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Volume 29 - No. 9 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages


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from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

US official stresses rule of law amid combating drug menace the rule of law must always serve as the “benchmark” in prosecuting suspected drug personalities, a United states official has reminded the Philippines, whose government is conducting an intensified campaign against illegal drugs. Upon his visit in manila, U.s. Department of homeland security (Dhs) Undersecretary and Counterterrorism Coordinator David J. Glawe has met with senior Philippine officials, including Philippine Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre ii. in an interview with reporters on friday, march 2, Glawe said he discussed with Aguirre a wide range of security issues, including drug menace. “We did talk about the importance of the rule of law…the benchmark of the U.s. law enforcement is the U.s. Constitution,” Glawe said. While acknowledging that the threats of narcotics must be addressed, the U.s. official emphasized that the rule of law must always be placed in the forefront of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.


US urged to help over Dengvaxia controversy A lAWyer representing several parents of alleged Dengvaxia victims has urged the Duterte administration to ask the United states to probe french pharmaceutical firm sanofi Pasteur for possible violation of American laws in relation to the administration of the anti-dengue vaccine to almost a million filipino children. in a letter sent to executive secretary salvador medialdea and three other officials, lawyer ernesto francisco Jr. said filipino children were inoculated with Dengvaxia at a time when even sanofi’s own clinical trials showed that “there are serious questions on the efficacy and safety” of the vaccine. “this is to request your good offices to study and pursue legal remedies or actions available in the United states of America which the Philippine government may avail against sanofi or sanofi Pasteur in connection with the conduct of clinical trials on the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, then known as CyD-tVD,” francisco said. “the Philippine government may request


Ma r c h 8 - 1 4 , 2 0 1 8

Duterte: ICC has no jurisdiction over me by Dana

SioSon AJPress

PhiliPPine President rodrigo Duterte remained confident that the international Criminal Court’s (iCC) proceedings against him will not prosper beyond the preliminary examination due to lack of jurisdiction.

in a speech on Wednesday, march 7, Duterte insisted that he could not be tried over the controversies hounding his anti-illegal drugs campaign, saying that the iCC will “never, never, never” have power over him. “they want me haled before the iCC,” Duterte said. “i do not want

to say this now, but they will never, never, never acquire jurisdiction over my person.” last month, the iCC began its preliminary examination into his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs that reportedly resulted in thousands of deaths of suspected drug

personalities. the preliminary examination aims to determine if there is a basis to conduct a formal investigation against Duterte, based on criteria established by the rome statute. the iCC’s move stemmed from the


PH best country to invest in—report by AJPress the Philippines is the top investment destination across the globe, according to a United states-based firm. in its recently released 2018 Best Countries report, U.s. news & World report has named the Philippines as the “best country to invest in.” “in contrast to declining inflows of foreign direct investment, or fDi, to southeast Asia as a whole, the Philippines continued to perform well, according to United nations (Un) data,” the global firm said. According to the latest Bangko sentral ng Pilipinas data, the Philippines’ net fDi inflows as of november last year amounted to $8.7 billion—which has already succeeded the $8-billion target for 2017. “in years to come, the country is expected to receive more fDi from within the region from powerhouses like China that are looking to utilize available labor in developing nations,” U.s. news & World report further added. in a statement, the Philippine Department of finance (Dof) attributed the country’s rank to its young and hardworking workforce, an excellent inclusive


AFP/PNP HOUSING PROJECT. President Rodrigo Duterte leads the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Casa San Miguel at Brgy. San Agustin in Concepcion, Tarlac on Wednesday, March 7. Assisting the president are Concepcion Mayor Andres Lacson, National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario. Malacañang photo by Rey Baniquet

Poe: No way Duterte is involved in alleged 2016 poll fraud by Dana

SioSon AJPress

Senator Grace Poe

Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III delivers a privilege speech on Tuesday, March 6, where he talked about the alleged irregularities during the 2016 elections. Senate photo by Albert Calvelo photo

for senator Grace Poe, it is hardly possible for Philippine President rodrigo to be involved in the alleged irregularities during the 2016 elections. Poe, who also ran in the previous presidential elections expressed belief that there is no way Duterte could have manipulated the poll results—especially with the public’s clear overwhelming support to him. Poe made the assertion on tuesday, march 6, after senate majority leader Vicente “tito” sotto iii bared “irregularities” that supposedly altered the results of the previous elections. “i’d also like to make a point here that i definitely lost the elections,” Poe said. “i know that for sure because of the overwhelming gap in the support the president had.”

she added, “i also believe that since the president did not belong to the ruling coalition at that time time, he really had no means to manipulate the results of the elections.” But despite having a “clear winner” in the presidential race, Poe remarked that “other positions should not be looked into especially when the fight is very close.” she went on to say, “i think that is a worthy concern that we need to investigate further not just in the ranking in the senatorial slate but also to be able to prevent this from happening again in the future.” sotto earlier presented data—which he supposedly acquired from a “concerned and impeccably reliable” source—showing the alleged “irregularities” that “altered” the 2016 poll results. “What i am about to present to you may


Palace: State of calamity declaration will hasten Boracay rehabilitation Pacquiao to fight next in Malaysia by Dana

SioSon AJPress

Boracay attracts local and foreign tourists all year round.

PUttinG the island of Boracay under a state of calamity will hasten the world-famous tourist destination’s rehabilitation, according to malacañang. malacañang issued the statement after Philippine President rodrigo Duterte announced his plan to declare Boracay under a state of calamity amid environment issues hounding the island. “this is to hasten the rehabilitation of Boracay,” Palace spokesperson harry roque said in a press briefing on Wednesday, march 7. malacañang also noted that Duterte’s order to clean up Boracay applies to other tourist destinations in the country. “the president’s words are clear, PNA photo by Joey Razon although his statements are for

Boracay, it’s applicable to all other tourist destinations in the Philippines,” roque said. “start enforcing the laws, including the setback [requirement]. Demolish all the structures that violate the setback because the local government may be slapped with charges if they do not implement it as soon as possible,” he added. A day earlier, Duterte threatened to put Boracay—which he previously described as “cesspool” due to the island’s dysfunctional sewerage system—under a state of calamity if his six-month ultimatum to clean it up is not met. the president said he made the decision following a recommendation from the Department of the interior and local Government (DilG).


by AJPress PhiliPPine boxing icon manny Pacquiao has confirmed that his next fight will be held in malaysia. in an interview with ABs-CBn, the 39-year-old boxer revealed that he’ll make a comeback in malaysia this coming may or June. “Definitely, malaysia is where we will fight,” said Pacquiao, who is also an elected senator. “if not may, this coming June, maybe third week of June, so the preparation will not conflict with my work.” the eight-division boxing world Sen. Manny Pacquiao Senate photo champion said those in malaysia “appealed to have a fight there.” mathysse and former two-division As for whom he’ll be up against, world champion Danny Garcia. “Dalawang boxers, we will Pacquiao mentioned two names: two-division title holder lucas u PAGE A2


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From The FronT Page

Duterte: ICC has no... PAGE A1 communication filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio in April last year. Sabio accused Duterte of committing crimes against humanity when the latter launched his bloody drug war. The ICC is the “court of last resortâ€? that has jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. MalacaĂąang, however, insisted that the drug war could not be considered as a crime against humanity because its “legitimate

purpose� is to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs. “Nothing has changed. The president’s stance remains the same — that because the Philippine courts are able and willing, the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction,� Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said. “And secondly, in terms of merit, the war against drugs cannot be considered as crimes against humanity because it does not target just civilian population,

but it is also an official exercise of the police powers of the state and has a legitimate purpose – to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs,� he added. Roque further stressed that the Philippine government has not shown an unwillingness to prosecute erring officials. “Philippine courts are still open to trying the case,� he said. “So there‘s no inability or unwillingness. Presidents have no immunity from prosecution for life.� n

Poe: No way Duterte is involved in... PAGE A1

or may not be gospel truth but very accurate information and if these allegations are serious enough and are proven to be true after due investigation, then we have a case of electoral sabotage for the conduct of the 2016 elections,� he said in a privilege speech. Sotto cited two alleged irregularities in the last elections: early transmission of votes and foreign access to election servers. On the alleged early transmission of vote, Sotto claimed that there was a “transmission activity� on May 8, 2016 until the following morning of May 9—which was still prior to the official conduct of the election. He noted that the Board of Canvassers should have convened starting at 3 p.m. of May 9, 2016. “In summary, there has been an alleged early transmission of votes by certain VCMs (voting counting machines) to the

Municipal Board of Canvassers. These are only examples of the numerous early transmissions to different Municipal and Provincial Board of Canvassers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,� Sotto said. He further pointed out: “The standard answer of Smartmatic would be that these transmissions are only ‘testing transmissions.’ These transmissions cannot be in any way be claimed as ‘testing transmissions’ because as far as I can remember, the last official testing was made on April, 23, 2016.� Sotto also claimed he and Poe were among those who received zero votes during the early transmissions. On the allegation of foreign access to election servers, Sotto stated that there were “series of access before, during and after the election.� The senator claimed that “our election servers were allegedly accessed remotely and informa-

tion gathered were copied and submitted to a server in the amazon cloud services in the United States.� According him, a username “e360sync� allegedly made a “critical intrusion to a computer system� a day before the May 9, 2016 elections. He noted that e360 “is a server in which is a cloud computing service located mainly in the United States,� and likewise “looks very similar to a software product of the Philippine election provider ‘Smartmatic.’� “To conclude the second issue, our election servers were allegedly accessed remotely and information gathered were copied and submitted to a server in the amazon cloud services in the United States,� Sotto said. Sotto called on the Senate to conduct a probe into his allegations, which he said could be considered a “case of electoral sabotage� if proven true. n

US urged to help over Dengvaxia... PAGE A1

the United States government, specifically its Department of Justice or Attorney General, to conduct an investigation of Sanofi for possible violation of (U.S.) laws, including but not limited to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and federal statutes on health care,� he added. The 12-page letter, a copy of which was sent to The Star late last week, was addressed to Medialdea, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Francisco said he mentioned the FCPA “because of the admissions made by Philippine government officials that they received monetary compensation from Sanofi in connection with their official functions relative to the conduct of clinical trials of Dengvaxia and the issuance of regulatory approvals.� He said the U.S. government would likely accommodate a request to investigate Sanofi because the company has headquarters in Pennsylvania, its shares listed in the New York Stock Exchange. Clinical trials on Dengvaxia were also

conducted in Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S. The company has claimed that the clinical development of the vaccine has complied with the standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S.-based foundations were involved in the development of the dengue vaccine. Francisco also claimed that the clinical trials on Dengvaxia were “far from over� at the time Sanofi sought and was granted regulatory approval for the vaccine. (Ding Cervantes, Alexis Romero/

Pacquiao to fight next in... PAGE A1 announce pag na-finalize na kung sino (Two boxers, we will announce once finalized whom among them)‌Mathysse or Danny Garcia,� he said. Pacquiao has not been in the ring since losing his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight title to Jeff Horn in a controversial match last July in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to Pacquiao’s recent rev-

elation, there were talks about him fighting as an undercard in the WBO Welterweight title showdown between champion Horn and Terence Crawford this April. Pacquiao, however, reportedly rejected it because he felt “insulted� by Top Rank’s offer to use him as a mere undercard. According to Pacquiao’s media chief Aquiles Zonio, the Filipino boxer’s decision to turn down the offer has nothing to do with a

possible schedule conflict related to his Senate duties. “The Senate is on break from March 23 to May 14,� Zonio was quoted saying in a Spin PH report published March 1. “The main reason was he felt insulted by the decision of Arum to use him as undercard in the scheduled Crawford-Horn title fight in April,� Zonio added, referring to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. n

PROTESTING SOGIE BILL. Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday, March 7 joined the Christian Coalition for Righteousness, Justice, and Truth (CCRJT) composed of Philippines for Jesus Movement (PJM), Intercessors for the Philippines (IFP), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), Negros Island House of Prayer (NIHOP), NFS Ministry, together with the G12 Philippines, at the prayer rally outside the Senate of the Philippines to express their strong opposition to the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Bill. According to the CCRJT, about 30,000 Christian believers from all over the country gathered to reiterate that the SOGIE Bill violates one’s freedom to express his or her religious beliefs which is embedded in the Constitution. Villanueva further lamented that cases of discrimination exist not just against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community but also against people from different religion or belief, social class, civil status, age, race, and medical condition. “We need an anti-discrimination law that will promote genuine equality—a measure that is concrete and holistic. We will never allow the suppression of people’s rights to exercise their religious freedom or cultural beliefs,� Villanueva said. Senate photo

PH steps up efforts to promote health care info management industry in the US by MoMar

G. Visaya


“OUR economic growth is not a fluke,� said Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado at a business forum held Monday. Feb. 26 at the Philippine Center, citing the country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals, as the Philippines remains to be a bright spot in Asia. In her presentation, Usec Terrado showed the consistent growth of the Philippine economy through the years and how it is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies. The forum is part of the 2018 HIMS (Healthcare Information Management Services) Roadshow with the theme “Unlocking Opportunities. Embracing Innovation� a collaborative project of the Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investment, Economic Management Bureau, and the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP). Terrado, along with representatives of about a dozen companies from the Philippines, are in the United States for a roadshow to promote the country as a top tier destination for IT-BPM services, among others. This is a part of DTI’s efforts to promote the Philippines as an investment destination for healthcare information technology and business process management in key U.S. markets. DTI is helping to promote the Philippine HIM-BPM industry’s competitive advantages, strengths, and capabilities to leading HIMSBPM investors, decision makers, delegates, and visitors that

Karagdagang impormasyon sa Filipino (Tagalog) ay makikita rin sa website ng Clark County Election Department sa:

NOTICE TO ELECTORS OF CLOSE OF REGISTRATION FOR 2018 SPECIAL WARD 5 ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2018 IN THE CITY OF LAS VEGAS REGISTRATION CLOSES SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that voter registration for the 2018 Special Ward 5 Election to be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, will close on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. $Q\TXDOLÂżHGHOHFWRUZKRVHQDPHGRHVQRWDSSHDURQWKHRIÂżFLDOUHJLVWU\ list may apply to register by appearing during normal business hours, at: the Clark County Election Department, 500 South Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas; the Clark County Election Center, 965 Trade Drive, 6XLWH$1RUWK/DV9HJDVRUWKH/DV9HJDV&LW\&OHUNÂśV2IÂżFH6RXWK Main Street, Las Vegas. The Clark County Election Department is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The Las Vegas City &OHUNÂśV 2IÂżFH LV RSHQ 0RQGD\ WKURXJK 7KXUVGD\  DP XQWLO  p.m. ([WHQGHG+RXUVDW/DV9HJDV&LW\&OHUNÂśV2IÂżFH On March 9th and March 10thYRWHUUHJLVWUDWLRQDSSOLFDWLRQVPD\EHÂżOHG LQSHUVRQDWWKH/DV9HJDV&LW\&OHUNÂśV2IÂżFH6RXWK0DLQ6WUHHW Las Vegas, NV 89101, during its extended hours as follows: Friday, March 9, 2018 Saturday, March 10, 2018

