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O C T O BER 12-18, 2018 Volume 11 - No. 51 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages

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New poll finds: Majority of Filipinos claim to be poor by AJPRESS A SURVEY from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) concluded that there is an increase in the number of Filipino families claiming that they are poor from the 48 percent in June to 52 percent at the most recent. More than a million Filipino families joined the ranks of the poor in the self-rated nationwide poll. The said survey conducted from September 15 to 23 indicated a significant spike from the previous 11.1 million in June as it jumped to 12.2 million families in

September. “This is the second consecutive increase in self-rated poverty in 2018. Since the 42 percent recorded in March 2018, self-rated poverty has increased by 10 points in total,” SWS said as reported by The Manila Times. Among the 52 percent who rated themselves poor, only 8 percent were “newly poor,” meaning they did not consider themselves poor one to four years ago. The poll revealed that 36 percent, or about 8.5 million families, considered themselves food-poor. It increased by 2 percent or about 700,000 families from 34 percent


DATELINE Trump nominates Patrick Bumatay to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

SAN FRANCISCO — President Trump announced his intent Wednesday. Oct. 10 to nominate Patrick J. Bumatay to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If confirmed, Patrick will be the first FilipinoAmerican judge to ever serve on a federal appeals court, the second openly LGBT federal circuit court judge, and the second FilipinoAmerican Article III judge in the history of the United States. Patrick is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, where he is a member of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces Section. He is currently detailed to the Office of the Attorney General, where he serves as Counselor to the Attorney General on various criminal issues, including the national opioid strat-

in June. The increase indicated in the study could be attributed to the nine-year high inflation at 6.7 percent in the same month. Along with it were increase in the prices of rice and fuel and a weakening peso. The University of Asia and the Pacific School of Economics Dean Cid Terosa said that inflation and the rising cost of food propelled the rise in self-rated poverty nationwide. The said survey used face-toface interviews with 1,500 respondents and had a margin of error


Go, Roque, Cayetano running in 2019 by ALEXIS


Duterte told members of the Malacañang Press Corps when asked whether he was expecting a Cabinet revamp because of the MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on 2019 polls. Tuesday, October 9, identified six of his ofDuterte said Cayetano is running for conficials who are expected to run in next year’s gressman in his district in Taguig, adding midterm elections. he had already picked Cayetano’s possible Duterte said among the officials resign- successor. ing to seek electoral posts are his special “I have a name. He agreed but he did not assistant Christopher Go, Foreign Affairs authorize me to name him,” the president Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, presidential said. spokesman Harry Roque Jr., political affairs Duterte also expressed belief that Roque adviser Francis Tolentino, Agrarian Reform would run for senator. Roque has said he Secretary John Castriciones and Technical has not yet decided whether or not to seek Education and Skills Development Authority an electoral post. The president said Roque has been flipPresidential spokesman Harry Roque with fellow Cabinet secretaries on Monday, October 8, director Guiling Mamondiong. “I’m sure there will be guys running,” the day he said he was on indefinite leave. Malacañang photo u PAGE A2

AFP declares the end of war with MILF Palace: Duterte cancer-free, healthy and in high spirits by AJPRESS

ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. has officially declared that the war is over between the Philippine military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). “I can now declare that the war between the Armed Forces and the MILF is finally over,” Galvez said as u PAGE A4 reported by The Manila Times. Galvez announced this during his visit to MILF Chairman Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim on Saturday, October 6, at the MILF’s Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat. “To my commanders, let us embrace our brothers and sisters and give them respect and lasting

Kavanaugh sits on Supreme Court bench after weeks of debate over sexual misconduct

JUST weeks before the midterm elections are to take place, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh sat on the Supreme Court bench for the first time on Tuesday, October 9 after weeks of debating accusations of sexual assault and alcohol abuse. Kavanaugh, 53, was confirmed on Saturday, October 6, and replaces retired Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy who resigned earlier this year. Swearing Kavanaugh in was Chief Justice John Roberts. The 50-48 Senate confirmation vote to approve Kavanaugh was the closest of such kind in over a century, and was a major victory for President Donald Trump and Republicans who with Kavanaugh may now see a 5-4 majority vote in nine seat Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was Trump’s second nomination to get a seat on the court since the president took office in 2016. On route to a campaign rally in Kansas, Trump said of Kavanaugh, “We’re very honored that he was able to withstand this horrible, horrible attack by the Democrats.”


THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. President Rodrigo Duterte discusses matters with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Secretary Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano at the Patra Bali Resort and Villas in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday, October 10. Malacañang photo by Simeon Celi




MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, October 9, said President Rodrigo Duterte has tested negative for cancer. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s top aide, made the statement amid the clamor for the president to publicly reveal the state of his health as required by the Constitution. “Sorry to disappoint his critics. The president is very healthy and in high spirits. I know for a Armed Forces chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. shakes hand with MILF Chairman fact that he is cancer-free. He Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat. photo will finish his term and live be-

yond 2022. Tuloy lang po ang aming trabaho. Salamat po sa inyong concern sa kanyang kalusugan (We will continue our work. Thank you for your concern on his health. I assure you, there is nothing to worry about),” Go said in a chance interview before the presentation of signed laws on occupational safety and health hazards and on personal property security act. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. during a press briefing echoed Go’s statement saying, “It is not serious. It does not have to be divulged.”


Siargao, Boracay, Palawan top Conde Nast list by AJPRESS THREE Philippine islands nabbed the top spots as Asia’s Best Islands voted by readers of international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler for its 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Ranking first is the teardrop-shaped island of Siargao, “home to more than 15 separate surf breaks, including the legendary Cloud 9, which counts Kelly Slater and Anthony Kiedis among its fans,” as written by Verena von Pfetten for Conde Nast. “We like to say that surfers are the vanguard of travelers, scoping out some of the more remote parts of the world for surf breaks before the rest of us get there… but our readers, an adventurous sort, have caught on. There’s enough white sand to go around,” the write-up read.

Boracay secured the second spot — proving that tourists remain interested in the popular island despite its temporary closure. The magazine raved: “This itty-bitty island (just under four square miles) in the Western Philippines is as close to a tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia, with gentle coastlines and made-for-Instagram sunsets. Fold in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region.” It also noted Boracay’s White Beach, with its “with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling.” Palawan, in third place, is lauded for being a regular on the magazine’s list of the world’s best islands. Ms. Susan del Mundo, representing the Department of Tourism office in New York, received Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River was the Top Island in Asia award for Siargao at the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice highlighted for being a UNESCO World Heri- Awards in New York City. Flanking her are Craig Kostelic, chief business officer of The Lifestyle


Collection and Melinda Stevens, editor in chief of Conde Nast Traveler.


october 12-18, 2018 • NeW YorK AND NeW JerSeY ASIAN JoUrNAL • (212) 655-5426

From the Front Page

Kavanaugh sits on Supreme Court bench...

PAGE A1 In the weeks leading up to the confirmation, protesters throughout the nation rallied behind Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a university psychology professor, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in an upstairs bedroom in one of Washington’s upscale suburbs in 1982. Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, also accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s. On Saturday, Ford’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, described the final week of an FBI investigation that culminated the hearings in tweet saying, “A week that will live in infamy for the U.S. Senate, permanently diminishing its stature.� “It treated serious allegations as nuisance to be sidestepped rather than a call to investigate seriously,� Bromwich continued. “It then deemed a perfunctory investigation sufficient when it was not. Appalling.� For Republican senators — including a few who showed hesitance over voting Kavanaugh forward — a brief weeklong FBI investigation that found no corroborating evidence of Ford’s accusations was enough to get their vote. But Democrats and other protesters, the FBI probe — given its time limit to one week — was simply not enough. On Capitol Hill Saturday, protesters briefly interrupted the confirmation vote in the Senate gallery by chanting “Shame on you!�

and “November is coming!� Several protesters, many of who were women behind the widespread #MeToo movement, were arrested. Kavanaugh’s hearing drew stark similarities to the also controversial 1991 confirmation hearing of current Supreme Court Justice Clarence who was also subject to sexual harassment allegations by law professor Anita Hill. According to Nielsen data released about a week before his confirmation, roughly 20.4 million people tuned into the hearings on broadcast and cable networks. #NovemberIsComing While the bitter battle over Kavanaugh’s confirmation came to an end, it has fueled Democrats and Republicans who are now using its outcome in encouraging people to go and vote in the upcoming midterm elections on November 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, told reporters that the hearing and its result will be boost to Republicans at the ballot box. “We have noticed some kind of energy pick-up on our side,� McConnell said at a Monday press conference in Kentucky. “It provided the adrenalin shot that we had not been able to achieve in any other way.� Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts told protesters before the vote, “It hurts every survivor of sexual assault who has been ignored.� Warren continued with encouragement to “take back the House�

and “take back the Senate.â€? “We have forged a bond that will make us stronger in the next fight,â€? added Warren. With seats in both the House and the Senate at stake for both parties, Democrats are looking to gain at least two Senate seats, and 23 House seats during the midterm elections in order to be a majority in each chamber. As House and Senate candidates across the U.S. voiced their opinions with the outcome, so too have some running candidates of the Fil-Am community. “Kavanaugh’s confirmation reminds us that there are still those who think of our voices and our experiences as inconvenient distractions, versus life experiences equally deserving of respect,â€? tweeted Gina Ortiz Jones for Texas District 23. “Women deserve to be represented, and we’ll remember those who sold us out.â€? Running for California’s 14th District, Fil-Am GOP nominee Cristina OsmeĂąa urged people to “Stop bullying Susan Collins,â€? in a tweet linking to an article Senator Susan Collins who as a result of voting for Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh, has been called by many a “betrayer of women.â€? OsmeĂąa shared her thoughts throughout the hearing once saying, “Dr. Ford seems likeable and trustworthy. So does Brett Kavanaugh. I hope he shows compassion for her experience when he testifies. She has been truly victimized by someone.â€? (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)

Go, Roque, Cayetano running... PAGE A1

flopping with regard to his political plans. He said he is considering Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo to become press secretary, a post that would be revived once he issues an executive order reorganizing the Presidential Communications Operations Office. PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar previously said Roque was being eyed to become press secretary. “It’s not my fault. (Roque) said he is not running. Then he is running. I said I would choose someone else so there would be no paralysis in the functions,� Duterte said. “I do not know where to place him. I did not wait a minute lon-

ger,� Duterte added. Duterte said Panelo would become press secretary once he revives the office and he finds a new chief legal counsel. He said Andanar would remain as consultant after the PCOO is replaced by the Office of the Press Secretary. “(Andanar) will remain a consultant... They have to reconfigure PTV 4. They need to change a lot there, perhaps to make it more responsive as sounding board of the Republic of the Philippines,� the President said. Duterte heaped praises on Tolentino, saying he has been efficient as a point person during disasters. “(Tolentino) is a very good ad-

ministrator... He was always my point man. He was always my contact (to the) outside world,� the President said. Duterte said Go has been a “faithful assistant� who can be a “friend� of the public in the Senate. Sources said Castriciones is planning to run for senator while Mamondiong is considering running for a local post. Duterte also revealed that he wants a Filipino-Chinese businessman to lead the National Food Authority. Retiring Army chief Lt. Gen. Roland Bautista was initially eyed to become NFA administrator but Duterte later decided to name him social welfare secretary. n

Officials from the Philippine Department of Tourism New York office led by Ms. Susan del Mundo (center) with Luz Navarro and Joey Chanco received the award for Best Island in Asia at the awarding ceremony of the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

Siargao, Boracay, Palawan top Conde... PAGE A1

tage Site that is “worth the trip alone,â€? but also noted El Nido and its blue lagoon. “Puerto Princesa is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Guided boat tours take visitors down a portion of the waterway, where karsts, natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone, loom in every direction,â€? Conde Nast said. “It is an honor for our destinations to be voted once again in the CondĂŠ Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. This serves as an

invitation to the tourists in time for the winter vacation,� DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said. CNT editors noted that their readers have caught on the popularity of the teardrop-shaped island, electing Siargao, a newcomer of the list, as the 2018 Top Island in Asia. Boracay, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation and is set for its soft opening on October 26, was voted as second and described as “close to a tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia with gentle coastlines and madefor-Instagram sunsets.�

“We would like to take this opportunity to tell our tourists to manage their expectations on Boracay’s soft opening. We also encourage them to be mindful and responsible tourists of the island,� Romulo-Puyat added. This year’s ranking was broken down into regions compared to the previous years where only the top 30 islands outside the United States were cited. In 2017, the Philippines topped the said list with Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan, respectively. Langkawi, Malaysia and Bali, Indonesia complete the 2018 Top 5 in Asia listing. n

New poll finds: Majority... PAGE A1 of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. Worker unions call Duterte ‘ineffective’ Labor groups attributed the said increase to President Rodrigo Duterte’s incapacity to provide a comfortable life among his constituents. They labeled the administration “ineffective� in keeping campaign promises. There is a possibility that senatorial candidates could end up losing in the elections in May 2019 because of the government’s failure to ease poverty, according to Nagkaisa Labor Coalition spokesperson Rene Magtubo. Federation of Free Workers vice president Julius Cainglet said that

the survey results should prompt the administration to provide better wages to workers who could “no longer cope with the abnormal rise of the inflation rate.� Alarmed over the findings Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said that the Palace “understood the people’s sentiment,� noting that the survey was done last month when the inflation rate rose to 6.7 percent. “For one, the destruction to agriculture and infrastructure caused by Typhoon ‘Ompong’ in the Cordillera, Ilocos and Cagayan regions contributed to higher inflation,� Roque said as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer. “This would explain why self-

rated poverty in Balance Luzon [outside Metro Manila] rose to 47 percent in September,� Roque added. Roque assured the public that measures had been implemented “to cushion the impact of inflation and bring food on the table of poor families.� “This includes the directive of the president in the recent meeting with his Cabinet members that there will be no limits in the importation of rice to further increase our supply of rice and lower its price,� Roque said in a statement. “No Filipino family should be hungry. That is the order and desire of the president,� Roque said. n

