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Volume 18 - No. 17 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages


Volume 18 - No. 39 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages


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SC reminds Robredo, Marcos anew of DATELINE USA Immigrants who can’t rule vs public remarks on poll protest afford health care FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA


may be denied visas 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


Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation banning ‘Pay for Delay’ to fight runaway prescription drug costs


MANILA — The Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 9, reminded the parties of Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. about making public remarks on the pending electoral protest. SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka on Tuesday, October 8. told reSupporters of Vice President Leni Robredo gather at the Supreme Court porters: “I would like to again recompound in Manila on Tuesday, October 8, to await the electoral tribunal’s mind the parties and their lawyers ruling on the poll protest case. photo by DJ Diosina to respect the order of the court to

not comment or speak to media about the case, following the ‘sub judice’ rule.” The sub judice rule prohibits parties from discussing a pending case. Hosaka was asked to comment on statements made by lawyer Romulo Macalintal, Robredo’s counsel, earlier Tuesday. The elections lawyer claimed in an interview with DZMM that the vice president gained 15,000 votes in the recount of ballots from the three pilot provinces. The SC spokesperson said

that he cannot comment on Macalintal’s claims as only the magistrates know the results of the revision or recount in Iloilo, Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental. “I repeat what I said yesterday, that this case before the [Presidential Electoral Tribunal] is being carefully deliberated by our justices,” Hosaka added in Filipino. He stressed that the second highest position in the land and who rightfully won the seat are at stake in the case.


California child care workers now allowed to unionize under new law by RAE


TENS of thousands of California child care workers are celebrating after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law recently that will allow them to unionize and bargain for better wages and health benefits. The new law, AB387, was signed by Newsom on Monday, September 30 and will impact roughly 40,000 child care workers. SACRAMENTO – Building on the state’s It also comes after 16 years of home-based child care first-in-the-nation investments in the California providers pushing for the ability to unionize as a way budget and the Governor’s executive actions to to improve wages and get access to better benefits like lower prescription drug costs, Governor Gavin health care, retirement planning, or even specialized Newsom on Monday, October 7, signed into trainings. law three bills to lower the cost of prescription Similar bills have been introduced in the past, but drugs and increase access to care for California were struck down with gubernatorial vetoes. AB 1164, families. These bills will block pharmaceuti- for example, came close, but was vetoed by then-Govercal companies from keeping cheaper generic nor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. medicine off the market, improve black materEleven other states already allow child care workers nal health, and expand access to PrEP and PEP to collectively bargain. Supporters of former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. flash peace signs on their way to the Ermita church where they heard a solidarity photo by DJ Diosina HIV medication. In a statement, Newsom said, “Child care providers Mass while waiting for word from the Supreme Court. AB 824, authored by Assemblymember Jim help our economy by allowing working families and parWood (D-Santa Rosa) and sponsored by Attor- ents to report to work.” ney General Xavier Becerra, makes California “Creating quality jobs for the child care workforce the first state to tackle pay-for-delay agree- makes economic and common sense,” Newsom added. ments which hurt consumers and increase drug “These workers care for our kids — we need to take by CATHERINE VALENTE company profits by blocking the development care of them.” of generic drug competition. According to a The bill was authored by Assemblymember Monique PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte u PAGE A3 has remained the most trusted u PAGE A2 public official in the country, despite a decline in his approval and trust ratings, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey. stronger ties between Manila that of the United States,” PanThe survey result released on by ALEXIS ROMERO and Moscow, which were af- elo told ANC. Monday, October 7, showed that “Apart from that, it should be most Filipinos appreciated the acfirmed during Duterte’s recent THE Duterte administration’s official visit to Russia. more open into giving us fair complishments of Duterte, Senate effort to seek stronger ties with “As he (Duterte) said, ‘I will deals,” he added. President Vicente Sotto 3rd and Russia may impel the United maintain our relations with the Panelo cited the Philippines’ House Speaker Alan Peter CayetaStates to give the Philippines U.S.’ I don’t think it will be af- plan to buy firearms from the no for the past three months. fairer deals, Malacañang said fected. Perhaps if there is any U.S., which some American lawThe Pulse Asia survey conMonday, October 7. effect, it would be for the better makers opposed due to allega- ducted in September, with 1,200 Presidential spokesman Sal- because U.S. would now feel a tions that Duterte is promoting Filipino adults as respondents, vador Panelo said the U.S. may little insecure about it; where be- human rights violations. showed that Duterte obtained the feel “a little insecure” about the fore we tailor our position with u PAGE A2 u PAGE A3

Duterte most trusted PH official – survey

Palace: US a bit insecure over Russian ties

Manila is 3rd among 56 cities with lowest quality of life - report by KRISSY


MANILA ranked poorly at third place among 56 cities worldwide with the lowest quality of life, research published by Deutsche Bank has shown. Based on its May 2019 report, Deutsche Bank said the The shutdown of Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT 2), which at least 200,000 people ride daily, prompted the government and a private company to step in with measures to ease the suffering of commuters top three cities with the lowrelying on the train line. Contributed photo est quality of life were Lagos,

Nigeria; Beijing, China; and Manila, Philippines. One the other hand, the cities with the highest quality of life, according to the research, were Zurich, Switzerland; Wellington, New Zealand; and Copenhagen, Denmark. Manila also lagged in other indices from Deutsche Bank’s report, ranking 53rd in terms of purchasing power, 46th in


President Rodrigo Duterte is accorded foyer honors upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Sunday, October 6 following his successful official visit to the Russian Federation. Malacañang photo by Arman Baylon


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From the Front Page

SC reminds Robredo, Marcos anew... PAGE A1 “That’s why it is proper that the justices look into the issue and pieces of evidence very carefully and thoroughly,” Hosaka added. Voting reset to October 15 Hosaka said Tuesday that the tribunal “did not take any action” on the poll protest. Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin earlier said that the case is part of the en banc’s agenda every Tuesday. Last week, the SC also deferred action on Associate Justice Al-

fredo Benjamin Caguioa’s report on the initial recount that would be the basis on whether the case would be dismissed or the tribunal would continue the revision of ballots from 24 other provinces and cities identified in the electoral case. The SC is set to meet for a full court session on October 15. Marcos, Robredo slapped with fines in 2018 In June 2018, the tribunal slapped the two parties with fines of P50,000 each for their public

comments on the case. The tribunal’s order came over statements made by Macalintal and Marcos as the PET started the revision of ballots. Marcos was quick to claim that their camp, on the first day of recount, found that there were wet ballots and missing audit logs from the clustered ballots of the Municipality of Bato, Camarines Sur. Macalintal rebutted and said that Marcos’ observations do not constitute proof of electoral fraud. n

Duterte most trusted PH official...

PAGE A1 highest approval and trust scores at 78 percent and 74 percent, respectively. The ratings were 7 and 11 percentage points below the 88 and 85 percent he received in June. Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo brushed aside the perceived dip in the President’s ratings, saying the numbers were “still high.” “The rating is still high, it’s more than 70 percent. Surveys fluctuate depending on when they get them. If it is taken at the time when there are controversies hounding, it may affect the survey results. The fact remains that 70 percent plus remains still high,” Panelo said during a press conference. The drop in Dutetre’s ratings came amid the Senate investigation of the alleged irregularities at the Bureau of Corrections and the supposed involvement of “ninja cops” or erring policemen in the recycling of seized illegal drugs such as crystal meth (shabu). Meanwhile, Vice President (VP) Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo got a 50-percent approval rating and a

46-percent trust rating, a decrease from the 55-percent and 52-percent ratings, respectively, from the previous quarter. Sotto also got a slight decrease in his trust and approval ratings, garnering 72 percent and 66 percent, respectively, from the previous quarter’s 73 percent and 77 percent. On the other hand, Cayetano, who will only serve for 15 months under a power-sharing agreement with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, received a 64-percent approval rating and a 62-percent trust rating. Supreme Court Justice Lucas Bersamin, who is set to retire on October 18, had a 42-percent approval rating and a 34-percent trust rating, a slight change from last quarter’s 41 percent and 35 percent, respectively. The Office of the Vice President said the dip in ratings was a “challenge.” “We take the latest survey results as a challenge to redouble our efforts, both in continuing to serve the public and keeping the Filipino people better informed of

the work VP Leni is doing. We are likewise grateful that the VP continues to enjoy significant support from our fellow Filipinos,” Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said. “This support will further strengthen her commitment to stay true to her constitutional mandate, uphold our nation’s interests and work to uplift the lives of our people, especially the poor and marginalized,” he added. Meanwhile, Cayetano’s colleagues in the House of Representatives attributed his high ratings to his brand of leadership. “This is the first time that Speaker Cayetano has been rated by the Filipino people through the Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan survey, and we are collectively proud of our leader’s exemplary trust and approval rating,” said Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. “The trust and approval extended by our countrymen to Speaker Cayetano will definitely prompt all of us in the House of Representatives to work harder in the legislative mill in the days to come,” he added. (With Glee Jalea)

Manila is 3rd among 56 cities with lowest quality...

