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Friday, May 1, 2015

Bali Nine ~ Veloso escapes execution at last moment.... Philippines's eligible bachelor !

‘Bali Nine’  is the name given to a group of nine Australians convicted for smuggling 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroin valued at around A$4 million from Indonesia to Australia.  That is being discussed hotly globally.  Australia has recalled its ambassador to Indonesia for consultations after two Australians were among eight drug smugglers executed by firing squad early this day.  Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the executions "cruel and unnecessary" because both men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, had been "fully rehabilitated" during a decade in prison.

9 were to be executed – but  there was a surprise last-minute reprieve for Philippines woman Mary Jane Veloso after the Indonesian attorney general responded to calls from Manila that she should be spared to act as a witness against the woman expected to be charged with trafficking her.  Even as  Australia made an 11th  hour plea for clemency for the Bali nine pair, Philippine President Benigno Aquino ramped up lobbying to save the life of a Filipina maid at a summit of South-East Asian leaders in Malaysia.  Mr Aquino met his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo during a three-day summit of leaders of the 10-nation Association of South-East Asian Nations, which began on Sunday.  A huge campaign to spare the life of mother-of-two, Mary Jane Veloso, the only woman among those slated for execution, had been under way in the Philippines for days. Veloso, 30, has consistently maintained she was duped by an international syndicate to smuggle 2.6 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia in 2010.

Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III is the 15th President of the Philippines since June 2010. Aquino is a fourth-generation politician: his great-grandfather, Servillano "Mianong" Aquino, served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress; his grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr., served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1943 to 1944; and his parents were President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.

Born in Manila, Aquino joined his family in their exile in the United States; returned to Philippines in 1983 shortly after the assassination of his father and held several positions working in the private sector. In 1998, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac province. Following the death of his mother on August 1, 2009, many people began calling on Aquino to run for president.  In 2010,  Aquino was sworn into office as the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  In 2013, TIME named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Although the official residence of the president is the MalacaƱang Palace, Aquino actually resides in the Bahay Pangarap (House of Dreams), located within the Palace grounds. An interesting piece of info is that he in the ranks of Atal Behari Vajpayee and Abdul Kalam.  When the Philippines elected Benigno Aquino president in 2010, many predicted the country’s most eligible bachelor would soon claim his next big prize: A first lady.

It didn’t happen with then girlfriend Shalani Soledad, a local politician he dated for two years. Nor would it be his stylist Liz Uy, television host Grace Lee, or any of the string of other women to whom Aquino has been romantically linked. When the South China Morning Post asked the 55-year-old Aquino whether he was still hopeful of settling down with someone, he said: “A little less now than I was before.”
Aquino with TV host Grace Lee

He said three of his friends now have daughters old enough to be dating. Aquino said he told them: “You know, by the time I have a daughter who’s gonna … be going out on dates, I’ll probably be senile and won’t understand any of it anymore’. So God has a perfect plan for all of us.” The state of Aquino’s love life has long been tabloid fodder. One gossip columnist claims to have counted 18 girlfriends – and that was before Aquino even became president. Lately, he has been linked to 25-year-old Filipino-German beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach, who described the balding bachelor as “very fun to talk to.”

Aquino points to a childhood experience seared into his memory. His senator father, after whom he was named, was jailed by the Marcos dictatorship on charges of committing murder and subversion when Aquino was 12. “There was somebody who was detained in the same facility as my father – and he never got any visitor for a period of five years, apart from those who visited his cellmate. So when you talk about [being abandoned], that guy represents to me what it meant to be abandoned and still stand up to your beliefs.” He said the story taught him to look for “somebody [who] will stand by you regardless of what or whatever.”

“Ours was not gonna be a simple life. So not just anybody can withstand the pressures of it,” said Aquino, who was 23 when his father was assassinated, 26 when his mother Corazon was pressured into the presidency, 27 when he nearly died himself from gunshot wounds, and 50 when he was catapulted into the presidency after the death of his mother.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Apr 2015.

Partly sourced from http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/ 

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