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Online voter registration for the 2018 Special Ward 5 Election will be closed after 11:59 p.m., March 10, 2018. To register online, go to the Clark County Election Department website at http://www.clarkcountynv. gov/vote , and go to the Online Registration Services “Click Hereâ€? button. 7KLVVHUYLFHLVDYDLODEOHKRXUVDGD\ 0DLOLQYRWHUUHJLVWUDWLRQDSSOLFDWLRQVDUHDYDLODEOHDWYDULRXVSRVWRIÂżFHV libraries, and utility companies throughout Clark County. )RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQSOHDVHFRQWDFWWKH/DV9HJDV&LW\&OHUNÂśV2IÂżFH  6RXWK 0DLQ 6WUHHW QG )ORRU /DV 9HJDV 19  RU E\ FDOOLQJ RURQWKH&LW\ÂśVZHEVLWHDWZZZODVYHJDVQHYDGDJRY /s/LuAnn D. Holmes &LW\&OHUNDQG)LOLQJ2IÂżFHU Pub. February 22, March 1, and March 8, 2018 Las Vegas Asian Journal

Trade Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado delivers her keynote explaining why the Philippines has one of the most vibrant economies in Asia. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya

will participate in the upcoming HIMMS Exhibition, conferences and business meetings. In welcoming resource speakers and guests at the forum, Consul General Theresa DizonDe Vega reiterated the Philippine Government’s commitment to support efforts to promote the Philippine IT-BPM industry. “The Philippines offers high-value services, a young, innovative, and well-educated workforce, and a business-friendly environment for all potential investors and clients�, she emphasized in her remarks. Other key presentations were made by HIMAP President Cristina Coronel who spoke on developments and innovations in the Philippine HIMS Sector while case study illustrations and testimonials were discussed by other HIMAP member companies. The HIMS sector, as one of the leading industries in the country, has significantly provided employment opportunities to thousands of local nurses and to the growing BPM sector. In 2014, it

had 86,000 full-time employees. Coronel shared that in 2017, the healthcare and information management industry posted 2.7 billion in revenues and employed around 136,000 people. Almost 75 percent of the U.S. healthcare companies outsource their requirements to Asian countries. The Philippines, as one of the leading countries in Business Process Management (BPM) industry, aims to further strengthen its presence abroad and exploit the growing demand by attracting future investors and companies to invest in the Philippines. An open forum moderated by Special Trade Representative Nicanor Bautista followed the presentations while a Networking Session capped the day’s activity. The HIMS Roadshow includes promotion legs in Houston, Texas and ending up in Las Vegas, Nevada where the HIMSS 2018 global conference is set to happen from March 5 to 9. n

PH best country to invest... PAGE A1 growth momentum, an expanding middle class, politically stable environment, and strong and popular leadership. The DoF also took note of the country’s fiscal discipline, stable monetary policy, membership in ASEAN, an achievable infrastructure program, a strong anti-corruption drive, and improved revenue collection. Next to the Philippines, Indonesia ranked second among 80 countries included in the study, followed by Poland, Malaysia, and Singapore. Completing the top 10 best investment sites are Australia at 6th, followed by Spain, Thailand, India and Oman. U.S. News & World Report said it based its list of top coun-

tries to invest in on the following attributes: entrepreneurship, economic stability, favorable tax environment, innovation, skilled labor, technological expertise, dynamism, and corruption. Respondents include 6,000 participants who act as “decision makers in business around the globe.� The Philippines also ranked 16th in terms of adventure, 34th in terms of being open for business, and 37th in terms of quality of life. Overall, the Philippines ranked 49th of “Best Countries� across the globe. Switzerland, on the other hand, was named the best country overall. Coming in second was Canada, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan. n

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Jordan Clarkson laments being unable to play for Gilas, recalls chess session with Pacquiao by Denison

Rey A. DAlupAng

Cleveland’s Jordan Clarkson has donned two jerseys in his young nBa career. But when is he going to don the Philippines’? speaking to John Michael and Rafa Brito-Hernandez in the CavsHQ podcast, the Filipinoamerican guard hinted on his frustrations on not being able to sport the Gilas tricolors and his plans down the line. “It’s definitely you know, something I want to do,” he told Brito-

Jordan Clarkson

the game of chess. “We played chess, man!” he shared enthusiastically. “For a long time in his house! I think we went through like two or three boxes of KFC. I’m just sitting there eating the whole time while playing.” “That’s why I stayed there so long. I was trying to beat him,” he remembered with a chuckle. “He whooped my tail off.” Clarkson, whose Filipino lineage could be traced to his mother annette’s roots in Pampanga, carries a Filipino passport, which he has had since his pre-teen years, according to the samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. He was in consideration for inclusion into the Gilas lineup since 2015, but FIBa rules have been rigorous for the young cager. The basketball governing body deemed him ineligible to play as a Filipino for a shortage in documents supporting that he has obtained a Philippine passport before turning 16. He is only qualified to play as a naturalized Filipino — a slot that has been held by andray Blatche for quite some time. “Hopefully it comes out soon, you know, [that] I’d be able to suit up,” Clarkson offered with photo optimisim. n

Hernandez when asked about missing Gilas trainings and the chance to play for the Philippines in the international arena due to the nBa scheduling. “everything just kind of didn’t work out, FIBa rules and all that stuff,” he revealed with a sigh. In the same interview, Clarkson, now playing alongside leBron James and the Cavaliers, recalled his short vacation in the country that was highlighted with multiple workouts with Gilas and a visit at Manny Pacquiao’s residence. Clarkson, for one, couldn’t forget taking on the decorated boxer in

Palace: State of calamity declaration will...

PAGE A1 section 3 of the Philippine disaster Risk Reduction and Management act of 2010 defines state of calamity as “a condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the

occurrence of natural or humaninduced hazard.” duterte also threatened to arrest local government officials and resort owners if they refuse to cooperate or protested the ongoing investigation and efforts to rehabilitate Boracay. “If they refuse to cooperate and begin to protest—you were the

ones responsible for the damage all these years, as well as the local officials who are all nonchalant of the problem there—I will arrest you all,” duterte said. He further warned, “and if you put up a fight I will charge you for sedition, preventing government to do what is good for the Filipino people.” n

US official stresses rule of law amid combating... PAGE A1 Glawe, also a former Houston police officer and special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), pointed out that simply “attacking the supply” side of the narcotics problem “without addressing the demand” portion of it would be a failed tack. “I understand the challenges [posed by] criminal organizations and narcotics trafficking. It’s very difficult. But the rule of law always has to be in place

when enforcing the law,” he added. The U.s., a decades-long Philippine ally, is one of the countries that expressed concern over the thousands of alleged of extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses linked to Philippine President Rodrigo duterte’s “bloody” drug war. The U.s. official noted: “When we partner with other countries, we also partner in [the implementation of the] rule of law and the humane treatment of people,

and that’s the benchmark of the U.s. law enforcement.” Glawe reiterated that the U.s. government is “absolutely 100 percent for the rule law.” “That means adhering to search warrants, arrest warrants and due process for people arrested,” he added. apart from narcotics, the issues of human smuggling, child exploitation, and the global fight against terrorism were also discussed during the meeting. (Dana Sioson/AJPress)

RESERVE OFFICERS. Senators Loren Legarda and Emmanuel Pacquiao, along with House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, pose in their uniforms as reserve officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), during the Commission on Appointments (CA) Committee on National Defense hearing on Wednesday, March 7. The CA later confirmed the nominations of the four lawmakers, who all now hold the rank of colonel in the AFP. Senate photo by Joseph Vidal

Agnes Callamard welcome as Pasig river-swimming tourist by ChRistinA


UnITed nations special rapporteur agnes Callamard will get special treatment from Malacañang if she comes to the Philippines as a tourist and swims in the Pasig River, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said on Monday, March 5. Roque made the remark when asked if Callamard would be barred from entering the Philippines

when she returns as tourist in the country and use it as an opportunity to probe the summary killings related to the drug war of President duterte. “If she comes here, aanyahin po naming siyang lumangoy sa malamig na tubig ng Pasig River (we will wait for her to swim in the cold water of the Pasig River),” Roque said. “she is welcome here. after all, we welcome all tourists. But I hope she will not make it appear that

she investigated here because her entry should not be equated to the investigation,” he added. Roque said did not elaborate if his statement is a threat. Callamard has a pending request to conduct a probe in the Philippines, but duterte has set conditions. Roque explained the government welcomes any special rapporteur on human rights, but not Callamard whom he claimed has pre-judged the duterte administration. n

United Nations board: Treatment better than prevention by piA lee-BRAgo

a UnITed nations-backed narcotics control board has strongly condemned extrajudicial responses to drug-related criminality. The International narcotics Control Board (InCB) urged governments to invest more in drug treatment and rehabilitation rather than just focusing solely on prevention. In its latest report, the InCB revealed that only one in six people globally who needs help has access to drug treatment and rehabilitation services. even where treatment is available, the report said the quality is often poor or substandard. “Our report shows that treatment of drug dependence is highly cost-effective and, most importantly, treatment of drug de-

pendence should be seen as part of the ‘right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,’ and as such, an element of the right to health,” InCB president viroj sumyai said. The InCB is an independent quasi-judicial body that monitors implementation of three Un international drug control conventions. The InCB emphasized the need to address the global gap in access to controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medicinal and scientific purposes. This “global pain divide” disproportionately impacts low- and middle-income countries, according to InCB. The InCB noted that 2018 marks several anniversaries, including 70 years since the proc-

lamation of the Universal declaration of Human Rights. Considered a “milestone document” by the Un, the declaration recognizes the inherent dignity of all human beings. “In this context, InCB once again calls on countries to ensure that any drug control measures are in full compliance with international human rights standards and norms,” the InCB said. “This includes protecting and guaranteeing the rights to health, the rights of alleged drug offenders, and drug users and ensuring proportional responses in dealing with drug offences, including abolishing the death penalty for drug-related offences,” it added. according to results of its 2015 national drug use survey, there were about 1.8 million drug users in the Philippines. n


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Justice Dept. sues California over ‘sanctuary’ policies Trump administration claims three sanctuary’ laws violate the Constitution

by KLarize

MedeniLLa AJPress

FORMER REBELS VISIT AFP. A former female rebel and other civilian returnees tour the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) museum and theater at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Tuesday, March 6. The group, composed of 188 former New People’s Army (NPA) members and supporters from Mindanao, later proceeded to Malacañang for a dinner with President Rodrigo Duterte. PNA photo by Joey Razon

US amphibious assault ship arrives in Manila by Patricia Lourdes


An amphibious assault ship of the U.S. navy is in Manila for a port visit and to participate in a community relations project. The crew of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) are in Manila to enhance Philippines-U.S. ties and to experience Filipino culture, according to a release from the U.S. Embassy. “Following exercise Cobra Gold, we’ve continued our shipboard training and patrol, and now we have the opportunity to experience liberty in Manila. I’m grateful for the chance to share the amazing culture of the Philippines with the crew during this port call,” Capt. Larry McCullen, Bonhomme Richard commanding officer. said. The more than 2,500 sailors and Marines aboard Bonhomme Richard participated in the multinational exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand prior to the port visit in the Philippines. Among the participants of Cobra Gold, which focused in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, were Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and the U.S. In Manila, the crew members of Bonhomme Richard will pack food and other supplies for distribution to those affected by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in Albay.

USS Bonhomme Richard, part of Amphibious Squadron 11, is operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region as part of a regularly scheduled patrol and provides a rapid-response capability in the event of a regional contingeny or natural disaster. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Todd C. Behrman

Lt. David Hammond, assistant command chaplain, said that they chose this community relations project in response to a current natural disaster that displaced an estimated 90,000 Filipinos. “Although we’re unable to have personal interaction with the evacuees, we know that our work will reach them. We’re grateful for the invitation to play a small role in pitching in to help provide for others during a time of need,” Hammond said. Part of the Amphibious Squadron 11 of the U.S. navy, Bonhomme Richard operates in the

Indo-Asia-Pacific region as part of a regularly scheduled patrol. The ship is named after the frigate commanded by John Paul Jones, a naval commander during the American Revolutionary War. Just last week, Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Bremerton docked at Subic Bay for a routine visit during its deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. The visit of Bremerton, a part of the U.S. 7th Fleet, demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. navy to regional stability and maritime security in the region, the U.S. Embassy said. n

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THE U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, March 7 filed a lawsuit against the State of California and two high-ranking state officials over so-called “sanctuary” policies that it said unlawfully protect undocumented immigrants against deportation. The lawsuit called out three recently-passed state laws that, according to the Trump administration, have hampered the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law. “California, we have a problem,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a gathering of law enforcement organizations in Sacramento. “The Department of Justice and the Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you.” The three laws the administration is challenging include SB 54, the all-encompassing “sanctuary state” law that restricted law enforcement from sharing information with federal agents that would lead to the capture and deportation of criminal undocumented immigrants. The other two laws are AB 450, which prohibits private employers from complying with immigration agents who conduct operations on worksites, and AB 103, which calls for regular inspections of detention facilities that hold immigrants who face deportation. The two top leaders that the lawsuit also named were Califor-

nia Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. At a Tuesday night press conference, Becerra asserted that, through the Tenth Amendment, states have the right to handle public safety in the ways they see fit. Calmly poised, Becerra assured Californians that the claims made in the lawsuit demonstrated “there’s nothing really new there that we weren’t already familiar with.” “We’re prepared to deal with this,” Becerra told reporters. “We believe we are in full compliance with the federal constitution and federal law.” As soon as the Trump administration announced the lawsuit, Brown brazenly fired back at Sessions, calling the move a “political stunt.’ “What Jeff Sessions said is simply not true and I call upon him to apologize to the people of California for bringing the mendacity of Washington to California,” Brown said at a joint press conference with Becerra on Wednesday, March 7. “This is basically going to war against the State of California, the engine of the American economy,” Brown added. “It’s not wise. It’s not right, and it will not stand.” Brown also made accusations toward Sessions, who Brown said lied about the state’s immigration policies. Sessions has falsely claimed that Becerra called for an open border, protection for criminals and secession from the U.S. “We know the Trump adminis-

tration is full of liars. They have pleaded guilty already to the special counsel,” Brown said, referencing the federal investigation on Russian collusion. Earlier in his presidency, Trump signed an executive order that called to rescind federal grant funding to jurisdictions that reject cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. The lawsuit comes weeks after the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted multiple raids across California. In the Los Angeles area, more than 150 people were detained and in northern California, about 232 people were arrested in a massive 4-day sweep, as previously reported by the Asian Journal. State officials saw these massive raids as a response to the state’s refusal to cooperate with federal immigration officials. Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California also condemned the lawsuit, calling it an “attack on California’s policies that protect our immigrant communities.” “Studies have shown that jurisdictions with sanctuary policies are safer and more economically prosperous than non-sanctuary jurisdictions. Immigrants help California thrive,” Advancing Justice-CA said in a statement. “The Trump administration has been obsessive in their attack and scapegoating of immigrants, fueled by hate, xenophobia, and racism. But the Constitution is clear: the federal government cannot commandeer California’s resources to carry out deportations.” n

