as he reached the sidelines, it was San Miguel Beer that started celebrating.
The Beermen won a second straight championship and Castro watched from the bench as confetti rained down the coliseum in a celebration he should have been a part of.
He had been named Best Player of the Conference, but his dreams of a title will have to start from zero again. It’s a learning experience, he told reporters.
Even for a veteran of his stature, there is so much more to build on from this defeat as he looks forward to the next tournament.
Ronald dela Rosa
In what many see as a witch hunt or Red-baiting, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate committee on public order, presented in a hearing several mothers weeping over their “missing children,” who were allegedly kidnapped by left-leaning youth organizations.
This, the former police chief pronounced, showed how youth activism was the result of “brainwashing and indoctrination.”
He then segued into the need for the police and military to be allowed entry into state colleges and universities to supposedly compete with militant groups in recruiting students.
Days later, the “missing students” surfaced to belie their mother’s claims about being kidnapped or brainwashed by leftist groups, and suggested how the police might have manipulated their parents instead.
This did not stop Dela Rosa from calling for the firing of teachers who encourage students to learn beyond the classroom by attending rallies.
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