Pilgrimage to Some of ITALY’s Highlights and Miracles of the Eucharist 6SLULWXDO'LUHFWRU5(9-2(/%8*$6ĹĄ1RYHPEHUWR1RYHPEHU 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 0RQ Ĺ&#x;86$520( 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 7XHV Ĺ&#x;5RPH Upon our arrival in Rome, our Tour Escort will welcome us to Italy. Rome is the heart, home and the spiritual capital of over one billion Catholics all over the world. After a short panoramic orientation of this Eternal City to us Roman Catholics, we will have our dinner and overnight rest at this great ancient City. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN ROME (BB,D) 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY :HG Ĺ&#x;5RPH3DSDO$XGLHQFH5RPH This morning before we continue with our tour, we will have a Papal Audience. Then after, we will visit the famous Coliseum and see the Forum, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, one of the best preserved ancient monuments in the world. Celebrate the Holy Eucharist at St Peter Basilica St Joseph Chapel .Short stop in Trevi Fountain, before heading to our Hotel. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN ROME (BB,D)

'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 7KXUV Ĺ&#x;5RPH%DVLOLFDV We will visit the Vatican Museum this morning and the Sistine Chapel to admire the awesome masterpieces of Michaelangelo, and even ancient Greek and Roman artists. the largest church in Roman Catholicism, St. Peter’s Basilica. Holy Eucharist at ST Mary Major, Followed by visit of the Basilica. We continue to visit the rest of the major Basilicas within the walls of Rome, and St. John Lateran, St Paul Outside the Wall. We will also pray at the Scala Santa or the Holy Stairs. St. Helena transported the steps from Jerusalem; the same steps that Christ ascended to receive Pilate’s unjust condemnation. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN ROME (BB,D) 'D\  Ĺ&#x;  1RY  )UL  Ĺ&#x; 5RPH 6DQ *LRYDQQL 5RWRQGR 2018 is the 100th Anniversary of the stigmatization of St Pio. Church Will have Monthly Pastoral Program of Activities for the whole year. San Giovanni Rotondo, the home of St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina from 28 July, 1916 until his death on 23 September, 1968. Enjoy the drive going to San Giovanni, after we check in our Hotel. vWe visit the Shrines of St Padre Pio of Pietralcina as well as the places associated with him, such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace that contains his tomb. Here, we spend some time meditating, see his room, his confessional box and the cruciďŹ x that gave him his supernatural Crucifying stigmata, Celebrate Holy Eucharist (Hotel Gran Paradiso) DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN San Giovanni Rotondo (BB,D) 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 6DW Ĺ&#x;6$1*,29$11,52721'2 This Morning we visit the new and Modern Basilica of St Padre Pio, See his uncorrupt body. Celebrate Holy Eucharist Spend some time meditating in this awesome Basilica. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO (Hotel Gran Paradiso)

'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 6XQ Ĺ&#x;6DQ*LRYDQQL5RWRQGR/DQFLDQR/RUHWR MASS AND BREAKFAST. We arrive at Lanciano, famous for the Miracle of the Eucharist. Near the Piazza Plebiscito, the Miracle is inside the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle. The miracle took place during the 8th century when a Basiline monk doubted the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. He found himself holding the host that had changed into Real Flesh and the Wine on the altar had changed into Real Blood. We continue our pilgrimage to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to see the famous sacred home of the most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Since 1294 the holy home has been located inside the Basilica of Loreto. Celebrate Holy Eucharist in Lanciano. DINNER AND OVERNIGHT IN Assisi. 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 0RQ Ĺ&#x;/RUHWR$VVLVL Today we explore the hilltop birthplace of St Francis of Assisi. In the Crypt of St Francis Basilica lies the tomb of one of the most humble and beloved Saints of all times, St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Eucharist at the Crypt of St. Francis See the Basilica of St Clare, with her incorrupt body, and the little Church of St. Damiano and its CruciďŹ x from which Jesus spoke to Francis about his mission in 1206: “Go, Francis, and rebuild my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.â€? We visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, located in the lower plains of Assisi, and the place where the miracle of the Eucharist of Assisi took place in 1240. The small Church of the Porziuncola is inside the Basilica itself. Pope Honorius III granted a plenary indulgence for those entering this humble Church on August 1st and 2nd every year, with Confession, reception of the Eucharist and no attachment to venial sins. (BB,D) 'D\  Ĺ&#x;  1RY  7XHV  Ĺ&#x; $VVLVL  6LHQD  )ORUHQFH We will spend half day in Siena. Begin in the old town center with a visit to the Basilica of San Domenico. Built in the 13th century, it is a treasure chest of the Renaissance art and dedicated to St Catherine of Siena. You will learn about the city’s history while admiring it’s cathedrals, Museum, and libraries .Also you will admire the famous piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s great medieval squares. Continue to Florence. (BB,D) We start with a guided walking tour of Florence, this fascinating city with its Piazza, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of St. John the Baptist. Rest of the day free (BB,D) 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY :HG Ĺ&#x;)ORUHQFH5RPH Leave Florence around 2PM Arrived Rome almost dinner time (BB.D) 'D\Ĺ&#x;1RY 7KXUV Ĺ&#x;5RPH86$ End of our wonderful Pilgrimage

Please call QTS Tour and Travel NOW at 1 (714) 288-0800 or (714) 761-6280 1095 N Main St. Suite O, Orange, CA 92867

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NBI arrests ‘notorious forger’ over fake US visa application by AJPress THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested a previously convicted master forger for allegedly falsifying documents once again. Dubbed as the “golden hand,” Manuel Bala has already served time in prison after being convicted in 2000 for violating Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code. Bala was arrested by operatives of the NBI’s Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division (NBIAOTCD) in an entrapment operation in Paco, Manila on October 5. NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin at a press conference said,

AMPHIBIOUS LANDING EXERCISE. U.S. and Philippine Marines participate in an amphibious landing during KAMANDAG 2 at Naval Education Training Comman in the Philippines. KAMANDAG 2 is an exercise used to promote cohesion between nations in counter-terrorism, humanitarian operations, and disaster relief. This exercise is executed using assault amphibious vehicles. Photo by Lance Cpl. Kevan Dunlop/U.S. Marine Corps

by AJPress REIGNING World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on Sunday, October 7, said that he has no interest in fighting Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor in a boxing match. “Hindi dapat nangyari yun tapos na ang laban at naghihintay na lang ng decision (I think it shouldn’t have happened anymore since the fight was over and they’re waiting only for the decision),” Pacquiao said. It can be recalled that the fight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov during the weekend was a brawl-filled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 229. McGregor then submitted so Khabib was named the winner. “Mali naman si Khabib sinugod niya pa ang mga tao. I think magkakaroon ng suspension or multa (Khabib was wrong to attack the people. I think there will be a suspension or fine),” Pacquiao said. The 39-year-old boxer and senator, who holds a 60-7-2 record with 39 knockouts, admitted

that there were talks about a fight sometime next year against welterweight boxer Adrien Broner, who himself holds a 33-3-1 record with 24 knockouts. “We are still finalizing everything (about Broner fight). Hindi pa sigurado (It remains uncertain),” the welterweight champion said. Pacquiao also admitted that a possible rematch with the undefeated Mayweather Jr. was also set next year. However, the eight-weight division champion said that the possibility that he could still face either former sparring partner Amir Khan or American Keith Thurman early next year would still depend on the negotiations. “It still depends. We are still fixing that,” Pacquiao said as reported by The Manila Times. The Filipino boxer was said to consider the possibility of joining forces with Mayweather Promotion as co-promoter in the upcoming fights. Pacquiao’s last fight was on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, wherein he scored a seventhround technical knockout against Lucas Matthysse. n

San Francisco’s ‘comfort women’ statue sparks outrage among Japanese officials

Controversial monument features a Filipina comfort woman; the Japanese city of Osaka rescinds sister cityhood with San Francisco by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

LAST year, the City of San Francisco erected a monument that depicts young women from Korea, China and the Philippines holding hands as a separate statue of a Korean activist, Kim Hak-sun, looks up at them. The “Column of Strength” memorial commemorates the hundreds of thousands of women and girls — euphemized as “comfort women” — who Japanese soldiers detained and raped from 1931 to 1945 during World War II. These sexually-enslaved victims and survivors came from 11 countries, and a majority of them came from China, Korea, the Philippines and other east and southeast Asian nations. Since it was first unveiled in Downtown San Francisco on Sept. 22, 2017, officials from the

Japanese government were not too pleased, and this week, the mayor of Osaka, Japan — Hirofumi Yoshimura — announced he is ending the “sister city” relationship with San Francisco. On Tuesday, October 2, Yoshimura penned a letter to Mayor London Breed of San Francisco saying that the inscriptions on the monument represent “uncertain and onesided claims as historical facts” and claimed that the toll of women who were enslaved was not based on fact. Breed responded in a statement released Thursday, Oct. 4 saying that “one mayor cannot unilaterally end a relationship that exists between the people of our two cities,” and that the monument will not be taken down. “The San Francisco Comfort Women Memorial is a symbol of


Palace: Duterte cancer-free... PAGE A1 “We will abide with the provision of the Constitution. We take it that whatever the president has is not serious for the constitutional provision to apply. So we leave it at that,” he added. Duterte himself on Tuesday night assured the public that he is healthy and cancer-free after tests on his Barrett’s disease came out negative. “Hindi pa ako cancerous (I’m not yet cancerous), so don’t be afraid to go near me. I will not contaminate you,” he said during the induction of the new batch of officers of the Malacanañg Press Corps at the Palace. “Lumabas na (The result is out)... If you mean I was found positive of cancer? No, it’s not the colon; it’s my Barrett… It’s badly eroded because I was told to stop drinking years ago,” he added. Duterte also made some jokes about his health, likening it to a battery. “‘Yang health natin, parang baterya ‘yan, may positive at saka negative. (Our health is like a battery, there is positive and negative),” he said. Following his statements were accounts from his top aide and government officials confirming his good health. Senate Majority Leader Juan

Miguel Zubiri said, “The president had said he has polyps, he has growth in his intestines, but it’s nothing. It’s benign. It’s a polyp but not cancer, and he was in high spirits. He was very happy yesterday (Monday, October 8), cracking a lot of jokes.” Zubiri had met with Duterte at the Malacanañg on Monday night, along with Senators Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Richard Gordon, Sherwin Gatchalian, and JV Ejercito to discuss legislative matters. They all had dinner together afterwards. “The president is as strong as an ox. We saw it yesterday. He was in good spirits,” Zubiri added. Acting Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also told reporters that the president volunteered the information on his health in the middle of their Cabinet meeting on Monday night. “In the middle of the meeting, (the president) said, ‘By the way, the test is negative’ and we all applauded and told him, ‘Congratulations, Mr. President!’” Año said. Duterte is the oldest person ever to be elected president in the Philippines and speculation about his health has regularly cropped up since he took office in 2016. (AJPress)

“The notorious and famous Nonoy Bala is back in the arms of the law.” The arrest was executed after the NBI was alerted by the United States Embassy in Manila over a falsified document submitted to them by two Filipinos applying for a U.S. tourist visa. Kevin Keith Fajardo and Jarra Rowella allegedly posed as a married couple after Bala convinced the two that the guise will expedite the process of their application. He provided them the fake documents. “When this was checked by the U.S. Embassy, it turned out that there was no marriage on record with the Philippine Statistic Of-

fice,” Lavin said. Aside from the nonexistent records at the PASO, Lavin also verified that Fajardo has no records in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for a business he supposedly owned. The visa applicants admitted they were promised by Bala that he will hand over to them original documents at a hotel in Paco, Manila — which is how the NBI hatched the operation leading to Bala’s arrest. According to the NBI, Bala has already undergone inquest proceedings for violation of Articles 171 and 172 — falsification by public officer and by private individual, respectively. n

AFP declares the end of war with...

