Faces of the News: July 26, 2020 | Inquirer News
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Faces of the News: July 26, 2020

/ 05:02 AM July 26, 2020

ILLUSTRATION BY RENE ELEVERA

Catriona Gray

The spread on social media of a topless photo that she has described as fake prompted Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray to ask the National Bureau of Investigation to track down the uploader of the image.

According to Gray’s lawyer, the uploaded photo was fabricated, with her ad campaign photo for a clothing company used to alter the picture.

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“We’re taking the actions that we need to do to address the issue at hand … [It’s] something to learn from and keep moving forward,” she said.

In a statement, Gray’s camp also urged the public to be more discerning when navigating social media.

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The seminude picture is the latest controversy to dog Gray shortly after her boyfriend of six years, Clint Bondad, posted cryptic messages on his Instagram.

“If we’re meant to be together, maybe it will happen in the future,” she said of the model-actor in a TV interview.

But Sam Milby, Gray’s current squeeze, was more vocal and outspoken in defending the beauty queen. He will not stand idly by and allow somebody else to take control of a narrative that is not his to begin with, Milby said, breaking his silence.

He will do anything to protect Gray, he added.

—Nikka G. Valenzuela

Gerald Bantag

“Who am I? Am I Satan to order the virus to kill them all?”

Strong words those, which put Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief Gerald Bantag under even more serious scrutiny.

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The BuCor official faces tough questions for the death — allegedly from COVID-19 — of at least nine high-profile convicts.

Some of them were state witnesses against detained Sen. Leila de Lima, who faces what she describes as trumped up drug charges.

Families of the convicts claim they were executed, while others assert that their death was a cover-up for their release.

Despite the death certificates and a huge sack of alleged ashes from the prisoners’ cremated remains that Bantag showed a doubting public, more questions remained unanswered to the full satisfaction of other officials.

The Senate wants a full investigation to find answers to such questions as: Why were there no pictures of the convicts’ corpses, and no CCTV shots of their cremation? Why were their closest kin not informed about their serious condition? Why were they brought out of the prison compound for treatment?

To which a furious Bantag snapped: If higher authorities no longer trust him, he’s willing to go.

—Dexter Cabalza

Joel Apolinario

More than a year after President Duterte declared Kapa Community Ministry a scam and ordered its operations shut down, its founder Joel Apolinario made headlines early this week when he and 23 followers were arrested in a secluded beach resort in Lingig town, Surigao del Sur province.

Two of Apolinario’s men were killed and another wounded after they opened fire at the raiding team. The former construction worker-turned-broadcaster-turned pastor faced syndicated estafa charges for the investment scam that promised impossibly high returns for the “donation-cum-investment” of followers.

Seized during the raid were a cache of high-powered firearms, which police said would add to the charges that Apolinario, 46, would face.

A day after the arrest, an angry mob stormed and looted Kapa’s main office in Alabel town, Sarangani province, while armed men ransacked his resort on Samal Island, Davao del Norte province, the day after.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party list Rep. Jericho Nograles, who exposed Kapa’s scam, said the government should also freeze Apolinario’s finances, which can be liquidated and used to refund his victims.

—Germelina Lacorte

Gilbert Guillermo

The Chordian angel with its mischievous smile, the mascot of Jingle Music Magazine, might well have represented its founder, Gilbert Guillermo, who died at 74 on July 21.

Launched in 1970, Jingle was ostensibly a music magazine that taught people how to play the guitar. In truth, it was the requisite key to social acceptance during that era. No social gathering was complete without Jingle being consulted, passed around, and inevitably filched.

But martial law gave it a bigger purpose. More than just a music bible, Jingle became a fist raised against the dictatorship with its trove of irreverent cartoons, bawdy jokes and stories that spit at the powers that be.

Gilbert allowed the full flowering of free expression within the pages of Jingle, and in the process produced some of today’s celebrated artists, rock stars, writers and filmmakers.

He made Jingle “an easygoing cool niche for deviants,” recalled musician Jun Latonio. Jingle also gave the country’s nascent music journalism a boost with its expansive space for record and concert reviews that championed Original Pilipino Music.

Sadly, the magazine became a casualty of karaoke and folded in 1997.

—Pennie Azarcon dela Cruz

Tan siblings

Changes are under way in Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s storied flag carrier controlled by tycoon Lucio Tan. And while it is a time of upheaval in the aviation sector because of the global health crisis, few were prepared for the sudden exit of Tan’s children Michael Tan and Vivienne Tan from the carrier’s board of directors.

Unexplained departures always come with their share of speculation. In this case, insiders said the pair were not nominated to the board of directors of PAL Inc. for the ensuing year. Whether this was with or without their consent remains unclear.

Following Vivienne’s separate withdrawal from the board of PAL Holdings Inc., the siblings have relinquished their directorships in the flag carrier. But they continue to retain key posts in Lucio Tan’s sprawling empire.

Michael remains president, chief operating officer and director of the flagship company LT Group Inc. This includes board posts in its many subsidiaries and affiliates.

Vivienne retains other key board posts in the LT Group and the Philippine National Bank, among others. Both will have plenty of work to keep them busy while PAL navigates this tumultuous period.

—Miguel R. Camus

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TAGS: Catriona Gray, Faces of the News, Gerald Bantag, Gilbert Guillermo, Joel Apolinario, Michael Tan, Vivienne Tan
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