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EFebruary D I T I4-7, ON 2017

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T h e F i l i p i n o –A m e r i c A n c o m m u n i T y n e w s pA p e r

Volume 27 - No. 11 • 4 Sections – 30 Pages

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US State Dept: PH not a ‘country of concern’

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About 60,000 visas from 7 countries have been revoked by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

After President Donald trump announced his highly controversial travel ban, the world criticized the administration for keeping out people, including refugees, who want a better life for themselves and their families. so far, an attorney from the Justice Department revealed that more than 100,000 travel visas have been revoked due to trump’s travel ban executive

order, which temporarily suspended travel to the U.s. from seven predominantly muslim countries. however, the state Department said that fewer than 60,000 foreigners from the countries had their visas provisionally canceled. During the campaign trail, trump gave a speech in which he suggested cutting off travel from countries with known terrorism, including the Philippines. however, on thursday, february 2, the state Department confirmed that the Philippines

was not considered a “country of concern” to be included in the ban, which currently only applies to iran, iraq, Libya, somalia, the sudan, syria and Yemen. “the Philippines was not among those countries that was labeled of concern so i would say that Philippines, filipinos both in the United states in Philippines themselves, should by all means, we welcome them to the United states,” U.s. state Department spokesman mark toner said in a news briefing.


LATE MEMORIAL. Flowers and candles are seen on Friday, Feb. 3 at a memorial for Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo (inset) inside Camp Crame, where he was killed allegedly by members of a police anti-drug unit. Rogue policemen and some members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had connived to kidnap and murder Korean Jee Ick-joo, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said. Dela Rosa made the assessment as more information surfaced on the kidnapping of Jee in Angeles City, Pampanga and his murder inside Camp Crame in October last year. photo by Miguel De Guzman

Amnesty Int’l slammed for Duterte cautioned: Not report on ‘pay per kill’ sending PH envoy to US a DATELINE USA ‘very disturbing message’ NaFFAA’s millennial from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

by dana

SioSon AJPress

leaders seek to increase civic, political involvement among Fil-Ams

GeArinG up for its 20th anniversary this year, the millennial leaders of the national federation of filipino American Associations (naffAA) have shared their vision for the organization and how to encourage political empowerment among the fil-Am community. the organization’s new national chairman, Brendan flores, and executive director, Jason tengco, have been traveling to different areas across the country to meet with and listen to the concerns of fil-Ams. one of the issues that consistently arises is how to increase civic engagement, especially among the second and third generations. “A lot of our fil-Ams, young people, are not aware. You have to understand that their parents were too busy working two jobs to put food on the table and they were never really educated on civic engagement, how to vote,


Rob Bonta introduces new climate change bill

CALiforniA Assemblymember rob Bonta (D-oakland) has introduced a bill on Wednesday, february 1 that would help reduce pollution that contributes to climate change. the Buy Clean California Act, AB 262, calls for evaluations on greenhouse gas emissions caused by products the state uses for public infrastructural projects. the bill details cement, steel and glass as the industrial products associated with the emission levels. AB 262 — which was co-authored by Assemblymember susan talamantes eggman (D-stockton) — is the first of its kind to confront pollution caused by infrastructure. “this is a powerful example of unity from business, labor and environmental interests to protect our environment from dangerous carbon emissions,” Bonta, the state’s first filipino-American assemblymember, said in


PhiLiPPine President rodrigo Duterte has denied reports from human rights watchdog Amnesty international (Ai) that accuse his administration of paying police officers “to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions.” “Bakit ba ako magbigay sa inyo para magpatay? trabaho ninyo iyan. Gusto mo ikaw nalang patayin ko? nabuang. Binabayaran ko? Ako? magbayad sa pulis? (Why would i pay the police to kill? it’s their job. Do you want me to kill you? crazy),” Duterte said in a speech on friday, february 3. earlier this week, Ai released its report, entitled “if you are poor you are killed: extrajudicial executions in the Philippine’s ‘War on Drugs.’” the organization claimed that the police “systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people across the country while planting ‘evidence’, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.”


President Rodrigo Duterte

by dana

SioSon AJPress

foLLoWinG President President rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he is not yet keen on sending an envoy to the United states, two former Philippine foreign affairs executives are urging the president to appoint one. in a statement on friday, february 3, former foreign Affairs secretary Albert del rosario said that not designating a Philippine ambassador to the U.s. would most likely send a “very disturbing message” on the status of relations between the two countries. “this, i believe, is a matter

Senate leader Kevin de León shares his Fil-Am community connection and actions to protect Californians under Trump era by ChriStina

M. oriel

which should be urgently revisited,” del rosario said. he then added, “our Department of foreign Affairs may wish to respectfully advise our President that such a declared preference not to send an ambassador may be viewed as a very disturbing message in relations between states.” earlier this week, Duterte expressed that he doesn’t ‘feel like’ sending an envoy to the U.s. yet. “iyung UsA, wala tayong ambassador. Walang ambassador na papunta doon. hanggang wala tayong ambassador sa states, i don’t feel like sending one (We don’t have an ambas-


SAF commandos to arrest rogue PNP officers by dana

SioSon AJPress


since the election of President Donald trump, California has been leading a movement to counter his administration’s various policies from immigration to health care. one of the progressive individuals on the forefront of this is state senate President Pro tem Kevin de León, a Democrat of mexican descent who represents parts of Los Angeles, including historic filipinotown, east hollywood, eagle rock and highland Park. in an interview with the Asian Journal, de León made it clear that the state is not “looking for a fight with Donald trump.” “But we will do everything in our power to protect our economic prosperity, the values and the people in California,” the state senator said on thursday, february 2 at his district office in Los Angeles. “there are numerous frontal assaults against the people of California in the areas of climate change, environmental protections, workers’ rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights and the threat of separating families…and health care.” repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known


Courtesy of the office of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León

the special Action force (sAf) has been ordered to arrest rogue police officers as part of helping the Philippine national Police’s (PnP) ‘internal cleansing’ effort. in an interview with the reporters on friday, february 3, PnP chief Director General ronald “Bato” Dela rosa said the sAf commandos will “conduct tactical offensives against police scalawags.” According to him, 72 police commandos from the sAf’s rapid Deployment Battalion company have been sent to Camp Crame in Quezon City as part of the new Counter-intelligence task force (Citf). Apart from sAf, the PnP-intelligence Group (iG) and the Criminal investigation and Detection Group (CiDG) were also tapped to form the Citf. Dela rosa said the Citf, composing of 100 personnels headed by senior supt. Jose Chiquito malayo, could start doing its new mission next week. “Probably monday ma-ilaunch na ‘yan


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From the Front Page

US State Dept: PH not a ‘country of… PAGE A1 t

However, many are still skeptical of the executive order and whether it may be re-drafted to include more countries, including the Philippines. One U.S.-based law firm released an alert that claims that an unreleased draft of the Executive Order, called “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry

Into The United States”, might include the southern Philippines, Mindanao, in the travel ban. Hammond Law Group, LLC claims that, “this executive order, if signed, may add the following countries to the travel ban implemented in January 25th: Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Colombia, Venezuela, southern Philippines, trans-Sahara and

Sulu/sulawesi Seas Littoral.” “Given the manner in which the current travel ban was implemented and the way it was announced with no advanced notice, not to mention the lack of guidance with regard to how it was to be enforced, we have no choice but to suggest that nationals from any country on this new list (without regard to their immigration status) refrain from traveling outside the U.S. until such time as we know more about this proposed Executive Order,” the alert read. The law firm claims that this update to the executive order will be released in the next two weeks. It is unclear how immigration officials will be able to distinguish who is from Mindanao since all Filipinos carry the same Philippine passport. Another law group, the American Immigration Lawyers Association National, suggested that it’s too early to presume the southern Philippines will be included. It tweeted on Thursday that it has “no confirmation of additional countries being added to travel ban. We will continue to update.” Regardless of this rumor, Trump’s proposed immigration policies may affect Filipinos in

BAD COPS. An irate Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday faced seven Pampanga cops accused in robbery-extortion of three Korean nationals. Dela Rosa could not contain his disappointment while cursing low ranking officials of Angeles City Police Office at Camp Tomas Pepito in Barangay Sto. Domingo. photo

Amnesty Int’l slammed for… PAGE A1 t

“The police are behaving like the criminal underworld that they are supposed to be enforcing the law against, by carrying out extrajudicial executions disguised as unknown killers and ‘contracting out’ killings,” AI claimed. Citing a testimony from a cop u PAGE A5 with the rank of Senior Police Of-

ficer 1, AI said in its report that policemen were paid at least P8,000 for every drug suspect they manage to kill. “We always get paid by the encounter...The amount ranges from 8,000 pesos (US $161) to 15,000 pesos (US $302)... That amount is per head… We’re paid in cash, secretly, by headquarters...” the police officer said, as quoted in the report. “There’s no incentive for arresting. We’re not paid anything.” Duterte admitted giving millions of intelligence funds for police anti-drug operations. He insisted, however, that these funds were used by undercover cops to “buy” drugs from pushers in order to catch them in act. “How much did I give? P150 million intelligence fund, Crame. ‘Yun ‘yong, ‘Sige magbili kayo nang magbili. Huli nang uli.’ O nakita mo ngayon, sabihin na binibigyan daw sila ng P5,000 kada [patay] (It was for, ‘Okay, you buy and buy. Catch and catch.’ Now, see, they are saying police are given P5,000 per [kill]),” Duterte said. The president said that the funds were likely pocketed by scalawag police officers who claims that it is the government’s reward for killing drug suspects. “‘Yang mga ‘yan, binibigyan ng pera para magkakaroon ng

transaksyon. Kalabas-labasan ngayon, binayad daw sa kanila. Ibig sabihin binulsa ninyo. ‘Di niyo binigay ang droga, ang pera. Pinatay ninyo, walang kaso (That money is for transactions. Now, what they’re saying is it’s used to pay them. It means you pocketed the money. You didn’t surrender the drugs. You killed the person, no trial),” Duterte added. Since Duterte took office last July, the number of people killed in drug-related cases has reached 7,000, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), with least 2,250 reportedly killed during legitimate operations. The majority of these killings, according to AI, “may amount to crimes against humanity.” AI’s reports came a couple of days after Duterte’s order to pull the PNP from anti-illegal drug operations nationwide to focus on “internal cleansing.” Duterte made the order amid the controversial death of South Korean businessman Jee IckJoo, who was abducted from his home in Pampanga, along with his house help, reportedly under the guise of an anti-illegal drug operation last October 18, 2016. Earlier this year, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) pronounced Jee dead. The Department of Justice (DOJ) later


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From the Front page



Duterte cautioned: Not sending PH… PAGE A1 t

sador to the U.S. No ambassador is going there. As long as we don’t have an ambassador to the States, I don’t feel like sending one),” Duterte said on Thursday, February 2, during a speech in Davao City. Duterte previously asked Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez to replace Jose Cuisia Jr. as the new Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Romualdez, however, reportedly declined due to health reasons. Meanwhile, former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja warned that the Philippines might lose big opportunities if Duterte continues to leave the ambassador position open. “A regular ambassador can open doors much more easily and much more reliably than not having one. And somehow, it doesn’t project a good diplomatic practice of not sending a regular ambassador to an important post like Washington,” Baja told ANC. Baja explained that Manila’s representation in Washington will only be on a “second-tier level” if the Philippines continues to leave its diplomatic concerns in the hands of a chargé d’affaires or a diplomat. “A chargé d’affaires can only have lower access to the echelon of government and lower level of contact with interest groups

Former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja

there,” Baja explained. For seven months, the ambassador to the U.S. position has been vacant. The Philippine embassy in Washington is presently headed by charge d’affaires Patrick Chuasoto, a career diplomat. Baja then took note that there is no reason for the Philippines to not send an envoy unless the “the President wants to send another message to the United States.” Duterte had been not on good terms with the United States under former President Barack Obama for the latter’s alleged

‘hypocrisy’ and criticisms on his intensified campaign against illegal drugs. Some analysts, on the other hand, expect a warmer ManilaWashington relations under the administration of new U.S. President Donald Trump. “The president did not say why he is not keen on sending a Philippine representative to Washington. I don’t think it’s a policy yet,” Baja said. “I would urge the President to appoint as soon as possible for an ambassador there. We have a good supply of prospects who the president could tap.” n

Senate leader Kevin de León shares his…


as Obamacare), he said, would “devastate many Filipinos in the health care industry.” In December of last year, de León introduced SB 54 (the California Values Act) to prevent the use of state and local public resources to aid federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in deportation proceedings. The bill creates “safe zones” — public schools and universities, hospitals, and courthouses — that prohibit the presence of immigration enforcement. “It’s un-American to separate children from their mothers and mothers from their children,” he said. “That’s not who we are as a nation and as a state.” Further, the legislation bans state and local law enforcement from cooperating and collaborating with ICE agents in the detention and deportation of immigrants.

“To use local tax dollars that we supply the police department to serve the community and have them abandon their neighborhoods to go help ICE agents go raid a workplace or factory or stake out an elementary school waiting for a mother to pick her child at the curbside, that’s not making our communities safer,” de León said, adding that the federal government has the responsibility to carry out federal immigration laws, but shouldn’t use local resources and tax dollars to do so. On Tuesday, January 31, SB 54 passed the Public Safety Committee — just days after Trump signed a series of executive orders on immigration, including one that calls for defunding “sanctuary jurisdictions” that do not cooperate with federal officials in removing and detaining undocumented immigrants. “It is my hope that Donald Trump and his administration

will find value in what we do in California…,” he said. “If you tear things down and decimate programs, you’ll just be hurting the people of California and the economy of the United States.” Though the Filipino-American community has not been single out as much as other communities have by the divisive, anti-immigrant rhetoric, de León noted how it’s important more than ever to have a support system and to be civically involved, whether by participating in demonstrations, communicating with elected officials, and voting. By coming together and being inclusive, it adheres “to the higher ideals and values of what it means to be an American,” he said. “Filipino Americans are my neighbors, my friends and they’re Californians,” he said. “As their senator, it is my role to do everything in my power to protect Filipino Americans, whether they’re

CARING FOR ‘MOTHER HOME’ THROUGH PLANTING TREES. Together with Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng (in red T-shirt), Senator Cynthia A. Villar plants narra and molave seedlings at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Greenway Park (near Kalikasan Garden) in Taguig City. Villar, chairperson of the Senate environment committee, thanks the people of the Singapore embassy in Manila for inviting her in their tree-planting activity. The senator, who has been advocating for a clean and green environment, extolled everyone not to grow tired of planting trees. The activity was spearheaded by the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Manila and Lifestyle Asia together with DMARK Beauty Solutions Compare. Senate photo

SAF commandos to arrest rogue PNP… PAGE A1 t

at pwede sila mag-entertain sa mga complaints sa information (Probably by Monday, it will be launched and they can start entertaining complaints and information) about rogue cops,” Dela Rosa said. Earlier this week, Duterte ordered the PNP to stop the enforcement of its anti-illegal drugs campaign, following the confirmation of Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo’s death. Jee was allegedly kidnapped and killed by members of PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) inside Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters, under the guise

of the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. Duterte then announced that the power of anti-illegal drug enforcement would be transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). “Let me reorganize the enforcement diyan sa drugs sa police. In the meantime, they would be arrested and I will order you (AFP) to arrest them,” Duterte said in a speech at Malacañang on Tuesday, January 31. Following Duterte’s pronouncement, Senator Panfilo Lacson, however, called on the president to reconsider assign-

ing AFP to check on and nab rogue cops. “I will stand up against it dahil magkakagulo tayo dahil pag magcheck ng police ang military (because there would be confusion if the military checked against the police). We might end up having armed people, legitimate armed forces, na naglalaban-laban (that were fighting each other),” He then added, “Very dangerous. If I may give an unsolicited advice, mas maganda i-rethink, i-reconsider ang instruction na yan dahil (it would be better to rethink and reconsider the instruction because it is) very dangerous,” n

Amnesty Int’l slammed for report…


revealed that he was allegedly killed by policemen inside the PNP’s main headquarters in Quezon City. Duterte later said that the antiillegal drug enforcement powers would be transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Reacting to AI’s claims, Malacañang reiterated that the extrajudicial killings in the country are not sanctioned by the state -- the same conclusion made by the Senate committees u PAGE A6 on justice, and public order and

dangerous drugs. “Their joint investigation of deaths during police anti-drug operations shows there is no state-sponsored policy of extrajudicial deaths and that there is relentless effort on the part of the PNP to carry out the campaign properly and within legal processes,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella pointed out. He also said that an estimated 1.1 million drug personalities have already surrendered in relation to the PNP’s anti-drug operation, Oplan Double Barrel. “The same operations have

yielded 53,025 arrests and neutralized 2,555 drug personalities,” Abella added. PNP chief Director General Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa, for his part, also denied that the PNP is paying cops to kill drug suspects. He said the government does not have the funds to pay killers. “Ang PNP wala pong funding para sa mga ganoon (The PNP has no funding for that),” Dela Rosa said. “[For] all you know paninira na naman ‘yan sa administrasyong Duterte (it is just propaganda to destroy the reputation of the Duterte administration).” n


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Rob Bonta introduces new climate change‌


a statement. “California has been a leader in fighting climate change and AB 262 will further demonstrate our resolve by requiring our state government to consider whether products were made in clean or dirty factories when making infrastructure purchases.� Companies selling such industrial products would be required to disclose the greenhouse gas levels generated from their materials. The state would also need to develop a methodology to ef-

fectively compare emission levels in order to choose materials that produce the lowest emissions. The state’s producers of steel have collaborated with clean air advocates as well as labor unions to support AB 262. If this bill passes into law, California will join Silicon Valley-based tech giants Apple and Google as well as the United States Navy, which have already applied similar climate pollution evaluations. “By focussing the buying power of California’s budget, of which approximately $10 billion


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Assemblymember Rob Bonta

goes to infrastructure each year, AB 262 will help ensure a thriving market exists for low-carbon industrial products,â&#x20AC;? Bonta said. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future in climate change California is one of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading advocates for pollution reduction with its lawmakers committed to pushing climate change initiatives. In 2006, California was the first state to enact a statewide reduction of heat-trapping pollution that contributes to global warming, promising to return to the emission levels of 1990 by the year 2020. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown expanded that goal to 2030. With Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a known climate change denier â&#x20AC;&#x201D; poised to become the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California may be facing future battles with Washington on pollution reduction policies. Pruitt, who was nominated by President Donald Trump shortly after his election, has questioned Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urge to car companies to make more efficient, clean energy automobiles. The new administration is unlikely to override a unique law that gives the state authority to set its own standards for vehicle emissions, but the state may have to negotiate with the Trump administration and, in return, may lose some of its authority in regards to regulations on greenhouse gas emission. However, Gov. Brown is prepared to defend the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s policies and promises to remain a nation leader in climate change. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got scientists, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got lawyers, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to fight,â&#x20AC;? Brown said at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco in December 2016. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready to defend. California is no stranger to this fight. Whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future. If Trump turns off satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.â&#x20AC;? (Klarize Medenilla/AJ Press)

ADDRESSING OFW CONCERNS. Senator Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, stresses the need for strong legislations to fully address the concerns of our overseas Filipino workers following the recent execution of Jakatia Pawa and another death of a Pinay household service worker in Kuwait. The Committee tackled proposed measures such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995â&#x20AC;?, filed by Senator JV Ejercito, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Handbook for OFWs Act of 2016â&#x20AC;?, filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao, and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Financial Literacy for Workers Actâ&#x20AC;? and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Social Welfare Attache Act of 2016â&#x20AC;?, both filed by Senator Villanueva. Senate photo

NaFFAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s millennial leaders seek to increaseâ&#x20AC;Ś PAGE A1 t

[and] the importance of that,â&#x20AC;? Flores told the Asian Journal. Leading up to the November election last year, one of the ways NaFFAA promoted that was through its FilAmVote program, which aimed to register new voters in states like California and Nevada where large concentrations of Fil-Ams reside. Though nonpartisan, the organization has decided that it will â&#x20AC;&#x153;engage with the Trump administrationâ&#x20AC;? on certain issues, Flores said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been reallyâ&#x20AC;Ś thoughtful in ensuring that we have a voice and a seat at the table by making sure we have representations,â&#x20AC;? Flores said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been very vocal, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s denouncing some of the things happening out there, so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re partnering with national organizations to really support some of our Filipino Americans who are very much concerned with whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening today.â&#x20AC;? Flores, 31, is the regional banking district manager and vice president of Wells Fargo in Jacksonville, Florida. He was elected last August, becoming the youngest Fil-Am to lead the organization. Under his leadership, the organization is working to ensure that it is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mirror [of] our community.â&#x20AC;? To achieve this, Flores said, councils focusing on various areas and issues â&#x20AC;&#x201D; includ-

NaFFAA Executive Director Jason Tengco and National Chair Brendan Flores at a meet and greet event with members of the Fil-Am community in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 2. AJPress photo by Robert Macabagdal

ing women, LGBTQ, veterans, and young professions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will be rolled out across the country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We understand the importance of bringing a diversified unit,â&#x20AC;? he said. Another issue the organization is tracking is immigration, given the recent executive orders announced by President Donald Trump last week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been hearing a lot of concerns from leaders on both [political] sides. Individuals are worried about the immigration executive orders, in particular. Although the travel ban didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t directly impact Filipinos, what ifâ&#x20AC;Śthe Philippines is targeted

next? DACA recipients, in particular, are worried about that being next up on the chopping block,â&#x20AC;? Tengco said. He added that NaFFAA is working with legal advocates and experts to connect the FilAm community with resources should they need immigration assistance. In December, Tengco was named the executive director of NaFFAA, in charge of the national programs, partnerships and government affairs, among other areas. Tengco, who was previously the Asian American and Pacific


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Acting US Attorney General fired Pres. Trump fires Sally Yates just hours after she denounced widely panned “Muslim ban”

by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

DO NOT KILL. Relatives hold photos of victims of extrajudicial killings as they pose with priests following a mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon on Thursday, Feb. 3. In prayers and in tears, survivors and relatives of victims of extrajudicial killings joined Church officials in denouncing the wanton killing of poor people suspected of dealing in illegal drugs in a mass at the Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon City. photo by Miguel De Guzman

Palawan, Boracay islands get boost at New York Times Travel Show by MoMar

G. Visaya


PALAWAN and Boracay – two of the best islands of the Philippines were on top of the list of travellers in 2016, according to a couple of major travel and lifestyle magazines – Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast’s Traveler. Three Philippine Islands – Boracay (#1), Palawan (#2), and Cebu (#5) – ranked among the top island destinations in the world according to Conde Nast’s Traveler’s 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards while Palawan was named by Travel + Leisure as “World’s Best Island”, followed closely by Boracay as the second-best and winning over equally famous destinations such as Bali in Indonesia, Tahiti in French Polynesia and Santorini in Greece. The international recognition of these island destinations from travelers themselves is a major boost to the country’s tourism efforts aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit the Philippines to experience its unique beauty and culture. The Philippines’ top three island destinations and other natural attractions were among the highlights featured at the Philippine booth during the New York Times Travel Show held at Jacob Javits Convention Center on 2729 January 2017. Department of Tourism Officer-in-Charge Zeny Pallugna joined other panelists from Macau, Korea, Japan, China and Malaysia in a panel discussion called “Focus on Asia”. The panel

discussed, among other things, up and coming travel destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, which are not yet on the radar of most clients. Savvy travelers are always on the lookout for the next big thing in travel, destinations that can truly be labeled as hidden gems. In her presentation, Pallugna talked about going beyond one’s bucket list and talked about how there are plenty of destinations in the Philippines aside from Palawan and Boracay. “We have Siargao, considered as one of the world’s top ten surf spots and a haven for scuba divers since the Philippines is on the apex of the coral triangle. You can also go swimming with whale sharks in Cebu and Sorsogon,” Pallugna said. “You can also travel up north to see the Banaue Rice Terraces and the hanging coffins of Sagada in Mountain Province.” Being at the so-called apex of the coral triangle, the Philippines is has the world’s greatest biodiversity of marine life. Pallugna also shared that the Philippines is one of three countries where there are bodies of water with non-sting jellyfish. The two others are Palau and Indonesia. On hand to welcome and assist visitors at the booth Pallugna and her team, the Philippine Consulate General in New York led by Consul Felipe F. Carino III. Also addressing guest queries at the booth were officials of Philippine Airlines and travel/tour operator Ms. Zoila Mendoza.

Department of Tourism-NY officer-in-charge Zeny Pallugna (left) discusses the under the radar destinations that the Philippines has to offer along with top rated island such as Boracay, Palawan and Cebu at the New York Times Travel Show held last week. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya

US State Dept: PH not a ‘country… PAGE A2 t other ways. As previously reported in the Asian Journal, there are more than 300,000 undocumented Filipinos in the U.S. that are up for deportation, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s list. The number of undocumented Filipinos may include those “that are overstaying but may not be [legally] residing in the U.S.,” special envoy to the U.S. Babe Romualdez told CNN. “I think they should really be prepared to go home,” he lamented.

However, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said — “out of respect” to the Trump administration — that Filipinos in the U.S. facing deportation should not expect the Philippine government to help them if they are deported. He warned them on Monday, January 30 that, “you better be on the right track.” The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, announced it will offer “consular assistance” to these “Filipinos who may be impacted by the new U.S. immigration policies,” DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said. n

The New York Times Travel Show is a three-day event featuring nearly 500 exhibitors representing over 150 countries. One of the most popular attractions in New York during the winter season, the Travel Show is currently the largest travel trade and consumer show in North America counting visitors from all over the world. The Travel Show has notably grown in attendance within the past few years, as thousands of guests flock to the Javits Center

ACTING United States Attorney General Sally Yates announced on Monday, January 30, she ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Donald Trump’s widely criticized immigration order. Reacting just hours later, the newly sworn-in president fired and replaced her. Before she was fired, Yates — who boasts a 27-year career at the Justice Department — released a statement detailing her reasons for not supporting Trump’s controversial executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, which temporarily banned entrance into the U.S. for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. “At the present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I

convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” wrote Yates. She added that, “for as long as I am Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.” Yates’s comments prompted the administration to terminate her service, citing her “betrayal” from the Justice Department. “The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House Office of the Press Secretary wrote in a statement. “This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.” The statement then announced Yates’s replacement Dana Boente, an attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Boente will serve as the acting attorney general until the Senate makes a

decision on the Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, whose confirmation vote was blocked by Senate Democrats. Yates, who has appointed by former President Barack Obama as a U.S. attorney and later U.S. Deputy Attorney General, was only a few days away from stepping down before Trump fired her. National legal and civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) defended Yates’s comments and commended her for standing up for the Justice Department and “the rule of law.” “We applaud former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates for standing by her sworn oath and duty within the U.S. Department of Justice,” Advancing Justice said in a statement released Tuesday, January 31. “Ms. Yates did not ‘betray’ her country or the President. She acted in accordance with the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution she was sworn to uphold.” n

NaFFAA’s millennial leaders seek to increase…


Islander outreach director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said working with NaFFAA is a “dream job.” “Doing Filipino-American advocacy is something I’ve actually wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “There’s really so much potential with NaFFAA. We’ve been in existence for 20 years u PAGE A6 and there’s so much work ahead

and organizing the community and raising our voice in building power for us.” Tengco and Flores also made a pitch about how important it is for the community to support an organization like NaFFAA, which has been advocating and empowering on behalf of Fil-Ams for the last two decades. “We can’t lead an organization without proper funding…More

than ever, this is the perfect opportunity for Filipino Americans to come together because we’ve never had an organization uniting and being the voice at the national level,” Flores said. NaFFAA is also looking to celebrate its big anniversary this October in Washington, D.C. during Filipino-American History Month, Tengco shared. (Christina M. Oriel/AJPress)


Dateline USa â&#x20AC;˘ (818) 502-0651 â&#x20AC;˘ (213) 250-9797

US delivers new counterterrorism weapons to Philippine forces

operations in the southern Philippines.â&#x20AC;? it said AFP procured the Continuing the commit- weapons through the u.S. govment to fight terrorism, the ernmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Foreign Military Sales Armed Forces of the Philippines program. Apart from the small-arms (AFP) has received new military equipment from the Joint united weapons, the u.S. government States Military Assistance group also delivered a RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle sys(JuSMAg). the weapons, delivered in tem. the Raven, which consists Clark Airbase, Pampanga by of three drones, will â&#x20AC;&#x153;increase representatives from the u.S. the AFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capabilities to conduct Embassy in Manila on Friday, intelligence collection, mission January 27, included over 400 planning, and reconnaissance M203 grenade launchers, and 85 operations.â&#x20AC;? the Philippine service memM40A5 sniper rifles. According to the u.S. Em- bers also received training on its bassy, these weapons will â&#x20AC;&#x153;help operations and maintenance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;the equipment transfer and enhance the AFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s counterterrorism capabilities,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;protect continued bilateral training efPhilippine security forces active- forts demonstrate the commitly engaged in counterterrorism ment between the Philippines by Dana

M. SioSon


and u.S. to work towards safer communities and the eradication of global terror networks,â&#x20AC;? the u.S. Embassy in Manila said on its official website. Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the united States to stop building â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;permanentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; arms depot in the Philippines, threatening that he would respond by repealing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). the VFA, a treaty ratified by both countries in 1999, states that u.S. forces are not allowed to build permanent structures anywhere in the Philippines. â&#x20AC;&#x153;theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re unloading arms in the Philippines now... iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m serving notice to the armed forces of the united States. Do not do it, i will not allow it,â&#x20AC;? Duterte said. n

Palawan, Boracay islands get boost at New York Times Travel Show


to learn more about selective global destinations, as well as new opportunities in the travel industry. the event promotes travel to domestic and international hot spots, popular travel sites and off-the-beaten path destinations. Travel developments According to documents obtained by the Asian Journal, almost 5.4 million tourists visited the Philippines from January to november 2016 and spent 210.76 billion pesos. this represents 12.12% increase in tourist arrivals for the same period in the previous year. Almost a quarter of this figure or 1.33 million came from Korea, followed by uSA (771,849); China (630,327); Japan (491,261) and Australia (218,438). Rounding up the top ten markets are taiwan, Singapore, united Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia. Among these markets, China and taiwan posted the highest upsurge of arrivals with 39 and 30 percent growth, respectively. tourists from other countries

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FAMILY VISIT. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomes his brother, Benjamin, and relatives who visited him at Bahay Pagbabago on Tuesday, January 31. MalacaĂąang photo by Toto Lozano

Senate leader Kevin de LeĂłn shares hisâ&#x20AC;Ś


legal, u.S. citizens, or undocumented.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;i know that the Fil-Am community has a very wonderful representative in the state, [Assemblymember] Rob Bonta. iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no.1, but iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be the Filipinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no. 2.â&#x20AC;? De LeĂłnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Filipino storyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in addition to his current political work in the midst of the trump administration, de LeĂłn is proud to have spearheaded the campaign to raise the minimum wage in California to $15 an hour â&#x20AC;&#x201D; making it the largest rate in the country. De LeĂłn also opened up to the Asian Journal about his special (Upper left photo) Officers of the Philippine Department of Tourism in New York (PDOT-NY) experience with Filipinos that led by Ms. Zeny Pallugna (2nd from left) and the Philippine Consulate General (NYPCG) led continues to resonate with him. by Consul Felipe Carino (far right) at the Philippine booth of the 2017 New York Times Travel though he hardly shares this stoShow at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Also joining them is travel/tour ry, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one that he will â&#x20AC;&#x153;forever operator Ms. Zoila Mendoza (2nd from right) and Mr. Wendell Gaa (far left), economic assistant cherish in [his] heartâ&#x20AC;? and gets at the Consulate. (Upper right to lower right photo) PDOT-NY, NYPCG and Philippine Airlines officials assist various guests at the Philippine booth.

to the root of why he has been proud to serve many Filipinos in Los Angeles for the past decade. growing up in San Diego â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which boasts one of the largest Filipino populations in Southern California aside from Los Angeles â&#x20AC;&#x201D; de LeĂłn saw his mother working alongside a lot of Filipino immigrants when she was a housekeeper and later on when she was a licensed vocational nurse and certified nursing assistant at convalescent homes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;they had a really had a big influence on my mother, and therefore, on me,â&#x20AC;? he said. But the firsthand testament to Filipino hospitality and warmth came when his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;if it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for the Filipino community, it would have been difficult for us to eat because my mother was too weak, she was too

sick. Her Filipino sisters would always bring chicken adobo, pancit, lumpia, rice and they kept us fed,â&#x20AC;? de LeĂłn recounted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At times, they took care of usâ&#x20AC;Śiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always had a very special place in my heart for Filipinos because in the darkest, most painful time with my mom â&#x20AC;&#x201D; eventually she passed away â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it was the Filipinosâ&#x20AC;Śwho really stepped up and helped us.â&#x20AC;? He added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;California has always been an amazing, beautiful tapestry of different ethnicities from all over the world. iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been blessed and very honored to have Historic Filipinotown in my district. iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned so much from my Filipino brothers and sisters: the strong family values, strong religious values, hard work ethic â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just like my mother â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and wanting their children to succeed and have all the opportunities possible.â&#x20AC;? n

Photos courtesy of PDOT-NY/PCGNY

such as india, Saudi Arabia and an uptick in arrivals in 2016. European countries led by gerA number of hotels and casimany, France, Spain, nether- nos are also expected to open lands and Sweden also showed in the next couple of years to accommodate more tourist arrivals. the Westin Manila Bayshore, with 600 guestrooms, is slated for opening on December 1, 2018. it will be part of Resorts World Bayshore in the Entertainment City in ParaĂąaque. the Sheraton Manila Hotel, with 350 guestrooms, is scheduled to open on March 15, 2018 at the Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay. Conrad Manila, the first Hilton °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°° Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x160;-ÂŤiVÂ&#x2C6;>Â? Worldwide and Conrad Hotels and Resorts property in Manila 444444444444 ďż˝404 with 347 guestrooms, was ofďż˝404 444444444444 ficially launched last June 2016. 4444444444444444 the hotel was home to the candidates of the recently concluded ďż˝404 777777777777777 Miss universe pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena. Among 000000000000000000 ďż˝404 the other new hotels in the Philippines are Citadines Millennium in Manila; Park inn by Radisson Clark in Clark, Pampanga; Movenpick Resort Boracay in Boracay, Aklan; tRYP by Wyndham in Manila and Aqua Boracay by Yoo in Boracay. n

2017 Wave Season 4 4 7


Courtesy of the office of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de LeĂłn




Receive government funding Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x201A;Ç&#x2021; ĨŽĆ&#x152;Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ĺ?Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Ĺ?ĹśÄ?ĹŻĆľÄ&#x161;Ĺ?ĹśĹ?Ç&#x2021;ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ä?Ĺ&#x161;Ĺ?ĹŻÄ&#x161;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĹśÍ&#x2DC; Do Estate Planning the right way: 'Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x161; Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ä&#x161;ŽĨÇ&#x2021;ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ĺ?ĹśÇ&#x20AC;Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĹ?Ä&#x161;Í&#x2022;Ĺ&#x161;ŽžÄ&#x17E;ĹľÄ&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x17E;tĹ?ĹŻĹŻĆ?Í&#x2022; Living Trusts, and Powers of Attorney. Protect the family home ĨĆ&#x152;ŽžĆ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ? Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;ŽƾĆ?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć?Ĺ?ĹśWĆ&#x152;Ĺ˝Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä?ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ć&#x161;ĨÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Í&#x2DC; Preserve your assets Ç Ĺ&#x161;Ĺ?ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä?Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?ĹśĹ? ĨĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ĺ˝Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ŜžÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ć?Ĺ?Ć?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;Í&#x2014;/,^^Í&#x2022;^^/Í&#x2022; DÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?-Ä&#x201A;ĹŻÍ&#x2022;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x161;Ä?Í&#x2DC;


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Dateline PCourthiliPPines rejects Jejomar Binay’s motion for separate trial his father as Makati mayor. Co-accused include former City Administrator Marjorie de Veyra; THE Sandiganbayan Third Di- Legal Officer Pio Kenneth Dasal; vision has rejected former Vice Budget Officer Lorenza Amores; President Jejomar Binay’s motion City Planning Management Exto have a separate trial apart from ecutives Virginia Hernandez and his son, former Makati City Mayor Line dela Peña; Engineers Arnel Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. Cadangan, Emerito Magat, and Last year, Binay Sr. and Jr. Mario Badillo; Accountants Leowere charged in court by the Of- nila Querijero and Cecilio Lim III; fice of the Ombudsman over the Acting City Accountant Raydes alleged overpriced construction of the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall Building II, also referred to as the Makati parking building. In his motion, Binay Sr. argued that a consolidated trial will entail longer proceedings. He also said that this kind of trial would make the presentation of testimonies and documentary evidence more confusing. Binay Sr., who was the Makati City mayor during the first three phases of the project, was charged with nine counts of falsification of public documents or violation of Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code. Binay Sr. was also facing four counts of graft, and one count of malversation or violation of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. His son was charged for graft and falsification of public documents for phases four and five of the building — along with 22 other formal officials of the city government — when he succeeded by Dana

SioSon AJPress

CONFIRMED. Commission on Appointment (CA) Chair and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III gives a closed-fist sign with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol (left) and Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (right) after the ad-interim appointments of the two secretaries were confirmed in plenary on Wednesday, February 1. Senate photo by Cesar Tomambo

Sereno underscores importance of 1987 Constitution as ‘backbone for new democracy’ by Dana

SioSon AJPress

DURING the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno emphasized its significance to the present Filipino people. “More than simply a statement of principles and a collection of hopes and aspirations, the 1987 Constitution formed the backbone for the new democracy ushered in by the force of the People Power Revolution of 1986,” Sereno remarked on Thursday, February 2. In 1987, the Constitution was ratified by 16,622,111 affirmative votes, which represent 76.30 percent of the total votes cast. In the same year, former President Corazon C. Aquino signed Executive Order No. 211, declaring Feb. 2 of every year as Constitution Day. “Ending the revolutionary government put in place by thenPresident Corazon C. Aquino’s Proclamation No. 3, the 1987 Constitution also provided rich and fertile ground for the rule of law to be nourished, to grow, and to bear fruit,” Sereno said. She then added, “This it did with a renewed focus on human rights and civil liberties, an emphasis on sovereignty, and insti-

tutional protection for the independence of the judiciary.” Only a Constitution allows the people to have a “government that is stable, a democracy that is vibrant, and a rule of law that is consistent,” Sereno said, explaining that the 1987 Constitution “acknowledges cultural and religious diversity but stresses unity, nourishes liberty but allows dissent, protects national security but emphasizes human rights and human dignity.” “Thirty years since its ratification, we in the Supreme Court and the judiciary today re-commit ourselves to the task of allowing our people to realize their hopes and aspirations of a society that is more just, humane, and equal by ensuring that the courts are firm, fair and free,” Sereno said. Last week, the chief justice called on three branches of government and the independent constitutional bodies to reflect on their performance based on their roles. “The government pillars of criminal justice i.e., the Judiciary, the Department of Justice and its attached agencies including the National Prosecution Service and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) must come together to ponder on what kinds of genuine changes are required

to bring about real justice,” Sereno said on Wednesday, January 25. She made the statement following the Philippines’ recent rank decline in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index. The WJP Rule of Law Index, which covers 113 countries and jurisdictions, measures “how

u PAGE A11




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Pestaño; and Treasurer Nelia Barlis. Also charged were General Services Department Officer Norman Flores; Bids and Awards Committee Members Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Rodel Nayve, and Manolito Uyaco; Mana Architecture and Interior Design Company’s Orlando Mateo; and Hilmarc’s Construction Company’s Efren Canlas. n