PAGE A1 peace that the Moro people deserve,” the military chief added. Many high-ranking military officials from the national headquarters and the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) accompanied the AFP chief. There were about 6,000 MILF supporters lined up along the Sultan Kudarat highway that welcomed Galvez and his party. In return, Ebrahim expressed joy on the visit of Galvez to their camp, describing it as “historical.” “This visit represents the degree of progress we have made over the years in bringing significant cooperation between our military officers in our quest for peace in the Bangsamoro homeland,” Sen. Manny Pacquiao Ebrahim said. Photo from Instagram/@mannypacquiao The MILF leadership awarded

Pacquiao not interested in fighting McGregor


Galvez with the “Soldier of Peace Award. Galvez was said to be the first military officer to receive such an award from the group. “I came back to one [of] the most revered place[s], a place I can call home because here lived those gallant men I considered my brethren, those whom I had been working with for a peaceful Mindanao,” Galvez said. Galvez’s meeting with the MILF leadership came months after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which creates the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. As the former head of WestMinCom, he was one of the key military officials during the fivemonth Marawi City siege in 2017 and the Philippine Army’s 6th

Infantry Division. Both of which were deals with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Central Mindanao. Galvez was also the Philippine government’s chairman for the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities in 2015. Galvez also compared the MILF to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He noted that the communist rebels have been “deceptive, manipulative and insincere.” “They burned road project equipment, they executed thousands, even their own comrades. They extort and always wanted to take advantage,” he said. “[The communist rebels] do not have the sense of honor or ‘Maratabat’ of the MILF,” he added. (AJPress)


october 12-18, 2018 • NeW YorK AND NeW JerSeY ASIAN JoUrNAL

Cubs’ Addison Russell suspended 40 games for domestic abuse allegations

Dateline USa • (212) 655-5426

Ex-wife of Fil-Am shortstop opens up to MLB investigators, speaks publicly for the first time since divorce filing by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

On Wednesday, October 3, the Major League Baseball league suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell for 40 games for violating the league’s policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse after Russell’s ex-wife opened up to investigators regarding alleged domestic abuse by Russell. Melisa Reidy-Russell, who filed for divorce from Russell (who is half-Filipino on his mother’s side) in June 2017,wrote an emotionally-charged blog post last month that detailed years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her ex-husband. This week, she spoke with ESPn and said that league investigators reached out to her last year in response to a since-deleted Instagram post suggesting Russell was unfaithful and abusive. She said she wasn’t ready to speak then, but after her September blog post is ready to speak publicly. “Last year when the MLB contacted me, I wasn’t ready,” Reidy-Russell, 24, told ESPn this week. “I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I didn’t even believe in myself enough to think I should do that. I just left my husband and

all this blew up.” On Wednesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the league had completed the investigation and concluded that Russell violated league policy “and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will cover 40 games.” Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein gave a news conference on Wednesday condemned domestic violence and when asked if Russell will return to the team next season Epstein answered, “I don’t know. With all of our words and actions going forward, whether we know it or not, we’re sending messages to our fans.” “Domestic violence is everyone’s problem,” Epstein added. “Because of that, we all have an obligation to be part of the solution as well. Discipline, in a case like this, is part of the solution going forward.” Russell, 24, initially denied his ex-wife’s allegations, but in a statement released on Wednesday, he said that he has “gained better understanding” of the situation. “I have concluded it’s the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” Russell said

through his lawyers “I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child. Reidy-Russell, with whom Russell has a 3-year-old son, alleges that the Cubs shortstop has been unfaithful to her. On the Instagram photo posted June 2017, a user, who is reportedly a close friend to ReidyRussell, claimed that Russell “hit” his wife. On Sept. 19, 2018, Reidy-Russell published a blog post titled, “you no longer have a secret, you have a story” which details her emotional and psychological distress allegedly brought on by physical, emotional and verbal abuse and infidelity on Russell’s part. “The way I was treated and the way he made me feel about myself, tore me down to nothing,” Reidy-Russell, a licensed cosmetologist from Bay Minette, Alabama, wrote. “no matter who you are or what you’re going through, you should not be afraid or ashamed to speak out about any type of abuse regardless [of] who it will offend.” Less than 12 hours after the blog post was published, the MLB announced that Russell had been put on paid leave under the league’s domestic violence policy. n

NEWLY-PROMOTED SENIOR AFP OFFICERS. Senate President Vicente Sotto III (center right) chair of the Commission on Appointments, and Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto (center left) pose with the 74 newly promoted senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the Plenary Hall of the Senate in Pasay City on Wednesday, October 10. PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

Philippines performs below regional average in World Bank’s Human Capital Index THE Philippines performed below the average for the East Asia and Pacific region in the inaugural World Bank Human Capital Index, which measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18. Human capital—the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives— has been a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20th century, the World Bank said. According to the Washingtonbased lender’s report released

Thursday, children born in the Philippines will only fulfill 55 percent of their potential when they grow up if they enjoy complete education and full health. HCI measure for girls is higher than for boys in the country, it added. The report noted that the Philippines’ HCI percentage is below the 61 percent of potential average for East Asia and Pacific and 57 percent of potential worldwide average. But the World Bank said the Philippines’ HCI value was better than the average for countries that are also in the lower middle income group. Philippines addressing nutrition, education gaps Malnutrition is a major challenge in the Philippines, the World Bank highlighted, adding that children who are malnourished at a young age will face difficulties in learning and are more likely to drop out of school early. “The Government of the Philippines recognizes these challenges and has initiated critical reforms to improve human capital in the country,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank country director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

“Going forward, key policy priorities in the Philippines are reducing stunting and improving the effectiveness of teachers to boost learning,” Warwick added. Overall, the World Bank found that 56 percent of children born today across the world will lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings because governments are not making effective investments in their people. Singapore is best country for developing human capital The multilateral lender also said out of 157 economies covered by its new report, Singapore is the best country for developing human capital, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong in the second, third and fourth positions, respectively. “For the poorest people, human capital is often the only capital they have,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and education, productivity, and economic growth. I hope that it drives countries to take urgent action and invest more – and more effectively – in their people,” Kim added. (Ian Nicolas Cigaral/

Trump nominates Patrick...

PAGE A1 egy and transnational organized crime. Patrick has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service, serving as a Department of Justice attorney during the administrations of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Mr. Bumatay has also served in other positions in the Department of Justice, including the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, the Office of the Associate Attorney General, where he was responsible for overseeing various aspects of the Department’s civil enforcement programs, and the Office of Legal Policy. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Bumatay served as a law clerk for Judge Timothy M. Tymkovich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court. He also clerked for Judge Sandra L. Townes of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of new York. Mr. Bumatay received his B.A., cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the national Filipino American Lawyers Association (nFALA), the national Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, and the Federal Bar Association. “We congratulate Patrick on the announcement of the President’s intent to nominate him to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit,” said David Mesa, president of the national Filipino American Lawyers Association (nFALA). “Patrick’s strong qualifications, including his breadth of experience as a federal prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a senior Department of Justice attorney make him ide-

al for the ninth Circuit.” Mesa added: “Patrick is a proud first generation Filipino-American, the son of Filipino immigrants to the United States, and I have no doubt he will serve the ninth Circuit and the people of California, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and the northern Mariana Islands with excellence, fairness, integrity, and intellect.” Patrick is a member of nFALA and two of nFALA’s affiliates, the Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego (FALSD) and Filipino American Lawyers of Washington, D.C. (FALA DC). nFALA and its Judicial Executive nominations and Appointments Committee (JEnAC) supported Patrick through the nomination process and during that time, Patrick earned the joint endorsements of six other national, statewide, and California regional bar associations, including four of nFALA’s affiliates. nFALA commends President Trump for announcing his intent to nominate Patrick to the ninth Circuit. nFALA is the national voice for the Filipino-American legal profession. It advocates for justice, civil rights, and equal opportunity for the Filipino-American community. It cultivates high standards of integrity and professionalism among its members and strives for the advancement and success of FilipinoAmericans within the profession. nFALA is a family, comprised of members throughout the United States, with the shared goal of increasing its national growth, impact, and visibility while also celebrating its members’ cultural heritage. n

San Francisco’s ‘comfort...

PAGE A3 the struggle faced by all women who have been, and are currently, forced to endure the horrors of enslavement and sex trafficking,” Breed wrote. “These victims deserve our respect and this memorial reminds us all of events and lessons we must never forget.” Japan’s official view on World War II comfort women has changed over the decades. In 1993, it formally recognized that the Imperial Japanese Army forced women from neighboring Asian countries to work in brothels for the army’s soldiers. The “Column of Strength” memorial was erected and funded through an alliance of immigrant women’s groups called the Comfort Women Justice Coalition. Several years ago, the coalition and 11 human rights groups launched a grassroots campaign

for the memorial which was approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2015. In november 2017, the late Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco signed a resolution to formally designate the statue as a city monument, a move that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan called “not only deeply regrettable, but it also opposes the views of the Japanese government.” Despite both Abe’s and Yoshimura’s condemnation of the statue, there are no motions to have it removed. Retired Superior Court Judge and chairwoman of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition Lillian Sing responded to Yoshimura’s threat to break ties with the city, saying, “He wants to remove the memorial because he is afraid of the truth. Removing it does not eradicate history.” n

(212) 655-5426 •


Dateline PhiliPPines


Senate OKs universal health bill by BernaDette


GLOBAL ACTION FOR BIODIVERSITY SECURITY. Sen. Cynthia Villar gave the participants on the series of dialogues in securing biodiversity and protection and conservation of the environment a tour of the Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park. The participants are in the country on the invitation of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), which is hosting the Asia Multi-Actor Dialogue Seminars to Build Social-ecological Resilience through the Incorporation of Ecosystem-based Solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The series of dialogues was conducted by the ACB in cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SwedBio). Villar, chair of the Senate environment committee, has called for more discussions and greater cooperation among countries on these concerns. Senate photo

House restores VP Robredo to succession line by Jess


MANILA — The House of Representatives restored Vice President Leni Robredo to the line of succession to the presidency during the transition to the envisioned federal system. Robredo’s reinclusion came in the form of an amendment presented by Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. to the draft federal constitution the House is considering. The chamber, at the request of Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar, returned the draft to the committee on constitutional amendments so it could introduce “perfecting amendments.” Robredo described as “very desperate” the move to exclude her from the presidential line of succession being pushed by allies of President Duterte. In a speech at the 5th provincial congress of the Negros Occidental Small Fishers Alliance yesterday, Robredo said her critics are thinking of everything to remove her from her post. She cited the filing of an impeachment complaint and an electoral case before the Supreme Court. “Now, they are trying to insert it in the proposed Charter change,” she said, noting many House members are not aware of such provision. Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso, committee chairman, said Robredo was excluded in the succession line to the presidency during the transition for the sake of “political stability.” Veloso said the country could be plunged into uncertainty if

the Presidential Electoral Tribunal voided Robredo’s victory in the 2016 vice presidential election and declared former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the real winner. He said Robredo’s exclusion was the idea of the ruling PDPLaban, although he claimed he could not remember the proponent. His committee’s decision to take out the Vice President in the succession line has received numerous criticisms. Robredo laughed off Veloso’s claims and reminded him that she defeated Marcos by more than 200,000 votes. She said Veloso, who is also facing an election protest, led by less than 100 votes against his opponent. During election, Robredo said many winning candidates are charged by their opponents who cannot accept the result of the voting. She said the mandate of the Vice President is to succeed the President. “If you remove such mandate, nothing is left for the vice president. Might as well remove the position of the vice president,” she said. Robredo welcomed Senate President Vicente Sotto’s statement that the Senate would reject the provision in the proposed federal government. Meanwhile, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is puzzled by the provision that sought to exclude Robredo from the presidential line of succession. DILG Assistant Secretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya

said it was not clear to them why the Vice President is being eased out from the order of succession when the House seeks to maintain the presidential system. “The existing term limits must be respected so the people will not question the motives behind the President’s push for a federal system,” Malaya said. He said the DILG stands by the consultative committee (Concom)’s proposed federal constitution in light of a new draft federal constitution submitted by the House committee on constitutional amendments. Malaya said there are marked differences between the two drafts and the political and electoral reforms in Concom’s draft are “necessary ingredients” for federalism to succeed. As such, the DILG endorses Concom’s proposal for a selfexecuting anti-political dynasty provision in the federal constitution, which will open up and democratize the country’s electoral process. Malaya said the Concom’s recommendation to adopt a proportional representation as possible replacement to the party-list system should merit serious consideration by the House. The DILG is hoping that the present Congress can still convene as a constituent assembly to debate on the proposed Concom amendments to the 1987 Constitution. “We ask both the Senate and the House to fully consider all the features of the draft submitted by the Concom to President Duterte. It’s the product of a non-partisan body with no vested interests,” Malaya said. n

Majority of Filipinos want death penalty back by aJPress A SOCIAL Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday, October 10, revealed that almost six in every 10 Filipinos or are in favor of the revival of capital punishment for heinous crimes. The SWS survey conducted among 2,000 Filipino adults nationwide from March 22 to 27 showed that 59 percent of respondents agreed that the death penalty should be restored, while only 23 percent disagreed. However, it emphasized that only 33 percent of Filipinos wanted death penalty if there were other punishment options for those who committed serious crimes related to illegal drugs. “The only exception is the

crime of rape under the influence of drugs, for which a minority 47 percent think the death penalty should apply,” SWS said. Death penalty vs. imprisonment On one hand, about 22 to 33 percent of the respondents that were pro-death penalty demanded for the implementation of capital punishment among those convicted of drug-related crimes such as importation of illegal drugs, maintenance of drug dens, manufacture of illegal drugs, murder under the influence of drugs, sale of illegal drugs and working in drug dens. On the other, SWS said that 70 percent of the respondents called for imprisonment instead of death. A total of 78 percent wanted jail time for those who work in drug dens. Some 76 percent for selling illegal drugs

and 73 percent for maintenance of drug dens. Another 69 percent favors imprisonment over murder under the influence of drugs, 68 percent on the importation of illegal drugs and 66 percent on the manufacturing of illegal drugs. “Demand for imprisonment as a punishment for those guilty of rape under the influence of drugs is 53 percent,” the polling firm added. The poll ultimately yielded a “moderate” net agreement of +26. Thus, indicating the difference between the percentage of respondents who approved and disapproved of the proposed law. It can be recalled that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte eagerly promised the return of capital punishment during his presidential campaign for the 2016 elections. n

