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OCTOBER 10-16, 2019


Volume 30 - No. 41 • 16 Pages

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Ruling on Marcos poll protest vs Robredo deferred anew by JEROME ANING, JHESSET ENANO, JULIE AURELIO

MANILA — The Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), on Tuesday, October 8, deferred for the third time its ruling on the protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo. “The said case remains pending and is still being deliberated [on] by members of the tribunal,” lawyer Brian Hosaka, Supreme Court public information chief, said in a text message. Sources in the high tribunal Supporters of former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. flash peace signs on their way to the Ermita church where they heard a solidarity Mass while waiting for word from the said the decision would be finalSupreme Court. photo by DJ Diosina

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VIGILANT. Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo gather at the Supreme Court compound in Manila on Tuesday, October 8, to await the electoral tribunal’s ruling on the poll protest case. photo by DJ Diosina

De Lima: ‘US senators’ move to ban my oppressors not a PR tour de force’


DATELINE Immigrants who can’t afford health care may be denied visas FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA



New Trump rule set to take effect Nov. 3 IN a new controversy that combines two of the hottest-button issues — immigration and healthcare — President Donald Trump on Friday, October 4 announced that incoming immigrants will be turned away if they can’t prove they’re covered by health insurance or have the means to afford insurance. The latest in a consistent to-do list of immigration restrictions says immigrants are required to show that they have or can afford health insurance within 30 days of entering the country. Trump provided the current political battle over healthcare as a reason for the proclamation. In other words, the government shouldn’t exacerbate a problem by risking increasing the pool of uninsured, the president said.

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Senator Leila De Lima

Senate photo

SENATOR Leila De Lima disputed on Wednesday, October 9, the pronouncement of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin that the proposal of the United States Senate appropriations committee to ban Filipino officials who are behind her detention from setting foot in the country is “obviously a PR tour de force” and an act of “interference.” “No, Sir. It’s nothing like that. It’s about

standing up, in concrete terms, for human rights and accountability. It’s a matter of truth and justice,” De Lima said in a statement. “These principles, which are revered in democratic societies like the U.S., are being discarded like garbage by the increasingly authoritarian Duterte regime,” the opposition senator said. The U.S. Senate committee approved on September 27 an amendment to a bill seeking to deny entry to Filipinos behind what it

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Sandiganbayan junks P1-B forfeiture case vs Marcoses by REINA LEANNE


THE Sandiganbayan has dismissed for lack of evidence the P1.052-billion forfeiture case filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) against former president Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda, and Rustan’s Corp. founders Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. and Gliceria Tantoco The court’s Second Division junked Civil Case 008 filed in 1988. The government sought the forfeiture of expensive works of art and jewelry, real estate properties in New York, Hawaii, Rome, Italy and Forbes Park

in Makati City, three Cessna planes, as well as duty-free shops franchises, Rustan International Marketing, Eagle Mining Corp., Rustan Pulp and Paper Factory, cars and cash. Also charged were Bienvenido Tantoco Jr., Maria Lourdes Tantoco-Pineda and Dominador Santiago. The court ordered the substitution of Marcos’ heirs after his death in 1989. “After circumspect evaluation of the evidence on record, the Court is constrained to rule that the plaintiff Republic failed to President Rodrigo Duterte is greeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin after delivering his prove the allegations,” the court said in a speech during the plenary session of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club

US-PH military drill kicks off in Subic Bay Palace: Honest, competent PNP chief needed Group cautions against PH-Russia

A 10-day joint military training involving more than 1,500 Filipino and American troops officially began in Subic Bay on Wednesday, October 9. The military drill was dubbed “Kamandag” or “Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma ng Dagat (Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea) is on its third edition. The training is a Philippine-led military training exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. forces that will run until Oct. 18, according to Capt. Felix Serapio, director of the Marine Corps Public Affairs Office. Maj. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey, chief of the Northern Luzon Command, led the opening ceremony of the exercise at the Subic Bay International Airport here on Wednesday morning. According to Serapio, the drill focuses on combined interoperability activities and hu-

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at the Polyana 1389 Hotel in Sochi, Russia last October 3.

Malacañang photo

plan to explore nuclear power


MANILA — Malacañang only has two words to describe the one who will succeed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde when he retires next month: “competent, honest.” “Competence, honesty, it’s always on that qualification… If you are honest, you are not corrupt. If you’re honest, you are not relative to any anomaly... as in every organization, that is the standard,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a regular media briefing on Tuesday, October 8. The PNP has been rocked by controversy arising from the testimony of a former police general that Albayalde had tried to intervene in a drug raid in 2013 that led to recycling of several kilos of drugs supposedly intercepted by the police.

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Philippine National Police chief, General Oscar Albayalde, explains his side on the alleged involvement with “ninja cops” in the recycling of confiscated illegal drugs, during the Senate hearing on Wednesday, October 9. PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

MANILA — A fisherfolk’s federation on Wednesday, October 9, warned against exploring the use of nuclear power, which the Philippines and Russia have agreed to look into after President Rodrigo Duterte’s five-day official visit there. According to the Palace, among the agreements signed during the president’s Russia trip, was on the “intention to jointly explore the prospects of cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants.” But Pamalakaya National Chair-

person Fernando Hicap said considering nuclear power is “foolishness” that invites tragedy. “Mga malalakas na bagyo nga ay hindi pa nakaka-rekober ang mga mamamayan dahil inutil ang gubyerno sa rehabilitasyon, iyan pang nuclear-nuclear na iyan ang inaatupag nila,” Hicap, former Anakpawis party-list representative (The people have not even recovered from strong typhoons because the government is failing at rehabilitation, and they’re looking at nuclear power instead), said. Hicap said the country is vulnerable to earthquakes and typhoons, making nuclear energy

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OctOber 10-16, 2019 • LAS VeGAS ASIAN JOUrNAL

From The FronT Page

Ruling on Marcos poll protest...


ized during an en banc session on Oct. 15, three days before the retirement of Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and 11 days before the retirement of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. The PET was expected to decide whether or not it approves the report submitted on Sept. 9 by

Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa regarding the revision of ballots in three provinces identified by the Marcos camp as allegedly marred by fraud, namely, Camarines Norte, Iloilo and Negros Oriental. The son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos filed the electoral protest after losing to Robredo by a mar-

gin of some 260,000 in 2016. Whatever the tribunal decision, Robredo lawyer Romulo Macalintal said, it would only resolve whether or not the protest case would continue. Robredo remains Vice President, he said. President Rodrigo Duterte “will not intrude” in the case, Malacañang said. n

De Lima: ‘US senators’ move to ban...

PAGE 1 calls “wrongful imprisonment” of De Lima, who has been detained since February 2017 as she faces drug charges for her alleged involvement in the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison when she was Justice secretary. De Lima has since denied the accusation and claimed it was motivated by political persecution as she has been a vocal critic

of President Rodrigo Duterte. “I hope that our functionaries, especially those whose very mandate is to dispense justice in this country and those who directly deal with the diplomatic community, are sensitive and clear-minded enough to appreciate the dimensions and underlying sentiments behind the concerted efforts abroad to stand by me and my causes,”

said De Lima. The detained senator said it is “unfortunate” that Bersamin “would choose to downplay as a mere PR feat the clear-cut significance of the U.S. senators’ action.” “Perhaps, a self-reflection on the part of the institutions with varying roles in facilitating Duterte’s vendetta against me, is called for,” she added. n

US-PH military drill kicks off in Subic...

PAGE 1 manitarian projects. Troops from the Japan SelfDefense Forces are also joining the war games. The participating forces will engage in assault amphibious vehicle and low-altitude air defense training, Serapio said. The training will be held simultaneously in different locations, including Cavite, Tarlac, Nueva Philippine Marine Corps officials lead the opening ceremony of the third edition of “Kamandag” Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga and or “Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma ng Dagat (Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea)” at the Subic Bay Palawan. (Joanna Rose Aglibot/ International Airport on Wednesday, October 9. photo by Joanna Rose Aglibot

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III (second from right), clears the air on the Justice and Blue Ribbon Committees’ probe being political in nature saying that the ongoing investigation merely led them to the “ninja cops” controversy. Senate photo by Joseph Vidal

Palace: Honest, competent PNP... PAGE 1

Panelo, however, did not explain President Duterte’s statement that he would vet the character and resumé of aspirants so he would not “stumble” again. Asked if it matters that the next PNP chief should be personally known to the president or part of the so-called Davao Group who had served in the Chief Executive’s home province, Panelo said the president usually appoints a person based on good reputation regardless of affiliation. “Like chief Albayalde, he doesn’t know him personally. Like Secretary Briones, Secretary Diokno, the president doesn’t know them (personally), there are other instances,” Panelo said, referring to Education Secretary Leonor Briones and

former budget secretary and now Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamin Diokno. “Sometimes, maybe, he appoints on the basis of reputation preceding the appointee; if the appointee made an impressive reputation,” he said. Among the contenders, two are Albayalde’s “mistahs” or classmates in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986: PNP deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa and chief directorial staff Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan. Gamboa was commander of the PNP National Security Task Force for the 2019 midterm elections. Once appointed to the top post, Gamboa will serve for ten months since he is set to retire in September 2020. Cascolan was among those who strategized the Oplan Double Barrel and the controversial Oplan Tokhang, which became the PNP’s flagship program in the war against illegal drugs. Cascolan is set to retire in November next year. National Capital Region Police Office director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, a member of PMA Hinirang Class of 1987, is also said to be gunning for the top post. Eleazar retires in November 2021. Brig. Gens. Filmore Escobal, of the Police Security and Protection Group; Rhodel Sermonia, of the PNP Community Affairs Development Group; Manila Police District director Vicente Danao Jr. and PNP Firearms and Explosives Division chief Valeriano de Leon are also reportedly working their way up the ladder to get the president’s attention. Regardless if the next PNP chief would come from the PMA or the PNP Academy (PNPA), Panelo said the standards for honesty and competence remain the benchmark for major consideration by the president. Brig. Gen. Gilbert Cruz has been asked by his fellow PNPA officials to make a run for the top PNP post, which would make him the first PNPA graduate to become PNP chief if he gets Duterte’s nod. Cruz said his fellow “Lakans” have asked him to try, although he was a bit apprehensive. He

had told them that he won’t be backing down from the challenge. In an interview in Moscow, Cruz also denied he had formally submitted a letter to Duterte to apply for the top police post, purportedly outlining his credentials. On whether Malacañang agrees with Albayalde’s statement that the PNP and the public should now move on from the controversy, Cruz said there is no denying that the president has ordered an investigation. Former president and former Manila mayor Joseph Estrada vouched for Cruz. Estrada said Cruz had the necessary experience and integrity to lead the PNP. “He rose from the ranks. I’ve seen his dedication in law enforcement during my presidency, where he was a member of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF). He has many achievements,” Estrada said. Panelo also downplayed reports that the integrity of the drug war has been adversely affected by the controversy involving Albayalde. He said the controversy might have dealt a setback but the campaign continues. “First, there have been many factories of shabu dismantled. Second, many have been arrested. And even with respect to the policemen, 142 policemen have been killed,” Panelo said. Panelo explained the involvement of a few rotten eggs in the police force has not affected the administration’s drug campaign since police operations continue despite the hitch. “They (public) should be comfortable,” he said. Panelo gave assurance that the president has not wavered in his drug campaign amid reports that some police officers are involved in the drug protection racket. “The fact is the president has dismantled many drug apparatus in this country and jailed many police scalawags involved in drug operation and arrested many people involved in pushing illegal drugs and many have surrendered, many have been rehabilitated,” he said. n

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Report: HIV cases rise in the Philippines as more people turn to dating apps by Rae

Senator Jacky Rosen Speaks with Students at Matt Kelly Elementary during an assembly.

Contributed photo

Rosen visits Matt Kelly Elementary, discusses senate passage of her bipartisan building blocks of STEM Bill LAS VEGAS, NV — U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) on Monday, October 7, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, visited Matt Kelly Elementary School to meet with the teachers and students to discuss the Senate’s passage of her bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act. “Meeting with the students of Matt Kelly Elementary was

a wonderful experience,” said Senator Rosen. “I introduced the Building Blocks of STEM Act to give students in Nevada and across the country, particularly female students, the skills they need to succeed in STEM. I’ll continue working on legislation that supports our children and prepares them for the careers of a 21st century economy.” Earlier this year, Senator Rosen and Senator Shelley Moore Cap-

ito (R-WV) introduced S. 737, the bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act, which would create and expand upon STEM education initiatives at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for young children, including new research grants to increase the participation of girls in computer science. This past month, the Building Blocks of Stem Act passed the Senate. n