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Extreme reaction

A CONSTITUTIONAL amendment is needed to dismantle the Philippine National Police, which is a civilian organization under a civilian executive department, and restore the Philippine Constabulary. The revival of the PC will surely enjoy the support of Philippine Military Academy alumni, who will soon lose control of the PNP after an inordinately long transition to a fully civilian police force. As its name makes patently clear, the PMA trains cadets for military service, with emphasis on external defense and assisting civilians during emergencies such as natural calamities. Police work requires a different set of skills, from neighborhood patrols to crowd control to crime deterrence and solution. The current odd setup of military graduates holding top positions in the national police has to be among the factors behind the weakness of the PNP in solving crimes, including the so-called deaths under investigation arising from the brutal war on illegal drugs. Crime solution means not just filing cases against fall guys and John Does, but seeing the perpetrators convicted and sent behind bars. The PC was dismantled under the so-called Freedom Constitution by those who remembered the constabulary as a key enforcer of the Marcos dictatorship, with the PC Metropolitan Command or Metrocom dreaded for arbitrary arrests, search-

es and seizures as well as torture and other gross human rights violations. President Duterte lamented that he could no longer trust either the PNP or the National Bureau of Investigation, which has also been implicated in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean business executive Jee Ick-joo. After the drug war was undermined by the very organization that was tasked to implement Oplan Tokhang, it’s understandable that the President would want to create an entirely new law enforcement arm. This, however, would be as extreme a reaction to the problem as Tokhang has been to the drug menace. Instead of burning down the PNP house, the government must tighten police recruitment procedures, boost capability through better training and equipment for criminal investigation, and up- Human Rights. And cops need compensation that grade forensic laboratory facilities. PNP members will instill pride in their uniform. The Internal Affairs Service must also be need values formation and sufficient knowledge of criminal law as well as the Universal Declaration of strengthened so it can effectively serve as a deter-

Guest Editorial photo

rent to police abuses. The PNP can still be turned into a strong, modern and professional police force – one that does not need to resort to brutal short cuts in fighting crime. (

A majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s ‘travel ban’ DONALD TRUMP claims he wanted to The Fil-Am make America safe and so last week, he hastily Perspective issued an executive order banning the Syrian refugees into the United States, and revoked the visas of at least Gel SantoS-ReloS 60,000 nationals from seven Muslim-dominated countries. The countries in question are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. This move created chaos in major airports in the United States with im-

migration and state officers, as well as airport personnel lost on clear guidelines of how to implement these executive measures. Protests all over the world erupted to denounce what they call an illegal and discriminatory ban singling out people because of their nations of origin and religion. The latest CBS news poll (which yielded the same results as the CNN/ ORC poll) revealed that a majority of

Americans, 51 percent, disapprove of Trump’s travel ban. Only 45 percent approve of this measure. Of the people who supported the ban, 85 percent are Republicans, with only 11 percent among Democrats giving their thumbs up. The study also shows that contrary to Trump’s intent, only 36 percent of Americans believe this move will make the country safer. An equal number, 36 percent, believe it will in fact make the country less safe because it will alienate the Muslims in the country and may be used by ISIS as a tool to recruit more people to sow

Self-worth powers an immigrant’s dream “WOMEN who are successful exude a sense of confidence Rhizomes in themselves. One of the things such individuals have in common is their ability to harness their own thoughts and behaviors; they bring a great deal of personal intention to their lives. PRoSy abaRquezThey realize that they’re the di- DelacRuz, J.D. rectors of their own destinies and therefore take a positive stance as they look forward. They’re happy people-by happy, I’m referring to an experience of contentment, joy or positive well-being. It’s the sense that life is generally good, meaningful and worthwhile.” —Cheryl Saban, Ph.D., 2009. Did you notice that the LA Times on your doorstep comes in a plastic bag? When you pick it up, think of Abigail as a 4-anda-half-year-old, sorting the inserts so her mother, brother and sister can bundle them together and put the newspaper inside a plastic bag. Abigail was only 4 ½ when she joined her mother, Lolita, and her two siblings, Michael and Shielah in America. Abigail and her siblings were raised by their grandmother and their aunt in the Philippines, until they came to America to join Lolita. With only a New Yorker relative to lean on, and no support system in Los Angeles, the family of four fended for themselves. Shielah and Michael acted as stand-in mother and father to Abigail, while Lolita worked two jobs. The family worked together as a unit at the LA Times shortly after midnight. Abigail and her siblings formed an efficient, assembly line. Barely three feet tall, Abigail stood on a stool, sorting newspaper inserts and then handing them over to her mom. Not knowing how to handle the work at that young age, Abigail developed eczema from unhealed paper cuts. When her young body got tired, she slept inside the shopping cart (which became her makeshift bed) propped next to the assembly table. By 6am, the morning newspaper would be delivered; Lolita goes to her day job at an insurance company and all three children would go to school. After school, Michael and Shielah would look after Abigail. Michael prepared their meals, while Shielah helped Abigail with her homework. She became Abigail’s emotional support and “stand-in mother.” When Abigail needed anything (like lunch money or clothes for school), Shielah would provide for her needs. Excelling and complying to a higher authority “What do you want to be when you grow up?,”

Shielah asked Abigail. “I want to be a lawyer,” she responded. At age 5, Abigail was already certain about what she wants. In high school, she was voted “most likely to succeed, carrying a briefcase.” Inside that briefcase, you will find that Abigail’s mother, sister, and brother, with their own examples of discipline and pursuit of excellence. Pushed to excel by Lolita, all her children were expected to bring home the highest grades from school work. No matter what their circumstances were, the children were made to believe that they will be successful if they excel in school. When Abigail was in 7th grade, she brought home a B+ grade. Because of that, Abigail was grounded for the summer: no phone, no television and no meeting/visits from friends. At 9pm each evening, Abigail dutifully complied and respected the rules. She would even unplug the phone and take the phone equipment to her mother’s bedroom. Even then, Abigail was aware of the concept of compliance to a higher authority. All three siblings became close, supporting one another and becoming each other’s avenues of support. A hardworker with an articulate voice Shielah described their family trip to New York in 1983 to visit Auntie Rose (who now lives in Las Vegas). They were all riding the subway, when young Abigail blurted that the man next to them stank. Mom Lolita quickly told Abigail to restrain herself as that was not a nice comment. Although Abigail grew up learning empathy, her voice could not be suppressed. She used her voice in writing and was admitted to the University of Southern California (USC); even earning a modest scholarship through her mom’s employment. At USC, she graduated magna cum laude. As a freshman, she worked in the library 20 hours a week and by junior year, she got a second job at the LA Superior Courthouse, working 35 hours a week while going to school full-time. She relished working and earning a paycheck, but said that: “the most important for me is the people I work with. I want to work in a family atmosphere.” She was admitted to UCLA Law School (one of the nation’s highest ranked law schools), where she did not easily make friends. She candidly shared being uncomfortable at UCLA — a university which had done away with affirmative action and was less welcoming and inclusive.


terror in America — even among homegrown terrorists. This executive order may also turn away people in the Muslim community who have in fact been our partners in combatting terrorism. The study also reveals 22 percent believe this ban will have no effect at all. On Friday, a Seattle federal judge granted a temporary restraining order on the immigration ban on a nationwide basis. The Washington state attorney argued that Trump’s order violated the “Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Es-

tablishment Clause, infringes on individuals’ constitutional right to Due Process and contravenes the federal Immigration & Nationality Act.” WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you agree with President Trump’s travel ban? *** 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://

Beware of the Trump card THE US will be undergoing some interesting times with the Street assumption of the presidency by Donald J. Trump. A legend in Talk his own mind, Trump could well have written the dictionary definition of his surname: “Trump – To outrank or defeat GReG b. Macabenta someone or something, often in a highly public way… In the card game bridge, the trump card is the most powerful card in a particular round and defeats all the others — sort of like when your needs or wishes trump someone else’s.” In Tagalog idiom, the term nakakalamang comes close to the meaning of trump. In street lingo, napatungan ang bato means the same thing from the loser’s perspective – to suffer a disadvantage inflicted by an opponent or rival. That appears to be what Trump wants to communicate about his becoming president of the US. He not only enjoyed an advantage over all the other Republican presidential aspirants and over Hillary Clinton, he now wants to deliver the message that he should have an advantage over the whole world. Over Mexico and China, to start with, and over seven countries that he has designated as sources of radical Muslims and whose citizens he has barred from the US. The word trump has an even less flattering meaning. It originally meant “a deceptive form of victory involving cheating” or, as applied in the term, “trumped up charges,” it means falsely accusing or framing someone, such as elements of the Philippine National Police planting evidence in the premises of an intended extortion victim. That negative meaning of the word applies even more aptly to the new US president - which is why America is in for some interesting times, and the Philippines, as well, being a long-time ally of the United States and being dependent on the latter militarily and economically. Some alarming red flags have been raised about Donald Trump, including the analysis of several psychologists concerning his mental state. Their conclusion: Trump has a case of malignant narcissism. In an article in The Independent, Rachel Hosie wrote: “Just after the election, a group called Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism was created, which was joined by thousands of psychologists. They published a manifesto warning of Trump’s psychosis, citing the following as the signs to fear: “Scapegoating and banishing groups of people who are seen as threats, including immigrants and religious minorities; degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics; fostering a cult of the Strong Man who appeals to fear and anger; prom-

ises to solve our problems if we just trust in him; reinvents history and has little concern for truth (and) sees no need for rational persuasion. ”The American Psychiatry Association has a nine-point checklist for narcissism - if someone displays just five of the traits, they have Narcissistic Personality

Disorder: 1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements). 2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. 3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions). 4. Requires excessive admiration. 5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. 6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends. 7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. 8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her. 9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.” According to US media, Trump displays not just five but all nine of these traits. Said one pundit, in dealing with Trump, when you shake his hand on a deal, make sure to count not just the rings on your fingers but your fingers as well. How will the Trump presidency affect the Philippines? The more immediate possibility that the Philippines should watch out for is his obsession with putting one over on others, from not paying contractors who have worked on his hotels and casinos, to finding ways to get Mexico to pay for the wall and giving China a hard time in the US market. In other words, beware of the Trump Card. America’s long record of beneficence and generosity may have come to an end with the incumbency of this new president. Which is fine for those countries that would like to demonstrate their self-sufficiency and independence. For all of his bluster, President Rodrigo Duterte is right when he redirects the country’s foreign policy to benefit the Philippines first – the way Trump wants to benefit America first. But there are harsh


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. ROGER LAGMAY ORIEL Publisher & Chairman of the Board


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OpiniOn & Features


Self-worth powers an immigrant’s dream PAGE A8 t With sons and daughters of rich folks going to that law school, Abigail felt out of place. Yet, determined to be heard, she dressed unconventionally: fishnet stockings, combat boots and of course, she was seen. She bonded with other Filipinos who were organized under a long-honored tradition of “adobo night potlucks.” She joined La Raza, where she was accepted for who she is. She also joined the Asian Pacific Islander Law Student group. She adjusted well and credits the nurturing she received from other students of color –including African American law students (only five in a class of 300), who welcomed her in “Section 5” – as key to her success in law school. “When I first got there, my dress was different. I tried to change my attitude to fit others. I had always received good grades throughout my life because I was true to myself. But my first semester in law school, I tried adopting a thinking process that was not my own–I studied in groups and tried studying from others’ outlines. But it was not my work, it was not me. In college, I had straight A’s, except for one B. After I received my first semester’s grades in law school, realizing I was below the curve, I cried for two weeks. Once my tears dried, I realized why. I needed to be me and not try to be like anyone else or study like anyone else. By second semester, I raised my grade point average to to a 3.4. And I did it studying the way I had done it the past fifteen years. I regained confidence in myself,” Abigail shared. Abigail and the entire family applied for US citizenship. “When I took the citizenship exam, the INS agent was apologetic. As a third year in law school, I was more educated than he was and he felt embarrassed to confirm that I knew answers as to questions like how many stars appeared on the American flag,” Abigail narrated.


Shortly after she graduated from law school, Abigail finally got her citizenship. “I remember holding that US flag and crying so much,” she recalled. It was a double win for Abigail in 2003: earning a higher education degree and finally becoming a naturalized US citizen, after more than twenty years. She felt proud being herself — the lawyer she had always wanted to become. Meeting a mentor and becoming one She applied at a law firm and was thrust into labor, class-action and entertainment law. Before landing her first job, she received some help from her mentor Fritz Friedman, who acted like a big brother to her. Fritz made her feel comfortable about who she is. She was insecure, but he assured her that she is a good person, who could do great things. He even helped her set up a few job interviews. Abigail said: “He made me believe that I was special, but he was always painfully honest. One day, he called and said honey, I just saw you in a photograph. May I tell you something? You’ve gotten fat. I always want you to be the best you can be in all aspects of your life.” That’s all it took and Abigail lost the extra weight in a matter of few months. She is now one of the shareholders for the Jaurigue Law Group (a recent promotion to partner at the law firm), where she also acts as managing counsel. At the firm, she describes using “encouragement and positive language” to her staff, in order for them to find the best practices in what they are doing. Abigail holds the record of knowing how to “efficiently handle” paper, given her early exposure at the LA Times. She values the foundational attribute of the firm — a “family atmosphere,” which

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Beware of the Trump…

economic realities that must be faced. If Trump makes it more expensive for American companies to outsource services to other countries, one of our most lucrative generators of dollars and employment, the BPO industry will collapse. But that pales alongside the very real perils that the world faces in confronting a megalomaniac. History has told us about Adolph Hitler. Is Trump capable of becoming like him? Within the first few days of his incumbency, Trump has already inflicted considerable damage on America’s relations with other countries, particularly one of its closest neighbors, Mexico. Think of the danger the world faces in the hands of a man who has access to the nuclear code. Mercifully, the laws and the structure of America provide enough safeguards against a psychotic commander-in-chief igniting World War III. But I wouldn’t be surprised if certain quarters on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon are already thinking of contingencies. For this reason, the prospect of Armageddon befalling the world during the incumbency of Donald Trump is remote. Of course, if Trump and the Hawks in the Pentagon make good their vow to “block China from taking over territory in international waters in the

South China Sea,” as reported by international media, and China regards that as an act of war, the way Chinese state media have warned, that should be cause of alarm for the Philippines. Being an optimist and a firm believer in the beneficence of Divine Providence,, I believe that the worst that will happen will be a game of chicken between China and the US. Both sides will find a way to rationalize the act of “blocking” China without jeopardizing its current interests, go to great lengths to agree that “international waters” are not being taken over by Beijing and that the US is simply ensuring free passage through the sea lanes, according to international law. In other words, both sides will try to save face to avoid a shooting war. But if someone inadvertently pulls the trigger – or unleashes a nuclear bomb - we can be sure that the Philippines will be caught in the crossfire – well, okay, use a euphemism, “friendly fire,” considering that Duterte believes China is a friend and America considers us a close ally. Crossfire or friendly fire, the Philippines will – or could – get pulverized. There’s an old African proverb that applies to our circumstance: When elephants fight, the grass gets hurt. (

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VP expects fair ruling on Marcos poll protest lieve the SC will decide fair and square. And we have nothing to fear,” Robredo said in an interMANILA, Philippines — Vice view with GMA 7’s News To Go. President Leni Robredo exAsked if she expects a favorpressed confidence that the able decision from the SC sitting Supreme Court (SC) will rule as Presidential Electoral Tribu“fair and square” on the elec- nal, Robredo said, “Of course, toral protest filed against her yes.” by losing vice presidential canRobredo won against former didate Ferdinand “Bongbong” senator Marcos by a slim margin Marcos Jr. of over 200,000 votes. “We need to trust the instiRobredo maintained that the tution. Although I cannot talk 2016 vice presidential elections about the details of the case, I be- were “clean, fair and honest.” by helen


“We have the mandate of the Filipino people,” she added. Robredo also criticized the camp of Marcos, the late dictator’s son and namesake, for using his case to gain media mileage. She cited the recent order of the SC for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to return the SD cards that were retrieved from supposedly unused Vote Counting Machines during the May 2016 polls to Smartmatic which, according to her, both camps had agreed upon. n

Purisima, Napeñas barred from leaving PH by elizabeth


LIFE, NOT DEATH. Members of Bayan Muna hold a rally outside the House of Representatives building in Quezon City to show their opposition to a measure that seeks to reimpose death penalty on Wednesday, Jan. 31. photo by Ruy Martinez

Violence seen to persist in Mindanao due to IS by Christina


MANILA, Philippines — Government peace initiatives with Muslim rebels remain on track, but the Duterte administration foresees more violence as the military continues offensive operations against the Abu Sayyaf and those affiliated with the terrorist Islamic State (IS). President Duterte warned the people anew on Friday, Feb. 3 of the threat posed by Islamic extremist groups to his quest for peace in the south. “In Mindanao, we are lucky indeed that MI(LF) and MN(LF) are ready to talk. The problem is time. We were overtaken by the events in the Middle East,” he said, referring to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front. He said more violence could erupt between government forces and the Abu Sayyaf in the wake of reports that one of its leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, has been appointed as leader of the IS group in the region. “There is now in this island of Mindanao and in Jolo, diyan sa mga islands diyan iyong mga Abu Sayyaf at iyong pinaka-leader si Hapilon was sent by the ISIS because he was appointed now, the ISIS leader. I think for this part of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Philippines,” Duterte said, using another acronym of the IS.

Government peace initiatives with Muslim rebels remain on track, but the Duterte administration foresees more violence as the military continues offensive operations against the Abu Sayyaf and those affiliated with the terrorist Islamic State (IS). Courtesy of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research.

