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Faces of the News: Oct. 21, 2018

Illustrations by Rene Elevera

Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. hit the ground running.

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Right after being sworn into office on Oct. 17, he flew to Brussels, Belgium, for the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting to represent the country because President Rodrigo Duterte chose to skip the annual European Union-hosted summit for the third time.

Locsin served as ambassador to the United Nations for two years.

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While in New York, Locsin dispatched a prodigious number of tweets on diverse topics, even replying to or engaging with other Twitter users in debates.

As foreign secretary, Locsin has not slowed down on tweeting. On Oct. 19, he tweeted a policy change.

“Our foreign policy is friend to our friends, enemy to our enemies,” he said.

His predecessor, Alan Peter Cayetano, has often stressed that the Duterte administration’s policy was: “Friend to all, enemy to none.”

Nevertheless Locsin’s appointment appears to be roundly welcomed by lawmakers and retired diplomats.

Oscar Romero

No one was ever convicted for the 1980 killing of El Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was felled by a sniper’s bullet while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel in the capital San Salvador.

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But his beatification on Oct. 14 mitigated initial criticisms that the “preferential option for the poor” that he preached reeked of communism.

It also liberated the Catholic Church from its inordinate fear of the theology of liberation that crept into evangelization from the 1960s through the 1980s.

But Romero criticized not only the dictatorship but also the communist insurgents that plagued El Salvador in the 1980s.

He only wanted a Church relevant to the faithful.

As he once wrote: “We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs. We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed at night with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways.”

Ethel Booba

An unlikely name has emerged as one of the country’s funniest political satirists on social media today: Ethel Booba.

Born Ethyl Gabison, she first gained national attention as a television personality who engages in silly comedy while flaunting her bosomy body — hence, the wordplay on her show biz surname Booba.

But months after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte, she started posting on her Twitter page witty and sarcastic one-liners that alluded to the news of the day.

For instance: “Buti pa ’yung pusher nanlaban, samantalang ’yung manliligaw mo, sumuko agad.”

All her posts would end with her signature expression, “Charot!” — gay lingo for “joke!”

On Oct. 18, she posted a tweet about former Sen. Bong Revilla who is seeking reelection while in jail for plunder charges: “Kuha po kayo ng NBI Clearance sa Counter 6. Charot!”

She has compiled many of her jokes in a book,“#Charotism: The Wit and Wisdom of Ethel Booba.”

Pope Paul VI

Pope Francis used Pope Paul VI’s staff, chalice and pallium when he celebrated Mass for the third pope to be made a saint in his pontificate.

Paul, who was pope for 15 years from 1963 to 1978, is considered one of the towering figures of the 20th-century Catholic Church who presided over the modernizing yet polarizing Second Vatican Council — the 1962 to 1965 church meetings that instituted reforms in the Catholic Church.

He also wrote the important encyclicals “Populorum Progressio” (The Progress of Peoples), which gave rise to the Catholic Church’s preferential option for the poor.

Pope Francis said Paul VI’s ethos of a “church of the poor” was a fitting reminder of the need for continuing reform in a church bedeviled by changing times, reforms that the current pope is trying to implement amid opposition from the Curia itself.

Christian Tio

Christian Tio became the face of the latest batch of Philippine youth Olympians when he collected a silver for the country in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Tio, the country’s top young kiteboarding star, won the medal in the finals of the men’s kiteboarding IKA Twin Tip Racing event.

But Tio says the first thing he wants to do is return home — to Boracay Island — which he hasn’t seen since its closure for rehabilitation.

It was there where Tio’s mother got him hooked on kiteboarding when he was just 7.

Tio booked a trip to Argentina for the YOG after clinching the lone Asian berth during the qualifiers seven months ago in Thailand.

Deury Corniel of the Dominican Republic bagged the gold, while Slovenia’s Toni Vodisek shared the silver with Tio.

Kiteboarding is not an Olympic event in 2020, but it will be in 2024 and already, Tio is hoping that when that year comes, he will bring home the gold.

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