Forbes: Henry Sy still richest Filipino in 2018 by gaea



MALL tycoon Henry Sy Sr. remains the richest man in the Philippines and the wealthiest in Southeast Asia in 2018, according to the business magazine Forbes. Pegging a net worth of $20 billion (P1.04 trillion), the 93-yearold businessman ranked 52nd worldwide—jumping 42 places from 94th in 2017. He has topped the Forbes Philippines Rich List for 10 years in a row. Sy tied with Renaissance Technologies Corp. founder James Simons in the 52nd place. His net worth in 2018 is almost double from his $12.7 billion (P661 billion) last year. The richest tycoon in the Philippines beat the likes of SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk (54th), Uniqlo founder and CEO Tadashi Yanai (56th) and Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (61st). Sy’s rank put him way ahead

Henry Sy Sr.

of other billionaires in the country, with John Gokongwei, the country’s second richest man, placing 305th worldwide. The founder of JG Summit raked in a net worth of $5.8 billion (P302 billion). Enrique Razon Jr., who has a net worth of $4.9 billion (P255 billion), ranked third in the Phil- photo

ippines. The port magnate also placed 404th in the world list. Amazon founder Jeff Benzos topped the list of world’s billionaires for the first time with a net worth of $112 billion (P5.83 trillion). Microsoft founder Bill Gates placed second with a net worth of $90 billion (P4.69 trillion). n

Despite rights issues, US to share assets, intel with PH to combat IS by anthony

Q. esguerra

THE United States has reiterated its commitment and support for the Philippines in defeating the Islamic State (IS), an international terror group also referred to the Islamic State Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its sympathizers in the country. A senior official of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the U.S. would provide the Philippines assets it would request despite global concern on the human rights situation and rule of law in the country. In fighting IS, David J. Glawe, DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, said the Philippines would receive multifaceted support and partnership from the U.S. government. “You can expect a hundred percent of the assets of the U.S. government that the Philippines would request,” Glawe told reporters in an interview on Friday. “We are committed to our partnership and friendship with the Philippines in our global fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda.” Glawe visited Manila to meet with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and the senior officials its attached agencies. They discussed issues of “mutual concerns” in the areas of drug enforcement, child trafficking, global terrorism and transnational crimes. U.S. Department of State recently tagged the Maute Group, which was behind the Marawi siege, as “ISIS-Philippines” and designated them as foreign terrorist organization. Glawe said the U.S. and the Philippines had been sharing information “back and forth” that would help address airline safety issues and passenger information. “We know ISIS and Al-Qaeda continue to target aviation and the worse thing that could happen is if we had a successful attack on an airliner,” he said.

David J. Glawe, US Department of Homeland Security undersecretary for intelligence and analysis. photo by Anthony Q. Esguerra

He said the two countries are cooperating to address the vulnerabilities in the aviation security. But the partnership between Manila and Washington, according to Glawe, is hinged on the rule of law and the humane treatment of people. Asked if the U.S. was concerned that the Philippine government would use American assets in its bloody war on drugs, the undersecretary said the rule of law is of utmost important. “When we partner with countries we also partner in the rule of law and humane treatment of people and that’s the benchmark of U.S. law enforcement,” he said. Duterte stopped a multimillion helicopter deal with Canada after the latter ordered it reviewed amid concerns about the rights situation in the Philippines. The Canadian government said it would not allow Bell to sell 16 helicopters, which were intended for humanitarian missions, to Manila if these would be used by soldiers “to kill other Filipinos.“ The British government came under fire for reportedly selling spyware to the Philippines despite Duterte’s brutal war on

drugs. The Guardian posted on its website a story about the issue written by Hannah EllisPetersen: “Britain sold spying gear to Philippines despite Duterte’s brutal drugs war.” Criticizing United Kingdom’s arms export control, Labor MP Lloyed Russel-Moyle said the sale “makes us complicit in the deaths of thousands of Filipinos.” Press Attaché Molly Koscina, who was also present in the media roundtable, cited the Leahy vetting process. The vetting process under the Leahy law of the U.S. prohibits the State and Defense Departments from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that has committed gross violation of human rights. When IS-inspired groups attacked Mindanao, Washington extended its support to the Philippines by providing counterterror weapons to Philippine soldiers. The U.S. also pledged aid in the rehabilitation of the war-torn Marawi City. Last month, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson announced that Manila has joined the USled Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. n


(702) 792-6678 •


D ateline PhiliPPines PNP allays fears of terror threats in Metro Manila SC to tackle same-sex marriage in June

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has assured the public that the recent arrest of a Maute terrorist group sub-leader in Tondo, Manila should not be cause for alarm. In a radio interview on Tuesday, March 6, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao allayed fears of any impending terror attacks in Metro Manila, following the arrest of a Maute subleader last week. Bulalacao told the public that the PNP and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) are “in control of the situation.” “Pero yung kanyang pagpunta dito sa Manila (But his escape to Manila) should not be a cause for alarm for our citizens dahil ang ating (because our) Philippine National Police naman and [the] AFP are on our toes,” Bulalacao said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer. Maute sub-leader Nasser Lomondot alias “Muhamad Lomondo,” and his wife Raisalam Lomondot, were arrested at their clothing stall in Recto Avenue on Saturday, March 3. Bulalacao said that initial reports indicate that Lomondot solely came to Manila to seek refuge from the pressure of martial law in Mindanao. “And at the same time makapagpahinga dito dahil siguro doon sa naging experience niya na five months na gyera doon sa Marawi (to rest here probably because of his fivemonth experience of the war in

sioson AJPress

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao allayed fears of any impending terror attacks in Metro Manila. photo

Marawi),” he added. The Maute terrorist group was responsible for the five-months long attack in Marawi City that started on May 23 last year and led to hundreds of deaths, mostly of terrorists. PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday, March 5 said Lomondot has likely not intended “to create havoc” in Metro Manila but only to “lay low.” “Andito siya sa (He’s been here in) Manila since January this year not to create havoc but to seek refuge,” Dela Rosa told reporters in a briefing. The PNP chief continued: “Dahil nga naiipit siya sa Mindanao, ‘yung gulo ng Martial Law sa Mindanao, kaya siya lumipad dito sa Manila para may lay low (He’s being pinned by the Martial Law in Mindanao, that’s why he fled to Manila to lay low).” Dela Rosa, however, did not dismiss the possibility of other

Maute members staying in the nation’s capital, pointing out the fact that Lomondot was in the area. In a separate statement, the AFP said it “may be possible” for the terrorists to stage attacks on certain urban areas. AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin, Jr. noted that there still remnants of the Islamic State (IS)-affiliated groups in Marawi, which “means that they are still terrorizing and may plan another attack.” Despite this, Datuin assured that the military is keeping a “close watch” on the places where terrorists are likely to stage attacks. “We are closely guarding, monitoring all the metropolis and the urban areas to make sure that they will not be able to make their way in [the urban areas]insofar [as]their terroristic activities and plans are concerned,” Datuin said. n

Marcos camp: Comelec, Smartmatic must answer questions on 2016 polls by Audrey


MANILA — The Commission on Elections and its technology provider Smartmatic should answer questions on the integrity of the 2016 elections, the spokeserson of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said. Vic Rodriguez, Mrcos’ spokesman, also congratulated Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III for claiming in a privilege speech at the Senate that several national candidates benefitted from vote manipulation done by Smartmatic. “All the issues raised by Senator Sotto need to be investigated and all the questions he asked need to be answered by both

Smartmatic and the COMELEC,” Rodriguez said in a statement. Marcos has an ongoing electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo. Rodriguez said that other “patriotic leaders and stakeholders” had already seen the extent of the so-called “conspiracy, interference and manipulation” of election results by Smartmatic and had begun to speak out. “We have never understood COMELEC’s insistence in again awarding Smartmatic despite the multitude transgressions attributed to it,” said Rodriguez, who claimed that “informed observers” he did not name had “evidence of massive cheating” in the 2016 polls, which saw Lib-

Former Sen. Marcos shows alleged evidence of irregularities of the ballots in the recent elections during a press conference in Manila on January 29. photo by Ben Nabong

eral Party presidential candidate Manuel “Mar Roxas” II lose to Rodrigo Duterte. On Tuesday, March 6, Sotto also sought to ban Smartmatic from participating in the next national and local elections and called for an inquiry into supposed poll fraud facilitated by the company. Sotto said that a “highly reliable source” provided him with confidential information that supposedly showed that there was transmission of votes before the elections on May 9, 2016 and that the computers were remotely accessed from the U.S. The majority leader said he is concerned about the Comelec announcement regarding the purchase of some 97,000 vote counting machines for Smartmatic for use in the elections next year. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the commission has already communicated with the office of Sotto regarding his claims of fraud. Jimenez said that the Comelec has asked for the documents that the majority leader presented in the Senate as he announced that the poll body would conduct its own probe. He said that conclusions could not be made based on Sotto’s allegations, which he said were “interpreted in a particular way, which is not the exclusive possible alternative.” n

Duterte wants MRT plunder raps vs Aquino men by ChristinA


MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has asked government counsel Jose Calida to determine how officials of the previous administration, including former transportation secretaries Mar Roxas and Joseph Emilio Abaya, can be made accountable for the mess at the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3). “The President asked Solgen Calida to look further into this matter,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said after Duterte tackled the matter during the 23rd Cabinet meeting on Monday, March 5. Duterte pushed for the need to make the former officers accountable for the current MRT-3 problems, which often add to the difficulties that commuters face, and for plunder. Apart from Roxas and Abaya, he also wanted former budget secretary Florencio Abad investigated. “I think we know already that it includes the former transportation secretary, that includes even Mr. Mar Roxas, it includes budget secretary Butch Abad, among others. This is for the award of the contract to a company with absolutely no track record,” Roque said, referring to the awarding of the maintenance contract to Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI). He described BURI as a company obligated to repair 26 coaches but was only able to deliver two. Aside from the maintenance problem, the Palace also wanted to look into the awarding of the wrong signaling system to BURI.

Under the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave law, new mothers will be given a 120 days of THE Supreme Court (SC) is paid leave—of which 30 days set to conduct an oral argument could be transferred to their parton the petition seeking to allow ner or close family—so they could same-sex marriage in the Philip- devote time in taking care of their new born baby. Single mothers, pines this June. According to SC Spokesperson on the other hand, will be grantTheodore Te, the high court will ed 150 days of paid leave. discuss the petition on June 19, 2018. “The petition is one for certiorari and prohibition challenging certain provisions of the Family Code on marriage where they impact on ‘same-sex’ marriages,” Te said in a press briefing on Tuesday, March 6. In 2015, Atty. Jesus Nicardo M. Falcis III filed a petition seeking to nullify several provisions under the Family Code of the Philippines that prohibit same-sex marriages. Falcis, who identified himself as “open and self-identified homosexual,” urged the high court to particularly abolish Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, which limits marriages between man and woman. He also asked for the nullification of Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law, which cites lesbianism or homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation. Falcis argued that such provisions are unconstitutional because it deprives homosexuals of “their right to due process, equal protection, and the right to decisional and marital privacy.” “The 1987 Constitution does not define marriage solely as between man and woman,” Falcis further argued. In March 2016, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay sought for the dismissal of the petition, which he described as “intrinsically flawed.” Expanded maternity leave According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave law will also cover same-sex couples. “The Expanded Maternity Leave Bill will indeed cover adoptive parents, especially same-sex couples who want to have children,” Hontiveros said. “This is a new member of the family, and we need to adjust—learn how to take care of him/her, let him/her get used to us as new parents.” by dAnA

by AJPress

Apart from Roxas and Abaya, Duterte also wanted former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad investigated. photo

While the charges remain unsolved, Roque said the President has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to speed up the procurement of spare parts needed for the rehabilitation of the MRT-3. He also revealed that Sumitomo Corp. is being tapped to become MRT-3’s maintenance provider again through an agreement with the Japanese government. “But in any case, that’s just part of the solution. Accountability is part of the solution. Government has taken steps, while it is currently operating the MRT, to procure much needed spare parts,” he added. The DOTr earlier filed a supplemental complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the former transportation officials and several former Cabinet members in connection with the MRT-3 maintenance service contract. Sen. Grace Poe said pursuing new cases against the previous officials responsible for the dete-

rioration of MRT-3 would go a long way in the search for accountability that the public is demanding. She said the cases should be filed against all those responsible and that these should be done with haste. While the cases would not solve the present MRT-3 problems, Poe believes that this would send a strong message to government officials that they would be held accountable for any shenanigans they commit and if they fail to perform their duties faithfully. The order of the President to file cases against the previous transportation officials, she added, should also prompt current officers to act swiftly unless they want to suffer the same fate. Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, has conducted several hearings on the problems of the MRT-3. She said that based on what has been presented so far, the responsibility would even go back to the time of former secretary Abaya. n

The Expanded Maternity Leave bill passed the Senate’s third and final reading last year. However, it still hasn’t been passed into law as the House of Representatives has yet to pass their version. Hontiveros, who authored the bill, has decried the the current 60 days maternal leave a “serious public health risk.” n

A • (702) 792-6678

March 8-14, 2018 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOUrNaL

O piniOn Quo warranto

IF the nation’s top officials can be booted out on a whim, it poses the risk of constant government destabilization. On purpose, framers of the Constitution made it difficult to unseat certain top officials. Impeachment is the only mode specified in the Constitution for kicking out the president, the heads of constitutional bodies as well as the chief justice. Now the government’s top lawyers and detractors of Maria Lourdes Sereno are introducing a novel and simpler way of booting out the Chief Justice. The solicitor general himself filed yesterday a quo warranto petition challenging the validity of the appointment of Sereno as the nation’s chief magistrate, and asking the Supreme Court to void the appointment. Considering the unanimous vote of all the 13 justices who were present at the session last week when the Supreme Court compelled Sereno to go on indefinite leave, the SC might grant the petition. Quo warranto is defined as a legal action that requires a respondent to explain the warrant or basis for holding, claiming or exercising an office or franchise. Among the issues raised against Sereno by those questioning her fitness for her post are her


failure to fully comply with the rules involving the annual filing of her official statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. She also reportedly failed to meet the required score in a psychiatric examination administered in 2012 when she was appointed to the SC as an associate justice. Questions have also been raised about her tax payments, particularly in her work as government counsel in its case against the Philippine International Air Terminals Inc. These are issues that are best resolved in an impeachment trial at the Senate, which is the mode specified in the Constitution for ousting a chief justice. But the law is what the Supreme Court says it is. SC justices, a number of whom joined Sereno’s critics in wearing red yesterday at the high tribunal, must remember that they will be setting a precedent in ruling on the quo warranto petition. The Duterte administration, represented by the solicitor general, and its political allies are doing to Sereno what the Aquino administration did to her predecessor Renato Corona. But the current administration is going one step further, asking the photo SC to make the process easier. one main objective: to improve the administration of must see to it that its decision will not undermine an Impeaching a chief justice is supposed to have justice. In ruling on the quo warranto petition, the SC already weak justice system. (


