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April 14-17, 2018 Volume 28 - No. 31 • 4 Sections – 30 Pages

Palace: No new casino in Boracay by DANA


DESPITE a “provisional license” granted to a Chinese gaming firm, there will be no construction of any casino in Boracay, Malacañang said on Thursday, April 12. Last month, Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and its Filipino partner, Leisure and Resorts World Corp., announced their plan to construct a casino-resort in Boracay after securing a proviBORACAY TOURISTS. Dozens of tourists walk along the shores of Boracay which sional license from the Philipwill soon become a ghost town due to its upcoming six-month closure for clean- pine Amusement and Gaming up and rehabilitation works starting April 26. Employees of restaurants, resorts, Corporation (PAGCOR). shops and other establishments will also be affected by its closure, preempting However, Palace Spokesperthe Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to tell regular employees who son Harry Roque clarified that would be terminated to sue their employers for illegal dismissal.


PNA photo by Joey Razon




Fil-Am group asks Ombudsman to revoke Jinggoy’s trip to US A FILIPINO-AMERICAN group has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to file a motion seeking the revocation of the approval of former senator Jinggoy Estrada’s trip to United States. In a letter dated April 9, the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) clarified that they did not invite Estrada to speak before its members in Michigan next month. “There was no invitation from the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance,” the USPGG


Qualified Californians urged to claim state Earned Income Tax Credit Assemblymember Phil Ting announces expanding changes including higher income eligibility limit, and self-employed worker qualification WITH the tax filing deadline a few days away, qualifying Californians are being urged to claim money through the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) program, which puts money back into the pockets of low-income California families and individuals.


(L-R) Eastmont Community Center Executive Director Teresa Pacios, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and CalEITC4Me Founder Joe Sanberg, at the Eastmont Community Center on Friday, April 13 for an CalEITC outreach event. AJPress photo by Rae Ann Varona

WARM RECEPTION. President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio are swarmed by supporters during the president’s meeting with the Filipino community at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong on Thursday, April 12. The president announced that he may fly to Kuwait to formalize the agreement with the Kuwaiti Government which would guarantee the safety and security of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are employed as domestic helpers there. He also ran down the various conditions that he demanded from the Kuwaiti government which includes allowing the Filipinos to have enough resting hours and rest days, possess mobile phones, as well as their right to keep their passports with them. Malacañang photos by Arcel Valderaama

Duterte calls Sereno ‘ignorant, dumb’ by DANA


magistrate, Duterte said Sereno — who is currently facing a possible impeachment trial PHILIPPINE President Rodri- — should have quit her position go Duterte on Friday, April 13, a long time ago. lashed out anew against Chief “Do not make it a problem for Justice Maria Lourdes Sere- you. Alam mo kung bakit (Do you no, calling her “ignorant” and know why) I castigated you in “dumb.” public? Ignorante ka e (Because As he continued his series you are ignorant),” Duterte said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who is currently on leave, has been of word attacks against the top in a press briefing upon his arsubject to attacks from President Rodrigo Duterte. photo

rival in Davao City, apparently addressing Sereno. The president recalled a time when, “in the thick of a campaign,” Sereno cautioned against submitting to an arrest without a warrant. He was reportedly referring to Sereno’s letter in August 2016, when she cautioned judges who


PNP insists drug war constitutional, for public safety by AJPRESS THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday, April 12, maintained that the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign is “constitutional, legal, and is implemented in the interest of public safety.” In a statement, PNP spokesman Chief Supt. John Bulalacao dismissed anew the allegations that the deaths related to the drug war are state-sanctioned. “We maintain that the PNP campaign against illegal drugs is constitutional, legal and is implemented in the interest of public safety. All allegations are part of the healthy democracy that the country has,” Bulalacao said.

He noted that the presumption of regularity “remains with the law enforcers and unless proven otherwise in the court of law.” “Emphasis should not only be focused on the almost 4,000 deaths in police operations but also on the more than 1.3 M surrenderers, 120,000 plus arrested persons and on the number of law enforcers who have died during these police operations,” Bulalacao said. He further argued that surrenderers and arrested suspects “should not be alive as well” if the allegations of state-sanctioned killings were true. The Supreme Court (SC) has recently dismissed a petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida asking the high court to rescind

President Rodrigo Duterte and members of his delegation applaud while witnessing the signing of Business Letters of Intent at the Golden Coast Hotel in Boao, Hainan Province, People’s Republic of China on Tuesday, April 10. The signing of the business agreements between various companies from the Philippines and China would pave the way for the entry of around $9-bilion worth of investments and could employ around 10,000 workers. Malacañang photo by Richard Madelo


Duterte wants P4 billion from China PH experiencing ‘golden age spent for hospitals in Mindanao of economic growth’- ADB exec PH and China ink six bilateral agreements by BEN


THE Philippines is currently experiencing a “golden age of economic growth” amid sustained expansion in over five decades, an executive of the Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday, April 11, with the Duterte administration’s ambitious infrastructure program seen not only boosting the gross domestic product but also reducing poverty incidence. In its Asian Development Outlook 2018 report released also on April 11, the Manilabased multilateral lender kept its 6.8-percent GDP growth forecast for the Philippines for 2018, a faster pace than the 6.7-percent actual expansion in 2017.

For 2019, the ADB projected the Philippine economy to further grow by 6.9 percent, although the forecasts in the next two years were below the government’s target range of 7-8 percent starting this year until 2022. “Rising domestic demand, remittances, and employment, in addition to infrastructure spending, will drive growth” in the Philippines in the near term, the ADB said in a statement. “Along with domestic demand, the government’s infrastructure investments will fuel the country’s growth in the next few years, supported by a sound economic policy setting. We expect this growth to further lift wage employment numbers, add to


by AJPRESS PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, April 13 said he wants the P4 billion in assistance from China to be used for repairing and equipping hospitals in Mindanao, particularly in Jolo and Basilan. Earlier this week, Duterte left for back-to-back trips to China and Hong Kong, taking home billions-worth of economic and infrastructure assistance from the Chinese government. Upon his arrival at the Davao International Airport on Friday,

April 13, the president said he prefers the money to be used for medical matters. “I would suggest hospitals. The first one is I will repair and equip the hospitals in the south, particularly in Jolo and Basilan. They don’t have CT Scan, MRI— and competent doctors,” Duterte told reporters. He also pointed out that medical needs are more urgent, “not like infrastructure that you can put off some other day.” According to the president, there are no strings attached to


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From the Front Page

Palace: No new casino... PAGE A1 t President Rodrigo Duterte has “not issued any proclamation that will authorize any casino in Boracay itself.” “I did clarify this with the resident and the president said ‘as far as Boracay as concerned I have not issued any

proclamation that will authorize any casino in Boracay itself,’” Roque told reporters. He went on to say, “We welcome all investors, but I think the president has already addressed the issue of a new casino in Boracay. There will be no new casino in Boracay.

That’s the president’s declaration. I don’t have to annotate.” While Boracay is off-limits to casino projects, Roque said Galaxy could operate somewhere else. Duterte has ordered the closure of Boracay for six months, starting April 26, to address the area’s environmental woes. Senator Antonio Trillanes, however, questioned Duterte’s “real motive” for the order, claiming that the closure was meant to facilitate the construction of a casino on the island. He filed a motion seeking whether the shutdown was “being made to favor certain groups or individuals.” But Malacañang, denying the allegations, maintained that the ordered closure “was intended to preserve the island for the next coming generations, to be recognized and be remembered as the paradise island.” Closure rules During Boracay’s six-month shutdown period, identified tourists—even guests of the island residents—will not be allowed to come into Boracay and will be stopped at the Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan. Residents, workers, and resort owners, meanwhile, must have government-issued IDs to be allowed entry into the island. Foreign residents, likewise, will be checked. They are also banned from swimming anywhere on the island except at Angol Beach from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members of the media, on the other hand, will be allowed entry subject to prior approval from the Department of Tourism (DOT). The government said there will only be one transportation entry and exit point into Boracay, but has yet to announce where. There should also be no floating structures 15 kilometers from the shoreline. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III issued the initial guidelines on Thursday. Additional details are expected to be released next week. n

RENDEZVOUS AT JOLLIBEE. President Rodrigo Duterte makes an unannounced visit to a Jolibee outlet in Hong Kong before proceeding to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal where he was scheduled to attend the gathering with the Filipino community on Thursday, April 12. the president invited Alma O. Pardillo, an OFW based in Hong Kong, to break bread with them while hearing the latter’s concerns. The president then vowed to provide Pardillo assistance so she could get proper medical attention for her 9-year old child, who is suffering from a lung ailment. The president also committed to shoulder the roundtrip airfare of Pardillo so she can go home to attend the college graduation of her child and to be with her children whom she hasn’t seen for a long time. Malacañang photo by Toto Lozano

Duterte calls Sereno ‘ignorant...


were linked to drugs “very strongly against ‘surrendering’ or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly-issued warrant of arrest that is pending.” Duterte said Sereno’s comment “angered” him, adding that as a chief justice, she should know about warrantless arrests. Noting that Sereno’s term is until 2030, he further remarked that the period is “too long for an ignorant Chief Justice.” “Dapat paalisin ka noon pa (You should have been removed a long time ago). Bobo ka (You’re dumb),” the president added.

Earlier this week, Duterte vowed to do everything in his power to remove the top magistrate from her office, calling her his “enemy.” This was after Sereno challenged the president to explain why Solicitor General Jose Calida filed a “quo warranto” petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to invalidate her appointment. Irked by Sereno’s remarks, Duterte insisted that he has no hand in the impeachment case against her. He also asked House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to hasten the impeachment process against the chief justice. “I would ask Speaker Alvarez

now, kindly fast-track the impeachment. She is bad for the Philippines,” he said on Monday, April 9. “Now this time, I’m asking the congressmen and the Speaker, ‘Do it now. ‘Wag ninyong dramahin (Don’t add drama to it). Or else, I will do it for you.” Explaining his earlier remarks, Duterte, on Friday, said: “I am not directing Congress. I am not a member of Congress. I am directing my party mates.” Duterte is the chair of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), while Alvarez is the party’s secretary general. n

Duterte wants P4 billion from China spent...


the assistance from China, saying: “The 500 [million] renminbi, that’s gratis. It’s P4 billion straight gratis.” Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, April 10 at the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern province of Hainan, China. During the meeting, the Philippine and Chinese governments also inked six bilateral agreements. These include economic and

technical cooperation; the establishment of the third phase of the Filipino-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology; and the prefeasibility study of the proposed expressway in Duterte’s home city of Davao. Also signed were the exchange of letters for broadcasting equipment for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO); a loan agreement for the Chico River pump irrigation project; and a memorandum of understanding on the employment of Filipino teachers of the

English language in China. According to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, both Duterte and Xi have also given a “go signal” for the crafting of a framework for the proposed joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea. Despite the latest developments, Cayetano assured that the Philippines will not give up on its claims in the South China Sea. He also noted that Beijing has never asked Manila to give up on its territorial claims. n

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LA mayor’s office raises awareness for food insecurity through volunteer efforts Deputy Mayor Nina Hachigian, consulate reps volunteer at community-based food prep organization LA Kitchen by KLARIZE


ON the morning of Wednesday, March 5, the meeting room of the Lincoln Heights-based LA Kitchen was abuzz with excitement. Feeling like a miniature version of the United Nations, the meeting room was filled with representatives from the Los Angeles Consular Corps, an alliance of consulate offices representing more than 15 countries, who came to participate in the first quarterly day of services hosted by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. The Office for International Affairs was established in 2017 and Deputy Mayor for International Affairs Nina Hachigian met with officials from various consulate offices in LA who wanted to give back to the community. Hachigian, a former U.S. Ambassador, and these consular delegates volunteered their Wednesday morning at LA Kitchen, a revolutionary community-based food distribution service that reclaims wasted food with “cosmetic defects” from suppliers to help feed low-income seniors in the greater LA community. LA Kitchen also provides classes and training to formerly incarcerated people, kids who have timed out of foster care and other folks who have limited opportunities because of their backgrounds. “LA Kitchen is an incredibly impressive space and it’s got a really exciting model for how to feed people and provide training for formerly incarcerated people, so it’s great that so many cultures are being represented here today to give back this way,” Hachigian shared the Asian Journal. Among the consulate delegates who came out to represent their offices included Armenia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. “This is our way of giving back to the community and the Philippine Consulate wanted to show its solidarity with all the communities here in LA, which is so diverse,” Andrea Lazaro, vice consul of the Philippine Consulate in LA, told the Asian Journal. “We

JUST VISITING. Fishermen look at an U.S. aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which docked in Manila on Thursday, April 12, after patrolling the South China Sea. The U.S. Embassy said sailors and marines will take part in cultural exchanges and community relations events to enhance understanding and cooperation between the two countries. photo by DJ Diosina LA Deputy Mayor Nina Hachigian preps food alongside alongside chef Theresa Farthing at the first volunteer event on Wednesday, March 5 hosted by the LA mayor’s office to raise awareness for food injustice. Photo courtesy of the Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

wanted to represent our culture and show that Filipinos are naturally helpful.” LA County has the largest food insecure population in the United States, according to a 2017 report from the LA County Department of Public Health. An estimated 1.5 million people in LA County live with food insecurity and don’t know how or when their next meal is coming. On average, more than half a million Angelenos make less than $71,000 often don’t earn enough to buy nutritious food that could sustain a family of four or more. LA Kitchen’s place in city diversity Established in 2015 by visionary Robert Egger — founder of the renowned DC Central Kitchen in the nation’s capital —LA Kitchen has three central missions: promote food sustainability, provide culinary training for former convicts and homeless people and feed low-income seniors. It was an ambitious endeavor, but in a few short years, LA Kitchen has manifested its cause in a big way. Through this collaboration with the mayor’s office and consular corps, LA Kitchen seeks to expand its brand so that it represents the city’s growing diversity. “What’s exciting is that LA is home to the largest concentration of Armenians, Iranians,

South Koreans,’s a magnificently swirling city and I’m really interested in healthy food, but what makes healthy food so exciting is that we can incorporate so many dynamic flavors and mix and match things,” Egger shared with the Asian Journal. “I think that’s the glory of LA cuisine, and I’m just trying to make that accessible to poor people,” Egger added. “So this dynamic way of making use of food that would have been wasted with these volunteers who have culinary ideas they can share with us. We want to know how food can bring us together and how to break down these artificial, old and boring barriers with food.” Guiding the volunteers was lead chef and community outreach specialist Theresa Farthing, who enrolled in LA Kitchen when it was first established and is now an integral part of its staff. Farthing’s journey to LA Kitchen is an exceptionally fascinating one. More than a decade ago, she was in and out of jail for drug-related crimes until one day she decided to “correct” herself when a judge threatened to put her in prison. She decided to reinvent herself and fulfilled all the requirements: attended outpatient drug programs, community service and reported to court when

Fil-Am group asks Ombudsman... PAGE A1 t stressed in the letter. “We therefore urge Ombudsman prosecutors to file a motion to revoke the Sandiganbayan’s approval of Sen. Estrada’s motion to travel to the United States,” the group added. Last month, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division approved Estrada’s motion to travel to the United States from April 30 to May 30 for a speaking engagement despite a pending plunder case against him. In his motion, Estrada said he was invited by USPGG to speak before the Filipino-American advocates in a event to be held in Sterling Heights, Michigan on May 20, 2018. Attached in his motion is an invitation letter signed by USPGG Michigan

chair William Dechavez. “Our members would like to know the latest development in the Philippines, particularly those pertaining to the issues over extrajudicial killings, Dengvaxia mess and federalism plan,” the invitation read. “We know that you are in the thick of all these developments, and we are certain you can discuss the said issues thoroughly and accurately,” it added. While in U.S., the senator will also have a medical consultation for his “recurring orthopedic shoulder problem.” But the organization clarified that the invitation to Estrada was a certain Tony Antonio, who is also supposed close friend of the senator. They explained that Anto-

nio had asked if he could use USPGG to invite Estrada but Dechavez told him that “he could only use his name as an individual but NOT the organization, as he would need to clear it with his members, and he was in Sorsogon.” “But apparently, that did not deter Mr. Antonio from preparing an invitation to Sen. Estrada on official USPGG stationary with the forged signature of Mr. Dechavez. This unauthorized letter was used as the primary exhibit attached to the motion of Sen. Estrada for leave to visit the United States,” the organization said. Estrada is facing plunder and graft charges in connection with the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) during his term as a senator. (AJPress)

PNP insists drug war constitutional...

as those already in custody.” But the SC, in a resolution reits order requiring the PNP to leased Tuesday, April 10, said submit data on the killings of all that the “requested information drug suspects during the imple- and documents do not obviously mentation of “Oplan Tokhang” involve state secrets affecting from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, national security.” 2017. “There is no showing that the In his appeal, Calida argued country’s territorial integrity, that disclosing these documents national sovereignty, indepen“in the long run will have an un- dence, or foreign relations will deniable effect on national secu- be compromised or prejudiced rity and could spell the success or by the release of these informafailure of follow-up operations of tion and documents to this Court police and other law enforcement or even to the public,” it added. bodies, aside from endangering The high court also noted that u PAGE A4 the lives of those on the list as well it asked submission of drug war


data for the government to “establish its claim of the legitimacy of police operations.” The SC pointed out that that Office of the Solicitor General’s (OSG) refusal to the order only lead the high court to the think that the documents are being “willfully suppressed.” “The OSG’s continued refusal to submit to this Court’s requirement will lead this Court to presume that these information and documents, because they are wilfully suppressed, will be adverse to the OSG’s case,” the resolution read. ■

Dateline USa

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PH experiencing ‘golden age... PAGE A1 t household incomes, and benefit more poor families across the archipelago,� Kelly Bird, the ADB’s new country director for the Philippines, was quoted in the statement. Bird told reporters that he believes the Philippines is now on its “golden age� as economic growth has been achieved for over 50 years. For Bird, economic expansion will be sustained in 2018 and 2019 as “reforms are in place to

support the government’s infrastructure plan,� referring to the massive “Build, Build, Build� program. Under “Build, Build, Build,� the government plans to roll out 75 “game-changing� projects, with about half targeted to be finished within President Duterte’s term, alongside spending a total of over P8 trillion on hard and modern infrastructure until 2022 in a bid to usher in the “golden age of infrastructure.� Bird added that “the government has very sound economic

policies in place that will help mitigate external risks.� “Moving forward, the ADB projects services will continue to drive GDP growth, along with manufacturing and construction industries,� the lender said. “The approval of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion [TRAIN] Law in December 2017 will augment tax revenues and provide additional fiscal space for more progressive public spending. The policy reforms are expected to yield additional P90-144 billion in tax revenue collection in 2018 and 2019, respectively,� it added. According to the ADB, “there are external risks to the Philippines’ growth outlook from heightened volatility in international financial markets and uncertainty about global trade openness, although the country’s strong external payments position would cushion these effects.� Bird said that the Philippines’ economic golden age “occurred in a sound macroeconomic policy environment.� “This one has occurred with relatively moderate inflation. The fiscal position is very strong—it had a [budget] deficit of 2.2 percent of GDP last year. You’ve seen national government debt as a share of GDP decline, it’s around 42 percent now—it’s the lowest level in terms of its share of GDP for 20 years. You’ve got the credit ratings that show the Philippines is at investment grade rating. We’re also seeing a labor market that has grown robustly,� Bird said. “When you look at all those factors together, it’s quite a virtuous cycle. That’s why I would call it’s a golden age for the Philippines because it’s growing in a very sound macroeconomic policy framework,� Bird added. Bird also attributed the high economic growth in recent years to the central bank and fiscal institutions, which for him were “very strong institutions that had put in place measures to mitigate against risks to the economy.� “I think the infrastructure plan will help sustain that over the next two to three years. I think it’s important to do that to chip away at the poverty rate, which is still relatively high for a middle-income country,� according to Bird. The poverty incidence rate stood at 21.6 percent in 2015, and the Duterte administration aims to slash it to 14 percent by 2022 through its 10-point socioeconomic agenda. n




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OLD-SCHOOL PLAY. A boy plays in an old-school fashion as he flies a kite with a bird design at the Rizal Park in Manila on Thursday, April 12. The park, which is also known as Luneta, is open from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. every day. PNA photo by Avito Dalan

11 California mayors back $1.5-billion bill to address homelessness crisis MAYoRs from Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 11 largest cities lobbied at the state Capitol in sacramento this week for AB 3171, which would allocate $1.5 billion from the state budget to cities addressing the growing homelessness crisis in the state. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cities are on the front lines in the fight against homelessness, and Los Angeles is already investing billions of dollars to get people off the streets,â&#x20AC;? said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it alone â&#x20AC;&#x201D; AB 3171 would give us the state funding we need to get all of our unsheltered into homes as soon as possible.â&#x20AC;? Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homeless population now stands at 134,278, according to 2017 statewide counts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an increase of 16 percent from 2015. Cities across the state are struggling to provide shelter and services with money from their own general funds and voter-approved ballot measures, but those arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough. AB 3171 proposes long-term solutions to homelessness, such as permanent housing and rental assistance. It would also immediately provide for emergency measures, including triage shelters and navigation centers with wrap-around services. By leveraging local matching funds, the

legislation would result in $3 billion in funding statewide. AB 3171 is scheduled for its first legislative hearing before the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on April 25. The bill is authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (Dsan Francisco) and state sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is the principal co-author. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Homelessness in California has reached crisis levels,â&#x20AC;? said Ting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A partnership with cities is critical if we are going to get people into supportive and transitional housing as quickly as possible.â&#x20AC;? Below, California mayors speak about the impact of homelessness on their communities, and the need for this legislation: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tens of thousands of people are living on the streets in California cities, creating a humanitarian and public safety crisis that shocks the conscience and diminishes citiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; economic vitality,â&#x20AC;? said sacramento Mayor Darrell steinberg, chairman of the Big 11 group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While the state has taken some steps to help, cities still lack the resources to make a demonstrable difference.â&#x20AC;? san Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Homelessness has reached crisis levels across

California so it only makes sense for the Capitol to team up with cities to fix it. This bill will help cities that are investing in effective homeless solutions that get people back on their feet and increase access to housing. solving this problem means we have to do things differently, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m proud to join this bipartisan coalition to call for change.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Homelessness, poverty and addiction are issues that do not stop at city limits or town boundaries,â&#x20AC;? said san Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These are difficulties facing municipalities across Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;we need funding from the state to help complement the initiatives we are leading at the local level. Homelessness is the great challenge of our time, but by working together, we can make real, lasting change for Californians everywhere.â&#x20AC;? Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait said that nearly 1,000 people have been able to transition from homelessness through â&#x20AC;&#x153;outreach, partnership and a pathway to stable housing.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;But there is more to be done and more we can do. For California, investing in cities is one of the most direct, impactful ways to change homelessness in our state,â&#x20AC;? he said. n

Qualified Californians urged to claim state...