He cited the military operations last week in Butig, Lanao del Sur where Hapilon was reportedly injured. “I do not think I can talk to the terrorist,” said the President, who has reported in his previous speeches that there were a handful of Arab preachers spotted in known terrorist lairs in recent months. Duterte indicated that he has not abandoned the peace talks with the Moro groups, adding that he is still ready to talk to MNLF leader Nur Misuari. The administration is also pursuing talks with the MILF after Duterte signed last November an executive order reconstitut-

ing the Bangsamoro Transition Council. Citing his Moro roots, Duterte asked for understanding from his brothers regarding his concerns about extremism in the region. “It’s not about the Moro people. It’s about the Arabs... it’s about the ISIS,” he said. Islamist groups’ threat As this developed, Duterte also warned of bloody consequences in case IS extremists are able to fully penetrate the Abu Sayyaf and other groups in Southern Philippines. Duterte also noted that the impending crackdown by the United States on the IS militants

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MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has barred former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former police Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas Jr. from going abroad pending resolution of graft charges filed against them in connection with the January 2015 operation that led to the death of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. A hold departure order (HDO) was issued by the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division, which directed the Bureau of Immigration to stop Purisima and Napeñas from leaving the Philippines. “The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is hereby directed to bar/prohibit the above-named accused from leaving the Philippines for any destination abroad, either by air or sea transportation, except by prior written permission duly secured from and granted by this Court,” according to the HDO issued last Jan. 27. The court said the BI must immediately include Purisima’s and Napeñas’ names in its hold departure list. The BI was directed to report to the court its compliance with the order within 15 days. A copy of the HDO signed by Fourth Division chairman Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, member Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz and sitting member Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses was released to the media yesterday. Purisima and Napeñas are each facing one count of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and one count of usurpation of official functions under

The Sandiganbayan has barred former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima and former police Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas Jr. from going abroad pending resolution of graft charges filed against them in connection with the January 2015 operation that led to the death of 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Senate PRIB, File

Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code. Purisima has posted P20,000 bail for both cases, while Napeñas told reporters that he is set to file a motion for judicial determination of probable cause to pray for the cases’ dismissal. The charges stemmed from the two former police officials’ involvement in the Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano incident, which left over 60 people, including 44 SAF troopers, dead. Based on the information of the cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman a day before the second anniversary of the bloody incident, Purisima and Napeñas violated the PNP chain of command by keeping then acting PNP chief Leonardo Espina and then interior secretary Manuel Roxas II in the dark about Oplan Exodus, the covert SAF operation to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Filipino bombmaker Abdul

Basit Usman. Purisima was at the time under preventive suspension by the ombudsman in connection with an alleged anomalous courier service deal for the delivery of firearms licenses. The ombudsman said that “during the period of Purisima’s suspension, he had no authority to perform the duties and functions, much less supervise and/ or participate in the conceptualization, mission planning and execution, of a high-risk police operation.” “Purisima, then the chief of the PNP, induced Napeñas who as well allowed himself to be persuaded to violate the PNP chain of command and the preventive suspension order issued by the ombudsman as well as then PNP officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina’s order to cease and desist from performing functions of their respective offices,” the charge sheets read. (With Evelyn Macairan)

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Duterte ends truce with Reds, tells soldiers to prepare to fight

by Williamor


MLANG, North Cotabato— President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, February 3, asked soldiers to “go back to your camp, clean your rifle and be ready to fight” as he said he was terminating the government’s unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels. “There will be no peace in this land vis a vis the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines). Sa kanila February 10 pa pero marami ng akong patay na sundalo (They said they are ending it on February 10, but many of my President Rodrigo Duterte. soldiers have already died),” he system in Barangay (village) Jasaid in a speech at the launching niuay here. of the solar-powered irrigation He said it was pointless “to SHABU LAB. The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) conducts an inventory of the materials and equipment used in the manufacture of shabu in the clandestine drug lab discovered in Barangay Palta, Virac, Catanduanes. Photo inset shows Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua. Graft complaints were filed yesterday against the governor of Catanduanes, mayor of Virac town and a barangay captain in connection with the shabu laboratory discovered. photos

she nurtures for the staff as well. Super Lawyers 38 million folks reside in California, 27 percent of which are immigrants, with one in four foreignborn. The State Bar of California reports 248, 240 are lawyers, with 72.83 percent active in their practice. In the Los Angeles Filipino-American Community, I know of four who have been designated as Super Lawyers: Attorneys Joe Sayas, Paul Estuar, Michael Jaurigue and Abigail Zelenski (formerly Abigail Treanor), who is also known as the Super Lawyers Rising Star, given her young age. Three of these Super Lawyers (including Abigail) have served in the Filipino American Library Board. Abigail and this writer were recruited to serve on the Board by Fritz Friedman. According to these Super Lawyers, credibility is a precious commodity that must be guarded by using a rigorous process: peer evaluations and third-party research on performances of attorneys, and a recognition process wherein folks do not pay to play. Super Lawyers is a rating service which chooses outstanding lawyers in various practice areas through 12 performance indicators and track record of performance. 2.5 percent are chosen Super Lawyers Rising Stars (for those who are under 40 years old) and 5 percent are chosen as Super Lawyers (for those who are over 40) each year, through a selection process, which is now recognized by the US Patent Office. A rising star Abigail is now a US citizen and a practicing lawyer, with distinction, shared with an elite 2.5 percent of lawyers in California. She has been publicly known as a Super Lawyer Rising Star for the past two years. Abigail credits that designation to the trust she

Violence seen to persist in Mindanao due…

PAGE A10 t

might spill over to Southern Philippines. “For heaven’s sake, I will never talk to the terrorists,” Duterte said instills in her clients. “That’s how I get clientsI in a speech yesterday, explaining know that trust and kindness are two of the most why he would fight against IS important attributes in an attorney. Clients come to me for their legal needs because I always perform my work with those two attributes in mind.” Her positive self-worth designed her destiny as a Super Lawyer Rising Star! But she also carries the briefcase, packed with her family’s example of hard work, discipline and quest for excellence, along with her emotional anchors in life, Shielah and Michael.

Self-worth powers an immigrant’s dream


*** Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. writes a weekly column for Asian Journal, called “Rhizomes.” She has been writing for AJ Press for 9 years now. She contributes to Balikbayan Magazine. Her training and experiences are in science, food technology, law and community volunteerism for 4 decades. She holds a B.S. degree from the University of the Philippines, a law degree from Whittier College School of Law in California and a certificate on 21st Century Leadership from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been a participant in NVM Writing Workshops taught by Prof. Peter Bacho for 4 years and Prof. Russell Leong. She has travelled to France, Holland, Belgium, Japan, Mexico and 22 national parks in the US, in pursuit of her love for arts.

Sereno underscores… PAGE A7 t

the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by the general public worldwide” through surveys. From 51 in 2015, the Philippines rank in WJP dropped to 70 in 2016. Sereno said this can be attributed to the unsolved extrajudicial killings within the country. Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last July, the number of people killed in drug-related cases has reached 7,000, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), with least 2,250 reportedly killed during police operations. n

Ace Morandante/Presidential photo/file

continue with the ceasfire.” “(It) will not produce anything,” the President added. n

groups despite his call for peace with other Moro groups in the region. “And if (US President Donald) Trump decides to invade the Middle East and if the ISIS loses its land base there, they will

start to scatter around the world. Their favorite target would be the southern part of the Philippines,” the President said. “It’s gonna be bloody,” he warned. (With Perseus Echeminada, Edith Regalado)

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Eva Noblezada and her journey from Charlotte to West End to Broadway to the Broadway stage this spring. previews begin on March 1 and official opening is slated for April. Filipino-American theater The musical will run until January fans in the tri-state area are count- next year and a national tour will ing down the days, as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Miss Sai- immediately follow after that. gonâ&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the musical that has cast Eva noblezada was barely 18 most Filipinos than any other mu- years old when she was thrust into sical in historyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;makes its return the limelight and cast as Kim in by MoMar

G. Visaya


Scenes from the London production of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Miss Saigon.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Photos by Michael Le Poer Trench and Matthew Murphy

the West End revival of the musical back in May 2014. She was then a high school student at the northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, north Carolina. We chatted with Eva a couple Since its London premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintoshâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of Alain Boublil and of weeks ago at the Times Square Claude-Michel SchĂśnbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s epic musical MIss Saigon has become one of the most successful office of legendary theater producer musicals in history. The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 Cameron Mackintosh, the man bewith what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million). The show went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063 performances seen by more than 5.9 million people. hind Broadway hits such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cats,â&#x20AC;? Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, â&#x20AC;&#x153;les Miserables,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;phantom of the has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards opera,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mary poppinsâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Miss and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide. PAGE B2

Eva Noblezada

AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

/64,36(5 $IRECT,ENDER


John Lloyd Cruz ready to sire a child but... by ricky


John lloyd Cruzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom said she wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind if her son doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to get married yet but she hopes that he gives her a grandchild soon. This was the revelation of the award-winning actor at the thanksgiving press conference of his three-year-old sitcom â&#x20AC;&#x153;home Sweetie home,â&#x20AC;? with Toni Gonzaga, who as everyone knows, recently gave birth to eldest son Seve. For lloydieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mom, who is a devout Catholic, to say she wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind a grandchild out of wedlock speaks volumes she is impatient for her son to become a family man.

Meanwhile, the actor is very happy with the good feedback that home Sweetie home continues to receive from viewers. After three years, he and Toni are also more at ease playing husband-and-wife in the sitcom, unlike when they first worked together and had to adjust to each other. lloydie added it helps all the more that Toni is now a mom in real life, making their portrayal as parents more confident. Asked whether he and ex-girlAll the same, lloydieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take on friend Angelica panganiban have the matter is that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no need secretly gotten back together, the to rush things, especially since heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actor replied that Angelica remains not in a relationship at the moment. a very good friend. The 33-year-old he hopes the next lucky lady he actor clarified, â&#x20AC;&#x153;pero hindi po kami. falls in love with though will be the Wala po kaming relasyon. But we are very good friends.â&#x20AC;? mother of his future children.








Features • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

Gentle angels called caregivers Moonlighting by Mylah de


In private homes, we learn yet of another world—of quiet angels with gentle hearts. Back home, they used to be teachers, bank tellers, office workers, engineers, or registered nurses who handle with special grace the dignity of their “clients’” last moments. They help not to torment these people with meaningless chemical assaults in their last days, when they could no longer be at a hospice inside a board and care facility, each morning. Each morning, they wheel about in a decompressed pack of giggling, clean-looking men and women, whose smiles are warm and clean that help calm the fears of the old folks who deal with the perceived notion of rejection by their family and to help them accept conditions that could be

deemed intolerable, including unsafe caregiver to patient ratios. They wore their tact like a uniform – always unassumingly magnificent, alert to a flicker of doom, ready to pummel a failing heart back to life! They are ready rise to an emergency with swift and impersonal skill, and fight with tenderness to save a life and a special acrobatic grace. If the caregiver is lucky, he or she could watch the ebb tide and flow of the respite of a TV, listen to the radio. Saddled with culture clash, he or she can help himself or herself with those stupefying, awful food. Whether in high rise multi-story building, a cozy condo, or in any elegant sprawling California-style bungalow, stately mansions at Bel Air or Hancock Park where the caregiver is cocooned for five days or a whole week, she is aware of how eerily the outside world drops away. At home by the side of the “client,” she is intimate with the bleak environment that suddenly becomes her temporary domain. A caregiver. in general terms, is the one who is responsible for the care of someone who has poor

mental health, is physically disabled or whose health is impaired by chronic sickness or old age. A caregiver is an unpaid or paid relative or friend of that individual that help in their activities of daily living. A caregiver is someone who provides an unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friends or partner. In the so-called Sandwich Generation, caregivers are the people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. But because of the declining standards of living and economy, many caregivers are immigrant workers who toil long unregulated hours, are underpaid, who left their families behind that required care themselves which put them under further stress and pressure. Throw in the utter nonsupport from social work or health services, and the fact that some of them remain hidden or invincible as undocumented aliens. They play many roles while care giving such as health provider, care manager, friend, companion, surrogate decision maker and PAGE B4

The Leelin family with representatives of the Philippine Department of Tourism and Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles.

Leelin Bakery and Café draws winners for its 2017 VIP Loyalty Rewards Sweepstakes

In partnership with the Philippine Department of Tourism – Los Angeles (PDOT-LA), Leelin Bakery and Café held its 2017 VIP Loyalty Rewards Sweepstakes Draw at its Cerritos, California branch last week. “now this year, [PDOT-LA] Director Richmond Jimenez and his staff had actually taken the grand prize up another max,” said Menard Leelin, the president of Goodness Corporation of California (GCOC), which is the manufacturing arm of the Leelin family business, during a ceremony on Friday, January 27. He added, “This year, our winner, and his or her companion, will be able to choose any province or region in the Philippines where he or she wants to go on a culinary tour.” As part of its VIP Loyalty Rewards Program, one winner was drawn for the grand prize: two round-trip tickets to the Philippines, plus, a Kulinarya (Culinary) Tour for two. “For example, if the winner

wants to go to Cebu or Bohol, or even somewhere in Mindanao, director Jimenez and his staff would provide the domestic airfare and the hotel accommodation fees for free to whoever will win, will have a grand tour to the Philippines,” Menard Leelin explained. Also present at the drawing ceremony were Mendrei Leelin, president of Leelin Bakery and Café and his wife Cecile—both of whom oversee the operations of all six branches in Los Angeles County; Michael Leelin, the CFO of the Leelin family business; and Teresa (Momsy) and Manuel (Pospy) Leelin. Several special guests, including PDOT-LA Director Richmond Jimenez, Madam Catherine Cruz (wife of Consul General Adel Cruz), Deputy Consul GEneral Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III, and Vice Consul Mary Joy Ramirez, were also in the audience. Apart from the grand prize, Leelin Bakery and Café gave away: 10 $100 Leelin Gift Cards, 10 $50 Leelin Gift Cards, 20 $25 Leelin

Gift Cards, and 10 Leelin Heirloom boxes with an assortment of its bakery products. The winners will be contacted by Leelin Bakery and Café through email and telephone. Their names will also be posted at all Leelin Bakery and Café stores. Winners can claim their prizes by just presenting the following: their Leelin VIP Rewards card and a government-issued photo identification card. For customers who want to become a member of the Leelin VIP Loyalty Rewards Program, they can sign up for free. For every one dollar of Leelin goods they purchase, they acquire one point. If a customer manages to collect 200 points, he or she will get a $10 rewards coupon that can be used as cash to purchase anything at any Leelin Bakery and Cafe in Los Angeles County. VIP members will also receive a $5 birthday coupon when they make a purchase any time during their birthday month.. (Advertising Supplement)

Menard Leelin, Momsy Leelin, Catherine Cruz, Popsy Leelin, Mendrei Leelin, Cecile Leelin and Richmond Jimenez

Mendrei Leelin, president of Leelin Bakery and Café

AJPress photos by Ding Carreon

PAGE B1 Saigon.” First, I asked her about her upcoming Broadway debut. “I’m ready. I’ve been preparing myself—not just for Broadway—but just in general. I just want to always be prepared and I feel like I’m ready to start again,” Eva shared. “I’m excited to see what changes I can make to make my performance better.” The Broadway production reunites Eva with some of her castmates from West End: Jonjon Briones as The Engineer, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi. This makes Eva giddy in anticipation as she has built a strong relationship with them when they were still in London. “I love them, I am a very lucky girl. I don’t think people realize how lucky I am. My relationship with Jonjon, he’s like the older brother I never had. I consider his family my family. Alistair, I get along with him really well, along with his lovely wife. We have a good chemistry and we laugh together. Shin is my sis, I could tell her everything. I’m grateful for her and I’m glad that all four of us are making our Broadway debuts together,” she mused. Her journey so far Eva Maria noblezada was born in San Diego, California and their family moved to Charlotte when she was six years old. They have lived there since. “Charlotte wasn’t really me but I made the most out of the time I had there and it was great. But I was really eager to leave and start doing what I love because I did not have the opportunities that I needed there,” she related. “So when it was time to leave, it was bittersweet to leave my family but I was so excited to go to London and start my life.” Despite the major adjustments, Eva fell in love with London and what the city had to offer. It was her home for nearly three years. She admits missing it so much but she is looking forward to living in new York. “London had its arms wide open for me. It was a special time of my

performer. She was around four or five and she sang in front of a church where she wore “this hideous orange and pink skirt with white buttons”. She felt that everyone in the family knew that it was something she was going to do. “I was always singing, always the loudest one. I loved putting on costumes,” she reminisced laughing. “I (even) tried to make a stage in my Lola’s and Papa’s backyard with wood and I failed epically. “ At the age of nine, she watched her first Broadway musical, “Lion King” at the Minskoff Theater. “I remember everything. I got emotional in the beginning. I was like ‘This is so beautiful!’ and I want to do it so bad,” she shared. “I wanted to do what they were doing. It makes perfect sense now, it is what I want to do.” nearly ten years later, she was back in the same theater, not as an audience member but as a performer on that theater’s stage singing her heart out. It was for the national High School Musical Theatre Awards or more famously known in the industry as The Jimmys, named after Broadway producer James nederlander. She earned the right to go to new York when she won at The Blumeys, Charlotte’s regional competition. Eva sang “With You,” a ballad from Ghost, The Musical. “I was initially like, ‘Meh, Ghost’ I’ve seen it and it’s sad. Then, I listened to it again and wow, it is a beautiful song. It spoke to me in ways I didn’t think a song could,” she said. Broadway casting agent Tara Rubin was inside that theater that day. She fell in love with Eva’s rendition and recommended Eva to Miss Saigon’s director Laurence Connor and eventually, Cameron Mackintosh. “It was luck and it was a God thing, it was crazy. She was in the audience and it was crazy coincidental. I was just very lucky,” she said. PAGE B3

Eva Noblezada and her journey...

life when I moved and lived there, alone as an independent woman. It was amazing,” she said. “I didn’t know how to imagine my life there because I didn’t move, I never left the country before so it was such a new experience and it was worth everything. Every new experience I just grabbed on to and clinged on to. I’ll never forget those first few months.” Eva spoke with a certain level of maturity in her voice, particularly when she talked about her family. She will turn 21 on March 18. Her leaving them in north Carolina was sad, but it was expected she said. She had to act like an adult and accept the responsibilities that came with accepting the role that would change her life forever. “I got family-sick all the time. I wanted to see them but I had to work. You can’t always have everything you want,” she said matter-of-factly. She found a cure to being familysick and home-sick when she made new friends. “I made a living for myself, that’s a huge thing, not having to depend on anybody. Learning to do things that I never had to learn when I was at home. It was growing up really quickly and I really loved it,” she added. Born to do it Eva vividly remembers the moment she knew she wanted to be a


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



Sycee or yuanbao: Powerful ally of finance By Sean


Sycee or yuanbao is a chinese gold nugget bullion. It was used

in ancient china as currency. How to use it: eating dumplings (the same 1. Keep it in the cash register shape as the golden nugget) is or in a safe to enhance financial considered very lucky. luck. 2. Multiply it nearby or inside Feng Shui items. *All of our items have been purified by the authentic process of Feng Shui way. *** Feng Shui master Sean Shono owns Dragon God, a Feng Shui store in Gardena, California. He is the U.S. Chief of the International Feng Shui Association. For more information, please call Sean Shono at (310) 787-1891. Dragon God is located at 1580 W. Artesia SQ. Suite A, Gardena, CA 90248.