PAGE A1 safety index, 45th in both health care index and property price to income ratio, 51st in traffic commute time, 54th in pollution index, and 47th in climate index. In terms of cost-of-living index, the country’s capital ranked 10th out of 56 countries but lagged in terms of monthly salary (net of taxes) ranking 50th out of 55 cities.

The Deutsche Bank report stated that the net monthly salary in Manila dropped to $480 in 2019 from $498 in 2018. Other cities with the lowest net monthly salaries indicated in the report were Istanbul, Turkey with $433; Bangladesh, Dhaka with $375; Jakarta, Indonesia with $362; Lagos, Nigeria with $236; and Cairo, Egypt with $206.


San Francisco in the United States, meanwhile, was ranked as the city with the highest monthly salary at $6,526 followed by Zurich in Switzerland at $5,896. Deutsche Bank clarified the research “makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness” though it assured the information and its public sources are “believed to be reliable.” n




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BILIBID INSPECTION. Metro police chief Guillermo Eleazar inspects personnel and the security system at the New Bilibid Prison where seized illegal drugs were reportedly sold. photo by Paul Sugano

Palace: US a bit insecure over Russian... PAGE A1 He claimed there was no such condition when Philippine officials talked to their Russian counterparts about the possible purchase of military equipment. “Remember the Marawi incident, where the Chinese government and the Russian government gave us rifles, until now, they haven’t asked a single… according to the President not even a single toothpick. It’s free,” Panelo said, referring to the 2017 terrorist attack in Marawi that prompted Duterte to place Mindanao under martial law. The relationship between Manila and Washington became uneasy when Duterte became president in 2016. The U.S. under then president

Barack Obama had criticized the spate of deaths linked to Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, an act that the tough-talking Philippine leader regarded as an intrusion into Philippine affairs. Duterte has denied endorsing extrajudicial killings but has repeatedly ordered policemen to shoot drug suspects who pose danger to their safety. While Duterte was hostile to Obama, he was friendly to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has expressed support for his anti-drug war. He even described Trump as “a good friend.” In a speech at the Valdai forum in Sochi last Oct. 3, Duterte said he was not against the U.S., which he described as a “close friend” of the Philippines. He also clarified that the issue

is not the current global order, but the “actions of certain actors that violate the very principles that underpin this order.” “We are tired of the misguided and self-serving crusades of the few. It is time that they are challenged,” Duterte said. “The Philippines does not ask for special treatment nor favors from its partners. It does not seek exemption from the norms and principles that have kept the peace in our world for decades,” he said at the forum. “What we seek – as I assume what the Russian people and all nations also desire – is fairness, equality and mutual respect. We want a strengthened rules-based order where countries, big or small, are treated the same,” he added. n

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation banning ‘Pay... PAGE A1

Federal Trade Commission study, these anticompetitive deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year. The bill prohibits these agreements between brand name and generic drug manufacturers by making them presumptively anticompetitive. “California will use our market power and our moral power to take on big drug companies and prevent them from keeping affordable generic drugs out of the hands of people who need them,” said Governor Newsom. “Competition in the pharmaceutical industry helps lower prices for Californians who rely on life-saving treatments.” SB 464 by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) will reduce preventable maternal mortality among black women by requiring all perinatal health care providers to undergo implicit bias training to curb the impact of bias on maternal health, and improving data collection at the California Department of Public Health to better understand pregnancy-related deaths. The 2019-20 state budget includes more than $65 million of ongoing total funds to expand the California Home Visiting Program and the Black Infant Health Program, which will improve the health and wellness of mothers and children and allow more families to access these important culturally appropriate services. “California is sending a clear message that discrimination has no place in our health care system,” said Governor Newsom after signing SB 464. “We know that black women have been dy-

ing at alarming rates during and after giving birth. The disproportionate effect of the maternal mortality rate on this community is a public health crisis and a major health equity issue. We must do everything in our power to take implicit bias out of the medical system – it is literally a matter of life and death. I applaud the California Legislature for taking action to save the lives of mothers and children.” SB 159 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) authorizes pharmacists to furnish pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) without a physician’s prescription. The bill also prohibits insurance companies from requiring prior authorizations for patients to obtain PrEP coverage. The state budget includes onetime $40 million General Fund for infectious diseases prevention and control and ongoing $2 million General Fund specifically to address sexually transmitted diseases, as well as an additional ongoing $5 million General Fund for HIV prevention and control. “Recent breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of HIV can save lives,” Governor Newsom said of signing SB 159. “All Californians deserve access to PrEP and PEP, two treatments that have transformed our fight against HIV and AIDS. I applaud the Legislature for taking action to expand access to these treatments and getting us closer to ending HIV and AIDS for good.” The recent actions build on the Governor’s efforts to confront the cost crisis affecting working Californians. Just moments after being sworn in, the Governor launched a series of first-

in-the-nation actions to make health care more affordable for all Californians and to move the state closer toward the goal of health care for all. Those proposals included Executive Order N-01-19 to create the nation’s largest single-purchaser system for drugs and to, ultimately, allow all Californians and private employers to sit together at the bargaining table across from big drug companies when negotiating prescription drug prices. Earlier this year, the Governor announced that the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Alameda and San Francisco, among the largest public purchasers of prescription drugs in California, will partner with the state to use our combined market power to take on drug companies and lower the cost of prescription drugs. The 2019-20 state budget signed by the Governor makes historic investments in health coverage protections for Californians and includes a series of proposals that leads the nation in reducing health care costs and increasing access for families. The budget: • Invests $1.45 billion over three years to increase Covered California health insurance premium support for low-income Californians – and provides premium support for the first time to qualified middle-income individuals earning up to $72,000 and families of four earning up to $150,000, partially funded by restoration of an enforceable Individual Mandate; • Expands Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible undocumented young adults ages 19 through 25;


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Dateline USa



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


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 AMBASSADORS OF TRUTH. Eight leaders of indigenous peoples (IPs) in Mindanao recount their ordeals at the hands of the New People’s like garbage by the increasingly Army (NPA), during a press conference at the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) central office in Quezon City on Monday, authoritarian Duterte regime,” 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.

