Faces of the news | Inquirer News

Faces of the news

/ 07:00 AM July 16, 2017

John Lesaca

He’s not the type who fiddles while his family burns with rage. Popular violinist John Lesaca recently took to social media to complain about an Uber driver who was booked by his ex-wife and daughter—both cancer patients—for a ride from their Quezon City home to a Pasig City hospital on June 30. He said the driver, Anie Agbayani, apart from being “reckless,” refused to complete the trip and asked her passengers to get off the car upon reaching the Ortigas area. Her reason? Her house was already nearby and she couldn’t afford to be stuck in traffic any longer. The cancer patients were thus forced to walk in the rain. Lesaca’s angry chords online reached the right ears: Uber suspended Agbayani, while the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board set a July 18 hearing on the matter.

Zia Alonto Adiong


As fighting between government troops and Islamic State-inspired Maute group reached its 54th day, assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s regional legislative assembly has spoken not only against the airstrikes and of the war’s rising death toll in his hometown Marawi City but also against the worsening Islamophobia and policies discriminatory to Muslims. “If it’s all about security, the more it’s inhuman to brand a group of people potential suspects of crimes that aren’t even committed,” he tweeted on his Twitter account, referring to the Muslims-only ID. The 37-year-old scion of a political clan has been pushed to the center stage as spokesperson for Lanao del Sur’s crisis committee. “We are the victims here,” he told critics who heaped the blame on Maranaos.


Dexter Carlos

It was the worst kind of nightmare for any man of the house. Bank guard Dexter Carlos came home from work on June 27 and could not get anyone to open the gate at a subdivision in the City of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. He climbed over the gate and his world collapsed. His wife and children were dead, including his baby boy who shared his name. Their visitor from Davao City, the children’s grandmother, was also killed. The brutality of their deaths has turned a crime spectacle into a snapshot of a society that is deeply broken. The Bulacan police quickly arrested a suspect who confessed to stabbing the family. The confessed killer later implicated other people, who were soon killed by unidentified attackers. To add salt to injury, the police has acknowledged that Carlos himself is a person of interest and will be subjected to a lie detector test.

Richard Gomez

A year into his first term as mayor of Ormoc City in Leyte, actor Richard Gomez had his baptism of fire on disaster management when the city was devastated by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake on July 6. Like most parts of Eastern Visayas, Ormoc was engulfed in darkness as the earthquake damaged the geothermal power plants and transmission lines. The tremor, the strongest to hit the city in recent years, killed a young mother and wounded more than 200 people. But Gomez took the lead in checking the 20 villages affected by the quake and providing assistance to 4,776 affected families. Acting upon his request, the Energy Development Development Corp. lent the city power generators to run the water pumps and light up City Hall, which served as command center. He also sought the help of government agencies to start the rehabilitation of major city infrastructure.

Donald Trump Jr.

The US president’s namesake suddenly found himself in the eye of the storm after it came to light that during the 2016 presidential election campaign, he met a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow’s official support for his father’s campaign. His e-mails to Rob Goldstone, publicist of a Russian billionaire’s son, were being touted as a “smoking gun” in the investigation of the Moscow-Republican campaign’s collusion to get his father, Donald Trump, elected. The US President said he did not fault his son for meeting with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. “Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that,” he said. But Trump Jr. told Fox News he “probably would have done things a little differently.”


Topex Robinson

Lyceum of the Philippines University had the league talking as coach Topex Robinson whipped his team from cellar-dweller to contender early in the NCAA season. The transformation was evident on court as the Pirates shocked defending champion San Beda (96-91) after blasting Jose Rizal University (96-75) in the first week of the men’s basketball competition. But what’s more impressive was how Robinson inculcated a new team culture. “We want to win in the classrooms first,” said Robinson, who made sure his athletes put premium on their studies. And it’s no lip service as Robinson has given his players attendance logbooks for their professors to sign. He makes surprise classroom checks and also gives his players books to read. “We want to build character,” he said. “We want to take care of our players so that they will have a future to look forward to.”

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