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LOS ANGELES Sultry KZ Tandingan denies she is a single mom See ENTERTAINMENT, page 27 VOL. XX, NO. 48 JANUARY 5-11, 2013 PHL birth control law faces 1st challenge MANILA, Jan 3, 2013 (AFP) – A Catholic couple has asked the Philippines’ top court to stop a historic birth control law, their lawyer said Thursday, in the first of many legal challenges church leaders have vowed against the measure. The petition was filed Wednesday at the Supreme Court by lawyer James Imbong and his wife, who claim the law signed by President Benigno Aquino two weeks ago was unconstitutional. Imbong’s mother Jo, who is representing the couple in the case and is the lawyer for the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, told AFP that “the state has no business entering the bedroom”. “This law corrupts Philippine culture, mainly the emphasis we put on family values and marriage, taking care of children and parenting,” she said, having earlier warned that lay Catholics would challenge the law in court. The Philippine constitution guaranteed the protection of the family and in passing the law “the government overstepped its powers”, Jo Imbong said. “This is just the first salvo,” she added. “We are paving the See BIRTH CONTROL, page 17 President Barack Obama with Department of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano in the Oval Office. (Whitehouse file photo by Pete Souza) Family unity made faster New immigration rule allows visa applicants to apply within U.S. Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) raise their service pistols which were sealed with tape during a ceremonial sealing of the muzzles of firearms at the National Capital Region Police Office in Taguig city, south of Manila, December 29, 2012. The taping of the muzzle was a tradition to ensure that no police officers will accidentally fire their guns during New Year celebrations, thereby preventing deaths and injuries. (MNS photo) Girl’s death triggers gun debate in PHL MANILA, Jan 3, 2013 (AFP) – The death of a girl hit by celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve sparked calls Thursday for stricter gun controls in the Philippines, where unlicensed weapons are widely blamed for rampant violence. As this developed, a gunman with a semi-automatic pistol killed seven people and wounded 11 others during a drug-fuelled rampage in a slum near the PhilipSee GUN DEBATE, page 17 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published a final rule, effective March 4, 2013, permitting certain visa applicants to file for family unity waivers within the United States, reducing the amount of time families must spend apart. “We applaud the Obama Administration for prioritizing family unity by easing burdensome bureaucratic hurdles,” said Erin E. Oshiro, senior staff attorney at the Asian American Justice Center, member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. Under current immigration law, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs) can apply for a green card for their spouse or child. However, many applicants and their families face long backlogs in obtaining a green card, forcing many families to live apart for years, sometimes even decades. Under the new rule, certain eligible family members may apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver (also called the family unity waiver) prior to leaving the United States for their visa interview in their home country. With an approved waiver in hand, these family members can then complete their travel and visa appointment in a short time and avoid spending additional time in their home countries separated from loved ones in the United States. Asian Americans are the most likely group to have family members caught in the visa backlogs. While Asian Americans are only six percent of the U.S. population, they sponsor more than one third of all family-based immigrants. As of November 2012, there were nearly 4.3 million people in the family backlog and almost 1.9 million of them come from Asian countries. After Mexico, close family members from the Philippines, India, Vietnam and China experience the longest wait times. Currently, applicants must file a visa petition, which must be approved. Upon approval, an interview is scheduled in their home country, requiring the spouse or child to travel, leaving the United States for an undetermined length of time. Departure, alone, can trigger a three or ten year bar to re-entry into the United States for family members who are undocumented and have been living in See FAMILY UNITY, page 17 PCGG set to quit chase for Marcos wealth with $5-B still missing MANILA, Jan 1 (Mabuhay) – The Presidential Commission on Good Government may wind down a near30-year hunt for the embezzled wealth of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, with more than half the supposed $10 billion fortune still missing, the man in charge of the search said. With Marcos’ widow and children back in positions of political power, and the government tightening its belt, the cost of the pursuit has become prohibitive, said Andres Bautista, head of the PCGG. “It has become a law of diminishing returns at this point,” Bautista said in an interview at the commission’s offices, a now rundown building where Marcos’ oldest daughter Imee used to hold office. “It’s been 26 years and people you are after are back in power. At some point, you just have to say, ‘We’ve done our best’, and that’s that. It is really difficult. “In order now to be able to get these monies back, you need to spend a lot.” Since its creation, the agency has recovered P164 bil- lion (about $4 billion), some invested in prime New York real estate, jewelry, and about $600 million stashed in secret numbered Swiss bank accounts. The jewelry, including a 150 carat giant Burmese ruby and diamond tiara, is locked in a vault at the central bank, and at one point the international auction house Christie’s estimated it could fetch up to $8.5 million. More recently Bautista worked closely with the New York district attorney’s office to charge a former personal See $5-B STILL MISSING, page 17 ALWAYS OPEN IN GLENDALE THE LAW OFFICES OF The Original PAUL M. ALLEN Of Manila The Home of Authentic Filipino Cuisine Our food is loved by all! 818 NORTH PACIFIC AVE. (corner Arden St.) GLENDALE, CA 91203 (818) 552-2855 OPEN 7 Days/Week 11AM-9:30PM We Do Party Trays Services · Bankruptcy Chapter 7 and 13 · Lien stripping 2nd Mortgage · Save your home from foreclosure · Stop repossessions, wage garnishments and more • FREE Consultation • Affordable Rates • Easy Payment Plan Glendale Cerritos 818.334.5445 • 562.356.9931

Weekend Balita December 5, 2013

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