Youth voters to dominate 2019 polls by Catherine


THE 2019 national and election polls will be dominated by voters from the young demographic, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Wednesday, October 10. In a media forum at the Cafe Adriatico in Manila, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said, “A little over one-third of the registered voters are the young people.” This translates to about 20 million voters, who fall under the 18to-35-year-old range. The young electorate was followed by the oldest demographic (senior citizens aged 60 and up) and then the middle-aged population. “Malaki ang impluwensiya ng kabataan sa darating na eleksiyon. Dahil nadagdagan ng alum-

ni ng Sangguniang Kabataan na di na kailangang magparehistro ngayon (The youth’s influence in the coming elections is big. This is because those who registered for the [2018] Youth Council polls do not need to register again),” Jimenez said. He added that the expected number of voters for the 2019 mid-term elections was 61 million. Of the number, 1.9 million are potentially overseas Filipino workers. Jimenez said voters should have an idea by now who they would vote for. The filing of certificate of candidacy will start tomorrow but your time to choose your candidates is running out. By now, you should know who you are looking for,” Jimenez said. “The most important thing right now is for the youth to de-

cide what the issues are. The problem with us is that we get overwhelmed with collateral noise,” he added. Jimenez said people tend to forget that issues they currently face such as traffic woes could be solved by “good election results or by electing good people.” “It is not enough that we focus on long-term solutions. We also have to talk about how to make our current situation easier. Let’s make traffic or safety of children in the streets election issues,” he added.| The filing of CoCs for the national and local elections in May next year will be on October 11, 12, 15, 16 and 17. Those who voted in the recently held barangay (village) and youth council polls are automatically eligible to vote in the 2019 elections, Jimenez said. n

VOTING 14-0-0, the Senate on Wednesday, October 10, passed on third and final reading the landmark Universal Health Care Bill hours after President Rodrigo Duterte certified its passage as urgent. The senators approved Senate Bill 1896, which seeks to guarantee equal access to quality and affordable health services for all Filipinos. They passed the measure on second reading on Tuesday. The Senate on Wednesday afternoon received a letter from the President certifying as urgent the passage of SB 1896. Without the certification, the senators would have waited until next month to approve the bill on final reading as Congress was set to adjourn on Thursday, October 13, and would resume session on November 12. Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, sponsor of SB 1896, said the measure aims to expand the PhilHealth coverage to include free consultation fees, laboratory tests and other diagnostic services. He noted that records from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that Filipinos spent around P6,345 for their health needs in 2016 or 8.7 percent higher than their P5,840 health expenditure in 2015. Ejercito said majority of Filipinos consulted a doctor only when their illnesses were already at their worst because of lack of government support in health care. “This bill will ensure that financial issues will no longer be a burden to our countrymen when it comes to healthcare,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography said. Under the bill, all Filipino citizens will be automatically enrolled into the National Health Insurance Program whether as direct contributor (those who have the capacity to pay premiums) or indirect contributor (those sponsored by the government like the indigents and senior citizens, among others). SB 1896 states that Filipinos can avail of primary health care services even without the PhilHealth identification card. Those not enrolled in PhilHealth

once the measure becomes a law may still avail themselves of the health care services since the premium subsidy will be gradually adjusted and included in the General Appropriations Act. The bill calls for the improvement of doctor-to-patient ratio, upgrading of hospital bed capacities and equipment as well as es-

tablishment of hospitals in remote areas. The Department of Health has pegged the doctor-to-patient ratio at 1 to 33,000 while bed to population ratio was pegged at 1 to 1,121. In Metro Manila, the bed to population ratio is 1 to 591 while PAGE A7

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OCTOBER 12-18, 2018 • NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY ASIAN JOURNAL • (212) 655-5426



‘The war is over’

LAST Saturday, October 6, some 6,000 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front lined a five-kilometer stretch of road from Cotabato City to Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao, to welcome a visiting group from the Armed Forces of the Philippines led by chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. MILF chairman Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim led those who welcomed the AFP officers to the MILF’s Camp Darapanan, where Galvez declared that the war with the Islamic separatists is over. This is a most welcome development for peace efforts in Mindanao. Even before the Bangsamoro Basic Law or BBL was enacted earlier this year, the MILF had been cooperating with the government in various aspects particularly in law enforcement and counterterrorism in the conflict zones of Mindanao. Unfortunately for the peace process, long before the BBL was passed, a faction had broken away from the MILF. And just like the MILF when it broke away from the original secessionist group the Moro National Liberation Front, the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is conducting armed attacks in several provinces in Mindanao. BIFF fighters are believed to have teamed up

with Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City for five months last year. Besides the Mautes and BIFF, the AFP also continues to battle the Abu Sayyaf, whose terrorist activities have hampered development and poverty alleviation efforts in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. The Abu Sayyaf is still keeping several hostages, most of them foreigners. Kidnapping for ransom is a major source of funding for the group. The Mautes, on the other hand, are believed to be raising funds through drug trafficking and various types of business fronts. The continuing activities of these threat groups mean sustained conflict in Mindanao, even if the BBL is ratified in the plebiscite set next year. The war with the MILF is over, but the battles with threat groups in Mindanao continue on other fronts. (


Give the power back to ‘we the people’: Go out and vote in the November 6 midterm elections

The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS THE CONFIRMATION process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh just all the more highlighted how divided and angry this nation has been, especially in the last two years. If you are happy where the country is right now, or whether you have serious concerns how the democratic process has increasingly been hijacked, then do NOT fall into the trap of either complacency or paralysis and resignation. Channel your passion into a mission to give the power back to us, “We the People”, as stipulated in the U.S. Constitution. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”, is

what democracy really is. This is why if you think the balance of power is now leaning toward one ideology and/or party, and that the system of checks and balance provided for by the Constitution seems to not functioning as it should, then we all need to VOTE in the November 6 midterm elections. As we have witnessed in the Kavanaugh confirmation process, it is important for us to have informed decision on who to elect into positions of public trust. This should not be limited to the top positions of the executive branch of our government. The legislative and judiciary are co-equal branches of government and have a lot of power as well in making con-

sequential decisions on how to run the government, the bills to pass, the services to be given to the people, the nominees to be confirmed, the impeachment of the people in power who abuse public trust, etc. On November 6, each vote — your vote — matters and has consequences. As the New York Times reported, the 2018 midterm elections, which rolled out “with hundreds of congressional, state and local primaries, will culminate with the Nov. 6 general election to decide whether Democrats can gain control of Congress or if Republicans will keep their hold on the legislative branch.” What are the chances of the “blue wave “ changing the seascape in the Senate? According

Is the end imminent?


FRANCISCO TATAD DESPITE the disturbing presidential admissions in the last few days, most Filipinos, I believe, continue to hope that President Rodrigo Duterte would serve his full term until 2022, without any incident. But for some, the next three years will be a toss-up between his physical health and his political health. Will he ultimately fall because of failing health or will he be ousted by the CPP/ NPA/NDF? This question can no longer be avoided. An endoscopy and colonoscopy recently performed on DU30 have shown a “growth,” which doctors are still trying to determine whether malignant or benign. The complete reading is not yet known, but DU30 told the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association on October 4, “if it’s cancer, it’s cancer. And if it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will not prolong my agony in office or anywhere.” The physical vs the political While DU30 is battling such serious health issue, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has claimed that the CPP/NPA/ NDF plans to oust DU30 soon, and that 18 universities and colleges had become the hub of its destabilization effort. We have not seen anything remotely resembling the storm that raged inside the universities during the Marcos years, but if DU30 believes they had become the hotbed of an oust-DU30 movement, then the relevant “facts” will not be slow in rising to the surface. University authorities and stu-

dents have already denounced the government’s allegation as baseless. Both threats to the President deserve an objective, cold-blooded look. What are the real prospects of each? First, let us consider DU30’s physical health. Since the 73-year-old DU30 assumed office on June 30, 2016, he has been bothered by various maladies. His recurring and unexplained disappearances from official public functions have been blamed on these ailments. He has complained of continuous migraine, Barrett’s esophagus, Buerger’s disease, and some spinal injury sustained during an early motorcycle riding accident. He was recently reported to have suffered severe coughing and vomiting spells, before and after his July state of the nation address. An endoscopy is an examination of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine, using a tube with lighting and camera at the end. It is usually performed on patients who are complaining of dyspepsia or heartburn, constant bleeding or vomiting. A colonoscopy on the other hand is an examination where the doctor inserts a colonoscope from the anus up to the hole of the large intestine. Both procedures have been performed on the President. Some doctors, however, point out that if the patient’s problem is the throat, this would require a separate examination; it is not known whether the President needs such an examination or that he has had it. What’s serious illness? DU30’s own revelation has triggered a demand for more information about his actual state of health. Section 12 of Article VII

of the Constitution provides that “in case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President during such illness.” Section 11 of the same article provides that “whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.” Likewise, “whenever a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House…a written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.” No enabling law has been enacted to define what “serious illness” means. Who decides when the President is seriously ill? Is cancer, whether treatable or not, considered a serious illness that should instantly trigger the implementation of the constitutional provision? Who can compel the release of the President’s medical records if he decides not to release them? Does the President have to order or authorize the issuance of regular medical bulletins? Who can authorize

to the analysis of the Times, “Democrats hope to win at least two new seats to regain control of the chamber, but their margin for error is slim. A majority of the seats up for election in 2018 are currently held by Democrats.” Meanwhile in the House race, “Democrats need to flip 23 seats to capture the 218 seats necessary for control of the chamber. There are 194 likely or solidly Democratic seats and 173 likely or solidly Republican seats. The competitive races below are listed by state and district number.” In the state elections, “there are also 36 governor’s races on the ballot in 2018. With the next redistricting process set for after the 2020 election, winning

gubernatorial and state legislative control will be crucial for both parties.” The exercise of our right and obligation to vote are so sacred and important as they keep our elected officials accountable. If we do not exercise this right, we give abusive officials a pass and become complicit to their transgressions against our democracy. So, register to vote if you haven’t yet and go to your polling places on November 6. Some states allow early voting and mail-in ballots. Vote for candidates who represent your values and priorities, who consider the good of ALL AMERICANS and not just a chosen privileged few, who think not only of short-term

gains but of long-term benefits to yourself, your family, your community, our nation, and our planet. Vote for candidates who value honesty, accountability, and respect for all, especially for our Constitution, our democratic principles, institutions and processes. For more information, go to: voting-information/ or ***

such bulletins if the President refuses to have them? Roque in the dark No complaint has been heard from the Foreign Secretary, the Defense Secretary, the National Security Adviser or the AFP Chief of Staff that they have been denied access to the President at this time, but the presidential spokesman Harry Roque has complained that he has been kept in the dark about DU30’s endoscopy and has threatened to resign. Roque has made known his desire to run for the Senate in the May 2019 elections, but DU30 has said he has no way of winning because the armed forces, who are supposed to be politically neutral in any election, are not inclined to support him. DU30’s medical condition has triggered instant discussions about his possible successor, but his gratuitous remarks about Vice President Leni Robredo have provoked speculations about the possibility of an extraconstitutional process. However the President goes, the choice of his successor is defined by the Constitution, not by anybody else. The line of succession begins with the Vice President, down to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House. Vice President Leni Robredo’s election is under protest from former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., but if the presidency falls vacant now, Robredo automatically assumes the office. Bongbong Marcos will have no claim to it, and Robredo’s right to succeed will not be affected by DU30’s opinion that she lacks his murderous qualities to become president. Neither will the military be obliged to listen to DU30’s musings about a military junta, unless perhaps a military conspiracy or a foreign invasion threatens to overrun the govern-

ment and the military decides to act as the constitutional protector of the people and the state. The communist threat This brings us to the second question: What are the chances of DU30 being overthrown by the communists? It is safe to presume that the CPP/NPA/NDF considers the university classroom or campus a fertile ground for recruiting new members. Even foreign intelligence and corporate “headhunters” look to them as possible sources of fresh recruits. But the government cannot just assume “it is highly likely” that communist recruitment is going on; it must show it is indeed happening there, and build up its case against the suspects. This is best done through police investigative work, not simply by making a blanket accusation against the universities and colleges. Irresponsible and dangerous The statement, coming from the AFP, is regrettably so unintelligent, irresponsible and dangerous. It tars all the academic institutions, makes every student and faculty member in those institutions suspect, and threatens a military crackdown that will make the slightest tinge of academic freedom a thing of the past. Far from preserving the university classroom and campus as places where the young can explore new ideas, it turns them into places where they could build and throw bombs instead. It creates the very situation which academic learning is supposed to prevent. Under Marcos, the “university belt” became the seat of the student protest movement. University of the Philippines President Salvador P. Lopez, a nationalist patriot who wrote the last words (“Bataan has fallen”) for the Filipino wartime defenders of Bata-

an against the savage Japanese onslaught, and who long after the war served as one of the nation’s more consequential Secretary of Foreign Affairs, led the student marches from Diliman to Malacañang in an effort to showcase the nationalist character of their protest. But there were no clear dividing lines between the nationalists and the communists. Their common objective was to remove Marcos, even though Joma Sison and Commander Dante alone had a concrete plan of setting up a Maoist dictatorship. Irony of ironies, Marcos virtually broke the back of the communist movement by capturing and jailing Sison and other top communist leaders during Martial Law, only to fall in a civilian-supported military putsch in 1986. Then Cory Aquino, his revolutionary successor, released and amnestied all the dissidents. When the Soviet empire disintegrated and the Cold War ended in 1991, Sison and his companions remained the only communist holdouts in Europe, specifically in Utrecht. Was DU30 ever anti-Red? In 2016, DU30 began his presidency with an express desire to forge a coalition government with the communists. His most notable Cabinet appointees were members of the CPP central committee, without the benefit of any peace agreement. He pursued his peace talks with the communists in a farcical dance between NDF-1 and NDF-2, driven by his previous personal association with Sison as his professor in college. Then the talks broke down on a bed of personal insults. Most of his communist appointees failed to hurdle the confirmation process, but he kept his top communist PAGE A7