California child care workers now allowed to... PAGE A1 Límon, D-Santa Barbara, who called the signing a “win for California workers — especially women who make up the great majority of the childcare workforce in our state.” Límon praised Newsom for being a leader in changing times. “This is a new era,” said Assemblywoman Límon. “We have a new governor who cares a lot about childcare.” “AB 478 will create stability in California’s early care and education workforce,” added Límon. “California runs a 24-hour-a-day workforce, but our child care options for working families do not meet that need nor support those who provide child care. This bill will change that.” Before the bill went for a vote, Límon said, “AB 378 remains committed to stabilizing those who educate our earliest learners and the families who seek care for their families as they remain in the workforce.” Cosponsoring the bill was Services Employees International Union (SEIU) California, along with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO). A push towards better pay According to a recent study

WHO: Difficult vaccine access triggers PH outbreaks by Jovic


only vaccine hesitancy. [There are] logistical challenges, limited stockouts [that are] happening by the Economic Policy Institute port of the legislation. Senator Jeff THE World Health Organization frequently in many health faciliand UC Berkeley’s Center for the Stone (R-Temecula) said the bill (WHO) said on Monday, October ties,” WHO country representaStudy of Child Care Employment, was an example of labor union in- 7 that the measles and polio out- tive Rabindra Abeyasinghe told child care workers in California fluence over the state legislature. breaks in the Philippines were reporters on the sidelines of the are barely making ends meet. “This is nothing more than a triggered not only by the parents’ five-day 70th Session of the WHO In 2011, for example, the union grab,” said Stone during a refusal to have their children vac- Regional Committee for the Westhighest-paid child care provid- debate on the bill. “It’s very clear cinated but also by the country’s ern Pacific. ers working at licensed daycare that this institution is strongly “logistical challenges” that made “Even when there is no vaccine centers were making less than controlled by labor.” it difficult for the public to gain ac- hesitancy, there are challenges in $35,000 on average per year. The bill will go into effect be- cess to vaccines. accessing vaccines, [that’s why] State Senator Holly Mithcell ginning January 1, 2020. n “The situation in the Philip- children remain unprotected,” he (D-Los Angeles) joined others in pines is complex because it’s not added. support of the bill on the Senate floor and said that the bill would be beneficial to child care workers who are currently making “poverty wages.” Mitchell said that better pay would, in turn, mean better care for California’s children. Kim Pattillo Brownson, vice president for policy and strategy of First 4 LA, similarly said that the new law would allow child care workers to have greater stability and decent wages, which would result in better care for the state’s youngest children. “This is a ‘win-win-win’ because it helps young children through quality early education, it helps parents be productive in the workforce and it helps providers with greater stability, less turnover in the classroom, and better training and retention of a vital workforce,” said Brownson. But not everyone was in sup-

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation... PAGE A2 • Includes an increase of $1 billion, using Prop 56 funding, to support increased rates to MediCal providers, expanded family planning services, and valuebased payments that encourage more effective treatment of patients with chronic conditions; • Invests in and supports California’s seniors by expanding health and other vital state services to this fast-growing part of California’s population; • Ends the “senior penalty” in

deny entry to Filipinos behind what it 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 Sen. Leila De Lima Senate photo underlying sentiments behind the opposition senator said. the concerted efforts abroad to The U.S. Senate committee stand by me and my causes,” approved on September 27 an said De Lima. amendment to a bill seeking to PAGE A4

Medi-Cal by raising the income eligibility limit for older Californians; • Expands eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for the Medi-Cal Aged, Blind and Disabled program, estimated to help 22,000 Californians; • Invests boldly in responding to Alzheimer’s disease including $3 million for research grants with a focus on women and communities of color, and $5 million for Alzheimer’s disease local infrastructure. n

He said WHO had also noticed “inadequacy of staff” in some health centers. While these problems cut across sectors, the impact is more pronounced in poor communities as relatively well-off areas “can find alternatives,” Abeyasinghe said. By WHO estimates, there are around 750,000 children who remain unvaccinated. Waning rates Since 2014, vaccination rates PAGE A4


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Trump’s new order for Medicare packs potential rise in patients’ costs by Julie

Appleby Kaiser Health News

Vowing to protect Medicare with “every ounce of strength,” President Donald Trump last week spoke to a cheering crowd in Florida. But his executive order released shortly afterward includes provisions that could significantly alter key pillars of the program by making it easier for beneficiaries and doctors to opt out. The bottom line: The proposed changes might make it a bit simpler to find a doctor who takes new Medicare patients, but it could lead to higher costs for seniors and potentially expose some to surprise medical bills, a problem from which Medicare has traditionally protected consumers. “Unless these policies are thought through very carefully, the potential for really bad unintended consequences is front MED MISSION. Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association Inc. (PCCAI) Director Peter Ngo (2nd right) and Kamuning Bakery Café owner Wilson and center,” said economist SteLee Flores (3rd left) assist beneficiaries in wearing eyeglasses during the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center free medical and dental phen Zuckerman, vice president services at Kamuning Bakery Café in Kamuning, Quezon City on Sunday, October 6. The free medical and dental mission also kicked off the Oct. for health policy at the Urban 16 #WorldPandesalDay forum celebration. PNA photo by Ben Briones Institute. While the executive order spells out few details, it calls for the removal of “unnecessary barriers” to private contracting, which allows patients and doctors to negotiate their own deals outside of Medicare. It’s an approach long supported by some conservatives, but critics fear it would lead to higher costs for patients. The order also seeks to ease rules that affect beneficiaries who want to opt out of the hospital portion of Medicare, known as Part A. Both ideas have a long history, with proponents and opponents duking it out since at least 1997, even spawning a tongue-incheek legislative proposal that year titled, in part, the “Buck Naked Act.” More on that later. “For a long time, people who don’t want or don’t like the idea of social insurance have been trying to find ways to opt out of Medicare and doctors have been trying to find a way to opt out of Medicare payment,” said Timothy Jost, emeritus professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia. The specifics will not emerge until the Department of Health and Human Services writes the

rules to implement the executive order, which could take six months or longer. In the meantime, here are a few things you should know about the possible Medicare changes. What are the current rules about what doctors can charge in Medicare? Right now, the vast majority of physicians agree to accept what Medicare pays them and not charge patients for the rest of the bill, a practice known as balance billing. Physicians (and hospitals) have complained that Medicare doesn’t pay enough, but most participate anyway. Still, there is wiggle room. Medicare limits balance billing. Physicians can charge patients the difference between their bill and what Medicare allows, but those charges are limited to 9.25% above Medicare’s regular rates. But partly because of the paperwork hassles for all involved, only a small percentage of doctors choose this option. Alternatively, physicians can “opt out” of Medicare and charge whatever they want. But they can’t change their mind and try to get Medicare payments again for at least two years. Fewer than 1%of the nation’s physicians have currently opted out. What would the executive order change? That’s hard to know. “It could mean a lot of things,” said Joseph Antos at the American Enterprise Institute, including possibly letting seniors make a contract with an individual doctor or buy into something that isn’t traditional Medicare or the current private Medicare Advantage program. “Exactly what that looks like is not so obvious.” Others said eventual rules might result in lifting the 9.25% cap on the amount doctors can balance-bill some patients. Or the rules around fully “opting out” of Medicare might ease so physicians would not have to divorce themselves from the program or could stay in for some patients, but not others. That could leave some patients liable for the entire bill, which might lead to confusion among Medicare beneficiaries, critics of such a plan suggest. The result may be that “it opens

the door to surprise medical billing if people sign a contract with a doctor without realizing what they’re doing,” said Jost. Would patients get a bigger choice in physicians? Proponents say allowing for more private contracts between patients and doctors would encourage doctors to accept more Medicare patients, partly because they could get higher payments. That was one argument made by supporters of several House and Senate bills in 2015 that included direct-contracting provisions. All failed, as did an earlier effort in the late 1990s backed by then-Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who argued such contracting would give seniors more freedom to select doctors. Then-Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) opposed such direct contracting, arguing that patients had less power in negotiations than doctors. To make that point, he introduced the “No Private Contracts To Be Negotiated When the Patient Is Buck Naked Act of 1997.” The bill was designed to illustrate how uneven the playing field is by prohibiting the discussion of or signing of private contracts at any time when “the patient is buck naked and the doctor is fully clothed (and conversely, to protect the rights of doctors, when the patient is fully clothed and the doctor is naked).” It, too, failed to pass. Still, the current executive order might help counter a trend that “more physicians today are not taking new Medicare patients,” said Robert Moffit, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. It also might encourage boutique practices that operate outside of Medicare and are accessible primarily to the wealthy, said David Lipschutz, associate director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “It is both a gift to the industry and to those beneficiaries who are well off,” he said. “It has questionable utility to the rest of us.” n This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

De Lima disputes Bersamin: ‘US senators’ move... PAGE A3 mere PR feat the clear-cut sigThe detained senator said it nificance of the U.S. senators’ is “unfortunate” that Bersamin action.” “Perhaps, a self-reflection on the “would choose to downplay as a

part of the institutions with varying roles in facilitating Duterte’s vendetta against me, is called for,” she added. n