The Fil-Am Perspective Gel SantoS-ReloS WHAT hold does Russian President Vladimir Putin have on U.S. President Donald Trump that up to this day, despite U.S. intelligence reports and indictments against Russians, the hard-hitting, namecalling, and supposed defender of the United States against foreign adversaries has remained the number one guardian of Russia? During a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on Tuesday, March 6, Trump said the Russians had “no impact [on] our votes [in 2016] whatsoever.” This, Trump also tweeted via his POTUS twitter handle stating: .@POTUS: “The Russians had

Trump does nothing about Russian meddling in US elections: What hold does Putin have on Trump? no impact on our votes whatsoever, but certainly there was meddling...You have to be really watching very closely. You don’t want your system of votes to be compromised in any way.” While Trump finally admitted that the Russians meddled in the election, the president said in response to questions of how the U.S. intends to deter Russian efforts in the upcoming election: “We’re doing a very deep study and coming out with strong suggestions in the 18 election,” and even the 2020 elections. The president said the U.S. will counteract whatever they [Russia] do very strongly, and even suggested that it’s “always good to have a paper back up voting system” as a backup against cy-

ber-interference and vowed to counteract any future influence “very strongly.” How could Trump make the conclusion that the Russians had no impact on the votes? Perhaps Russia did NOT manipulate the actual vote counts and tallies. Intelligence reports have proven that Russia spread fake news against Hillary Clinton, especially in the battleground states, and that would have helped Trump win votes. Of course, this is hard to measure, but that was what the Kremlin cyber warfare was all about. The Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee were quick to say the House investigation should end soon, despite the Democrats’ counter-argument

that many areas of the issue regarding the collusion of Trump with Russia have yet to be investigated on. California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, was quick to respond to Trump’s statements and tweets, saying on Twitter: “No, Mr. President. The FBI investigation began when it was discovered that the Russians had secret discussions with your foreign policy advisor about dissemination of stolen Clinton emails.” “And how can you criticize Obama for not doing more, when you do absolutely nothing?” Schiff went on to state on Twitter, as well as in interviews: “No cabinet meeting devoted to

protecting 2018 elections from foreign interference. Bipartisan sanctions to punish and deter Russian meddling sitting in your desk drawer for months. $120 million allocated by Congress to fight Russian propaganda unspent. This is dereliction of duty.” This claim has already been corroborated by Trump’s own National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee: “I haven’t been granted any additional authorities, capacity, capability”. ”I need a policy decision that indicates there is specific direction to do that,” Rogers said. The president’s favorite cable news channel FOX News also

reported that $120 million to fight Russia meddling remains unused. The State Department has reportedly spent none of the $120 million allocated by Congress to counter foreign efforts to interfere in U.S. politics, Fox News said. This brings me back to my question: What hold does Putin have on Trump? That is what Special Counsel Robert Mueller is finding out. ***

zled any of her contemporaries nor any college of law students. She had no pretension to being above average. Her entry as associate justice surprised many who thought they knew the limits of her competence; making her Chief Justice appeared unquestionably audacious and capricious. The real culprit But as ill-conceived as her appointment was, Sereno was not the perpetrator of that mischief. The real offender was B. S. Aquino 3rd, the thoroughly incompetent and malevolent president. Sereno simply found herself in the position of the horse Incitatus, which the mad Caligula had wanted to name consul without at all consulting the beast. To the animal’s and the mad Emperor’s good fortune, the appointment was never consummated. Or so we learn, from the historian Suetonius. Sereno had no such luck. If her appointment was a crime, as Calida and others now seem to argue, the criminal is still at large. He has been publicly identified, and no process server can possibly say his address is unknown and cannot be located. He lives on Times Street, Quezon City, and lately he has been seen answering summonses from Congress. He has committed a number of unpunished crimes—stamped Smartmatic’s indelible curse upon our electoral process; corrupted the two houses of Congress to ruin and remove a chief justice he could not manipulate; sent 44 of our bravest police commandos to their cruel, avoidable and undeserved death; put the lives of a million schoolchildren at risk by exposing them to an unsafe Dengvaxia vaccine which no other government in the world has dared to use. Like Caesar at the Senate But Aquino’s departure from the presidency appears to have freed him from all accountability. So, everyone is focused solely

on the embattled Chief Justice. After all her Supreme Court colleagues decided she should go on indefinite leave, and the bestintentioned press commentators joined the lynch mob’s shrill cry demanding her hasty exit, a young millennial asked me if the justices were not simply replicating the honorable act of the Roman senators each plunging a knife into the body of the hapless Caesar in the Roman Senate. As I indicated in the beginning, I find it hard to argue against this. My own experience in Sereno’s court makes it even harder for me to do so. Although I am not a member of the Philippine bar, I have been honored to make an oral argument before the court en banc at least twice. First, on the Reproductive Health Law, and second, on the “citizenship” of the senator and presidential candidate, Grace Poe Llamanzares. In both instances, I found Sereno’s reading of the Constitution disturbingly faulty, and her deportment as a magistrate in open court most disheartening. Sereno and the RH Law On the RH law, I argued that since Sec. 12 of Article II of the Constitution provides that the State is “the primary protector of conception” (i.e., ”the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”), it can never and should never be the source and provider of “contraception.” Yet the RH law makes the state the primary provider of contraception. This the court pronounced “not unconstitutional.” Justice Reyes, now retired, wrote the ponencia, and Sereno concurred in it; it describes the RH law as a “population control” measure, but points out, most egregiously, that the Constitution does not prohibit “population control,” which is complete nonsense. The whole Sec. 12 of Article II is a blunt statement against population control, as is the whole of Article

XV on “The Family” an expanded declaration against it. During the orals, Sereno allowed herself to be heard soliloquizing in open court on her doubt about the power of the court, “an unelected chamber,” to nullify the act of Congress, signed into law by the Executive—two elective branches of government. She showed little appreciation of Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous declaration in Marbury v. Madison that it is the business of the court to say what the law is. The majority ruled the unconstitutional law “not unconstitutional” without refuting or referring, even in passing, to my core argument, which said the State cannot be the protector and the destroyer of conception (or childbearing) at the same time. This is the famous principle of non-contradiction, which every beginner in the study of philosophy learns, that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. Since the ruling failed to say anything about my objection, I filed a motion for reconsideration through my friend Alan Paguia of happy memory, saying I was not accorded due process, since my basic objection was never refuted at all. The court dismissed my motion by simply repeating what it had said before, without responding to my principal complaint. I asked some notable friends abroad, legal luminaries with long experience with such cases, how the court could so behave; they said the Court could not possibly acknowledge my objection without conceding my point. Sereno and Grace Poe On the Grace Poe Llamanzares case, Sereno argued more like a lawyer for the respondent rather than as an impartial Chief Justice. The ruling, written by Justice Perez, now retired, proclaims Mrs. Llamanzares as a “natural-born” Filipino citizen not on the basis of the Constitution and the facts

under it, but on the basis of then Solicitor General Hilbay’s “statistical probabilities.” Grace Poe has turned out to be one of the more sensible members of the present Senate, and would probably have made a less vulgar president without her citizenship issues. But some lawyers believe the Sereno court’s ruling may have to be revisited. With all the foregoing, some friends tell me I should support a “winning cause” for once and join those calling on Sereno to pack up. Everyday she is accused of a new crime, I am told, there’s no way she could possibly survive. That may well be. But for me it’s not a question of whether or not Sereno will survive; the question is whether or not the rule of law will survive. I don’t know how good a lawyer Calida is, but would he please answer one simple question? Supposing the court succeeds in ousting this Chief Justice, what happens to all the rulings that had been penned, or participated in, by the same? In particular, what happens to the ruling on the RH Law, and on Grace Poe’s citizenship? An impeachment complaint has been filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno in the House; members of the high court have testified against her in the committee on justice. If there is a case against her, doesn’t the rule of law require that the House impeach her and transmit the case to the Senate forthwith? Otherwise, don’t we deserve some badly needed rest from our justices? Estrada’s case recalled In 2000, at the beginning of the Senate impeachment trial of then President Joseph Estrada, some Church personalities called on Erap to resign. At least eight senator-judges joined that call. Some well-meaning friends, aware of my close personal relationship with some hierarchs of the Church, asked me to join the call.

I was the Senate Majority Leader at the time and my duty was to help manage the floor during the impeachment trial. I declined. My friends were shocked at my refusal. Why? They could not understand. But it was simple enough. I said I was a senator-judge at the impeachment trial, and that I could not do or say anything to prejudge the case. “But you know Estrada is guilty, don’t you?” said one. “I’m sorry, I don’t,” I said. “But assuming I did, which unhappily is not the case, I can only judge him guilty, not on the basis of what I think I know, but on the basis of valid and compelling evidence brought against him before the court.” I lost some esteemed friends with that statement, especially after Estrada was ousted at EDSA following the prosecutors’ walkout in the Senate. In one important meeting of canon lawyers in the country, someone reportedly asked what should be done to this Catholic politician who was supposed to show an example of unity with the clergy on the issue of the Estrada presidency, but took an independent stand instead. There was apparently a lot of passion behind this, but the visiting Doctor and Professor of Canon Law from Rome, after listening to all the relevant data, said the Catholic politician, namely myself, merely acted according to his conscience based on the correct objective moral principles. Some years later, I had to hear from the same friends that they had been wrong on this issue. I had to thank an old Indian friend who was the first one to remind me that we win some battles today only to lose them tomorrow, and we lose some battles today only to win them tomorrow. This thought could have some value to Sereno. (ManilaTimes. net)


FRanciSco tatad IN this season of Lent, the scene at the Supreme Court brings us back to the scene at Pontius Pilate’s court. The accused Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno bears no resemblance whatsoever to the pure and spotless victim before the procurator’s court. But nothing seems to distinguish the lynch mob there from the one at Sereno’s court. Both cry not for justice but for blood. Instead of pressing the impeachment complaint against Sereno in the House of Representatives, her enemies would like her to oust herself, fearing they could not convict her in a Senate impeachment court. Now Solicitor General Jose Calida would like the high court itself to oust her, on a “quo warranto” proceeding, for being allegedly unqualified to sit as chief justice from the very beginning. The basic proposition will not go uncontested. Regrettable start As a firm believer in the Constitution, I have some discomfort about Sereno being Chief Justice. For some reasons, I do not believe she should have been named to that position. Firstly, she was a newcomer to the court when then President B. S. Aquino 3rd physically bribed 19 senator-judges to convict and remove Chief Justice Renato Corona on a non-impeachable charge during his impeachment trial, and replace him with this novice. Secondly, she was among the youngest on the court, and naming her chief meant keeping her there for the next 20 years. That’s the equivalent of a life sentence against the court. Aquino set aside the long-honored tradition of seniority rule, without alleging any compelling circumstance such as exceptional merit. She never dazed nor daz-

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, https://www.facebook. com/Gel.Santos.Relos

The law must survive, with or without Sereno

The views expressed by our Op-Ed contributors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the predilection of the editorial board and staff of Asian Journal.

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Journal Fil-Am author claims top US Fil-Am composer, wife win their 2nd Academy Award children’s literature prize Erin Entrada Kelly features a Filipino-American character and Filipino themes in her Newbery Medal-winning novel ‘Hello, Universe’ by Ruel

S. De VeRa

“It isn’t real yet! I’m still in shock, honestly,” Erin Entrada Kelly said. Last week, the Filipino-American author found out she had won the prestigious John Newbery Medal—popularly known simply as the Newbery Medal—for her 2017 children’s novel “Hello, Universe.” this makes Kelly one of the most potent and important voices in children’s literature anywhere in the world. the Newbery Medal, first given in 1922, is awarded by the American Library Association for the book that has made the biggest contribution to American

children’s literature. Previous winners of the Newbery Medal include Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in time” (1963), Lois Lowry’s “the Giver” (1990) and Neil Gaiman’s “the Graveyard Book” (2009). Kelly now has joined that august company. It’s a significant win for her—and the Philippines—because Kelly had long championed Filipino-American characters and Filipino themes long before the prize. the Inquirer had a chat with Kelly over e-mail. Kelly’s mother is from Southern Leyte, and her father was originally from Kansas. “He was in the Navy. He was stationed in the Philippines, where he met my mother. they only went on one date before he proposed. She said she couldn’t accept until he met her priest.” Her mother came with her father to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where Kelly grew up. She earned her degree in women’s studies and liberal arts from McNeese State University in Lousiana; she has an MFA in creative writing from Rosemont Col-

KRIStEN Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have won their second Academy Award for best original song. the husband-and-wife duo picked up the honor Sunday, March 4, for “Remember Me” from “Coco.” the pair also won best original song for “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” Robert Lopez dedicated the win to his mother who passed away. His wife said she was happy to see their category include a number of female nominees. the Lopez’s song beat out Mary J. Blige’s “Mighty River” from “Mudbound”; Common and Diane Warren’s “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall”; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “this Is Me” from “the Greatest Showman”; and Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name.” ( with reports from Associated Press)

Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen

AJPress file photo by Troi Santos

Hollywood icon Rita Moreno wears vintage Pitoy Moreno to the Oscars Erin Entrada Kelly photos

lege in Philadelphia, where she resides. “I was a bookworm,” she recalled. “My childhood was full of angst much of the time. I was the only Filipino in my school and neighborhood and often felt like an outsider.” Kelly has long been immersed in crafting her own words. “I started writing when I was about 8 years old for the same reason I started reading—escape.” that escape led to two awardwinning middle grade novels, 2015’s “Blackbird Fly” and 2016’s “the Land of Forgotten Girls,” both of which feature protagonists of Filipino descent and Filipino culture, as well as connections to Kelly’s own past. Apple, the 12-year-old from “Blackbird” has moved from the Philippines to Louisiana and is struggling to balance her old and new circumstances. In “Land,” sisters Soledad and Ming fight to survive after being brought to Louisiana from the Philippines—and then left abandoned by their father.

by TeSSa


IF there were an Oscar’s fashion award for “Best Vintage,” it would easily go to Hollywood icon Rita Moreno who wore the same winning gown she wore in 1962 to accept her Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for portraying Anita in “West Side Story.” And get this—it’s a Pitoy Moreno! to be sure, while the Puerto Rican actress obviously came from a very personal reason for re-fashioning the gold and black Pitoy, her gesture is one that besides raising Filipino pride, also tugs at the heartstrings what with the legendary designer passing away just this January at age 88. the Filipino Moreno was regarded as a pillar of Philippine fashion and the named Fashion Czar of Asia, who paved the way for younger designers to break through to the international scene. Still blessed with the slimmest of figures at 86 years old, Rita Moreno wore her Pitoy a little differently almost six decades later with a tube bodice in place of the

Hollywood luminary Rita Moreno proudly wore her 1962 Pitoy Moreno gown on the red carpet of the 90th Academy Awards; she first wore it when she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Anita in ‘West Side Story.’ Photos courtesy of Brettman Collections

original haltered sleeveless design, adding more drama with a thick Egyptian inspired necklace and a quirky black headband. She was quoted by the Vanity Fair website telling Ryan Seacrest during the E! broadcast that one “would think it would tarnish! I had no idea I was going to win [in 1962]. I was sure it was going to be Judy Garland for Judgment At Nuremberg. I flew

in from Manila in the Philippines just in case, which is where this gown was made.” A true acting jewel, Moreno is one of only 12 Hollywood heavyweights with the coveted EGOt, meaning she has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and tony in her decades-long career. She is currently starring on the Netflix reboot of sitcom “One Day at a time.”