Los Angeles resident wins grand prize in the recently concluded Philippine Travel Gems Facebook Photo Contest By Manny

V. Ilagan Tourism Specialist

LOS ANGeLeS - Amir Abad Ocampo of Los Angeles, cA wins the Grand Prize of 1 Round-Trip Ticket to the Philippines and Hotel Accommodation in the recently concluded Philippine Travel Gems Facebook Photo contest which was jointly conducted by the Philippine Department of Tourism-Los Angeles and Majestic Vacations in partnership with Philippine Airlines. The contest is part of the 6month joint campaigns between DOT and Majestic Vacations to promote the Philippines as an exceptional tourist destination to North American residents using various digital platforms such as electronic flyers, email promotional campaigns, and digital newsletters. The Facebook Photo contest aims to engage future travelers through photographs, personal experiences and impressions of those who have travelled to the Philippines. The contest attracted numerous participants, with a final total of 58 photo entries. The photo entries were an amazing mix of both popular and rarely visited destinations in the Philippines, cultural impressions, historical places, fun activities, underwater scenes, and family trips. Selection and judging of the final winners were done in three stages. In the first stage of selection, members of the panel of judges each chose 5 photos as semi-finalists. Depending on the votes earned, 3 photos advanced to the second stage of judging. Of the remaining 3 finalists, the final 2 photos were selected, with the one earning the highest number of votes from the judges declared as the first prize winner. Amir Abadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s photo of an ethereal image of Batanes after a downpour received the unanimous nods from all three judges to win the first prize. Meanwhile, Tom Wagnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eerie photo of the ruins of Battery crockett gun emplacements in corregidor won the second prize. consolation prize went to cesar Angeles, Jr.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s photo of a traditional Philippine banca docked on the clear waters of Banana Island in coron, Palawan which was PAGE B4

Crewman went home to Manila on Provisional Waiver and came back to the US with a Green card â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on a Special Encore Episode of CITIZEN PINOY! Leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel obtained a Provisional Waiver for Jerome, a crewman who jumped ship. Jerome had filed for Adjustment of Status on his own, but it was denied, because he was not eligible. With the approved Provisional Waiver of the 3\10 year bar, Jerome returned to the Philippines for visa processing at the US Embassy in Manila. His wife and children wondered and prayed if Jerome could make it back to the US. Every crewman and their US spouse should watch the outcome of this Provisional Waiver case on an encore episode of CITIZEN PINOY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on Sunday, February 5 at 6:15 pm (PST) on TFC.

Eva Noblezada and her journey...

PAGE B2 to grow up and [it] made me realize as a young woman how to live my The family went back home to how to understand who I am as a life. It taught me a lot of things and I North carolina and a month later, person and as an actor and it really am grateful that I get to do this with she got a call to audition for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Miss ignited my passion to act and per- this elite group of people and that I Saigon.â&#x20AC;? form and tell a story. It taught me get to work with them.â&#x20AC;? 1st prize: Heavenly Batanes (Basco, Batanes) They drove back to New york Taken on January 2016 after a sudden downpour, with sun rays hitting the Tayid Lighthouse to do it, then drove back down. A and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Livengâ&#x20AC;? or Hedgerows creating an ethereal image. Batanes is an exceptional place to few weeks later, they drove back visit, with its zero crime rate, friendly Ivatans, and grand landscapes. again for two more auditions. Her Photo by Amir Abad Ocampo, Los Angeles final audition was at the Majestic Theater in front of cameron Mackintosh himself. She sang â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d Give My Lifeâ&#x20AC;? for youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and after her performance, Mackintosh offered the role to her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Three auditions in all and he told me I got the part,â&#x20AC;? she said 7(/,%"),, wistfully. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop repeating what he said â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Would you like to move to London? Would you like to move to London?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think of anything else, it was so overwhelming. It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really hit me until we got home and I was 3EAFOOD3OUP &RIED4ILAPIA 0HAD4HAI 0HAD#5 #RAB&RIED2ICE screaming with my family. It was amazing,â&#x20AC;? eva added. 2nd Prize: Battery Crockett, Corregidor As we closed the interview, Eerie symmetry marked by time and brutality, Battery Crockett was one of Corregidorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s I asked her how Miss Saigon larger gun emplacements in the early days of World War II. As is common in most ruins, the changed her life. fixed guns and cannon remain, mute reminders of the courage and fortitude common in the a bit 2017_Layout and reflected.1 1/30/17 5:50 PM Page 1 AJShe Adspaused 83 February Filipino-American allianceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last stand against the Japanese invasion. Then she replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It forced me

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Photo by Tom Wagner, Los Angeles

age gracefully

Pink and Red Grapefruit Are Age-Fighting Superstars


Photos by Ding Carreon



1069 W. San Bernardino Rd., Covina â&#x20AC;˘ 626-915-8982

Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad Serves 4

The pink, red or ruby varieties contain the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene, which is found to be a more powerful antioxidant than other carotenoids such as beta-carotene and research has suggested it may significantly reduce risk of stroke. Pink and red grapefruits are full of healthful compoundsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;anthocyanins, flavanoids, lycopene, polyphenols, quercetin, sulfur compounds, and vitamin Câ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that provide loads of antioxidant power for promoting artery and heart health and protecting against sun damage and skin aging.

Ingredients 1 lb. tiger shrimp 1 Tbs. grapeseed oil ½ tsp. crushed garlic 4 cups whole Romaine lettuce leaves 1½ cups pink grapefruit segments 1½ cups pink grapefruit segments

Studies have also indicated that people with a diet high in lycopene have a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer. In my new cookbook, The Age Beautifully Cookbook, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find an easy and delicious recipe for Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad, which has the benefits of pink grapefruit along with shrimpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart-healthy Omega-3s plus selenium and zinc, both of which help maintain a robust immune system.

1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Toss with the oil and garlic. 2. Grill or boil the shrimp for 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 minutes per side or until it turns opaque. Remove from the grill or pan and allow to cool. 3. Make the salad dressing: In a food processor, blend the dressing ingredients until smooth. 4. Toss the Romaine lettuce in about 1 cup of the dressing. Divide among 4 plates. 5. Top the lettuce with the shrimp and grapefruit segments. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Research has also suggested it may significantly reduce the risk of stroke.

Grapefruit is in season from September to April, though itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available in produce departments all year.

Dressing 1 cup whipped lowfat or light cream cheese ž cup buttermilk 2 Tbs. flaxseed oil â&#x2026;&#x201C; cup sweet pickle relish, drained Âź tsp. black pepper Âź tsp. salt or salt substitute

Š 2017 by

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, biotin, and vitamin B1.

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GRACE O is the creator of FoodTrientsÂŽ, a unique program for optimizing wellness and longevity. She is the author of two award-winning cookbooks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Age Gracefully Cookbook and The Age Beautifully Cookbook, which recently won the National award for Innovation from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She is a fusion chef with a mission to deliver delicious recipes built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her 20 years in the healthcare industry. Visit to learn more. Email us at



Maxine Medina and the ‘most beautiful day’ in the Philippines By Monet

Monday, February 6 - National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) Executive Director Jason Tengco and Chairperson Brendan Flores do an outreach to the community on how to make their concerns heard. Tuesday, February 7 - Attorney Alison Aquino Silva and Attorney Richard Loew take your calls LIVE in the studio. Ask your immigration questions! Wednesday, February 8 - An-

Programming for Kababayan Today, February 6-10, 2017 nie Nepomuceno joins us as the Asian Journal shares latest the headlines relevant to the Fil-Am community. Fil-Am teen Veronica Reynoso shares her passion for invention and the sciences. Thursday, February 9 - Valentines Day is next weekend! Have you made your orders for your loved ones yet? Here Florist Ed Rame shares a DIY project you can make for Valentines. Friday, February 10 - Joanna Conception and Kuya Lester talk about their organization, the Filipino Migrant Center, and how

it has been able to help Kababayans reunite with their family members. *** Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipino’s living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.

Deans Eyewear: Personalized service for all customers

For me, it was a safe answer. Not a crown-worthy one, but not a wrong answer either. And let’s not forget the fact that out of 86 gorgeous and talented candidates, she was one of the six most beautiful women. Despite the criticisms on her allegedly poor English and communication skills, she got in the top six! That should count for something, with or without the crown. Speaking of the coveted crown, it may not have landed on Maxine’s head but the entire universe will never see the Philippines the same way again after “the most beautiful day” was held in our country. Just think about those candidates appreciating our tourist spots, being welcomed by the warmest people they’ve ever met -- all of this was shown on TV! I could’ve sworn that it didn’t look like it was shot anywhere in the Philippines. The beaches were so beautiful. I almost forgot how beautiful the Philippines truly is. The Miss universe organization (Muo) even thought that the Philippines was the perfect host. Muo president Paula Shugart described the Philippine hosting of the prestigious beauty pageant as the ‘best show’ she has ever done. Shugart gave former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson of the pageant host committee, LCS Group of Companies, a sash that read “Mister universe” as a token of gratitude for the country’s successful hosting. Those stories about candidates falling in love with the Filipino people and even donating their pageant gowns are testa-

Gentle angels called... PAGE B2 advocate. They manage medications, personal hygiene, take patients to their doctors, take care of household chores, meals or bills. The running flaps and presumed conclusions over board and care make the choice of putting one’s trust in someone to care for loved ones—that has reached cross roads—one of life’s most difficult decisions . While most who work in the field are caring and well-trained, there is no denying the essential truth of such places. Bedrooms are small, dark and cramped. The hallways are long and harshly lit. They have pathetic offerings of forlorn iceberg lettuce salad in tiny plates, accompanied with food that came from a can or frozen meals—microwaved in small portions passed off as lunch or dinner. Today there are viable alterna-

The Global Kababayan G. TönGi


AFTER everything has been said—or was not said—and done, we choose to look at the bright side. We choose to see beneath the surface, avoid the negativity and focus on what really matters: the kingdom, not the ‘crown.’ Some of you may be surprised to know that I am one of the few who predicted the victory of Miss universe Philippines Maxine Medina. We met last year and I could honestly see the potential in her. She is very pretty. In fact, her mentors (and some judges of Miss universe 2016) agree that Maxine was “one of the prettiest” contestants the Philippines “has sent to Miss universe and to any beauty pageant.” She has the face, the figure, the personality, and the crowd who cheered her on, to bag the crown. But she fell short in one category. And the million-dollar question is, “Why didn’t she use the interpreter?” or “why didn’t she just answer in Tagalog?” The question for Maxine was: What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years? The interpreter asked the question in Tagalog and Maxine answered: “In the last 10 years of being here in the world, I saw all the people bringing in one event like this in Miss universe. It’s something big to us that we are one. As one nation, we are all together. Thank you. Maraming salamat po.” I was not surprised that she didn’t use an interpreter. Though for me, she didn’t need one. Did I think she should’ve answered in Tagalog and let the interpreter translate it? I admit, I did. But was her answer wrong? Technically no. It is a valid answer, but not the best. In her defense, she was called first during the question-andanswer round and was asked a question that could go both ways. If she took her time and thought (a decade’s worth) of a more elaborate answer, say some historical event or phenomena, she have ended up with an awkward dead air and lose the momentum. on the other hand, if she responded with whatever came first to her mind, she might not be able to justify her answer. So (just like what most people thought happened), she took the safe route and answered with the ‘most significant’ event in front of her: Miss universe 2016 happening in the Philippines after 22 years. • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

tives, and best solutions for most, if not more strict standard on board and care. You can choose your board and care facility, by collecting referrals, talking with social workers and learning the in’s and out’s about caregivers and consumers. Let me tell you about a factual nugget: about 90 percent of board and care facilities are owned by Filipinos. A standing example is a table of a courageous Ilongga, the one who, many years earlier, came with a couple of hundred dollars in her purse, with two young children before becoming the most successful board and care operator here in Southland, from Hancock Park. The owner’s resiliency in the field of health services has won respect and admiration even from her American counterparts. Ms. Vina Nacionales works while half the country is asleep.

ments to how the Filipinos have captured the hearts of their visitors. Some of them even opted to extend their stay. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them decides to live in the Philippines. All I am saying is, we shouldn’t think of Miss universe 2016 as a failure just because we did not get the back-to-back win were hoping for. We should see it as one of the most beautiful events the whole universe has ever seen. It was indeed the ‘most beautiful day’ in the Philippines and Maxine was right in the middle of it all. She represented the country that gave these women the most unforgettable experience they could ever have in their lifetimes. The home-court advantage may not have played well for Maxine in terms of winning the title but it did create a huge impact on the ‘universe’ for all we know. Now, we welcome the new Miss universe, Iris Mittenaere of France. She deserves our support as much as she deserved the crown. on behalf of the beautiful people of the Philippines, I congratulate Miss universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere and I hope for all the best in your reign.

INTRoDuCING the finest optometry conveniently located in the city of Lakewood. Deans Eyewear is the place to visit if you are looking for quality products, service, and style at an affordable price. At Deans Eyewear, you will find many variety of frames ranging from the most luxurious brands to the comfortable Korean brands with 80% discount on prices that start as low as just $20. Also, each and every lens that fits into the frame is hand-crafted with care and effort in order to insure quality by the top-tier opticians. You might be wondering…Hand crafted? Quality? $20 frames? The lens must be the expensive part of the deal. But they’re not. Deans Eyewear offers their quality lens that start as low as $60 for single vision and $90 for progressive lens. Each lens for each customer is crafted with cutting edge technology in the uSA, and is delivered directly to Deans Eyewear. Then, the lens is hand-crafted into the frame and finalized with a skillful touch. Also, Deans Eyewear offers a promotion in which a 50% discount is applied to the price of the lens on the second glasses purchased on the same day as the first glasses.

This makes it a perfect opportunity for friends and family that need multiple pairs of glasses done while saving money. Many customers return with their family and friends because it offers the best service and the price that beats anywhere else. Don’t miss out on style, visual clarity, or service just because of high prices! Keep it all at Deans Eyewear! Prescription Deans Eyewear provides eye exam at the fraction of the usual cost: get your eye-glass prescrip-

tion at just $20 with your new pair of glasses. Thus, you can have your brand new stylish frame ($20), quality lens ($60), and the doctor’s prescription ($20) at the total cost of just $100! Two for the price of one! Service for the customers! Dedication to be the best! Deans Eyewear Factory is located at 21053 Bloomfield Ave, Lakewood, CA 90715. For more information, please call (562) 2825716. (Advertising Supplement)

*** Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, awardwinning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit or email him at

She is on the phone, on the computer, she does her own photocopying, and even networking with her other facilities She tells us, ”my central effort is to assure clients a sanctuary of comfort and affections, and my personal accessibility. Health care is not a business, but more of a vocation, a calling. The role of caregivers is a very important one, both functionally and economically, considering the increasingly aging population of all developed societies. While organizations provide support for the disabled and old, various forms of support for caregivers should also be developed as well. That was the topic of our conversation: the lack of public awareness, humanitarian and government support groups. The major provider of long term care in any country, have also long terms care needs of their own. But who will take care of the caregivers?

Los Angeles resident wins grand prize... PAGE B4 highly engaged and registered the highest numbers of “likes” and “shares” on Facebook. Members of the panel of judges include Richmond Jimenez, Tourism Attache of the Philippine Department of Tourism-Los Angeles; Eliza Chung, Regional Director of Majestic Vacations; and Tess Garces, Los Angeles Area Sales Manager of Philippine Airlines.

The first prize of Round Trip Ticket to the Philippines was sponsored by Philippines Airlines, plus Hotel Accommodations courtesy of the Philippine Department of Tourism-Los Angeles. The second prize of iPAD Air was sponsored by Majestic Vacations, while the consolation prize of 2-night hotel accommodation in a 5-star hotel in Manila was from the Philippine Department of Tourism-Los Angeles.

Per Facebook report, the Philippine Travel Gems Facebook Photo Contest entries reached a total number of 24,635 people from the period July to December 2016, while the contest’s promotional flyer reached a total of 10,109 people with multiple shares and likes. Visit www. PDoTphotocontest to view the winning entries and the winner’s information.

Consolation Prize Traditional Philippine Banca, an outrigger boat used by fishermen resting peacefully on the crystal clear waters of Banana Island, Coron, Palawan, Philippines. Photo by Cesar Angeles, JR., Los Angeles

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The Grove celebrates Lunar New Year by AJPress

CItIeS around the world ushered in the Year of the Fire rooster on Saturday, January 28 with extravagant celebrations and displays. In los angeles, various events were held, including one at the Grove, an outdoor shopping mall that welcomes thousands of asian visitors — from local and international destinations — every year. on Sunday, January 29, the three-hour event was the first of its kind on the property, where hundreds of visitors came to watch the traditional lion dance, Chinese and Korean dance and musical performances, participate in family-friendly activities, and receive lucky red envelopes that contained cash and prizes. a large rooster sculpture was also on full display amidst the celebration. leading up to the new year, the Grove’s decor was transformed, featuring hand-formed fan sculptures, brilliant red Chinese new Year lanterns, giant Moso bamboo poles, Qilin Foo Dogs, and a bright horticulture garden. “I think it’s very important for the Grove to celebrate lunar new Year and this is the first year [it] has done this,” los angeles Councilmember David ryu, who represents the 4th district, said. “that’s why I wanted to be here

Fire Rooster display outside of Nordstrom

LA Councilmember David Ryu

Sushi offerings from Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

to celebrate and recognize all great work the Grove does for the community. los angeles has the largest asian american community outside of any of the countries so I think it’s very important for us to share the culture and it’s great that the Grove has given this opportunity so we can all learn from our differences and come together.” at the same time, the neighboring original Farmers Market, held its own event with dancers, martial arts performances and a display of a rooster sculpture made of steel, which will become a permanent fixture on the property. Various stores and restaurants at the Grove, such as Blue ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, nordstrom,

toPSHoP toPMan, M.a.C., among others, will have special offers throughout the lunar new Year celebration period. the americana at Brand, a sister property of the Grove, in Glendale will have its own lunar new Year celebration from 2 to

5 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, with performances and traditional asian food vendors. Both the Grove and the americana at Brand feature iconic Chinese décor conceptualized by Stephen Stefanou of Venue arts.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, the Grove hosted a threehour event to welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster. Photos by Christina M. Oriel/AJPress and TEN Advertising

LIV ON: Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Amy Sky February 11, 2017 InternatIonal superstar screen, and is widely regarded as a $44 / $58 / $68 /$88 + appliand multiple Grammy award- gifted and successful songwriter. cable fees winner olivia newton-John, February 11, 2017 People under 18 must be acGrammy nominee Beth nielsen Doors open at 6pm. Show starts companied by a paying adult. Chapman and SoCan award- at 8pm. (Advertising Supplement) winner amy Sky appear together, lending their vocal, songwriting and performing talents to create a special “lIV on” collaborative concert. In addition to reaching out to fans of all three of these talented performers, this special night is intended to help inspire those who wish to transcend loss while walking a journey toward new-found meaning and hope. 21822 Main St. Carson, CA (beside St. Phelomina) this inspiring new project grew out of the three artists’ personal experiences with loss and illness, which they all survived to “lIV s7EDDINGS s&UNDRAISERS on” and celebrate each day with a depth of gratitude. this labor s!NNIVERSARIES s"ANQUETS of love stemmed from the trio s"IRTHDAY0ARTIES s(OLIDAY0ARTIES sharing their stories together and expressing their deepest feelings s"REAKFAST-EETINGS s/PEN(OUSE2ECEPTIONS from the most difficult to the most s"USINESS,UNCHEONS s0ICNIC3OCIAL%VENTS celebratory. It’s the hope that this music can uplift hearts burdened s#HILDRENS0ARTIES s&UNERALS by grief while at the same time s3CHOOL#ARNIVALS s3CHOOL#A bring comfort and joy to the audience as a whole. olivia newton-John’s appeal seems to be timeless. With a career also Available: spanning more than five decades • Kilawing Kambing she is still a vibrant, creative indi+Tax • Papaitang Kambing vidual adored by fans around the 1 Lechon • Kalderetang Kambing globe. Famed for her work on 4 full trays and 1 half tray na Ulam • Adobong Kambing record, in movies, on television and 4 na half trays na Matamis • Sinampalukang Kambing the live stage, olivia’s worldwide popularity is as strong today as ever before. From writing hits for other artists to recording her own, twice 21822 Main St. Grammy-nominated Beth nielsen 10125 Rosecrans Ave., Chapman, nashville based singerCarson, CA Bellflower, CA 90706 songwriter has truly embraced (beside St. Phelomina) musical diversity. She’s penned numerous hits and written songs 17206 Norwalk Blvd., Inside Island for many top artists including BonCerritos, CA 90703 Pacific-Cerritos nie raitt, emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, elton John, neil Diamond, (inside Eriel Cafe Cerritos) (Weekend and Holiday) trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Michael McDonald, amy Tumawag na para sa catering sa inyong mga handaan! Grant, Keb Mo’, roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Faith Hill, Willie nelson, Bette lavette and many more. amy Sky is singer-songwriter, record producer, theatre actress, and television host. She, too, has appeared on record, stage and