At the Eastmont Community Center in Los Angeles, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-san Francisco) on Friday, April 13, shared with community members, changes to the program that now allow for more people to be qualified. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is so important is that we expanded this tax credit to more people this year,â&#x20AC;? said Ting, chair of the Budget Assembly Committee, who worked hard last year to expand the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It used to be that the income limit was $14,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $22,000.â&#x20AC;? Ting shared that self-employed Californians also now qualify for the earned income tax credit. He also urged people to file their taxes, even after the Tuesday, April 17 deadline. â&#x20AC;&#x153;some programs are like if you miss the deadline, too bad. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the case for this one,â&#x20AC;? said Ting. California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is a cash back tax credit that gives money back to the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working families and individuals, and is modeled after the federal EITC enacted in 1975. According to CalEITC4Me, which hosted the Friday outreach event, California workers have missed out on over $2 billion with the federal and state EITCs. With the expansion of the new CalEITC, even more money is said to be available this tax season. Using both the state and federal EITC can yield beneficial returns. According to a California Budget and Policy Center survey, fewer than one in five eligible people have even heard of the program. Ting further pointed out that many people with low earn-

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) is shown the new multilingual CalEITC4Me Calculator as he tours the Eastmont Community Center in Los Angeles on Friday, April 13. AJPress photo by Rae Ann Varona

ings often avoid paying taxes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people, because they feel like they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make that much money, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to file their taxes. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re losing the opportunity to get thousands and thousands of dollars,â&#x20AC;? said Ting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That money right now is sitting in sacramento, but really that money should be sitting in your bank account. That money is meant for you and that is why we are here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to really spread the word,â&#x20AC;? he added. CalEITC debuted in 2015 and resulted in more than 385,000 Californians receiving new credit of over $200 million in refunds. Through March 31, 2018, the state Franchise Tax Board shows that 919,971 Californians have claimed CalEITC â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a huge increase from the total 381,588 for last year. Josh Fryday, president of CalEITC4Me told the Asian Journal that a little over 1.5 million people are eligible. As of April 7, $250 million have already been given out, he added.

At the Eastmont Community Center, around 350 people from the community have already filed their taxes with the help of CalEITC4Me. Touring the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s facility, Ting was able to meet some of the community volunteers and members working on outreach efforts like the new multi-lingual CalEITC4Me Calculator. The easy to use tool allows individuals to determine if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re eligible for CalEITC and federal EITC, and see their potential refund. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We saw an improvement and increase here, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping the money that they receive, they benefit our community,â&#x20AC;? Teresa Pacios, executive director at the center, told the Asian Journal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a situation where the state and the IRs owe you money. so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to give you money back,â&#x20AC;? said Ting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All you have to do is make sure that you turn in your taxes.â&#x20AC;? More information on qualifications and how to claim CalEITC can be found on (Rae Ann Varona / AJPress)

LA mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office raises awareness... PAGE A3 t

required. During a stay at the Downtown Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Center, she saw a flyer for â&#x20AC;&#x153;a free culinary program for women over 40 with a criminal record.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe it,â&#x20AC;? Farthing shared with the Asian Journal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always wanted to know about culinary, even when I was young. When I was in my 20s I wanted to go to culinary school, but then when it felt like I destroyed my life, I thought that dream was long gone. It was a dream that I thought wouldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve

just passed me by.â&#x20AC;? Farthing enrolled and got accepted at LA Kitchen where she put all her focus into learning everything about food. she studied every day, seven days a week and eventually became valedictorian of her class. Now as a lead chef and community outreach specialist, Farthing mentors the incoming students who see her as an example of what they can be. Though many see her as an inspirational matriarch in the kitchen, she stays humble and

reminds students and volunteers of LA Kitchen of the greater task at hand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people say Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m giving back,â&#x20AC;? Farthing said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look at it that way. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not giving back. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just giving. Just giving. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all it takes. We all have the same cause, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to feed somebody and to give somebody something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s healthy and that can sustain them. The thought is to keep a person healthy until their life comes together. It all starts with that. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a much bigger picture.â&#x20AC;? n

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Angelica Salas of CHIRLA invites Angelenos to participate in the May Day march on May 1.

Dateline USa

Last year, the May Day march in downtown Los angeles made a vociferous impact in its demonstration against the election of President Donald trump and his policy proposals. Joining other May Day marches across the country, the May Day Coalition of La is once again hosting the city’s May Day march and rally on tuesday, May 1 with a clear unifying message: “together We Fight Back.” announced at a press conference on thursday, april 12, the march has a three-pronged mission statement: defend and protect the rights of workers, combat the “anti-immigrant” agenda espoused by the trump administration, and encourage more people to become more engaged in 2018 midterm elections. “We are living at a crucial moment in our nation’s history when inaction is unacceptable. Our families, values and rights are under siege by an administration with a small heart, large ego and enormous cruelty,” said angelica salas, executive direc-

tor for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLa). “On May Day, we do honor the struggle of workers and families, whom this administration ignores and refuse to be silent and invisible.” the May Day Coalition of La is comprised of more than 50 workers and immigrants rights organizations, youth groups and labor unions, including several asian american advocacy groups like the Pilipino Workers Center, asian americans advancing Justice-La and the southeast asian Community alliance. “I think it’s really great that

Members of the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles at press conference downtown Los Angeles Thursday, April 12 announce details for the May Day march and rally.

US carrier sails in South China Sea by dana

SioSon AJPress

aMID escalating tensions, a United states aircraft carrier en route to Manila sailed through the disputed south China sea on tuesday, april 10. the Uss theodore Roosevelt was reportedly carrying 65 supersonic F18 jets, spy planes and helicopters, the nuclearpowered carrier. also aboard the nuclear-powered vessel were a small group of Philippine generals, officials and journalists. the U.s. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operations in south China sea come as a demonstration of might, challenging China’s massive claims in the area. “It’s a showcase of the capability of the U.s. armed forces not only by sea but also by air,” Philippine army Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista said. acknowledging that the U.s. military’s presence helps the Philippines in securing waters, Bautista added, “the americans are our friends. In one way or another, they can help us to deter any threat. the Uss theodore Roosevelt arrived in Manila on Wednesday, april 11, for a port visit. according to the U.s. embassy, the U.s. Navy will “participate in cultural exchanges, community relations events, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation

GETTING READY. Workers clean and repaint ballot boxes stored in a warehouse in Manila that will be used for the village and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May. photo by DJ Diosina

there are so many opportunities to voice our concerns in such a big, impactful way,” alexander Nunes, a Mexican-american English literature student at Los angeles Community College, shared with the Asian Journal. Like Nunes, many young activists have become more aware of a drastically shifting political climate and are, not only voicing their support for these causes but taking action and urging americans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. “You know, a lot of us in La are either immigrants or are children of immigrants or just know other immigrants. It’s deeply inMembers of the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles include 50 organizations, labor unions, faith grained in our city’s culture, so communities, youth groups, and immigrant, civil and human rights organizations.

More than 50 activist organizations call upon Angelenos to rally for workers and immigrants Medenilla AJPress

(MWR)-sponsored tours to enhance cultural understanding and cooperation between the two countries” during the port visit. “Many theodore Roosevelt sailors and Marines have strong ties to the Philippines,” said Capt. Carlos sardiello, theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “there are several Rough Riders who are from the Philippines or who have family in the country. We are excited for them to be able to share their culture with fellow shipmates and spend time with loved ones there,” sardiello added. In its website, the embassy also said that the theodore Roosevelt Carrier strike Group (tRCsG) will continue on their regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment after departing Manila. the tRCsG, according to embassy, will conduct a “variety of operations, including addressing shared maritime security concerns, building relationships with partner navies and enhancing interoperability and communication with partners and allies throughout the area of operations through exercises and visits.” apart from the U.s. carrier, australian and Japanese warships are also set to dock in the Philippines on thursday, april 12, and Friday, april 13, respectively. n

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) anchors off the coast of Manila for a scheduled port visit on Wednesday, April 11. Theodore Roosevelt is deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Perlman


AJPress photos by Klarize Medenilla

LA May Day Coalition announces ‘Together We Fight Back’ rally on May 1 by Klarize


it’s important that [the May Day rally] is here to really let people know that these are policies that actually would hurt a lot of people,” Nunes added. May Day’s history stretches back to the late nineteenth century when the international working class began rallying against harsh working conditions and little to no protection for workers’ rights. Workers then established May 1 as the International Workers’ Day of May Day as a way to honor the efforts of past laborers and to bring attention to the contemporary struggles of the working class, especially the immigrant working class.

“Whether it is workers in the public or private sector, mixedstatus families speaking out against cruel and unjust [immigration] raids, or communities exercising their right to vote, we stand united in protecting the contributions of working families and fighting this administration’s far-right, racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant agenda,” said Rusty Hicks, president of the La County Federation of Labor, in a statement. the 2018 May Day march and rally will take place tuesday, May 1 starting at noon on the corner of 6th street and s. Olive street in front of the Immigration Family Court building. n

Dateline USa

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China: Joint South China Sea project will not affect legal positions by pAtriciA Lourdes


A possible joint development between the philippines and China in the south China sea will not have legal complications, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Foreign Affairs secretary Alan peter Cayetano said that the joint exploration will be “done soon” if it would be acceptable to both parties. “Joint development will not affect the legal position of either side on the relevant issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng shuang said in a news briefing Wednesday, April 12. Geng stressed that beijing remains committed to the peaceful resolution the south China sea dispute through negotiation and consultation. “pending final settlement, China would like to conduct practical cooperation in various fields with parties concerned, including under the principle of shelving differences and seeking joint development,” he said. president Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese president Xi Jinping were able to reach an agreement on how to handle the south China sea issue and move forward with maritime cooperation following their meeting at the sidelines of the

JUST A DRILL. Police operatives ‘arrest’ a man who ‘hostaged’ bus passengers during a drill held in Quezon City. Police and military units conducted anti-terrorism and crisis management drills to improve their emergency response. The drill held at the Araneta Bus Terminal brought to mind the hostage-taking incident that occurred in Manila in 2010, wherein several tourists from Hong Kong were killed. photo by Ruy Martinez


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang

boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also noted that the bilateral relationship between the philippines and China has seen a “sound and steady” development. “For the benefit of the two countries and peoples, China stands ready to work with the philippines to implement the important consensus reached between the two leaders, jointly

PNA photo

conduct and deepen practical cooperation in the south China sea, and seek an early realization of joint exploration and development,” Geng said. The philippine government has yet to finalize a framework on joint and gas exploration with China before drafting a memorandum of understanding. Cayetano said that the philippines is seeking a deal similar to the Malampaya project. “We are not giving up any territory... What we want is an arrangement that will be as good as Malampaya. For Malampaya we are getting 60-40,” Cayetano told reporters in Hong Kong. Two areas in the philippines’ exclusive economic zone are reportedly being considered for possible joint development between the philippines and China—service contract 57 (northwest palawan) and service contract 72 (Reed bank). sC 57 is not covered by a maritime dispute while sC 57 is also being claimed by China. Duterte had said that the possible joint development with China in the West philippine sea or south China sea would be like “co-ownership.” “Ngayon, offer nila, eh ‘di joint exploration. Eh ‘di parang co-ownership, parang dalawa tayong may-ari niyan, eh ‘di mas maganda ‘yan kaysa away,” Duterte said in a speech last month. n

Islamic State still recruiting in PH by Jefferson


AN official of the U.s. Department of state said the islamic state (is) continues to recruit new members in southeast Asia, including in the philippines, not to get them to join the fight in syria and in iraq but to launch acts of terrorism in their hometowns. irfan saeed, director of the Department of state’s office of Countering Violent extremism, said the U.s. had destroyed socalled caliphates in syria and iraq, effectively stopping is operations and travel, but that didn’t stop the group from getting new recruits. saeed explained that terrorists have been looking for safe havens in which to operate unfettered. This was sparked by their recent defeat in syria and iraq. “They (terrorists) are looking at different parts of the world, and unfortunately i think southeast Asia is in their radar. They are looking very clearly about how to establish safe havens across maybe the southern philippines and other parts of southeast Asia,” saeed told members of the media in southeast Asia in a teleconference Wednesday night. The U.s. Department of state official noted that is and other terrorist groups were no longer

able to tell their members to come to syria and iraq. “We have to recognize the great work that has been done by our partners across southeast Asia to limit those foreign fighters going from southeast Asia to syria and iraq,” he added. Not just major cities saeed warned against the diffusion of the terrorist threat all over the world, pointing out that terrorists could launch attacks on areas that were never on the radar, instead of major cities. “i think there is a greater chance that…in places like Marawi and places outside of Jakarta, outside of indonesia, or the sumatra side, you’re going to see…groups like isis target wherever they are, wherever they are operating,” the state Department official added, using another acronym for is. but saeed noted that countries in southeast Asia have done a very good job in fighting terrorism at the local and regional levels, and that their partnership with the U.s. had been “very good.” The philippines for instance has been successful in defeating the terrorists that occupied Marawi City and continues with efforts to find ways to prevent terrorist groups from launching similar attacks in other places, he said. “i think the philippines has done a good job of trying to ad-

dress a very prevalent issue that has blown up very quickly and that they’ve been able to address it and then … think long-term right after that,” saeed added. Apart from preventing terrorist attacks, countries should give more focus on efforts to counter violent extremism (CVe) or to prevent someone from becoming a terrorist, saeed said. Many countries have strong tools on counterterrorism and there is a need for standard knowledge and tools on CVe, including the ability to identify drivers for violent extremism and remove them, as well as engage in counter-messaging to combat terrorist ideology, he said. “We have to ensure that groups like isis do not reconstitute, they don’t strengthen, and they don’t continue to inspire others to commit acts of violence,” he added. Asked if the is and other terrorist groups were able to gain foothold in the region, saeed replied that they were trying to gain foothold. He did not elaborate. What is clear, he said, was that southeast Asia was in the radar of is and other groups like Al-Qaeda and Jemaah islamiyah, which is trying to regroup. “so we cannot lose sight of all the other terrorist groups out there that are trying to fill that void,” he added. n


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Dateline PhiliPPines Draft Dengvaxia report: Aquino,

PET orders Robredo, Marcos to explain recount comments by aJPress The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as Presidential electoral Tribunal (PeT), has ordered Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for disclosing information on the vote recount. The PeT, in a resolution made public on Thursday, April 12, issued a show cause order against Robredo and Marcos for publicly discussing information involving the election protest for the 2016 vice presidential race. The tribunal gave both parties 10 days to submit their explanations. In a resolution dated February 13, the PeT ordered the two parties to strictly observe the sub judice rule—a prohibition on discussing a case that is pending in court. This was reiterated in another resolution dated March 20. “Despite these stern directives of the Tribunal, several news reports have shown that the parties, their counsels and/or representatives, have nonetheless continued to disclose sensitive information regarding the revision process to the public, in clear violation of the aforementioned resolutions,” the PeT said in its latest directive. “To be sure, the statements of the parties with respect to matters or concerns already referred to or

pending resolution of the Tribunal, as well as statements or remarks pertaining to the integrity of the revision process are within the clear ambit of the sub judice rule,” it added. The revision of ballots begun last week, on April 2. On the first day of the recount, Marcos’ camp revealed to the media that wet ballots were discovered among the clustered ballots from the municipality of Bato, Camarines Sur. Marcos’ spokesman, Vic Rodriguez, further claimed that there were missing audits and ballots pre-shaded for Robredo. Lawyer Romulo Macalintal, representing Robredo, maintained that wet ballots and missing audit logs are not evidence of irregularity in an election. Robredo’s camp also hit Marcos for supposedly trying to taint the integrity of the 2016 elections with their claims. “In this regard to preserve the sanctity of the proceedings, both parties are hereby directed to show cause and explain why they should not be cited in contempt by the Tribunal,” the PeT said in its latest directive. In his poll protest, Marcos accused Robredo of committing massive electoral fraud during the May 2016 polls. Robredo won the vice presidential race with only 263,473 more than Marcos. Camarines Sur is among the three pilot provinces Marcos tagged in his poll protest. The

Former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo photos

other two were Iloilo and Negros Oriental. The result of the revision on the three pilot provinces will determine whether the recount should proceed to cover the remaining 31,047 contested clusSen. Richard Gordon tered precincts. n

Abad, Garin ‘criminally liable’ by aJPress

draft report by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. The committee is recomFORMeR Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III mending the prosecution of and his Cabinet officials should Aquino and his officials “for all be held criminally liable for the the tragedy, damage and posSenate photo Dengvaxia mess, according to a u PAGE A9

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Closed for business

APART from displaced workers, there is another sector that needs reassurance from the government as the unprecedented shutdown and cleanup of Boracay gets underway: investors. Operators of several establishments in Boracay have lamented that they were given all the necessary clearances and permits to open and operate their businesses, a number of them for many years now. Suddenly, at the height of the travel season, they are being shut down, with several facing the prospect of being closed permanently. Tourism can be a major engine of economic growth. Countries that develop their tourism industries create jobs even in the countryside, promoting inclusive growth and reducing people’s need to find jobs in cities or abroad. Done right, tourism helps preserve the environment as travelers increasingly pick eco-friendly destinations. Developing tourism, however, requires significant investments, not just in infrastructure provided by the government but from the private sector. Hotels, transportation and telecommunications facilities, even sewerage and sanitation systems – private investors are needed for these projects. And whether Filipino or foreign, investors want a measure of reliability in project approvals given by

the government. The Philippines is notorious enough for weak business regulation, a malleable judiciary, red tape and corruption, crony capitalism, and contracts even with the government that cannot be enforced. In global surveys on ease of doing business, the Philippines has consistently ranked low. The result is clear in levels of foreign direct investments, with the country lagging behind the four other original founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The latest developments in Boracay can spook investors. The Philippines needs investments to create jobs, and the administration needs investors for its ambitious Build Build Build infrastructure program. Other Asian countries are competing aggressively for those investments, and these countries do not shutter businesses arbitrarily. After Boracay, the government must persuade the investment community that it’s safe to put their money in the Philippines. Boracay is closed for business. The message shouldn’t reflect on the rest of the country. (

Editorial photo

California split into three states: Will you vote for it in the November midterm elections?