B March 8-15, 2018 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOUrNaL

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Broadway musical ‘Allegiance’ premieres in Los Angeles, highlighting Fil-Am talent by AJPress Broadway musical “allegiance,” starring stage and screen star George Takei, landed in Los angeles’ aratani Theatre at the end of February and will be running until april 1. Presented by the East west Players (EwP) and the Japanese american Cultural & Community Center (JaCCC), “allegiance” tells the story of the Kimura family members — son Sammy (Ethan Le Phong/Takei as present day), daughter Kei (Elena wang), father Tatsuo (Scott watanabe), and grandfather ojii-chan (Takei) — who are uprooted from their farm in Salinas, California and are incarcerated alongside other Japanese americans following the events of Pearl Harbor. The over two-hour play sheds light on a dark period of american history, yet the musical numbers show resilience and hope. The plot is inspired by Takei’s real-life experience during world war II, as he spent ages 5 to 9 in the rohwer Incarceration Camp in arkansas and later Tule Lake in Northern California. The Broadway production of “allegiance” (music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione)

first opened on November 8, 2015 at the Longacre Theater in New york City. Lea Salonga originated the role of Kei Kimura. This year, the staging coincides with the 76th anniversary of Executive order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of Japanese americans following Pearl Harbor. “at a time when civil liberties are under threat and our most vulnerable communities are being targeted, ‘allegiance’ shares an essential american story, one that seeks to speak about the injustice survived by 120,000 innocent americans persecuted and incarcerated because of their cultural and ethnic heritage,” EwP producing artistic director Snehal desai and JaCCC President and CEo Leslie Ito wrote in the February issue of Performances Magazine. “allegiance” held its opening night in Los angeles on wednesday, February 28; previews were held the week before and reportedly received standing ovations for each performance. The cast includes Greg watanabe as Mike Masaoka, Janelle dote as Executor, Natalie Holt Macdonald as Hannah Campbell, with ensemble members Jordan Goodsell, Sharline Liu, Miyuki

Elena Wang as Kei Kimura and Ethan Le Phong as Sammy Kimura in the Los Angeles premiere of “Allegiance” starring George Takei at the Aratani Theatre, co-produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Photos by Michael Lamont

Eymard Cabling as Franki Suzuki, Elena Wang as Kei Kimura, and George Takei as Ojii-chan in the Los Angeles premiere of Allegiance starring George Takei at the Aratani Theatre, co-produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

Miyagi, Glenn Shiroma, Chad Takeda, and Grace yoo. also in the production are Filipino americans Eymard Cabling (Frankie Suzuki, Kei’s love interest), Cesar Cipriano (ensemble/ Ben Masaoka/fight choreographer), Marc Macalintal as music director, and alison de La Cruz as executive producer of the La staging. Cabling’s credits include “Miss Saigon,” “The King and I,” “Jane of the Jungle,” while Cipriano has been in previous EwP produc-

Scott Watanabe as Tatsuo Kimura, George Takei as Ojii-chan, Jordan Goodsell as Hakujin, Elena Wang as Kei Kimura, and Ethan Le Phong as Sammy Kimura in the Los Angeles premiere of “Allegiance” at the Aratani Theatre, co-produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

tions such as “Equus,” “Pippin,” “Be Like water,” and “La Cage aux Folles.” He has also been on the national tours of “Miss Saigon” and “The King and I,” and appearances on TV shows “Being Mary Jane,” “2 Broke Girls,” and “New Girl.” Macalintal is a La-based musician who has been involved in theatre as a music director (“La Cage aux Folles,” “The who’s Tommy,” “The Last Five years”), a composer (“Krunk Fu Battle Battle”), and as an actor (“damn yankees,” “Master Class,” “The King and I”). He was recently nominated for an ovation award for his work in EwP’s “Next to Normal.” de La Cruz, who is the director of performing arts and community engagement at JaCCC, said bringing “allegiance” to La was a two-year conversation that started between the organization and book writer/producer Lorenzo Thione. Upon getting the licensing of the production, JaCCC partnered with EwP with special arrangement with Sing out, Louise! Productions and aTa. “Since then, I have been coordinating with both the East west Players team and JaCCC staff, supporting our boards, and really trying to overall help us bring together this landmark production for both organizations and make sure that in all the work we’re doing in Little Tokyo, it’ll represent not only Japanese and Japanese americans but the larger asian american community,” de

Elena Wang as Kei Kimura in the Los Angeles premiere of “Allegiance” starring George Takei at the Aratani Theatre, co-produced by East West Players and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

La Cruz told the Asian Journal on opening night. Citing the number of Filipino and Fil-am talent, from Martin Nievera to Kayamanan Ng Lahi, that has performed on the aratani stage, she added “It is a house that’s really built by the asian american community and artists. Knowing that we had the space to really create a project of this kind, it’s been a wild ride but so rewarding and I’m so proud of all of the folks on this show. There are 130 people working on this production. I love watching this whole company tell the story in a way that only Los angeles can.” Even though the story is centered around the Japanese american experience, de La Cruz said

Filipino americans will be able to relate to the tight-knit family as well as the Filipino immigration history in California. “For Filipino americans, I think we can relate to the family. we know from the Filipino-american National Historical Society and other scholars that there have been times in California where signs were up in San Jose saying, “No Filipinos or dogs allowed,” so the Filipino immigrant history in California is connected to this story,” she said. “For us, it’s also an opportunity to really think about and engage in this moment of history. as Filipinos, we have a different relationship with the Japanese community PAGE B3


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ABS-CBN answers CHED’s complaint against ‘Bagani’ McDonald’s starts rollout of fresh beef quarter-pound IN response to Commission on Higher education (CHeD) commissioner Ronald Adamat’s letter sent to ABS-CBN President Karlo Katigbak on the network’s new show “Bagani,” the network released a statement sent to on March 5. According to the statement, “The concept of ABS-CBN’s new fantaserye ‘Bagani’ is to feature warriors, protectors and heroes who espouse Filipino values and beliefs.” As a response to Adamat’s accusation that “Bagani” is “devoid of real meaning and substance,” ABS-CBN said in the statement that the show’s production team “did intensive research to determine a distinctly Filipino term that embodies a champion who fights for the common good of his tribe or family — somebody who is brave, honorable, self-sacrificing and good-hearted.” The commissioner claimed the series might be promoting “half-truths and lies that destroy and negate the essence” of the Indigenous People’s (IPs) terminology, “bagani.” But according to the TV station, the show’s production team “recognized that the term and concept of a ‘Bagani’ best solidifies the traits that the program wants to highlight.” “With all due respect, the use of ‘Bagani’ is not in any way intended to malign or to disrespect beliefs of the Indigenous Peoples’ communities, but instead hopes to propagate the values, morals, and ethics that are inherent in a ‘Bagani’— a Filipino warrior, protector, and hero,” the network explained. Regarding Adamat’s recom-

burgers, cooked right when ordered, to US restaurants Rollout complete in approximately 3,500 restaurants as two new fresh beef signature crafted recipes soon to join menu

mendation to make the show more “educational,” and historically and culturally accurate, ABS-CBN clarified that “Bagani” “does not purport itself to be a historical account of Philippine history or culture.” “The program has always maintained that it has created an alternative fictional universe with elements of Filipino

mythology and folklore that simply serves as an avenue to creatively deliver and highlight Filipino values, beliefs, and heroism.” “Bagani” airs on weeknights and stars enrique Gil, Liza Soberano, Matteo Guidicelli, Makisig Morales and Sofia Andres. (Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo/

OAK BROOK, Ill. — On Tuesday, March 6, McDonald’s USA announced that fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, in all Quarter Pounder and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers is now available across approximately 3,500 restaurants in select markets and is on track for rollout to all participating restaurants in the contiguous U.S. by early May*. The move to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers is the latest in McDonald’s food journey to build a better McDonald’s. It’s also one of the latest customer-led initiatives in the U.S. that builds on several other recent milestones, including All Day Breakfast, committing to only sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S. and serving chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine**. “The switch to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers is the most significant change to our system and restaurant operations since All Day Breakfast,” said McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski. “Over the past two years, we have been listening to our customers and evolving our business to build a better McDonald’s. We are proud to bring our customers a hotter and juicier quarter-pound burger at the speed and convenience they expect from us.” In March 2017, McDonald’s USA announced the switch to fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, quarter-pound burgers

as a part of a broader commitment to bring customers more craveable and delicious food offerings. The 100% fresh beef quarter-pound burgers are now available in approximately 3,500 restaurants across a number of markets including: - Atlanta - Charlotte - Memphis - Miami - Nashville - Orlando - Raleigh - Salt Lake City Over the next month, the company will be rapidly completing the transition to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers, cooked right when ordered, in additional markets, including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and more, with full rollout to participating restaurants by early May. The test markets in Dallas and Tulsa found customers love the hotter and juicier*** fresh beef quarter-pound burgers – the company saw a 90 percent customer satisfaction from customers who order the burgers, and 90 percent intent to repurchase. All McDonald’s fresh beef quarter-pound burgers use 100 percent beef with absolutely no fillers, additives or preservatives. Quarter-pound burgers include the Quarter Pounder, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder and Signature

Crafted Recipe burgers. New signature crafted recipe sandwiches McDonald’s also continues to innovate its Signature Crafted Recipe sandwiches, which feature premium ingredients and unique flavor combinations. Next month, McDonald’s will introduce another flavorful, premium sandwich – Garlic White Cheddar. The Signature Crafted Recipe sandwich is made with a fresh beef, quarter-pound burger or chicken (Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken) and will be available at participating U.S. restaurants. • Garlic White Cheddar: A mouthwatering, savory combination of creamy garlic aioli and crispy garlic chips piled up with a juicy tomato slice, crisp iceberg lettuce and real white cheddar cheese. Freshly prepared on a fresh beef quarter-pound burger or your choice of chicken (Buttermilk Crispy Chicken or Artisan Grilled Chicken) on a toasted Artisan Roll. Other new Signature Crafted Recipes sandwiches are also expected to debut later this year. * Not available in Alaska, Hawaii or U.S. Territories. ** Farmers still use ionophores, a class of antibiotics that are not prescribed to people, to keep chickens healthy. *** Compared to prior ¼ lb. beef patty. (Advertising Supplement)

Nadine Lustre’ s daring Zambales photos go viral Drew Barrymore is coming to Manila! by MJ


YeS, you read that right. Hollywood sweetheart Drew Barrymore is coming to Manila this month to promote the second season of her successful Netflix series, “Santa Clarita Diet.” The last time she was in town was in 2016 for a surprise visitcum-branding trip for her beauty and cosmetics company Flower Beauty. She was spotted checking out makeup lines available in the country at SM Store Makati, which quickly went viral online. This time, her visit is well planned and will take place on March 12 together with her Santa Clarita co-star Timothy Olyphant at SM Megamall Fashion Hall. Besides having a meet and greet with fans, Drew will lead the Asian premiere of the series at a special screening. According to Netflix, they chose Manila for the regional premiere

as a way of thanking the market for their overwhelming patronage. Debuting on the on-demand streaming site on March 23, Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 will find Shiela and Joel Hammond (Drew and Timothy’s characters in the show) trying to adapt to their daughter’s “advanced undead state.” At the same time, Sheila desperately tries to hold on to her suburban lifestyle to avoid being caught as as just another monster. Unfortunately — while the family has become markedly better at murder — the number of missing people in Santa Clarita starts to pile up and the situation starts to attract attention. Now In The Know is counting the days until this lovely lady’s visit with a scheduled one-on-one interview! Fans of husband and wife Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera were thrilled last week when they appeared in an adorable. Drew Barrymore

Is Winwyn planning to transfer to another network? AFTeR being hailed as the first Asian and the first Filipino to win as Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas, Teresita “Winwyn” Márquez anticipates her return to TV as an actress. According to her, she will be back in the limelight soon. But

Winwyn Márquez with boyfriend Mark Herras

will she still be a Kapuso? In a recent interview with, Winwyn disclosed that she will not stop acting and is looking forward to making a new project. She, nonetheless, did not confirm whether the project will still be with GMA or with a new

TV network. “Abangan na lang natin. Surprise pa,” she enthused. Rumor has it that Winwyn will transfer to ABS-CBN to join her father, actor and TV host Joey Marquez, who is with noontime show “It’s Showtime.” According to Winwyn, her boyfriend, Mark Herras, is fully supportive of her, whether or not she would transfer to ABS-CBN. Winwyn is among the celebrity judges and will be the modeling mentor at talent search SM Little Stars, which is now on its 12th year of discovering Filipino child prodigies. Auditions for the contest will begin on April 7. Prizes at stake amount to over P9.5 million, including two brand new cars, cash, trip to China, and college scholarships. Besides mentoring kids at the contest, Winwyn, who is a teacher, said she is still busy going to provinces to pursue her advocacy, teaching Filipino culture. (Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo/PhilGMA photo

Broadway musical ‘Allegiance’ premieres... PAGE B2 and for me, it has been really powerful to think about and offer this as an opportunity. As Americans, as immigrants or kids of immigrants, how do we want to treat each other?” De La Cruz aims to invite more stories about the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and have them told on stage. “People could really see, we have so much more talent than we’re getting roles for and that’s really what I want: to accelerate, perpetuate, push out there that we have so much more to do and we have so much more to say and we can do that. We don’t have to wait anymore. That for me is the big moment of today is, if we waited, we wouldn’t be here tonight. If I waited to see what would happen, I don’t know if ‘Allegiance’ would’ve come to me so it is about identifying what we want, being clear and naming it and claiming our place in the greater diversity of Los Angeles,

“Allegiance,” starring George Takei, is based on Takei’s real-life experiences during World War II.

diversity of American theatre. And then I think as Filipinos, for us to continue to be partners and allies but claim our place in the larger Asian American and Pacific Islander community.” *** “Allegiance” will run at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s Aratani

Theater (244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA) until April 1, 2018. Performances will be held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Matinee showings at 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no performance on Sunday, March 18. For tickets and information, please visit

IT looks like Kapamilya actress Nadine Lustre is ready to defend her “Sexiest Filipina” crown as she posted on her Instagram account sexy photos shot in Zambales. In a series of photos posted by Nadine and her photographer, Andrei Suleik, Nadine can be seen wearing a white long dress that shows the entirety of her right leg, and almost giving a peek of her intimate area. “Brace for impact; bigger things are coming,” the photographer wrote on his Instagram account Does this mean that the Viva actress is saying goodbye to “pa-tweetums” roles and is

ready to show more skin in her upcoming movie with boyfriend James Reid, “Never Not Love You,” directed by Antoinette Jadaone? Nadine also posted a photo where she and James seem to be enjoying in the lake. The photo was captioned, “Choose to be happy.” Nadine’s new sexy photos have been the talk of the town this week, especially on social media. The actress has been recently nominated as Music Video Appearance of the Year in “The Life” by James in Myx Music Awards 2018 Awards. (Philstar. com)