WHO: Difficult vaccine access triggers PH outbreaks

PAGE A3 across the country have been waning, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Over the course of five years, the immunization rate for polio ranged from a high of 75 percent in 2015 to a low of 66 percent last year. In the same period, measles coverage peaked at 79 percent in 2015 and dropped to 67 percent last year. For a community to achieve herd immunity and prevent an outbreak of any of the vaccinepreventable diseases, the coverage rate should be 95 percent. Staffing problem At the Senate’s hearing on the government’s immunization pro-

gram last month, Dr. Anthony Calibo, officer in charge of the DOH’s children’s health division, acknowledged the severe staffing problem. “You have a big country to work with, a large population of infants you need to cover and yet the technical capacity is down to two persons at the central level. At the regional office, you only have one medical officer and a nurse coordinator/cold-chain manager,” Calibo said. In neighboring Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the national immunization programs have at least 40 experts in the central office alone, he said. To close the gaps in the country’s vaccination efforts, Calibo

said the DOH had requested the creation of an immunization unit. RITM budget cut Unfortunately, the Department of Budget and Management disapproved the proposal. Similarly, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) suffered a budget cut of P80 million for its laboratory surveillance. It was RITM’s surveillance that helped detect the presence of vaccine-derived poliovirus in Manila and Davao. Senators have said that the immunization unit proposal would be considered and RITM’s P198million budget for 2020 would be restored, on top of possibly adding another P50 million for the center to expand its surveillance. n

Immigrants who can’t afford health care may... PAGE A1 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. “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)

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Dateline PhiliPPines

Artist, cultural activist Carlos Celdran passes away at 46 by Ian

nIcolas cIgaral

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 ”performance piece” called the “Damaso” — a protest he staged in September 2010 at the Manila Cathedral where he dressed file photo Cultural activist Carlos Celdran file photo

up as Jose Rizal and held up a as a symbol of oppression and placard with the word “Damaso” corruption by the church during before then-Papal Nuncio, Gaud- the Spanish occupation. Last year, the Supreme Court encio Rosales, several bishops and attendees of the ecumenical upheld Celdran’s conviction for offending religious feelings. service. Manila Archbishop Luis Anto“Damaso” is a reference to the villainous friar Padre Damaso in nio Cardinal Tagle in 2015 said Rizal’s classic novel “Noli Me that Celdran had been forgiven Tangere,” a character regarded by the church for the incident. n

Napoles asks SC 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 Tuesday, October 8. 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. No main plunderer in charge sheet 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 MacapagalArroyo of plunder. The SC granted Arroyo’s petition and set aside the rulings of the Sandiganbayan denying her demurrer to evidence.

Janet Lim-Napoles file photo

‘NGO not even a respondent’ 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 PAGE A8



OCTOBER 11-17, 2019 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • (650) 689-5160


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

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

impeachment inquiry against 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

(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. The late French leader strongly

Progress: 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 ac-

tually 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 solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, https://www.

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


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 Ambassador to Manila Gerard Chesnel, we contrib-

uted 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, former 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-inlaw 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 highlyregarded 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 oilrich 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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Court allows Ressa to to file demurrer plea that may lead to cyberlibel case dismissal by KRistinE Joy


MANILA — The Manila court handling the cyberlibel case against Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa has allowed them to file a pleading seeking the case’s dismissal without presenting counter-evidence. In a one-page order dated October 8, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Presiding Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa granted Ressa’s Motion for Leave of Court to file Demurrer to Evidence. This means that Ressa is al-

lowed to file a demurrer to evidence, a legal challenge to the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence against her. A demurrer to evidence paves the way for the dismissal of the case halfway through the trial, without the accused having to present counter-evidence. Rappler is given 10 days to file the motion, while the prosecution is given the same period to file a comment. After the parties submit their pleadings, the court will deem it submitted for resolution. Ressa and Rappler’s former reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. are facing a cyberlibel charge over a

May 2012 article. The article cited an “intelligence report� saying businessman Wilfredo Keng had been under surveillance for his alleged involvement in human trafficking and drug smuggling. Keng said the article was malicious. The DOJ indicted Rappler, Ressa and Santos on cyber libel charges, despite the cybercrime law being signed four months after the publication of the story. State prosecutors pointed out that the story was updated on Feb. 19, 2014, which puts it under the “multiple publication rule.� n



Duterte on next PNP chief: No stumbling again Palace backs PNP lifestyle checks

by Edith


DAVAO CITY — President Duterte does not want any stumbling anew in his choice of who will lead the 160,000-strong Philippine National Police after PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde reaches compulsory retirement on Nov. 8. Duterte said this time he would be very careful in scouting for a new PNP chief. “Maya-maya madapa na naman tapos ako ang magkaroon ng problema (There might be stumbling again and I will be the one with a problem),â€? Duterte said upon arrival from Russia late Sunday afternoon at the Davao International Airport. It was not clear if he meant he had “stumbledâ€? in picking Albayalde for the top PNP post. Albayalde is retiring amid controversy over his alleged involvement with “ninja copsâ€? or policemen who recycle and sell illegal drugs confiscated during police anti-narcotics operations. MalacaĂąang had earlier said Duterte still had trust and confidence in Albayalde. But the president had ordered Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo AĂąo to investigate the ninja cops case. Duterte said he wants solid evidence that Albayalde is not involved in the ninja cops case. The president said he will consult everybody on the matter as he does not want his choice for new PNP chief to have problems in the future.

“Not yet. Yan ang mahirap. We have to – they call it vet. I have to consult everybody,â€? the president said. Sen. Christopher Go earlier said the President is expected to name his choice of the next PNP chief before the end of the month. Duterte said he has not chosen anyone yet as he has to be careful with the one he would pick. Several names have been floated to replace Albayalde but the president said he does not have anyone in mind yet. Among those reported to be possible successors of Albayalde are his “mistahsâ€? or classmates at 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. Metro Manila police director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, a member of the PMA Hinirang Class of 1987, is also reportedly being considered. Another contender is PNP Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon. Lifestyle check MalacaĂąang expressed support for the conduct of lifestyle check for police officials following the ninja cops controversy that critics said could tarnish the credibility of the administration’s war on illegal drugs.?“That’s a very good idea. There should be lifestyle check internally among PNP, and for

that matter all heads of departments should conduct that on their own,� presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing.?“It will help because if you can see that there are people there who are not supposed to be having this kind of wealth, then there’s really a problem,� he added. ?He said a lifestyle check would not affect the administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs, the centerpiece policy of the Duterte administration. ? While Duterte clarified that no generals were involved in the narcotics trade, his next move would still depend on the findings of the probe to be conducted by the interior department, Panelo said. ?“You know, my statement was very clear. I said, ‘unless the president says otherwise, the reasonable presumption is that he enjoys the confidence of the president.’ And that is what the president said yesterday when he was asked about whether he still has the confidence of the PNP chief. He said that he is still there, which is obvious, if you are still there, that means I still trust you,� he told ABS-CBN News Channel. ?Asked if Albayalde is already off the hook, Panelo replied: “I think we will have to wait for the recommendation of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) secretary, as he said yesterday, October 7.�? DOJ probe Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra formed a three-man




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october 11-17, 2019 • NorcAL ASIAN JoUrNAL • (650) 689-5160