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://

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


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New research measures how much countries could Panelo returns as Duterte spokesman boost economic productivity by investing in people by Rosette

by AJPress A New World Bank research released today provides policymakers a compelling evidence that delivering better outcomes in children’s health and learning can significantly boost the incomes of people — and of countries — with returns far into the future. Launched today at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings is the Human Capital Index. It measures the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18, and each country’s distance to the frontier of complete education and full health for a child born today. The measure also answers the questions: “Will children born today survive to school age?” (survival) “How much schooling will they complete and how much will they learn?” (school) and “Will they leave school in good health, ready for further learning and/or work as adults?” (health) Human capital pertains to the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives. It is a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20th century, especially in East Asia. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said, “For the poorest people, human capital is often the only capital they have. Human capital is a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth, but investing in health and educa-

tion has not gotten the attention it deserves. This index creates a direct line between improving outcomes in health and education, productivity, and economic growth. I hope that it drives countries to take urgent action and invest more – and more effectively – in their people.” “The bar is rising for everyone,” Kim added. “Building human capital is critical for all countries, at all income levels, to compete in the economy of the future.” The Human Capital Index showed that 56 percent of children born today across the world will lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings due to governments not currently making effective investments that ensure a healthy, educated, and resilient population ready for the workplace of the future. According to the index, the Philippines performs better than the average for its income group in terms of the overall index, but it is below the average for the East Asia and Pacific region. Children born in the Philippines will be only 55 percent as productive when they grow up as they could be if they enjoyed complete education and full health, the index found. One of the major challenges in the country that the index highlighted is malnutrition. One in three Filipino children under age 5 is stunted, a key marker for malnutrition, which limits brain development. Due to this, children will face challenges in learn-

ing, are more likely to drop out of school early, and are less likely to hold good jobs as adults. “The Government of Philippines recognizes these challenges and has initiated critical reforms to improve human capital in the country,” said Mara K. Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand. “Policymakers have introduced universal kindergarten, created senior high school, provided greater funding for basic education, and expanded the Pantawid Pamilya Program, which has boosted school attendance among the poor. Going forward, key policy priorities in the Philippines are reducing stunting and improving the effectiveness of teachers to boost learning,” she added. The Index is part of the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project. It recognizes human capital as driver of inclusive growth. The project also includes a program to strengthen research and measurement on human capital, as well as support to countries to accelerate progress in human capital outcomes. The Philippines, along with 27 other countries that include Indonesia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine, has expressed advance interest in participating in the project. Serving as the country’s focal point to work with the World Bank Group for this global initiative is Secretary Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA). n

Senate OKs universal health... PAGE A5 bed to population ratio in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is 1 to 4,200. Under the bill, all graduates of health-related courses from state universities and colleges or government-funded scholarship programs will be required to serve


for at least three years in the public sector. Sen. Risa Hontiveros, co-author and co-sponsor of the bill, said the measure also aims to address the issue of fragmentation of health care delivery system by providing a framework for the integration of the health system at the level of

provinces and highly urbanized cities. “This bill seeks to address barriers in health governance, health human resources, regulations, service delivery and health information that would prevent Filipinos from accessing care,” she added. n

Is the end imminent?

aide, rebel ex-priest and NDF vice chairman Leoncio Evasco Jr., who continues to run the Office of the President. If DU30 is determined to go after the alleged communist recruits in the universities, what will he do to his communist partners and subordinates in

government? Given his relationship with the Communist Party of China, which now feeds into the broad conduct of his national security and international relations, is it unthinkable for DU30 to accelerate his original plan of building a coalition government with Evasco’s communists, while abrogating his ties with the

Sisonite forces, who accuse him of running a “brutal, corrupt and mendacious” dictatorship? His revelations on “Red October” and on his precarious state of health may have compelled various political forces to come out of the woodwork, but they have not necessarily put DU30 entirely on the defensive. (


MANILA — Former partylist congressman Harry Roque has yet to resign as presidential spokesperson but his replacement is already waiting in the wings. “Yup,” Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told The Star when asked whether he has been informed that he will be the next presidential spokesman. This is the second time Panelo will be the president’s mouthpiece. In 2016, Panelo served as Duterte’s spokesperson before being replaced by educator and former pastor Ernesto “Ernie” Abella, who was initially designated deputy presidential spokesperson. Roque still kept in dark? With Panelo’s confirmation, it was unclear which post Roque now holds. Panelo’s reappointment as the presidential spokesperson came days after Roque filed a leave of absence after being kept in the dark about Duterte’s whereabouts and hospitalization. This sparked speculations that Roque will be replaced and will pursue his senatorial bid. Presidential Communications Operations Officer Martin An-

President Rodrigo Duterte with Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo Malacañang photo by Toto Lozano

danar earlier said Roque was offered the post of press secretary. Roque confirmed the offer and said he would think about it. But it seems that offer has already expired. Roque, early Thursday, also denied that he already resigned from his post. Duterte earlier discouraged Roque to run for Senate, citing that he is not favored by the military. Despite this, Roque was named

by Duterte as one of the Cabinet officials set to join the senatorial race in 2019. Meanwhile, reports quoted Special Assistant to the President Bong Go as saying Roque and Panelo will hold the post concurrently while Roque makes up his mind. Last month, Panelo facilitated the tête-à-tête format similar to a talk show, where he and Duterte discussed national issues. n

‘PH-China ties to improve with Xi’s visit’ by RAlph


THIS statement came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte met with Zhao in Malacañang on Monday, October 8. Xi will visit the Philippines after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea. The statement said Duterte promised to work with the China to ensure that Xi’s first visit to Manila will be smooth. “[This] would surely be remembered as another milestone in Philippine-China relations,” it added. According to the statement, both Zhao and Duterte “had an in-depth exchange of views on China-Philippines relations” as they discussed the latest developments and future plans of ChinaPhilippine relations and practical cooperation. The progress of bilateral practical cooperation was also dis-

cussed. Duterte has kept ties with China cordial since taking his oath as President in 2016. Also on Tuesday, he promised China that the Philippines will not be participating in a “show of force” reportedly being planned by the United States Pacific Fleet in the South China Sea. According to a report from news outlet CNN on Thursday, several US defense officials bared that the US Navy is proposing a major “show of force” in disputed waters to “warn China” during a single week in November. Roque, in a news briefing, said the Philippines’ skipping the activity was discussed during Zhao’s meeting with Duterte on Monday. He added that Zhao voiced apprehensions on the military drills. “China, of course, expressed concern over a naval military exercise that the United States

will be conducting in the area at about the same time that the Chinese President will be in the Philippines,” Roque said. “The President said we would not take part in that military exercise,” he added. Roque said the Philippines would not want anything to mar the visit of Xi. “I think that the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] will do all it can to make sure that President Xi’s visit will be fruitful and as productive as we would want it to be,” he added. The spokesman said both parties agreed that a joint exploration in the South China Sea would greatly benefit the two countries. “China reiterated that they do not desire any military confrontation as a result of the West Philippine Sea [dispute], either with any of the claimant states or with any other powers because China is the biggest user of the West Philippine Sea,” he added. n


october 12-18, 2018 • NeW YorK AND NeW JerSeY ASIAN JoUrNAL • (212) 655-5426

OCTOBER 12-18, 2018

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The raw, unapologetic candor of Jose Antonio Vargas

The journalist and activist explores the meaning of home, internal identity struggles and the power of speaking up in new memoir “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen” by Klarize

Medenilla /AJPress

TWO things happened to Jose Antonio Vargas after Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. First, he found himself without a permanent residence. On the day after the election, on Nov. 9, 2016, Vargas was living in an upscale apartment building in Downtown Los Angeles. The building’s manager, with whom Vargas had a friendly acquaintance, texted him saying “I’m not sure what we could do if you showed back up here,” suggesting the likelihood that Vargas would be apprehended under Trump’s stringent immigration reforms. “[James] Baldwin once said, ‘All safety is an illusion,’ and that never felt more real than that day,” Vargas told this writer in a recent phone interview. Vargas proceeded to move out of that apartment building. The second thing that happened was a sudden flood of emails, tweets and messages from young, undocumented immigrants to Vargas, who for the last decade has become a reverberating voice in the fight for immigration reform and immigrants’ rights. Across the country, the undocumented community feared for their futures in the U.S. and turned to the strong-willed, defying voice that Vargas lent in the national dialogue on these issues, and the 37-year-old writer and activist wanted to deliver in the form of a book. Originally, he had planned on an issue-based book of the global impact of immigration policy, but his editor, instead, asked him to

list out the top 10 most painful experiences of his life, “all of which had to do with lying, passing or hiding,” Vargas said in the interview. This became the foundation of his newly-released first book, “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen,” a powerful, unmitigated memoir which has less to do with immigration policy and the politics surrounding it, but more to do with the psychological and emotional implications of living in America as an undocumented person. Vargas has propelled his message through the affecting cogency of his journalistic writing (like in his 2011 New York Times essay in which he made public his citizenship status) and documentary filmmaking that thematically challenges social and political norms. He’s harnessed his message into founding Define America, a non-profit media and culture organization focused on immigrants and their stories rather than politics. Vargas began “Dear America” after he left his downtown LA apartment and began his nomad lifestyle, staying with friends or renting out hotel rooms and Airbnbs. As he writes in the prologue, the book appeals to the feeling of homelessness and living a life where he had to hide from the government and lie about his citizenship. But this time around, Vargas wanted to strip the story of policy jargon and political rhetoric and put together a narrative with language that’s “more accessible and relatable” to relay

When Vargas was 16, he found out his green card was fake when he tried to apply for a driver’s permit. Contributed Photo

Vargas holds up a sign during Mitt Romney’s speech at the Iowa caucus in 2012. Photos courtesy of Jose Antonio Vargas

Vargas was detained and later released by Border Patrol in Texas in the summer of 2014.

a more human element of an oftdehumanizing topic. “After twenty-five years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom,” Vargas writes in the book’s prologue. In the book, Vargas details — through succinct, but stirring chapters — his mother sending him from Antipolo, Philippines (where he was born) to Northern California in 1993 to live with his lola and lolo. He recounts the shock and horror he felt as a teenager when he found out that he was undocumented and how coming out as undocumented was more difficult than coming out as a gay man. For those of us who haven’t gone through life as an undocumented immigrant of color, it’s difficult to imagine the emotional rigmarole that comes as a requisite for undocumented peoples in an America where the emergence of nativism and xenophobia continues to manifest itself in the ugliest ways. “Dear America” delivers a perspective that has endured institutionalized and socialized racism and internal struggles and identity crises as an undocumented gay immigrant of color. “The book is kind of owning up to my own depression that I don’t really talk about. I wanted to create something relatable, but I wrote the book, really, for myself, and it’s probably the closest I ever got to going to therapy,” Vargas quipped in our interview. Impactfully, he references his literary idols — celebrated black

American writers Toni Morrison and James Baldwin and legendary Filipino-American writer and poet Carlos Bulosan — writers of color who, unapologetically, claimed their identities and reverberated their truths through their writing — and, it’s evident throughout “Dear America” that he’s following suit. He began writing the book at the dawn of 2018 and chronicled the invisible existence he’s lived throughout his life as the Trump administration rolled out its most controversial immigration measures. “We are flooded with news about immigration, and sometimes the media makes it seem like all of this is happening all at once, but the reality is that Trump is only the culmination and manifestation of every bad policy on immigration. This did not happen overnight,” Vargas says. When news came out that migrant families were being separated at the border in the early summer, he was simultaneously recounting his own detention long before Trump’s election, in the summer of 2014 when he was detained with young Hispanic boys in a jail cell south Texas, when “the media didn’t care and there were no hashtags or marches to bring families together,” he laughingly tells me. In this poignant chapter, Vargas details the language barrier between these boys and him and the desire to assure them colonialism was the root cause of the unjust, inhumane immigration practices that America, a country founded by immigrants, has

Jose Antonio Vargas speaks at a stop on his book tour at USC on Sept. 25 AJPress photo by Klarize Medenilla

Vargas with his mother Emelie in the Philippines before he was sent to live with his grandparents in the U.S.

adopted. “If I spoke Spanish, I could have told the boys that none of this was their fault,” Vargas writes in the book. “I could have made sure they understood — even if most Americans do not — that people like us come to America because America was in our countries.” The physical book, itself, also emphatically represents Vargas’ claim of identity and voice with the handwritten cover title and byline, Vargas’ fingerprint as the cover art and the bright, Pantone yellow book jacket that represents the given color of the Asian race. In a chapter called “Filipinos” he writes, “Filipinos fit everywhere and nowhere at all,” and despite the rich presence of Filipinos in American history, the struggle of Filipinos in America to feel at home and to feel a sense of belonging is ubiquitous. In our interview, Vargas notes the present reckoning of Filipino-American writers like Noel Alumit and Elaine Castillo who are “redefining and claiming” the Filipino identity in the 21st century. In many ways, “Dear America” is an introductory call to Filipinos in America — undocumented and

otherwise — to stake a claim to the Filipino-American identity and understanding how we got here. At the time of publication of “Dear America,” Vargas is 37 years old, one year older than his mother was when she dropped him off at the airport in the Philippines. On Sept. 25, on a speaking tour for his book at University of Southern California, Vargas requested that he record the audience singing “Happy Birthday” to his mother, who turned 61 years old that very day. Vargas has not seen his mother in person since that day at the airport 25 years ago. Publicly, Vargas is a fierce, outspoken advocate for the humanization of the immigration conversation. But on that day at the Bovard Auditorium recording a crowd of strangers wish his mother a happy birthday, his demeanor softened and a modest, faint smile formed on his face. At that moment, Vargas wasn’t an activist or a writer. He was the son of a Filipina who risked family separation for the success of her anak. “Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen” is out now.