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Your Immigration Solution Eric r. WElsh PRESIDENT Trump began his long-promised attack on immigration this week, signing two aggressive and wide-ranging executive orders. In one, Trump focused on the southern border, ordering the Secretary of Homeland Security to use Federal funds to start construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border while waiting for Congress to allocate taxpayer money to cover the rest of the multi-billion dollar price tag. Trump also ordered the construction of additional detention facilities along the border, and the assignment of asylum officers and judges to those facilities. He ordered the agencies to arrest, detain, and remove anyone entering illegally at the southern border, to the maximum extent permitted by law. In the other order, Trump turned his aim to undocumented aliens in the United States. In a long series of commands, Trump drastically recalibrated the immigration agencies to focus their priorities on deportation and removal. Trump discarded the “priority enforcement” policies that guided the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the Obama presidency, vastly expanding the class of noncitizens that will be considered “priorities” for removal or deportation. Before Trump’s executive order, DHS policy instructed the agents enforcing the law to exercise discretion prudently, focusing resources on enforcement priorities. Generally speaking, “priority enforcement” was limited to criminal aliens with felony convictions or convictions for other serious crimes, terrorists, gang members, and very recent entries without inspection. Now, under the new Trump executive order, enforcement priorities will include undocumented aliens with virtually any criminal record (including arrests that don’t result in a charge or conviction), any prior removal

Trump takes aim at borders and undocumented immigrants in two executive orders or deportation order, any prior immigration misrepresentation, and any other person who may have committed acts that constitute a possible crime or “otherwise pose a risk” in the discretion of an immigration officer. These vague, broad standards essentially “prioritize” any alien without status in the U.S. Trump also ordered actions that would significantly increase interactions between the federal immigration agencies and state and local law enforcement, laying the groundwork for a vast deportation task force. He authorized local police to act as immigration agents, with authority to arrest and detain a person for lacking status. He reanimated heavily criticized Bush-era policies for detaining deportable aliens arrested by local law enforcement. Trump then brazenly set out plans to take on so-called “sanctuary cities” that currently refuse to use their resources and personnel to assist in deporting people for minor crimes (or arrests that don’t result in a charge). Trump threatened to withhold unspecified federal funds from sanctuary cities, and gave broad discretion to his agents to decide what constitutes a “sanctuary city.” Other provisions in the orders set forth an unambiguous hardliner policy on deportation and removal. Trump ordered the expansion of the agencies tasked with policing and prosecuting the immigration laws by hiring 10,000 additional Immigration &

Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and 5,000 additional Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers. He ordered the expanded use of “expedited removal,” a process whereby DHS agents can order certain aliens to be removed without any hearing. He ordered the agencies, to the maximum extent permitted by law, to apprehend and detain removable aliens. Much of the executive orders still require additional policy guidance from the Secretary of DHS and the Attorney General to implement, and we should expect to see guidance in the form of agency memoranda and proposed regulations in the coming days and weeks. We should also expect to see a number of legal challenges to the constitutionality of these orders and the policies that implement the orders. It remains to be seen how the agents on the ground will respond to the new orders, and how the states and localities will respond to the commandeering of manpower and resources. Many sanctuary cities have already pledged to oppose the new orders, and are ready to forfeit federal funds in the interest of protecting vulnerable populations. The Trump executive orders are harsh and draconian. Still, the orders do not (and cannot) strip protections that exist under federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. The individual rights enshrined in the Constitution ap-





Minding Your Finances Atty. RAymond BulAon ONE thing certain about debt problems is that most of them don’t just go away by themselves. They’re there when you go to bed at night and they’re still there when you get up in the morning. It’s almost impossible to have peace of mind when you’re in debt because you are constantly worrying about what will happen next. Feelings of hopelessness can turn into depression. Many people find themselves in the position of facing overwhelming debt, with constant calls from creditors and no obvious way out. For some, job loss sent them into a downward spiral and they are now unable to pay their bills and meet their responsibilities. For others, a recent divorce or costly medical emergency drained their resources, leaving them in a very difficult financial situation. If you are currently struggling with debt problems, I am sure you can relate. In situations like the above, bankruptcy can be used as a tool to stem the tide and to find a way to turn your situation around before things get any worse.

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth uRSuA ReyeS PRESIDENT Trump appears to be executing on his “America First” agenda by executing executive orders in record pace with the intent of securing American interest. However, these executive orders has affected certain rights of legal permanent residents and aliens residing in the United States. As a green card holder, you are still considered an Alien despite having many rights and privileges similar to US Citizens. You are not safe and may still be removed if you violate certain provisions of the immigration and nationality law. You should seriously consider applying for Naturalization or US Citizenship if you qualify. Generally, you have to have the following in order to qualify to apply for Naturalization:. Be at least 18 years old at the

Community Journal

How bankruptcy relief can end debt stress & anxiety Unfortunately, a lot of people are fed all kinds of misinformation about bankruptcy. They may have heard that bankruptcy will only make their situation worse and/or that if they do file bankruptcy, it will take them forever to rebuild their credit. Sadly, some of this misinformation also comes from wellmeaning friends and family who just tell you what they have heard from others, without verifying whether such information was even true or not. So what often happens is that people who need help so badly end up doing NOTHING for fear of making a mistake. The important thing to remember is that no one solution fits every situation. Your financial situation should be carefully evaluated by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand the options you may have available. By doing this, you can make an informed choice in taking the steps needed toward financial freedom. As a bankruptcy attorney, I always see people who have been stuck in their financial suffering for years because of their inaction- when they could have acted much

sooner before draining all their financial resources to keep their head above water. Don’t let this happen to you. Debt problems can happen to anyone. I understand that they can be overwhelming and can cause a lot of sleepless nights and constant worrying about the future. But things don’t have to be that way and you may have options that you didn’t even know existed. There is no shame in filing bankruptcy if that is what you need to do in order to start over and provide a better future not only for yourself and your family. That is what the federal bankruptcy laws are for- to help people who can no longer help themselves. For a FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION, please call my office at 866-4777772. We have offices in Glendale, Cerritos and Valencia. *** None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped thousands of clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1 (866) 477-7772. (Advertising Supplement)

Applying for US citizenship in these turbulent times

time of filing for Naturalization. Be a permanent resident/ greencard holder for at least 5 years. Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing. Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing. – Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. – Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). – Be a person of good moral character. – Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution. If there are no major issues in your case, your naturalization process should take approxi-

mately 5 months. If you pass the naturalization interview and your case is approved, the USCIS will schedule you for your Oath taking ceremony shortly thereafter. ***

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

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article (Advertising Supplement) is not a solicitation. • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

Tax Tips VictoR Sy, cPA, mBA

REPUBLICAN president-elect Donald Trump unveiled a new framework for his revised tax plan. Basically, his plan simplifies the tax code - reduce tax rates, simplify provisions, and reform business taxation. His fellow Republicans control both the House and Senate so he’ll probably deliver on most of promised tax reforms that we have not seen since the Ronald Reagan years. 1. Reduce tax brackets on ordinary income from seven, which range from 10 percent to 39.6 percent, to three brackets of 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent. 2. Increase the standard deduction to $15,000 for single filers and $30,000 for married filers to replace the current standard deduction ($6,300 for single filers and $12,600 for married filers) and the current personal exemption ($4,050 per individual and dependent). 3. Allow an above-the-line deduction for child care costs up to an amount equal to the average cost of care in your state, allow a tax credit of up to $1,200 for child care expenses to lower-in-

Immigration Corner Atty. BRiAn leRneR QUESTION: I have been put into deportation proceedings. Do I really need an Immigration Attorney? Answer: Hiring an Immigration Attorney is critical to the successful outcome of your case. Immigration Law is changing all the time, especially with the new President Trump. What used to be the law is no longer the law. What once was not permitted is permitted at the present time. There are regulations, laws, cases, memorandum, policy and many other factors. Many times people will think that completing a case is as easy as just filling out some forms. Unfortunately, it is much more complicated than this. It is necessary that an Immigration Attorney is able to look

Trump tax plan for 2017 & beyond come families and create new savings accounts for care of children or elderly parents. 4. Eliminate the Net Investment Income Tax of an additional 3.8 percent tax on net investment income from dividends, interest and capital gains. 5. Eliminate the federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes. 6. Postpone capital gains tax until death with an exemption of $5 million ($10 million for married couples). 7. Eliminate the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for individuals. 8. Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for corporations. 9. Reduce corporate taxes from 35% to 15%. The new rules would also allow pass-through entities, such as sole proprietors, to be taxed at this low rate rather than at the higher personal rate. 10. Reduce the incentive for firms to recharacterize their domestic income as foreign-source to avoid US tax with the large reduction in the corporate tax rate. The lower corporate tax rate would also decrease the incentive for a US corporation to move its tax residence overseas

(corporate inversion). 11. Impose a tax on the existing unrepatriated earnings of US firms’ foreign subsidiaries. Earnings held in cash would be taxed at 10 percent and other earnings at 4 percent, with the liability for this one-time tax payable over 10 years. 12. Elect to expense investment in equipment, structures, and inventories, rather than depreciating these purchases over time as current law requires, by both corporations and passthrough businesses. Of course, there’s a price for all these goodies. These tax cuts would add $6 trillion to the national debt. *** Victor Santos Sy graduated Cum Laude from UE with a BBA and from Indiana State University with an MBA. Vic worked with SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV - Andersen Consulting) and Ernst & Young before establishing Sy Accountancy Corporation in Pasadena, California. *** He has 50 years of experience in defending taxpayers audited by the IRS, FTB, EDD, BOE and other governmental agencies. He is publishing a book on his expertise - “HOW TO AVOID OR SURVIVE IRS AUDITS.” Our readers may inquire about the book or email tax questions at (Advertising Supplement)

Hiring a deportation attorney is critical to the success of the case at all the areas of immigration law in order to determine how a particular situation might affect another area of immigration law. For example, somebody might come to the U.S. on a B2 Visitor Visa and get married two weeks later. They might look online to see the forms they need to complete to get a green card based on a marriage petition. Then, at the interview, the case is denied and the applicant is deported. Why? It would have been fraud to get married within 30 days of entry to the U.S under those circumstances. An Immigration Attorney would have clearly seen this issue and advised the clients what to do and how to avoid the allegation of fraud. Another situation might be somebody applying for naturalization in order to become a U.S. Citizen. The Los Angeles immigration attorney

explains that this person received their green card through employment and has no crimes, did not stay outside the U.S. for more than 2 weeks and has good moral character. Sounds easy? In this case, not only was the naturalization denied, but the person was put into deportation/removal proceedings. Why? Because it turns out that the company that petitioned the person for the green card went bankrupt prior to actually working at the company. The naturalization officer stated green card should never have been given. An Immigration Attorney would have seen this issue and prepared the legal arguments accordingly to have a much better chance of winning. Question: Is Immigration Law complicated and does it take a qualified professional? Answer: Immigration Law is


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Protecting Employee & Consumer Rights Atty. C. Joe SAyAS, Jr. THE current political environment has disturbed many immigrants. The administration has touted that immigration laws will strictly be enforced, with tough talk on rounding up immigrants for deportation. This has sowed fear and confusion among immigrants, especially the undocumented. Immigrant workers are especially vulnerable to threats as many employers exploit immigrant workers for cheap labor. Let us clear up the noise from Washington that scares immigrant workers. Make no mistake about it. California laws protect all workers – both the documented and undocumented. These laws remain applicable, and enforceable in the courts. All workers, regardless of immigration status, have the right to the prevailing minimum wage, overtime pay for working more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week, meal breaks and rest breaks, a safe and healthy work environment, and protection against employer retaliation. California law specifically provides that in enforcing state labor and employment laws, a person’s immigration status is irrelevant to the issue of employer liability. However, employer retaliation using immigration status as

Community Journal

Protecting immigrant employees’ rights in today’s politics a weapon is a reality that needs to be dealt with. That is why in 2013, California enacted a law that made employer threats of deportation illegal. It is illegal for an employer (and their attorneys) to threaten to contact immigration authorities for the purpose of retaliating against an employee’s exercise of a legal right, such as claiming overtime wages or reporting safety violations at work. Employees who suffer from an unfair immigration-related practice are entitled to recover damages and penalties. The employer may also be liable for a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. It is also unlawful for an employer, in the course of satisfying its immigration-related obligations under the law, to do any of the following to its employees: (1) Request more or different documents than are required under the law. (2) Refuse to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine. (3) Refuse to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies the authorization to work. (4) Attempt to reinvestigate or re-verify an incumbent employee’s authorization to work using an unfair immigration-related

practice. Throughout these years, our law firm fought to protect the rights of immigrants, whether they are documented or undocumented. An employee is entitled to be paid correctly for all hours worked, and to work in a safe, non-discriminatory environment, regardless of their immigration status. Those who believe that they are not compensated fully or discriminated against by virtue of their disability, race or gender, do not have to suffer in silence. Confidential consultations with experienced employment attorneys are available at no cost to these workers. They should not be intimidated by threats or even by a self-imposed fear of deportation. *** The Law Offices of C. Joe Sayas, Jr. welcomes inquiries about this topic. All inquiries are confidential and at no-cost. You can contact the office at (818) 291-0088 or visit www. *** C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is an experienced trial attorney who has successfully obtained significant recoveries for thousands of employees and consumers. He is named Top Labor & Employment Attorney in California by the Daily Journal, consistently Aselected as Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine, and is a member of the Million Dollar-Advocates Forum. (Advertising Supplement)

President Trump’s recent executive actions on immigration

criminal offense (even without SINCE President Trump’s inany charges filed), “(h)ave enauguration last January 20, 2017, gaged in fraud or willful misrepthe President has issued three resentation in connection with (3) executive actions on immiany official matter or application gration, namely, (1) Executive before a governmental agency”, Order 13769, “Protecting the Na“ (h)ave abused any program tion from Foreign Terrorist Entry related to receipt of public beninto the United States” issued on efits”, and “(i)n the judgment of January 27, 2017; (2) Executive an immigration officer, otherOrder 13768 ,“Enhancing Public wise pose a risk to public safety Safety in the Interior of the Unitor national security.” ed States” issued on January 25, In addition, all sanctuary ju2017, and (3) Executive Order risdictions are not eligible to 13767, “Border Security and Im- Atty. Gwendolyn Malaya-Santos receive federal grants if they remigration Enforcement Improvefuse to comply with the immigration laws, includments” issued on January 25, 2017 as well. Executive Order 13769. This executive order de- ing deportations of aliens. Executive Order 13767. This executive order clared that the entry of aliens from seven (7) countries, namely Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, directs the immediate construction of a physical Syria, and Yemen “would be detrimental to the in- wall on the southern border of the US (US-Mexiterests of the United States”, hence entry into the can border) as a response to “illegal immigration, United States, whether as immigrants (i.e., green drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism” card holders or permanent residents) and nonim- in that area. These executive orders show a significant, mamigrants, are suspended for 90 days. However, apparently in response to public out- jor shift in U.S. immigration policies, in contrast cry, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec- with the previous administration. More executive retary John Kelly, on January 29, 2017, issued a actions are expected to be issued soon, possibly statement that: “(i)n applying the provisions of the including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivpresident’s executive order”, the entry of lawful als (DACA) and other immigration executive acpermanent residents is considered to be in the na- tions issued by President Obama. If you are contemplating of filing any waiver aptional interest. “(A)bsent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat plication or any immigration petition for that matto public safety and welfare, lawful permanent res- ter, it is advisable to seek the counsel of an imident status will be a dispositive factor in our case- migration lawyer to guide you on the intricacies of by-case determinations.” The DHS also issued a filing for such a petition. fact sheet on the same day stating that “lawful *** permanent residents of the United States travel- Atty. Gwendolyn Malaya-Santos is a member of the State Bar of ing on a valid I-551 will be allowed to board U.S. California and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. To schedule bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions for a free initial in-person consultation, please call Tel. Nos. (213) at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate.” Based on 284-5984 or (626) 329-8215. Atty. Santos’ office is located at 3450 recent news report, over 100,000 visas have been Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200-105, Los Angeles, CA 90010. revoked as a result of this executive order. *** Executive Order 13768. This executive order di- Information contained in this article does not, nor is it intended to, constitutes rects the DHS Secretary of to prioritize the removal legal advice for any specific situation and does not create a lawyer-client aliens who, among others, have been convicted of relationship. It likewise does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or any criminal offense, who have been charged with prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. any criminal offense (even without a conviction), We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under have committed acts that constitute a chargeable the Bankruptcy Code. (Advertising Supplement)



Preventing abandonment of your green card due to travel abroad A GREEN card holder can travel outside the US and return with some limitations. If a green card holder is outside the US for an extended period of time, he may be considered to have abandoned his permanent resident status. Brief travel (such as for a vacation) normally will not affect permanent resident status. However, abandonment of permanent resident status is a potential issue for green card holders who have to leave the US for an extended period of time (over 1 year) for one reason or another, such as to finish studies or work abroad. In such situations, how can a person avoid losing his green card? If a person plans to be outside the US for an extended period of time (over 1 year), an application for a reentry permit must be filed. A reentry permit establishes that one did not intend to abandon his green card, and it allows one to apply for admission to the US after being outside the US for up to 2 years without having to obtain a returning resident visa. Reentry permits are normally valid for 2 years from the date of issuance. A permanent resident can re-apply for subsequent reentry permits. Each subsequent reentry permit would be valid for 2 years. As aforementioned, if one is outside the US for an extended period of time without a reentry permit, he may be considered to have abandoned his green card. If a permanent resident has been outside the US for more than 1 year and attempts to re-enter the US, he may be referred to an Immigration Judge to determine whether he has abandoned his permanent resident status. An application for reentry permit should be filed at least 60 days prior to the contemplated extended trip outside the US. While a person does not have to be present in the US at the time his reentry permit application is approved, it is important to file it with sufficient time prior to the trip to allow time to receive the biometrics notice after the application is filed, and have biometrics taken. An applicant must provide his biometrics while in the US. If an applicant leaves the US before biometrics are taken, the USCIS may deny the application. What if a permanent resident has already left the US and either has 1) been outside the US for over 1 year or 2) been outside the US for over 2 years with an expired reentry permit? The Department of State on its website advises to apply for a Returning Resident Visa. To qualify for a Returning Resident Visa, you must show a valid reason why your stay abroad was extended, and that the reason for the extended stay was beyond your control or for which you were not responsible. Another (perhaps better) option would be to re-enter the US--if US customs denies admission due to abandonment of your green card, you will have an opportunity to argue before an Immigration Judge here in the US that you did not abandon permanent resident status. Obtaining a green card often is a difficult process. For some, it takes many years. It is accordingly important to take all steps necessary to maintain permanent resident status once attained. If you plan to be away from the US for an extended period of time, or have been away from the US for an extended period of time without a reentry permit, or a reentry permit that has expired, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney. *** Darrick V. Tan, Esq. is admitted to practice law in California and Nevada. Mr. Tan is a graduate of UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law. He is a member of the Consumers Attorney Association of Los Angeles and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Philipp ine American Bar Association. LAW OFFICES OF DARRICK V. TAN, 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 900, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Tel: (323) 639-0277. Email: info@dtanlaw. com. (Advertising Supplement)