Sandiganbayan junks P1-B forfeiture... PAGE A1 30-page decision promulgated on Sept. 25, 2019. The anti-graft court said the documents presented as evidence by the government were not sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused. “The plaintiff was not able to prove by preponderance of evidence that defendants Tantocos, Tantoco-Pineda, Tantoco Jr., and Santiago by themselves and/or in unlawful concert with the defendants Marcoses collaborated in ‘schemes, devices and stratagems’ to appropriate and conceal the ownership of illegally obtained assets,” it said. The PCGG had claimed that the accused acted as dummies

of the Marcoses to conceal allegedly illegally acquired assets. “There is likewise insufficient evidence to prove that the defendants acted as dummies, nominees and/or agents of defendants Marcoses in acquiring works of art, clothes, jewelry or real estate worth billions of pesos,” it added. Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi penned the decision, which was concurred in by Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr., who leads the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division, and by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna. Government to appeal Malacañang on Tuesday, October 8, said the government might

appeal the court’s decision. Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Office of the Solicitor General had the option to file a motion for reconsideration. “Meron pang appeal. Hindi pa tapos ‘yan. Sandiganbayan pa lang ‘yan (The government can appeal. It’s not over. It’s only with the Sandiganbayan),” Panelo said, adding that it was the government’s policy to run after ill-gotten wealth. This is the second forfeiture case against the Marcoses and their friends that was dismissed by the court this year. In August, the same division threw out the P102-billion forfeiture case against Marcos’ kin and alleged cronies. n

ann VaRona AJPress

HIV in the Philippines is spreading faster than any other country in the world, and health advocates are saying that dating apps — along with the lack of education — may be part of the problem. Citing numbers by the United Nations’ AIDS agency, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the estimated number of new HIV infections in the Philippines has more than doubled from 2013 to 2018, especially among young men. This, despite a decline in infections being seen world-wide. Of the total 67,395 people diagnosed with HIV since the infection first surfaced in the country in 1984, more than three-quarters were diagnosed in the past five years, according to Philippine government data. The vast majority of those who contracted the virus from a sexual encounter were gay and bisexual men between the ages of 15 to 34. While the government doesn’t record how people meet their partners, interviews with patients, doctors, and epidemiologists reveal that most meet online. One 27-year-old who was interviewed by the WSJ said he was diagnosed with HIV in 2017 and believes he contracted HIV after having unprotected sex for the first time with a man he met on Grindr, a dating app that caters to the gay, bi, trans, and queer community. “Young people are on dating apps these days, and they will have sex,” Jigg told WSJ. “We need to equip them with the knowledge and resources that come with it.” Like in many countries in Asia, young people in the Philippines have turned to the internet due to the wide availability of smartphones, intuitive apps, and cheap data plans. The internet, as the WSJ reported, has been an empowering platform for members of the LGBTQ community in the Philippines who have otherwise found it difficult to find the same support and access to meeting partners of the same gender offline. But as the article highlighted, the uptick in online activity has clashed with the majority Catho-

lic country’s lack of sex education and HIV screenings. In response to the epidemic, Philippine lawmakers just this year passed a bill that lowered the HIV screen age from 18 to 15. It also encouraged sex education in schools. The Philippines’ health ministry also recently joined HIV testing nonprofits who bring finger-prick HIV tests outside to

gay clubs and gay beauty pageants, and offered antiretrovirals to those who test positive. Antiretrovirals — though often challenging to get — prevent the virus from progressing. But outside the government, many young men have been taking education and the promotion of screenings into their own hands and through the same PAGE 5

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Docu being made on 1924 massacre Chinese scholars claim English is actually Mandarin of 16 Filipino strikers in Hawaii

A GROUP of Chinese scholars claim that all European languages, including English, are actuHONOLULU — New research ally Mandarin dialects. into the 1924 Hanapepe Massacre Speaking at the first China Inthat killed 16 striking Filipino sugternational Frontier Education ar cane workers and four police Summit in Beijing, the World deputies is searching for details of Civilization Research Associathe tragedy nearly 100 years later. tion also argued that Europe On September 9, 1924, 16 Filihad no history before the 15th pino sugar cane workers and four century. police deputies were killed during In an interview with Sina Ona melee in Hanapepe. More than line, World Civilization Research 100 striking workers were jailed. Association Zhai Guiyun cited Local filmmaker Stephanie J. Casexamples of English words detillo is hoping to find the exact rived from Mandarin, Taiwan cause of the fight as well as the unNews reported. marked graves of the victims, for The word “yellow” sounds a new documentary which began like the Mandarin word “yeluo” filming Saturday, Sept. 28. which means “leaf falling” and it Titled “The Hanapepe Massacre is also the color of autumn, Zhai Mystery” the documentary is be- National Guard troops guarding 130 strikers before they are jailed. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Archives said. ing completed in time for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy in five Randy Francisco of Hanapepe, becoming an independent filmyears. It will be aired on PBS. who is President of the Kauai Phil- maker, returned to her home is“We were trying to research ippine Cultural Center; actor and land in July after six years on the what were the political and social director Mark Jeffers of Storybook mainland where she worked on PAGE 3 forces that led to the Hanapepe Theatre of Hawaii in Hanapepe; her last documentary film about platforms that brought them a Massacre happening. Also, we’ve retired history professor Andrew a New York City jazz great. She sense of community. been trying to locate the graves of Bushnell of Kapaa who has taught is now based on Kauai, but her Desi Andrew Ching was dithe 20 people who passed away in and lectures on this history; and ‘Olena Productions company agnosed HIV positive in 2007, a the riot. There were 16 Filipino la- Christopher Ballesteros, a Kauai had been previously based in time he noticed infections rising borer plantation workers that were native now living in Boston. Ball- Honolulu for 30 years, where among his gay peers. He told the on strike and four deputized sher- esteros wrote a 100-plus page she made more than 10 award- WSJ that while the internet aliffs that died during the conflict,” history thesis for his Harvard un- winning documentary films. lowed those in the gay communiMichael Miranda of the Filipino dergraduate degree on the mas- She has partnered with film- ty to venture out and meet others, American National Historical Soci- sacre. makers in Honolulu, New York, HIV infections began to increase ety told KHON2. Castillo, who’s from Kaua’i Connecticut, Dallas, Phoenix, as cheap smartphones became Kauai researchers include for- and is a former Honolulu Star- Los Angeles and in Europe. (In- accessible to more people. mer Kauai Film Commissioner Bulletin news reporter before “I couldn’t sit around and do nothing,” Ching told the WSJ. So he quit his job with JPMorgan Chase & Co., and founded the nonprofit HIV & AIDS Support House (HASH) to promote HIV screening. Because talking about HIV was SENATE Majority Leader Juan which is equivalent to 105,000 MT of sugar for our local industri- still taboo, Ching used apps like al consumers, we can satisfy the Grindr and Tinder, to not only Miguel Zubiri has introduced metric tons. The majority leader pointed out demand of our local manufactur- encourage men to get screened, Senate Resolution 156 urging the Department of Agriculture and the that if we avail of the U.S. TRQ, ers and processors and we may but to actually meet with men Sugar Regulatory Administration this would leave us with 1.9 MT no longer import f or their needs,” and get them screened. Social media sites like Faceto mitigate the current situation available for domestic consump- Zubiri said. “This is saving another agri in- book and Twitter were also sucof the country’s sugar industry by tion and short of more than converting the United States tar- 400,000 MT, which the country dustry like sugar, which directly cessful platforms in reaching out iff-rate quota (TRQ) allocations of has to import to fill the domestic or indirectly will affect 5 million to other young men. Many volunteers, with training people across 22 provinces in our consumption. local industrial consumers. Zubiri said the current domes- country. If there’s a shortage it funded by UNAIDS, began creatZubiri said climate change is taking its toll on the Philippine tic price of sugar at Pl,500 per makes no sense to forcibly export ing app profiles asking people to sugar industry, and had affected bag and Philippine export to the the product to countries that don’t swipe right for free HIV tests. One volunteer, Romar Valthe planting and milling seasons U.S. under the TRQ at Pl,100 per need it and then get threatened by of sugar, as well as the domestic bag would result in the domestic our government to liberalize the entine Torres, amassed 13,000 consumers subsidizing the price importation. Its makes absolutely followers on Twitter and began production. using his following to dispel no sense at all,” he added. He added that the negative ef- of sugar export to the U.S. The Confederation of Sugar myths about HIV and promote He noted that this would not fect of climate change on the Philippine sugar industry was exacer- be the first time that the Philip- Producers (Confed) agreed with sex safety and education. But his bated by the El Niño phenomenon pines would not avail of the U.S. Zubiri, saying sugar allocations encounters on social media have this year, contributing to the low TRQ because of lower domestic should be kept for domestic use not been without hate mail and production of sugar. “There were to accommodate and supply local threats. domestic production of sugar. “A lot of Filipinos are still very Annual Philippine consumption instances wherein we did not ex- demand. “This allocation could have conservative and they don’t like of sugar is estimated at 2.4 met- port or at least reduce our sugar ric tons (MT), while the projected export to the U.S. upon proper provided better prices for our lo- to see people talking about sex,” domestic production of sugar this representation with the U.S. De- cal farmers who are in a quandary Torres told WSJ. year is at 2.09 MT. The allocation partment of Agriculture and Trade as to the marginal farmgate prices of sugar in the past three years,” for the U.S. TRQ also called as Representative.” “If we convert the U.S. TRQ, Confed spokeman Raymond Monthe “A” sugar is 5 percent of the Philippines’ domestic production, which is equivalent to 105,000 tinola said. (

Another example is the word “heart” that resembles the Mandarin word “hede” meaning “core.” Zhai claimed that this is proof that English is just a “dialect” of Mandarin and that other languages such as Russian, French, German and other Europeanbased languages went through the same process of sinicization. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the English language, a West Germanic language of Indo-European language family, originated in England. “The parent tongue, called Proto-Indo-European, was spoken about 5,000 years ago by nomads believed to have roamed the southeast European plains,” Encyclopaedia Britannica said in

its website. The Chinese group, meanwhile, also claimed that Europe’s history of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations were fabricated and were only based on Chinese history, The Independent reported. “Before the 15th and 16th centuries, Europe had no history, only myths and legends,” Zhai told Sina Online. The World Civilization Research Association has opened branches in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Thailand, South Korea and Madagascar to “restore” truth in world history as opposed to “fake” Western-centered history. (Patricia Lourdes Viray/Philstar. com)

Report: HIV cases rise in the Philippines...

PH senator seeks US tariff-rate quota conversion to help local sugar industry

Group cautions against PH-Russia plan to...


impractical. Citing a hazard map by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Pamalakaya said the country is on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is vulnerable to earthquakes “predominantly at Degree VII to XII of the modified Mercalli Scale on earthquake intensity.” Under the Mercalli scale, Intensity VII earthquakes are “very strong” and XII earthquakes are “extreme.” Duterte himself has said he has apprehensions toward the project because it would be against the 1987 Constitution, which declares in Article II Section 8 that the country “adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

“The Constitution would not like it. That is why I have to talk to the Cabinet. I cannot affirm or deny that because that’s part of the proposals,” the President said to reporters on Sunday upon returning from his visit to Russia. In a related statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is interested in “promoting industrial cooperation and joint projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.” But Hicap stressed: “Dumi nga ng tao hindi na-secure ng MWSS at umabot pa sa Manila Bay, radioactive water pa. Ibang bansa nga tulad ng Japan, namomroblema kung saan itatapon ang nakakalasong tubig mula sa Fukushima nuclear power plant, tayo pang wala ngang sariling

industriya. Kaya tigilan na yang kalokohan na iyan (The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System cannot even secure human waste, which ends up in Manila Bay, what more radioactive water? Other countries like Japan are having problems on how to dispose of the poisonous water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, what more a country like ours that does not have its own industries? So, forget that foolishness).” The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, completed in the early 1980s, has never been commissioned due to fears raised by the 1979 Three Mile Island and 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accidents, concern about a nearby fault line, and concerns over the project’s integrity. n

Immigrants who can’t afford health care...


“While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of [immigrants] who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs,” the proclamation noted. “Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers with higher costs.” The White House bolstered the argument by saying that the proclamation protects “health care benefits for American citizens,” fitting squarely in the president’s “America First” promise. Trump said that the ban only applies to people seeking to enter the U.S. with an immigrant visa and does not apply to refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, Iraqis or Afghans seeking a Special Immigrant Visa or those on temporary visitor visas. Employer-based or individually-purchased insurance would be permitted per the new order, and it can be for long- or short-term coverage. But it can’t be through the Affordable Care Act, which both the GOP and the Trump Administration have been fighting to tear down. “They will need health insurance to be in the country legally [and] the only way they may be

able to afford coverage is with ACA subsidies. But if they buy insurance with ACA subsidies, it won’t count as insurance under the proclamation,” Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation explained. Immigrants who are on Medicaid would also not qualify. Throughout his presidency, Trump has made cutting both legal and illegal immigration programs and processes a priority. The border crisis, his plans to cut family reunification programs and the controversy surrounding the 2017 termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have colored the 45th president’s first three years This new rule comes at the heels of the Trump administration’s controversial decision to change the public charge rule which says that incoming immigrants may be turned away if there’s a strong likelihood they’ll require food stamps, subsidized housing and other government assistance programs. That rule is set to take effect on Tuesday, October 15. “People who come here shouldn’t immediately be on public assistance. We should bring people here who contribute and not drain resources,” a White House official told POLITICO. As with the public charge rule, immigrant rights organizations

decried the proclamation, calling it yet another attack on the immigrant communities and installation of fear that prevents lawful immigrants from seeking assistance. (According to the White House’s written proclamation, “lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than U.S. citizens to lack health insurance.”) The National Immigration Law Center responded in a tweet, saying, the proclamation is nothing but a way to “distract” from the president’s recent scandals involving foreign leaders that have led to a House impeachment inquiry. “Trump is yet again pointing the finger at immigrant communities to distract us from his scandals. This latest attack on immigrants is not good for hospitals, it’s not good for patients [and] it’s not good for the health and wellbeing of communities across the country,” the NILC said. Democrats also denounced the proclamation, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who has endorsed universal health care, tweeted on Oct. 5, “The United States doesn’t ever even offer guaranteed healthcare for *its own citizens,* yet wants to demand it from people of other national origins. Hypocrisy, xenophobia, and barbarism all in one policy.” (Klarize Medenilla/ AJPress)

Danvic Rosadino, a program manager at a nonprofit LoveYourself, said that such conservatism has been reflected in the efforts to introduce preventative HIV medicine and antiretrovirals. One drug, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis), has been used in other Western countries including the U.S., which approved its use in 2012. Rosadino said that LoveYourself, which is authorized by the Philippine government to distribute antiretrovirals, attempted to bring the drug to the Philippines for years and now is the only organization in the country distrib-

uting it. Pharmacies don’t carry it and it isn’t covered by government insurance. “People were opposed because they believe it would encourage more promiscuous behavior,” told the WSJ. But for those who are among the growing number of young men seeing HIV as being a reality around them, HIV screenings are becoming part of a much needed conversation. “Many people are afraid to get tested,” a 29-year-old call center worker named Marigona said in the report. “I’d rather know than live in fear.” n