Vanessa Hudgens, Filipino mom closer than ever since her dad passed away

including her Broadway stage debut in “Gigi.” “I feel like because she’s going through such a LOS ANGELES—“It’s my turn to massive change, she confides in spoil her,” said Vanessa Hudgens me. She thinks of me as her best about her Filipino mom, Gina friend, and she sometimes tells me Guangco-Hudgens. “She came to things even I don’t want to hear America from the Philippines with (laughs). It’s weird but also sweet my father, so all that she knew in when that role reversal happens.” America was my dad, my sister On what she cherishes from (Stella) and me. Now that my dad is being raised by Gina, who hails gone, it’s been difficult.” from southern Philippines, and Vanessa’s dad, Greg Hudgens, Greg, who was of Irish and Native died of cancer in January 2016, American heritage, Vanessa the night before she played answered, “The thing that I took Rizzo in Fox TV’s “Grease: Live.” away the most from my parents is She dedicated her acclaimed that they were married until the performance to Greg. day that my dad passed away. I Added the singer-actress in admire my parents’ tenacity to this recent interview in LA, “My stay together, no matter what, mom had to find things to keep because I saw them at their highs herself preoccupied, especially and lows. things that bring her joy. She goes “And the amount of time line dancing two times a week, and and money that they put in, so she loves it. much driving back and forth to “Now, our tradition is going to auditions, to make our dreams my dad’s grave. We bring a blanket come true.” and catch up because it feels like Asked if Gina still brings he’s still a part of our lives just by Filipino food to her house, sitting there with him. He’s buried Vanessa replied, “I stopped eating at Forest Lawn. meat. My favorites were adobo “We were there the other and pancit. She brought over pan day—just my mom and me. Out de sal the other day, but I was of nowhere, we heard a mariachi getting ready for the cover shoot band. On the level above us was of Women’s Health.” a tent and a group of 15 people In the romantic comedy and a full-on mariachi band. So I “Second Act,” Vanessa costars with picked up my mom, and we started Jennifer Lopez, Milo Ventimiglia dancing together. It was a special and Leah Remini. sweet moment. It’s nice to keep my “The biggest takeaway for me dad alive in our hearts. about working with her is how “Definitely, my relationship hardworking she is,” Vanessa said with my mom has grown more,” about J Lo. “It blew me away. declared the actress, who has I remember being in between evolved from her hit “High School setups, with Jennifer sitting down Musical” series to varied roles, with Nappytabs, who do her By ruben

V. nepales

Vegas show, and coming up with a concept for it. “We were in a full workday, yet she still sat down with her creative team to plan the show. I find that so inspiring and such a good example to me as an artist, to know that in order to reach her level, she’s spending every waking moment bettering herself and moving her career forward.” Vanesa admitted being intimidated at first with Jennifer. “I had met her once before in passing, and I remember going, oh wow, that’s J Lo. Her aura is real. She’s larger than life. So I was definitely nervous going into the project. “But, as soon as I started working with her, she made me feel so safe. With her, I know everything’s going to be OK. Which was nice, because you don’t always get that.” While she may be too young to have a second act in her life, Vanessa insisted, “I’m in in the beginning of my second act. It’s crazy that this is what the movie is about. I did my first movie when I was 13 years old, and I’m about to turn 30 in December. “I feel like I’ve had such an epic 20s. I’ve learned so much about myself. Of course, it’s constantly evolving, but I had that moment at 25 when I felt like I knew exactly who I was and what I wanted to do. “Then, at 27, I woke up and felt like I had no idea what I was doing, who I was, what I stood for. Now that I’m in my last few months (of being 29), I’m like, OK, I feel like I’m getting a handle on things. I’m

Vanessa Hudgens photo by Ruben V. Nepales

Vanessa Hudgens (right) costars with Jennifer Lopez in “Second Act.” Photo courtesy of STX Films

putting all the right ducks in a row so that entering this second act, I can be in a place where there are no distractions.” On how she successfully transitioned into an actress and avoided the career pitfalls of being a teen sensation, then struggling into adulthood, Vanessa explained, “I worked my way through that by not saying yes to the things that were easily presented to me. “They knew me for ‘High School Musical,’ and I was getting offered a lot of parts that were very similar. “But I can literally do that in my sleep. That’s not going to challenge me. So why would I do that? So, I held out for a while. And by doing so, I definitely had dry spells, where I was sitting around calling my agents and manager saying, what’s going on? I need to be doing something. “And they would reassure me that it’s all about timing, that when something comes around that I’m passionate about, we’re going to go after it. Sure enough,

things did come around that aligned with what I wanted to do, like playing a drug addict, a prostitute or women who don’t necessarily have the voices to speak up. And being able to do that for them was something that was important for me. “I’m grateful that I took that time to be calculated with my next steps, because that’s what’s allowed me to have a smooth transition.” On what her strangest experience was with a fan, Vanessa shared, “Years ago, I was at a talk show. I was going to the bathroom, then this girl saw me and was freaking out. When I came out of the restroom, she was, ‘I love you so much, Vanessa. Can I have a hug?’ I said, sure. As I went in for the hug, she started making out with my neck. Before I knew it, there was literally a tongue on my neck, and I was, noooo (laughs)! I felt terrified for my own security. I bolted out of there.” As for her funniest fan, she recounted, “Once, I had a guy ask

me to sign his forehead with a Sharpie. Yeah, I did it.” Summing up her current life, Vanessa—who has been in a relationship with actor Austin Butler since 2011—declared, “It’s a happy time in my life. When I stop to think about it, it makes me emotional. It’s like self-reflection. I’m working harder now more than ever. “God is so good. I feel like I have so many moments when they almost seem too good to be true. That’s the thing that keeps me happiest—when I can be grateful for the little things, as well, so that when the big things come along, it’s even more grandiose.” She reiterated her gratitude to her mom and late dad. “My parents never forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do, which I’m grateful for. I’m also grateful that it actually worked out for me. Obviously, it’s still a work in progress and, with God’s blessing, I’ll be able to do this for a very long time. But, you never know.”

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Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel gurfinkel, eSQ SEVERAL people have consulted with me, asking whether the approval letter they received was genuine. While the notice has the opening sentence, “welcome to the United States FAKE TOURIST VISA RESULTED IN BEING SENT BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES “A TO A”, AND LATER JEOPARDIZED HIS IMMIGRANT VISA DUE TO FRAUD — ON AN ENCORE EPISODE OF “CITIZEN PINOY!” Johnnatan (second from left) got a tourist visa through a newspaper ad that advertised of America,” which is how an “Non-Appearance” visas for $2500. He entered the U.S. in 2002 without any problems, but when he returned in 2003, he was held at the adjustment of status approval airport and sent back to the Philippines, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) accused him of using a fake or counterfeit tourist notice typically starts, these visa. That meant a possible lifetime ban. Years later, his mother’s petition became current, and he was afraid how his fake tourist visa would approval notices are fake and affect his and his daughter’s chances of immigrating to the U.S. Watch how a family was able to overcome a fraud charge and be reunited, people should be careful that on an encore episode of “Citizen Pinoy” – this Sunday at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on TFC. (Advertising Supplement) they are also not scammed. Apparently, there is an immigration consultancy Immigrant group in Las Vegas, claiming Living: 101 to be associated with an entity that sounds like it is a law and Beyond firm, but is actually a limited liability corporation handling Second of 3 parts Monette management consultancy. But AdevA MAglAyA still, it looks like the person is being represented by an immigration law firm. In one (THE first 5 tips came out in case, a Filipino was charged over last week’s issue. Here’s the second $22,500 for legal services, which installment of 5 more.) included the promise of a green 6. Simplify. Simplify. card. Simplify. Know the difference After paying the money, the between needs and wants. Use the person received a notice from Pareto principle in pinpointing the USCIS to be fingerprinted for vital few (20%) and the trivial many work authorization. They even they are a-changin.” space. Empty space can be (80%). When you let your wants went down to the USCIS and The political axis has shifted, beautiful because it presents overrule your life, you will end up had their fingerprints taken. perhaps for the better, and the possibilities. The truth is, life’s trading your time and therefore, times call for nations to build walls This convinced the person your life away to get those material journey is easier when we travel that the filing must have been and constrain the movement of light. This was the bucket list things you thought will make you people in the face of real threats to legitimate, as USCIS was already elucidated on in a previous article. happy. fingerprinting them for work their national sovereignty. A one7. Refuse to live in the For those of us with big egos permit. world, unelected government, shadows. If you’re illegal, exhaust who cannot resist the urge to However, this was merely with wealth and absolute power every available avenue open to impress others with the latest part of the scam, to make the as their global goals, has zero you to GO LEGIT. The gates have gizmos, this can be a serious person feel that the filing by the interest in upholding the average cracked open for the time being. problem. Stuff is just stuff. If we consultancy firm was legitimate. person’s human rights. Economic Life is tough enough without you don’t watch it, we can clutter up In reality, the consultancy our lives with junk. Browsing leads having to look over your shoulders migrants will be hit the hardest. Terrorism has reared its ugly head firm apparently had filed an and feeling edgy all the time to buying. application for political asylum and fluidity and movement of fearing you’ll be put on the next There is a back end to each for the person, because the people is now constrained. plane back to the home country. item we acquire as personal work authorization code on the Get legal and go the whole Surely you didn’t go through all property. After its use, we MUST fingerprint notice was “C08,” nine yards towards American CHOOSE ANY OF THESE OPTIONS: that trouble just to live a short, which is the code for work harried, hapless life. After 9/11 and citizenship. Shop, ask around and THROW, DONATE, SELL, DESTROY authorization when a person get the best legal representation the dangers of soulless terrorism, or KEEP them. Keeping a great has a pending political asylum you can get if you have to. Not all whether we accept it or not, after chunk of stuff we acquire over a application. immigration lawyers are cut from years of abuse, a new system, is lifetime can make pack rats out Continued on Page 6 After being fingerprinted now firmly in place and “the times, of us and deprive us of breathing

How to Build a House of Bricks in Any Season “I build my house of sticks. I build my house of twigs. With a hey-diddle-diddle, I play on the fiddle. And dance all kinds of jigs.” — Fiddler Pig

Another green card scam: Fake approval notices for work authorization, the work authorization card itself never arrived. Phone calls were never returned, and when they finally got in touch with the consultancy firm, they were given the run around and many excuses. Ultimately, they received an “approval” notice for adjustment of status, even though they were not eligible for adjustment of status. This notice had the familiar “welcome to the United States” greeting, but was so fake and bogus in so many other respects. • The application or receipt number starts with the letters ZNY. This is a code for an asylum office in New York. It also shows a Service Center of “ESC,” which does not exist. . • Although this notice purports to grant permanent residency, it also reminds people they may “request to change employers” if their adjustment application had been pending for over 180 days. This is a nonsensible reference to provisions of the American Competitiveness Act of the 21st Century (AC- 21) for employment based petitions, which would have no bearing on a case that has already been approved. • Also, to be eligible for adjustment of status, there should have been some underlying petition or application that had been filed and approved, with a current priority date. USCIS doesn’t simply “approve” green cards without any underlying basis. The people who fell for this scam are out thousands of dollars. More importantly, the scam artists seem to have filed for political asylum to get a fingerprint appointment, so as to fool the people into thinking something legitimate had actually been filed with USCIS. But now, USCIS could move

forward on the asylum claim, call the person in for interview, deny the asylum, put the person in deportation/removal, and they could be ordered removed. In addition, the consultant may be having these notices sent to the consultant’s address, and they may not forward the asylum or deportation notices to the person. Years later, the person may be shocked to find they had been ordered deported when either they apply for a legitimate immigration benefits or ICE knocks at their door. If you have been a victim of this green card scam, you should seek the advice of a legitimate and reputable attorney, who might possibly be able to undo the damage of this bogus, fraudulent filing. *** Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories”, endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: Follow us on and Twitter @GurfinkelLaw Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: 1-866-487-3465 (866) – GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES ∙ SAN FRANCISCO ∙ NEW YORK ∙ PHILIPPINES (Advertising Supplement)

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PNP’s PCR launch in New York marred by protests On the PEP Front

People, Events, Places BoBBy T. yalong In its keenly advocated intention to globalize the Philippine Military war on drugs and other related peace-keeping and tourism drives, the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched Police Community Relations (PCR) on August 30, 2018 to connect Filipino communities worldwide, empowering them, making each and every Filipino virtual Ambassador and Ambassadress of Goodwill, going beyond borders to foster understanding and cooperation among overseas Filipinos, global stakeholders, and international Civil Society Organizations. Several meetings were held to fine tune every aspect of Global PCR before it rolled out, prominent of which were those with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the system provider to connect all the stakeholders up to the grassroots. Collaboratively working with Global PCR, among others, are the Department of Labor and Employment, Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of

Dep. Con. Gen. Kerwin Tate maintained his seemingly unperturbed stature

A member of the third group of protesters seemed to resist and refuse to leave the hall

Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and various local and international government, private, and religious sectors. Global PCR’s social media system is accessible and free to all Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and allows them to set up an unlimited number of fully interactive websites (portals) that are networked together and linked to the main Global PCR Portal

The first group of protesters that marred the early part of the event



PCRG Acting Director PSSupt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia



( This allows open communication within each OF / OFW, and between and among other groups around the world, thus, possibly linking all the more than ten million Filipinos outside the Philippines. The Philippine peacemaking men in uniform initiated their global launch in the west coast (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) before flying in to New York with a chosen deputation headed by Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) acting director PSSupt. Rhodel Sermonia. The event took off with a catered cocktail reception (by Kabayan) at the main lobby of the Philippine Center along Fifth Avenue copiously attended by various community leaders, regular event attendees, and a majority of seemingly just-out-of-the-office guests. Continued on Page 7

Nadine Lustre, Kiana Valenciano open up battle with their mental health By Niña

V. GuNo

A day after World Mental Health Day, Nadine Lustre and Kiana Valenciano bared their uphill battle with mental health in videos on social media. The videos are seen on the IGTV of Lustrous, Lustre’s makeup line with BYS. Both Lustre and Valenciano have been advocates of mental health awareness, and in the videos they were candid and emotional about their personal journeys. Lustre revealed that she learned she had depression about five years ago and that she has anxiety. “I get anxiety from nothing. It’s hard because I don’t know how to solve it,” she said. She spoke about having good days and finding depression suddenly “creeping up on me.” Initially, she worried about telling friends because of the misconception that she could be going crazy. At one point, she went on a trip to South Korea with friends and thought of never coming back. She described the feeling: “Lunod na lunod na ako (I was drowning) and I can’t swim.” Opening up to friends and boyfriend James Reid has helped

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At this stage in her life, Yayo Aguila says she feels fulfilled already By Robbie


Nadine Lustre and Kiana Valenciano

her manage her emotions. “He taught me to open up and whatever I feel now I should just tell him,” she said of Reid’s advice. “It’s actually okay to be sad. It’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to show weakness,” Lustre assured. “You’re gonna be able to stand up and be a stronger person.” Valenciano showed a more emotional side of her as she opened up on dealing with depression and anxiety. “Every day is a bit of a battle,” she said of dealing with mental illness. She said that it had been two years since she noticed that she was confused as to why she would worry about things. “I personally can’t pinpoint what causes it,” she admitted.

Photo from Instagram/@nadine

“It feels like there’s a deadline coming. Your hands are clammy,” she described anxiety. “You’re overthinking every single decision that you have to make.” Teary-eyed, she spoke of feeling misunderstood. “It doesn’t make sense to people outside because it seems like how could you not be OK when you’re living this life that a lot of people want or dream of,” she said. Like Lustre, having a support system such as close friends helps Valenciano through her mental health struggles. Having an outlet in writing also helps her cope. She also had a message of hope: “I just want you to know that you’re not alone. And there’s so much more in store for all of us.”

SPAA celebrates its 25th – on Fifth By RobeRt

PeRez De taGle

FROM October 15 to 26, the Society of PhilippineAmerican Artists is exhibiting at the Philippine Center, 556 5th Avenue, NYC. The group’s 25th annual show features works of 32 artists. In the early 1990s, the World Wide Web consortium and the development of browsers heralded a brave new world to come. Meanwhile, the Museum of Tolerance first opened its doors in its vision to be “a symbol of society’s quest to live peacefully together”; the European Union was established; Nelson Mandela

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and FW de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace for their role in ending apartheid; Schindler’s

List, Forrest Gump and Seinfeld were cultural milestones; A Continued on Page 7

WITH a career that spans almost four decades, Yayo Aguila believes she has seen it all. Yet, even with a lot to look back at, Yayo prefers to always look forward. At this stage in her life, Yayo says she feels fulfilled already, yet she still pushes for more. “We must never stop dreaming and aiming to reach our goals. And as we go along trying to achieve these, we must also be good people,” says Yayo, who was named Best Supporting Actress for the indie film Kiko Boksingero at the Cinemalaya 2017. The mother of four knows

how important it is to take care of herself at her age. “I run, I play tennis and badminton. I do Zumba and abs exercises. I eat healthy, I cut down on meat and I eat less. I don’t smoke. I see to it that I do my cardio every day. I’m hypertensive and under maintenance meds that’s why I’m particular with taking care of myself,” adds the veteran actress who just recently finished guesting for T-Rex’s Class of 2018, which is an official Metro Manila Film Festival entry. She is also filming All Souls Night of Aliud Entertainment and Viva Films, and Ten17P’s Siszum. Yayo tries to de-stress by going out with her friends to talk, Continued on Page 6 Yayo Aguila

GMA photo

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Calendar of Events across



FASGI presents FAIR art exhibit in Los Angeles FASGI is pleased to announce FAIR – FASGI Artists Impressions & Reflections – an art exhibit to be held from October 9, 2018 to November 9, 2018 at the FASGI Bayanihan Center (135 N. Park View St., Los Angeles, CA 90026). FAIR is presented as part of FASGI’s Arts Incubator Program. FAIR will showcase five internationally-acclaimed artists who will unveil new and original artworks: Rafael Maniago, Cesar Devera, Johnny Otilano, Mat Relox, and Tiinz Taruc. FASGI’s Arts Incubator Program was created in 2016 to promote and uplift Filipino and Filipino American arts and culture. The program’s mission is to: (1) help Filipino American artists to be properly recognized and given economic opportunities for advancement; (2) enable Filipino Americans to get in touch with their culture; and (3) to educate mainstream America on Philippine/American art. The program currently includes a permanent gallery, special exhibits, portraiture, parol-making, and an artist-in-residence program. Art workshops, instruction, and live projects are currently being planned for commencement in 2019.

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48th year anniversary retreat and rosary rally in Tujunga, CA October is the month of the Holy Rosary and what could be fitting is to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary and offer flowers of mercy and compassion to others. On Saturday, October 13, the Federation of Filipino Rosary Groups is sponsoring the event which will include a variety of retreat speakers: Monsignor Lorenzo Miranda, Rev. Stephen, Rev. Robert Victoria and Rev. Rene Panlasigui, RCJ. Topics will revolve around the theme: “Mary and the Church”. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration will start at 8:00 am at the patio. Procession will begin from the Grotto leading to Church. Come one, come all! All are welcome. Be refreshed and be renewed. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (7344 Apperson Street, Tujunga, CA 91042). For information, please call: Tess Domingo at (909) 855-2208 or Rico Nosce at (818) 352-3218.

Daly City hosts Fil-Am History Month celebration Daly City celebrates Filipino-American History Month via Kasayahan sa Daly City at the Marchbank Park (2001 Junipero Serra Blvd., Daly City, CA 94014) from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be food trucks, a family fun zone, arts and crafts, a jump house, a beer garden, several vendor booths, a bubble machine, and entertainment from homegrown talent. Parking is free at the DC Station Garage on 2001 Junipero Serra Boulevard, and Marchbank Park is accessible on the second floor. This is a free event, and everyone is invited.Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by Melvinsings! Maddie B, Kariktan Dance Company, American Center of Philippine Arts, Rudy Kalma, Mike Dayao, Guji, and more. Headliners to perform at the TFC Hour are “Queen of Freestyle” Jocelyn Enriquez and rapper and spoken word artist Ruby Ibarra. For more information about this event, call (650) 991-8001 or go to their Facebook events page

Philippine Pediatric Society in America turns a score and one

CELEBRATING a monumental milestone offers an enthusiastically spirited drive to come up with an event worth remembering and what other theme could suitably match such with exuberance and grandiosity but an autumn kind of affair… timely…and appropriate. The Philippine Pediatric Society in America was originally organized in Ohio by a group of Filipino pediatricians under the stewardship of Dr. Felino Barnes with the main objective of banding together towards the fulfillment of a common goal: to reach out to children in need from various parts of the world and driven by the mission of assisting and rendering support to humanitarian projects dedicated to the well-being of the economically underserved children of the world. Dedicated to promote camaraderie among pediatricians of Filipino heritage in the USA and to promote competence in the practice of Pediatrics by encouraging continuous learning, the PPSA’s membership roster continues to grow under the leadership of men and women committed to efface the disparity in health care between the economically privileged and the underserved children of the world. Just recently, the PPSA pompously celebrated its twenty first founding anniversary with a whole-day affair ably capped with gala night at the Ramada Plaza Hotel (along 160 Frontage Road, Newark, NJ 07114) last Saturday, October 6, 2018. A Continuing Medication Education (CME) session was slated in the initial phase of the event in collaboration with Carepoint Hoboken University Hospital’s Assumption Hall. Various up-to-date topics were discussed by resourceful speakers before a 40-member audience: Congenital Heart Disease and Sports Participation by Dr. Mohy Kotb; Genetics ABC by Dr. Maria Divina Gracia Schwab; Asthma Updates by Dr. Singh; Vesicoureteral reflux and Urinary tract infections in Children by Dr. Natalie S. Uy. The National Business

Oath-taking of new PPSA set of officers for 2018 - 2020

PPSA Formation Dancers

Contributed Photos

Meeting conducted by Dr. Nerissa V. Malabanan, PPSA national president (2016-2018), closely ensued after lunch. In attendance were Dr. Cosme Cagas, Dr. Zarah Pua, Nerissa V. Malabanan, Dr. Dulce Samonte, Dr. Connie Uy, Dr Irene Lintag. Dr. Elmer David, Dr Marivic FacturaSantiago, Dr. Winston Umali, Dr Madolene Aliparo-Causing, Dr. Jeffrey Casia, Dr. Andrea de LeonAlmendral, and Dr Edna LopezMaslak. Feeding and Dental Health Programs in the Philippines and adopting some elementary and high school scholars, in collaboration with PEACE were discussed over an array of sumptuous meal. A lavishly prepared dinner dance was a fitting finale for an immensely significant occasion. A new set of PPSA national officers was inducted which included: Dr. Dulce Samonte-National President, Dr Andrea De LeonAlmendral-Secretary, Dr. Nerissa

V. Malabanan-Treasurer, and Dr. Zarah Pua-Executive Director; The Board of Trustees is composed of: Dr. Manny Hugo, Dr. Madolene Aliparo-Causing, Dr. Vic Tan, Dr. Fely Tolentino, Dr. Thelma Endaya-Aguila, Dr. Connie Uy, Dr. Cosme Cagas, Dr. Jeffrey Casia, Dr. Winston Umali, Dr. Elmer David, Dr. Marivic Factura-Santiago, Dr. Noli Zosa, Dr. Walter Lucas, Dr. Ronnie Moises, and Dr. Irene Lintag. Special dance presentations added more colors to the already colorful night with-Rose Dumapit and Yegor Young- Rumba; Dr. Aida De Leon and Dr. Jang DonMedley of Latin dances, and Dr. Femie Mac and Vladimir PopovInternational Waltz, while a PPSA Dance Formation was performed by: Dr. Cathy Alcarez and Kameel Niroda, Dr. Orly and Mrs. Aurora Cordero, Dr. Aida and Mr. Pol De Leon,Dr. Femie Mac and Vladamir Popov, Dr. Dulce and Mr. Ramon Samonte, and Dr. Teresita Valencia and Matthew Harkins.

Dr. Cosme R. Cagas, recipient of the Pediatrician of the Year Award, with Dr. Connie Uy

Dr. Jang and Dr. Aida de Leon

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West Ranch High School hosts Wildcat Classic n Valencia, CA West Ranch High School is proud to present the 10th annual Wildcat Classic, a daylong display of musical artistry. More than 20 high school bands from the Santa Clarita Valley and around the region will gather for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) Marching Band Competition. The Wildcat Classic is happening Saturday, October 20, 2018 3 p.m.-9 p.m. at Valencia High School’s football stadium, located at 27801 Dickason Dr. in Valencia. Tickets are $10; parking is free. Each high school band will compete by division followed by an astounding showcase performance of the three-time state champion West Ranch Band and Colorguard. The day-long event culminates in an awards ceremony with awards presented in each division as decided by a panel of SCSBOA judges. The performance schedule will be announced prior to the event. Vendors will be on site with plenty of delectable food and drink options as well as gifts and apparel for the music enthusiast. For additional information, please contact West Ranch Music Director Jason Marshall at 661-222-1220 x 646 or or visit their website at

Our Lady of Fatima celebration in Los Angeles Join on Saturday, October 20, at 5 p.m. for a special celebration in honor of our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. It will be held at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels (555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012). The main celebrant is Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar. All the faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are cordially invited to join us in October, the month of the Rosary, to pray for peace and conversion in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. Please share this announcement with your parish, families and schools. Together we can bring peace to our world. Together in prayer, we make a difference. All are welcome! For more information, please call (323) 578-8411 or (818) 421-6534.

Fil-Am Association of SCV,Inc. 35th Anniversary Gala The Siena College QC alumni will be holding its 35th Anniversary Gala. A black tie and hollywood glamour dinner and dance $60.00 (prepaid) on Saturday, October 20, 2018, 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA 91355. For details and purchase of tickets, please call: Mul (661) 253-1825, Zeny (661) 284-0181, Myra (424) 350-1056, Zony (661) 312-3422, Nic (661) 312-9077, Linda (661) 904-1365 and Emie (661) 877-2699.