Photo from Instagram/@nadine

B March 8-15, 2018 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOUrNaL

Features • (702) 792-6678

The larger-than-life Filipino designer Aicelle Santos lands ‘Miss Saigon UK’ as Gigi who goes by the name Michael Cinco By Monet


He is the talent behind that resplendent jewel-toned gown that Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach wore when she passed the crown to Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, who also wore a scarlet red ombré couture gown in her final walk designed by the same amazing designer. One of his dresses was featured in the movie “Jupiter Ascending” starring Mila Kunis, and was famed for dressing Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai, Mariah Carey, and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and country singer Carrie Underwood, to name just a few. So when Austrian singer and Swarovski heiress Victoria Swarovski needed a custom-made gown with a six-meter-long train encrusted with Swarovski crystals and laser-cut flowers, there’s no other name that she had in mind but the Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco. When he is not busy conquering the fashion world one gown at a time, he is inching his way to other ventures such as his first ever perfume called, Impalpable, which he launched in 2012; followed by his limited edition underwear collection for international brand Bench in 2015. While it seemed like he caught all the ‘lucky stars’, Cinco didn’t just luck out in the fashion industry. His fascination for glamourous women in classic Hollywood movies started when he was young. Cinco was born on August 27, 1971 in the province of Samar in the Philippines. It was noted on his website that “the impeccable elegance and sophistication of Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford and Audrey Hepburn created an indelible impression on his formative design imagination.” “I pictured those fabulous heroines and imagined dressing them up in my creations. I chased after those visions...,” Cinco recalls. Cinco moved to Dubai where he got his first job and was instantly recognized for his fashion acumen. It was in 2002 when Cinco went to Paris and London to seek out more fashion inspiration. He studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design because of his fascination for London’s mix of old tradition and contemporary edginess. The following year, he returned to Dubai and


established his own label Michael Cinco. According to his website, Michael Cinco is best known for his fabulous couture gowns. His innate creativity and masterful techniques have catapulted him to the front ranks of fashion. He has cultivated a dedicated following for the luxe and intricacy of his designs, with their fresh, elegant and detailed juxtapositions of fabric and Swarovski crystals. Cinco’s celebrity clients include Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ellie Goulding, Nicole Scherzinger, Fergie Ferguson, Dita Von Teese, Brandy, Ashanti, Chris Brown, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell. Jennifer Lopez wore a crystallized Michael Cinco couture when she hosted American Music Awards in 2015. Sofia Vergara wore a stunning Michael Cinco gown at the Golden Globes 2013, who was voted Best Dressed by many TV shows and magazines in the U.S. British pop star Paloma Faith wore his couture dress at the MeT Gala in New York. He also appeared on the U.S. hit reality show “America’s Next Top Model,” Cycle 16 and All-Star Cycle 17 finale hosted by Tyra Banks. He was also chosen as the guest designer and guest judge on the new reality show “Asia’s Next top Model,” in Singapore and was highly endorsed by Tyra Banks. He was also chosen as guest designer and guest judge in the new reality show “Asia’s Next Top Model,” in Singapore, and was highly endorsed by Tyra Banks. He was also featured as a designer and a judge in “China’s

Next Top Model” in 2015. In November 2011, Cinco won the Breakthrough Designer award from the WGSN Global Fashion Awards held at Gotham Hall, New York, against top contenders. He won Best Designer award in Grazia’s Style Awards 2016; People’s Choice Award at Dubai Fashion Week 2010; and was chosen as one of the top movers in Dubai in the Ahlan Hot 100 in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016. Cinco just recently debuted his Autumn-Winter Collection 2016 at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. He wowed audiences at Dubai Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week, Singapore Fashion Week, Australia Fashion Week, Philippine Fashion Week and did shows in New York and London. As a Filipino, I marvel every time I hear about fellow Filipinos getting recognized worldwide. It brings us so much pride and honor. To Michael Cinco whose larger-thanlife success keeps piling up, I wish you all the luck (not that you need it) and may you continue to inspire more and more people by your creative genius. *** Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, awardwinning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit or email him at


AFTeR playing the lead role in the successful “Himala: Isang Musikal,” GMA Network star Aicelle Santos is now ready to take on the international stage with Cameron Mackintosh’s criticallyacclaimed musical “Miss Saigon” in the United Kingdom. While she only finished second in the GMA Network singing contest “Pinoy Pop Superstar” in 2005, Santos nevertheless earned the distinction as the first undefeated contestant to win an eight-straight win during the preliminaries. She was signed up by the station for an exclusive management contract and since then, her singing career took leaps and bounds. On stage, Santos first captured the hearts of theater enthusiasts with her role as Aileen in “Rak of Aegis,” earning her the moniker “Rock and Soul Diva.” She bagged the Best Actress in a Musical Production award in the 2014 Aliw Awards. This was followed by more stints in theater, making her a

favorite in the local scene. In 2017, Santos was recognized by Aliw Awards once again as Best Actress in a Featured Role for her portrayal of Perla in “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag.” For the same performance, she earned nomination in the Gawad Philstage Award as Best Female Featured Actress in a Musical. Despite her latest project, the Rock and Soul Diva will continue to be visible on TV as her successful “Awit Na Aicelle” concert will be televised on GMA. Likewise, the music video for the single “Tuloy Tuloy Lang” under her new album “Liwanag” will also be released in the coming months. With her deep-seated passion for music and the arts, Santos is excited for this international venture. She will leave for the UK on the third week of March for her training, with high spirits Aicelle Santos is the latest Filipino talent to to represent the Filipino talent join ‘Miss Saigon.’ GMA photo abroad, joining countless local talents that made their mark on the musical as well are Joaquin the global stage. Valdez and Iroy Abesamis for the Other Filipinos newly cast in ensemble. (

Bb. Pilipinas bets sizzle in costume show by Arlo


CANDIDATeS to this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant sizzled in their chosen attire during the National Costume show held on Saturday, March 3 at Kia Theater in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City. The 40 women, wearing traditional and modern terno or costumes of indigenous tribes, were a picture of grace and fierceness as they paraded in front of an enthusiastic audience. “They are all beautiful and the costumes are artistic, really hard to choose who is the best,” an audience member whispered to The Manila Times. The 10 women who stood out were chosen by a panel of judges led by Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. chairman Stella Marquez Araneta. Making it to the Top 10 in no particular order were Candidates No. 33 Stephanie Joy Abellanida wearing a creation of Archie Castillo; No. 29 Samantha Kaye Avestruz, with Nick Guarino as designer; No. 30 Sarah Margarette Joson, by JayR Gamboa Flores; No. 31 Jheza Mae Huelar, by Neil Patrick Jimlani; No. 35 Sandra Lemonon, by edwin Uy; No. 19 Michele Gumabao, by Nat Manilag; Catriona elisa Gray, by Jerson Demavivas; No. 18

Some of the Binibining Pilipinas candidates celebrate after making it to the best in costume list. The final pageant winners will be announced on March 18. photo by John Micah Sebastian

Rosantonette Mendoza, by Ryan Uson Ablaza; No. 11 Maria Andrea Verdadero, by Chico estiva; and Ana Patricia Asturias, by Dave Ocampo. The winner of the Best in National Costume will be announced on Pageant Night on March 18. Fans and supporters can vote for their favorite candidates in the official Binibining Pilipinas website. Prior to the national costume presentation, the reigning queens – Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters, Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon, Miss Intercontinental First Runner-Up Katarina Rodriguez, Miss Globe First Runner-Up Nelda Ibe, Miss Grand International Second Runner-Up elizabeth Clenci and Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Chanel Ol-



ive Thomas – and the 40 candidates paraded wearing the latest collection of sponsor Jag Jeans. After the presentation, Jag announced that they have chosen Peters, de Leon and Rodriguez as the brand’s newest endorsers. On March 10, the Binibinis will be going around the Araneta Center for the annual Parade of Beauties. Winners will be representing the country in the Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Globe, Miss Grand International. Miss Supranational and Miss Intercontinental pageants. In January, Rodriguez was declared First Runner-Up to Veronica Salas of Mexico in the Miss Intercontinental pageant held in egypt.

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Community Journal

Naturalization is a family affair Your Immigration Solution Atty. NANcy Miller & lorellA t. Hess ONE important reason to consult an attorney before applying for U.S. citizenship (also known as naturalizing) is to understand how your becoming a citizen will affect the rest of your family. For example, your lawful permanent resident (LPR) children under age 18 may become U.S. citizens as derivatives of your naturalization. Under current law (which

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA

may change), naturalization also allows you to begin the process of sponsoring your parents, married sons and daughters, or siblings. And, if you have already started to sponsor your spouse or unmarried sons and daughters, the timing of your naturalization matters to them too. Becoming a U.S. citizen will change the classification of the immigrant petitions you filed for them as an LPR. Non-immediate relative family-based categories have backlogs and varying-time waiting periods. When you become a citizen, your petition converts from a spouse/child under 21 years old of an LPR (F-2A) to an Immediate Relative petition (parent/spouse/

child of a U.S. citizen), and your spouse becomes eligible for a green card or visa immediately. On the other hand, the Immediate Relative category has no derivatives. They have to be applied for separately. You can wait to naturalize until your spouse and children have immigrated with your spouse’s petition, or file new separate Immediate Relative petitions for the children. The best choice for your family will depend on many factors which should be discussed thoroughly with your immigration attorney. Under the Child Status Protection Act, when you become a citizen, your F2A petition converts to that of Immediate Relative and

Hubris and the folly of youth “The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy” — Alfred North Whitehead

LONG ago in the island of Crete, there lived a man named Daedalus, who was famed for his skills as an inventor. He worked for King Minos. Foremost among his many achievements was building the labyrinth in which the king kept the Minotaur, a fearsome, legendary beast who was half-man and half-bull that fed on human flesh. It was said that anyone who went into the labyrinth never came out of it again because of its complex, undecipherable winding walls and corridors. Daedalus was brilliant and this was a problem for the king. Although Daedalus had been giving the king great and loyal service all his life, Minos was deeply insecure and feared that Daedalus who was wise, celebrated and ingenious would, one day challenge him to become king. As a preemptive move, Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son, Icarus in a prison tower. The king underestimated Daedalus, for one dark night, father and son escaped from their prison tower. They found out however that it was well nigh impossible to escape the island with the paranoid King Minos sending out an all points bulletin to his mindless minions. Minos’ soldiers carefully searched every boat that left the island. Father and son took cover in a remote cave along the shore hidden from the watchful eyes of Minos’ soldiers while Daedalus figured out a way to escape. Watching the seagulls for hours soaring and diving for food on the shore, Daedalus was struck with the idea of flight as an escape route. He caught one bird and studied the structure and form of its wings and after careful thought, decided to copy how a wing is made. He instructed Icarus to catch seagulls and pluck their feathers. When there were enough feathers, he sewed

them together and used melted wax to bind the feathers on a wooden framework. He created the contraption so skillfully that they looked like a giant replica of a bird’s wings. He customized two pairs of wings for himself and for his son, careful to take each of their individual body weights into consideration. But having wings was one thing, knowing how to use those wings to fly was another. So Daedalus strapped his wings and still taking his cue from the seagulls on how to soar, swoop, dive and glide, he proceeded to learn how to fly so that the wings felt like a seamless part of his arms and his body. He studied wind currents, the waters of the sea and the heat of the sun. Having gained the skill, he proceeded to teach his son patiently. At first, Icarus stumbled and fell and when he got past the first few fumbles, the youth learned quickly, his lithe, svelte form seemingly destined for flight. He learned to fly like a bird, swooping and diving, gliding and circling about, looking down below at the blue waters and their island prison, now a mere speck from above, and frolicking about overhead, chasing the seagulls and rolling in the clouds. Freedom was a heady drink. Icarus felt complete elation, knew the incredible lightness of being and tasted the sweet freedom of flight. Then came the day when Daedalus and Icarus were to fly out of Crete. The sun was up, and the wind was mild and Daedalus decided it was an auspicious day to make the great escape. Daedalus sat his son down and looked him in the eyes for serious pre-flight instructions knowing that once in the air, there would be little chance for communication. “Pay attention, Icarus. Stick close behind me and


Vatican to endorse porn?

PhiliP S. ChuA, Md, FACS, FPCS FOR some people, to even think that the church could be persuaded to endorse porn or abortion is ridiculously absurd! The title is a satirical statement to highlight the stupidity of the suggestion that the Philippine Department of Health (DoH), the very guardian and sentinel of health of our country, should endorse vaping! The health experts call it ludicrous. I say it is idiotic. Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, which is loaded with toxic chemicals. Since the use of cigarettes has declined in many countries, vaping, which is no less harmful, is being marketed as a substitute for smoking. Here are important statements I am reprinting from the email this column received from the disease prevention advocacy agency, HealthJustice: “It would be the height of absurdity for the Department of Health to endorse vaping. As far as the national and international scientific and medical community is concerned, vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes is not safe because these still emit toxic chemicals. And it is crucial that the public be informed about it,” said Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, board member of HealthJustice and former secretary of the DoH. According to Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, Smoke-free Program Manager of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), studies show that “vaping involves the inhalation of nicotine at the same levels as cigarettes and can maintain nicotine addiction. It also increases one’s likelihood of developing cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Fe-

tal and adolescent exposure to it has particularly adverse effects on brain development. These are just a few reasons why vaping must also be banned in all public places where smoking is also banned.” Aren’t we getting enough polluted and toxic air from our environment, and illnesses and deaths from smoking tobacco that we have to acquire another habit and harm our body even greater? When do we stop being masochistic and self-destructive? As for the “pushers” of vaping, I suspect that they are the same mindless and unconscionable sectors of our society, the greedy entrepreneurs and money-hungry politicians who supported and promoted the use of tobacco, who would again financially profit from the misery their fellowmen. Much like those who, historically, had pushed for tobacco use and also those now pushing to legalize recreational marijuana. Vaping a safer alterntive? Going from cigarette smoking to vaping is just like jumping out of a frying pan to the fire. It does not make sense. The only rational way to quit breathing in more toxic air from our present poison-contaminated atmosphere is to stop inhaling from another source of toxic chemicals, like in vaping. This is just plain common sense. No doctorate degree needed to understand this. Just ask any child in the kindergarten. Electronic cigarettes and other vaping products would outsell tobacco in five years. Young people are especially attracted to this new mode of self-destruction and suicide. While the old generation of the 1600s (when tobacco was first introduced in Brazil and England) and up to early1900s did not have the scientific information that

watch your altitude. Fly too low and the sea with its moisture will make your wings too heavy. Fly too high and the heat of the sun will melt the wax in your wings. Take heed and stay close.” Icarus nodded agreement but he was far too excited and his mind was already in the sky. Daedalus took off flapping his wings faster and faster to get vertical lift-off and escape gravity. Icarus followed suit and took off shortly after. As they flew, the people on the ground in Crete watched in amazement wondering whether the winged creatures are the gods themselves flying. Icarus trailed his father closely at first, following his flight pattern and struggling to take heed of his father’s admonitions. But feeling an overwhelming sense of growing power in his ability to fly, reveling in his freedom and giving in to his impetuous, youthful nature, Icarus deviated a little at first, taking little swoops and side trips and catching up with his father who was intently flying on a steady speed and altitude. As Icarus swooped, dived and indulged frivolously in his aerial acrobatics, Icarus soon forgot his father’s words and flew higher and higher towards the noonday sun. Then the wax in his wings melted, the wooden framework broke apart and the feathers blew away. Wingless and panicking, Icarus plunged headlong like deadweight into the blue waters. Daedalus swooped down in hot pursuit to save his son but it was much too late. All he saw were a few feathers floating on the surface. Daedalus, with a heavy heart at the tragic loss of his beloved Icarus, managed to fly to Sicily. In his grief, Daedalus retired his wings, lost his love for life and never flew again. PAGE B7