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Here to stay


CONSIDERING the culture and the environment, perhaps President Duterte was just being realistic when he said that violent fraternity initiation or hazing is here to stay. This, however, shouldn’t be seen as a statement of surrender. Law enforcement and the toughest penalties have not completely eradicated any crime. The President himself has said that drug trafficking will continue beyond his administration – an acknowledgment that it is not possible to deliver on his campaign promise of eradicating the drug menace whether in six months or the six years of his watch. Certain crimes are committed out of necessity; some arise from greed. The lure of big money in drug trafficking has made people risk capture, incarceration and even capital punishment. Other crimes are perpetrated due to psychological or emotional problems, the influence of drugs or alcohol, or twisted concepts such as those behind fraternity and sorority hazing. Around the world, the continuing commission of crimes has led to the crafting of relevant laws as well as better ways of crime prevention and control. Scientific methods of criminal investigation

have led to the conviction of killers and rapists and at the same time have saved innocent people from capital punishment. Technological developments have improved surveillance and strengthened the fight against terrorism and human trafficking. International cooperation and better regulation have boosted the fight against money laundering. Laws and weapons against cyber crimes are evolving with the technology. Yes, hazing may be here to stay. But if the perverted sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that leads to violent initiation rites will persist, there should also be no let-up in the efforts to prevent them from happening. Environments that enable the beastly hazing to thrive can be changed. There’s a new law that can save people – especially youths – from death and serious injury. The new law has stronger wording, wider coverage and tougher penalties against hazing, and it deserves to be fully implemented. (


The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS AS NEWS HEADLINES banner the contentious dealings President Donald Trump had with foreign countries to dig dirt against his political opponents for his personal gains just to win elections and stay in power, a lot of our Kababayans are asking what the 45th president of the United States did to deserve the threats of impeachment. Trump’s loyal fan base, including his cohorts in the Republican Party, parrot the talking points he has been hammering throughout his presidency, amid reports critical of his leadership, policies, character and performance as president. They echo Trump’s words that he is the victim here, that the Democrats, mainstream news media, our allies in democracy, and even our own national intelligence community, are all in a mission to unseat him to take away the power from the American people. The latest and most serious threat to his presidency is the latest developments about his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which comes from the same playbook as his dealings with Russia, Australia, and now even China, as well as his questionable relationships with Saudi Arabia and North Korea, among others. What did the president do, his followers ask, that the Democratic-lead House of Representatives has already launched and impeachment inquiry against

Why impeach Trump? Let the Founding Fathers and framers of the US Constitution count the whys and the ways

Trump? The short and simple answer: THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY. Foreign countries interfering in our elections, especially at the behest or invitation of the president, compromises our security and national interest — a clear violation of the oath taken by Trump when he was sworn in. When we talk about national security, we as Americans need to look at this as a non-partisan issue because it involves all of us and the security of our nation. When partisan colors cloud the way we objectively assess what is happening now in America in the age of Trump and decide what should be done, we need to go back to the spirit of the law in the Constitution, as stated by the Founding Fathers against a corrupt government. As National Public Radio (NPR) reported, “The founders of American democracy could not have anticipated the technology of the 21st century or many of the other changes that have redefined the republic they created. “But they clearly foresaw one challenge that faces the inheritors of their handiwork – the threat of foreign interference in our elections. The fear of foreign interference was a driving issue in the conversations of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787.” Quoting some of these statements in their discourse as they were drafting the US Constitution as reported by American Progress:

(Part 1 of 2)

WE were in Paris with wife Gina when former French President Jacques Chirac passed away. He was 86 years old. World leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Russian President Vladimir Putin joined French President Emmanuel Macron in paying tribute to Chirac, with Macron hailing the late two-term President as a “great Frenchman.” Chirac, one of the most popular public figures in France and Europe, whose political career spanned some 50 years, served his country as president for 12 years, two-time prime minister, mayor of Paris for 18 years, and Cabinet Minister in various capacities. He was also an officer in the French Army during the Algerian War.

George Washington, in his farewell address at the end of his presidency, said: “one of the greatest dangers to the United States involved the “insidious wiles” of foreign powers and their multiple avenues to improperly influence our political system. Washington urged Americans “to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” Thomas Jefferson also sounded the alarm about “entanglements” between the United States and foreign governments, which he and other founders viewed with “perfect horror” due to the corruption that could result. Jefferson knew that a republic could not function if its chief executive would abuse his office—and the public trust—by soliciting personal political assistance from a foreign government. John Adams had similar beliefs, writing to Jefferson in 1787 that he understood Jefferson’s apprehension about “foreign Interference, Intrigue Influence.” Adams, too, was concerned about corruption in the political system, leading him to assert that America should not conduct elections too often. “As often as Elections happen,” Adams wrote, “the danger of foreign Influence recurs.” Alexander Hamilton warned specifically about a foreign power’s ability to cultivate a president or another top official. In Federalist Paper Number 68, published in 1788, Hamilton

wrote: “These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistry of the Union?” The framers of the U.S. Constitution, therefore, fearing that presidents or other executive officers might prove disloyal to the country and Constitution they were sworn to protect, drafted the Constitution to include clauses to protect the democracy of the nation. One such way was through the principle of checks and balances mandated by the Constitution among the three branches of government so that no one person or institution would abuse the power and public trust accorded to them by the government position they hold. The point of checks and balances was to make sure no one branch would be able to control too much power, and it created a separation of powers. Another guardrail was the Emoluments Clause, prohibiting any government officers from accepting a title or a gift from any foreign government. As PBS reported, “That part of the Constitution had come to seem antique, as the norms and presumptions of American politics long ago made it hard to imagine a sitting president actu-

ally being bribed by a foreign power.” The report explained how in the present time, with Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments routinely spending lavishly for accommodations at Trump Organization properties in Washington and elsewhere, the word “emolument” has returned to the news. It cited how “two federal judges at the trial court level have refused to disallow lawsuits (one filed by the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland and another filed by about 200 members of Congress) charging that the Trump businesses are violating the Emoluments Clause. Both courts accepted the definition of emolument as “any profit, gain or advantage.” Then there is the impeachment clause. The PBS report further discussed how “the framers also feared that presidents or other executive officers might prove disloyal to the country and Constitution they were sworn to protect. The report stated that the impeachment clause, as originally written, singled out the crimes of treason and bribery as grounds for impeachment.” The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” was added late in the convention process at the urging of Virginia delegate George Mason, who thought naming just two crimes too restrictive. The more general “high crimes and misdemeanors” was, as historian David O. Stewart has noted, “already archaic in 1787 and has grown more opaque in

the years since.” TRUMP had been investigated in the Mueller probe for Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections — and he said he did not care about such interference. In fact, he sought it because Russia wanted to help him by digging dirt on Hillary Clinton to damage her campaign and help Trump win. In fact, Trump even sided with President Vladimir Putin in his denial of Russia’s assault on our democracy, despite the findings of our own US intelligence community, including the Mueller probe. Now Trump is at it again. It is either he does not know our Constitution and the laws of the land, or he does know but thinks he is above the law, and will, therefore, doing anything and everything to win the election and stay in power, even if he sells the soul of America and the democracy that this nation has worked so hard for to win and protect, pursuant to the Constitution. If we are to be faithful to the Constitution, Trump needs to be impeached because our national security and interest are more important than the personal political and financial interest of one man named Donald Trump. Trump has to go. ***

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

Chirac and the Muslim mosque in the south; brief Qatar visit and tension in Persian Gulf


The late French leader strongly opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq in 2003, which was considered by many as one of his most notable foreign policy decisions as president. He was also a steadfast advocate of the European Union. This columnist as then Speaker of the House of Representatives remembers with honor and gratitude receiving in Paris in 2005 from then President Chirac the prestigious French Legion of Honor, the Grand Cross, which was also previously awarded to President Fidel V. Ramos, President Corazon Aquino, President Manuel Quezon, General and Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo, and Press Secretary Teodoro Benigno, who used to work for the Agence France Press (AFP) in Manila. We are also happy to note that in 2008, as co-president of the French Legion of Honor Association in the Philippines and with then French Ambas-

sador to Manila Gerard Chesnel, we contributed even in a modest way to help rebuild the first Muslim mosque in the Philippines, located in the deep southern Tawi-Tawi, built in the first years of Islam in the Philippines by Muslims from the Arab world and converts in Indonesia and Mindanao. The mosque was built in 1380, some 141 years before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the Philippines in 1521. Our good friend Ambassador Chesnel and we considered it a “small, humble project but it symbolizes Christian-Muslim solidarity in a strategic isle of the Sulu Sea where Islam began in the Philippines.” We said to him that while we achieved something noteworthy in the country’s deepest south, we should also consider doing something that could be noteworthy in our country’s farthest north in the Batanes islands. We should talk to our old friend, for-

mer Congressman and Secretary Butch Abad, about building a modest memorable project that we and France could perhaps undertake in our farthest north to match our memorable project in the farthest south. We also regarded the project in the southernmost isle as a “dramatic expression of friendship and confluence of Philippine and French foreign policy.” We should speak with the new well-regarded French Ambassador Nicholas Galey whether we could again work with France to establish a joint modest project in the farthest north in Batanes to match our modest little work in the deepest south at the end of the Sulu archipelago. The French Legion of Honor is an order of chivalry established by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the oldest and highest ranking medal of honor in France. *** After recovering from flu at a

now almost age 83, and missing a speech before the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Baku, Azerbaijan three weeks ago, we moved on to the south of France and to Lourdes for a month-long vacation, our first after several years of hectic speaking engagements in the international community. We were with wife Gina, sister-in-law Chona Ampil, stepson Philip Cruz III, business executive Tony Reyes, and our Assistant Joy Cristobal. We accepted a kind and most enjoyable invitation from the famous couple, Christian Baverey, scion of a great industrialist French family from Lyon and his wife, Tetta Agustin, who is highly-regarded in Europe’s prestigious fashion houses and who continues to do active charity work when she and her husband visit the Philippines every year. We boarded their yacht Tosca, named after their bright and beautiful daughter, lawyer and

successful entrepreneur in Brazil and Portugal, and sailed the Mediterranean with brief stops in Nice, Monaco, the Italian coastal waters of San Remo, Lavagne, Portofino, and Sta. Margherita in the French and Italian Mediterranean. We wished we sailed further to Athens, Greece where in the mid-70s, we scored a coup as an aggressive entrepreneur by purchasing an old cruise ship, docked in Piraeus, Athens, without an engine, and which we purchased for $5.6-million to house our 3,000 workers in Jeddah for the operation of the Port of Jeddah, then a much-needed project in the mushrooming newly oil-rich Middle East. The port was so busy that without our army of stevedores and port managers, cargo ships docked offshore had to haul their cargo onshore through helicopters, a most expensive way of stevedoring. (To be continued next week)

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D ateline PhiliPPines China ignores Duterte’s drug war as Philippines

softens stand on South China Sea — report by PatRicia louRdes


CHINA ignored President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs while the Philippines has scaled down its opposition against Beijing’s activities in the disputed South China Sea, a London-based think tank reported. The Economist Intelligence Unit, sister company of The Economist newspaper, noted that foreign countries opposing the Philippines’ drug war only have limited leverage over Duterte. While former President Benigno Aquino III took a strong position against China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, Duterte’s foreign policy has been “remarkable.” “The Chinese government, which Mr. Duterte has embraced warmly, has been willing to ignore the war on drugs as the Philippines has scaled down its opposition to construction activity on contested islands in the South China Sea,” the EIU said. The EIU noted that Duterte is bent on pursuing his social policies, such as the crackdown against illegal drugs, over the Philippines’ relations with Western powers, particularly the United States.

Several nations have already expressed concern over Duterte’s drug war due to the “staggering” number of deaths linked to the campaign. A total of 18 nations — including the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Italy and Mexico — voted in favor of a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution to investigate the Philippines’ drug war. In response to the UNHRC resolution, Duterte directed the suspension of negotiations of all loan and grant agreements with the governments of the countries that backed the Iceland-led resolution. The EIU noted that the Duterte administration’s response to the UNHRC resolution is “probably correct,” noting that the Philippines previously rejected $290 million worth of funding from the European Union. “The total value of current overseas development aid at end-2018 stood at ($2.2 billion), with signatories to the Iceland resolution accounting for around ($490 million), which is equivalent to 0.2% of nominal GDP,” the report read. The Philippine government does not need to worry at the macro level but the country’s international reputation would likely be felt through other channels, such

as canceled business investments, the think tank said. Despite criticism from the international community, Duterte still enjoys “very good” net satisfaction ratings, based on a Social Weather Stations survey in June. “So far, his outspoken remarks and blunt rejection of overtures by states previously considered allies has not damaged his administration politically, nor has it had an obvious deleterious economic effect,” the EIU said. Duterte’s key social policies are not expected to weaken for the rest of his term, the report noted. “Foreign governments will continue to decry his demeanour and his direction, but unless China were to shift its position, Duterte’s path looks set,” it said. China had also received criticism from Western countries for its actions in Xinjiang region, where over one million Uighurs and other Muslims have been reportedly held in internment camps. The Philippines, along with 36 other countries, responded on behalf of China, commending its “remarkable achievement in the field of human rights.” The U.S., meanwhile, said it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials until Beijing ends its “repression” of Muslim populations. n

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said. “Nevertheless, I join millions of Filipinos in praying for the president’s good health and wellbeing,” he said. Sen. Christopher Go said Filipinos have nothing to worry about the president’s health condition. “Nothing serious about it as it has not progressed, this is just localized, according to his doctor,” Go said. Sen. Joel Villanueva said the nation will always be concerned about the state of the President’s health. “We hope that his team would update the people about the President’s condition as it deems appropriate,” Villanueva said. Sen. Francis Tolentino added there is nothing to worry about Duterte’s health.

“He is strong as a horse given his hectic grind. He knows how to pace himself though,” he said. Tolentino said he was more worried about young dengue patients, as he prodded the Department of Health to work double time to eliminate the disease. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said Duterte has always been open about his health even during the campaign. “Remember, he is 70-plus (years old) and all I can say is, he is a normal 70-plus person who feels something in his body,” Pimentel said. But the president’s known ailments are “not enough to affect his productivity or function,” he said. n

AMBASSADORS OF TRUTH. Eight leaders of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao recount their ordeals at the hands of the New People’s Army (NPA), during a press conference at the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) central office in Quezon City on Monday, October 7. Datu Nestor Apas (with microphone), who represents the municipalities of Talaingod and Kapalong in Davao del Norte, claimed there have been at least 1,000 of IPs killed by the NPA for not supporting them. The IPs just returned to the Philippines from the United States and Europe. PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.