The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS CALIFORNIA is home to the most number of Filipinos in America, thanks to its relatively mild weather and its west end location in the continental United States, being just the Pacific Ocean away from the Philippines. The Golden State is also the most populous state in the nation, with almost 40 million Californians calling it home, and it also ranks third biggest state in terms of land area. HOWEVER, a proposal may be on the ballot come the November midterm elections which may split the Golden State to three

smaller states. As CNN reported, California venture capitalist Tim Draper announced Thursday, April 12, that his initiative had gotten more than 600,000 signatures from registered voters across all of the state’s 58 counties, surpassing the 365,880 signatures required by state law. This proposal has now therefore already met double the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot in November, which will allow state voters to decide on the partition. Under this proposal, the California that we love will be divided into three smaller states: “New” California: This will

be considered the new state which includes Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and San Benito counties. This smaller new “California” will have 12.3 million people, making it the #8 most populous state, with $53,000 per capita income, ranking #12 highest per capita in the nation. Northern California: This would include the Bay Area and the 31 remaining counties north of Sacramento. At 13.3 million people, it would be the #5 most populous state with $63,000 per capita economy, ranking #2 per capita in the nation. Southern California: San Di-

ego, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, Mono, Madera, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Kings, Kern and Imperial counties. It would be 13.9 million people, the #4 most populous state. Economy is $45,000 per capita, ranking #30 highest per capita in the nation. Draper explained that “California citizens would be better served by three smaller state governments while preserving the historic boundaries of the various counties, cities and towns.” This split, Draper said, would empower regional communities to make better and more sensible decisions for their citizens. He suggested this move “will

‘The Man with the Muck-rake’: Common good requires truth and facts “In Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim Progress’ Rhizomes you may recall the description of the Man with the Muckrake, the man who could look no way but downward, with PROSY ABARQUEZthe muck-rake in his DELACRUZ, J.D. hand; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor. The Man with the Muckrake is set forth as the example of him whose vision is fixed on the carnal instead of the spiritual things. Yet he also typifies the man who in this life consistently refuses to see aught that is lofty and fixes his eyes with solemn intentness only on that which is vile and debasing. Now, it is very necessary that we should not flinch from seeing what is vile and debasing. There is filth on the floor, and it must be scraped with the muckrake, and there are times and places where this service is the most needed of all the services that can be performed. But the man who never does anything else, who never thinks or speaks or writes save of his feats with the muckrake, speedily becomes, not a help to society, not an incitement to good, but one of the most potent forces for evil.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1906 THAT was 1906, and 2018’s muckrake is a Twitter feed from the 45th U.S. president, who has used his account to fire people and to advance his alternate view of reality, prompting sources like CNN, the Washington Post, and BuzzFeed to tally his lies at 5 ½ a day or 2,000+ lies in 400+ days in office. CNN’s Chris Cillizza reported on the forced resignation of homeland security adviser Tom Bossert on April 11, the 32nd senior staff to leave since Jan. 20, 2017. “There are only 65 ‘A-Team’ positions in the White House total. Which means that in the 445 days Trump has been president, he has lost 49 percent of his A Team staff. In Pres. Barack Obama’s first two full years

in office, 24 percent of his ‘A Team’ staff departed. For George W. Bush it was 33 percent. Bill Clinton? 38 percent,” Cillizza wrote. That turnover had demoralizing effect for staff that remains, but also, the attrition rate is above – average worrisome. Yet, “Trump tweeted a defense on Wednesday morning. ‘So much Fake News about what is going on in the White House,’ he wrote, adding the mood at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is ‘Very calm and calculated,’” Cillizza continued. “No” was the president’s reply On April 6, 2018, CBS News and CNN broadcasted snippets of Trump responding to questions from the press pool while he was on board Air Force One, one of which was whether he knew about Michael Cohen’s payoff of $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. Trump said “no,” but his hesitant facial expressions did not support his words. The press pool kept at it and asked why did Cohen make the payment, to which Trump said, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen, Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael.” Trump’s “no” essentially erased the “client” in the attorney-client privilege, which arguably one can say that the attorney-client privilege is now abdicated by that “no.” It may be a simplistic way of looking at it, that when a client disavows what his lawyer did, then, it can be argued that the attorney-client privilege was waived. But what Trump did not think of perhaps was how his “no” laid open for the FBI to search his former lawyer’s premises, with a valid, signed search warrant by a magistrate. No longer protected by an attorneyclient privilege, the search warrant can be executed. Furthermore, Trump tweeted, on April 10, following the search warrant’s being served: “The attorney-client privilege is dead” at 4:07 a.m. Did it die when Trump said “no,” and later declared, “Michael is my attorney, you have to ask him”? Some

say Trump’s statements threw his attorney under the bus, since basic to any attorneyclient privilege is a constant back and forth consultation and communication between the client and attorney. Cornell University defines it further as “the privilege is asserted in the face of a legal demand for the communications, such as a discovery request or a demand that the lawyer testify under oath.” In which case, the communications between client and lawyer remain a secret, unless it falls under an exception. Crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege But is this privilege absolute? Cornell University’s Wex Lax Dictionary defines the exception to this privilege: “The attorney-client privilege protects most communications between clients and their lawyers. But, according to the crime-fraud exception to the privilege, a client’s communication to her attorney isn’t privileged if she made it with the intention of committing or covering up a crime or fraud.” Why would this exception apply in the Stormy Daniels case, the porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump in 2006, but a week and a half before the 2016 election, was paid $130,000 in hush money to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)? One signature appears on this NDA, Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, but no signature appears for Trump, the other party and only his lawyer, Michael Cohen. Even though Trump asserted on Air Force One, “no,” and feigned ignorance of what Michael Cohen did, he and Donald Trump filed a $20 million lawsuit to enforce the NDA and to ensure the silence of Stormy Daniels. The common good, public facts and truth Why is Cohen an alleged violator of bank fraud, mail fraud, and campaign finance elections limits? What prompted that raid? Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 a week and a half before the election, when the Federal Election Commission (FEC) limits campaign contributions to $5,000 per


solve California’s most pressing issues, including the state’s failing school systems, high taxes, deteriorating infrastructure and strained government.” “To create three states from a standing start, you’ll get all the benefits of knowing all the things that worked in the past, and all the things that could work in the future and you get to eliminate all the baggage you got in the state,” Draper said, as quoted by CNN. POLITICALLY, this initiative may not be good for Democrats, according to constitutional lawyer and professor Jonathan Turley, who told CNN that congressional approval is not impos-

sible, but not likely to happen, as Democrats could feel they have too much to lose. “Dems consider California to be a single golden empire, it would be hard for them to accept it as three golden empires,” he said. Will you vote YES on this proposal — for three smaller California states instead of just one big happy California? *** 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://

Government of National Unity AFTER most MILF, while of our God-cen- Peacekeeping the extered thoughts isting pact with during the last Maker the MNLF, start Holy Week, we and complete felt there is need the full-scale today for new inirebuilding of FORMER SPEAKER tiatives for peace, the devastated J OSE C. DE VENECIA, JR. renewal, and deMarawi City, velopment in our and finish off country, and what immediately the diminished Abu Sayaf in Sulu comes to mind is to revive our old and Basilan or to allow the least proposal for a “Government of Na- guilty to return to the fold of the tional Unity.” law; The other choice of other more Advance to the final stage the extreme advisers is for President surrender of firearms and full Duterte to declare a “Revolution- demobilization by the New Peoary Government.” ple’s Army and integrate some of A revolutionary government has their units into the Armed Forces its strategic uses but after a time, and appointment of one or two after goals are achieved at great of their leaders in the Cabinet; cost, it is usually difficult for the Complete the Constitutional Revolutionary Leader to disen- process for the adoption of the gage from authoritarian rule and Federal system of government nareturn the nation to normalcy. tionwide; Perhaps without seriously aimNegotiate and finalize an agreeing to, in meandering thoughts, ment with China and Vietnam for when he spoke on the eve of Holy joint-exploration and developWeek, of re-establishing in effect ment in the South China Sea to be diplomatic ties with the Liberal followed by similar arangements Party of Vice-President Leni Ro- with Malaysia, and Brunei; bredo, Mar Roxas, Frank Drilon, Full-scale infrastructure buildand Francis Pangilinan, former ing, mass-housing and agriculture Vice-President Jojo Binay and his development; and, group, and other friends, the VilFull-scale rehabilitation of the lars, and other foes in the Nacio- nation’s drug addicts. nalista Party, etc., he was perhaps Obviously all these cannot really thinking, why not be friends be completed during President with everyone, with Charity for all Duterte’s term. and malice towards none in the But full-scale development and whole nation, which the Filipino industrialization with strategic people can only applaud and sup- economic dispersal in a decentralport. ized system can begin and continAnyway, the President has de- ued in earnest, accompanied by clared publicly he will stay only Constitutional reform as hopefully for one complete six-year Consti- the various insurgencies come to tutional term. an end and join the fold. Under a largely conflict-free We believe Items 1 to 6 are defgovernment of national unity, the initely achievable, not impossible President can then and should ad- and a Government of National dress the following: Unity with everyone pitching in, Finalize and implement a peace is the key and we should all supagreement in Mindanao with the port it. ■

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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OpiniOn & Features



‘The Man with the Muck-rake’: Common good... Draft Dengvaxia report: Aquino, Abad, Garin... PAGE A8 t

year per individual. The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig, et. al, on April 9 reported: “Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of President Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to three people with knowledge of the case.” Given that scenario, the fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege kicks in, including Trump’s denying knowledge of Cohen’s actions, both are dual factors to invalidating the attorney-client privilege that could have protected the president’s communications with his lawyer. The Washington Post described what was seized: “Investigators took Cohen’s computer, phone and personal financial records, including tax returns, as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, that person said.” Was this serving the common good? Recall the words of Theodore Roosevelt that we must undertake “the relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man, whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business or social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful. The liar is no whit better than the thief, and if his mendacity takes the form of slander, he may be worse than most thieves. An epidemic of indiscriminate assault upon character does no good but very great harm.” Of late, the line between what is evil and what is good has been blurred by the use of the modernday muck-rake, “Twitter,” whereupon the lies, repeated many times and liked many times, elevate the popular tweet to now a likely truth. Left unchecked, the lie is held to the same equivalence as truth, a very egregious form of intellectual dishonesty. It does not serve the common good — a principle that benefits the many — when dishonesty prevails. Trump also characterized the attack on his personal attorney’s office as an attack on our country, prompting Senator Chuck Schumer on April 10 to say: “America has been around for over two and a half centuries, an investigation

of your personal attorney is not an attack on our country.” He also added, “In this country no man is above the law, not even the president. Mr. President, your comments were the disgrace.” CNN reported that Cohen stated that the FBI was “professional, courteous and respectful” in the raids, counter to Trump’s depiction in his tweets. Following the Monday raid, the New York Times’ Matt Apuzzo reported Trump saying, “That is really now on a whole new level of unfairness.” Was that unfair, as the president claims? Not really, as there are search and seizure procedures to ensure that the search results are not tainted by improper actions. A “taint team” exists to examine what were seized during the three simultaneous raids, including what constitutes privileged communications between a client and his attorney and might still protected and this segregates the evidence into what is relevant evidence, specifically requested in the search warrant, and anything beyond the scope of the search warrant is returned back to Cohen, and within a specified time period, provided by the court. But what about the president? Is he not tasked to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” which includes defending against these felonies: “counterfeiting federal coins and securities, piracy and felonies committed on the high seas, and treason”? Would he not be interested in making sure that if these federal crimes were committed under his watch, then, would he not promote the discovery of evidence and the resulting adjudication of these crimes, using our court systems or arbitration, and not the subsequent $20 million lawsuit to ensure silence against Storm Daniels, to enforce the NDA? Robert Reich, the author of “The Common Good,” wrote, “Even before Donald Trump became president, comedian Stephen Colbert joked that the statements of politicians only approximated the truth – ‘truthiness,’ as he called it. The mainstream media, for their part, have occasionally slanted the news out of fear of offending major advertisers or powerful interests in government. New York Times reporter Judith Miller notoriously colluded with the George W. Bush administration in propagat-

ing its blatant lie about Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. All of this paved the way for Trump – his ubiquitous lies, his ongoing attacks on journalists, and his assault on scientists and researchers. They also served as prelude to ‘fake news,’ some of it coming from foreign sources intent on undermining trust in our democracy.“ I have always maintained that we all, as responsible and informed citizens, are the public guardians of American democracy. As long as we remain ignorant as not read, to discover the facts, from both sides of the political parties, more and more of us will be fed “fake news,” using today’s muck-rake, the tweeter. On Tuesday, April 10, we watched how Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate while many of the Senators did not even understand the dynamics of Facebook. How may we expect these senators to regulate that which they do not understand to protect our privacy and what is disseminated during election time? To his credit, Zuckerberg admitted his team purged 400 Facebook accounts related to Russian operatives. But he was quick to add there are more that may have escaped their technicians’ scrutiny. “We must not normalize public lying. The common good requires vigilance against it, and the summoning of public shame when we find it. It is a central obligation of politicians as well as journalists, researchers, scientists and academicians to inform the public of the truth, and to identify lies without fear of retribution. It is the civic responsibility of all of us to check the facts we read or hear, to find and depend upon reliable sources, to share the truth with others, and hold accountable those who lie to us or suppress the truth,” Reich wrote on resurrecting truth in his book, “The Common Good.” As to Trump’s tweets that the FBI showed favor to Hillary Clinton and is being unfair him, it is hardly the truth. Why? Trump’s appointee, Geoffrey Berman, who contributed to the campaign, and the top federal prosecutor appointed on an interim basis by AG Jeff Sessions, recused himself from this investigation. The warrant was then signed off, as CNN reported, by senior Justice Department officials within Deputy Attorney

u PAGE A10


sible deaths” resulting from his administration’s scrapped P3.5 billion dengue vaccination program. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard Gordon presented the draft report on Wednesday, April 11. “Former President Aquino is responsible because he caused the purchase of Dengvaxia and in the process caused irreversible damage, possibly death, to children, [and] anxiety, sleepless nights, unnecessary expense on the part of the parents and guardians,” he said. “The greatest sin and transgression of Aquino was to put the lives of Filipino children in grave peril. He simply did not care. Manhid siya at walang malasakit (He’s insensitive and lacks compassion),” the senator added. The committee is recommending Aquino to be charged with violation of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and

Employees. Also tagged as “primary conspirators” in the procurement of the controversial vaccine were former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and former Health Secretary Janette Garin. “Aquino, Garin, Abad and other officials are primary conspirators and must be held criminally liable… and must be prosecuted for all the tragedy, damage and possible deaths” resulting from the Dengvaxia mass vaccination program,” Gordon said. Some 830,000 Filipino children were administered Dengvaxia under the dengue immunization program implemented by the Aquino administration in April 2016. The program was immediately suspended late last year, following an advisory that the vaccine poses health risk when administered on a person who has not been previously infected with the virus. Some parents claimed that their children died because of the vaccine. The committee, in its draft report, said that the government’s purchase of the vaccine

was done with “undue haste” and “without adequate research on the background and track record of the supplier, Sanofi-Pasteur.” “He (Aquino) ordered to buy it even if it was not in the 2015 budget,” Gordon said. Reacting on the draft Senate committee report, Aquino remarked: “What should we expect from the Dick Gordon show?” The former president noted that the fund for Dengvaxia was obligated in 2016. “Kelan nag-warn yung Sanofi? Ano yung sinabi nila ng umpisa? Wala yan downside na yan, walang danger. (When did Sano issued the warning? What did they say earlier? That is has no downside, no danger),” Aquino was quoted saying in an Inquirer report. He also denied that the approval of the Dengvaxia funds was done in “undue haste,” pointing out that his administration was “waiting for this vaccine as early as 2010 or for that matter we’re waiting for any other tool that can be used against dengue.”n

A10 april 14-17, 2018 • la WEEKEND aSiaN JOUrNal

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National ID rollout seen early May by Lawrence


MANILA — The government is hoping to roll out the national ID system using biometrics of all citizens and resident aliens in the Philippines as early as next month. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the launch of the national ID system supports the central bank’s aspiration for a more digital economy. “Our great expectation is that we will have finally a proper national ID law as early as next month,” he said. Espenilla pointed out the BSP has been a major partner in promoting the adoption of “what we call a foundational biometric ID system.” The Senate approved on third

and final reading the bill, “An Act establishing the Philippine Identification System” last month. The House of Representatives approved the same measure in September last year. “There’s a meeting of the minds between the two houses. And we expect the bicameral conference committee to happen next month. The bill has also been certified as urgent,” he added. To significantly catalyze a digital ecosystem, the BSP believes there must be a reliable national digital identification system to address persistent customer onboarding issues due to lack of acceptable IDs and the highly inefficient paper-based KYC (know your customer) processes. The envisioned national ID system is designed to ensure universal coverage, data integrity and security, and optimum utility

and would serve as an enabling platform for the efficient delivery of a whole range of government and private sector services for all Filipinos. The single national ID dubbed PhlSys would contain the full name, date of birth, address and some fingerprint information of an individual. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated P2 billion for the national ID system under the 2018 national budget. “We have great expectations in the BSP and we can assure you that we are ready to move forward quickly with this foundational biometric ID system. I hope it doesn’t get any political derails. We really need it,” Espenilla said. He said the Philippines is the only member country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that does not have a national ID system. The BSP chief said the BSP is ready to recognize the national ID once it is put in place to replace all other IDs currently required from bank customers. There are various ID cards issued to state workers including the Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) issued to members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund). “It will solve or it will address many issues such as money laundering compliance. It will also facilitate the acquisition of customers from a distance,” he said. n

WINNERS.WorldArcheryPhilippinesofficials,nationalathletesandorganizingcommitteemembersofthe2018AsiaCup-Stage2Archery CompetitionposeforaphotoopportunityaftertheawardingceremonyattheRizalMemorialBaseballStadiuminManilaonWednesday, April11.ThePhilippineswonthreegoldmedalsduringthecompetitionafterPaulMartondelaCruzdominatedtheindividualqualification andOlympicrounds,andwoninthemixedteamcompoundeventwithAmayaAmparoCojuangco. PNAphotobyJessEscarosJr.

Duterte to travel to Kuwait to witness signing of agreement for OFW protection PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, April 12 said that he would go to Kuwait “anytime” to oversee the signing of an agreement between the Philippines and the Gulf state on overseas Filipino workers (OFW). Speaking before thousands of Filipinos in Hong Kong, Duterte said that the Kuwaiti government was gracious enough to accept his numerous demands for OFWs. Duterte said that he would attend the signing to see to it that the Kuwaitis will “honor their every word.” Duterte ordered a deployment ban to Kuwait after a female OFW, Joanna Demafelis, was found dead inside the freezer of an abandoned apartment in the Gulf State. In February, Palace spokesman

Harry Roque, Jr. said that the ties between the Philippines and Kuwait would be back to normal if both countries would sign a bilateral agreement protecting migrant workers. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in March bared two conditions for the lifting of the deployment ban in Kuwait — Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on labor policy between Kuwait and the Philippines and that justice must be served to Demafelis. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed that Nader Essam Assaf and Mona Hassoun, a Lebanese-Syrian couple and the main suspects, were arrested by the International Police (Interpol). Agnes Tuballes, Demafelis’ recruiter, also surrendered to authorities on March 1. Roque also said that Duterte wanted the passports of OFWs to be deposited at the Philippine Embassy instead of being confiscated. Duterte also wants the OFWs to be assured of at least seven hours of sleep and one day off. He added that he wanted the Kuwaiti government to assure the Philippines that there would be “absolutely no physical abuse” against the OFWs. Sorry over Myanmar ‘geno-

cide’ comments Meanwhile on Friday, April 13, Duterte issued a public apology to Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, litary crackdown on the country’s Rohingya minority as a “genocide.” Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, has come in for intense global criticism over her public silence regarding a brutal military crackdown that has forced nearly 700,000 Muslim Rohingya to flee the mainly Buddhist nation for Bangladesh. Duterte’s original comments, made in a Manila speech a week ago, were a rare example of public criticism by the head of one Southeast Asian country of another. He said his original comments were intended as a dig at European countries that have criticized his deadly war on drugs, which has left more than 4,000 suspects dead at the hands of the police in less than two years. “I will apologize to you, but if you have noticed, my statement was almost a satire,” Duterte told a pre-dawn news conference in the southern city of Davao. Duterte also said then that he was “willing to accept refugees” from Myanmar if Europe would take in others displaced there as well. (Ralph Edwin Villanueva/

‘The Man with the Muck-rake’... PAGE A9 t General Rod Rosenstein’s office. Rosenstein is a career public servant for the Justice Department for over 27 years, whose prior records included prosecution of public corruption cases as a trial attorney for the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division. Amongst the many programs he was part of included the credit card fraud coordination and international assistance programs, and tax enforcement activities of the Tax Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Internal Revenue Service. He is a career public servant reputed to be a straight arrow and a stickler for the “rule of law.” If nothing else, Trump can be assured that the law enforcement officials will “cross their t’s and dot their i’s” to ensure they

are doing everything by the “law enforcement book” on policy and procedures, to ensure his rights are protected, as well as Cohen, who some say is really Trump’s fixer. *** ProsyAbarquez-Delacruz,J.D.writesaweekly columnforAsianJournal,called“Rhizomes.” ShehasbeenwritingforAJPressfor10years. ShealsocontributestoBalikbayanMagazine. Hertrainingandexperiencesareinscience,food technology,lawandcommunityvolunteerism for4decades.SheholdsaB.S.degreefromthe UniversityofthePhilippines,alawdegreefrom WhittierCollegeSchoolofLawinCaliforniaand acertificateon21stCenturyLeadershipfrom Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a participant in NVM Writing WorkshopstaughtbyProf.PeterBachofor4 yearsandProf.RussellLeong.Shehastravelled toFrance,Holland,Belgium,Japan,CostaRica, Mexicoandover22nationalparksintheUS,in herpursuitoflovefornatureandthearts.