Trump takes aim at borders and undocumented…


ply to every person in the U.S., regardless of immigration status. Those include the right of due process under the law, to remain silent, to ask for an attorney, and to be free from warrantless searches. Immigrants who are arrested and detained are still able to seek bond if eligible, and to seek relief from removal with representation by an attorney. Immigration practice in the

United States is changing rapidly under President Trump. Any person who believes they may be affected by these changes or other rumored changes should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to sift through the rumors and find an answer. ***

Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration firms in the United States with offices in Los

Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Manila. For more Information please call (800) 7958009 or visit Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: Website: *** The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the personalized representation that is essential to every case. (Advertising Supplement)


Debt Relief Atty. LAwrence yAng CLIENT is 65. She still works middle management and earns $37K yearly. Although she is married, I would say that she has some kind of money agreement with her beloved husband that arrangement works well for one side only, and that’s not her side. She herself owes $24K of credit cards. She needs to pay at least $800 a month of minimum interest payments to keep the $24K current every month. With her monthly gross of $3K, her net take home pay is $2500, more or less. From her net pay of $2500, she has to pay 100% of the mortgage of $1600, leaving her $900 for utilities, food and monthly necessities for both herself and her husband. Client feels overwhelmed by the burden of paying $900 a month for credit cards at her age of 65. Next year, she can retire and get full social security benefits. SS benefits of course will be about $1600 in her case, which is less than her current take home pay of $2500. If she still has to worry about $24K of credit cards next year, half her social security would have to go to card payments. This is not something she looks forward to, to say the least. Despair and depression would be a more accurate description of how she feels right now. I tell her not to feel so bad because truthfully, she owes her creditors money only, not her enjoyment of life! “We have strength for all things in Christ who empowers us – He infuses us with inner strength and we are self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency!” — Philippians 4:13 I wanted to say this because client was so depressed and I could see her depression clearly on her face. Please, it’s not the end of life and of the world, as we know it. We all can rely on Jesus who will help us. So, cheer up! Together, we can solve this problem and get rid of this burden. For the husband’s part, he gives her $1K a month as his share of all the household expenses plus the mortgage. And he doesn’t want to file bankruptcy even if he himself owes $40K of credit cards. Supposedly the $1K a month he gives her is half his take home pay. The other

Community Journal

Senior needs Chapter 13 relief for $24K credit cards Formerly rich seniors need Chapter 7 relief

50% he uses to pay his $40K of credit cards, which require at least $1200 a month of minimum payments. He’s still short $200. Perhaps he drives for UBER for the extra $200? Well, let’s just say the wall is about to break even if Mexico did pay for it. Even if POTUS used American-made cement and American citizen workers, the wall will still break under the load of too much credit card debt for this family. Can client file for bankruptcy herself to handle her $22K of credit cards? Yes. Nonfiling husband will be left to his own resources to handle his $40K of credit cards. They have $230K of equity in their house. Her homestead exemption is $175K, so that still leaves $55K of non-exempt equity. This means that she cannot do a Chapter 7 to discharge the $24K. If she did Chapter 7, trustee would sell her house, give her $175K in cash then use the rest of the sale proceeds to pay off the $24K. Who wants to lose their house because of credit cards? Certainly not this client and none of my clients want to lose their house in a Chapter 7. She can, however, file for Chapter 13. In Chapter 13, she will pay $400 a month for 60 months. At the end of the plan, she will be fully paid, because there is no interest in Chapter 13, and the court will give her a discharge order, meaning no more credit card debt! This is $500 less than $900, which is a minimum interest payment only. After paying $900 a month for 60 months, or $54K, she would still owe the very same $24K at the age of 70. Whereas, if she made all the Chapter 13 plan payments of $400 for 60 months, she would have paid $24K only which is all principal, and at the age of 70, she would owe ZERO credit cards. So, I hope client will feel a lot better now that there is light at the end of the tunnel. She can look forward to a good retirement with no credit cards to bother her. The next clients are spouses who are both 64. They have a million dollar house, which unfortunately also has a million dollar mortgage. This mortgage was taken 10 years ago with nothing down and interest only for 10 years. The problem is two months from now, 10 years

would have been reached and the interest only portion expires. When interest only portion expires, guess what, you have to start paying principal too. With principal payments, mortgage payment will double, from $3k to $6K. Time to let the house go. There is minimal equity. Clients have listed the house for sale for over a million with no offers. Just some dogs sniffing around, and stray cats looking for food. No serious buyers. As POTUS would tweet out “NOT NICE!” There is a second mortgage of $150K. And credit cards of $60K. If the house is not timely sold for the right price, the right price being, at least $1.15M, then eventually the first mortgage holder will foreclose. When that happens, they will not owe anything on the $1.0M first mortgage, but they will still owe the $150K, which becomes an unsecured debt, like a credit card debt. So, if the house is not sold, clients will owe about $200K of unsecured debt. I suggest a Chapter 7 to wipe out all debt. Let the house go if it is not sold, and go look for another residence now that is more reasonable in mortgage payments. They have two successful children who will help them purchase the new house anyway. God blesses them with two children who care for them. What more can they ask for? Good health and children who care for them. Our God has blessed them with abundance. Yes, I did not forget that clients were formerly rich. They had $750K of retirement funds. But alas, they lost all of it in the stock market. I feel bad for them losing this fortune. Losing this fortune is another story. But they do have two children who are good enough to buy them a new house, so that makes up for the lost fortune. God takes care of them through their children. “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20 *** Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803. (Advertising Supplement) • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

On bringing the light of Jesus to all people

To Live With Faith reverend rodeL g. BALAgtAs

eryone, especially the poor, the sinners, the sick, the hungry, and the homeless. More and more, “THE just man is a light in we seem to forget that the Lord darkness to the upright.” — calls us to be his light to those Psalm 112 who suffer and are lost. For as As the priest sprinkled the Jesus tells us in the Gospel this candles with Holy Water, he re- Sunday (Matthew 5:13-16): “You minded us that God is the source are the salt of the earth…You are of light to all people. And as we the light of the world.” processed to the Church with Whatever political leanings lighted candles to celebrate we embrace, whoever the presiMass, he prayed that we reach this light that never fails through Jesus Christ, our Lord. This event was last Thursday in the seminary during the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 40 days after the joyful feast of the Nativity of our Savior. It was a feast to remember the day when Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the temple and when Simeon and Anna recog- dent we believe and support, we nized Jesus as the Messiah, the Christians should remember the Savior of all nations. mandate of God from the time What a beautiful feast to cele- he journeyed with the people of brate on an ordinary day, a feast Israel: that is full of meaning especially “Share your bread with the in the political climate of this hungry; shelter the oppressed country and the world. A feast and the homeless; clothe naked day like this one should affect when you see them, and do not our lives and make us reflect on turn your back on your own. the happenings around us. Then your light shall break forth More and more, many people like the dawn, and your wound seem to forget that Jesus came shall quickly be healed; your vinto bring light into darkness to ev- dication shall go before you, and

the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:7-10) Indeed, we must take care of our people and not “turn our back” on them. We must provide security and the jobs to our fellow citizens. But the Gospel calls us to the greater responsibility of loving our “neighbors”: men, women, and children in our neighboring countries that suffer persecution, famine, and homelessness. The political issues in this country may be complicated, and one must understand the different facts and point of views, but to be true to baptismal identity as Christians, we must bring the light of hope to others. As the Gospel relates, our light must shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our heavenly Father. ***

Share your bread with the hungry; shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Calendar of Events across

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



TFC presents Fil-Am game changers panel in Long Beach, CA The Filipino Channel (TFC) presents “Breaking the Mold,” featuring Fil-Am game changers on Saturday, February 4 at Beach Auditorium at California State University, Long Beach. Speakers include Chef Charleen Caabay (winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped), Roslynn Alba Cobrrubias (co-founder of MyDiveo), Singer-Songwriter AJ Rafael and TV host/journalist Ginger Conejero. TFCU seeks to help Fil-Am students and groups energize Filipino pride on their campuses. The event is from 12-5 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit

“Quiapo” book launch in Los Angeles Come to Echo Park Library on Saturday, February 4 for a book launch and reading of “Blood, Sweat, Hope, and Quiapo: Rodallie S. Mosende’s Story” by award-winning documentary photographer Rick Rocamora. Echo Park Library is located at 1410 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

F E B R UA RY 1 1

FALW to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Seal Beach, CA The Filipino Association of Leisure World will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dinnerdance at the Clubhouse #2 at 1232 Golden Rain Road, Seal Beach, CA on February 11. Music will be provided by The Midnight Motion Band. For other related questions, please call the president of the association, Ren Villanueva at (323) 854-6209.

F E B R UA RY 1 8

Free parenting class in Eagle Rock, CA Come to a free parenting class in Eagle Rock on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. It will be held at the Eagle Rock Lutheran Church at 5032 Maywood Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90041. To RSVP, please call (323) 304-9898.


CSFLU to hold dinner-dance in Brea, CA The City of San Fernando La Union Association (CSFLU) will hold its annual dinnerdance at the Embassy Suites in Brea, CA on March 11. Music will be provided by Willie Manacsa & The Midnight Motion Band. For more information, please call Vangie So, president of the association at (626) 485-3110.


CAUSE’s annual gala in Los Angeles Join Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) for its annual gala on Thursday, April 20. It will be held at LA Hotel’s California Ballroom at 333 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact or visit

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

Hiring a deportation attorney is critical to the…


like a 10,000 piece puzzle. If an Immigration Attorney is a certified specialist in immigration law, then he or she can look how one situation might affect another area of immigration law. In fact, the immigration attorney who is experienced in immigration law can most likely see paths to get the desired result (which would be to either stay in the U.S., get to the U.S. or avoid getting deported.) Immigration officials do not always tell the truth. For example, many ICE officials will go to an immigration detainee and claim there is no hope and they will be in detention for 20 years and to

just sign the paper. What they do not say is that only an Immigration Attorney can give the real truth about what opportunities exist and what possibilities there are. Additionally, detainees are not required to sign the document. In fact, the only realistic document a detainee signs is to self-deportation. They basically are giving the green light to ICE officials to send them out of the country without their day in Court. Remember, you are just a number to the government attorney and to the Immigration Judge. They have a full load on their docket every single day and to easily get rid of a case is

to their benefit. When you have a deportation lawyer who is experienced, you can properly fight your case and have a chance to win without being swept under the rug or deported. *** Atty. Brian D. Lerner has been an Immigration Attorney for nearly a quarter of a century. He is married to a Filipina and has helped thousands of Filipino families all over the country. In addition to his offices in Southern California in Long Beach and Carson, he has an office in Quezon City. He is a certified specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Legal Board of Specialization, California State Bar. The initial consultation is free. Call (562) 495-0554 and/or send an e-mail to (Advertising Supplement)

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Farewell mass for Bishop Solis A FAREWELL mass was held on Wednesday, February 1 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, in honor of Bishop Oscar Solis, who was recently appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah by Pope Francis. Solis will be installed on Tuesday, March 7, making him the first Filipino-American bishop to lead a diocese in the United States. Bishop Solis was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles on December 11, 2003 by Pope John Paul II and was ordained on February 10, 2004, becoming the first FilipinoAmerican elevated to the episcopacy in the history of the United States. He was later promoted to auxiliary bishop of the San Pedro Pastoral District in 2009. For the past seven years, Solis has been responsible for overseeing 67 parishes and eight Catholic high schools in Los Angeles and Long Beach. He has also been the episcopal advisor for the National Association of Filipino Priests since 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese,â&#x20AC;? Solis previously said following his appointment on Tuesday, January 10. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local Church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.â&#x20AC;? n AJPress photos by Ding Carreon

"Foreign Relations: Ä&#x;Â?ÄŻĹ?Ă­Äž Coming Together" Ă&#x20AC;Ă°ÄąĂ&#x192;̾įPçįÂ&#x152;Ĺ&#x2030;Â&#x152;ÌIJįĹĂ&#x20AC;Â? Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x192;Ä&#x2030;Ă&#x192;ĂŚĂŽĂ&#x201A;Ă&#x;Â&#x152;Ä&#x;Ă&#x192;qPç qĂ­Ă&#x;Ă&#x;ĽÌĂ&#x192;ÄąĹ&#x17D;įĤĂ&#x20AC;Ă­Ä˝Ă&#x2DC;Â&#x192; Ă&#x2022;ĂŚĂ­Ĺ&#x160;ÄŻPdíĽIJÄ&#x2022;

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The Asian Journal would be delighted to list your event in our Calendar of Events.

C FEBRUARY 4-7, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

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& Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ

ON January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Among the EO’s more controversial provisions are: • a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country; • an indefinite ban on refugees “On investors and BPOs (business process outsourcing companies), I believe the investment from Syria; and • a 90-day bar on citizens from attractiveness of the Philippines will continue to be here due to the quality of human resources and costs that we have,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said. Philstar.coom photo Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (later modified to allow immigrants/green cardholders from these seven countries to continue to return to the US.) While the EO primarily focuses on terrorism and controlling entry of people from Muslim countries, reported cases of American compa- there are other provisions of that by Richmond meRcuRio nies which have expressed interest EO which could affect Filipinos in to expand but decided to hold off applying for visas or seeking entry MANILA - The country’s trade investments for now as they wait for into the US. In particular, there is to be a comprehensive review and investment landscape can clearer policies from Trump. According to AmCham senior of “information needed from any withstand the possibility of muted investments coming from American advisor John Forbes, the Philip- country to adjudicate any visa, adcompanies due to uncertainties pines would see a slowdown in mission, or other benefit under the over the policies of US President investments from American compa- INA . . . in order to determine that Donald Trump, Trade Secretary nies over the short term as Trump’s the individual seeking the benefit policies are unveiled. is who the individual claims to be Ramon Lopez said. PEZA director general Charito “On investors and BPOs (business process outsourcing com- Plaza has also said that a number panies), I believe the investment of American locators, especially attractiveness of the Philippines BPOs, have decided to hold off will continue to be here due to the expansion in the country. US Ambassador to the Philipquality of human resources and costs that we have,” Lopez told pines Sung Kim, however, downplayed reports that American comThe Star. “And for manufacturers, the panies investment in the business access to our huge market of 109 process outsourcing (BPO) industry million Filipinos and to the 600-mil- in the Philippines would slowlion ASEAN (Association of South- down. “I’m not terribly concerned that east Asian Nations) market (will continue to keep the investment somehow we will see downtrend attractiveness of the Philippines),” in the US engagement in the BPO industry here anytime soon,” Kim he said. Both the Philippine Economic said during the Makati Business Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Club’s General Membership MeetAmerican Chamber of Commerce ing. of the Philippines (AmCham) have PAGE D5

Philippines seen to weather Trump headwinds


Analysts warn PH: Brace for market volatility by mayvelin

u. caRaballo

Philippines should continue to brace itself for volatility in the AFTER the US Federal Reserve global financial markets, analysts decided to keep its key interest said Thursday, Feb. 2. rates unchanged in the face of a They said while the Fed move favorable economic outlook, the provides a temporary relief for the markets, the Philippines must prepare for possible US rate hikes later in the year. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it will take into consideration the Fed’s decision last night to keep interest rates unchanged when the central bank’s monetary board meets next week. “As expected the Fed kept its rates on hold. Its relatively positive outlook on the US economy suggested it is on track with policy tightening this year,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a text message to reporters on Thursday. The Federal Open Market ComPAGE D2 BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.

Volkswagen now top European car brand in PH by Richmond


MANILA - German car maker Volkswagen emerged as the top European automotive brand in the Philippines last year, the Ayala Group’s automotive unit said. Within three years of operations, Volkswagen Philippines said it managed to break through the 1,000-unit sales mark after selling 1,060 units in 2016, 76 percent higher from the previous year. “Volkswagen Philippines’ overall sales performance was attained during a period when it expanded its dealership network and received 14 awards and citations for its various models and CSR efforts,” the company, which is

under Ayala Corp.’s AC Industrials, said. Volkswagen Philippines said its entire product lineup which includes the Beetle, Touareg, Tiguan, Touran, Golf and Golf GTI, Polo sedan and hatchback, and Jetta compact sedan have been well received in the local market. In addition, the firm said its dealer network played a major factor in bringing the brand experience closer to customers, making their car purchase decisions easier and accessible. Aside from five dealers located in the cities of Taguig, Quezon, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa and Cebu, Volkswagen Philippines added three more outside Metro Manila in 2016. PAGE D2

Business Quote of the Week “America has the potential for the greatest economic boom and spiritual renewal in our history. But we’re being held back by Washington politics as usual. It’s time we move forward.” - Steve Forbes, owner Forbes Business Magazine


Trump’s executive order (on protecting the US from foreign terrorists) could also affect Filipinos

and is not a security or public safety threat.” There will be more focus/ emphasis on identifying people, and making sure they will not enter the US under an assumed named passport (or the passport of some other person with their photo). Another provision of the EO is the government will “implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the US on a fraudulent basis . . .” As part of this program of screening people, there will be in–person interviews and “a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants. . .” Many Filipinos entered the US on photo–substituted passports, and then mailed the passport back to the agency, who re–used that same passport for another client. Or, sometimes people submit manufactured land titles or tax returns purchased from Recto Street in applying for visitor visas. The person who sold them that document may have used the same tax return or land title many times in the past. This new program may detect that the same document has been used

in the past. The EO also calls for DHS to “expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry–exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States. . .” Currently, people are fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the US, but there really is no similar tracking system for when they leave the US. Now, upon exiting the US, people may again be fingerprinted and photographed. If they came to visit and were given six months, there may be an alert that pops up in Homeland Security’s computers, that there is no evidence the person left, in which case Homeland Security may take steps to track them down and possibly place them in removal proceedings. The EO will also “immediately suspend the visa interview waiver program,” and instead require that “all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in–person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.” In other words, no more drop-box renewal of visas. As you can see, when Trump campaigned, he stated he would get tough on immigration, but many people thought it was only

campaign talk, and he would change once elected. But these EO’s demonstrate he means business, and is really cracking down on people who overstay, or committed fraud in obtaining visas or entry to the US. That is why it is important that anyone who has immigration issues or problems, should seek the assistance of an attorney to help or represent them, versus trying to do it on their own. *** Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorneyclient relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: (866)—GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES · SAN FRANCISCO · NEW YORK · PHILIPPINES (Advertising Supplement)

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Japan firms line up for PH business after Abe pitch by Doris


JAPANeSe firms, especially those in the infrastructure business, are scrambling for a slice of prospective new businesses arising from Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s 1-trillion-yen (P440-billion) financing and investment pledge to the Philippines. This was stated by Japanese banking giant Bank of TokyoMitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU), a leading player in project financing globally, which has been matching Japanese firms with potential local partners in support of Mr. Abe’s commitment to the Philippines. The Japanese bank is also preparing to fund large-scale projects in the Philippines under the golden age of infrastructure envisioned by President Duterte. Takayoshi Futae, BTMU chief executive officer for Asia & Oceania, said in a recent briefing that BTMU and many Japanese firms were upbeat on the 1-trillion-yen package pledged by Abe to promote economic and infrastructure development in the Philippines within the next five years. “This is one of Japan’s largest investment directed at a single country and we really want to be part of this project,” said the Singapore-based Futae, who was in town for a series of meetings with BTMU’s local partner,

Security Bank. “MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group—of which BTMU is part of) is very committed to supporting Asia’s growth. We not only have the financial capability but also strong network and strategic relationships across the region,” he said. Futae is unfazed by China’s bid to do more business in the Philippines—given the recent rekindling of bilateral ties with China—adding that there was enough business in the region for both Japanese and Chinese firms. Tadahiro Miyamoto, general manager of BTMU Philippines, said representatives of many Japanese prefectures (local government units) had been visiting the Philippines “trying to find market for their products.” With its 100-million consumer market, he said many Japanese firms were interested in doing business in the Philippines. Miyamoto said Japanese infrastructure-related companies and those targeting domestic markets like retailers were among those most interested in the Philippines. Those involved in the car industry are likewise interested because of the government’s “CARS” program, he said. The government’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program seeks to attract new investments, stimulate demand and effectively implement industry regu-

lations that will revitalize the Philippine automotive industry, and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub. The program covers not only car assemblers but also manufacturers of vehicle parts. Futae said the 6-7 percent growth rate of the country was “amazing” from the perspective of someone who hails from a slow-growing economy like Japan. “Philippines and Japan should work more together,” he said. To better understand the country and flesh out its commitment, Futae said BTMU was in need of a strong and reliable local partner—now the role of Security Bank. Since acquiring a 20-percent stake in Security Bank in April last year, he said BTMU had been able to expand into retail lending and financing to Philippine companies. During recent meetings, Futae said BTMU and Security Bank discussed “further collaboration” and everyone was “bullish on the success of the collaboration.” Asked whether BTMU was keen on raising its interest in the local bank, Futae said the group was comfortable with its 20-percent stake but added that if given the opportunity to increase its stake in Security Bank, this would be something that the group would “seriously” consider.