Bersamin denies being partial to administration by EvElyn


MANILA — Days before his retirement, Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has defended his voting record in the Supreme Court (SC) and cried foul over insinuations he was partial to the Duterte administration. Bersamin aired his sentiments in an interview with CNN Philippines Monday, October 7. Raised during the interview were his votes favoring the quo warranto case against former chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, declaration of martial law in Mindanao, upholding the constitutionality of Sen. Leila de Lima’s detention and the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. “I think that is an unfair file photo cation, it is as if I am siding with Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin her detention on Oct 10, 2017. the administration. I have always by two U.S. senators. U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin and The SC voted 9-6 to uphold the explained that a justice, such as me, when we study a case, we Patrick Leahy made the proposal detention of De Lima. It affirmed the ruling in June 2018. have different opinions,” said last month. “She came to the court and In proposing the amendment, Bersamin. The SC chief credited lawyers the two senators said her indict- asked for relief and we considof the Office of the Solicitor Gen- ment and detention were politi- ered the plea, we debated it. Of course she should not expect eral (OSG) for being prepared cally motivated. “PR (public relations) tour de that all of us will agree one way when defending their cases beforce,” Bersamin said of the U.S. or the other. I happened to take fore the high court. the side against her because I But he clarified he is not unduly senators’ move. “If they do implement that to am not convinced that we should siding with the OSG, insisting he makes it a point to always weigh ban officials who they believe are deprive the trial court to have juresponsible for the continued in- risdiction over her because if we arguments from both sides. Bersamin will turn 70 on Oct. carceration of Senator De Lima would dictate on the trial court to 18, the mandatory age of retire- it’s their privilege, nothing we set her free or remove the case, ment for a justice. He got his ap- can do about that. But the nature grabbing the jurisdiction of the pointment as chief magistrate 11 of that kind of action is interfer- trial court, we cannot do that,” ence, (but) they are privileged to he said. months ago. He emphasized the U.S. In the same interview, Bersa- do that,” the SC chief said. He also said he does not con- should not dictate on a case that min also said it would be interference on the part of the United sider himself as being among is already in court. “If they would States to bar from entering the those responsible for sending dictate on us on what we should country those responsible for De Lima to jail since he was only do to a case that is already pendthe detention of De Lima, as pro- performing a judicial function by ing before a court, I would not alposed in an amendment to a bill upholding the constitutionality of low that,” he pointed out. n

NEW DRUG REHAB CENTER. Senator Cynthia Villar (right), and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (left), lead the ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly opened Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center facility in Barangay Ilaya, Las Piñas City on Monday, October 7. Accompanying them are Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar and Representative Camille Villar. The idle buildings in the city were transformed into a rehab center in support of the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs. PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

Duterte on next PNP chief: No stumbling...

PAGE A5 special panel of prosecutors to handle the reinvestigation of the 13 alleged “ninja cops” who allegedly took and sold 160 kilograms of shabu worth P650 million during a drug raid in Pampanga in 2013. Guevarra said the department’s special panel members include Senior Associate State Prosecutor Alexander Suarez and Assistant State Prosecutors Josie Christina Dugay and Gino Paulo Santiago. DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete said Guevarra created the panel to re-investigate the complaint filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against the so-called ninja cops. The panel was given 30 days to complete the reinvestigation. “If warranted by the evidence, the special panel of prosecutors is further directed to file the corresponding information before the appropriate court,” Guevarra their alleged true ownership,” Inc. as partners in the implemen- said. PAGE A5 NGOs based on “say-so of the the petition read. He earlier assured the people tation of his supposed livelihood When the Sandiganbayan projects. self-confessed criminals turned that the panel would be fair in the state witnesses who unequivo- junked Estrada’s demurrer to Napoles is following the steps reinvestigation of the Pampanga cally admitted that they were of- evidence, it held that testimonies Arroyo took to her freedom, as raid and that all parties would be of the whistle-blowers, including the former president also chal- given the opportunity to present ficers of the NGOs.” “The miserable failure of the that of star witness Benhur Luy, lenged the Sandiganbayan’s their side. Ombudsman to indict the said “show to the court every step or dismissal of her demurrer to The reinvestigation would foNGO-corporations in the Infor- layer of the crime charged.” evidence before the SC and was cus on their alleged violation of Among the prosecution’s evi- eventually ordered freed. mation for Plunder or even sumRepublic Act 9165, particularly on mon them through any of the dence cited by the court was the In December, the Sandigan- Sections 27 (misappropriation), processes of the court, deprived project listing from Estrada’s bayan convicted Napoles for 29 (planting) and 32 (custody and the Sandiganbayan, 5th Division office identifying the Napoles- plunder in a separate case involv- disposition) that were dismissed in and the public respondents-jus- linked non-governent organi- ing the PDAF allocations of Sen. 2017. Dismissed drug complaints tices of any jurisdiction over their zations Masaganang Ani Para Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. filed before the DOJ are subjected persons, hence, it is not possible sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. Estrada ran in the same slate to automatic review. to pierce the veil of their corpo- and Social Development Pro- with Revilla but failed to win in In 2013, Police Maj. Rodney Barate fiction in order to determine gram for Farmers Foundation the 2019 midterm elections. n loyo and his men allegedly seized

Napoles asks SC for halt order vs plunder...

around 200 kilos of shabu, cash and vehicles from a suspected Chinese drug trafficker during a raid in Mexico, Pampanga on Nov. 29. 2013. The 13 policemen were supposed to have been relieved because of grave misconduct, but then PNP Central Luzon director Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus instead ordered their demotion and did not uphold their dismissal order in 2014. Albayalde was dragged into the controversy after former CIDG chief and now Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong mentioned his name in a closed-door meeting with senators in the course of narrating what he knows about the ninja cops when he investigated the Pampanga raid. Albayalde was then Pampanga police director who was relieved due to command responsibility. The internal probe found out that Baloyo declared only 38 kilos of the methamphetamine hydrochloride, vehicles and cash and let the suspect, identified as Johnson Lee, escape in exchange for P50 million. The raiding team, it was found out later, presented to the media another Chinese national,arrested in Clark the same day, as the suspect. Evidence Sen. Richard Gordon said yesterday that the Office of the Ombudsman is free to use as evidence the witnesses’ testimonies as well as the report to be released by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on

its inquiry into the ninja cops. Gordon, who chairs the panel, said there is enough information that came out of the investigation that can be used by the ombudsman to file charges against the police officers who allegedly pilfer and sell drugs seized from drug traffickers during raids. “I think it’s a very good investigation. Everything is under oath, I think the ombudsman should be taking note of these testimonies so they can file cases against those who should be charged,” the senator said. While there remains no evidence to link Albayalde to the actions of his men, Gordon said he is not yet ready to clear the PNP chief. He said the committee will hold another hearing on the matter to continue the questioning on Albayalde, who he said has left “a lot of questions unanswered.” “I think we have enough information on him (Albayalde) to make a decision (in the committee report), but again, I want General Albayalde to come forward to answer questions. We’re not going to make conclusions just like that,” he said. He said the PNP chief has not explained and justified clearly his actions after the raid, including the phone call he made to then PNP chief for Region 3 Aaron Aquino sometime in 2016 asking about the status of the case of his men, while asking that the dismissal proceedings against them be stopped. n

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A10 october 11-17, 2019

• NorcAL ASIAN JoUrNAL • (650) 689-5160

SF The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019


cover story The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

Pinay visionaries: A spotlight on Filipina American elected and appointed officials IntervIews by Malou Bledsoe, Joseph peralta and Christina M. oriel / aJpress


he 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 representation in Congress, it’s a start for individuals to have the backing and support to run on that level. On a national level, the late Maria Luisa Mabilangan haley, who served in the Clinton Administration, comes to mind. Mabilangan haley served in different capacities in the White house under President Bill Clinton. She had the distinction of becoming the first Filipino American to be confirmed in U.S. history by the Senate when she served on the Board of The export Import Bank of the United States. here in the Northern California region, Filipina American women serving in public office whether in an appointed or elected capacity, has seen an uptick, especially in the last couple of decades. Whether in the city council, school board/districts, or city commissions, these pioneering and dedicated women continue the public service legacy started by Buchholdt and serve as inspiration to young FilAm women who have political aspirations. 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.

Juslyn Manalo

Juslyn Manalo - Councilmember, Daly City, CA Young as she is, Daly City Councilmember Manalo is no stranger to public service. In 2016, she was the first-ever Filipina American elected to the city council’s 106-year history. During her first year in the council, she served as vice mayor. She was voted as Mayor in 2017 by the council and city officials. On creating a pipeline for the younger generation: I think we need to create a pipeline for more young women to understand that it is necessary for our community to have representation. Let’s have more mentor-

ship opportunities for younger women. I also say to young people, feel free to reach out to me. On the female myth: There continues to be the underlying myth that you cannot be in leadership roles and have a family, I have experienced that even today. We are in 2019, allow women to be who they are. Do not silo us into one role. We are dimensional. Look at house Leader Pelosi. On paying tribute: Filipina means to me is a great honor to be part of a culture that dates back to leadership with the Babaylans and we were in matriarchal society. With this year’s Fil-Am history Month theme celebrating Pinay Visionaries, we must honor those who have contributed to our community and to U.S. society because we have been able to influence, create, lead and empower in so many facets and sectors. It is time to celebrate and give tribute to these women.

nity. These narratives impact and empower people, making ripples of change that influence the minds and inspire people to dream and make a difference in the world. Be it climate change, government policy, politics or non-profit advocacies, let your voice be heard.