DILG launches rebranded Cha-cha proposed amendments to the public and obtain their support. Malaya said the DILG is still MANILA — The Department pushing for federalism but it of the Interior and Local Govern- needed to find common ground ment (DILG) has launched a new with other member agencies campaign seeking an amendment before submitting recommendato the 1987 Constitution. tions to President Duterte and The national advocacy cam- Congress. paign for “equality provision” One of the proposed amendamendments under the banner ments is to include in the Charter of Constitutional Reform (CORE) a Supreme Court ruling that states will be handled by Undersecretary the source of internal revenue Jonathan Malaya, spokesman for allotment of local government the DILG. units should be national taxes The DILG will embark on a and not only those collected by countrywide forum to explain the the Bureau of Internal Revenue, by emmanuel


thereby increasing funds for the countryside. Malaya said the government would continue the campaign for constitutional reforms as a key component of Duterte’s economic and political reform agenda. He said the constitutional reforms are in response to the changing needs of the people and would strengthen the Philippine economy and national security. “We should always remember that it should be a living Constitution that adjusts to the times,” Malaya said. n

Senators not worried about Duterte’s health Artist, cultural activist Carlos Celdran passes away at 46 by Paolo


MANILA — Senators are not worried about President Rodrgi o Duterte’s health and are confident he remains fit to run the country. Duterte revealed during his appearance before the Filipino community in Russia late Saturday that he has myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease. The President explained the illness is a result of a nerve malfunction which he acquired from his grandfather. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto wished Duterte good health. “Malacañang and a number of medical experts have already stated that it is not at all life threatening, so let’s leave it at that,”

MANILA — Carlos Celdran, the cultural activist and tour guide who stirred up controversy for staging a protest at the Manila Cathedral in 2010 against the Catholic Church’s opposition to the Reproductive Health law, has died. He was 46. Celdran “passed from natural causes,” his wife, Tesa, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, October 8. “As the family is making arrangements to bring him home, no details can be announced yet,” Tesa wrote. Born in 1972, Celdran studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. He was known for creating works that use Manila as the primary subject. According to Celdran, his “most shocking work” was his

Cathedral where he dressed up as Jose Rizal and held up a placard with the word “Damaso” before then-Papal Nuncio, Gaudencio Rosales, several bishops and attendees of the ecumenical service. “Damaso” is a reference to the villainous friar Padre Damaso in Rizal’s classic novel “Noli Me Tangere,” a character regarded as a symbol of oppression and corruption by the church during the Spanish occupation. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld Celdran’s conviction for offending religious feelings. Manila Archbishop Luis AntoCarlos Celdran photo nio Cardinal Tagle in 2015 said that Celdran had been forgiven ”performance piece” called the by the church for the incident. “Damaso” — a protest he staged (Ian Nicolas Cigaral/Philstar. in September 2010 at the Manila com)

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october 10-16, 2019 • LAS VeGAS ASIAN JoUrNAL

Dateline PhiliPPines • (702) 792-6678

BuCor, police demolish prisoners’ shanties in Bilibid by Kristine Joy


MANILA — Authorities on Wednesday, October 9, ordered the demolition of “kubols” or luxury cottages and illegal structures at the New Bilibid Prison. Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag, Police Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and Maj. Gen. Amando Empiso led the demolition of the illegal structures within Bilibid’s Maximum Compound. Eleazar is director of the National Capital Region Police Office while Empiso is chief of the elite police Special Action Force. SAF are stationed at the Bilibid in an effort to curb illegal drug activities inside prison walls. The BuCor, in a statement, said that the operation started at 5 a.m. and involved 1,800 personnel from law enforcement agencies and from the Department of Public Works

and Highways. Demolition equipment from the DPWH, fire trucks from the Bureau of Fire Protection and two police armored personnel carriers were also used in the demolition. According to the bureau, there are 18,000 prisoners detained inside the maximum security compound, which houses those who are considered highly dangerous or pose high security risks. .The bureau said that the illegally built structures “breed corruption” since prisoners pay personnel to allow construction materials in. “It was noted that, in the past, the roving personnel find it hard to conduct custodial functions because of these shanties thus, empowering the convicts or Persons Deprived of Liberty to continue their unlawful activities,” BuCor said. Corruption in BuCor Bantag earlier said in an interview with GMA that bribery of officials continues at the NBP.

He said drug lords continue paying prison officers, despite the change of leadership at the bureau. Early in October, Bantag relieved more 300 jail guards at the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison. “We have a directive coming from the president for a total revamp and to clean up the BuCor. There are allegations of irregularities, so we relieved them,” BuCor spokesperson Wena Fe Dalagan said. Asked for comment, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Bantag has “personal knowledge of facts on the ground.” The Justice chief added that moneyed inmates would continue PET LOVERS. Owners had their pets vaccinated for free at the Malate Church in Manila to honor Saint Francis of Assisi and to close the Season photo by Enrique Agcaoili to “buy convenience, luxury, and of Creation in the Christian faith on Sunday, October 6. freedom to engage in nefarious activities while in detention.” Eradicating corruption in the country’s penitentiaries is Bantag’s Reynaldo Santos Jr., to file a de- that Keng had lent his sport utility challenge, Guevarra added. n by niKKa G. Valenzuela murrer to evidence — a motion to vehicle to impeached Chief Justice dismiss the case based on insuf- Renato Corona. He also alleged MANILA — A Manila court has ficient evidence presented by the that Keng was under government allowed Rappler and its executive prosecution. surveillance. editor Maria Ressa to file a moThe one-page order also gave Although the article was pubtion to dismiss the cyberlibel case the accused 10 days from Tuesday lished in 2012, the complaint was lodged against the online news site to file the plea, while the pros- only lodged in 2017, way beyond 5th Division and the public respon- by businessman Wilfredo Keng. ecution was also given 10 days to the one-year prescriptive period dents-justices of any jurisdiction In an order dated Oct. 8, Manila respond. of ordinary libel under the Revised over their persons, hence, it is not Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Should the court grant the Penal Code. possible to pierce the veil of their Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa demurrer, the cyberlibel case will But the justice department excorporate fiction in order to deter- granted Ressa’s motion and that be junked. tended the prescriptive period to mine their alleged true ownership,” of Rappler and its former employee In his Rappler story, Santos said 12 years after publication. n the petition read. When the Sandiganbayan junked Estrada’s demurrer to evidence, it held that testimonies of the whistle-blowers, including that of star witness Benhur Luy, “show to the court every step or layer of the crime charged.” interview during the Cine Europa the 500th year of the Christianizaby dale israel Among the prosecution’s film festival held at the SM City tion of the Philippines, Moragas dence cited by the court was the Cebu last Friday. said their country and the Europroject listing from Estrada’s office Spain is among the countries pean Union are closely coordinatCEBU CITY –– Despite clashes identifying the Napoles-linked over some issues, Spain believed that called for an investigation into ing with the national organizing non-governent organizations Mathat their relations with the ad- the Philippines’ drug war, citing committees that are preparing for saganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka ministration of President Duterte possible human rights violations. the celebrations. Foundation Inc. and Social DePresident Duterte earlier said remains “fine, good, and improv“We are working with the navelopment Program for Farmers he would not support the 500th tional committee that has been set ing.” Foundation Inc. as partners in the The Spanish government is anniversary of the Christianiza- up. The Philippines is celebrating implementation of his supposed looking forward to participating in tion of the country, saying it also the arrival which is in two years livelihood projects. the activities leading to the 500th commemorates the arrival of the (from now). We (Spain) are comNapoles is following the steps anniversary of the Christianization Spaniards who conquered the Phil- memorating the whole trip that Arroyo took to her freedom, as the of the Philippines in 2021 and ippines for over three centuries. started 500 years ago in Spain,” former president also challenged Moragas said the Philippines Moragas added. the commemoration of the first the Sandiganbayan’s dismissal of circumnavigation of the world, and Spain trade relations, however, He believed that Spain should be her demurrer to evidence before describing it as an important feat are on the rise. He said there are present and ready to play a role in the SC and was eventually ordered increased imports and exports like the commemoration activities here in the history of mankind. freed. Spanish Ambassador to the Phil- in the brandy and liquor sectors as their country is also celebratIn December, the Sandiganbayan ippines Jorge Moragas said while as well as the textile and services ing the first circumnavigation of convicted Napoles for plunder in a they may have “disagreements” industries. the world, part of which was the separate case involving the PDAF These trade relations are grow- establishment of Christianity in the with President Duterte, the Spanallocations of Sen. Ramon “Bong” ish government remains support- ing each year, he added. Philippines. Revilla Jr. In infrastructure development, ive of the government’s projects, “We will talk with Philippine Estrada ran in the same slate with including the “Build, Build, Build” Moragas said the Acciona Con- authorities to have a common celRevilla but failed to win in the 2019 struccion is helping build the third ebration of that. We cannot avoid program of the administration. midterm elections. n “The relation with the Duterte Cebu-Mactan bridge. the fact that Christianization and In other parts of the country, religion started here 500 years administration is fine even though we have some disagreements on he said they were also working ago. Now the Philippines is one different points. I would say that on water treatment facilities and of the most Catholic and Christian these relations are fine and are railways. countries in Asia and the world,” In the upcoming celebrations of Moragas said. n improving,” said Moragas in an

Cyberlibel case vs Rappler may be dismissed

Napoles asks Supreme Court for halt order vs plunder proceedings at Sandiganbayan by Kristine Joy


MANILA — Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, believed to be the brains behind the pork barrel scam, asked the Supreme Court to issue a halt order against the Sandiganbayan’s plunder proceedings against her. Napoles filed a Petition for Certiorari assailing the Sandiganbayan’s resolution rejecting the demurrer to evidence she filed, that sought the dismissal of plunder case against her, and a separate motion to dismiss. She urged the SC to issue a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from the proceedings and nullifying the assailed resolutions due to “lack or excess or jurisdiction.” A demurrer to evidence is a pleading that challenges the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence against the accused. It paves the way for the dismissal of the case halfway through the trial, without the accused having to present their counter-evidence. A copy of the plea was made public only on Tuesday, October 7. Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is Napoles’ co-accused in the case. Named as respondents are Sandiganbayan 5th Division Associate Justices Rafael Lagos, Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Maryann

Corpuz-Mañalac. Napoles’ lawyers raised that the Information or charge sheet failed to identify Estrada as the main plunderer in the case and does not constitute a charge of plunder. “The requirement of identifying the mastermind or main plunderer in the crime of plunder was introduced or came about only in the year 2016 when the Honorable Supreme Court en banc decided the GMA case,” the petition read. They were referring to the 2016 SC ruling that cleared former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of plunder. The SC granted Arroyo’s petition and set aside the rulings of the Sandiganbayan denying her demurrer to evidence. Napoles’ lawyers pointed out that the Sandiganbayan failed to summon or indict the supposed bogus non-government organizations involved in the scam, nor did it determine their true ownership. They said that the Sandiganbayan justices established the link between Napoles and the NGOs based on “say-so of the self-confessed criminals turned state witnesses who unequivocally admitted that they were officers of the NGOs.” “The miserable failure of the Ombudsman to indict the said NGOcorporations in the Information for Plunder or even summon them through any of the processes of the court, deprived the Sandiganbayan,

Spain looks forward to celebrating 500 years of PH Christianization in 2021

Pagcor shuts down 200 POGO firms by Mary

Grace Padin, Paolo roMero

MANILA — Authorities have so far shut down around 200 Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) that have been operating without license, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo said the agency, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP), has successfully raided fly-by-night online gaming operations in the country. “The last count, the report, and that was a few months ago, they’ve already closed 170 small operations. These are small fly-by-night operations,” Domingo said. “But now I think they should be reaching 200 because we get an average of about 10 certifications from NBI and PNP on who they suspect to be illegal – certification that they ask us if they are registered with us. If they’re not registered with us then that means they will raid and close them down,” she added. Earlier, Pagcor entered into a mutual cooperation agreement with

the NBI, PNP, Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Justice for a concerted effort against illegal online gambling. Various agencies have also joined forces and formed the POGO task force to strengthen the crackdown on POGOs and their foreign employees not paying the appropriate taxes. There are currently 60 POGO firms licensed by Pagcor. However, the regulator earlier imposed a moratorium on new licenses until such time that issues plaguing the industry are addressed. Domingo said the moratorium also came at a time when online gaming was banned in Cambodia, preventing the Philippines from becoming the catch basin for fleeing operators. “As courtesy and respect for the Chinese government closing down online gaming in Cambodia, remember we said we will not accept any more applications for online gaming. We do not want to be the basin for the fallout in Cambodia,” the Pagcor chief said. However, she said some operators in the country may benefit from the ban in Cambodia by attracting more customers. “The operators might benefit from it in terms of having more players, but we’re not sure of that,

we have not seen a real big spike in the GGR (gross gaming revenue),” she said. According to Domingo, the POGO industry is contributing P20 billion a year on lease payments to the real estate sector. She said the industry is also estimated to generate P24 billion in income taxes annually and P1.25 billion in value-added tax monthly from foreign workers who purchase around P12.5 billion a month. House mulls bill on POGO taxation Such developments have prompted the House of Representatives to consider passing a bill that seeks to prescribe a taxation scheme for POGOs. The committee on ways and means is now drafting the proposal following the closure by the Bureau of Internal Revenue of some POGOs allegedly to failure to pay taxes. Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, committee chairman, said his panel is proposing a franchise tax of five percent based on an operator’s gross revenues. “It will be a tax on gaming monopoly and on gambling. POGOs shall be registered as resident corporations as basis for their taxability,” he said. n

Gov’t execs told: Stop being in denial on transport crisis, feel people’s suffering by Pathricia

ann V.