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A12 april 14-17, 2018 • la WEEKEND aSiaN JOUrNal • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

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Dennis Padilla to Joshua Garcia: Be a ‘good son’ Ian Veneracion: The actor as a musician by Jan

Milo Severo

Comedian dennis Padilla admitted he was disappointed with his daughter Julia Barretto’s rumored boyfriend Joshua Garcia after “The Good Son” actor revealed on “Tonight With Boy abunda” the reason of their rumored breakup. dennis, however, believed that the couple can resolve their problems because they are both adults. The veteran actor also acknowledged Joshua’s honesty in the situation because he had similar mistakes in the past. “Ang kailangan, aregluhin mo agad, kasi in general, ang mga babae, mahaba ang pasensya,


iF theater has what they call a triple threat—an artist who excels at acting, singing and dancing all at the same time—Philippine showbiz has the habit of making its up and coming stars the same way. Sometimes even four times a threat if you add hosting a show as another talent. For a lucky few, it all works out well, but there have been countless other artistas who end up a jack of all trade and a master of none, to use the proverb, juggling an acting, singing, dancing and/or hosting career all at once so that they fail to make a mark on the public. Dennis Padilla and Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia ABS-CBN photos Former child actor-turned teen heartthrob pero ‘pag dumating doon sa Pare Ko”, wherein he is a new and one of the day’s most noted dramatic leading men, ian Veneracion, is one celebrity who punto na sagad na, wala ka nang character. babalikan,” he told members of dennis said he is open to refused to go by this local showbiz formula and is the media during the sidelines speak with Joshua if the young happy that he stuck to his guns. Throughout his of the taping of “Funny Ka PAGE B2 PAGE B2

Veteran pageant director discusses return to directing for the upcoming Love of Country Global Ambassadors program

Former Miss Asia director Benedick Diaz makes a return to the pageant world through an innovative cultural ambassadors program by Klarize Medenilla AJPress

PaGeanTry has been a staple within Filipino culture and identity for more than a hundred years. it’s becoming one of the defining institutions of the motherland with nearly every sitio, barrio and barangay in the Philippines hosting hundreds of different beauty pageants annually; that, of course, is in addition to the many international pageants of which the Philippines is almost always a top contender on the world stage. and that has translated into Filipino-american culture with several regional beauty pageants being held every year. Some people dismiss beauty pageants as nothing but vapid displays of physical beauty and many Filipinos have questioned whether these pageants provide

TeSSa Mauricio-arriola

a quality representation of Philippine culture. Those thoughts, however, are nothing more than shallow misconceptions of what pageants actually are, according to longtime pageant director Benedick diaz, whose career as a director spans decades for the asian global community. after several years of being on hiatus, diaz is preparing for a comeback to the world of directing in the form of the upcoming Love of Country (LoC) Global ambassadors program, an innovative cultural presentation that builds upon the traditional pageant format and purpose. The LoC Global ambassadors program is all about searching for Fil-am ambassadors from all ages and genders to act as delegates to promote tourism to the Philippines.

Benedick Diaz has been directing some of the most prestigious Asian pageant shows for the last couple decades. Photo courtesy of Benedick Diaz

Working with the Philippine department of Tourism (doT), PAGE B2

Ian Veneracion photo


B april 14-17, 2018 • la WEEKEND aSiaN JOUrNal • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

Marian raring to go back to work ‘BeaRald’ still on: Gerald Anderson by Lhar


Marian rivera looked fresh and well rested when she sat down with Showbuzz at the grand premiere night of the Barbie Forteza-Derrick Monasterio movie “almost a Love Story” over the week. The showbiz event was the GMa network Primetime Queen’s first public appearance after arriving from a three-week Europan holiday with husband and Primetime King Dingdong Dantes and daughter Zia. Onlookers could not help but say that Marian looks more gorgeous these days, which she would gratefully acknowledge with the sweetest smile. Careful not to take the thunder away from the movie’s leads, she humbly said, “i’m here to support the people i love. Barbie who is with me in ‘Sunday Pinasaya,’ Derrick, and of course Direk Louie, our director [in the noontime show], whom i love so dearly.

Excited siyempre akong makita yung movie, especially since it was shot in italy. ‘Di ba kagagaling lang namin sa Europe,” she enthused. The European vacation was another unforgettable experience for Marian and her family. “We really had fun everywhere we went, visiting most of them for the first time. Nag-enjoy rin si Zia and that’s what’s important—yung ma-enjoy niya ‘yung mga lugar na pinupuntahan namin and all the activities we do. Saka ang sarap niyang bihisan kasi ang cute,” Marian dotingly giggled. The highlight of their trip, of course, was their visit to Marian’s dad in Spain. initially, they were going to skip Spain because they were going to a different part of Europe. “Pero hindi, we felt that our trip would not be complete if we do not see Papa,” Marian averred. “Saka si Zia, sobrang gusto miyang nakikita si Papa. Pag nagkita nga sila, parang ang

defends Bea Alonzo anew

by Jan MiLo Severo

Marian Rivera

GMA photo

hirap paghiwalayin. Papa just adores her. Talagang nag-enjoy together ang mag-lolo.” now that the getaway is over, Marian is just raring to go back to work. She feels rested enough and that it’s time to focus to her career again. “i’ve already talked to my bosses at GMa about my new project,” she intimated. “When they presented the concept to me, i got so excited. it’s something that i haven’t done in a soap before and, as usual, i can’t give details yet but i’m sure the viewers will really like it. Wala pang napipiling ibang artista na makakasama ko pero sobrang gusto ko yung concept.” So does this mean plans for a second baby will have to wait until she finishes her new series? “Hindi naman. Dong and i have talked about it and we decided that we will go on with our respective projects, and if God wills that we have another baby, that’s the time when i will take things slowly,” Marian openly replied. “Sa ngayon, we have Zia and we’re very happy. Kung bibigyan kami ng bagong baby, we will be The Primetime Queen says her European holiday with husband Dingdong Dantes and daughter very happy, but kung wala pa, Zia is unforgettable. Photo from Instagram/@dongdantes tuloy lang ang buhay.”

Dennis Padilla to Joshua Garcia... PAGE B1

actor wants to meet up. “Mag-sorry lang sa akin, okay na ‘yun. ‘Sorry, Tito Dennis, nagkamali ako.’ ‘Pag inulit niya ‘yun, magiging action star na talaga ako, wala nang makakapigil no’n, at hindi na ako nagpapatawa no’n,” he said. For Julia, Dennis advice is

“’Pag alam mo nang hindi ka masaya, umalis ka na diyan. Ngayon, kung masaya ka pa diyan, maintain mo lang. Ganon lang naman ‘yun, ‘di ba, ‘pag mainit sa kusina, ano’ng gagawin mo? Lalabas ka. Mainit eh.” Dennis plays a corrupt real estate tycoon, Don Jovi, that will

shake Karla Estrada and Bayani agbayani’s world in the sitcom “Funny Ka Pare Ko.” Besides Dennis, the new child wonder Carlo Mendoza, “it’s Showtime” Funny One winner Donna Cariaga, and co-finalists anthony andres and James Caraan, will be added to show’s new season.

nETiZEnS were abuzz after fans discovered that Kapamilya actress Bea alonzo unfollowed and deleted photos of rumored boyfriend Gerald anderson and her good friend Pia Wurtzbach on instagram last month. in an interview with the media during the Skechers x Camila Hi Lites event last Sunday in Trinoma, Gerald set the record straight that it was just a misunderstanding and the issue is now resolved. “Sana maintindihan niyo. Ayoko nang humaba pa. Parang let’s just share positivity. Huwag na ‘yung puro nega na tao,” the Kapamilya actor said. Bea has been receiving bashing comments and statements on different social media platforms since the unfollowing incident, and Gerald has a message to Bea’s bashers. “Ang gusto kong sabihin sa mga bashers, ‘yung mga nag-judge kay Bea na, ‘Wow, talaga?’ Parang siguraduhin niyo na perfect kayo bago kayo magsabi nang masama tungkol sa ibang tao, celebrity man or normal na tao. Parang wala tayong karapatan at wala kayo

Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson

sa sitwasyon. So ‘yun lang,” the actor said. Gerald added that he and Bea are now doing well. reports said that they were together in London last week. “Basta ang importante okay ang lahat at okay kami. Basta okay naman. Basta moving forward tayong lahat. Parang sa

ABS-CBN photo

dami ng negativity sa mundo, let’s focus on being positive. ‘Yun yung message ko para sa mga tao,” he said. Gerald was the main attraction at the Skechers fashion show that showcased a full summer-spring 2018 collection inspired by exFifth Harmony member Camila Cabello.

Ian Veneracion: The actor as a...

PAGE B1 career, he chose to concentrate on acting, even if he had been playing classical piano and the electric guitar since age seven, writing songs and singing, and even if he had every opportunity to pursue his love for music as a member of the late German Moreno’s “That’s Entertainment” stable of talents. “Music has always been part of my life but i’ve always seen myself as an actor first and foremost, so i concentrated on acting—it was that simple,” said the ever handsome ian Veneracion, who shot to fame as the son of comedian Joey de Leon in a hit ‘80s sitcom. now in his 40s with a formidable filmography in such phenomenal teleseryes as “a Love to Last” and “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” as well as notable movies like “ilawod” (for which he just won Best actor at the 38th Oporto international Film Festival in Portugal) among others, ian believes he has dutifully established himself as an actor and finally has the license to explore another

creative passion publicly. “i’ll be mounting my first ‘real’ concert this april,” he laughed in a huddle with The T-Zone and a few other Entertainment Editors. “The ones before—sa ‘That’s’ kasi lip sync eh!” he laughed even harder. “and then the others [that followed]from time to time were part of promotions for shows.” and so, come april 21 at the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and May 13 at resorts World Manila, a full band will join ian on stage in a major concert entitled “ian in 3 acts” to show his long kept musical side. His excitement contagious, the mestizo actor related how he and his band has been rehearsing for months and how he is thriving not just in the music but also the visual aspect of the production. a painter too, just like his dad roy Veneracion, ian explained, “There’s going to be a giant LED screen that will play out my repertoire like a movie—that’s why the title of the concert is ian in 3 acts. Being an actor, i have to

incorporate that major part of me in the show so i will be interacting with the visuals so that they won’t just serve as a background. it’s fun because i get to tap into all my artistic sides for this one thing—being an actor, a musician—because i’d feel pretentious calling myself a singer—, and a visual artist. The three acts, according to the performer will comprise the following: “The first act is ‘the ian you know,’ and will cover the theme songs from my teleseryes; the second, ‘the ian you don’t know,’ where i’ll bring in my personal choices in music from Sting, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder…; and finally the third act is ‘who i am,’ which is a combination of the first and second acts. This is where i’ll get to sing my own compositions.” a song already playing in several radio stations and music streaming websites is ian’s original song, “We’re all alone,” will see its first live performance at the concert, perfectly summing up its composer’s life as an artist constantly in the spotlight.

Veteran pageant director discusses return... PAGE B1 candidates must demonstrate their unique connections to Philippine culture and all the characteristics and values they possess that would best represent the Filipino identity. The sole mission isn’t to discover the person with the best physical beauty, but to find the person who would best represent the culture. “it’s a different kind of enchilada, and that’s what motivated me to come back so i came back!” Diaz shared with the Asian Journal in a recent interview. Diaz boasts nearly three decades of directing pageants, from smaller, regional pageants like Miss Teen Philippines arizona to large-scale productions like Miss BnB international and Miss asia. He began his career at regal Films, writing, directing and working alongside line producer and director Manny Valera. When Diaz migrated to the United States, he knew that he wanted to continue that career in show business. During the week, he worked as a shipping manager at Glasswerks — a position he still holds today — but on the weekends and in his free time, he focused on directing. But he expressed that putting on a technically successful show isn’t why he has continued to direct pageants; it’s the satisfaction of being a part of the launch of so many young Filipinas’ careers, including model Cheryl nunes whom Diaz coached in the Miss Kauai america nearly 30 years ago. “Throughout all the time you coach them and guide them, you somehow you become part of their careers and that’s incredibly satisfying for me,” Diaz remarked. Eventually, health problems arose due to overwork and he had to take a brief hiatus from directing. “i really worked so hard, almost too hard!” Diaz expressed. “But it was fun because, on the weekends, i was really just allowed to let go of my weekday job, which is very stressful. This was really my time to enjoy my passion which is directing and arts because i like teaching people how to gain confidence and self-esteem.” after nearly 10 years after his last show, Diaz was approached to

Diaz with close friend Manny Valera, line producer and film director at Regal Films. Photo courtesy of Benedick Diaz

direct the LOC program, and when he learned about what it is was, he thought the idea was fresh and something different. He liked the idea that the contestants weren’t just young women, but that they could be men and women and young and old. “i feel like i’m busy again, but in a good way,” Diaz said of his return to his post as pageant director. “[The Love of Country program] changes the whole impression because most of the time the impression of beauty pageants is just that: beauty, beauty, beauty. But this one is a cultural presentation. So they may see winners here who may not be physically beautiful, but you will see winners with wisdom and wit.” although prospective candidates still have until april 29 to submit applications, the LOC pageant has begun production. Diaz is in full swing as the director, conceptualizing the themes, coaching the contestants on their walk and confidence-building and collaborating with producers on the technical elements of the show.

Though he knows of the stresses of working on a pageant (he is also simultaneously working on a separate pageant in Las Vegas), he is “excited” to be back in pageant directing. “My main goal is to make sure this program starts off really well because this could be something [the candidates] will cherish forever, that’s what i told all the candidates, especially the older candidates,” Diaz said. “This could be a legacy you could leave to your children, for your apos who can say that once upon a time, my lola joined this ambassadors program and wanted to represent Filipino culture in such a huge way. For me, to be a part of that is just an achievement. For me, that’s more fulfilling than getting another queen to be crowned.” To learn more about the LOC Global ambassadors program, visit For those who wish to apply for the program, the deadline to apply is april 29, and applications are available on the website.

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •




12th Kore Pro-Am held at Journey at Pechanga on April 2 & 3 Pechanga Resort casino hosts the 12 annual Kore Proam golf Tournament at Journey at Pechanga on april 2 and 3, 2018. This marks the 6th year for Pechanga to host the tournament as the proud official sponsor. Journey at Pechanga is Pechanga Resort casino’s premiere championship golf course, already well known among many asian golfers. This year, 29 talented LPga golfers are invited to participate in this highly anticipated tournament with the Kore Pro-am’s tee Bill Anderson Demi Runas sponsors. Kore Pro-am continues to serve as a community event my inviting the great Oak high School (gOhS) girls golf team for the second year, providing the students an opportunity to meet and greet top pro players and experience the tournament. This year the great Oak high School girls golf team will provide over 30 volunteers to help with various area of the event. The Kore Proam will donate $3,000 to gOhS team for their support. great Lee Torres Oak high School girls golf team Chau Ly became the league champion last Party in the Pechanga Summit of topography- canyons, ravines, year and made it to the postsea- Ballroom. The pairings party open fairways, and even the tees son of the california Interscholas- features gourmet buffet-style shot with a 175-foot drop. Just across a small walkway foods premium open bar and live tic Federation (cIF). Kore 2018 Pro-am features entertainment, creating a relax- sits the states largest Resort/casino with all the many outstanding LPga profes- ing atmosphere for all players to sional golfers including chella get to know their LPga partners luxuries a traveler would expect choi, Megan Khan, Jenny Shin, and strategize for the next day’s from a high-end casino property. Rated a aaa Four Diamond propSarah Jane Smith, and angel Yin. tournament. The tournament begins at 11 erty for 15 years running, the chella choi, Rolex ranking 49, posted a season-best third place a.m. on Tuesday following the resort recently underwent a major result at the KMPg Women’s breakfast and press conference. makeover with $300 investment Pga championship, which was Players will be competing in an and now offers a total of 1,090 her best finish career in major. 18-hole scramble tournament and hotel rooms and suites, an allMegan Khan who started playing the team with the lowest score new 25,000 sq-ft full-service spa at the age of 5 and just turned 21 will win the coveted Kore Pro-am and beauty salon, a 4.5 acre pool debuted in 2016 and recorded a cup. Through the tournament, complex, world class entertaincareer-best T3 at The Blue Bay tee sponsors will not only be able ment, meeting and event space LPga. Jenny Shin became Rolex to get up close and personal with encompasses 200,000 sq-ft and First-Time winner with her vic- there golf elites, but also swing 11 restaurants. Pechanga also tory at the Volunteers of america their clubs alongside these talent- offers its guests a casino floor Texas Shootout in 2016 after 5 ed athletes. Participants will also larger than in Las Vegas, one that years since her debut and crossed be provided with a great network- features more than 4,500 state$3M mark in career earnings last ing opportunity with celebrities, of-the slots and video poker, 154 year. Shin is also famous for corporate leaders and pro golfers table games, a high Limit Salon, a her stylish fashion on the green. at the award ceremony and Din- spacious and stylish Poker Room Sarah Jane Smith, a veteran ner that will immediately follow with an Off-Track Betting facility and a Bingo Parlor of an unparalgolfer from australia, recorded a the tournament. leled comfort. Journey at Pechanga season-best T3 and ISPS handa For your information or to Journey at Pechanga chamWomen’s australian Open. The super rookie angel Yin entered pionship golf course, one of make reservations at Pechanga LPga only last year and ranked the many high-end amenities Resort casino, please visit www. second in the Louise Suggs Ro- at Pechanga Resort & casino, or call (877) 711lex Rookie of the Year standings. is consistently rated among the 2946. Pechanga Resort casino is She was also selected by Team top public courses in california. located in Temecula, california USa captain as a captain’s pick When golfers partner their rounds just two minutes off Interstate for the Solheim cup and posted with a luxury stay at the adjacent 15, less than one hour from San resort, the value of the experi- Diego and Ontario International a 1-1-1 record. airports, and less than one and The following popular LPga ence rises. hotel guests receive compli- one-half hours from Los angeles superstars will also be joining the game: Tiffany chan, Bri- mentary access to the course’s and Orange county. With an anna Do, Jennifer ha, Muni he, award-winning practice facility, average of 276 sunny days per Vicky hurst, Tiffany Joh, Lauren even if they do not have a tee time. year, Temecula and Journey at Kim, erynne Lee, Rebecca Lee- The course’s clubhouse is home Pechanga offer an ideal golfer’s Bentham, Lee Lopez, Sydnee to a spacious men’s and women’s retreat year-round. Pechanga Resort Casino Michaels, annie Park, hee Yong locker rooms, extensive pro shop Pechanga Resort casino ofPark, Robynn Ree, Melissa Reid, and the Journey’s end restaurant Demi Runas, hanule Sky Seo, serving breakfast, lunch, and eve- fers one of the largest and most expensive resort/casino experiKelly Shon, Kelly Tan, Kassidy ning appetizers and cocktails. nestled in the foothills of the ences anywhere in the United Teare, gabrielle Theo, andrea Wong, Jing Yang, Julie Yang. scenic Southern california wine States. Voted number One This elite group of 29 pro golf- country Temecula Valley on the casino in america by readers ers will challenge each other on Pechanga Indian Reservation, of USa TODaY and rated a the stimulating and demanding adjacent to Pechanga Resort Four Diamond property by aaa course, along with their fans and & casino winds along a boul- since 2002. Pechanga resort der-strewn mountain. Journey casino provides an unparalleled golf partners. The night before the tourna- at Pechanga’s 72, 18-hole golf getaway. Offering more than ment, sponsors will find out course, course winds across 4,500 hottest slots, table games, which LPga Pro golfers they will 7,129. a challenging and reward- world-class entertainment, 1,090 be playing with at the Pairing ing course, it represents a range hotel rooms, dining, spa, and championship golf at Journey at Pechanga. Pechanga Resort casino features destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free 1-800-Pechanga or visit www. Follow Pechanga Resort casino on Facebook and on Twitter @Pechangacasino. Pechanga Resort casino is open 24-hours. guests must be 21 and older to enter the casino. LGPA Pro Golfers

AJPress photos by Mark Xavier Bautista

(Advertising Supplement)

ABUSED AND ACCUSED WOMAN GETS THE ULTIMATE REDEMPTION IN HER GREEN CARD ON AN ENCORE EPISODE OF CITIZEN PINOY. Imagine being broken on the inside by your husband’s constant verbal abuse and then getting a signed confession from him saying that yours was never a real marriage. That’s the hellish nightmare that Evelyn (center) suffered from her former husband. That same confession jeopardized the petition by her current spouse, Glenn (left), for her. Leading U.S. immigration attorney MICHAEL J. GURFINKEL (right) proved the allegations wrong and eventually delivered Evelyn’s ultimate redemption in the form of her green card on an encore episode of CITIZEN PINOY- on Sunday at 6:15 pm (PST) on TFC.

