Wednesday , January 27 2021

Faces of the News: October 25, 2020



ILLUSTRA TION BY RENE ELEVERA

Celine Pialago

As public sympathy poured out for detained activist Reina Mae Nasino over the death of her 3-month-old son, Manila Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) spokeswoman Celine Pialago turned to social media to spread coverage of the press on the burial of Baby River on October 18, denouncing it as “dramaserye sa hapon (an evening drama series)”.

“Not all mothers who are in prison can go to the burial of [their] child ”, Pialago posted on Facebook. “So, those who sympathize with [Nasino], study the reason why she was arrested first and know who she is in society. “

Nasino, an organizer in a poor urban community, is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Netizens attacked Pialago for being insensitive to bereaved mothers. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque and MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia wasted no time in distancing the agency from Pialago’s “personal opinion”.

His comments did not prevent human rights lawyer Edre Olalia from offering Pialago the same assistance that his legal group is giving Nasino, should the MMDA spokesman find himself in a similar situation.

A day later, Pialago apologized to Nasino, but refused to withdraw his “playwright” comment.

—Mariejo S. Ramos

Antonio Parlade Jr.

The general of the Philippine Army caused a commotion when he warned a popular celebrity against association with the group of progressive women Gabriela.

In a statement, a spokesman for the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict and South Luzon’s military commander, Lieutenant-General Antonio Parlade Jr., called actress and model Liza Soberano after she spoke at a press conference. webinar sponsored by Gabriela Youth.

“Liza Soberano, there is still a chance to abdicate this group. Otherwise, you will have the same fate as Josephine Anne Lapira, ”said Parlade, referring to a 22-year-old Manila student at the University of the Philippines, allegedly killed in a 2017 meeting between communist soldiers and rebels.

Parlade, known for his hard-line stance against the left, has also warned celebrities Catriona Gray and Angel Locsin against joining “aerial” organizations of the New People’s Army.

The Parlade made headlines in November 2019 for breaking a forum organized by local progressive groups, including the Movement Against Tyranny and the National Union of People’s Lawyers. Parlade later said that he “came in good faith”.

—Patricia Denise M. Chiu

Sovereign Liza

Actress Liza Soberano participated only in a webinar organized by Gabriela Juventude; she is not a member of Gabriela or any party list group.

That was the statement by Liza’s talent manager, Ogie Diaz, who added that the 22-year-old actress only spoke about her experiences as a woman and as part of the youth sector.

Diaz’s explanation came after a statement made on social media by Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr., chief of the Armed Forces of the Southern Philippines Luzon Command, noted the actress’s support for the group of progressive women.

Parlade was criticized for saying that Sovereign (and “other celebrity targets” allegedly observed by Gabriela) should be “educated” while she is “not yet” a member of the New People’s Army.

A statement posted by Soberano’s legal adviser, Juanito Lim Jr. on some social media platforms, denounced Soberano’s “red mark” in the strongest terms. Lim insisted that Sovereign remains apolitical and “does not support or antagonize anyone’s political views”.

Gwendolyn Pimentel-Ghana, of the Human Rights Commission, agreed that the Parlade’s statements “are tantamount to harassment”. “Marinel Cruz.”

Jacinda Ardern

The overwhelming victory of the New Zealand Labor Party is widely perceived as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s reward for her decisive actions against COVID-19.

The election was postponed for a month because of new infections detected in Auckland, which led to a second blockade in the country’s largest city.

But Ardern’s “go hard, go early” approach to coronavirus in early 2020 saw the country seeing far fewer cases compared to the rest of the world.

The young Labor candidates defeated national supporters in their strongholds, highlighting the dominant party’s success in defeating the coronavirus and sticking to progressive and democratic messages.

Ardern’s victory, described as “a historic change” in New Zealand’s elections, means that she could form the first single-party government in decades.

Even before the campaign, Ardern has already won admiration for his response to last year’s mass shooting by a white supremacist in Christchurch and quick action to ban weapons.

While opponents warn of his plan to tax more, Ardern has vowed to limit it to only the biggest winners. Economists are waiting to hear how it would cope with an expected recession after the rigid blocks.

Chinese billionaires

As the pandemic intensifies, the World Bank expects 115 million people to be pushed back into extreme poverty by 2020.

China’s Hurun Report, which tracks the fortunes of the rich, is counting new billionaires – 257 to be exact in August, thanks to the boom in e-commerce and gaming. The number raises the country’s billionaires to 878, surpassing the Americans who were 626 at the beginning of the year.

Hurun said that despite the coronavirus blockages, China’s super-rich – billionaires and those with a net worth of at least $ 300 million – had already raised $ 1.5 trillion in the first eight months of the year.

Still leading the list of the rich is Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba. His online shopping business increased his earnings by 45%, bringing his fortune to $ 58.8 billion.

Pony Ma, owner of the Tencent gaming titan, is in second place with $ 57.4 billion. They are followed by Zhong Shanshan, a newcomer to Hurun’s list, who counts his wealth at $ 53.7 billion. Having managed to control the pandemic, China is also proving itself a winner, with economic growth of 4.9 percent, the only major economy to expand in 2020.

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