MANILA — Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano “Ruffy” Biazon on Monday, October 7, appealed to government officials to stop being in denial stage on the existence of a mass transport crisis in Metro Manila and feel the suffering of commuters. At a meeting of the House transportation committee, Biazon expressed lament at how some officials “make things worse” by denying there’s a crisis and brushing aside the daily ordeal of commuters. “Let’s be sensitive to the people,” he said. “Just having a long list of what we do won’t work if we don’t make people feel we have empathy for them,” Biazon said in Filipino. “When people feel there’s a crisis

and we deny it, it makes matters worse,” he added. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo was earlier heavily criticized for denying there’s a mass transport crisis. He said there couldn’t be a crisis because people still reach their destinations. Prior to Biazon’s appeal, Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan repeatedly refused to answer directly when he was asked at the meeting if the National Capital Region, indeed, is suffering from a transportation or mobility crisis. “Probably, going beyond, let’s just focus on what our responses are,” Batan said in Filipino. “Our current investment in mass transportation is probably bigger than what we’ve invested in the last two decades put together,”

he said. “We acknowledge the huge problem we have to address and we’re taking steps,” he said. Biazon said while he appreciated the steps being taken by the Department of Transportation, all signs pointed to commuters feeling a crisis in mass transportation. The existence of a crisis in transportation was first pointed out by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes who concluded that a mass transport crisis is upon Metro Manila following the grounding of MRT 3 and LRT 1 due to different mechanical issues. Another mass transport system, LRT 2, was paralyzed after a fire destroyed a piece of electrical equipment called power rectifier. LRT 2 is operating only partially now. n

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Regine recalls being discriminated against in luxury store in New York by cody


ASIA’S Songbird Regine Velasquez recalled in her recently launched vlog the moment she was discriminated against while trying to shop inside a Louis Vuitton store in New York City. Velasquez launched her YouTube vlog last Oct. 1, regaling her fans with a story of how she obtained one of her prized Louis Vuitton high heels. As per Velasquez, she saw the pair of heels, which was part of the luxury brand’s runway collection, while browsing a magazine sometime around the early 2000s. At the time, she was not aware that items from the runway collection come limited. “I went to New York to find [these] particular shoes… And then when I got there, nakita ko na, nandun sa display. Sa umpisa pa lang, sinabi agad sa akin wala akong size… Sinabi talaga,” Velasquez said. “Sabi ko, ‘Can I at least try them on?’ Sabi niya, sabi ng guy, ‘Uh, no.’ Sabi talaga, ganun. Na-discriminate agad ang lola niyo, so na-depress ako ng very very light (They immediately told me in the beginning that they did not have my size. They really said it. I asked, ‘Can I at least try them on?’ The guy said, ‘Uh, no.’ He really said that. I was immediately discriminated so I felt a bit depressed).” Disappointed, Velasquez left and went to the Neiman Marcus store nearby where she let loose and bought 20 pairs of shoes. However, she also initially felt discriminated against while inside the store, as the sales assistants paid her no mind until an African-American man approached her and asked if she needed help. “Meron akong nakilalang (I met this) black guy. Again, I was being discriminated. No one was making me pansin, yung lahat sila nagsusukat (no one was paying me any attention, the rest were trying on shoes)… Walang pumapansin sa ‘kin (nobody noticed me), until this guy came to me and then he said, ‘Do you need help?’” she said.

Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz on the set of Netflix’s “Insatiable.”

Photo from Instagram/@netflixph

‘Nobody remembers the runners-up’: Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz shares pageant bitter realities by deni

roSe Bernardo

Regine Velasquez

“Sabi ko, parang maiiyak na ‘ko, ‘Yes, I need help.’ So lahat ng tinuro ko binili ko talaga, so ang happy niya, super happy siya. Samantalang yung bwisit na ibang nandun, nagtitinginan sila kasi yung ibang nagsusukat dun, wala naman binili ‘te (Feeling like about to cry, I said, ‘Yes I need help.’ I bought everything I pointed at, so he was happy, very happy. Meanwhile, the others there were staring since the ones who were trying on shoes did not even buy anything),” she added. What happened next seemed to echo the famed shopping scene in “Pretty Woman,” wherein Vivian (Julia Roberts) returned to the luxury store where she was shot down by one of its shopkeepers the day before, this time carrying with her all of her shopping

MISS Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz did not hold back in revealing some unspoken rules among pageant queens during Netflix’s Tuesday press conference for the season two of pageant-themed series “Insatiable,” in which she is a guest star. When asked by Miss Grand International 2016 1st runner-up Nicole Cordoves, the forum’s host and moderator, on her interpreABS-CBN photo tation of the series’ season two theme, “Queens take control,” bags. After paying for the 20 pairs of Gloria shared how pageant winshoes, Velasquez said she went ners are treated among beauty back to the Louis Vuitton store queens. “Well, I’m talking based on carrying her shopping bags. Only then was she able to purchase the experience. To a certain extent, shoes she wanted to buy in the the winner has the say. I mean, they always talk about the first first place. “Nung marami na ‘kong bitbit, runner-up, second runner-up. pinapasok ako sa loob ng Louis Vuitton at nabili ko siya. ‘Yan ang story ng Louis Vuitton shoes na ito (When I was already carrying a lot of shopping bags, I was let by chriStina alPad inside Louis Vuitton and I was able to buy the shoes. That’s the story behind these shoes),” she JUDY Ann Santos — the award said. winning actress who can make In the end, Velasquez told the nation cry with her every her fans that it was okay and memorable dramatic lead — is reminded them they should not finally returning to prime time TV feel bad if they are discriminated with something completely new. against. “You go back and, like, She isn’t the oppressed but the kick some *ss, right?” oppressor — basically and very surprisingly the kontrabida. Premiering this week, “Starla” headlines Santos as the fierce and headstrong lawyer, Teresa. Driven Maine also retweeted a reply by a long held grudge, Teresa is on her post by a boy who seems bent on owning Barrio Maulap, to be deaf as he thanked Maine her former hometown which also for standing by with deaf people gave her bitter experiences while via sign language. growing up. “So thank po ate maine at carlo In her bid to do so, she comes and direk cruz . I hope all people across her estranged father Gregcan watch what deaf is other tao gy (Joel Torre), whom she hates di po maintindihan ano feel sa so much, and the latter’s adopted amin. Sometime other tao sbi kmi child Buboy (Enzo Pelojero). tanga and kmi wala karaptan ibig. Teresa’s plan to buy Barrio Same my friend deaf and i mute Maulap hits a roadblock when it i can hear po thank you po,” the miraculously recovers from the Twitter user wrote. crises that hit the farming comMaine stars as a sign language munity. Little did she know, Buboy tutor in the upcoming film “Isa Pa has a secret weapon — Starla, a With Feelings” with Kapamilya wishing star who has been helpactor Carlo Aquino, who plays a ing Barrio Maulap. deaf character. Indeed the 41-year-old actress is turning a new leaf by accepting the role of Teresa. It can be remembered that 33 years since entering the show business, Santos has made a name in playing iconic TV protagonists such Ula, Esperanza, Mara, and later on Ysabella, just to name a few — all of whom endured sufferings from antagonists before finally getting their happy ending. So why did Santos agree to play an antagonist in her teleserye comeback?

There comes a time, after one or two years, nobody remembers the runners-up. So it’s the queens who take control,” the awardwinning actress explained. Even in ordering food, the winners have the final say, Gloria claimed. “And I’ve experienced that in a very simple way, let’s say, ordering food. If the winner wants inihaw na baboy... even if everybody wants quinoa, it’s the inihaw na baboy that comes.” Debby Ryan and Dallas Roberts, who play the lead in the series, said they were able to experience what it means for “queens to take control” after working with Gloria. “Having seen and worked with the ladies on the show, queens don’t ask permission for control or they don’t wait for control. They just take control to stay at

The ‘kontrabida’ in Judy Ann

Maine clarifies misconception about deaf people by Jan

Milo Severo

Maine Mendoza

ABS-CBN photo

ACTRESS Maine Mendoza has cleared a common misconception that deaf people have no voice. On her Twitter account, the “Eat Bulaga” host reposted an infographic about deaf people. “YES YES! Let me just clear this common misconception about deaf people. DEAF PEOPLE HAVE VOICES; but many prefer to sign (using FSL: Filipino Sign Langauge) because it is their first language and their right. Therefore, the term Deaf-Mute is not right dahil HINDI PO SILA PIPI,” Maine wrote.

How Nadine copes with stress by honey


AFTER backing out from doing the adaptation of the Korean film “The Miracle in Cell No. 7,” which is an official Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, Nadine Lustre could not confirm yet if she’s ready to return to filming next year. “We’ll see, but I am working on music now,” Nadine, looking fresh and recharged, told The Star. To recall, Nadine said in her past interviews that she wanted to take a short break after doing two films — “Ulan” and “Indak” — this year due to medical reasons and she wished to spend the rest of the year doing other things she enjoys such as traveling and reading. “I am the type of person who easily gets depressed ‘pag hindi ko naaasikaso yung sarili ko creatively or hindi ako nakakagawa ng anything creative, because I love to travel or (listening to) music or just chill or magbabasa lang,” she clarified, adding, “I’m really happy and feel refreshed. Iba po talaga kapag nakakapagpahinga ka and you’re able to do the things you love. I am also attending to some financials. With my music, if it is a single or an album, we’ll see. It’s hard kasi, especially if you write your own songs so it’s not that easy, same with the recording, planning and everything. It is under Careless Music Manila.”

Besides music, Nadine will soon be gracing ABS-CBN’s upcoming talent search titled “Your Moment.” “Maybe it will be shown this November but I’m not really sure. Your Moment is like a talent search but it has a twist. Kasama ko po dyan si Billy Crawford, Tito Boy (Abunda), Vhong (Navarro) and Luis (Manzano).” Nadine, meanwhile, is the newest ambassador of Montoon’s Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) LIGA2 Kontrabida. It is a street battle event that brings non-professional players and avid fans of the game together to compete for amazing prizes and the opportunity to be recognized as the best non-pro team in the country. The first Liga was held last year with hundreds of squads signing up to battle each other. The self-confessed online gamer and fan of Mobile Legends revealed that prior to her endorsement she was already playing the game but had to stop because of her showbiz commitments. “Yes, for a while, I was playing this but I had to stop because it’s addicting. I just went back to it when they (Montoon) tapped me to become their endorser,” she said, while recalling that she used to play computer games and didn’t know then how to manage her time well. “Dati when I play computer games walang tayuan talaga, I became unproductive. But now, I

the top,” explained Dallas. “Our writer, our showrunner, majority of our producers, and some of our executives at Netflix are all really cool, strong women. I’ve never been at a set where not only women are at the top, but there are roles in the crew that you don’t typically see with women. They’re holding the lights and building the sets,” shared Debby. “There’s so many different types of strength that a woman can exude. It’s just in the DNA of the show. And the thing I’ve noticed, and all of these women — specifically working with Gloria, with her formidable, terrifying energy — respect is not demanded. It’s commanded. I think that is really prevalent to me and all of the powerful women I’m around and look up to.”

Judy Ann Santos

ABS-CBN photo

“Ang tagal ko kasing hindi nakapag-teleserye so I wanted to show something different, something new. Gusto kong gumawa ng character na hindi ko pa nagagawa sa teleserye, or sa buhay ko ng pag aartista,” Santos directly answered at the media launch of “Starla.” The actress, also dubbed as local showbiz’s “Teleserye Queen” has not been on a lead role in a prime time teleserye since 2013’s “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.” “Sakto din na yung pagiging kontrabida ay sa isang teleserye na pambata, hindi siya ganun ka seryoso,” she added. Santos explained that she’s comfortable to be an antagonist in a children’s show because “Starla” is overall inspirational. “I really wanted to have a teleserye na hindi naman masyadong bugbugan sa drama, yung mas feel-good, yung nakaka-happy lang panoorin and yung magbabalik ng hopes sa mga tao.”

Santos also claimed that after being in the business for more than three decades, she feels she has paid her dues to be able to choose the roles she so wanted. “Pag naggawa mo na lahat ng pang bubogbog at pang aapi —lahat na yata ng sapak tinanggap ko na — it’s about time na pwede na akong gumawa ng iba’t ibang characters when it comes to teleserye.” She then said she’s passing on the crown of her erstwhile oppressed characters to the new batch of aspiring actresses. “There are younger ones, there are a new batch of fresh actors and actresses who can already do those parts and graduate na ako dun, pwede na ako mag move forward. Napapanood ko sila, carry na nila yan, dito na ako sa part na to.” As it is her first time to play the antagonist role, Santos admitted she had to have a peg for Teresa. “We went for Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.” It fits the character of Teresa kasi may backstory kung gaano siya katigas — postura, matapang sa labas pero yung loob niya she’s just trying to shield it because of the pain na bitbit ng puso niya.” In the end, Santos is proud to have been given the role of Teresa and is excited for a new challenge in her career. “Nasa estado lang ako ngayon na gagawin ko kung ano yung gusto kong gawin, medyo mataray pakinggan but I guess, I’ve given a lot of my time already that it’s about time that I choose the projects that I want to make,” she finally noted.

Anne hurt whenever asked about having a baby by allan


Nadine Lustre Photo from Instagram/@nadine

am learning how to manage it properly. So, I guess for students who are into this game, they should know how to manage their time. As much as possible, they should also set aside time for stuffs that they need to do — studies or if they’re working, kelangan lang time management,” she emphasized, adding that for her, playing mobile games can also be a form of relaxation and de-stressing. “It’s also nice because in a way it’s like disconnecting yourself from the real world… it’s like a stress reliever. For me, it’s like watching movies.”

IN showbiz, a typical progression of questions an actress in a romantic relationship gets during interviews goes something like this: 1. Has your boyfriend proposed marriage? (Or are you already living together?) 2. When is the wedding? (What’s taking you so long?) 3. When are you trying for a baby? 4. When are you going to have another? Anne Curtis had already hurdled the first two. So it’s the third one she has been dealing with since tying the knot with celebrity content creator Erwann Heussaff in November 2017. Unsurprisingly, the question popped up yet again at a recent press conference for the 10th anniversary of the noontime variety program “It’s Showtime.” The 34-year-old star responded as she always had: “It will happen in God’s perfect time … and I think

I’m ready for it, any time.” But this time, Anne followed it up with a request: Can the entertainment press refrain from asking such question—to any woman, for that matter? “I’m speaking for every woman when I say that you don’t know what they’re going through? I have a lot of friends who may be trying and it can be quite hurtful for them when people keep asking them when are they going to have one,” she said. Her cohost and close friend Vice Ganda echoed her thoughts. “We [in show biz] have gotten so used to it,” he pointed out. “It’s a habit we should put to a stop.” Anne added that it’s also possible that a couple simply doesn’t want to have a child. “I hope you guys aren’t taking this the wrong way. But out of respect for all women, we shouldn’t be asking them when they’re going to get married, or when they are going to have a baby or why they don’t have one,” she reiterated.