Ehra Madrigal’s second tumingin pa ako… may life vest na nakatali pa dun sa isang side. But it seemed it’s too late na that you couldn’t get it, kasi parang almost half way na lumubog yung boat.” ehra admitted she hardly knows how to swim. “But you will do whatever [you can] to survive.” Actress Ehra Madrigal and husband Tom Yeung photo

IT was indeed a very traumatic holy Week for ehra Madrigal and husband Tom Yeung when tragedy struck their getaway in antique, and the speedboat taking them to touristy Mararison Island capsized in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They were left stranded in the open water for three hours. In The Know visited ehra and Tom in their home a week after the tragedy, and grateful that despite the trauma, the couple chose to share their story with us exclusively. ehra was still shaking, crying as she recalled what happened: “Nung nag-sink yung boat, parang everything happened so fast. Tapos nakita ko na pumasok na lahat nung water sa boat, parang it went on its side na lulubog.” She continued, trying to make sense of her flashbacks, “Parang

For what seemed like eternity, they kept trying to swim and holding on to the boat which by then had been so slippery and unstable. The ordeal left her with pneumonia and an asthma attack, which she hadn’t had in a very long time. PAGE B4


B april 14-17, 2018 • la WEEKEND aSiaN JOUrNal

Health@Heart PhiliP S. Chua, MD, FaCS, FPCS In this week’s issue, we shall devote our column to exalting “medicinal values or therapeutic effects” of regular, ordinary, food that people all over the world eat as part of their diet. The reported health benefits of some of the foods we have listed are anecdotal — passed down from generations — and many have not been thoroughly and scientifically proven. But since they are regular food items we consume daily, trying them for some of the ailments or situations they are allegedly effective for is simply natural and safe. As long as one is not allergic to them, ingesting these food items does not result in adverse “side effects” as could be encountered in, say, noni juice, or some other dangerous “curative food supplements” in the market today. Besides their essential nutritional value, many of the foods we ingest regularly have “medicinal effects” that we are not conscious about but which help alleviate or correct some diseases or conditions. It is common knowledge that scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), is cured by eating a lot of citrus fruits, or that hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) among diabetics will be alleviated by eating candies, sugar or other sweets. Or, that banana and apples are good for diarrhea; while papaya, prunes and other fruits, and vegetables are good for constipation. But did you know that onion, hot pepper and tomato are good for common cold? Or that cherries are good for cramps? Or that apple, grapefruit, calamansi are good for halitosis (bad breath)? Here is a list of medical conditions and the corresponding food items claimed to either prevent, alleviate, and/or cure them, which we suggest you first confirm with your physician, and save for future reference: • Arthritis - Apple, pineapple, malunggay, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, orange, mustard green, strawberry, tangerine, cucumber, lettuce, cherries, celery, cauliflower • Insomnia - Onion, cabbage, celery, avocado, onion, apple, banana • Hemorrhoids - Prunes, date, beans, eggplant, plum, sweet potato. • nausea - Pineapple, papaya • High cholesterol - Garlic, soybean (tofu), red wine, grapefruit, tomato, apple, eggplant, corn, cabbage, peas, beans, green leafy vegetables, high fiber cereals, malunggay

Food medicine • Indigestion - Plum, papaya, pineapple, banana, apple, grapefruit, cucumber, peach • Sinusitis - Onion, hot pepper, tomato • Gastric ulcer - Pumpkin, rice, avocado, banana, date, okra, peach • Hypertension - Bamboo shoots, guava, pear, tangerine, squash, cherries, jackfruit, peach, celery, orange, malunggay • Impotence - Pumpkin seeds, avocado, seaweeds, date, oyster, hot pepper • To lose weight - All variety of fruits and juices, like grapefruit, orange, apple, pineapple, radish, tomato, lettuce, especially when eaten as a substitute for red meat and carbohydrates. • Cancer - For prevention, high fiber, low cholesterol diet (fish), plus frequent intake of processed tomato (ketchup, tomato paste), asparagus, broccoli, apricot, strawberry, cherries, mustard green, okra, apple, carrots, papaya, prunes, spinach, peach, pumpkin, watermelon, green leafy vegetables, all berries. • Heart attack - Just like for cancer prevention, high fiber and low cholesterol diet, plus a lot of fruits, berries, and vegetables like malunggay. • Stroke - The same anti-oxidants as above for prevention • Cuts and burns - Sesame seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil • Dry scalp, skin - Coconut oil, papaya, avocado, sesame seed oil • Constipation - Papaya, prunes, green leafy vegetables, peanuts • Diarrhea - Bananas, apples • Dizziness - Onion; ginger for motion sickness • Gallstones - Soybean, radish, tomato, apricot • Headache - Beets, cabbage, apple, asparagus, malunggay • Cuts, stings - Papaya local application • Depression - Banana, chocolates • Diabetes - Ampalaya vegetable helps lower blood sugar a little only, not effective as treatment. These are only a few sample conditions where foods have been taken not only for their fundamental nutritive and caloric value but for their alleged medicinal effects. We want to emphasize that these food items are not substitutes for prescription medications. As a general rule, one should never stop taking prescription drugs without consulting with a physician. Unhealthy diet, smoking, alcohol, and lack of exercise are the four most important, if not the most notorious, killers of man and the reason why in today’s world we have catastrophic numbers of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression, infertility, male erectile

Ehra Madrigal’s second

PAGE B3 “I drank a lot of seawater and inhaled a lot of gasoline from the speedboat,” she explained. Ehra and her husband are still under medication now to get them back to health after their near death experience. They also submitted to an anxiety and psy- • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

chological debriefing to help them cope with the emotional trauma they further endured. According to Ehra, there were 10 people in the tiny speedboat, built presumably for a maximum of six passengers. She and Tom were in Antique on the invitation of her best friend Bianca Manalo,

dysfunction, and degenerative diseases like arthritis, gout, osteoporosis, etc. Of course, there are other factors that contribute to the epidemic of these ailments, but food, even more than heredity, plays a very significant role in the causation of diseases. What we eat, how much we eat, what we do not eat, how we take care of ourselves, or how we abuse our body, determine, to a great extent, how healthy or unhealthy we are, our quality of life, and our longevity. In the book, “Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children,” I highlighted the significance of a proactive and preemptive approach to healthy lifestyle and disease prevention, starting early at the cellular (DnATelomere) level to effectively ward off major diseases we currently consider normal and expected as we age. Our children and the future generation do not have to have these “ailments of aging” afflicting most of us today, if we protect the integrity of their DnA starting from the womb and begin healthy dieting in the crib. (www. The United States Congress and the Food and Drug Administration are now putting the screws on the so-called “food supplements, alternative medications, herbal and homeopathic therapies,” all of which make up for a flourishing 30 Billion US Dollar industry annually. The medical and lay community in the United States are now (finally!) realizing that majority of the so called “food supplements” with purported therapeutic values are nothing more than a money making scheme that victimizes hundred of millions of unsuspecting people around the world. I sincerely hope that President Rodrigo R. Duterte and our legislators in the Philippines will follow suit to safeguard our people and our country from the unscrupulous domestic or foreign manufacturers, money-hungry distributors and dealers of falsehood, who, by malicious design, have been preying on the ignorant and trusting public long enough. Our government and lawmakers should promulgate new legislations, if needed, and enforce all pertinent laws without delay, to protect the Filipinos by putting an end to these malignant merchants of deception and fraud. *** 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:

whose boyfriend Jonathan Tan is a town mayor, and all four of them were en route to Mararison Island with the latter’s companions. Through those treacherous three hours, Ehra said she knew in her heart they would make it to shore no matter how long it took, but she remembers the very moment she almost gave up and cave in to the panic. “It was when I saw the mayor’s cousin and bodyguard die beside me while Tom was holding him,” she related. “We were sitting beside each other. Then he was screaming, ‘Woooo, I can’t take this anymore. I can’t!’ “I said, ‘no, Kuya, you can do it.’ And then my vision started getting compromised and I got scared. I suddenly visualized my dad in the hospital bed, lifeless, and then someone dies again.” Ehra’s father died on March 5 this year. She continued, “I was really scared. I had to calm myself down.” That was wehn Ehra called her on her husband to help the body guard. “I said, ‘Love, love, si Kuya, si Kuya…’ So, he grabbed Kuya nd brought hime to my arms before my brother passed out. Ehra there was much that could have been done to ensure everyone’s safety before they went on the boat but at the end of the day no one is to blame. “We can’t blame anyone naman, kasi wala namang may gusto na maaksidente. But if ngayon—kung iisipin mo talaga, siguro ngayon—if things could have been different or mas maiiwasan yung ganito… Kung mado-double check lahat—yung weight namin, yung weather—or kung merong may radyo dun sa mga naiwan, pero wala kaming radio…” she trailed off, tearing up again. “Kasi OK naman eh, sobrang maaraw,” Ehra added shaking her head. At the end of the interview, the newlyweds said that the tragedy really shook them and that they know it will take a while before they can leave it behind and move on. In the Know wishes Ehra, Tom and the rest of those who survived well and hope they can get over the unfortunate experience very soon. (

Celebrating spring the Filipino way By Monet


Having four seasons in a year is an idea that is quite foreign to Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines. Back there, we only have dry (summer) and wet (rainy) seasons. Then there are those, like me, who migrated outside the Philippines to a place that has more than two seasons. This change also requires a change of wardrobe, food, scenery, and pastime. So how does the typical “Pinoy” deal with the changing of the seasons? Food Filipinos love to eat and foreigners know that about us. One of the running jokes about Filipinos says, “wherever there’s food, that is where the Filipinos are.” now that is good if they meant that we cook great food, otherwise, it could mean that we’re known as gluttons. Either way, food is just at the core of every Filipino. And a food-loving Filipino has adapted the ability to adjust his palate according to the season. The spring season calls for a parade of spring rolls. And by that, I meant spring rolls of different varieties such as lumpiang Shanghai (pork spring rolls), lumpiang sariwa or lumpiang ubod (bamboo shoots spring rolls) and lumpiang gulay or lumpiang togue (bean sprouts spring rolls) are the best sellers at a company potluck or spring banquet. And because we just love to dip everything in sauce, we even have the appropriate sauces for each of the spring rolls. Sweet and sour chili sauce, peanut sauce, and of course, lumpiang togue’s faithful partner: sukang

puti (white vinegar). Spring is also a great time to check out the newest Filipino restaurants or Asian fusion cafes that invaded Southern California. You can also venture further south like San Diego and I bet you will the aroma of inihaw na liempo would lead you to these Filipino restaurants. Either that or a park filled with Filipinos with picnic baskets filled with Filipino delicacies. Filipino food is just everywhere and I credit that to the talented cooks and chefs who make Los Angeles such a delicious place to live. Fashion Spring is the second season of the year. And second to adjusting this season’s menu is switching clothes. This is the time where thermal jackets and winter boots are stored away. Unless you have a perfectly good reason for wearing that fur coat, it should be in the closet. To the “petite” Pinays, they don a flowery sundress, spring colored jumpsuits, or some cute separates; like a good statement skirt with comfortable and flattering cotton top. Pair it with an accent pump and minimal accessories, and they swing their way to spring! For the men, skinny jeans are not as cool as they were before but still are known staples in any man’s wardrobe. It’s the season to loosen up a bit, so straight cut cool print chino pants are great alternatives to tight and dark jeans. Pair these up with a lightweight cardigan and a statement eyewear and you’re off to great spring. Places One of the best things about this season is the blooming of flowers and fruit trees. This is also one of the things about spring that we, Filipinos, can relate to. And it’s not because we

have spring season but because planting and harvesting is a way of life for us. We harvest vegetables and fruits and plant more tropical plants that our gardens could handle. This season means a picnic at the park, checking out a botanical garden or Knotts Berry Farm, you know, the stuff that you do while you bond over food and wear your flowery and light cotton shirts. Forget about hibernating in your pajamas, walking around your house wearing thermal socks. That is so winter ago! Go out there and watch the cherry blossom, the tulips, open the windows and enjoy the warm sun. As this new season unfolds, we should make the most of it by welcoming Spring in all its glory. I do that by thinking of spring as the snow is finally melting, trees are blooming, and the streets are looking lively and green again! For most people, spring is a time of change. Thoughts of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and hope come to us when we wake up from a cold winter night to a warm spring morning. Oh, spring, you bring so many beautiful things. And as Filipinos fondly say — and let me say it with cheers to a spring season full of hope: “Mabuhay!” *** 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

Jinkee Pacquiao gives Ed Sheeran boxing gloves by Rosette


JInKEE Pacquiao met British singer Ed Sheeran on Sunday, April 8. Backstage at the Divide Tour, Jinkee, wife of boxing champ turned Senator Manny Pacquiao, gave Sheeran boxing gloves bearing the Philippine flag. Jinkee was among the celebrities who watched Sheeran’s comeback concert in Manila. However, she was among the few who had a chance to pose with the international singersongwriter. “It’s an honor to meet you Ed Sheeran,” Jinkee wrote in her social media posts. In the music video of Sheer-

Jinkee Pacquiao, wife of boxing champ turned Senator Manny Pacquiao, gave Sheeran boxing gloves with the Philippine flag. Photo courtesy of Jinkee Pacquiao

an’s “Shape of You”, the Grammy love for the sport as he featured Award-winner showcased his a video of himself boxing.

Kakai happy being single by Bot


KAKAI Bautista does not see herself entering a romantic relationship at this point in her life after recovering from what had been reported before as “failed” relationships. And now that her heart is doing fine, Kakai said that she is ready should fate dictate her to become loveless for the rest of her life. The singer-comedienne has admitted to being a late bloomer having had to work early to help her family. But she didn’t have any regrets for prioritizing work over her love life. “When you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, you dream about having a beautiful marriage but at my age now wala ng ganun. I feel happy seeing pictures of happy couples on social media even if I don’t know them, basta masaya kong tinitingnan sila,” said. “Wala na ako dun sa level na ay sana ako din, wala ng ganun. It’s not even on my list (to get married). Perhaps, it will only change if there is someone who would be very willing to be with me na as in solid.” Asked if she doesn’t dream of having a child, Kakai again stressed that it’s not a priority “but if God will give me someone and a child in my 40s or 50s, then why not? For me, I don’t want to race against time because I know there is a perfect time for everything.” Besides, she doesn’t put a deadline for a guy to come along. She has been loveless for quite some time. “Okay lang marami naman akong crush so I’m not giving myself a deadline because I don’t want to die early. Deadlines are only for those who want to die early, hahaha.” She recalled she had a boyfriend before who was eager to marry her yet she decided to turn her back on him for her family. “If I didn’t choose to work for my family, probably I am now busy taking care of five children. As for the guy, he is now happy with his wife and children.” It can be recalled that Kakai hogged showbiz headlines in the past for her association with actors. She was linked to Thai actor Mario Maurer whom she

had worked with in the romantic comedy Suddenly, It’s Magic. Then, it was not too long ago when all eyes turned on her when Ahron Villena suddenly voiced out his irritation on social media after she reportedly made statements suggesting they had a romantic past. However, all is well between them now. How did they reconcile? “I just woke up one day without feeling any hatred toward him and then we had the chance to see each other, nag -‘Hi’ lang at nagyakap, ganun lang. I would not be talking to him or giving him the chance for us to have a bonding moment kung meron pa (galit). Wala na, it’s over and done with,” she replied. In fact, the two are working together on a movie, Harry Patty, and she even invited the actor to watch her anniversary concert on April 6 at the Music Museum. But she denied their reconciliation is part of the movie promo. “We’re okay before the offer to do the movie came,” she insisted. “Kahit naman may offer na P10M, kung di ko naman kayang makipagtrabaho sa kanya at harapin s’ya, I won’t accept it. Everything just turned out fine. Siguro, si Lord ang may gusto.” Kakai said they no longer talk about their misunderstanding. And she doesn’t have any regret that they didn’t end up as a couple “because we had good times and we did also have happy memories together.” As to her invitation to watch her concert, Kakai shared that she told Ahron that he is not part of the show. Her guests will be Maymay Entrata, Jona, X-Factor UK’s JBK and some of her Rak of Aegis co-stars like Pepe Herrera, Poppert Bernadas, Jimmy Marquez, Gold Villar, Jet Barun and Paeng Sundayan. Kakai added that the anniversary concert, directed by Frank Lloyd Mamaril, is set to become a night of great performances, hearty laughs and some reminiscing on her journey from being a newbie theater performer to a comedy actress. “I’ve been through a lot of hardships. Naging taga-mop ako

Kakai Bautista photo

ng floor, taga-hugas ng plato at baso sa rehearsal hall ng theater then I became a wardrobe assistant. In acting, I auditioned for a soap in ABS-CBn where direk Lauren Dyogi asked me to read a script in Chinese then right after, he said, ‘Mag-taping ka na sa Lunes.’ Ako naman, hala di makapaniwala but of course, I went to the set. There was also a moment when I wanted to quit because there were people who looked down on me, ang sakit but through the encouragement of my friends, I stayed. Tiniis ko na lang siguro dahil bago pa lang ako but now those people had changed. Pinapansin na nila ako ngayon. I’m thankful that I’m still here and celebrating my 15th year (in the entertainment scene) and so the concert has a story, not just all laughter.” Kakai shared that she selected all the songs in her repertoire. “I will try to sing all types of songs as there will be something for the millennial crowd, for the oldies and the not so old ones. May mga hugot din but as much as possible, I don’t want the audience to say that the show is purely about me because I want everybody to enjoy the show.”

