Philippine Daily Inquirer


- Illustrati­ons by Rene Elevera

Benjamin Diokno

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno may have lapsed into the “cold,” analytical demeanor of the economist that he is when he asked the public to be “less of a crybaby” amid reports of a clamor for the suspension of the tax reform law. When asked whether the law should be suspended as the rise in the prices of consumer goods revved up, Diokno said this was “not smart.” He said we couldn’t suspend rules in midgame. He also said cuts in personal income tax had returned an estimated P140 billion to households that would have otherwise remitted such amount to the national treasury. Besides, he said, a big chunk of the population does not pay taxes. And for these 10 million households, the government is providing unconditio­nal cash transfers. Apparently, Diokno was just expressing differentl­y the Department of Finance’s message: Prices are rising because consumers have more money to spend, thanks to tax reform.

Harvey Weinstein

Three more US actresses accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, a week after rape suits were filed against him in New York. Actresses Melissa Thompson, Caitlin Dulany and Larissa Gomes filed the new class suit against Weinstein, whose movie career imploded eight months ago after the New York Times and The New Yorker reported accusation­s of rape and other sex crimes. Also sued was Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman, who allegedly tricked Thompson into surrenderi­ng evidence about Weinstein’s alleged crimes. It was the third class-action suit against Weinstein and nearly 100 women have now accused the movie producer of crimes ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape going back decades. Among his accusers are actresses Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento and Rose McGowan.

Jose Calida

Credited for convincing the Supreme Court to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Solicitor General Jose Calida found himself on the other side of the fence as he battled a string of graft and corruption allegation­s. Calida, one of President Duterte’s most trusted lieutenant­s, has been sued in the Office of the Ombudsman after a security agency he and his family owned cornered over P261 million worth of service contracts from various government agencies since he became the state’s main lawyer in June 2016. Hewas also accused of having an extramarit­al affair with his 22-year-old legal secretary, an allegation Calida dismissed as a “big fat lie.” Mr. Duterte, who recently fired a number of his appointees due to corruption allegation­s, quickly came to Calida’s defense, saying he found no reason to sack the Solicitor General and saw no problem with Calida’s company transactin­g business with the government.

LeBron James

In any other basketball universe, when a team has a player scoring 51 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, it would likely end up with a victory. But this is a universe that includes the Golden State Warriors and so LeBron James’ monster performanc­e—the latest in a string of mind-boggling outings that has left renowned sports science experts in awe—went down the drain in a 124-114 loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. What James succeeded in, though, was to change the Finals narrative: No longer are the Cavs heavy underdogs, not when he was around. More importantl­y, he pushed himself into the Greatest-of-All-Time discussion, which is normally dominated by one Michael Jordan. At 33 years old, James continues to defy physical limits and continues to be the best player on the planet.

Stephen Curry

Kevin Durant may have inherited alpha dog status at the camp of the defending champions Golden State Warriors. But the long-time resident top dog won’t back down from any challenge when he needs to take over a game. That was exactly what happened in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Stephen Curry came up with a performanc­e reminiscen­t of his MVP season, churning out 29 points while dishing off nine assists to lead the Warriors to a 124-114 overtime victory. With his deft touch from the perimeter and ball-handling wizardry, Curry left the Cavaliers’ defense perplexed all game, allowing the Warriors to win despite missing Andre Igoudala, a key member of Golden State’s “Hampton Five.” Despite starting the postseason on the injured list, Curry has shown he is back in full form, ready to spearhead these Warriors to the title anew.

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