Anne Curtis Photo from Instagram/@annecurtissmith

As part of its 10th year festivities dubbed as “Sampu Sample,” “It’s Showtime” will launch new segments and bring back some past fan favorites. This October, Anne and Vice will be joined by fellow hosts Vhong Navarro, Amy Perez, Jugs PAGE 11


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Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond MONETTE ADEVA MAGLAYA (Continued from last week …) THE belief in the presence and power of angels to intervene is strong in popular conservative culture. In a remarkable 1999 Hallmark film, “A Season for Miracles,” an angel plays a pivotal role in helping a loving aunt to two children whose incarcerated, drug addicted mother places them in a situation forcing them to run and escape from the foster care system that threatens to split them apart during Christmas. The film is based on a novel by Marilyn Pappano and scripted by Maria Nation. It was very ably directed by Michael Pressman. It is a heartwarming story set in a small town called Bethlehem during Christmas with engaging characters like Agatha and Corrina. For those with a penchant for romance, the story has spades of it as well. So check this film out on youtube whether it is Christmas or not. In my opinion, this is a timeless piece of good work worth watching a hundred times. It will be an hour and some minutes to lighten your load and feel the presence of angels in your life as well. Suspend disbelief. That is the only way to enjoy stories about angels. Trawl the internet and social media and read about how angels, though unseen in many instances, can be felt by many who believe in them. There are many instances when the presence and oftentimes the direct interventions of one’s personal guardian angel are a part of the twists and turns of the unraveling story of many people’s lives. Many have written about their encounters with angels, documenting how their guardian angels are a real part of their lives

Health@Heart PHILIP S. CHUA, MD, FACS, FPCS WITH the various diets flooding the market out there, each claiming to be “the right one” or “the best diet” for health, the public and some healthcare providers themselves are confused. The Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, Hollywood Diet, Keto diet, and the various other you-name-it-diets, provide choices that only add to the dilemma. Some of the too detailed and complex “formulas” are hard to remember and impractical. Others are very expensive. Some are even downright unhealthy and dangerous, in the long term. The Atkins diet, for instance, allows you to eat all the pork, beef, eggs, cheese and creamy sauces (which are all very rich in saturated fats) as much as you want, with basically no calorie ceiling, so long as you severely restrict your carbohydrate intake. It is supposed to help lose weight. But weight control is only half of the story. Atkins neglected to focus on the adverse health effects of such high-fat, high-cholesterol intake, as it increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Low carbs is in Eating carbohydrates (like white rice, refined sugar, pasta, bread, and especially sweets, which, strictly speaking, should include all soft drinks!) could easily add pounds to your weight and inches to your waistline, which is unhealthy. Carbohydrates are rapidly metabolized by the body to generate energy. The high glycemic effect of carbohydrates shoots the blood glucose level sky high fast, which is unhealthy, also a risk for T2diabetes. Vegetables also have carbohydrates (the healthier kind) in them. Advocating a highfat diet instead is, to me, illogical and unsafe like encouraging people to smoke marijuana or Shabu, opioids, instead of cigarettes. High fat diet is deadly There is no longer any doubt that diet rich in saturated fats causes and speeds up arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which is responsible for heart attack, stroke, leg gangrene, besides hypertension (high blood pressure), premature aging, etc. Eating red meat also increases the risk for cancers of the pancreas, colon, etc., besides Alzheimer’s. The flawed theory The theory behind the Atkins diet is, to my mind, and in the minds of experts in cardiovascular

Angels among us “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” — From Frank Capra’s film “It’s a Wonderful Life” guarding, guiding and protecting them from harm and on many occasions, even from death, because their time had not yet come. I am sure many others have their own personal stories to tell about this unseen entity that can be ascribed to the presence of God himself – an ever-present help to aid us in navigating life on earth. The common image of an angel is a beautiful heavenly being with piercing eyes, big white pair of wings and long cascading golden hair, robed in androgynous white gown and who is neither male nor female but to which we ascribe the word “he” just for convenience. An angel, who is an eternal celestial being, is not subject to the constraints of gravity, time, space or language problems. Communication between protector and protectee is often wordless and automatic. Some are messengers and some bring punishment and death but each has a definite purpose, most of which are beneficial to humans. Some claim to have seen their angels appearing differently from the common image we believe of winged beings. Some morph into human form to lend a hand, to protect from danger or avert disaster then disappear quickly. They appear specially when the humans they are protecting find themselves in dire straits and need help. As one might imagine, angels are extremely busy considering the weakness of humans and their predilection to stray from the straight and narrow. In Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Clarence, a portly, bumbling character aspiring to become an angel

must earn his wings by doing something good for a human being in desperate need and contemplating suicide. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” is a memorable line in this classic film that is intended never to get old and aptly becomes new again for a new generation around the Christmas season. On the other hand, in the warped imagination of liberal film makers, “Michael” supposedly about Michael, the Archangel, the highest seraphim who fought Satan and flung him to the burning sulfurous depths of hell and believed to be the protector of the nation of Israel, is portrayed as somewhat of a sleaze who is more human than angelic. In this film, Archangel Michael can charm females because he smells of cookies and who is a bit of a Lothario to boot. It may be somewhat funny to color outside the lines in portraying angels but don’t be fooled by the liberal yarn on angels. Hollywood, in my opinion, has no gravitas on angelic matters. Trust your own instincts. Your own personal experience will color the lens with which you view and relate with your personal guardian angel. God so loved the world, He sent His only son to redeem us from sin and death so we may gain eternal life. Angels are sent to help us during our time here on earth towards this arduous journey to eternal life. (To be continued …) *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@

Which diet is best? as possible (especially for those who are overweight), or better yet, no rice. The healthy diet should minimize, or exclude, red meat, processed meats (hot dog, bacon salami, etc.), and limiting eggs to two a week. However, if you can abstain from red meats and eggs, it will even be better. With this diet, the main source of protein is fish and other non-meat items listed earlier. For snacks, if desired, raw cucumber, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, jicama or sinkamas, other fruits are healthy in-between meals. All varieties of soft drinks are toxic. Filtered water is the best choice. Coffee and tea are health drinks. Diabetics and those who require special diets should consult their physician. Let’s fight this war Besides the proper quality of food, the right quantity of the daily calorie intake is also very important. Weighing yourself once a week (same day, same time, preferably naked or wearing the exact same outfit) will monitor your weight properly and guide you, whether to cut down on the total calorie intake or maintain the same. Drinking a tall glass of cold water before each meal distends the stomach some, which induces the appetite center in the brain to be satisfied sooner, and thus help reduce the total calorie intake. But diet alone, without the over-all strategy I outlined above, will not optimize your goals for a healthier lifestyle that will ward off, or dramatically lower your risk of, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and provide you a happier, more productive life, and a maximum longevity possible. While our individual war against unhealthy lifestyle and bad habits is not easy by any means, requiring a lot of discipline and sacrifices, it is one we cannot afford not to wage. Our health, happiness, and our life literally depend on it. I, therefore, sound this clarion call to all of you out there: let’s put on our full battle gear today, join forces in this crusade, and fight this good war. After all, this is nothing but self-defense and self-preservation.

nutrition and physiology, flawed. It is controversial because the current evidence-based data we have highlight the health dangers of animal fats and cholesterol in our diet. While it may be effective in weight reduction, the Atkins diet may well cause more harm than good to the body and its cardiovascular system. This diet was developed by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins in the 1960s. He had high blood pressure and died on April 17, 2001 at age 72 of heart attack, congestive heart failure, as stated by the New York Medical Examiner’s office postmortem report. The non-meat proteins The high protein feature of the Atkin’s diet would not have been objectionable if the proteins in them were not derived from red meats that are loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol. If the proteins in them came from fish, legumes (dried beans and peas), tofu and soy-bean products, nuts, whole wheat, barley, rye, then the diet would be healthy. For one thing, the protein from fish contains a lot of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been found to be a mild blood thinner and cardioprotective. The fat from fish is excellent for our total body health. Vegetables and fruits and some nuts provide high-fiber and high antioxidants (anti-cancer too) polyphenols and flavonoids in them and fish is a source of good protein and fish oil. Many fast food chains and restaurants are now offering “beyond-meat”, no red meat, “hamburger” sandwiches, etc., using healthier alternatives to red meat. Over-all strategy Besides eating the right diet to maintain normal weight and cholesterol/triglyceride level, the strategy towards a healthier lifestyle should include abstinence from tobacco, daily regimented physical exercise (the simplest and effective one of which is walking in a pace you desire), stress management with behavioral modification, psychological and philosophical reinforcement, abstinence from or moderation in alcohol intake, enjoying a hobby or two, a general positive outlook in life, and regular activities which involves family and friends. The sensible diet Considering the available scientific data today, I strongly feel that the most sensible diet includes a lot of fish and a small to moderate amount of other sea foods (preferably not fried), plenty of green leafy vegetables, legumes (beans, etc.), fruits, some nuts, as low-salt as your taste could tolerate, and as little white rice

*** 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: scalpelpen@gmail. com

and shadow play group El Gamma Penumbra. Viewers can likewise expect to see “Mr. Q&A, “KapareWho” and the return of “Tawag ng Tanghalan.” After spending the past decade with her cohosts, whom she now considers family, Anne said she sees herself doing “It’s Showtime”

for years to come and growing old with the gang. “It has been a journey. We have grown stronger as a family and put so much of our hearts into not giving up on our show and that’s what viewers see in us,” she said. “We’re so thankful to be in a position to celebrate 10 years.”

Anne hurt whenever asked about... PAGE 10

Jugueta, Karylle, Teddy Corpuz, Ryan Bang and Mariel Rodriguez for the annual “Magpasikat” competition. The ABS-CBN show will revive the segments that discovered such acts as dance group XB Gensan, musical ensemble Fourth Impact


Calendar of Events across



Palaris Colleges Alumni 4th International Reunion in Las Vegas, NV All alumni of the Palaris Colleges are invited to attend the 4th International Reunion to be held at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 11 to October 13. Let us rekindle friendships, reminisce, renew acquaintances and create new memories! For more information, please contact Lumen Mendoza, executive chair, at (408) 718-9729 or send email to; or Claver “Butch” Soriano, PCAA president, at (412) 805-1944 or send email to

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Savor Santa Ana food festival Orange County’s premier all-ages sidewalk food festival featuring more than forty tastes from downtown Santa Ana restaurants, Savor Santa Ana, returns Saturday, October 12 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. At Savor Santa Ana, sample tastes from unique, local and Michelin-rated restaurants and bars throughout downtown Santa Ana. Live musicians and local youth performance groups will perform in pop-up shows along the sidewalks, and a trolley will provide free rides around downtown. The theme will be “Fall Food Carnival,” featuring fire dancers, mystique, and fall food flavors. This marks the seventh Savor Santa Ana festival for downtown Santa Ana, serving thousands of visitors since 2014. Organizers expect to sell the 150,000th tasting ticket this October, a milestone reminiscent of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the City of Santa Ana this year. Savor Santa Ana tickets are just $10 for 5 tasting tickets. Tickets are available online for pre-purchase at, and are available cash-only onsite at Savor Santa Ana.

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FACCGLA hosts immigration discussion in North Hollywood, CA The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles (FACCGLA) Panel Discussion and Mixer will be on Immigration and Business Law on Wednesday, October 16. Featured location for this month is the beautiful stone gallery of Stoneville USA. Event starts at 6:00-6:30 p.m. to tour the Stone Gallery, 6:30-7:15 p.m. Networking, 7:15-9:00 p.m. Speakers and more networking. Tickets are online; NO CASH payments will be accepted at the door. Visit for the EARLY BIRD Discount available until 10/11 11:00 p.m. Regular prices are $20 for Members and $30 Future Members. Stoneville USA is at 12906 Saticoy St, North Hollywood, CA 91605.

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West Ranch High School presents the Wildcat Classic in Valencia, CA West Ranch High School is proud to present the 11th annual Wildcat Classic, a daylong display of musical artistry on Saturday, October 19. More than 20 high school bands from the Santa Clarita Valley and around the region will gather for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) Marching Band Competition. The Wildcat Classic will take place at Valencia High School’s football stadium, located at 27801 Dickason Dr. in Valencia. Tickets are $12; parking is free. Each high school band will compete by division followed by an astounding showcase performance of the three-time state champion West Ranch Band and Colorguard. The day-long event culminates in an awards ceremony with trophies presented in each division as decided by a panel of SCSBOA judges. The performance schedule will be announced prior to the event. Vendors will be on site with plenty of delectable food and drink options as well as gifts and apparel for the music enthusiast. For additional information, please contact West Ranch Music Director Jason Marshall at 661-222-1220 x 646 or or visit

Sikad cycling ride in Las Vegas Hosted by the Nevada Bicycle Club, in collaboration with charity institution Gawad Kalinga to give care, Sikad 2019 will be held on Saturday, October 19 at the River Mountain Trail Loop. The mission of the charity fun ride is to end homelessness through community building efforts in the Philippines. Gawad Kalinga is a nation building movement that hopes to end poverty for millions of Filipinos. Its template begins with restoration of dignity as a human being by bringing the poor out of their homelessness. But that is just the start.GK uses its resources to allow the poor access to basic services and opportunities that will turn them to productive citizens. It’s values formation component is a key element that promotes the effectiveness of all of its other programs. SIKAD NG BAYAN is an annual bike ride that supports GK program to include building schools, homes and community centers. This is the third annual SIKAD NG BAYAN - Las Vegas hosted by Nevada Bicycle Club. It will begin at the Railroad Pass Casino & Hotel at 2800 S. Boulder Hwy, Henderson, NV with the trail at the River Mountain Loop Trail & Acaia Park — course 1 is 9 miles; course 2 is 35 miles; course 3 is 50 miles. Register now at Free jersey & buffet with registration. For more information, please email

49th anniversary of Federation of Rosary Groups rally in Burbank, CA On Saturday, October 19, devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary will come together to attend and celebrate the 49th year-anniversary of the Federation of Rosary Groups Annual Rosary Rally at St. Francis Xavier Church (3801 Scott Road, Burbank, CA). In partnership with Our Lady of Fatima Rosary Crusade in Glendale, people will assemble beginning at 9 a.m. to attend a talk to be given by the Most Reverend Alex Aclan, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles. This year’s theme is Mary In the Upper Room. The event is filled with activities that will enrich one’s faith. The afternoon speaker is Reverend Francis Mendoza, pastor of St. Finbar Church in Burbank. Procession and praying of the rosary will start at 3:30 p.m.; followed by a liturgy at 5:00 p.m. which will be concelebrated by Reverend Rodel Balagtas, Pastor of Incarnation Church/ Glendale and Reverend Sebastian Vettickal, Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church/ Burbank. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the event. For more information, please call: Rico Nosce (818) 331- 9111, Linda Gordon (818) 633-5600 or Rene Decena (818) 679- 7896.

