Arnie Teves

[Rappler’s Best] No rest for the wicked

Glenda M. Gloria

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[Rappler’s Best] No rest for the wicked

Alyssa Arizabal/Rappler

'No rest for the wicked' has taken on its biblical and worldly meaning in the last few days

Are you reading this as blue waves sway under blue skies at the onset of your Holy Week break? Or are you, like most of us mortals in the newsroom, tied to your laptop and to the labors that must be done even in the Catholic world’s supposedly quietest week?

“No rest for the wicked” has taken on its biblical and worldly meaning in the last few days. In Timor-Leste, a Filipino fugitive, expelled congressman Arnie Teves, has finally been arrested. What’s next for him? Here’s Jairo Bolledo’s explainer. In our alternate universe, the internet mob that salivated and scoured for answers (ranging from the probable to the ridiculous) for Princess Kate’s absence in the public eye got injected with a dose of guilt: The Princess of Wales said she has cancer. What do we know about her preventative chemo? Read all about it here. In Moscow, terrorists opened fire at a theater, killing at least 133 people and wounding a hundred more – prompting strongman Vladimir Putin, who has just won what Western governments describe as an “unfair” and “undemocratic” reelection, to vow harsh punishment for the culprits. Why did ISIS-K mount the attack? Read an explainer here

And in our own seas, China’s saber-rattling persists as it again harassed and water-cannoned Philippine vessels en route to Ayungin Shoal to bring personnel and supplies to a navy ship. “Prepare to bear all potential consequences,” China warned on Saturday, March 23. Foreign governments fumed

Days before, Filipino scientists managed to conduct four hours of coral reef assessment at sandbars within the Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. China also tried to intimidate the coast guard ships carrying the scientists.

It’s no coincidence that all this happened within the week of the second visit to Manila of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s sweet dance with America and its allies is pricking China’s ego to the hilt. 

China is annoyed, though. Two weeks ago, its defense spokesperson again blasted the Philippines and urged it “not to further walk down the wrong path.” 

  • This came days after an unnamed Chinese official disclosed to a friendly newspaper, The Manila Times, details of a supposed understanding between Beijing and former president Rodrigo Duterte to “normalize” the situation in the South China Sea. This meant, according to the newspaper source, the Philippines avoiding any moves that could be seen as reinforcing the Sierra Madre vessel, which is stationed within the Ayungin Shoal. 
  • The Philippines’ Department of Affairs scoffed at such revelations, and Marcos himself called out the Asian giant for making such requests based on a “wrong premise.”
  • At the time of Blinken’s visit, China said the US should refrain from “stirring up trouble” in the region.

On Monday, March 25, Manila asked Beijing: Just how sincere are you?

How this unfolds in the coming months is anybody’s guess but every leader’s burden.

We wish you advance Happy Easter! –

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Glenda M. Gloria

Glenda Gloria co-founded Rappler in July 2011 and is currently its executive editor.