Faces of the News: May 30, 2021
Dismissing the allegations as mere hearsay, the House justice committee swiftly tossed out the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on May 27.
Voting 44-0, the lawmakers put an end to yet another attempt to cut short the career of Leonen, who wrote the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s decision junking Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Accusing the magistrate of lacking integrity for supposedly failing to declare his wealth during his 15 years at the University of the Philippines, the complaint — filed by Edwin Cordevilla of a group called Filipino League of Advocates for Good Government and endorsed by Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, Ferdinand Jr.’s cousin — turned out to be based merely on news reports and opinion columns.
Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez even noted the use of mere photocopies as evidence. Leonen thanked the House for refusing “to be used to debase and degrade sacred constitutional processes for unworthy ends.”
Actress Angelica Panganiban received some online bashing after accusing the staff of a Philippine Red Cross swabbing center in Subic, Zambales, of giving special treatment to certain people in the queue that she joined on May 25.
In a series of social media posts, which she fired off from her private vehicle while parked near the facility, Panganiban said she had been waiting for an hour to get tested and yet others “who came at the same time” as she did had already finished and were on their way home.
But healthcare workers at the site, the ones who eventually took her swab sample, were quick to react to her posts, saying she should have booked a schedule in advance to avoid a long wait.
“People who were swabbed before you in the parking lot were actually ill and one was even in an ambulance,” according to one retort, which also stressed: “Being an actress doesn’t make you part of the priority list.” Other netizens who bristled at her “entitled” tone also demanded a public apology.
They were among the first economic, nonmedical frontliners to emerge at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that prompted the government to limit the operations of many businesses and require almost everyone to stay at home.
More than a year later into the health crisis their numbers have sharply grown, but food delivery riders remain among the least protected labor sectors under the law.
A recent Inquirer special report tackled why those hired by leading delivery-app platforms in the country are being treated as independent contractors instead of full-fledged employees who should be entitled to healthcare benefits, 13th-month pay, retirement pay, leave credits, days off, and other basic rights in the Labor Code.
At least one organization has been formed to articulate and advance their interests. At the Senate, a resolution filed last week by Sen. Risa Hontiveros called for an inquiry into the delivery riders’ plight and that of other workers in the so-called gig economy.
—Roy Stephen C. Canivel
Amid talk that the national government will sue her for insubordination, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia stood pat on her decision to veer away from prevailing rules on the testing and isolation of airline passengers arriving from abroad.
Garcia maintained she was not being defiant but only being innovative to make health protocols more attuned to Cebu’s situation.
On Thursday, Malacañang ordered all international flights bound for Mactan Cebu International Airport diverted to Ninoy Aquino International Airport from May 29 to June 5.
No official reason was given, but presidential spokesperson Harry Roque explained the following day that the rerouting was not due to the governor’s policies but to the lack of quarantine hotels in Cebu.
The provincial government earlier decided to test all arrivals from abroad for COVID-19 upon landing, contrary to the national protocol that sets the test seven days after arrival.
Cebu also allowed a shorter quarantine time for them. Garcia is set to meet with President Duterte on Monday to clear things out.
—Ador Vincent Mayo
Jordan Clarkson took home this season’s Kia NBA Sixth Man Award after a stellar year that saw him average 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game coming off the bench.
The Filipino American earned 65 first-place votes from sportswriters and broadcasters around the globe and bested Utah Jazz teammate
Joe Ingles, who received 34 first-place votes. Coming off the bench is not the most hyped-up role in the league but certainly one of the most crucial, as demonstrated in recent years by one of the best on the job, Spurs star Manu Ginobili.
“Growing up watching Manu, I’ve said it before, he’s one guy that I really watched growing up and he really made this role really cool to me. I wanna be like Manu, taking moves and stuff like that. That was a big part,” Clarkson said.
The Jazz reserve duo of Ingles and Clarkson also made history by being the first teammates to go one-two in the Sixth Man voting. Clarkson also became the first reserve to average at least 18 points, four rebounds and two assists per game since Ginobili.
—Louie Greg A. Rivera
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