Santa Clara County and hope that my physical presence will encourage more Filipina Americans to run for office or apply for an appointed position in leadership roles. I also believe that more Filipina Americans need to be more involved in their communities and volunteer in official capacities to begin their growth in public roles. My husband and I both work, have schoolage children in the local public schools, and I wanted to ensure that our voices were represented in policy considerations. On recognizing the challenges: The challenges facing women in politics today are similar to the challenges all women in leadership positions face on a regular basis. There is higher scrutiny not only externally from the general public but also on one’s self as women tend to expect more of one’s self before applying or pursuing leadership positions. A large personal challenge for me was and continues to be the privacy of my family. On being Filipina: Being a Filipina recognizes the many men and women before me whose cultural celebrations created me and my family-oriented and community-centered values and beliefs. My visits to the Philippines taught me early that [it takes] a village raises a child.

Marjan Philhour

gress, working Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and serving as senior advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Governor Gray Davis administration. On why visibility matters: From an early age, I was lucky to benefit from mentors and community leaders who believed in teaching future generations the importance of public service. Whether it was volunteering at a local food bank in elementary school or at my local congressman’s office in high school, the importance of public and community service was Dianne Martinez ingrained in me at a young age. I was always taught that ‘you can’t Dianne Martinez - Councilbe what you can’t see.’ It’s so member, City of Emeryville, CA important to ensure that Filipino Martinez was recently reAmericans are in public positions elected to the emeryville City to set an example for future genCouncil, and served as mayor erations. Our youth are watching in 2016. She sits on boards of us at all times — how we act, two regional bodies, east Bay how we lead, how we engage. Community energy and StopIt’s critical that Filipina AmeriWaste, which fights solid waste, cans have a seat at the table so food waste, and energy waste in that our voices are heard and Alameda County. our viewpoints are considered On being a voice for the in crafting policy and setting the under-represented: I decided agenda. to run for office to give a voice On speaking up: I feel so to families with small children lucky to grow up in the Bay in a community where we are Area, and to be able to raise under-represented. I am proud my kids here, where our culture to be the first Asian American Rozzana Verder-Aliga Sonia Delen is influential and present in our member of the emeryville City Rozzana Verder-Aliga day-to-day lives. Being Filipina Council,” City of emeryville Sonia Delen - Member, the State Bar of California Board of Councilmember Dianne Martinez Councilmember, City of Vallejo means representing our values A senior manager with and priorities while serving as a said. As part of the City Council, Trustees Solano County Behavioral health leader and voice for our comshe responds to emails, read Delen’s passion for commuby day, Vallejo Councilmember munity every day. We add value On breaking the glass nity and public service has been Verder-Aliga is the first and only to the discussion, and we owe it ceiling: I have experienced a shaped since her childhood Filipina American in elected to future generations to elevate lot of support from my fellow days in a barrio in Batangas office in Vallejo and Solano our voice. It’s a point of pride City, where her family home was elected officials since I’ve been County. Prior to her first election and honor to serve as senior in office, but when I first ran, like a community center open to the council in 2013, Verderadvisor to Mayor Breed. Mayor I encountered some serious for those who needed help. In Aliga also served several terms Breed has lived so many of the sexism. I had men AND women addition to being a senior vice experiences of our community. question my ability to do the job on the Vallejo School Board. president at Bank of America’s On a passion for public She sees our community. Since on top of a career and raising a leasing division, Delen was apservice: I ran for elected office taking office, Mayor Breed has family. I think a new glass ceilpointed by then California Govbecause of my passion for public proactively included our Filipino ernor Jerry Brown in 2018 to the ing is being broken by women service and love for serving community at the table. We Board of Trustees with the State elected officials, staffers and our community. I also believe encourage interested individuals lobbyists who are pregnant or Bar of California for 2019-2020 that the Filipino American to seek appointments to boards new mothers. and was also reappointed to community needs representaand commissions, and to engage On being Filipina and the Board of Trustees of health tion and a voice at all levels of with our office to make positive celebrating Fil-Am History Professions education Foundagovernment. Decisions made by change within our community. Month: Living in the Bay Area, tion (2016-2020). local governing boards and city On structural support: Repwe are blessed to be among On bringing perspective: councils impact our quality of resentation — or lack thereof As a non-lawyer, public member so many folks who are activlife. I care deeply about families, — is a huge challenge. While we ists, staffers, nonprofit workers, of the Board of Trustees of The elderly and children. It is critical have made tremendous strides artists, historians, chefs, farmers State Bar of California, Delen that we participate in the politiover the years, we need to do brings a lay person’s view of the and more. While it is important cal process and be part of the more to not only encourage to recognize the sacrifices of legal profession as an engine solution to problems/concerns. more women to run for office our elders, I see so many young for a just society. “I represent On the multifaceted roles but provide the institutional consumers, the public in general Filipinos who are walking the of Filipinas: Women face many support that reflects the changwalk — documenting the food and the under-represented, ing structure in our families, and culture of our forebears, and challenges in politics today, on which adds to the diversity of a larger scale some of these and ensure that our public (and shedding the colonial mentalilaw professionals and levels the political) policies also reflect the playing field for legal representa- ties like racism and colorism that are gender equality and equity issues; financial issues, carevarious responsibilities women have held us back as a people. tion of all citizens. taker/mother/parent/daughter hold personally and professionalOn community building: roles at home; family obligations ly. We must be vocal and proud We must continue to elevate, and lack of career opportunities of our accomplishments. It’s lift and encourage one another. or options. At present, things important for us to seek leaderFilipinos are known to be some have gotten better for women ship roles in our communities of the best workers and leaders in politics today, so we need to and stay in contact on a very in the world; we have the skills, continue on this trajectory to local level with our neighbors character and attitude. We need support women and also provide and families every day. We serve to show the world how effective them with the necessary training as conduits and connectors and we are as individuals, how we and mentoring. must utilize the resources before use culture to our advantage, On mentorship: We need us to ensure that we are touting and how we celebrate diversity to be mentors to fellow Filipina our vision and accomplishments to build collaborations. Americans. We need to encourfor our community every day. It is a civic duty of anyone age our young Pinays to get inOther Filipina Americans in to give more, share more. I volved in leadership positions at office mean there are a lot of avenues all levels, such as their neighborThe Asian Journal reached for someone to be involved in Marico Sayoc hoods, schools, work, nonprofit out to some of the other Filipina something, whether you finanorganizations. I would like to Marico Sayoc - CouncilAmericans elected/appointed cially support a starting Filipina develop a program or pipeline member, town of Los Gatos officials in California, but due to social entrepreneur, mentor at the local level (i.e. emerge, Sayoc first ran for office in time constraints, busy schedules young women about her career Leadership Vallejo, etc.) to help and pending deadlines, they choices, give time for a weekend 2014 because she wanted to implement sustainability policies recruit, train and mentor current were unable to accommodate volunteer event, support grassshe recommended while she was and future Pinay leaders. our requests for an interview for roots campaigns, look for sponMarjan Philhour - Senior a planning commissioner and this feature. We do, however, sors or share an advocacy page Advisor, Office of San Francisco want to recognize some of them fill a gap where she felt she was poster in social media. There’s Mayor London Breed not represented in their town’s for their achievements and the always something to do for the Philhour was named a senior work they continue to do: Council. She is also the incombetterment of this world. advisor to Mayor Breed — the • Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief On a united front: We need ing president of the League of first black female mayor of Cities’ Peninsula Division that Justice of California – The first to be united. As Filipinos and San Francisco — bringing with represents the Counties of Fil-Am and the second woman as one nation, we need to show Santa Clara, San Mateo and San her more than two decades in to serve as California’s chief that we can use our economic government, politics, community justice, Cantil-Sakauye was nomiFrancisco. power/buying power. We need organizing and political advoOn civic engagement: I am nated in 2010 by then California to insist that we have a voice, cacy. her experiences include proud to be the first Filipina Governor Arnold Schwarzenegthat we must be heard and working for members of ConAmerican on a City Council in ger for the state’s highest judicial that we are a strong commu-

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

office and was retained in office by voters in 2010.