tobacco was a factory of diseases and a killer of man, today’s youth, in this informational age, have tons of evidence-based data that vaping is no less health destructive and is equally deadly as smoking. Let’s review what smoking has done to people, which ecigarettes and vaping would do, with equal impunity. Smoking kills. It is that plain and simple. There is no more doubt today that tobacco (cigarette smoking) is the predominant cause of lung cancer, besides other malignancies and cardiovascular diseases that maim, kill men and women and hurt our society, especially our children. In the United States alone, almost half a million die each year from smoking-related illnesses. These are preventable deaths! Demographic studies have shown that smokers are about 10 times more prone to die premature deaths than nonsmokers. This unnecessary loss of lives is at an immense direct cost for non-smokers in terms of increased health risks from passive smoking, in higher health insurance premiums and taxes, not to mention personal and family tragedies in all shapes and forms. As we have alluded to in a previous column, secondhand smoke is even more dangerous, equally fatal. Tobacco use leads to four times as many deaths annually compared to all other drugs and alcohol abuse combined, ten times more than all automobile fatalities per year, twelve times more than deaths from AIDS, and much more than all the American military casualties (in all wars) in this century put together. That’s how dangerous and damaging tobacco is to the human body and to society as a whole. Today, lung cancer has bePAGE B7

the law freezes your under 21year old child’s age. Thus, your child stays in Immediate Relative status. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which is where California is located) just issued a decision which extends this protection to children who turn 21 shortly after their parent naturalizes, in certain situations. When you file a petition for your under 21-year old child and that child turns 21 before getting their green card, the category of your petition is converted from category F2A to F2B (LPR’s unmarried son/daughter age 21+). When you become a citizen, your petition converts again, from F2B to F1 (U.S. citizen’s unmarried son/daughter age 21+). The waiting time in these categories can be ten years or more. Often the wait is shorter for F2B than for F1; in that case a beneficiary can “opt out” of the conversion and go back to category F2B. When you become a citizen your petition converts from F2B to F1 as above, and the stillunmarried beneficiary may opt out of that conversion. If the beneficiary later gets married,


s/he keeps the F1 conversion and your petition converts again to category F3 (U.S. citizen’s married son/daughter). The waiting time for F3 petitions is 5-10 years longer than for F1 petitions, but your petition itself survives the wedding and the new spouse becomes a derivative beneficiary. If your son or daughter’s marriage later ends, your petition converts back to F1 without a derivative spouse. LPRs cannot petition for married sons and daughters, so your petition is revoked or denied as a matter of law immediately upon the marriage. Unfortunately, even if the beneficiary’s marriage ends, your petition cannot be revived. As a citizen, you could start over with a new F3 petition for your married son (or a new F1 petition for your widowed or divorced daughter), but the new petition will have its own waiting period. If you are naturalizing and have petitioned for a son or daughter who wants to marry, you should all be aware that a wedding before you take the citizenship oath will kill the petition. On the other hand, a wedding after your oath will convert your petition from

Calendar of Events across


F1 to F3 and make the spouse a derivative beneficiary for as long as the marriage lasts. Achieving U.S. citizenship can be the culmination of a lifelong dream. Like most aspects of immigration law, it is complicated and has less-than-obvious potential pitfalls. When to apply for citizenship and how that will affect your family members is something that should be discussed in depth with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney before you decide to apply. *** Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration fi rms in the United States with offi ces in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Manila and China. For more Information please call (800) 7958009 or visit Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: Website: *** The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the personalized representation that is essential to every case. (Advertising Supplement)



Fil-Am Association of SCV’s fundraising event and inaugural ball in Valencia, CA The Fil-Am Association of Santa Clarita Valley (SCV), Inc. invites the community to a fundraising event and inaugural ball of the board of officers and trustees on Sunday, March 11 at 5 p.m. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia — 24500 Town Center Dr., Valencia, CA 91355. The Fil-Am Association of SCV, Inc. is a non-profit that engages in cultural, social, outreach and community service to approximately 8,000 Fil-Ams living in Santa Clarita Valley. This 2018 marks the associations 35th year in serving the community through its outreach and Fil-Am academic and cultural enhancement programs which include scholarship achievement awards, programs for the seniors, youth and single programs, as well as cultural events. For tickets, please contact Josie Maglalang at (661) 607-5665, Zeny Justiniano at (661) 645-0948, Emie Carrillo at (661) 8772699, and Zony Gordon (661) 312-3422.

MARch 14

Philippine American Bar Association’s 32nd installation & awards gala in Los Angeles on March 14 The Philippine American Bar Association (PABA) invites you to its 32nd Installation and Awards Gala on Wednesday, March 14. This year’s Gala will feature keynote speaker California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, a menu of Filipino flavors, and special performances. During the gala, PABA also will formally unveil its new logo and website, both of which were developed by a Fil-Am-owned start-up and involve colors and designs deeply rooted in the cultural history of the Philippines. To purchase tickets or a sponsorship, please visit: https://

MARch 19

Glenn Miller Orchestra to perform in Stevenson Ranch, CA The world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will swing into the Santa Clarita Valley for a special one-night only event to be held at West Ranch High School (26255 Valencia Blvd. Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381) on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. The most sought-after big band in the world will take the stage with bandleader Nick Hilscher at the helm, performing beloved hits from their extensive library, which includes “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Pennsylvania 6-5000.” Hosted by West Ranch High School’s music program, the concert will be an event for all ages and offers the chance to experience history, enjoy the magical melodies and walk away knowing you’re supporting a new generation of talented musicians in the processes. Tickets are $25 for seniors/students, $30 for general, and $35 for VIP. Prices increase by $5 at the door the day of the event. Tickets are available online at, by phone at (661) 222-1220 ext. 645, or at one of the locations: Nick Rail Music - 25868 McBean Pkwy., Valencia, CA, (661) 288-2345; Nationwide Insurance, 23236 Lyons Ave. #205, Newhall, CA, (661) 254-1714; Innovations Salon - 25830 The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA. (661) 255-5580; or Bella Cucina - 27911 Seco Canyon Rd. in Saugus, (661) 263-1414.

M A R c h 29

Immigration forum in Anaheim, CA There will be a FREE immigration forum on Thursday, February 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Brookhurst Community Center (2271 Crescent Ave., Anaheim, CA 92801). RSVP is a MUST to attend. No registration fee required. Please contact (714) 657-7460 or admin@globallawcenters. com. Attendees will be able to get information on the following topics: How to find H-1B/green card sponsoring companies, tips for a successful H-1B interview, job placement assistance for qualified applicants with start-ups in Orange County, and a list of top 100 H1-B employers in the OC. Global Law Centers strives to inform the immigrant community of its rights and make sure it is knowledgeable about what immigration processes might be available. The forum will also update everyone about new and recent changes which may affect immigrants and their families. Refreshments will be provided to all attendees. For more information about Global Law Centers, please visit

ApRIL 14

SALIDA: Simbolo at Kultura in Queens, NY AFTA presents its latest fundraising event - “SALIDA: Simbolo at Kultura” – a cultural dinner show featuring the internationally recognized dance troupe from the Philippines, the Leyte Dance Theater, which will kick off their USA TOUR 2018 in NYC. The event is on April 14, 2018, 3:00 pm at the Rock Church in Woodside, Queens. “Salida” aims to raise funds and awareness to support the flagship projects of the Association of Fil-am Teachers of America, Inc. (AFTA) with their partners: The Rock Churches Worldwide and the Leyte Biliran & Samar Federation. Proceeds of this fundraiser will finance AFTA’s projects in the Philippines like Adopt a School (Marawi City, Biliran and Albay, Adopt a Scholar, and Balikturo). For Sponsorship opportunities, contact Roxanne at 347-932-6631 or Nitz at 862-368-1706 or any AFTA officer/board member.

ApRIL 30

East West Players’ 52nd Visionary Awards & Silent Auction in Los Angeles East West Players celebrates its 52nd Anniversary at the Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. The Visionary Awards laud the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs. It will be held at the Hilton Universal City (555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608) on Monday, April 30. At 5:30 p.m., VIP Reception*, silent auction, and registration begin. Dinner and awards show begin at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please visit:

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B March 8-15, 2018 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOUrNaL

Angelica Panganiban finally publishes her ‘hugot’ lines sHe’s hasn’t been crowned the country’s “Hugot Queen” for nothing. ever outspoken celebrity Angelica Panganiban has finally published her plethora of sentimental quips on healing and moving on from a lost love in a new book titled “Beau Ang’s Para Kay ex,” —the first two words a play on the Visayan word “buang” meaning crazy. Panganiban gives an interesting introduction and acts as muse of the new book. In the foreword, she writes, “Many forget about the real reason why we need healing—it’s because we got hurt, got angry, got sad, and questioned ourselves. this book gave me the freedom to be angry and to accept my pain.” Laid out in colorful pages, “Para Kay ex” dishes out hilarious sentiments, jokes, and activities relating to the pains of dealing not just with an ex-lover, but reaches out even to those who lost a best friend and boss, as well people

Angelica Panganiban phot

who never really had that special someone in the first place. Besides sharing her views, the “Banana sundae” cast member is also featured in must-see pho-

tos acting out the many hugot lines from page to page. It can be recalled that since breaking up with her last boyfriend, actor John Lloyd cruz, Panganiban has been known to utter emotional yet humorous lines on the comedy show as well as her social media accounts, which the public lapped up to enjoy, all while she worked on healing and moving on. As such, this must-grab manual allows readers to mourn, express their bitterness, and cope with heartaches through activities with funny twists. the witty author also believes that sometimes, the worst place you can be is in your own head. she writes, “[this book will also help] to exercise your brain, which hibernated ever since you fell in love. this is the activity book that will hook on your confused emotions, and drown you with the reality that you are not really together. He might have played you before, but who’s playing now?” ( • (702) 792-6678

Angel reacts to accusation of ‘slut-shaming’ PGT contestants by Rosette


Actress Angel Locsin on clapped back at a social media user who called her out for her disapproving of a sexy girl group’s act at a controversial “Pilipinas Got talent” audition. A twitter user named Nielle esguerra commented Locsin could have refrained from “slut-shaming” when she was trying to empower women particularly the sexy girl group, Playgirls, whose audition aired saturday, March 4. “there is no such thing as a ‘slut’ or a ‘non-slut.’ there are WOMeN,” Locsin, who is also one of the judges of PGt, said. Judges clash over sexy carwash audition the Playgirls’ sexy carwash dance audition drew controversy after Locsin and actor robin Padilla, also a celebrity judge, clashed over the audition. Locsin hit the red buzzer and rejected the group, explaining that she does not want the four-member Playgirls to be objectified. she and comedian Vice Ganda pointed out how carwash dancing while wearing underwear is not exactly a talent. “Ako kasi, parang hindi ko kaya na makita kayo na nagsasayaw na naka-underwear para lang sa’min. Masyado kayo magaganda at masyado niyo ‘tong pinaghirapan para gawin ‘yan. Kung may talent kayo, ‘yun ang ipakita niyo sa’min dahil talent ang hinahanap namin dito, hindi katawan. Kaya ko kayo binuzz, ayaw kong ma-objectify ABS-CBN Photo kayo, masyado ako nagmamalathinking of stress that the show sakit para sa inyo para i-go ko ‘to,” brought them, it is okay to think Locsin commented during the of the memories and relationships talent show. created during the airing of the Padilla, for his part, asked the 10-month show. “Naging masaya ang rollercoaster ride ng ‘La Luna sangre.’ Kesa isipin natin ‘yung stress, kailangang isipin yung saya na by izA iglesiAs binigay ng show namin. ‘Yung cast namin, talagang naging ceLeBrIty couple yael yuclose kami, naging unit kami na magkakasama dito sa ‘La Luna’,” zon of the band sponge cola and singer and “showtime” host Daniel said. “Hindi lang kami puro arte Karylle have truly found forever in dito eh. Meron din kaming action each others’ arms since tying the at hindi medaling mag-action sa knot in 2014. It can be recalled that the couteleserye dahil meron nga tayong airing na hinahabol. Hindi siya ple first met at the eraserheads’ naging madali dahil nga hindi reunion concert in 2009. several kagaya ng movie mayroon kang twitter exchanges later—reinoras eh, sa serye walang kang oras forced with the encouragement of well meaning friends—the pair diresiretso,” he noted. of artists soon started dating the following year. together for three years as boyfriend-girlfriend and another three as husband and wife, everyone has been waiting for the lovely yuzons to take the next big step in their relationship and start a family. Not too long ago, Karylle’s mom Zsa Zsa Padilla expressed her wish to be a grandmother to media. Her daughter, in a separate interview giggled and said she had talked to her Divine Diva of a mom and told her she and her hubby are still enjoying their time together. But now, the yuzons have announced they are finally ready to be parents, not because they feel pressured to have a family but simply because the time is right. “We’re not pressured but we hope to be blessed with a baby soon. right now, we’re just trying to be in the best of health kasi ‘di ba if you want to have a baby, you need to be so,” said Karylle. Appearing together as brand ambassadors of breakfast biscuit brand belVita, yael seconded his wife and said, “We’ll pass everything down genetically right, so we just want our child to be an achiever—like someone who is great academically and also great at sports.” Happy whether their eldest becomes a boy or a girl, the couple revealed what they wish for is to

KathNiel on pros, cons of being a celebrity couple by JAn

Milo seveRo

IF there is one thing Kapamilya love team Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo learned from their characters as Malia and tristan in their recently concluded top-rating teleserye “La Luna sangre,” it is that love is the most powerful force. “Ang pagmamahal, ayun parin ang pinakamakapangyarihan sa lahat. At the end of the day, kahit gaano kasama ‘yung tao, pwede mong mabago dahil sa pagmamahal. Ayun ang natutunan ko na pwede kong i-apply in real life,” Kathryn said during the thanksgiving press conference held in eLJ Building at ABs-cBN. “Hindi naging madali ang journey ni Malia at tristan, pero ang importante dun, hawak kamay sila para malagpasan ‘yun. In real life, ganun naman din ‘yun. May mga challenges na darating, hindi lahat ng panahon makikisama samin pero ang importante hawak kamay namin yun na haharapin,” the teen Queen added. Daniel agreed with his onscreen partner and rumored real-life sweet heart’s statement. “S’yempre hangga’t nagmamahalan kami. Hangga’t nagmamahalan kayo dun n’yo ipaglalaban hanggang meron. Ano pa ipaglalaban nyo kung wala na, ‘di ba?