Pinta*Dos Philippine Art Gallery in San Pedro, CA hosts art talk by Christine Morla The current ongoing show at Pinta*Dos Gallery is Contemporary Filipino and Filipino American Artists Encounter Textile which presents works by Filipino American artists Cirilo Domini and Christine Morla, and Manila’s Aze Ong, all of whom have been conceptually, spiritually or formally inspired to use textiles as a starting point of inquiry. On October 20, 2018, artist Christine Morla will talk about her art and how her Philippine cultural heritage has influenced her work. Scheduled at 3:00pm - 5:00pm, the Art Talk will also include Conversations with one of the curators of the current art exhibit, Joseph Santarromana. Pinta*Dos Gallery is located at 479 W Sixth Street, Suite 107 at the Historic Arts District of San Pedro, CA. The event is free and open to the public but RSVP is requested. Call (310) 514-9139 or email Linda Nietes-Little: for more details. Pinta*Dos Gallery is open on Thursday and Friday, from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. or by appointment.

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Asian Business Association - LA hosts business policy discussion in Monterey Park, CA Many business owners understand that elected officials makes rules and regulations for businesses. These regulations do affect the way in which businesses are conducted. However, many entrepreneurs may NOT understand, that they have the ability to shape these rules and regulations. One of the most important leverage business have is the power of their vote. On Tuesday, October 23, hear from Monterey Park City Manager Ron Bow, Alhambra City Mayor Jeff Maloney, and Public Affairs Expert Thomas Wong to gain some insight on how small business can better engage City Hall to shape business policy. Join the Asian Business Association (ABA) for this intriguing panel discussion from 6 to 8 p.m.! Appetizers will be provided. It will be held at Cafe M Park, Monterey Park Golf Course (3600 W. Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754). For more information, please visit

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

Bequeathal of title...Dr. Nerissa Malabanan passes her presidential gavel to Dr. Dulce Samonte

How to Build a House of Bricks...

From Page 3 the same cloth. Choose wisely. Inspect track records. 8. Get physical. Make diet and exercise a regular part of your life. We maintain our cars and use high-grade fuel to get great performance from a machine to get us from Point A to Point B. Our magnificent bodies, the crowning glory of God’s Creation, deserve no less. If we expect to run the full course set before us and barring unforeseen twists of fate, like being run over by a truck, struck by lightning or hit by a meteorite, we can look forward to a long stretch of happy, productive, relatively healthy years ahead. 9. Admit you’re no superhero. Don’t take on more than you can handle. American life is demanding. We are all required to multitask at work and at home — to do too many things all at once —it’s enough to drive

us to the edge of insanity. One technique to help us maintain our mental health and take off the pressure when we feel overwhelmed is to say NO. Know your strengths and respect your limits and know when you’re spreading yourself too thinly. 10. A fool and his money are soon parted. Have this truism tattooed on the hand that keeps wielding the plastic, aka credit/debit cards, until it hits home — just until you learn fiscal responsibility and mind your financial health. The great financial industry that runs and oils America has your number and gauges the kind of risk you are based on your track record of fiscal responsibility reflected in that all too important number called the FICO score. This is the metric reflective of how you deal with money and your financial obligations.

The gold standard is 850 and above. Cash remains king but a good credit history is queen. Mess with this metric and you will pay a painful price that hits your pocketbook even more when you have to buy big-ticket items, like a car or a house. Take care that in the first few years and for the rest of your life, you guard your credit history with the tenacity of a pit bull. (Next week: The third and final part of 15 Tips: How to Build a House of Bricks in Any Season.) *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@asianjournalinc. com. To read past articles, click on the link Online: asianjournaldigitaledition or you can do searches in the least invasive search engine duckduckgo or bing or yahoo even before google.

At this stage in her life, Yayo...

From Page 5 chill, have drinks and eat. Her friends know that she is the type who is easy to please and easy to get along with. She can be quiet at times but can also be rowdy around people close to her. “I learn so much from my friends and they are my stressbusters. I love laughing with them,” says Yayo. As for her love life, Yayo says it’s zero. “Sorry, nothing to talk about. I don’t do dates. It is not so much of a priority for me,” Yayo says.

Right now, she’s focused on her family — her three girls are all working already. Her only son is soon graduating from senior high and Yayo is excited for this new chapter in her boy’s life. As she says, she is a simple person with simple dreams for her kids. The hands-on mom cooks, does errands herself and attends to her children’s needs, even now that they’re grown-ups. Through all these, Yayo is certain that her faith has taken, is taking and will take her to

great heights. She believes in the power of prayer. Yayo has been in showbiz for decades, and she’s still a soughtafter artist. She is sure to remain so because she is a happy person who wants to spread good vibes to everybody she meets. “I want to be a blessing to every person that I meet every day. I want to be good at what I do at work and go places and be able to inspire others both as a mother and as an actor,” ends Yayo.

PNP’s PCR launch in New...

objection to the rule of the Duterte Administration and declared firmly and emphatically to the face of From Page 4 Guests were ushered to the PNP head their dismay in the Kalayaan Hall (after the hearty way the military forces carried their reception and an hour of orders to eradicate drug addiction. socialization and unending photo After having overcome the opportunities) for the main event series of “mutinies” that transpired, that was ably hosted by Deputy the event went on smoothly but ConGen Kerwin Orville C. Tate. the audience remained vigilant and A short advocacy film clip alert, ready for whatever similar by Director Neal “Buboy” Tan, incident might suddenly erupt with a prelude annotated by and spoil the flow of the program. former PNP chief Director General There were still other suspicious Don Tagala of Balitang America captured the entire protest pandemonium Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa and PC personalities left but (they) may Superintendent / PRO I Regional have been adamant to pursue what Director Romulo F. Sapitula, that they planned knowing that they featured PNP’s activities and daily would only end up in the streets. encounters kept the audience The amiable general, in his inaudibly glued to their seats. attempt to propagate and widely General Rhodel Sermonia promote his advocacy pleadingly took the podium after the film quoted in his speech: “We entice all showing to further discuss the the sectors of the community, the integral elements of their global faith-based group, and corporate project when in just a matter of business sectors to collaborate with three minutes the group seated us to be able to lessen, if not totally at the front row suddenly stood eradicate, our problems on drugs!” with close fists in an orchestrated “We need all sectors to help fashion and boisterously shouted us fight our war against illegal at the top of their voice their drugs…we need your support… protest which they read in chorus. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, Gemma Soto, Ambassador Teddy Locsin, Jr., Permanent Representative we cannot do it alone,” he Everybody was stunned and reiterated with utmost concern. of the Philippines to the United Nations, and Consul General Claro Cristobal. speechless, not knowing how Global PCR dexterously to react. As the demonstrators developed strategies and continued to fill the room with their competently created tools to make deafening protest, house security their program work effectually. guards and NYPD officers forcefully For drug dependents and pushers (but chivalrously) led them to the who voluntarily surrendered, elevator down to the streets. they offer an effective program Having gathered enough for rehabilitation like skills invigorating air and regained back development program (carpentry, to senses, the cool-headed general farming and gardening, electrical resumed his speech only to be and mechanical training, cottage interrupted anew by unexpected industry, etc.), community-based loud protest from the elevator that The second batch of protesters was ushered into the elevator program in partnership with went up uncontrollably. There was a mixed reaction from the crowd: general’s momentum. Just like staggered for the instantaneous the first group of protesters, they re-upsurge of the activists and were shunned away to the elevator amused due to the funny incident while belligerently bellowing noncomparable to a comedic movie stop. The general merely observed scene. in silence as if waiting for the next As if nothing could hinder his scenario. thoughts (he’s already used to For the third time the event face combative situations and that recommenced and Gen. Sermonia, scenario was nothing compared without any sign of intimidation, to what he used to encounter), gamely picked up from where he Gen. Sermonia remained calm and was interrupted. The topic sounded resumed (once again) after offering interesting enough but disturbed an apology for what happened. (again) by a group of protesters Only two minutes had passed seated in the fourth row, this and another group in the 3rd row time lesser in number (with only stood (the same manner as the three members) but enough to first) and screamed on the top fill the 175-capacity hall. Just the of their lungs, putting to halt the same, they openly expressed their

SPAA celebrates its...

From Page 5 Whole New World and Boyz II Men were heard often; and Amazon was founded. Against this backdrop of vibrant times both inspiring and disrupting, artists and their supporters came together to establish the Society of Philippine American Artists, or SPAA. Manuel Rodriguez Sr., the Father of Philippine Printmaking, was its visionary leader, and from the 1990s to today, SPAA’s membership has embraced participants from New York, New Jersey, DC/Virginia, Vancouver, Manila and elsewhere, individuals of diverse professional backgrounds. Seasoned and academically trained artists have continued to mingle and dialogue with newer or younger visual creators equally passionate about their expression through art, in media classic and mixed, on subjects challenging and stirring, the traditional juxtaposed with digital. From October 15 to 26, the SPAA celebrates with its own 25th anniversary exhibition, at its long-time host the Philippine Center in Manhattan, on Fifth Avenue at 46th Street. From 9am to 5pm on weekdays the exhibit space at the Lobby of the Center is open to the public. “We are honored to be part of this body of individuals supporting each other as a channel of our expression, in connecting with and reflecting our identities as Filipinos, as Filipinos in America, Canada, and elsewhere, as artists evolving in such a diverse environment,” says current president Art Zamora. He echoes his predecessor, the late Dr. Mars Custodio, in looking to SPAA as “encouraging its members’ growth in content, technique and relevance.” SPAA has worked through the decades in promoting its artists’ works and has also served to support visiting artists, through its members linked with other artist groups, at exhibit spaces in the New York-New Jersey area and beyond. It has also published books, including a catalog of the art treasures of the Philippine Center. Transitions In addition to Mang Maning Rodriguez, the Society’s presidents over the years have

included Carlos Esguerra, Joe Duvera, Lenore Lim and Tenni Magcase-Lopez. The organization’s exhibit this year is special with the participation as exhibit curator of Teresa Lapid Rodriguez, the founding director of the George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University — the inauguration of which this writer covered exclusively — and Centennial Awardee of Holy Spirit College. The theme from a recent annual exhibition was “Change” — borne out by the addition of new members, directors, officers and trustees, as well as by more sobering transitions, including the passing of Mang Maning Rodriguez, his son Boy Rodriguez (Manuel Jr.), Lito Ballesteros, and, soon after last year’s event, Dr. Custodio. This year’s milestone event has brought with it more participants and new perspectives. Participating artists The visual artists presenting this year are Ameurfina Nazario, Angelito L. David, Angelito Espiritu, Angelo Maristela, Anna Leah Sanson, Apolinario Folloso, Art Zamora, Athena MagcaseLopez, Aurora Caparas-Corpuz, Carlos L. Esguerra, Carol Tanjutco, Chato Morando, Cheryle Cranbourne, Ching Valdes-Aran, Christian Blaza, Dulcie Dee, Esmie Gayo McLaren, Godfrey Pinder, Greta Lood, Hill Benitez, Kathryn Cardenas, Lenore RS Lim, Lorina Capitulo, Lulu Villamater, Mae Palaci, Mirinisa Myers, Oscar Dizon, Racco Maristela, Rene Ner, Robert Pérez De Tagle, Ronald Cortez and Tessie Dichupa. This year’s Board of Directors, in addition to the president Art Zamora, include Cheryle Cranbourne, VP; Chato Morando, Treasurer; Athena MagcaseLopez, Secretary; Dulcie Dee and Robert P. De Tagle, PRO’s; Aurora Caparas-Corpuz, Reynaldo Cardenas, Ronald Cortez, Angelo Maristela, Anna Leah Sanson, Ching Valdes-Aran and Lulu Villamater. Aida Bartolome, Carlos L. Esguerra, Angelito L. David and Lenore RS Lim serve as advisers, and Toots Magsino from abroad is tasked with global communications. The Board of Trustees comprises Dr. Benny Jonqco, Dr. Angie Ricafrente, Atty. Dean Suba, Bella Velo, Justin RS Lim and Caroline Pinder.

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TESDA, Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc.), personality development program, psycho-therapy program, physical and mental rehabilitation program: Knock n’ Plea Program,” “Katok sa Puso Program,” and they even held Miss PNP Beauty Pageant to raise awareness and lure other government agencies and business companies to support the PNP Recovery and Wellness Program. A cleverly coined acronym, PRRD (Pulis na Respetado, Responsable, at Disiplinado, obviously, the initials of President Duterte) easily gave away the military’s serious dedication to serve and pledged obligation to render service at any given time. The open forum portion, the Townhall Meeting, had Gemma Soto as its moderator while Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, as the main resource person, wittingly responded to questions from the audience. Aside from the launching of Global PCR, there was a public discussion with the Filipino community in NY that concerned security, public safety, peace and order in the Philippines and across the globe where there are Filipinos. By around 8:24 p.m., a lean young lady, obviously of Filipino blood, initiated the first question that she read from her

phone. Lengthy and broad, her inquiry was perceptibly igniting tension especially with the way she arrogantly interfered with the general’s clarifying elucidation. Her lurid voice and exaggerated hand propulsion were more than annoying as she tried to monopolize the discussion. Her troublesome attitude and infuriating inquiries unquestionably needed police intervention that two burly NYPD officers took maximum tolerance to pacify her. Another voluptuous thirty-ish lady tried to get the attention of the moderator and when she was given the floor, just like the first, kept the spotlight focused on her with irrelevant and obnoxious questions answerable by merely bushing around. Her manners and aggressively inappropriate nuances gave doubt that she was also with the group earlier accosted. The series of uncalled for protests and in-door rallies incontestably marred the supposedly formal and informative launch of Global PCR but the same incidents only strengthen the Filipino spirit of patriotism and deeply nurtured their innate love for peace and universal unity. For comments and suggestions, please email to:

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