Mona Pasquil-Rogers

• Mona Pasquil-Rogers – In 2009, Schwarzenegger appointed Pasquil-Rogers as acting lieutenant governor, making her the 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 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 Fil-Am 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. [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] Interviews have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ SOme people who are in the U.S. with immigration problems/issues, such as being out of status, in deportation/ removal, or they are outside the U.S. hoping to immigrate one day, are reluctant to do anything about it because they don’t want to spend money and/or they think it may be “too expensive” to fix their problem. They are putting a monetary value on their immigration status. But there are so many benefits to lawful immigration status, which these people need to consider. Therefore, they should consider other factors and realize the true value of being legal, which far outweigh the cost: • Legal status brings peace of mind. If a person is out of status, they are anxious and nervous. Some lay awake at night, fearful of getting caught and deported/removed. How many people are afraid of being pulled over while driving, a knock on the door late at night, and afraid they may be reported and turned over to ICe? • Legal status allows a person to safely travel to the Philippines to visit family. many people who are out of status are alone in the U.S., while their family misses them in the Philippines. They may communicate with their spouse and children via Facetime, Facebook, Viber, etc., but nothing compares with hugging your child or aging parents being there for important events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. • Legal status could possibly allow your family to join you in the U.S. If a person can legalize their status, it may also include their spouse and children, who may possibly qualify for immigrant visas to join the person in the U.S. • Legal status provides a better life and opportunities for your family, especially your

The value of being legal and legal services



The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

“Legal status enables a person to work at a well-paying job equal to their education or experience. If a person is out of status, they may have to accept any kind of low-paying job just to survive and pay their bills. If they legalize their status, they could possibly work anywhere and/or at a well-paying job equal to their education or experience.” children. most people came to the U.S. primarily to make a better life for their children. But if they are all out of status, what future is there for their children? While some may temporarily get by on DACA, or the parents hope the child will marry a U.S. citizen, it could still be possible for the parent to do something about their own legal status which would also benefit their children. • Legal status enables a person to work at a well-paying job equal to their education or experience. If a person is out of status, they may have to accept any kind of low-paying job just to survive and pay their bills. If they legalize their status, they could possibly work anywhere and/or at a well-paying job equal to their education or experience. There are so many other benefits to being legal, that a person has to really put a value on those benefits. What is the value of having peace of mind? Isn’t it worth the expense, if it is possible to legalize your status? Think of all the other things that people spend money on, whether it is the latest Apple product, large-screen TV, vacations, etc. Was that money well-spent compared to the value of spending money to get legal? I am not stating that everyone is qualified or eligible to clear up their immigration problems and/or legalize their

status. But given the value of legal status, a person should at least explore their options and chances, rather than doing nothing because of the monetary cost. You should consult with an immigration attorney who can evaluate your situation and determine if there is hope and if you have chances, because legal status is priceless! Trading an old employer for a new one sTill goT Them The prioriTy daTe from The previous employer, Thus cuTTing waiT Time. *** husband and wife, Jon (left) and Jen (center), were working for an employer who agreed to sponsor their employment petition. however, michael J. gurfinkel has been an at- the work became increasingly difficult that their quality of life suffered, making the couple quit their jobs. faced without a sponsor, no torney for over 35 years and is li- jobs, and two deaths in the family that they could not go home for, was a tremendous burden for the family. censed, and an active member of when they asked the advice of leading u.s. immigration attorney michael J. gurfinkel, he told them to look for another employer who the state Bars of california and new would be willing to sponsor them. fortunately, Jon and Jen found a new employer that gave them new hope and a new lease on life. atty. york. all immigration services are gurfinkel was also successful in transferring the priority date on the first employer’s case to the new employer’s petition, saving years provided by, or under the supervi- of additional waiting time. watch this success story on an encore episode of ciTiZen pinoy – on sunday at 6:15 pm (psT) on Tfc. (advertising supplement) sion of, an active member of the state Bar of california. each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “success stories”, endorsements and reenactments) are of a general nature, they chose march because it is by Jan Milo Severo and are not intended to apply to any a significant month for them. particular case, and do not constitute “We chose march because a prediction, warranty, guarantee or CeLeBRITY couple Richard we got engaged in march. Kai legal advice regarding the outcome Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati an- (their second son) was born in of your legal matter. no attorney-clinounced that their wedding will march... march is a very special ent relationship is, or shall be, estabbe on march 2020. month for us, so we felt march lished with any reader. The couple announced the would be right to get married,” weBsiTe: date of their wedding at the Sarah explained. follow us on noontime variety show “Parang everything aligned. kellaw and Twitter @gurfinkellaw “ASAP Natin To.” When we were checking the call Toll free to schedule a consulta“We’re happy to announce dates, when we were checktion for anywhere in the us: that we are finally getting maring availabilities, everything, 1-866-487-3465 ried on march 2020 here in ma- parang everything aligned for (866) – gurfinKel nila and we’re looking forward march. So we decided, let’s do four offices to serve you: to that day,” Richard declared. it in march,” Richard added. los angeles ∙ san francisco ∙ new In a press conference after Fans are invited to Richard yorK ∙ philippines Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez “ASAP,” Sarah and Richard said Continued on Page SF5 Photo from Instagram/@richardgutz (advertising supplement)

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



The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

celebrity world

Screen Icon Amalia Fuentes Passes Away

By Ferdie Villar FORMER movie queen Amalia Fuentes passed away last Saturday, October 5 due to multiple organ failure. She was 79. Dubbed as the “Elizabeth Taylor of the Philippines,” Fuentes, whose real name was Amalia Muhlach, has been having health issues after suffering a heart attack several years ago. Her passing was confirmed by her nephew Niño Muhlach and her grandchildren Alfonso and Alyanna Martinez. In a Facebook post, Alyanna said, “It is with great

sadness that I together with my siblings Alfonso and Alissa, inform you that our Grandmother, Amalia Amador Muhlach has taken her last breath this morning in the Philippines. She is now reunited with her husband Joey Stevens, our mother Anna-Lissa Martinez and her ex-husband, our Lolo Bobby. We have prayed for nothing but peace for her and now she can finally rest. Our family only asks that you respect our privacy during this time and join us in praying for her soul.” Born in Bicol Province in August 27, 1940, Amalia,

the eldest of three siblings, became her family’s breadwinner soon after losing her father to war. She and brothers Alex (Cheng) and Alvaro went into the acting business. Amalia was launched to stardom via Sampaguita Pictures’ “Movie Fan” with actor Juancho Gutierrez in 1956. Both had earlier won the Mr. and Ms. Number One contest conducted by the movie outfit. In a career that spanned about six decades and 130 films, Fuentes worked with the who’s who of Philippine entertainment. Her leading men Former Movie Queen Amalia Fuentes, who passed away recently, is shown with her best friend, beauty impresario Ferdie Villar, in photo above. Amalia was a model at a fashion show organized by Villar for the benefit of the Philippine Cancer Society at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Beautiful and talented actress Judy Ann Santos returns to television via a new teleserye after 5 years. She is the lead actress of “Starla,” which started airing Ariel Rivera plays one of the main characters in one of the newest teleseryes of The Filipino Channel entitled “Sandugo,” which also stars talented actress Vina Morales. last Monday, October 7 in The Filipino Channel.


included Joseph Estrada, Eddie Gutierrez, Romeo Vasquez and Fernando Poe Jr. She also shared screen time with fellow actors Eddie Garcia, Gloria Romero, Susan Roces, Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Christopher de Leon and Sharon Cuneta, to name a few. Amalia’s close friends in the entertainment business and her family fondly called her “Nena.” Amalia Fuentes was widely considered as the rival of fellow screen legend Susan Roces during the 1950s and 1960s. Both had devoted fans who would fight tooth and nail for their favorite, and extoll the beauty, acting and accomplishments of each actress. Fuentes won a FAMAS Best Actress award in 1967 for the film “Ibulong Mo Sa Hangin” (Whisper to The Wind). She also won the 1973 Best Actress trophy in the Manila Film Festival entry “Pag-ibig Mo Buhay Ko!”. My sincerest condolences to Filipina socialite and antique collector Sylvia Ford is shown with her best friend, the late movie queen Amalia Fuentes, during Amalia’s visit with her in 2013. the family of Amalia Fuentes!