(818) 502-0651 â&#x20AC;¢ (213) 250-9797 â&#x20AC;¢






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B april 14-17, 2018 • la WEEKEND aSiaN JOUrNal • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •



ICE raids causing panic in immigrant communities: Is there a solution? IN recent weeks Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has carried out targeted raids nationwide as part of their efforts to deport undocumented immigrants. These raids have occurred in California and Florida and many places in between. These raids have resulted in the break-up of families, individuals losing their jobs, and countless people scared to leave their homes and lead their normal lives. These raids have also caused tremendous fear in our immigrant communities. Children have been forced to wonder if their mom or dad will be deported before they return home from school on a given day, while others have been forced to confront the reality that they may be detained on their morning commute to work, an especially stressful situation when their income is the family’s sole means of financial support. Is there a solution to these fears and uncertainty? There may very well be. All undocumented immigrants, including those who have previously been ordered deported, should immediately inquire about whether they may be eligible for permanent resident status (green card). For example, you may be a good candidate for Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents. This allows qualified individuals to obtain a green card if they have lived in the U.S. for at least ten years, do not have any disqualifying criminal convictions, have good moral character, and can show that a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent, spouse or child would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the applicant were forced to leave the United States. This is a form of relief from deportation and is only available in Immigration Court. In addition, applicants are eligible to obtain employment authorization while their application is pending. But what if a person does not have the required 10 years in

Your Immigration Solution ATTY. DEVIN CONNOLLY & NANCY MILLER the U.S. or does not have a good case for some other reason? There are still other options. Another way of obtaining a green card is through a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. A waiver “forgives” a ground of inadmissibility so the person may apply for a benefit. A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is for undocumented immigrants who are ineligible for adjustment of status, and who will incur a 3 or 10-year bar from returning to the U.S. as soon as they leave. And yes, these bars do still apply even if the sole reason for the foreign-born citizens’ departure is to attend an interview at the U.S. Consulate in their native country. The benefit to a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is that the 3 or 10-year bar is waived before the applicant ever actually leaves the U.S. The applicant submits the waiver while still residing in the U.S., and is not forced to leave the U.S. until after the waiver has been approved and they have an upcoming interview at the U.S. Consulate. This pre-approved waiver avoids lengthy separation of family members since the applicant would hopefully be able to return to the U.S. within a matter of days. Finally, a person may be eligible for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver regardless of who filed the petition for them if they can show “extreme hardship” to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. For undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. who have previously been ordered deported, there may be a solution to your problem as well. A skilled immigration attorney may be able

to get your court case reopened, thereby allowing you to apply for a green card. A case can be reopened for a variety of reasons, including a change in personal circumstances such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, a change in conditions in your native country that make it unsafe for you to return, or perhaps if you were previously the victim of ineffective assistance of counsel. And someone who has been ordered deported may still be able to apply for a provisional waiver after applying for and receiving advanced permission to reapply for admission to the United States. Finally, permanent residents should seriously consider becoming U.S. citizens. Green cards are terrific, but U.S. citizens are still afforded more rights and benefits than permanent residents, including unlimited travel and the ability to vote. With talk of travel bans and the never-ending risk of deportation for green card holders who just make one mistake, the rights of U.S. citizenship have potentially never been more valuable. It is a very uncertain time for immigrants. The easiest thing to do right now is remain in the shadows and hope the problem goes away. Unfortunately, ignoring problems often only makes them worse. Consult an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney today about applying for a green card or becoming a U.S. citizen. *** Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration firms in the United States with offices in Pasadena, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Manila and China. 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)

FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Petra, Aqaba, Jordan

(Tiberias, Ceasarea, Haifa, Meggido,Magdala, Nazareth, Cana, Mt Carmel, Capernaum, Mt. Beatitude, Jericho, Bethany, Mt.Tabor, Mount Zion, Mt. of Olives, Old & New Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Qumran, Masada Dead Sea, Allen by Bridge, Madaba, Mt Nebo Petra, Aqaba Jordan)

OCTOBER 18 to NOVEMBER 1, 2018 SPIRITUAL CHAPLAIN: REV. ANTONIO FLORES Oct. 18, 2018( Thursday) Day 1 – MNL HKG, TEL AVIV, ISRAEL Oct. 25, 2018 (Thursday) Day 8 - Jerusalem Trans-Atlantic flight from LAX to Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, Mass at the Holy Eucharist Church of St Peter in Gallicantu “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” (John 1:14) Israel. (Meals served in-flight) We will walk to view the Dome of the Rock from the outside, and visit the Oct. 18, 2018 (Friday) Day 1 – Arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv/ Western Wall, ( Wailing Wall ) the only part of the Herodian Temple still Tiberias standing and the most sacred place in the world for Jews. Then, we will Arrival from Manila still Oct. 18,2018 late in the evening. After we clear drive to Mt. Zion, to visit the Upper Room, revered as the site of the Last Immigration and Customs, will be met by our driver for transfer to tiberias . Supper, then survey the Dormition Abbey, and the Church of St. Peter in enjoy the panoramic view of the Mediterranean. We will spend our first night Gallicantu, the site where Peter denied Jesus three times. After the day’s in Tiberias. Dinner and overnight (D). Gai Beach Hotel (Oct. 19, 2018) Holy tour, we will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Jerusalem (B, D) Eucharist Notre Dame Vatican Hotel Oct. 20, 2018 (Saturday) Day 3 - Tiberias/ Meggido/ Nazareth/ Cana / Oct. 26, 2018 (Friday) Day 9 - Mount of Olives/Gethsemane/Bethlehem/ Mt Tabor Jerusalem (New City)/Ein Karem We will have short stop in Meggido and the Plains of Armageddon, known in Mass at the Church of Nativity Hebrew as Meggido, a giant fortress and City built by King Solomon. In the New “O mountain of God, receive me, a mother, with my child.” (Protoevangelium Testament book of Revelation, it is referred as the sites of the “final battle”. of James 22:3) From there, we will continue our drive into Nazareth, where we will have Mass We will arrive at the Mount of Olives, to enjoy another view of Jerusalem, in the Church of the Annunciation, the Cave of the Annunciation and visit the Chapel of Ascension, Pater Noster Church and the Dominus visit Joseph’s Workshop and Then we will move on to Cana of Galilee, where Flevit (“God wept”) sanctuary. Next, we’ll walk the Palm Sunday Road to the Our Lord performed His first miracle: changing water into wine at the wedding Garden of Gethsemane, and visit the Rock of Agony and the Church of feast. We will invite couples to Bless their marriage vows, Continue to Mount all Nations. In the afternoon, we’ll drive to Bethlehem, a city whose name is Tabor, site of Jesus Transfiguration Afterward, we will head to Tiberias. Dinner recognized around the world. After celebrating Mass at the Church of Nativity, and overnight in Tiberias. (B/D).Gai Beach Hotel. we will see the Manger; visit the Church of St. Catherine, the Grotto of St. Oct. 21, 2018 (Sunday) Day 4 - Tiberias/Mount Beatitude/ Multiplication / Primacy/ Capernum/Boat Ride “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Early AM departures to Mt. Beatitude Drive up to Mount Beatitudes, visit the site of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus preached to the people. Eucharistic Celebration. Enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, home of Our Lord during his ministry. After visiting the Synagogue where he taught, proceed to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Then to the Church Primacy of St Peters. Overnight Magdala ( BB, D)

Jerome and the Shepherds’ Fields. Then we will return to Jerusalem (New City), to view the Temple Model to see how it looked during the time of Jesus. Here, we will gain a better understanding between the old and new cities of Jerusalem. Up next is a trip to Ein Karem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to see the Visitation Church, where Mary proclaimed her famous “Magnificat”. We will end our day by returning to our Hotel. (B/D).

Oct. 23, 2018 (Tuesday) DAY 6 - Jordan Valley/Jericho/Bethany/ Jerusalem Mass at the Church of St. Lazarus MAGDALA, Israel – 2009 Discoveries from a new archaeological dig are creating excitement in the area where Jesus began his ministry. The village is called Magdala (Migdal in Hebrew), and it’s the home of Mary Magdalene.”She lived here and she met Jesus here and she continued with Him. Yes, it’s that place The most important discovery in Magdala has been a synagogue dating back to the time of Jesus. According to archaeologists, it’s the first one discovered in the Galilee.

famous mosaic map of the Holy Land. Then we will drive down to Aqaba. Overnight in Aqaba (B/D). Movenpick Resort & Residence.

Oct. 27, 2018 (Saturday) Day 10 - Jerusalem/ Dead Sea/ Qumran/ Masada Mass at the Church of all Nations After breakfast, we will celebrate mass at the Church of all Nations and then we will drive to Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth. Visit Qumran; see the Oct. 22, 2018 (Monday) Day 5 - Magdala Full day retreat , Focus will Include programs based on the historical caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Continue to Masada, visit Herod’s fortress and the Jew’s last stronghold against the Roman. Return to and Religious value of the Magdala sites Jerusalem for dinner and Overnight (B, D) More info coming up as we get closer to the dates MAGDALA, Israel – 2009 Discoveries from a new archaeological dig are Oct. 28, 2018 (Sunday) Day11 - Jerusalem/Allenby Bridge/Madaba/ creating excitement in the area where Jesus began his ministry. The village is Jordan/Mt. Nebo/ Aqaba called Magdala (Migdal in Hebrew), and it’s the home of Mary Magdalene.”She Mass at Mount Nebo lived here and she met Jesus here and she continued with Him. Yes, it’s On this day, we head to Allenby Bridge and cross into Jordan. We will go to that place The most important discovery in Magdala has been a synagogue the Baptismal Site at Bethany, which Pope John Paul II visited in 2000. dating back to the time of Jesus. According to archaeologists, it’s the first one Then, it’s on to Mount Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Our discovered in the Galilee. next stop will be the Church of St. George in Madaba, which hosts the

Oct. 24, 2018 ( Wednesday) Day 7 - Jerusalem (Old City)/Via Dolorosa/ Mount Zion Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.” (John 19:17) We will enter the Old City of Jerusalem and will follow the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) and say the Station of the Cross to the holiest shrine in Christendom, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, visit Golgotha and the Tomb of Our Lord. After mass, we return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, we will enter the Old City, sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne and view the Pool of Bethesda. Then we will visit the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostratos (where the soldiers played the Game of Kings) and the Arch of the “Ecce Homo”. Dinner/Overnight Notre Dame Vatican hotel

Oct 29, 2018 (Monday) Day 12 - Aqaba/Petra Mass at Stella Maris Church – Aqaba After breakfast, we will journey through the Siq, until we get our first glimpse of the Khazneh (Treasury). Then will we walk down to visit the Temple and view the many caves all around the Theater. At the end of the tour, we will drive back to Aqaba for overnight and dinner (B/D). Movenpick Resort & Residence Oct. 30, 2018 (Tuesday) Day 13 - Aqaba/ Jerusalem We Cross the Jordanian Border to return to Jerusalem. Dinner/Overnight Oct. 31, 2018 (Wednesday) Day 14 - Jerusalem /Yad Vashem Museum/ TLV/ LAX After breakfast, we will visit the Yad Vashem Museum,is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead; honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need; and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future. After the Western Wall, Yad Vashem is the second-most-visited Israeli tourist site. Return to the hotel for lunch and relaxation in preparation for our return flight back to the USA after early dinner will be transferred to the airport for flight Oct 31, 2018 8:45 PM departure from TLV End of Our Memorable Pilgrimage to Jesus Home Land!!!


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Marian Pilgrimage France, Spain & Portugal September 8 to September 21, 2018 Spiritual Director: rev. John Duy nguyen Still one of the great pilgrimages shrines in the world, visited by thousands of pilgrim’s. Arrive in Lourdes in the late afternoon, orientation to the shrines and spends some time in the sanctuary. Dinner & overnight. Sept. 9, 2018 - (Sunday) Day 2 - Paris (CDG) Arrived Paris CDG, Then after we clear immigration and collect our (BB, D) Luggage,. you will proceed to your hotel and have mass and dinner. Sept. 15, 2018 - (Saturday) Day 8 - Lourdes Overnight in Paris. (D) You will have early morning bath at the healing water of Lourdes. Then return to the hotel for breakfast. There after attend Holy Mass Sept. 10, 2018 - (Monday) Day 3 - Paris Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, also at the Grotto. continue the day with a walking tour of the shrines and known as the City of Light. Full day touring with local guide, including places associated with the life of St. Bernadette. Spend some time visit of the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Basilica of Sacre meditating on the passion of our Lord through more than life size Coeur, The chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Rue de Bac is the site exotic way of the sacrament and prayers. Afternoon will be free time of Marian Apparitions and contain the reliquaries of St. Catherine for private devotion. Dinner/overnight (BB, D) Laboure and St. Louise De Marillac. The shrine of St. Vincent the Paul is within walking distance, a few blocks from Rue De Bac, visit Sept. 16, 2018 - (Sunday) Day 9 - Lourdes / Zaragoza the chapel which houses the relic of St. Vincent the Paul. Overnight After Breakfast, you’ll continue your drive towards Zaragoza, Spain. Visit the shrines of Our Lady of Pillar, the 2nd most popular in Paris (BB/D) pilgrimages sites in Spain. See the Magnificent altar in the Basilica, built on site where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the apostles Sept. 11, 2018 - (Tuesday) Day 4 - Paris/Lisieux After breakfast, Full day in Lisieux, home of St Therese, who at age St. James, before her assumption into heaven. Dinner/overnight 15, entered the convent and became Carmelite nun, she took the Zaragoza (BB, D) religious name of St Therese of the child Jesus and the Holy face. The spirituality of her little ways was not about extraordinary things, but Sept. 17, 2018 - (Monday) Day 10 - Zaragoza / Salamanca rather about doing simple things of life well and with extraordinary After breakfast you will embark on a trip to Salamanca. You will have love. She believed and taught that “Everything is Grace”, God’s face a short stop and panoramic tour of Avila. Upon arrival in Salamanca, and presence could be experienced in every person and situation of you will visit the Old Cathedral and tour the city. Dinner /overnight our lives, if we just attend with love and expectancy. She died at the Salamanca (BB, D) age of 24 believing that her life was really the beginning for God, promising to spend her heaven doing good on earth, her promised” Sept. 18, 2019 - (Tuesday) Day 11 - Salamanca / Fatima shower of Roses” began and have become a torrent in the church After Breakfast, you will spend the first half of the day touring ever since. Return to Paris, Dinner in a restaurant near the hotel. Salamanca. You will visit the new cathedral with a short stop at Plaza Mayor for lunch. After lunch you will continue to Fatima, the Overnight in Lisieux (BB, D) famous Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. Upon arrival you will have a Sept. 12, 2018 - (Wednesday) Day 5 - Lisieux / Nevers / Paray- short orientation tour of the Sanctuary. Attend the nightly Candlelight procession at the Shrine. Dinner and Overnight Fatima (BB, D) Le-Monial After Breakfast, Continue your drive to the picturesque Loire valley to Nevers, visit the convent of St. Gillard, where St. Bernadette’s Sept. 19, 2018 - (Wednesday) Day 12 - Fatima incorrupt body miraculously preserved since her death in 1879. Breakfast, then Visit the Museum dedicated to the Blessed Virgin At the conclusion of the eighteen apparitions of the Virgin Mary Mary followed by Mass at the Apparitions chapel, Full day Guided in Lourdes, St. Bernadette lived for 12 years as a member of the tours includes the Shrines ground, visit of the tombs of Francisco congregation of the sisters of charity of Nevers. St Gildard convent and Jacinta in the Basilica, In Aljustrel and Valinhos, you see the is her final resting place. After she was blessed with the apparitions two homes of the shepherds, site of Our Lady’s fourth apparitions. of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, St. Bernadette retired in Nevers. She Stop at the Parish church where the seers were baptized, and the received her religious habit in 1866. Continue to Paray-Le-Monial for cemetery where Francisco and Jacinta were once buried. You will do the station of the Cross. We encourage everyone to spend some time Dinner & Overnight (BB, D) in the Blessed Sacrament, which is open every day. Dinner/overnight Fátima. (BB, D) Sept. 13, 2018 - (Thursday) Day 6 - Paray-Le-Monial After Breakfast, you will tour Paray-Le-Monial. Your first stop is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and here you will celebrate Holy Sept. 20, 2018 - (Thursday) Day 13 - Fatima / Lisbon Eucharist. Then you will tour and admire the Romanesque basilica After breakfast ,you will proceed to Lisbon with stops at Santarem and see the Chapel of Apparitions. After the Basilica, you will proceed to visit the church of the Holy Miracle containing the Glorious to the Monastere e la Visitation. Visit the reliquary of Saint Margaret 13th century Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem .Then you will do a Mary of Alocoque at the Chapel of Visitation. Still to see and visit after panoramic city tour of Lisbon, with a visit to the Basilica of St Anthony lunch is the Park of the Chaplain and the Chapel of St. Colombiere. de Padua, St Jeronimo’s Monastery and the famous Belem Tower. Dinner/Overnight Lisbon (BB, D) Dinner & Overnight (BB, D) Sept. 8, 2018 - (Saturday) Day 1 USA/PARIS Transatlantic flight from USA to Paris (CDG )Meals serve on board.

Sept. 14, 2018 - (Friday) Day 7 - Paray-Le-Monial / Lourdes Sept. 21, 2018 - (Friday) - Early AM transfer to Lisbon After breakfast you will continue your pilgrimage to Lourdes. Lourdes, Airport for flight home to USA celebrating 160 Years of apparitions of Blessed Virgin to Bernadette. Full of wonderful memories of Our Pilgrimage


Community Journal

Don’t let abusive bill collectors treat you like a criminal IF you are delinquent in your debt obligations and are being pursued by bill collectors, you may be wondering what these bill collectors can do to force you to pay. Maybe you’re afraid to even answer your phone or open your mailbox, fearing what you may find. Perhaps you’re sick and tired of bill collectors calling you day and night, threatening to take what little you have. Like most people in this situation, maybe you’re also embarrassed to talk to people about your problem and the thought of seeing an attorney to take legal action scares the living daylights out of you. In this article, I would like to discuss the “arsenal of weapons” that creditors usually have at their disposal in going after someone who is not paying his or her bills. Armed with the knowledge of what creditors can do, perhaps you can find a way to level the playing field and protect yourself before things get really ugly. Collection/Harassment: Before the delinquent account is turned over to an attorney for legal action, it is usually first given to the creditor’s collection department or an outside collection agency. The bill collector is the “hired gun” who starts calling the debtor at home and/or at

Tax Tips Victor Sy, cPA, MBA

THE Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducts investigations regarding violations of the Internal Revenue Code, the Bank Secrecy Act, and Money Laundering statutes. What are warning signs that you may have been referred to CID? 1. The agent starts asking about your life style and spending habits. 2. The agent asks about offshore bank accounts. 3. The agent asks about safety deposit boxes and other bank deposits. 4. The agent finds that deposits materially exceed reported income via a cash deposit analy-

Minding Your Finances Atty. rAyMond BUlAon work. While there are laws that regulate collection activity, bill collector abuse is quite rampant. The job of the bill collector is to make your life miserable. The idea is that if they can put enough pressure on you to do whatever it takes to produce money to pay them, they will continue the harassment until they see some results. Lawsuit: Depending on the amount owed, it may or may not make sense for the creditor to sue you for the amount owed. When the amount is less than $5,000, usually the creditor can take you to small claims court. The hearings in small claims court are informal and no attorneys are present. Regardless of which court the lawsuit is filed in, you are entitled to be notified of the proceeding against you. Thus, you are first served a notice called “summons” and this document tells you how much time you have to respond or file

an answer to the lawsuit. Since most people know nothing about the law and the court system, they would need an attorney at this point to represent them in the lawsuit. Failure to respond to the lawsuit (usually 30 days as stated on the face of the summons) will result in something called a “default judgment.” A “default judgment” is a judgment won by the plaintiff, not based on the merits of the case, but simply based on your failure to respond. Thus, if you get sued for a certain amount of money and you don’t respond to the lawsuit within the time allotted, your failure to respond is considered a waiver of your right to contest the lawsuit. Judgment Enforcement: Once the creditor obtains a judgment against you (by default or otherwise), the creditor will now look for ways to enforce the judgment and collect on the debt. If you are working, the creditor may obtain a wage garnishment order and have your employer take money out of your paycheck to pay what you owe. If you have bank or other financial accounts, the creditor may levy on these accounts (have your accounts frozen so creditor may collect). If you own real property, the


IRS fraud audit warning signs sis. 5. The agent requests copies of every document that you show him. 6. The agent contacts third parties regarding payments made to you or received from you. 7. The agent insists on meeting with you despite your having a representative. 8. The agent insists on meeting in your place of business or home instead of your representative’s office. 9. Suddenly, it is difficult to communicate with the agent who stops working on your case. 10. You are visited by two special agents (the second agent’s role is to provide corroborating testimony). Beware: Over 90 percent of indictments result in convictions. Traditional tax evasion cases make up 50% of cases. IRS hopes to increase time spent on unreported income to 70%. • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

Will incorporating a separate property business during marriage make it community property? YOU own a successful business, as a sole proprietor, prior to marriage. You later meet the love of your life and decide to marry her. Years into the marriage, you decide to incorporate the business. A common question when the couple later divorces becomes 1) did your separate property business become community property by virtue of incorporating it during the marriage? 2) Was your separate property business “transmuted” to community property by incorporating it during the marriage? No Community Property Presumption Family Code 760 defines “Community property” as “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. However under Marriage of Koester, the Court held that the community does not “acquire” a separate property business simply because the business is incorporated during the marriage. The mere incorporation of a business operated by spouse is not a change in its character, for purposes of division of com-

