Faces of the News: April 18, 2021 | Inquirer News

Faces of the News: April 18, 2021

/ 04:31 AM April 18, 2021

Huang Xilian

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian made headlines last week after he was summoned by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) over the illegal, lingering presence of Chinese vessels at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea.

Huang met on Monday with Acting Foreign Undersecretary Elizabeth Buensuceso, who asserted that the reef was within the country’s exclusive economic zone as affirmed by the 2016 ruling of the international arbitral tribunal.

The landmark decision recognized the country’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea and invalidated China’s sweeping claims to nearly the entire South China Sea. Beijing, however, continues to ignore the ruling.


The DFA said last week both sides had “agreed to lower the tensions and handle the (Felipe Reef) issue diplomatically, although the Philippines has yet to see the complete removal of [the Chinese] ships.”


Huang earlier had a face-to-face meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte where the envoy explained that the vessels belonged to fishermen who were just “seeking refuge from bad weather” at the reef.


Harry Roque

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque drew a fresh round of rebuke from netizens and administration critics when he curtly remarked in one of his daily briefings that it was “un-Christian” to ask him how he was able to immediately get a hospital room at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for his COVID-19 treatment.

Metro Manila hospitals of late have been overcrowded that patients are lining up outside emergency rooms, with some even dying as they wait to be admitted. Roque later complained that he was questioned about the PGH accommodation as though he jumped the line to get a hospital bed.

He explained that he had been a patient of PGH doctors for a long time and that he was already in bad shape when admitted.

The palace official said he notified his doctors when he started experiencing symptoms and waited four days before he was confined.

He advised patients who suspect that they have COVID-19 symptoms to get in touch with the One Hospital Command Center, the government hotline, so they need not try their luck going from one hospital to another.



We’re just waiting for a release date! Seventeen years after the iconic television show “Friends” aired its last episode, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer are coming back on the streaming service HBO Max.

Called “Friends: The Reunion,” or “The One Where They Got Back Together,” the special — already delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic — has finally finished taping this month, the show’s official Instagram page announced on April 11.

For old times’ sake, the cast shot at Warner Bros. Studios’ Stage 24 in Los Angeles — where the show was filmed from its second season in 1995 to its 10th and final season in 2004.

HBO clarified that the reunion will not be a “new original episode of the series.” Expect the actors who played Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe to relive the experience of playing their characters.

“It’s basically a really fun interview and then some other surprise bits,” Schwimmer, who played Ross, said at “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”


Sandra Cam

Sandra Cam, once a familiar fixture in congressional inquiries where she served as whistleblower, like in the 2005 “juetengate” scandal, is now the one being accused.

Cam was indicted last week for the murder of Batuan, Masbate, Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III, a political opponent of her family.

In a Feb. 22 resolution, the Department of Justice said there was enough information from the testimonies of witnesses and the evidence presented by the National Bureau of Investigation to hold Cam, her son Marco Martin and five others criminally liable for Yuson’s death.

The vice mayor was shot dead in Sampaloc, Manila, in October 2019. His widow, Lalaine, said the crime was rooted in local politics, noting that her son, Charmax Jan, defeated Marco Martin in the mayoral elections earlier that year.

Outspoken and often controversial, Cam once caused a stir at the airport after she berated an employee who refused to give her VIP treatment. This was nine months before President Rodrigo Duterte made her a board member of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in December 2017.


Manny Pacquiao

Will Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) founding chair Manny Pacquiao score a knockout in his bid to stamp out game-fixing?

The billionaire senator and boxing’s only eight-division champion, together with MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, slapped a game-fixing complaint against a team and its players in November 2019.

The justice department is finally preparing the charges. The timing is perfect, as news of another match marred by apparent manipulation emerged early this week, this time in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.

Officials and fans watching the livestreamed VisMin game noticed some players deliberately missing shots and sloppily executing plays.

The game was called off at halftime after the Siquijor Mystics’ antics became too obvious and blatant. The Games and Amusements Board promised a thorough probe. The Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup is the only league still playing live despite the pandemic restrictions.

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As to the MBPL, fans hope that Pacquiao’s efforts against game-fixing will at least send a chilling message to the perpetrators.

TAGS: newsmakers

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