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75th anniversary of Leyte landing in Carson, CA The 75th anniversary of the Leyte Landing will be observed on Sunday, October 20 at the International Sculpture Garden at the Carson Civic Center from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. the main program will start at 10 a.m. where the veterans present will be honored by the guest speakers and the community. There will be music and entertainment, food trucks, vendors and booths. This program is part of the annual Filipino-American History Month in October. For more information, please contact Dr. Jenny Batongmalaque, executive director of the Erasto R. Batongmalaque Foundation, at or visit

Filipino Priests Association of Los Angeles fundraising “Pista Sa Nayon” is a fundraising event sponsored by the Filipino Priests Association of Los Angeles on Sunday, October 20 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium (1401 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale, CA 91208) at 5 p.m. The highlight of the event will include but are not limited to: Honor the 2nd Filipino Bishop in USA, Most Reverend Alex Aclan, as well as recognize Filipino priests who have dedicated many years of service to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The priests will serve food and entertain guests with songs and dances. Tickets are at $50.00 per person. Sponsorships are available. Proceeds will benefit priests attending the 4th Assembly of National Association of Priests -USA in New Jersey on October 26-30, 2020, for continuing faith formation so that they may become effective ministers of evangelization. For more information, please contact Ging Mangaliman at (213) 453-2595, Patty Santiago at (818) 472-4288, or Rhomie Ramirez at (818) 618-6515.

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Larry Itliong Day Celebration in Carson, CA The City of Carson, California will hold a Larry Itliong Day Celebration on Saturday, October 26 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. In 1966, Filipino Larry Itliong and Cesar Chavez formed the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, which later became the United Farm Workers of America, one of the greatest unions in the history of the nation. Larry Itliong Day will be at Veterans Park (22400 Moneta Ave. Carson, CA 90745). For more information, please call (310) 830-9991.

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Kalayaan Incorporated’s Christmas Party and induction of officers in Monterey Park, CA Kalayaan Incorporated’s Induction of Officers 2019-2020 will be held during its Christmas Party on Sunday, Decemeber 1, from 12 to 4 p.m., at the Monterey Hill Event Center. The hilltop venue offers a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Valley, and is located at 3700 Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, Calif. 91754. Kalayaan Incorporated, a non-profit public benefit corporation in the State of California, classified as a public charity organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, holds the annual celebration in Southern California of the anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. Chairing the Induction and Christmas Party is Violet Mislang with Lady Hope Robillos, Co-chair, and Nonie Belarmino, Program Coordinator. Cost of lunch is $40.00. For more information, please contact Violet at (562) 644-4073,; Lady Hope at (310) 500-0917,; or Nonie (310) 357-0222,

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




OCTOBER 10-16, 2019 • LAS VEGAS ASIAN JOURNAL • (702) 792-6678

Nevada legal aid programs provide essential Maja named best actress in 1st Asia Contents Awards services that help struggling Nevadans survive by nika


by Ron Sung Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission member

NevadaNs struggling to make ends meet need more access to legal aid services—that’s the key finding from the Nevada supreme Court access to Justice Commission statewide study of Legal Needs and economic Impacts from 2018. I see the need every day as a staff attorney at Nevada Legal services, a non-profit organization providing free legal services to this population. Nevada’s poorest and most vulnerable residents have 147,000 legal problems per year. Legal aid is currently able to fully address only 24% of the need, leaving over 100,000 legal issues unassisted. Nevada has 12 times as many lawyers helping people above the poverty line than those below it. Private attorneys cannot afford a business model that helps the poor. Legal aid and pro bono lawyers must fill the need. Why do those with limited resources have so many legal problems? Poverty itself causes a slew of legal issues. an average person barely deals with the government: maybe the lines at the dMv, the intrusion of the Tsa, or the inevitable IRs. Low-income people, on the other hand, rely on government programs to survive. With government programs come bureaucratic rules. For example, almost all my clients are on food stamps. My client must provide proof of income—or lack of income—and complete long forms while making an appointment to meet with a state

social worker every year. My client may start working a minimum wage job and neglect to immediately report it to the state. Now my client owes money to the state for receiving too much in food stamps while on minimum wage. a far more complex bureaucracy I deal with is government housing. The section 8 program provides rent subsidies to private landlords so poor families pay less rent. Participation in the program is life-changing, but the rules are complex—and unforgiving. My client may face termination from the program because she needed to be at work instead of being home for her annual home inspection. My client may face termination because a jealous ex-husband suspected my client of housing her boyfriend. My client may face termination because he could not afford minutes on his phone to communicate with his case worker to set up an annual appointment. Worst, when the termination process starts, my clients only have a few days to appeal. Many miss this short window of opportunity to fight termination. Termination means the loss of rent subsidies. Termination means eviction and can even mean homelessness. speaking of housing, perhaps the greatest legal disparity between those with means and those without can be found between homeowners and tenants. a homeowner facing foreclosure in Nevada receives month after month, opportunity after opportunity, to pay a mortgage delinquency before losing

Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission member Ron Sung

the home. a tenant with a rent delinquency has one week. Yes, one week before eviction. Laws protect Nevada homeowners to stay; laws mostly help Nevada homeowners remove their tenants. Tens of thousands of poor tenants face evictions every year in Las vegas. Most are working families struggling to find a job or get enough hours at their job. I see tenants go to court every day with a hope and prayer that the judge will empathize with their situation. Tenants often ask me if the judge will give them 30 days or until the end of the month; I tell them the court will not even give them until the end of the week. Without more legal aid services, tenants blindly navigate the eviction process. Nevada legal aid programs provide essential services that help these struggling Nevadans survive. For every $1 spent, legal aid returns $7. Please support and consider investing more in our work.

Paolo sets unofficial world record by Jan

Milo SeveRo

aCTOR Paolo Ballesteros has set an unofficial world record for not blinking for one hour, 17 minutes and three seconds. In “eat Bulaga’s” segment “Bawal Kumurap! Nakamamatay ng swerte,” Paolo beat his co-host Pauleen Luna, whose record was 30 minutes and 44 seconds. “1 hour 17 minutes and 3 seconds na hindi kumukurap! Congratulations Paolo,” “eat Bulaga” posted on its Twitter page. Paolo’s co-host Maine Mendoza also couldn’t believed what the actor achieved as she posted about it on Twitter. “Ang lala mo, @pochoy29!!!! Hahahahaha yung world record 1hr 5mins lang! IBA KA!” Maine wrote. The Guinness World Records said there is no record for such a feat. But according to, a certain Michael T of Florida, U.s. has the record after he didn’t blink in an hour and five seconds.



Tv star Maja salvador made history when she bagged the Best actress trophy in the new asia Contents awards, which held its debut edition in Busan, south Korea on sunday, October 6. salvador was the only Filipino who made it to the roster of winners for her dual role in aBs-CBN’s suspense-drama series “Wildflower,” which was also nominated for Best drama. an instant hit in the Philippines, the series is a story of a feisty young woman out to avenge her parents’ death. Besides her acting, salvador was praised for essaying a role advocating women empowerment. salvador flew to south Korea with series director Raymund Ocampo and aBs-CBN production manager Maru Benitez to attend the awards. she was also escorted by her non-showbiz boyfriend, Rambo Nuñez Ortega. surprised by her win, salvador started her speech by saying, “I’m shaking.” Looking glamorous nonetheless in a modernized pantsuit terno, she continued, “Thank you asia Contents awards for this award. Playing Ivy aguas and Lily Cruz was a great challenge and pleasure for me as an actor,” she said. “It was an honor to be trusted with this role by our network,

Maja Salvador

aBs-CBN and the whole team of Wildflower… I share this recognition [with] all of my brilliant colleagues in the show most especially to the veteran genius Mr. Tirso Cruz III who upped my game and encouraged me when I thought I had nothing more to give… Thank you for this great honor for the Philippines.” In her Instagram account, salvador said she considers the win as a birthday gift. salvador turned 31 on October 5. “Thank You #asiaContentsaw ards and #BIFF2019. Congratulations [t]eam #Wildflower wala ako dito sa Busan ngayon kung hindi dahil sa inyong lahat. This award is ours. Masaya ako na nakapagbigay tayo ng karangalan para sa industriya natin sa

Photo from Instagram/@iammajasalvador

Pilipinas. Kayo ang inspirasyon ko para ibigay lagi ang best ko. Mahal ko kayo. Indeed!!! Happy Birthday To Me!!! Thank You Lord.” The 1st asia Contents awards recognized the finest Tv dramas that were produced in the last five years. It is organized by the renowned Busan International Film Festival and asian Film Market, an annual film market in south Korea. salvador and the show were the only nominees from the Philippines. “Wildflower” competed with other outstanding asian Tv series from south Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, singapore, Thailand, Brunei, vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Wedding of the year? Richard, Sarah share details about upcoming nuptials by Jan

Milo SeveRo

CeLeBRITY couple Richard Gutierrez and sarah Lahbati announced that their wedding will be on March 2020. The couple announced the date of their wedding at the sunday noontime variety show “asaP Natin To.” “We’re happy to announce that we are finally getting married on March 2020 here in Manila and we’re looking forward to that day,” Richard declared. In a press conference after “asaP,” sarah and Richard said they chose March because it is a significant month for them. “We chose March because we got engaged in March. Kai (their second son) was born in March... March is a very special month

for us, so we felt March would be right to get married,” sarah explained. “Parang everything aligned. When we were checking the dates, when we were checking availabilities, everything, parang everything aligned for March. so we decided, let’s do it in March,” Richard added. Fans are invited to Richard Gutierrez and sarah Lahbati’s journey to forever as the showbiz couple will soon appear in various aBs-CBN shows and other Kapamilya multimedia platforms to reveal details about their muchanticipated wedding in March 2020. The couple got engaged last March 2017. Richard proposed in switzerland while they were hiking a snowy mountain. Richard and sarah, who met



Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez Photo from Instagram/@richardgutz

when they were paired as a love team for a GMa-7 teleserye, have two sons, Zion and Kai.


(702) 792-6678 •



Pinay visionaries: A spotlight on Filipina American elected and appointed officials Interviews by Malou liwanag-Bledsoe, Joseph

THE late Thelma Buchholdt paved the way for Filipino Americans to serve in public office, when she was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1974, becoming the first Fil-Am woman legislator in America. She served four terms until 1980. Since then, Filipina American women have occupied statewide or local positions, whether through elections or appointments, in states like California, New York and Nevada, to name a few. In a large city like New York, for example, Mayor Bill De Blasio has appointed a record number of Filipina Americans as commissioners: Anne del Castillo, Office of Media and Entertainment; Carmelyn Malalis, Commission on Human Rights; Maria Torres Springer, Department of Housing Preservation and Development; and Minerva Tantoco, the city’s first Chief Technology Officer. (Torres Springer and Tantoco have since vacated the roles, however.) In the 2018 midterm election cycle, three Filipina Americans vied for congressional seats: Gina Ortiz Jones in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District (she’s since announced she’s running again in 2020); Cristina Osmeña for California’s 14th District; and Jennifer Mijares-Zimmerman for Florida’s 1st District. While we have yet to see Filipina American