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrSUA reyeS munity estate following divorce. In Koester, the Court stated that he incorporation simply effects a change in the legal form under which the business is conducted and property does not change its character merely because of a change in form or identity. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1035, 1038, 87 CR2d 76, 79, 81. The Court in Koester also stated that “In contrast with the way title is taken when a married couple own residential property, the incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship. To say ... that an asset was ‘acquired’ by the community ... because some aspect of corporate formation took place during the marriage is to elevate semantics over substance.” No Transmutation Incorporation of a sole pro-

prietorship business during the marriage can trigger a family code § 2640 tracing right of reimbursement only when it is also accompanied by an unambiguous express written transmutation of the business to community property as required by Family Code § 852. Marriage of Koester, supra, 73 CA4th at 1036–1037, 87 CR2d at 79–80 & fn. 5. Under Family Code §852, a transmutation of real or personal property is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected. In Koester, the act of changing the legal form under which a business is conducted does not meet the requirements of family code § 852 for a valid transmutation. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1037, 87 CR2d 76, 80 & fn. 5. Incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship. Although the mere act of incorporating a separate business during the marriage does not change the character of the business to community property, the


During those perplexing times

The Prophetic Voice

Scary stuff. A Sigh of Relief: If you receive reVerend Form 4549 RAR (Revenue Agent rodel G. BAlAGtAS Report), you can breathe a sigh of relief. It means that you were IT’S truly perplexing that God not referred to the CID. would make his presence known and felt to us in times *** of troubles, fears, and Victor Santos Sy graduated Cum Laude anxieties. During these from UE with a BBA and from Indiana State moments, he tells us to University with an MBA. Vic worked with “touch” him and “see” SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV - Andersen him, to look at his “hands Consulting) and Ernst & Young before and his feet.” Allegoricalestablishing Sy Accountancy Corporation ly this means that he asks us to allow him to enter in Pasadena, California. our minds and touch our *** hearts so his Spirit may He has 50 years of experience in reside there. And in these modefending taxpayers audited by the IRS, ments, he invites us to speak to FTB, EDD, BOE and other governmental him, to express to him all our agencies. He is publishing a book on his thoughts and preoccupations. This experience might strike expertise - “HOW TO AVOID OR SURVIVE IRS AUDITS.” Our readers may inquire us, but it’s real. In all ages, from about the book or email tax questions at the time of Jacob who wrestled with God to the time of Moses who bore the burden of Israel(Advertising Supplement) ites’ pain and infidelities, God

made himself known during difficult and trying times. From the periods of the prophets and the judges to the time of Mary and Joseph, God entered people’s struggles in many fascinating ways. It was not easy for them to understand God’s ways— they struggled with them. But

with the famous words, “Paul, Paul, why do you persecute me?” Many saints like Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Lisieux, and Teresa of Calcutta spent sleepless nights pondering on and discerning God’s will and plan in their lives and the people they served. Those moments for them were not a clear as we would think, but they are profound moments of God’s revelation. So yes, why do we anguish when troubles and difficulties come our way? Would we instead take them as opportuni24:38-39 ties to face squarely the predicaments that befall in those troubled moments, on us and allow God to speak God spoke to them powerfully. to us about them? Would we Paul, formerly Saul, fell from a permit him to be with us honhorse on his way to Damascus to estly like a friend or a father persecute Christians. And then the and share with him out anxietvision that dramatically changed ies, doubts, and fears? Would his life and ignited a fire of mis- those moments turn into intisionary zeal for the whole world mate periods of union with God? happened—he encountered the In the Gospel this Sunday, JeRisen Lord who spoke to him u PAGE C3

”Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” –John

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Community Journal

Remedies for employees and consumers when their personal data is stolen Q: I work at a hospital and we heard rumors that our computer servers were hacked. As a result, both patient and employee information were stolen. I am very worried about identity theft and damage to my credit. What are my rights? A: Anyone who conducts business in California and owns or licenses computerized data that includes personal information must notify its employees or consumers (such as patients) in the event of a breach of its security of the system. This occurs when encrypted personal information was acquired by an unauthorized person together with the encryption key that could render that personal information readable or useable. Personal information includes a combination of the following: full name, Social security number, driver’s license number or California identification card number, account number or credit or debit card number with access codes, medical information, health insurance information, user name or email address with password, and license plates. According to the California Department of Justice, between 2013 and 2016, the Attorney General received reports on 657 data breaches affecting a total of over 49 million records of Californians. These breaches occurred in various industries: retailers and banks, doctors, dentists and hospitals, gaming companies, spas, hotels, restaurants, government agencies, schools, and universities. Majority of the breaches were cyber-attacks by data thieves who exploited security weaknesses. Breaches also resulted from stolen or lost equipment containing unencrypted data. Typically, employees or consumers who suffer immediate financial losses from these breaches may sue the com-

Debt Relief

Atty. LAwrence yAng

TWO clients with issues relating to known and unknown persons who used their names and social security information to borrow credit card in their names. The first client is 51 years old and married. She met this person who became her “friend.” Let’s just call the “friend” Ms. Crook. The client is a relatively new immigrant to America having arrived here eight years ago. Ms. Crook was introduced to her by a trusted person who said that Ms. Crook wanted to buy a piece of jewelry from JCPenney but couldn’t get credit. Ms. Crook convinces the client to go with her to JCPenney to open an account in the client’s name. Since the client speaks no English, Ms. Crook served as the interpreter giving the personal information of the client to the credit person on the phone who was checking out the creditworthiness of the client. So as Ms. Crook translated all of the personal information, she was able to get the client’s social security number, home address, and all the other good stuff about the client. After the account was opened, Ms. Crook pointed to a pair of earing costing $2,000 that she wanted to buy to be charged to the client’s account. The client didn’t speak English, so Ms. Crook was the one talking to the JCPenney jewelry sales rep. The rep rang up the purchase and the client signed for the purchase on her newly opened account. The package was given to Ms. Crook and they walked out of the store together. After a month, the client received a statement from JCPenney showing that she owed about $12,000 for the purchase of four separate pieces of jewelry. She told me that she will only pay for the piece of jewelry that she agreed to buy for Ms. Crook. That piece of jewelry was only $2,000. She wouldn’t pay for the other $6,000 of jewelry. I told her that’s not possible because she signed the purchase at the store. As long as she signed for it, she’s liable

Protecting Employee & Consumer Rights Atty. c. Joe SAyAS, Jr. pany that negligently allowed the breach to occur, and recover damages. But what about the persons whose personal information were compromised but who have not (yet) suffered any type of harm? Do they have the right to sue for damages? Two court cases best illustrate this issue: In the first case, Starbucks employees sued their employer when a thief stole a laptop containing the unencrypted names, addresses, and social security numbers of approximately 97,000 Starbucks employees. Starbucks notified the affected employees about the theft and said that there is no indication that the private information had been misused. However, it advised employees to monitor their financial accounts for suspicious activity and take precautions against identity theft. The trial court dismissed the case reasoning that the employees did not suffer actual financial losses as the only harm being claimed is an “increased risk of future identity theft.” The appellate court disagreed, ruling that an increased risk of future identity theft is enough to grant the employees a right to sue for damages. Here, the employees alleged a credible threat of real and immediate harm as a result of the theft of a laptop containing their personal data. The theft of the sensitive personal information is an actual “injury” for which the employees may claim damages. In the second case, customers sued online retailer when hackers stole the names,

account numbers, passwords, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, telephone numbers, and credit and debit card information of more than 24 million Zappos customers. While many of the customers who sued have not yet suffered monetary harm as a result of the theft, they nevertheless suffered an injury because they have been put at risk of identity theft. The appellate court agreed with the customers, noting that like the Starbucks employees, the Zappos customers have a right to sue if the threatened injury is ‘certainly impending,’ or there is a ‘substantial risk that the harm will occur.’ Such harm may include identity theft and identity fraud, resulting in criminal activities like credit card fraud, phone or utilities fraud, bank fraud and government fraud. Aside from non-monetary remedies, employees and consumers victimized by a data breach must be offered appropriate identity theft prevention and mitigation services by the company responsible for the breach. These services must be provided at no cost to the victims for at least 12 months along with all information necessary to take advantage of the offer. *** The Law Offices of C. Joe Sayas, Jr. welcomes inquiries about this topic. All inquiries are confidential and at nocost. You can contact the office at (818) 291-0088 or visit or our Facebook page Joe Sayas Law. [C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is an experienced trial attorney who has successfully recovered wages and other monetary damages for thousands of employees and consumers. He was named Top Labor & Employment Attorney in California by the Daily Journal, consistently selected as Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine, and is the recipient of PABA’s Community Champion Award for 2016.]

Client’s ‘friend’ uses her identity to borrow $80K in credit cards

on the purchase. She can sue Ms. Crook for $8,000 if she wants to because Ms. Crook defrauded her. Clearly, Ms. Crook took advantage of her inability to speak English and trust as her “friend” to buy $12,000 of jewelry but made it appear to her that she was only helping her buy $2,000 of jewelry. Sorry to say, client was a sucker for a con game. Three months after, the client received statements from 10 credit cards that she never applied for, with total purchases of $70,000! Looks like Ms. Crook went on a shopping spree, using client’s social security, name and good credit to open $70,000 of new credit card debt! She gets more than 30 calls a day from creditors that she has never contacted before, all collecting past due accounts from her. It certainly looks like a massive fraud perpetrated by Ms. Crook on the client. I told the client that I can contact each credit card company to inform them that this is a case of identity fraud, and she would be required to report this matter to the police. But for the JCPenny account for $12,000, she’s on the hook for that one. I also told her to sue Ms. Crook. However, the client told me that Ms. Crook has left the country and is nowhere to be found. I told the client that she can also get a fresh start by discharging the $82,000 with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The client agreed that this is the most effective and simplest way to solve the chaos caused by Ms. Crook. I warned the client to never to give her social security number and personal information to anyone, or the same thing is going to happen again. Creditor puts a lien on client’s house for $16K in credit card identity theft The second client is 85 years old. She’s been here for a long time but can’t speak English. She owns a house in Los Angeles. She was in the process of transferring ownership of the house to her children when she found out that there was a judgment lien

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During those perplexing... PAGE C2 t

Jesus sat and ate with the frightened disciples. And it in those times the disciples experienced the power of Resurrection. Their eyes and hearts opened as Jesus spoke to them about the Scriptures and broke bread with them. Let the words of Psalm 4 this Sunday come from our lips in disconcerting times: Lord, let your face shine upon us. When I call, answer me, O my

just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer! Oh Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! You put gladness into my heart. As soon as I like down, I fall peacefully asleep, For you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling. ***

From a Filipino immigrant family, Reverend Rodel G. Balagtas was ordained to the priesthood from St. John’s Seminary in 1991. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Augustine, Culver City (1991-1993); St. Martha, Valinda (1993-1999); and St. Joseph the Worker, Canoga Park (19912001). In 2001, he served as Administrator Pro Tem of St. John Neumann in Santa Maria, CA, until his appointment as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Los Angeles, in 2002, which lasted 12 years. His term as Associate Director of Pastoral Field Education at St. John’s Seminary began in July 2014.


USCIS policy allows waiting beneficiaries of approved I-130 filed by Filipino WWII veteran fathers or surviving spouses to come to US ahead of their priority date UNDER the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) policy, USCIS allows certain beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions to request a grant of parole so that they may come to the U.S. as they wait for their priority date to become current. The policy recognizes the contributions of Filipino veterans who served in World War II, and allows relatives of such elderly Filipino veterans and their spouses to come to the U.S. to provide care and support for them. USCIS considers requests for FWVP parole submitted for certain relatives who are the beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions filed by Filipino veterans or their surviving spouses. If the request for parole is approved, the beneficiary and his/her immediate family would be allowed to come to the U.S. and live in the U.S. while waiting for their priority date to become current, at which point they would be allowed to adjust to permanent resident status. Those who may request parole under FWVP are persons 1) who are the beneficiaries of an approved I-130 Petition (including spouse and children); 2) whose petitioning relative is residing in the U.S. (or if deceased, was residing in the U.S. at the time of death); 3) who are waiting for their priority date to become current under the Department of State’s visa bulletin; and 4) whose petitioning relatives have established

Legal Advice Atty. DArrick tAn they are either Filipino World War II Veterans or are the surviving spouse. Under FWVP, the Filipino World War II veteran must have served in World War II as a member of the Philippine Army, a recognized guerilla unit, the Philippines Scouts, or within any other component of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE). USCIS will review government records to verify the Filipino World War II veteran’s military service. The petitioner who requested parole for his relative beneficiary under FWVP will be provided an opportunity to establish the World War II service if it cannot be found in government records. When the petitioning relative in the U.S. is the Filipino World War II veteran, individuals who obtain parole under FWVP include beneficiaries under any family-sponsored preference category. When the petitioning relative in the U.S. is the surviving spouse of a Filipino World War II veteran, only individuals who are the child, son, or daughter of the surviving spouse who is also the child, son, or daughter of the Filipino World War II veteran can seek parole under FWVP. In cases where the petition-

ing relative is deceased, a beneficiary may seek parole under FWVP but first must seek humanitarian reinstatement of the approved I-130 filed on the beneficiary’s behalf. Once the I-130 is reinstated, the beneficiary may seek parole under FWVP. It is important to note that the above requirements are preliminary requirements for eligibility under FWVP. The grant of parole by USCIS under FWVP is made on a discretionary, case-by-case basis. In addition, following the first 4 years of FWVP’s implementation, USCIS will evaluate whether FWVP should be phased out at the end of 5 years. It is accordingly recommended that you promptly seek the advice and assistance of an experienced attorney, who can confirm eligibility and present facts in support of the favorable exercise of discretion by USCIS in granting the parole request. *** Darrick V. Tan, Esq. is admitted to practice law in California and Nevada. Mr. Tan is a graduate of UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law. He is a member of the Consumers Attorney Association of Los Angeles and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Philipp ine American Bar Association. *** LAW OFFICES OF DARRICK V. TAN, 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Tel: (323) 6390277. Email: (Advertising Supplement)

Will incorporating a separate property... PAGE C2 t

community may still acquire an apportionment interest if the value of the business substantially appreciated during the marriage due to the labor and hard work of the managing spouse during the marriage. The apportionment calculation is done using the formula in the Pereira or Van Camp case where the contributions of for $16,000 on her fully paid res- effort and return on capital are idence. Apparently, it was made separated from the value of the to appear that she was served business. with summons and complaint to collect the $16,000 owed to a Discover card in her name three years ago. A judgment lien subsequently ensued that attached to her residence. The client has never applied for any credit cards in her entire life. Now she wants to get rid of the lien. Is it possible to do so? Sure it is. Since the judgment arose from an identity theft claim, she will win this lawsuit on the merits after the judgment is vacated. She would have to vacate the judgment on the ground that she was never served with summons and complaint. The proof of service made it appear that she was served on a certain date at a specific place. The truth is on that date, the client was in the hospital and she had the medical records to prove it. Since she was never served with the summons and complaint, she can file a motion to set aside or vacate the judgment because the court never acquired personal jurisdiction over the client. There will be a hearing set for this motion. When the court grants the motion to vacate or set aside the judgment, the lien will also be ordered removed. *** Disclaimer: The foregoing is an expression of opinion and is not meant to be legal advice to any reader. There is no attorney-client relationship established by this article with the reader. If you want to discuss your situation, you have to set an appointment to consult with the attorney. The first general consultation is free. *** Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803 or at 20274 Carrey Road, Walnut, CA 91789. (Advertising Supplement)


*** Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

*** Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail or visit our website at (Advertising Supplement)


Calendar of Events across

COMMUNITY JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

People and Events



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.

Philippine Medical Association of Southern CA to hold inaugural ball in Anaheim, CA The Philippine Medical Association of Southern California (PMASC) and its auxiliary will be holding its biennial inaugural ball on Saturday, April 14 at the Anaheim Marriott (700 W Convention Way, Anaheim, CA). This grand occasion will be attended by several Filipino physicians and its guests to raise funds for humanitarian purposes, specifically its outreach programs including medical missions to the Philippines and Southern California. The association has been conducting such purposes for 46 years since its founding in 1971. For more information and tickets, please contact Dr. Emma Arella at (661) 794-3322, Dr. Ellen Abejuela at (909) 859-4865 or PMASC Executive Office at (562) 572-2481.

NaFFAA to host Northern California Civic Leadership Forum: SPARK, CONNECT, EMPOWER in San Francisco On Saturday, April 14, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) will host “SPARK, CONNECT, EMPOWER,” a day-long forum on civic leadership and empowerment within the Filipino American community. The forum will be held at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, and is co-sponsored by the CLF Foundation, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, and AARP. “SPARK, CONNECT, EMPOWER” will feature prominent Filipino American elected officials and community leaders who will discuss topics ranging from personal and professional development, to civic engagement and local advocacy. According to the U.S. Census, Filipinos are the second largest Asian American population in California. In fact, of the nearly 4 million Filipinos living in the United States, 1.5 million (nearly 40%) live in the state. In line with NaFFAA’s vision, the Civic Leadership Forum aims to harness the knowledge and potential of this growing community in order to unite, engage, and empower diverse Filipino American organizations and individuals in the Northern California area. Through “SPARK, CONNECT, EMPOWER,” NaFFAA hopes attendees will spark new ideas, connect with dynamic leaders, and empower themselves and others to get involved in community activism. The program includes a forum: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Reception: 6:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m. (sponsored by Tanduay Rum). It will be held at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, Kalayaan Hall - 447 Sutter St; San Francisco, CA 94108. Guests include 100 Filipino American leaders, including Assemblymember Rob Bonta and Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. For the full schedule and speaker biographies, please visit


Family reunion in Las Vegas A surprise family reunion to coincide with the celebration of Rex & Nenita’s 60th wedding anniversary will be held at Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 21. The couple wed on the bride’s birthday on April 12, 1958 celebrating her 84th year, making this three reasons to celebrate. Rex first immigrated to the U.S. 51 years ago after serving with the U.S. Army Philippine Scouts and one year thereafter he was joined with his wife and their four young children. Joining the celebration are children Evelyn, Evangeline, Elizabeth, Enrico and their families, grandchildren, great grandchildren and close friends.

A P R I L 29

Pilita Corrales concert in New York l Pilita Corrales, “Asia’s Queen of Songs,” will headline a dinner and show entitled “A Million Thanks to You” on Sunday, April 29. The dinner will be buffet and comes with a ticket. Show begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel (135-20 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354). For tickets, please contact: Baby Lantin at (917) 916-6770 / (718) 608-7771, Ching (917) 294-6783, Nel (347) 738-3025, Joji (908) 783-2680, Tessa (732) 492-4170, or Bong (646) 289-0917.


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: http://www.

M AY 3 -1 2

34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival The 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will be presented May 3 - May 12, 2018 at select cinemas in the Los Angeles area. A key highlight of the annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month activities, the Festival is produced by Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, and enjoys broad support from cinema artists and audiences alike. Since 1983, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival has presented over 4,000 films, videos, and digital mediaworks by Asian international and Asian Pacific American artists, and additionally features seminars and panels, in-person guest appearances, and filmmaker awards. The Film Festival continues to be the largest festival of its kind in Southern California and is the premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema. To learn about Visual Communications, visit www.