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla

Hanggang may katwiran ipaglaban mo,” the teen King said. “Na sa amin na ‘yun kung hanggang san namin kayang ipaglaban,” Kathryn echoed. the phenomenal love team said theywill miss the hit series eventhough they admitted that they adjusted a lot for this show and sometimes, it gave them stress. “Nahirapan talaga ko sa ‘La Luna sangre.’ Ang laki ng adjustment na ginawa ko for Malia. Ang dami kong mga mga firsts na ginawa ko dito kaya hindi ko makakalimutan. Ang daming learnings and ‘yung pinakaimportante ‘yung mga relationship na nabuo ko dito sa show, feeling ko ‘yun ang pinakamami-miss ko,” Kathryn said. For Daniel, “La Luna” is like a roller coaster ride and instead of

ğįōíľ ÀðıÃæµįPçįŒʼnŒæIJįıÀ ØÃĉÃæîÂߌğÃqPç qíß߼æÃıŎįĤÀíĽØƒ ÕæíŊįPdíĽIJĕ If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, email us the details (title, description, time & date, location, etc.) at

And for consideration in our print calendar, please send submissions at least three weeks before the date of the event. To be included in our online calendar/ e-newsletter, please allow at least two to three weeks' notice. The Asian Journal would be delighted to list your event in our Calendar of Events.

Angel Locsin Photo from Instagram/@therealangellocsin

girls if they were forced to perform in their outfits. “Ginagawa niyo ba yan dahil gusto niyo? O labag sa kalooban niyo? Isa-isa ha, kasi mahalaga ‘to. Para mabura sa isipan nu’ng mga ibang judges na kayo’y napilitan o ano,” the actor asked. Locsin said she didn’t imply that the girls were being forced to perform. the argument heated up even more when Padilla asked the Playgirls if they want men to look up to them. Padilla, however, told the Playgirls to listen to Locsin. “Kaya niya sinasabi ‘yan, para proteksiyonan kayo. Sana maintindihan niyo ‘yan. Walang against sa inyo. Lahat ng sinabi dito pabor sa inyo,” Padilla said. the Playgirls, meanwhile, stood by their performance and said that they considered it their talent. However, they only got the votes of Padilla and judge Freddie Garcia and failed to advance to the next round. Vice Ganda and Locsin said that

although they were entertained by the performance, they voted no since they believe the performance was not for PGt. “talent-wise, I don’t think that’s enough to win P2 million in PGt,” Locsin gets mixed reactions on social media the actress later earned mixed reactions on social media. some netizens praised her for standing up for women’s rights while others bashed her for allegedly “slut-shaming,” an activity generally understood to mean “stigmatizing a woman for engaging in behaviour judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative.” Nielle esguerra, the social media user who called Locsin out said: “It’s their body after all; and they loved and are proud of what they did.” Playgirls rant after audition the Playgirls also took to social media to rant about Locsin’s reaction, saying she also used to wear sexy costumes when she played comic book superhero “Darna”. Member camsi sierra said that Locsin also posed for nude photos. Locsin was formerly named as one of men’s magazine FHM’s sexiest Women in the World. the female group, on the other hand, previously made it to the headlines after Metro Manila Development Authority chief Francis tolentino “sent” the Playgirls as a “surprise gift” to a lawmaker during a political gathering of Liberal Party members in Laguna in 2015. tolentino, who apologized and backed out of the LP-led senatorial slate for the 2016 elections, is now political adviser to President rodrigo Duterte.

Karylle and Yael Yuzon finally talk baby plans

Yael Yuzon and wife Karylle

practice good parenting. “I don’t want to be strict,” Karylle declared. “I don’t want to be the ‘hated one’ although lately I’ve been praising moms and dads whose parenting skills are great, which is what I heard growing up around my own parents. I try to observe them and learn from them, especially since I hear there’s such a thing as ‘momshaming’ these days.” yael rejoined the interview recalling a little boy who impressed him. “I think K and I were in Hong Kong and there was a long line at Immigration. tapos there was this four-year-old kid carrying yung sarili niyang backpack and then parang may stroller pa siya. I’m sure konti lang yung laman nung bag pero yung idea lang na, ‘Wow you can carry your own bag, you don’t need someone to help you,’ we want to raise our child to be that independent.” the married couple also shared that in preparation for having a family, they are also excited to move into a bigger home, along with their three dogs Lucky, Mini Me, and Vicesky. As early as now, they are also dividing chores for their home. “right now we’re renovating this new home we bought. We’re photo

kind of in a transition but it’s an exciting time for us. It’s both a challenging and happy, happy move for us,” Karylle enthused. “When it comes to chores, cleaning is K’s and I cook. Generally we’re both messy people so she’s had to step up in the cleaning department,” yael laughed. “But that’s not to say we don’t shake things up every now and then. there are times where she’ll surprise me by cooking. she’ll come up with some avocado dish—that’s usually her ingredient of choice—and she’ll do variations of guacamole. I’ll come up naman with breakfast stuff because breakfast is my thing. I research recipes on youtube.” Looking every bit like a match made in heaven, Karylle and yael agree that the best part of being married is having a life partner. “Knowing that someone’s always there for you; someone to share your story with when you have a great days. And when things are low naman, he always gives me his ‘K time’ that I need,” smiled the happy wife. “Plus, she also has a 24/7 masahista and I’m pretty good. so she falls asleep agad which make me happy as well,” yael quipped in ending.

Miguel: No need to rush Bianca by veR


MIGueL tanfelix and Bianca umali, also known as BiGuel, are on their way to the top. BiGuel is now considered among the country’s hottest loveteams. Both are leveling up their career and relationship goals. “We have known each other for eight years and I can say that I’m really thankful that he’s always around. Habang tumatagal nag-le-level up ang relationship namin pero hindi pa kami, I can’t describe it,” said Bianca during a recent set visit for “Kambal, Karibal” in Pasig city. “As always, there’s pressure, especially when one is playing the lead. We have to give our best. We always remind each other that we work as a team, kaya we help and take care each other. We always call or text, hindi sa ni-re-require namin ang isa’t isa na gawin yun, but to know na okay kami if we are not together,” added Miguel. Amid rumors, Miguel insisted that he and Bianca are not yet a couple, “I don’t want to ruin it,

basta espesyal s’ya sa akin. so, there’s no need to rush her. I want to spend most of my time with her. I’m fine with that. right now, pinaghahandaan ko muna yung debut n’ya and ang ireregalo ko sa kanya.” Bianca is set to celebrate her debut on March 17, but she already turned 18 last March 2. “Fun, edgy, very millennial and Instagram ang theme. I will celebrate my birthday with my family, close friends and the whole ‘Kambal, Karibal’ cast, double celebration dahil mataas ang ratings namin kaya extended din kami.” Quezon city rep. Alfred Vargas, on the other hand, is grateful for the viewers and netizens’ support for Kambal, Karibal since it premiered last year. “Masaya talaga kami dahil updated ang mga tao sa bawat episode. Marami ngang nagsasabi na bagay kami ni carmina (Villarroel) onscreen, isang kape at isang gatas. Basta abangan nila dahil tatapang at lalaban na ako, kasi bugbog sarado ako dito lagi.” Also present during the set

Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali Instangram/@Migueltanfelix

visit were Kyline Alcantara and Jeric Gonzales who play cheska and Makoy, respectively, in the series. expect more revelations and twists as the drama continues in “Kambal, Karibal,” directed by Don Michael Perez, weeknights on GMA telebabad.

(702) 792-6678 •




Saab Magalona loses baby by Deni

Rose BeRnaRDo

Richard Gutierrez, Sarah Lahbati and their son are looking forward for the couple to tie the knot.

Photos courtesy of Nice Print Photography

Richard: After Sangre, the wedding? by Boy


THe final airing of “La Luna Sangre” on primetime TV signaled the start of Richard Gutierrez and fiancée Sarah Lahbati’s preparations for their wedding which will take place this year. In an interview with Richard in “Tonight With Boy Abunda “(TWBA), the actor revealed some details of their upcoming wedding and matters concerning their respective parents’ preferences for the special event. “We’re planning around March and April,” said Richard who portrayed as the antagonist Supremo Sandrino in the ABS-CBN just-concluded series that also starred the Kapamilya loveteam of Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. “Napag-usapan na namin initially ni Sarah ‘yung dream set-up namin ng wedding. So, we already have a short list of venue.” The actor never denied that their parents are wishing for a ceremony to be of the traditional kind with full attendance of family, friends and relatives. But if the couple can have it their own way, they would rather make the ceremony an intimate one. “Yung parents namin ni Sarah they’re very traditional Filipino, especially our moms. They prefer the wedding here in the Philippines and they want the traditional one where everyone is invited like ‘yung kamag-anak ng kamaganak namin. Of course, we can’t just turn them down. We respect what our parents want but if we can have it our way, I and Sarah simply want our close family and close friends to be with us in that special moment.” He also verified reports about them looking into the possibility of tying the knot in a more romantic setting with the beach as backdrop. “We’re considering either a beach wedding or a mountain wedding in Switzerland. So we’re thinking about it.” It was August of last year when Richard and

Sarah announced their engagement through Instagram. In the said post, Sarah happily showed off the engagement ring given by Richard after popping the question in frosty Switzerland. Chances are, you already know by now that the couple has a son named Zion who is turning five next month. Soon, Sarah is about to give birth to another baby boy to be nicknamed Kai. Richard shared that Zion is more than excited for the birth of his younger brother. “We try to make Zion involved in everything that’s happening in preparation for the coming of his brother,” he said. “Zion was with us during check-ups, in all the ultrasounds, and in all the shopping (of things) for Kai.” He continued, “We want him to be involved as a kuya, to have a responsibility for his brother para hindi s’ya mainggit o hindi s’ya magiging sad when Kai comes out and for him to embrace brotherhood. So now, every time Zion says good night and I love you, tatlo na kaming sinasabihan n’ya like I love you, dad, mom and Kai.” What makes Richard a prouder dad these days is the fact that Zion sings well. The boy’s lolo, eddie Gutierrez, sings a lot to him. “Yes, he loves singing; he loves music and I guess, he inherited it not from me obviously, hahahaha but from Sarah. My dad sings a lot to him, tapos ‘yung bond nila ng dad ko very strong. Singing is their pastime. They always sing elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra songs. Zion has already memorized a lot of songs.” Thus, Richard and Sarah let Zion attend some voice lessons to hone his talent. “He’s now into piano lessons because we will support him whatever his passion is,” added Richard. Before wrapping up the interview, Richard agreed to walk in front of the Golden Mirror for the Mirror Talk:

Hubris and the folly of...

PAGE B5 Over and over again through the generations, we see this tendency of some of the young ones to “forget” the things they have been taught and allow hubris and folly to rule. Some throw away everything they have learned and painstakingly worked for in one impetuous decision or action. It is as if their overwhelming sense of freedom, newly-attained independence and sense of power goads them to “fly close to the sun.” Humility gets torpedoed and overweening pride rules. They feel they no longer need guidance from anyone. Sometimes a good scare or a tiny thorn of bad experience can be humbling and worth more than a lifetime of warnings, advice and admonitions to nudge prideful youth back to reality and on the straight and narrow. While we may think that this

tendency of the youth today is unique to our times, we only have to look back several thousand years to know that the scenario may have changed, the cast of characters in every generation in every nation may be different, but the predilection for hubris and folly in some of the youth remains the same. We need to be reminded too that as adults, we were once just as young and just as foolish, perhaps even more so. But we were lucky and got a pass because life was magnanimous enough to let us get past this harrowing stage with barely a scratch and live long enough to see the cycle repeated in our children. And on and on until the sun dies, the cycle goes. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.

Vatican to endorse... PAGE B5 come the main killer among men and women. Since women started “really” smoking in the 1950s, “because it was glamorized in ads by actresses and models as a sophisticated and fashionable habit,” lung cancer in females has increased at least six-fold, an alarming rate, with death rate comparable to that in males. Women also have added risks: osteoporosis, thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation and blood clot formation), arthritis, infertility, cervical cancer, and menstrual irregularities. Pregnant smokers face miscarriages, stillbirths, low-birth weight and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) babies. Almost 30,000 female lives are snuffed out every year as a result of smoking. Of the 4 billion cigarette-related

deaths in the world each year, about half a billion are women. It is now the top killer among women. Today, one woman dies from cigarette-related illness every three minutes! Shall we look the other way and allow e-cigarette and vaping to replicate the pandemic of misery and deaths with tobacco? *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email:

Describe that young man in the mirror. “(He’s) Been through a lot of ups and downs, very happy, Godfearing, family first, and, always humble and hungry.” Ano ang kinatatakutan n’ya? “Failure — failure to my family and failure as a father.” If you were to give that man a piece of advice, what would that be? “Cherish all the positive moments and positive blessings and always put God first in all your decisions.”

ACTReSS, singer, photographer and blogger Saab MagalonaBacarro revealed on her blog that she lost a baby girl. The daughter of Pia Magalona and the late master rapper Francis Magalona was carrying twins with husband, Jim Bacarro, her band mate at Cheats. “This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write,” Saab began her blog, titled “Heartbroken but hopeful,” posted on March 6, the ninth death anniversary of her dad. According to Saab, she has been in and out of the Intensive Care Unit in the last month and “almost didn’t make it.” “On February 8, we lost our baby girl,” she wrote. She said she wrote the blog post to honor her baby girl, which has been buried next to her “Lolo” Francis. “I know he will be looking after his apo,” Saab said. “She was such a beautiful girl and we believe she gave her life for me and her twin brother,” she added. Saab and Jim’s baby boy is still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “The doctors initially said he was in critical condition. He has fought through so many complications and had to undergo surgery and is thankfully doing much better today.” She said it was so difficult that Jim told her: “Hindi pang-tao yung pinagdadaanan natin.” “There are so many people we could blame and be angry with,

Screenshot of Saab Magalona-Bacarro’s blog post showing her baby girl’s crypt next to that of her dad, Francis Magalona. Saab posted the blog on March 6, the ninth death anniversary of the master rapper.

but each time we hold our boy, we think otherwise. He’s been fighting to be part of this world and it’s our responsibility to make it one that is forgiving — one that tries to see the best in other people.” She did not reveal the people they “could blame and be angry with”. Despite this, Saab said there are “so many heroes and kind people” who have been helping them with the ordeal. “We are thankful for family, for the doctors and nurses in the NICU, ICU and maternity ward, for the other babies and parents in the NICU that inspire us, for the strangers that smile at us,” she noted. The actress has also been able to keep a positive disposition de-

spite the ordeal. “That’s why we can only thank God for helping us get through the pain and lifting the anger from our hearts… We are taking it one day at a time, focusing on all the good things we are blessed with. I am still alive, I have a strong and loving husband, and God has shown us so many miracles through our little boy.” Saab and Jim declared that they were expecting twins last September. Saab was unable to join her family during her sister Maxene’s wedding in Boracay due to her delicate pregnancy. Though feeling wretched, Saab thanks everyone for their concern and asks “that you continue to pray for our family, especially for our angel and for our baby boy.”

B March 8-15, 2018 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOUrNaL • (702) 792-6678

030818 - Las Vegas Edition  
030818 - Las Vegas Edition