Judge Cheryl Moss

representation in Congress, it’s a start for individuals to have the backing and support to run on that level. This year’s Filipino American History Month theme of “Pinay Visionaries: Celebrating Filipina American Women,” recognizes the vital but underreported role of Fil-Ams in U.S. history, especially their work in public office. The Asian Journal spoke to several current Filipina Americans who have been elected or appointed to public offices about their contributions and what needs to be done for more Pinays in these types of leadership roles. Las Vegas Cheryl Moss - Judge, Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada Cheryl Moss, a family court judge, was first elected to the District Court, Family Division in November 2000 and was re-elected in 2014. In 2001, with the help of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, she was the first judge in Nevada to institute problem gambling assessments in child custody and divorce cases. Last year, Moss established the state’s first-ever gambling court, which offers offenders a second chance to get help for their gambling addiction. On continuing a legacy of public service: My parents both served over 30 years each in the

peralta and Christina M. oriel /AJPress

public sector as physicians in the veterans administration medical center. Public service seems to run in the family. A typical day for me as a district court judge is to hear court cases throughout the day. Sometimes I work through the lunch hour nonstop because of the heavy caseload. After court session ends, I would spend several more hours into the late night preparing my cases for the next day, responding to courtrelated emails, and taking at least some free time to relax, breathe, and recover. On embracing Pinayness: Being Filipina means embracing and being proud of my heritage. My dad spoke Tagalog and my mom spoke Visayan. I was raised in my early years in Kalibo, Aklan and Bacolod City although I was born in the United States. Being elected as the first full-blooded Filipina to the District Court in the state of Nevada’s history has made me proud to represent the Filipino community for nearly the past 20 years. On engaging Fil-Ams: I have provided externships and internships to Filipino law students and newly-admitted attorneys. I have spoken in the past at community events for Filipino students who are just thinking about their career paths. I also believe that mentorship and hands-on experience in government offices will spark their interest. I have also enjoyed throughout the years attending Fil-Am community events and gala dinners as it gives me the opportunity to stay connected those in Las Vegas. Winning four elections in a row has brought the Filipinos in Las Vegas closer together as a community. It makes all of us feel important and letting the rest of the world know that we can do great things to help others out. On being a community resource: I have always tried to answer their questions and concerns in my role as a public figure or to point Filipinos in the right direction when they need help. While there are certain limitations in what I can respond to, the fact that I can be a resource of information has given comfort to Pinoys who need assistance in

navigating the legal system. They feel like they have representation with someone who is from their community and who understands their needs. We should continue to collaborate to increase interest among our youth about public office. They are our future! Southern California In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti — who has often said that LA is a “very Filipino city” — has Fil-Ams across levels of his administration and has made an effort in ensuring that the city no longer has any all-male commissions. Filipina Americans have been reflected in this goal through commission and advisory appointments: Joselyn GeagaRosenthal, Department of Building and Safety; Melany de la Cruz-Viesca, Human Relations; Pilar Diaz, Department of Recreation and Parks; Theresa de Vera, Department on Disability; Myrna Cabanban, Department on Disability; Gerlie Collado, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority; Abigail Zelenski, Civil and Human Rights; and Ethel Rubio, AdamsNormandie Historic Preservation Overlay Zone advisory board. This year alone, Garcetti has appointed two Filipina Americans to prominent city commissions: Susana Reyes to the LA Board of Water and Power and Jessica Caloza to the Board of Public Works — both becoming the first Pinays in these roles. Susana Reyes - Commissioner, LA Board of Water and Power Reyes announced her retirement from a 32-year public service career earlier this year, until she was nominated by Garcetti in April to join the LA Board of Water and Power Commission, the largest municipal utility in the country. Reyes was previously the director of LA Dept. of Water and Power’s Low-Income Customer Access and was a senior analyst on Garcetti’s sustainability team. Outside of City Hall, Reyes is vice president of the national Sierra Club’s board of directors. On what it means to be a commissioner: Done right, this role can be powerful. I take my

Susana Reyes

Jessica Caloza

duties seriously and as a steward of the communities that LADWP serves, I know I can make a difference from where I sit. I painstakingly ensure policies reflect the values of the organization by working closely with the organization leadership and public stakeholders like neighborhood councils, community-based organizations, environmental justice advocates, and businesses that promote clean energy and sustainable programs. Being a commissioner requires continuous learning about governance and being an advocate for the mission, making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization, ensuring prudent use of the organization’s assets, and planning for a sustainable future. On being an environmental and social justice advocate: Growing up in the Philippines, I’ve seen firsthand the poverty and inequality in communities that are most impacted by climate change. I was aware of the lack of leadership and corrupt moral compass at many levels of our government. So I took action. I’m reminded of growing up in the Philippines and experiencing water shutoffs and power outages on a regular basis. I’m reminded of the contamination in the drinking water and the worst air pollution episodes one can imagine. These experiences gave me the courage and the competency to look at our world through a different lens, and maybe, even, to polish the view for others, especially for my grandchildren who will have to deal with the

climate crisis. My public service and career is a continuation of my commitment to make a difference where I can most meaningfully serve. I don’t distinguish my passion from my career. To me, they are inherently connected and woven in the fabric of my being. On accountability: I would like the public to see me in my various leadership roles and hold me accountable for my work. I have an open-door policy and I welcome feedback and ideas that are transformative and meaningful. The Fil-Am community can engage with my office in an open and transparent manner. Our ‘kababayans’ can bring to my attention their concerns or ask me for input, comment on my work, or involve me in working groups and panels on particular issues. Effective communications help build trust and a sustainable relationship over the years. On Pinay power: As a Filipina, I take pride in my race, my roots, values, and culture. Being a Filipina means having a unique and authentic voice that lifts up voices of our kababayans. It means having the strength to rise above complex challenges as a strong advocate and leader of social change. I see my role as a disrupter to systemic injustice and racism. I have the power to make a difference simply by showing up and telling the truth, by giving a voice to that which burns fiercely inside my heart. Jessica Caloza - Commissioner, LA Board of Public Works In addition to being the first Pinay, Caloza is currently the only PAGE 14



OCTOBER 10-16, 2019 • LAS VEGAS ASIAN JOURNAL • (702) 792-6678

Pinay visionaries: A spotlight on Filipina...

PAGE 13 Asian American on LA’s Board of Public Works, a full-time, five-member commission that manages projects and programs, such as construction and sanitation, to the benefit of the city’s 4 million residents. Caloza oversees the Bureau of Engineering, which deals with infrastructure. On the call to public service: I was a senior at UC San Diego and I got terribly sick. I was working multiple jobs, had internships, and was taking a full course load and I ended up getting a bad case of pneumonia and [being] hospitalized. The Affordable Care Act was passed a few months before that… and if I wasn’t covered under my insurance plan by my parents, I would have had crushing medical debt. This experience was just so formative…and made me think if I got out of [there], I had to make sure policies like this continue to exist for people who need it the most, for people that really need to be protected by our government. That’s why for me our work is so important because sometimes it’s a matter of life and death. On the impact of local government: One of the things I grappled with the most at the federal level is that you have a hard time grasping what the real issues are that constituents face because D.C. is a bubble…and you lose a lot of what is important to the everyday person. That’s what I love about working on the local level, I will never not know what the problem is in LA. The Board of Public Works is the only full-

time policymaking commission in the city, and we handle a lot of the critical city services and also the city’s infrastructure projects that hit close to home because we impact people’s quality of life. On memorializing Pinays: I hope we institutionalize these Filipina trailblazers when we write in our newspapers, articles and books. When I was looking for these Filipina trailblazers in history, it was really hard to find them in Filipino American history because it is very male-dominated. We just have to keep sharing these stories…until they become part of our history because repetition is everything when it comes to who we remember, whether it’s Dawn [Mabalon] or the one I’m trying to institutionalize in our Filipina history here in LA is somebody like Tita Jocelyn Gaega Rosenthal who is a remarkable community leader and advocate. On representation: Being Filipina is something that I always represent, whether it’s in this role as a commissioner or whether I’m out on my own time. I like to let people know that there are not as many Filipinas in leadership positions and that it is so important for us to identify ourselves where there are some. You could be in the highest position in an organization, but if nobody knows that you’re Filipina, or it’s not something you’re proud of and share with people, then it’s like it doesn’t exist and it isn’t part of your identity. Half of it is telling people and being proud to be Filipina and creating that awareness and

Melissa Ramoso

having that conversation. Once you identify yourself and see that you’re the only Filipina or Filipino at the table, it really does open up a discussion about diversity and inclusion and who’s at the table and gets to make decisions. Melissa Ramoso - Councilmember, City of Artesia In 2018, Ramoso became the only woman on the Artesia City Council, a city that is home to numerous ethnic enclaves, including the Fil-Am community which makes up the majority of its Asian population. Apart from her council duties, Ramoso is district director for state Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and state chair of the California Democratic Party’s Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. On rising up: I never dreamed of running for office. It wasn’t until one day as a young legislative

staffer, the seed was planted by a long-time community leader in the Asian Pacific Islander community (who is no longer with us) that I could achieve more. I thought to myself, if others believe I can do it – why couldn’t I? The need for Asian Pacific Islanders, and most especially Filipino Americans, to step out of the legislative staffer role and into an elected role is so great. Many people I look up to in the community are those who are in politics. Many are hesitant to step up and into the role, so I just had to do it to ensure that my community would have a seat at the decision-making table. With my most recent election and second time running, there were no women running, so it was even more meaningful that a female voice was accounted for. On her balancing act: I have a unique situation – I run a state office as a district director for a state Assemblymember, and am a councilmember for the City of Artesia, and a California Democratic Party State Leader as state chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. I am constantly wearing these three hats, but I truly believe in sticking to the rules of not crossing over my responsibilities. During my 9 a.m.-5 p.m., I am on state legislative time. On my breaks and lunches, I put on my other hats. There is no typical day from me. I can go from staffing my boss to cutting a ribbon at a Jollibee in Artesia or spending my weekend studying my Council agenda. I am constantly respond-

ing to constituents in my work life that it is almost the same in my City Council life. It takes incredible organization, time and dedication to balance it all. On Filipina strengths: A Filipina is a version of your Lola, your Nanay, your Tita, your Ate and more. I hope to be the best version of all these powerful, strong, independent and incredible women in my life. They all have shaped me to be who I am today. What I have learned from them and other Filipinas I admire is how I have been able to define myself today. On passing the torch: We must support each other, empower each other, respect each other in what we are trying to achieve as individuals and as a community. It is extremely important to make sure you include others in your greater community outreach. In my eyes, it has never been about me. It has always been about my community and that has always fueled me to do more. I make it a point to reach out to those who want to learn and have the potential to do amazing things. My mentors have done this for me, and I hope to continue it with others. Also, I will always be me and am still getting used to my newfound title as Councilmember or Honorable. I know it has taken many generations of Filipino American leaders to get to this point of having more Filipinas in elected office, so I do wear my title with pride and will always make sure I am not the last to do it. Rachelle Arizmendi - Councilmember, City of Sierra Madre Arizmendi has served on the City Council for Sierra Madre since 2014, a city in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley that bears a population of a little over 11,000 residents. In 2017, she was selected to serve as the mayor of the city and is currently a councilmember after being re-elected in 2018. By day, Arizmendi is the vice president and chief operating officer of Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE), a nonprofit community development organization that provides job training and employment opportunities. On running for office: Running for office was not a consideration in my adult life. I simply became more involved in my community when my husband, dog, and I settled into our new home in a city where I knew no one. I thought joining the Community Services Commission would be a perfect place to meet new people and volunteer my talent. As I became more involved in the community, I was compelled to fight for the qualities of the little village I fell in love with — that were possibly being challenged. On owning Filipina-ness: When I was 17 years old, I was “crowned” Miss Maria Clara. Initially, I did not fully embrace the meaning of it. Some may contend that what her character symbolized were characteristics contrary to a strong Filipina woman. But as an American-born Filipina, I learned to carry the title graciously. It was a title where I proudly accepted my Filipino roots and stopped trying so hard to “just” being American. Most importantly, being Filipina means to me pride in my culture, appreciation of where my parents were born and raised, understanding that family extends well beyond first cousins and parents siblings….warmth in how we welcome people into our home, generosity in the sharing of our food, and the sense that we are in a secret society to others who may be strangers but share the commonality of being Filipino (‘Filipino-Ka?’). ‘Filipina’ to me is also being a strong woman, while respecting others; knowing when to use honey instead of vinegar; and understanding how we have power that can be used for good. Other Filipina Americans in office The Asian Journal reached out to other Filipina Americans elected/appointed officials in California, but due to time constraints, busy schedules and pending deadlines, they were unable to accommodate our requests for an interview for this feature. We do, however, want to recognize them for their achievements and the work they continue to do: • Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California - The first Fil-Am and the second woman to serve as California’s chief justice, Cantil-Sakauye was nominated in 2010 by then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the state’s highest judicial office and was retained in office by voters in 2010. • Mona Pasquil-Rogers - In 2009, Schwarzenegger appointed Pasquil-Rogers as acting lieutenant governor, making her California’s first Asian and first Filipino/a to hold the position. At present, Pasquil-Rogers is Senior Advisor with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services. • Nikki Fortunato Bas, Councilmember, District 2 City of Oakland, CA - Prior to being elected to City Council, Bas was

Rachelle Arizmendi

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Mona Pasquil-Rogers

the executive director of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), a non-profit that helps with economic and discrepancies of low-income families. She is also the first FilAm to be elected to a public post in the City of Oakland. • Pat Gacoscos, Councilmember, Union City, CA - Gacoscos was first elected to the Union City Council in 2010, and was re-elected in 2014. Gacoscos was also Vice Mayor in 2012 and 2017. Previously, she held two elective positions: a Trustee for the New Haven Unified School District; and the Director for the Union Sanitary District. • Joanne F. del Rosario, Mayor, City of Colma, CA - Del Rosario was first elected to Colma City Council in 2006 and also served as mayor in 2015. She was also the past president of the Filipino American Association of Colma and past director of the Filipino American Coalition. • Diana Colvin, Councilmember, City of Colma - Colvin was appointed to Colma City Council in 2008 for a term of seven months to fill a vacancy and then was elected into the position November of that same year. She also was selected to serve as Mayor in 2010. • Malia Vella, Councilmember, City of Alameda - A labor and employment law attorney, Vella was also an adjunct professor at Mills College Lorry I. Lokey School of business and Public Policy. • Buenaflor Nicolas, Councilmember, City of South San Francisco, CA - Born in the Philippines and immigrated with her family in 1988, Nicolas is the third Asian American woman elected to the South San Francisco City Council and only the fourth woman to serve in that capacity. • Tzeitel Paras-Caracci, Mayor, City of Duarte, CA - Representing Duarte’s District No. 1, Paras-Caracci was first elected at-large in November 2001. In the historic 2018 district-elections, she was elected to serve a fouryear term representing District 1. As a public servant, Tzeitel has previously served as mayor in 2006, 2011 and 2015. • Letty Lopez-Viado, Councilmember, West Covina, CA - Letty Lopez-Viado is the first Mexican-Filipina American ever to be elected as a councilwoman for the city. She served as a West Covina Community and Senior Services Commissioner beginning in 2013 until November 2018, when she was elected to the city council. [This list includes up to the city council level only in Northern California. There are many Filipina Americans serving as trustees/board members in school districts and in city commissions. For more interviews with Pinay elected/appointed officials, including those in Southern California and Las Vegas, please visit the home page of www.] Interviews have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

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OCTOBER 10-16, 2019 • LAS VEGAS ASIAN JOURNAL • (702) 792-6678

Profile for Asian Journal Community Newspapers

101019 - Las Vegas Edition  

101019 - Las Vegas Edition