M AY 1 8

The Asian American Group to celebrate first annual Asian Culture Day in Las Vegas On Friday, May 18, the Asian American Group (AAG) will celebrate the first annual Asian Culture Day. The event will be held at the Conference Center of Las Vegas (6590 Bermuda Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89119), and will start at 6 p.m. There will be a variety of Asian dishes and cultural performances at the celebration. The primary goal of the Asian Culture Day celebration is to invite and unite the Asian nations of the world, and to educate and share their respective cultures in order to achieve greater understanding and fellowship between nations. The annual Asian Culture Day was established by Senate Bill 175, which proclaims every 18th of May as Asian Culture Day in the state of Nevada. The bill was introduced and authored by State Senator Scott Hammond, and was signed into law by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval last year. The bill gives recognition to the Asians and Asian-Americans who were instrumental in the settlement and early development of the State of Nevada; the culture and traditions shared by Asians and AsianAmericans; and the Asian and Asian-American communities that continue to make important contributions to the cultural, religious, political, and business environment. To purchase tickets visit

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at or

San Pedro’s Philippine Expressions

Bookshop celebrates National Poetry Month with reading by 5 contemporary poets TO celebrate National Poetry Month, Philippine Expressions Bookshop will present the work of five contemporary poets at its San Pedro location on Saturday, April 14. The invited poets include James Preston Allen, Felix Fojas, Vics Magsaysay, Giovanni Ortega and Jason Magabo Perez. The Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996 and believes poetry holds an important place not just in our culture but also in our everyday lives. Considered the largest literary celebration in the world, Philippine Expressions Bookshop owner Linda Nietes will join other poets, readers, librarians, teachers and literary event curators from all over the country in offering programming to encourage 1) the reading of poems, 2) increased publication and distribution of poetry books and 3) encourage support for poets and poetry. In keeping with the bookshops goal to promote Filipino authors and writing, the event will honor Francisco Balagtas, a prominent Filipino poet whose 230th birthday fell on April 2 (April 2, 1788-February 20, 1862) as well. A local “Makata,” Vics Magsaysay will be the sole reader of poetry written in Pilipino, the national language of the Philippines. The five poets that will be reading their work include San Pedro figure James Preston Allen, the publisher of Random Lengths News, one of the few remaining independent and progressive publications left in the greater Los Angeles area. For over three decades he has been a guiding progressive political force in the greater Los Angeles Harbor community focusing his keen editorial eye on a multitude of issues both local and international. He has lectured at Pepperdine College, UC Irvine, Los Angeles Harbor College and various high schools on journalism, history, current events and politics. Also reading is Felix Fojas, an award-winning and internationally published writer with a BA in comparative literature from the University of the Philippines, an MA in linguistics and literature from De La Salle University in the Philippines, an d a Ph.D in Metaphysical Science from the University of Metaphysics in Hollywood, California. His book The Supernatural and Beyond printed by the University of Arizona, which has been m ade into a movie by Up and Away Productions of Hollywood, California, will soon be released worldwide. Multi-faceted artist Vics Magsaysay will also be joining. He was born in Manila and studied chemical and civil engineering. It didn’t take long after college that Vics found his true passion – the multi-faceted field of the arts. He is a self-taught fine art nature photographer, painter, sculptor, graphic and furniture designer, writer and “makata” or Pilipino/Tagalog poet. Vics’ mom was from Bulacan. She was a teacher and loved to write Tagalog poems. When she passed away in 2008, Vics started to write more of his brand of “tula” or poems.

From CSU San Bernardino is Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing, Jason Magabo Perez. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California and a dual Ph.D. in Communication and Ethnic Studies from UCSD. The author of the chapbook, Phenomenology of Superhero (2016), and The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito (2009) and You Will Gonna Go Crazy (2011), His latest work, This is for the Mostless is a lyrical collection of autobiographical poems, essays, fictions, and oral histories that celebrates and mourns the multiple migrations and afterlives of grandmothers, gangsters, girlfriends, superheroes, and poets. Fellow poet and Pomona College Assistant Professor is Actor, Author and Director, Giovanni Ortega. His latest work is Ang Gitano/The Gypsy, a multilingual collection of prose and poetry about the longing one carries when they leave home, and the nostalgia that follows upon their return. From the Philippines to Colombia and the Dominican Republic, from Australia to Singapore and eventually navigating the Deep South, it follows different characters in their journey of self- discovery and diasporic displacement. Together in one afternoon, these five poets will offer variant moods and styles of poems written and read from the heart. Come celebrate poetry at the Philippine Expressions Bookshop (479 W. Sixth Street, Suite 105, San Pedro, CA 90731) from 3:00 pm – 6:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and a Q &A session will follow the readings. Seating is limited, and RSVPs are encouraged by phone (310) 514-9139 or through email

Don’t let abusive bill collectors...


creditor usually files what is called an “Abstract of Judgment” with the County Recorders Office where your real property is located. This creates a lien on your real property and makes the creditor a secured creditor. Liens on your property would have to be paid off in full if you ever decide to sell your property in the future. Furthermore, liens are not automatically removed by filing for Bankruptcy. In certain cases, however, a Bankruptcy attorney may remove such liens using lien avoidance techniques available under Bankruptcy law. If you are being pursued by creditors because of delinquent debt obligations or if your situation is headed in that direction, don’t wait until the last minute to protect what you have. Remember that the longer you wait and ignore your debt problems, the worse your situation will get. Debt problems cannot be ignored and will blow up in your face someday; it’s just a matter of time. I am often told by people who

consult our office regarding bankruptcy that they are tired of rude, obnoxious bill collectors who call them almost all day long at home and at work. I am told that these bill collectors are often condescending in their attitude and most people are often afraid of even talking to them. Please be aware that there are federal and state laws that control what bill collectors can and cannot do while trying to collect a debt. In spite of these laws, however, a lot of these bill collectors who break the law often get away with it because people are so afraid of them and so embarrassed about their situation that very few take action to enforce their rights under the debt collection laws. Filing for bankruptcy automatically stops creditor harassment and abuse. The Bankruptcy Code states that upon filing of a petition, all collection efforts must stop. A creditor who willfully violates federal law can be sued in court and be ordered to pay damages. Being in debt does not make

you a “bad” person unless you intentionally defrauded your creditors for selfish gain. Do not ever, ever let a bill collector make you feel that you have committed a crime just because you cannot pay your debts. Whatever the reasons are for being where you are, do not let anyone judge you. Find a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who will take time to understand your situation and help you find a way out of your problems. If you are experiencing debt problems and don’t know what your options are, we would like to help. To schedule a free confidential consultation, please call Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772. We have offices located in Glendale, Cerritos and Valencia. *** None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped thousands of clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1 (866) 477-7772. (Advertising Supplement)

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USCIS to destroy undeliverable green cards and work authorizations

Immigration Corner ATTY. MICHAEL GURFINKEL, ESQ ON April 3, 2018, the USCIS announced that it will start destroying green cards and work authorizations that are returned to it as “undeliverable.” If the document is returned, the person has only 60 days to contact USCIS and update their address. Many times, people file for immigration benefits, such as green cards, work authorizations, petitions, adjustment of status, etc. While the petition or application is pending, they move to another address and send a postcard to the post office to forward mail from their old address, thinking this is sufficient to ensure receipt of mail from their old address. It is not. First, the address change to the post office may only be valid for one year, after which the post office will return mail to the sender. Many immigration benefits take longer than one year. Therefore, notifying the post office alone is not enough to protect you. Instead, you need to advise the USCIS directly of your address change, either online or by mail and make sure you have written confirmation of USCIS’s receipt of your address change request. Making a phone call to

them will not document the fact you notified them, as there is no written record. And the consequences of not informing the government of an address change can be severe. As they warn, they will destroy green cards and work authorizations returned as undeliverable. In addition, the USCIS may serve a Request for Evidence (RFE) years after a petition is filed, asking for additional information or documents. A person is typically given 87 days to respond. If the person moved, but did not notify the USCIS, the RFE will be returned as undeliverable, and the person obviously would not have responded. The case would then be denied due to “abandonment,” and it would be difficult to have it revived or reopened. In the meantime, the person is waiting for years (at their new address) for their petition approval or green card processing, totally unaware their case was denied. And the same is true for notifying the National Visa Center (NVC) of address changes. Once a petition is approved, and the person will process for their immigrant visa abroad, the case is sent to NVC to be put in storage until the priority date is current, which may be years away. When the priority date is close to being current, the NVC will start sending notices, forms, and fee bills to the person at the last address they have on file, which may be the address when the petition was filed. The person is given one year to re-

spond to the NVC’s notices, and if no response is received, NVC will shred or destroy the file, and the priority date is lost. Therefore, even if you advise USCIS of your address change, if your case is at the NVC, you must also notify NVC to avoid your case being terminated. If you filed your case years ago, or your green card never arrived, you should consult with an immigration attorney, who can look into the matter, track down the document, and hopefully make sure your case was not denied or terminated due to non-response. *** Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: Follow us on and Twitter @GurfinkelLaw Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: (866)—GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES · SAN FRANCISCO · NEW YORK · PHILIPPINES

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Business Quote of the Week “Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.” — Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook



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Providence Little Company of Mary unveils tower signs named for Donald & Priscilla Hunt in honor of record $20 million gift Enhancements to the Del Vicario Cardiovascular Center of Excellence will improve South Bay cardiac care

TORRANCE, Calif. – Mayor Pro-Tempore Geoff Rizzo, hospital administration and foundation members gathered for the Donald and Priscilla Hunt Family to unveil signage announcing the Donald & Priscilla Hunt Tower at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance. The Hunts’ record-setting gift enables the completion of advanced cardiovascular facilities and programs which benefit patients through the south bay community. Three signs, one at the main entrance to the hospital’s former Heritage Tower, were placed to honor the Family’s $20 million gift to the Del Vicario Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. Torrance Mayor Pro-Tempore Geoff Rizzo, offered thanks and praise for the Hunt Family’s philanthropic generosity. “I am very pleased to join with so many other community leaders in Torrance to honor and thank Priscilla Hunt and her family for their extraordinary contribution to community health care,” said Mayor Pro-Tempore Rizzo. “Our community is a beacon of opportunity and achievement precisely because we have dedicated community members working with partners like Providence Little Company of Mary to ensure the well-being of our residents and businesses.” The Hunt Family’s gift is the largest single gift that Providence Little Company of Mary

technology throughout the Del Vicario Cardiovascular Center of Excellence. “I’m very proud of being involved with the cardiovascular center of excellence with Providence Little Company of Mary, said Priscilla Hunt. “My family and I are grateful to have the chance to honor my husband’s legacy with such an important contribution to our community’s well-being.” Trustees of the Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation approved the campaign in 2014 with the hope that all members of the south bay community, especially the poor and the vulnerable, would benefit from continued access to worldclass cardiovascular care. “Providence Little Company of Mary is a community hospital that relies on the generosity and support of its friends and neighbors. We partner to invest in our facilities, programs and caregivers so we remain on the forefront of advancements in health care,” added Mark Paullin, chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees. “Extraordinary gifts such as this one from the Hunt Family deserve our highest level of gratitude, and serve as an inspiration has received in its 58-year his- Mary Kingston, chief executive, hancements at the hospital to so many others who share a tory. “This is a transformational South Bay Community. “I extend include a Electrophysiology love for the South Bay.” Before the formal unveiling gift for this ministry that allows heartfelt gratitude and apprecia- Lab, three new Catheterization us to advance and broaden our tion for the Hunt Family’s gener- Rooms, a Hybrid Operating at dusk, guests joined Priscilla’s cardiovascular program in ways osity, and their compassion for Suite, an expansion of the Angi- son, Ralph Moore, in singing ography Recovery Unit and $10 happy birthday to her. The octhat will benefit the South Bay our community.” Current and planned en- million of new equipment and for another generation,” said

casion of her birthday included a striking birthday cake in the form of a three-dimensional replica of the new Hunt Tower. Providence Health & Services, Southern California, is a Catholic not-for-profit, mission-driven healthcare system. Providence Southern California operates six award-winning hospitals and a comprehensive, fully-integrated network of primary care clinics, urgent care centers, home care, TrinityCare and TrinityKids Care hospice as well as Providence High School. Providence is anchored locally by Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Providence Tarzana Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. With more than 3,400 physicians, Providence provides coordinated primary and specialty care through an array of physician groups and individual providers including Providence Medical Institute and physician groups in the South Bay, the West Valley and Santa Clarita. Providence affiliate, Facey Medical Group, provides primary and specialized care in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys. For more information, visit

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World Bank sees steady 6.7% Global watchdog checks Philippine compliance with anti-money growth for Philippines by czeriza


MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expected to remain among the fastest-growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific with steady growth of 6.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, the World Bank said on Thursday, April 12. In its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, the international financial institution said the Philippines is seen tracking growth prospects in the region, characterized by robust domestic demand and strong business confidence. “The Philippines will see steady growth,” said Sudhir Shetty, World Bank chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific in a video conference Thursday. Shetty cautioned, however, that as with other countries in the region, external risks remain such as the faster-than-expected rise in interest rates in advanced economies and possible escalation of trade tension between China and the U.S. These short-term challenges, he said, would require tighter monetary policy and larger fiscal buffers. “The time is likely to be right for further tightening of monetary policy in most economies in developing East Asia and in the Philippines, I think I would reinforce this as we see inflation rising and that would bolster the case for tightening of monetary policy,” he said. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has revised downward the 2017 fourth quarter growth figure to 6.5 percent from 6.6. percent, but the full-year 2017

by Lawrence

laundering standards


“The Philippines will see steady growth,” said Sudhir Shetty, World Bank chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific in a video conference Thursday. photo

GDP growth rate was maintained at 6.7 percent. Shetty said boosting growth in the long-term entails heightened public and private investments, improving productivity and strengthening human capital. Growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific is seen to grow at a slower pace of 6.3 percent in 2018 and 6.1 percent in 2019 from 6.6 percent in 2017. While, slower, this is still seen to be robust and stable. Growth is especially seen faster in the ASEAN region because of improved investment and consumption as well as agricultural output. Growth in China, the region’s largest economy, meanwhile, is seen to slow down as its economy continues to rebalance from being investment-driven to a consumption-driven one. “While the region’s growth outlook is positive, there are challenges for policy makers in the short and medium term,” said Shetty. “Addressing these challenges

require measures to dampen the possible impact of a more rapid pace of monetary policy tightening in advanced economies as well as to enhance longer-term growth prospects in the face of policy uncertainty, particularly around global trade.” To address moderating growth prospects across the region in the medium term, Shetty said countries will need to harness longterm growth strategies such as improving public spending and infrastructure provision; deepening trade integration and improving trade facilitation; implementing reforms to enhance competitiveness; and building human capital. With increasing trade protectionism, countries in the region can respond by deepening its own trade integration and facilitation, through mechanisms such as the ASEAN Economic Community, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and even the China-led Belt and Road Initiative.

MANILA, Philippines — A global watchdog is set to evaluate the compliance of the Philippines with international anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards. Malacañang has tasked the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to lead the preparation of the third round of mutual evaluations to be undertaken by the Asia Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering this year to gauge the country’s levels of compliance. The review consists of two phases, namely, the technical compliance assessment and the effectiveness assessment. The first phase involves submission of the report of technical compliance by next month, which is intended to check whether the existing laws, regulations, legal issuances, and enforceable means comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards and criteria. There are four possible levels of compliance: compliant, largely compliant, partially compliant and non-compliant. The second phase includes turning in the report on the effectiveness of the country’s existing AML/CFT system in July. The APG mutual evaluations team consisting of legal, financial, regulatory, FIU, and law enforcement experts will visit the country in November to validate the report through a series of interviews with local supervisors, government and law enforcement agencies and pri-

Grab-Uber deal seen to curtail competition

by roy

Stephen c. caniVeL

THE market might suffer from the “substantial lessening of competition” once Grab completes its takeover of rival Uber in the country, according to the complete copy of a recent order of the country’s antitrust body. The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) released yesterday, April 11 the full text of the commission order that listed the interim measures imposed on the Grab-Uber deal. This is not yet the decision of the PCC, given that the competi-

tion watchdog is still reviewing the transaction. However, this sheds light on PCC’s take on the case, including rebuttals against the usual defenses raised by Grab, Uber and position of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). A copy of the text is available online. Last month, Grab announced it would acquire Uber in Southeast Asia, calling it the largest acquisition by a Southeast Asian internetbased company. Officials of Grab and Uber said the deal would not lead to a sub-

stantial lessening of competition because there were other means of transportation, citing “tricycles and pedicabs” as among those other means. PCC, however, said this definition of the market was “overly broad.” Instead, the market in question should only be limited to transport network companies (TNCs) under which Grab and Uber qualify. “Based on this preliminary assessment, the commission finds reasonable grounds that substantial lessening of competition may result from the transaction, adversely affecting the TNC market,” the order

read. Citing data from LTFRB, PCC said Grab and Uber had about 60,000 partner-vehicles. Grab, for its part, has about 29,446 drivers. If the deal is carried out and Uber services stop, PCC said there was “reason to assume” that all Uber drivers would transfer to Grab. By that point, Grab would have 93.22 percent shares of the TNC market. This is a larger estimate, given that PCC chair Arsenio Balisacan previously said the deal would give Grab 80 percent of the market.

“Surpassing the mutual evaluations requires not only narrating, but also showing that the country conforms to international standards and that the systems in place achieve their purpose. Show and tell, as the APG Secretariat has mentioned,” Mel Georgie Racela, executive director of the AMLC Secretariat, said. File photo courtesy of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

vate stakeholders concerned. The results of the third evaluation would be deliberated upon and published in 2019. Mel Georgie Racela, executive director of the AMLC Secretariat, said the Philippines needs to show it conforms to international standards on AML/CFT. “Surpassing the mutual evaluations requires not only narrating, but also showing that the country conforms to international standards and that the systems in place achieve their purpose. Show and tell, as the APG Secretariat has mentioned,” he said. Racela said the review system among APG members is about intensifying the world’s fight against ML/TF through cooperation and commitment across borders and across cultures. “The mutual evaluations, however, is not about the AMLC or any government agency. It’s about the Philippines. Maintaining a suitable investment climate is intimately connected to preserving the integrity of the financial system, and the country’s respective agencies can contribute in a very tangible way in this regard,” he said. Last year, the AMLC led the second National Risk Assessment (NRA) Report, covering the years 2015 and 2016. It evaluated the overall threat and effectiveness of the country’s AML/CFT mechanisms, and the report would be one of the instruments to be assessed during the mutual evaluations process. The Philippines has come a long way from the second mutual

evaluations back in 2009. In 2013, the country was removed from the gray list of the FATF’s International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG), as most of the deficiencies identified in the second mutual evaluations have been addressed, such as the passage of Republic Act 10168 or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012. In addition, the passage of RA 10365 strengthened the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended, with additional predicate offenses in accordance with FATF-designated categories of offenses. A poor rating in the mutual evaluation would put the country back on the ICRG’s “monitored jurisdictions,” deeming the Philippines as a high-risk jurisdiction. Consequently, this will lead to additional scrutiny from regulators and financial institutions that discourage trade and investment and increase the cost of doing business. Restrictions, such as limits to the amount of cross-border transactions with the Philippines, may be imposed. Remittance transaction fees, for example, would rise, and for overseas Filipinos, this would mean less money intended for the basic needs of their families back home. The outcome of the mutual evaluations could also reshape the country’s financial and economic landscape through the adoption of responsive and effective policies that are based on reliable data to combat ML/TF.

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DENR hints of mine closures, suspensions by Louise



MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is certain that some mining companies will be closed and suspended based on the partial results of its review. DENR is set to release this month its decision on the appeals made by the 23 mining firms that were ordered closed and suspended by former environment secretary Gina Lopez due to environmental violations. “What I am very sure of is there will be companies that will be ordered (closed and suspended). Our partial results will be harmonized with those of MICC’s (Mining Industry Coordinating Council),” said DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu. “Major violation committed by most of the companies is illegal cutting,” he added. “We have some partial results, but we are waiting for results from MICC. We’re supposed to release it last month, but they sought for extension, so we’ll do it this month,” he said.


Two consortiums have submitted their separate unsolicited proposals to upgrade Manila’s aging airport. file photo

Government eyes turning NAIA into real estate development hub by ian

nicoLas cigaraL

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ transportation chief on Friday, April 13 disclosed that the government is considering closing the 70-year-old Ninoy Aquino International Airport and transforming it into a real estate development area, saying the DENR is set to release this month its decision on the appeals made by the 23 mining firms country’s premier gateway “will that were ordered closed and suspended by former environment secretary Gina Lopez due to not last forever.” environmental violations. file photo Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the economic Some anti-mining groups penalties. e a r l i e r e x p re s s e d c o n c e r n Cimatu said the DENR’s or- team is eyeing to turn the overthat Cimatu might reverse der would be final and execu- stretched airport into a property development area that will be the decision and just impose tory.


bigger than the Bonifacio Global City, the capital’s newest financial district in Taguig City, Manila. “It will be eight to nine years at most 10 years... that is the life span of NAIA. Why? Because of the congested area and because of the technology at the airport,” Tugade said during the second leg of the Philippine Economic Briefing 2018 in Clark, Pampanga. Two consortiums have submitted their separate unsolicited proposals to upgrade Manila’s aging airport. In February, a team of tycoons,

which has a combined capitalization of more than P2.2 trillion, said they submitted a $6.7-billion offer to rehabilitate NAIA. Listed builder Megawide Construction Corp. and its Indian partner, GMR, later announced they want to give NAIA a $3-billion makeover. Seeing the deterioration of the Manila airport, Tugade said the government is “entertaining” proposals to build airports outside the capital, including offers to establish new and modern airports in Bulacan and Sangley Point in Cavite.






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