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Faces of the News.

Arturo Lascanas

Since cutting his ties with President Duterte to testify on the killings in Davao City, the confessed assassin has been on the run. On Saturday last week he stealthily flew out of the country for Singapore. The enemy, he said, was close on his heels, either to file a case against him or banish him into the afterlife, as he claimed to have done to countless people as one of the leaders of the dreaded Davao Death Squad. He may have to start getting used to a life on the run. But he said he isn't running away from his testimonies on then Mayor Duterte's role in the Davao killings that observers say are now being replicated nationwide. His testimonies might just be used against Mr. Duterte in an international court. 'Wherever I am, I will stand by everything I said,' he said.

Joseph Scott Pemberton

Not much was heard from him since his December 2015 conviction for choking to death transgender woman Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude in a motel. There has been no news coming from the special military facility in Camp Aguinaldo, where he has been held. Until last Monday, when the Court of Appeals released its ruling upholding the Olongapo Regional Trial Court's guilty verdict on him for homicide. The appeals court threw out his claim that he killed the 26-year-old Laude in self-defense. It agreed with the lower court that there was no 'unlawful aggression' on Laude's part to justify the violence. Laude's mother, Julita, was elated that the US soldier would remain behind bars. But she hasn't gotten over the reduction of his jail term from the original 12 years to 10 years in 2015.

Jason Aquino

As administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA), his name cropped up in the controversy on rice importation. President Duterte sacked Undersecretary Maia Valdez for approving private importation of rice without the authority to do so. Valdez dragged Aquino into the controversy by claiming he pushed for government-to-government importation that would saddle the NFA with more debts. Even President Duterte reiterated that the NFA buy the staple from local farmers, and import only when there is a shortfall of supply. If the controversy has accomplished anything good, it is to expose that the loyalty of the agricul ture officials lies somewhere else. Then there's the apparent infighting between two cliques in the Cabinet pushing for two modes of importation.

Luzviminda Siapo

Suddenly, her world crumbled. She was toiling in Kuwait to save up for her two children. Then news came in that her eldest child, Raymart, 19, was shot dead by a group of men in ski masks a day after a neighbor in Navotas tagged him as a marijuana peddler. She had to beg her employer to let her fly home. It turned out Raymart had a spat with the neighbor, who in turn went to the barangay hall to accuse Raymart of many things. His attackers, after forcing him to ride with them on their motorcycle, brought him to an area where he was asked to run. He couldn't because he was born with deformed feet. He was shot twice in the head while sitting down. Navotas police claimed he was on their watch list. How many more mothers would end up weeping in the war on drugs?

Wesley So

Wesley So showed he indeed is among the world's best when he defeated Alexander Onischuk in their first rapid playoff then forged a draw by perpetual check in the second to win the 2017 US chess championship in St. Louis, Missouri. So and Onischuk were tied after 11 rounds, thus the two-match, 25-minute battle for the $50,000 top purse. So finished the tournament with three wins and eight draws to extend his unbeaten streak to 67 games in standard chess. So hasn't lost a match since ruling the Sinquefield Cup. He has also bagged the board 3 gold medal in the Baku Olympiad, topped the London Classic and tamed a powerful field in the Tata Steel Championship. Clearly, it shouldn't be long before the Philippine-born current World No. 2 will reign supreme atop the world standings.

Russell Westbrook

Leave it to Russell Westbrook to set a record in style. Oklahoma City's flashy point guard shattered the record for most triple-doubles in a season during the Thunders' 106-105 victory over Denver last week. But Westbrook didn't leave it at just that as he also knocked in the game-winning 36-foot dagger at the buzzer to cap a scintillating performance of 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. 'It is something you definitely will never forget,' Westbrook said. His 42nd triple-double is one more than the legendary Oscar Robertson had for the Cincinnati Royals in the 1961-1962 season, a mark that many had considered unbreakable. Westbrook's three 50-point triple-doubles, the most by any player in NBA history, were also recorded this season.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 16, 2017
Words:900
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