The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

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 FIL-AMS ORGANIZE MEET & GREET WITH SF MAYOR LONDON BREED. Some leaders in the Filipino American community organized a Meet & Greet with San a situation forcing them to run Francisco Mayor London Breed last October 5, 2019 which was held at the “Iloilo House” along Sutter Street, close to the Japantown district. Mayor Breed, who is and escape from the foster care running for reelection to the city’s mayoral post in the November 5 elections, talked briefly about the steps being taken by the Mayor’s office in addressing critical system that threatens to split issues in the city, including affordable housing, mental health and drug use. Mayor Breed also took time to address her appointment of Suzy Loftus as the acting them apart during Christmas. District Attorney after current DA George Gascon’s sudden departure. Photo above shows Filipino American community leaders with Mayor Breed (4th from left, front row), who was accompanied by Senior Advisor Marjan Philhour, herself a Fil-Am, as they hold placards in support of Proposition A, which authorizes the city The film is based on a novel by Marilyn Pappano and scripted to increase its debt by issuing up to $600 million in bonds to fund affordable housing. Prop A is also in the ballot in the Nov. 5 elections. Photo and Text by Joseph Peralta/AJ Press by Maria Nation. It was very ably directed by Michael Pressman. The CTV It is a heartwarming story set in a small town called Files Bethlehem during Christmas with engaging characters like Agatha and Corrina. For those with a penchant for romance, “I’m smart enough to acquired during marriage is Atty. lilli BAculi collins, esQ the story has spades of it as handle my own divorce. Why community property. And if well. So check this film out on do I need an attorney?” anything out of the community SAN DIeGO is “military youtube whether it is Christmas You don’t need an attorproperty is used towards sepatown” where Navy and Maor not. In my opinion, this is a ney. There is no requirement rate property, the community rine Corps families abound, as timeless piece of good work that you must have an attormight turn out to have a claim well as retirees from different worth watching a hundred ney. however, in cases involvon part(s) of separate property. branches of our military. times. It will be an hour and ing issues such as military Separate property are “all The military life is a test of some minutes to lighten your divorce, domestic violence, property acquired before marresilience and grit for many load and feel the presence of custody disputes, child supriage; all gifts, bequests, defamilies with divorce as almost angels in your life as well. port, spousal support, and vise, or descents. All property an expectation rather than the Suspend disbelief. That is division of community propacquired or exchanged with exception. the only way to enjoy stories erty assets it would be wise to traceable separate property; The following seeks to adabout angels. seek advice from a licensed and all property acquired after dress or clarify some common Trawl the internet and soand experienced attorney so separation.” misconceptions about military cial media and read about how as not to waste your time and For military retirement divorce. We urge individuals angels, though unseen in many money, not to mention the purposes, the portion of retireconsidering divorce to seek a instances, can be felt by many court’s time and resources, licensed, competent, and expe- ment earned during marriage who believe in them. There before separation is considered especially when you have to rienced attorney to help guide are many instances when the keep going back to court becommunity property. A spouse them through the maze. presence and oftentimes the cause of incomplete or missing is eligible to receive a portion “I found out my wife had direct interventions of one’s documents that could have an affair while on deployment. of the military spouse’s retirepersonal guardian angel are a been addressed from the very ment no matter how long they I want to file for Divorce but part of the twists and turns of beginning by a competent and were married so long as the she does not want to. But it’s the unraveling story of many knowledgeable attorney. military spouse was earning all her fault.” people’s lives. Not all divorce cases are retirement benefits while they California is a no-fault Many have written about the same. It is important to were married. The Court may divorce state. A party filing their encounters with angels, be properly informed about divide “disposable” retired for divorce does not need the documenting how their guardyour rights and responsibilities pay, which is the “gross” consent of the other in order ian angels are a real part of under California law in divorce to file a Petition for Dissolution monthly retired pay minus proceedings. The wrong advice certain deductions. (Divorce) or, in some instances, or information can and will “S/he is the one who left to get a judgment of divorce. hurt you, and waste your time our family. I shouldn’t have to Note that the Servicememand money. Consult a licensed pay support.” bers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and experienced family law Issues of marital infidelgives military members a wide attorney to help you navigate ity and family support can be range of legal protections not through your divorce. available to the general public, handled directly within the *** military, with each military such as postponing court proAtty. Lilli Baculi Collins is an associate attorceedings. This includes divorce branch having their own guidelines. In California, however, ney with Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional and child support. In general, Legal Corporation (CTV) - a full-service law the SCRA covers all active duty since this is a no-fault divorce firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, servicemembers, reservists and state there is no assignment of blame or fault; fault does not Sacramento and Philippines. The informathe members of the National factor in the equation in the tion presented in this article is for general Guard while on active duty. information only and is not, nor intended to “What? I have to share my issue of support. Some of the factors that the Court will look be, formal legal advice nor the formation of retirement earnings? This is at to determine whether there an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail mine!!” is basis for support, and if so, CTV for an in-person or phone consultation Generally, all of your assets in what amount, are – length to discuss your particular situation and/or prior the marriage is just your of marriage, age of parties, how their services may be retained at (619) own separate property. howif there are minor children in 955-6277; (415) 495-8088; lbaculi@ctvattys. ever, California is a community the marriage, income of both com; property state and so once parties.  (AdvertisingSupplement) you get married, all property

California Divorce with a Twist: The Military Spouse

Vice Ganda on rumored boyfriend Ion “IT’S Showtime” host Vice Ganda wouldn’t want to comment on the real status of his relationship with Ion Perez. At the 10th anniversary presscon of “It’s Showtime” recently, Vice was asked to spill the beans regarding him and Ion. Vice said he is elated that a lot of people are happy that he has a love life. But all he can say is that he is happy and he would like to thank those who expressed happiness regarding the state of his love life. Of course, Vice is also thankful that “It’s Showtime” is marking its 10th anniversary. he said that he and his co-hosts, plus the production team, are thankful to reach such milestone. he recalled the time he sought leave from the show as he is getting burnt out. But he was not permitted by management to resign so he asked to be given a rest instead. As such, he went on a concert tour. But Vice missed the show. “I am also happy with the friendship that we have developed among the hosts. We are like one big family and we look

Vice Ganda and Ion Perez

forward to seeing each other every day,” he said. “If it may seem that we have tampuhan, it’s but natural among friends but we always patch up our differences.” “It’s Showtime” brings its biggest anniversary celebration to date called “Sampu Sample,” a year-long festival of surprises that marks the program’s ten years of making Filipinos happy and invites all madlang people to not just have fun but also help in taking care of the environment and making a difference. First of the ten surprises is the hosts’ annual Magpasi-

ABS-CBN photo

kat competition this October, featuring the following groups: Anne Curtis, Amy Perez, and Bidaman Top 6; Jugs Jugueta, Teddy Corpuz, ‘Ate Girl’ Jackie, Ion, and Stephen; Karylle, Ryan Bang, and GT; Vice Ganda and the Top 3 queens of “Miss Q & A’s” two seasons; and Vhong Navarro, Mariel Rodriguez, and hashtags. each group’s Magpasikat performance is required to bring together ten dozen or 120 madlang people — ordinary Kapamilyas and not celebrities — and be given a chance to shine on national television. (

Wedding of the year? Richard, Sarah share... From Page SF3 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 much-anticipated 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 when they were paired as a love team for a GMA-7 teleserye, have two sons, Zion and Kai.

Angels among us “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” — From Frank Capra’s film “It’s a Wonderful Life”

their lives 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.


The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - October 11, 2019

Profile for Asian Journal Community Newspapers

101119 - Northern California Edition  

101119 - Northern California Edition