Volkswagen now top European car brand... PAGE D1

These new dealerships are located in San Fernando City in Pampanga, Iloilo City, and Bacolod City. This year,Volkswagen Philippines said it expects more room

for growth for european brands in terms of sales as more car buyers become more financially empowered and they start to look beyond price points to “level up” to the premium segments. “Volkswagen, built up by gen-

erations upon generations of world-class German automotive engineering and design excellence, is seen to be top-of-mind of more Filipino car buyers who have trusted this iconic brand for decades,” it said.

PH to top consumption, investment in ASEAN The Philippines will be one of the two countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that will top consumption and investment growth in the region this year, global bank hSBC said. “The Philippines and Vietnam will top the consumption and investment ranks,” the Londonbased bank said in a report released on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

This year, consumption in the Philippines is projected to grow 7.1 percent, which hSBC regards as impressive despite the slowdown from 2016, given that the 7.3 percent increase recorded last year was largely fueled by election-related spending. Consumer spending in Indonesia and Vietnam is expected to pick up this year, the former from 5 percent to 5.2 percent, and the latter from 5.9 percent to 6.4 percent it said. Low debt levels “We think the Philippines and Indonesia are the best all-rounders, given low household debt and contained fiscal deficits,” the bank said. “Very little of the consumption growth in these countries will be driven by household debt, which is set to remain below 20 percent of GDP [gross domestic product]. Instead… consumption will continue to be supported by robust labor market and wage conditions, which have been tightening for some time,” hSBC added. The report noted that employment in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the Philippines and Vietnam, has held up well despite weak global demand, though these job gains have been overreliant on electronics. Support from remittances In the Philippines, further support to consumption will continue to come from remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFW), according to the bank’s projections. “Indeed, should US economic growth accelerate to 2.3 percent in 2017 and 2.7 percent in 2018 as we expect (from 1.6 percent in 2016), remittances could receive a larger boost, not only from potentially stronger OFW wages, but also a more favorable exchange rate as the US dollar appreciates,” it added.

Investment in infra The banking giant also stressed that the Philippines and Vietnam will show the fastest pace of growth in consumption, as well as in investment. “Capital outlays in Vietnam should rise to 7.5 percent this year from 7 percent in 2016, while in the Philippines, investment growth should remain in double digits,” it said. An over-arching driver of the strong investment story for both economies is the much-needed development of infrastructure, ports, airports, roads, railroads, airports, power and water plants, and so forth, it added. hSBC said the Philippine government is allowing its budget deficit to grow to 3 percent of GDP in 2017 to absorb infrastructure spending, which it sees rising to an equivalent of at least 5 percent of GDP. The Duterte administration plans to continue increasing infrastructure spending to 7 percent of GDP by the end of his term – significantly boosting the overall contribution of investment to the structure of growth in the Philippines. “Fortunately, fiscal consolidation in recent years will allow the government to pursue fiscal expansion, and low public debt levels suggest this spending is sustainable for now. The government is also hoping to accelerate publicprivate partnership (PPP) projects to co-opt more financing from the private sector,” it added. hSBC has said that this year, the Philippine economy is set to remain resilient, with GDP growth at 6.5 percent. That indicates a slowdown from a 6.8 percent expansion in 2016 and shows congruence with the lower end of the government’s official target growth range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Analysts warn PH: Brace for... PAGE D1 mittee (FOMC) decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0.50 to 0.75 percent, saying that the policy stance remains accommodative to further support strengthening of the labor market and a return to 2 percent inflation. The FOMC expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate which is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. Tetangco said the FOMC economic outlook is roughly consistent with what the BSP incorporated in its baseline scenario. “We will note this development at our policy meeting next week, as well as the inflation outlook over the policy horizon,” he said, referring to the February 9 Monetary Board meeting. On December 22 last year, the Bangko Sentral kept its reverse repurchase (RRP) facility rate at 3 percent, and the corresponding rates for overnight lending at 3.5 percent and deposit facilities at 2.5 percent. The reserve requirement ratio was also left at 20 percent. Volatilities emilio Neri Jr., Bank of the Philippine Islands vice president and chief economist, said the Fed’s latest policy stance provides a temporary relief for the markets. “however, given inflation trends and Trump’s protectionist policies, market continues to be aware there could be 2 or 3 rate hikes later this year. This should continue to be negative for portfolio flows in the bond market,” he said. Rajiv Biswas, IhS Markit chief economist, noted the FOMC members recognized that US consumer and business sentiment have picked up since the Presidential

election in November, increasing the upside risks for US economic growth in 2017. “Furthermore the FOMC has also projected that inflation would rise to 2 percent over the mediumterm. IhS Markit expects the Fed to hike policy rates three times in 2017, in response to stronger US economic growth and rising inflation,” he said. The US Fed rate hikes this year are expected to support a stronger dollar against many global currencies, including Asian currencies such as the yen, yuan, ringgit and peso. “If US growth and inflation indicators exceed market expectations, there is also a risk that the Fed could tighten more quickly than expected, creating risks of turbulence in global financial markets,” Biswas noted. earlier, private financial institutions expected the peso to weaken within the P50:$1-to-P52:$1 range toward the end of the year, with the most pessimistic view painting a scenario of worsening risk sentiment in case of a hardline trade stance between China and the US. The peso closed at P49.72 against the greenback in 2016, depreciating by 5.35 percent from a year earlier. Fitch-owned BMI Research placed the peso-dollar rate P50:$1, the strongest, while ING Bank Manila expected the peso to trade on the weak side at P52:$1. First Metro Investments Corp. (FMIC) sees the peso trading at P51 against the dollar, staying under pressure as the US economy continues to gain traction and lead to a stronger US currency. UBS noted the peso could fall to P51 to a dollar as the Philippine economy slows down, while the external position continues to deteriorate and inflation accelerates later this year.

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Health@Heart PhiliP S. Chua, MD, FaCS, FPCS The US-FDA has issued warning on the use of tanning beds at home and at tanning salons: tanning increases the risk for melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, up to 59 percent! More than 2.5 million teens, mostly girls, use tanning booths each year in the United States. Just like with poison, the more exposure, the more sessions, the higher the risk. The data are from the National Health Interview Survey’s Cancer Control Supplement, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The World Health Organization has also determined that UV rays from tanning beds cause cancer. The second most common cancer, melanoma has the following 5-year survival rates: About 95 percent for Stage IA, when diagnosed early, and between 5 to 20 percent for stage IV, when it has already spread to other organs. Amazingly UV rays emitted from tanning beds are up to 15 times greater (deadlier) than the rays from the sun. Melanoma kills one person every 50 minutes, or about 28 every day. And these are useless and preventable deaths! Let us review some facts about sunlight and its harmful UV rays. What in sunlight is beneficial and harmful to us? The sun and its light are not only beautiful but vital to our life and survival on this planet. Without the sun, we will be frozen to death, and life forms on earth will cease to exist as we know it today. About 75% of our body’s supply of Vitamin D is generated by our skin’s exposure to sunlight (UV-B rays in particular). Abnormally low blood levels of Vitamin D increases the risk of colon and breast cancers and may also speed up the growth of an existing or early melanoma. Of course, Vitamin D can be taken by mouth. The harmful effects of sunlight comes from its ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which could be dangerous to our health in more ways than one, depending on the amount of exposure and dose that a person gets. What are the sun-related diseases of the eye? Cataracts (cloudiness of the lens), which, in severe forms, could cause blindness, especially with exposure to UV-B radia-



Tanning and skin cancer Good health is more precious than wealth tion; macular degeneration, the major cause of impaired vision in the USA for people older than 55; photokeratitis, a reversible sunburn of the cornea, also from excessive exposure to UV-B; pterygium, growth of pinkish tissues on the white of the eye, which may spread on the clear cornea and block vision. This results when one has prolonged sun exposure on the beach or snow without eye protection, and can be very painful for 1-2 days, with temporary blindness. Even with eye cover, the high dose of UV rays from a tanning bed is still most harmful to vision. A nice tan is too high a price to pay for blindness, much less cancer. How about adverse affects on the skin? Excessive exposure to UV rays predisposes to skin cancer, which includes the face and the eyelids, besides skin in other parts of the body. There are three major types of cancers of the skin: Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common one; Squamous Cell Carcinoma, second most common; and Malignant Melanoma, the most deadly, but fortunately, the rarest. Malignant Melanoma spreads easily and often deadly if not caught early. How prevalent are skin cancers? This is an epidemic and is a global phenomenon. In 1978, in the United States alone, there were 480,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers, which rose to over one million in 1994, with a growth rate of 7% per year. In Canada, from 1970-1986, melanoma frequency rose 6% per year for men and 4.6% per year for women. Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. It is said that by age 75, two out of three Australians will have been treated for some type of skin cancer. In the United States, the estimated 30,000 cancer deaths each year could be prevented if Americans, who love sunbathing, do not over-expose themselves to the sun. How do we protect ourselves from UV radiation? First and foremost, let us not intentionally expose ourselves to UV rays, thru tanning salons (a costly way) or via the sun (for free). Just like anything in life, moderation is the key when it comes to the sun. Tanning beds must be avoided at all cost. While Americans laugh at Asian women when the latter stay under the shade or umbrella on the beach, they also recognize that Asian

women’s complexions look more youthful, with less wrinkles, and that Asian women look younger in general, compared to Caucasian females. Asian women also have lower incidence of sun-related diseases. Since UV radiation comes not only from the sun but is reflected from the ground, snow, sand, water, and other reflective surfaces, the use of a wide-brimmed hat or cap will reduce the UV radiation to the eyes by 50%. Wraparound UV absorbing eyewear provides the greatest protection because it also limits radiation from the peripheral rays. Polarized sunglasses or transition lenses reduce glare but do not, by themselves, provide protection from UV radiation. Sunglasses, and or prescription lenses, that absorb 99-100% of the full UV spectrum to 400 nm are the best for babies, children and adults. Labels on sunglasses should be closely scrutinized to make sure that they say the lenses absorb 99-100% of both the UV-B and UV-A. If they do not have labels, do not buy them. Consumers must be cautious when the label claims the lenses “block harmful UV” but does not specify how much. For skin cancer protection, do not rely on sunscreen skin lotion. The best is not to sunbathe for more than 15 to 20 minutes, and apply “physical” sunscreen lotion. Wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hat when you go outside during sunny days. Avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM if possible. Also, it has been shown that taking vitamin C, D, and E and selenium protects against the damages of UV rays by lessening the adverse effects of the UV rays on the immune system. If one must absolutely be out in the sun, he/she must wear a “physical” sunscreen with a SPF of 15, which contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or talc. “Physical” sunscreen works by reflecting the UV radiation rather than absorbing the sunscreen into the skin. Doubling the amount of the lotion, or re-applying it later in the day, does not confer added protection. The best is to minimize sun exposure to a safe degree. Tanning beds are dangerous and must be avoided. Lastly, if you develop any skin spots or notice any mole in your body to be growing larger or darker, or feel any lumps in your body, consult your physician PAGE D5

The Metamorphosis

ErniE D. DElFin IT is a fact—oftentimes life’s irony—that many people utilize most of their waking hours in pursuit of accumulating wealth while forgetting about their own health along the way. Suddenly, a debilitating disease comes and haunts them that causes the deterioration their body. Then, their lives are no longer in equilibrium and will never be the same. Like a disabled automobile, due to lack of regular tune-ups and necessary maintenance, the body suddenly is unable to function as it is supposed to. It will take more time, energy and treasure to make it running again. The incapacitated person then tries to work overtime, spending more time, more energy and more money to heal himself. Occasionally, the damage is irreversible and the illness may result into an untimely death. Whenever a family member is struck with this tragedy, it brings remorse and unquantifiable regrets and a bitter lesson that indeed “health is more precious than wealth!” Realizing the extreme importance of health, the Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA (where I am also a member of under its Projects Management Council and the Media & Publicity Committee) is starting the new year with its “Health & Wealth Forum.” The “Health & Wealth Forum” coincides with Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA’s general membership meeting on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at Marriott Courtyard headquarters in Cypress, California. It’s open to the public and admission is free, with complimentary light lunch courtesy of the Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA and their corporate sponsor American Pacific Container Line, Inc. “This is a continuing community outreach program of PB-USA NextGen that started last year focusing on mini-seminars on health, insurance, living trust and Medicare, etc. Health issues forum is just an excellent continuation of what has been started, as Health Evolution Company portfolio has an exciting package for health and wealth for PB-USA and the community at large,” said PB USA’s esteemed leader Eddie Ferrer when asked

Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA sponsors ‘Health Forum 2017’

why a health forum was chosen as a topic in their meeting. “Health Evolution founders, Mike ‘Iron Eagle’ Pestano and Nicole Parker, are the featured guest speakers during the forum. They are perfect role models on better health living with an inspiring front to gain wealth on products and services that they share with passion!” Health Evolution is intensely focused on health-related issues like the promotion of nutritious food and appropriate exercises. The first speaker, Mike, is a living proof of his advocacy of good health, which is within reach of every one with effective planning, disciplined choices of proper food and exercise. Complementing Mike’s expertise is Nicole Parker, who is writing the syllabus of their forthcoming online courses on “Losing Unnecessary Weight” and “Proper Dieting.” These two speakers are worth listening to simply for their very important message as well as the factual story they will share. Consider the background of “Iron Eagle” Mike, who was once extremely obese weighing about 300 pounds, and was diabetic several years ago. He lacked energy and was sickly that resulted to his hospitalization for days. From that situation, he made up his mind to reverse his life’s conditions. He started a disciplined lifestyle regimen with nutrition and exercise program. He lost 35lbs. in his first twelve weeks without starving, drugs and no surgery. He continued to lose weight and eventually lost over 107lbs. in 16 months and have kept that weight off permanently until now. His life story is compelling enough to inspire others undergoing the same challenges. He and Nicole are inviting everyone to come listen to his stellar transformation and learn techniques that enable a person to achieve own weight loss goals permanently. His advocacy and progressive technique is not a crashcourse program or trendy fad diet. Learn from his over two decades of knowledge on nutrition and exercise. To add more flavor to his inspiring story, the other half of the forum will feature Nicole as she presents her expertise of transforming your business successfully in

this digital age. Born as an only child in Orange County, Nicole grew up in an environment of hospitality industry where she got excellent communication and customer service skills since her high school years. She then enrolled at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), a design school, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She then became a creative social media and marketing expert. She is a relentless entrepreneur who also enjoys traveling, dancing and classical music. She hopes to help other people’s businesses. *** To complement this Health Forum 2017, Healthy Evolution and the Global Kalinga e-Rotary Club, where Mike and Nicole are also members, with co-sponsors in the health related industries and interested community organizations and non-profits, like the UCI Rotaract Clubs, PB-USA, Red Cross and hospitals sponsors and vendors are planning a “Health Walkathon” in May or June at the Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley California. The event will start with some warm up exercises led by the Event Chair, Mike, the Walkathon, and healthy snack and more practical tips to become a healthier person. The organizers are inviting vendors and health professionals to have their products and services seen by hundreds of expected participants. More announcements will be made on social media, flyers and in several newspapers very soon. If interested to participate, you may contact the Chair, Mike at his email, or his co-chair, GKeRotary Club founder, Ernie Delfin at ernie. You may also contact PB-USA leaders, Eddie Ferrer @ or Bong Soriano @ believe1156@ *** Breaking news: a charter member of our GKeRotary Club, Dr. Felix Puno Lapuz, D.V. M. has suffered a fatal heart attack on Sunday, Jan 29, less than 24 hours upon his arrival in the Philippines from Los Angeles! Please pray for the repose of his soul. *** Email: Website:

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DENR shuts down 23 mining areas

EnvIrOnMEnT Secretary Gina Lopez on Thursday, Feb. 2 announced an order for the closure of 23 mines, mainly for ruining watershed areas and “indiscriminate mining.” “It is time for social justice. You cannot run your business and affect our farmers and fishermen. This is not acceptable under the Duterte administration and not acceptable under the DEnr (Department of Environment and natural resources),” Lopez said. She also suspended five mining firms. Following the mining industry’s disruption that involved some firms related to several publicly listed companies, the mining and oil index fell by 1.65 percent on Thursday. Shares of Benguet Corp. and Oriental Peninsula resources Group Inc. slid by 10.38 percent. Appeal to the President Lopez said the mine operators could appeal the closure or suspension order to the President. In a speech on Thursday, President rodrigo Duterte said he had told Lopez to be fair and legal. Four of the Zambales mines set to be closed are extracting nickel in a functional watershed, Lopez said. Three mines in Homonhon in Eastern Samar province, she said, caused the “siltation of coastal waters (and) destruction of the watershed” on the island. Lopez also ordered the closure of seven mines on Dinagat Islands.

Social injustice “What happened in Dinagat is social injustice, the mountain was denuded,” she said. “Did you know that there is a natural bonsai forest in Dinagat? We can put an eco-lodge there. I want Dinagat to rest and maximize the bonsai forest for ecotourism.” She also wanted shuttered seven mines in Surigao del norte province. The mines are operating mostly in a watershed and have caused siltation of nearby waters, she said. “Water is life. To have any kind of mining operations in watersheds—not just proclaimed watersheds, even functional watersheds—is unacceptable. You cannot have any kind of mining operation in a watershed. That’s like saying, ‘The gold or nickel is more important than the water our people drink.’ We will not allow the water of our people to be at risk for any business interest,” she said. She noted that Hinatuan Mining—part of nickel Asia—caused the “destruction of the island” of the same name. Half of PH nickel output Of the mines facing closure, 17 are involved in nickel production. These firms altogether represented about half of the country’s annual nickel output, Lopez said. The Philippines has been the world’s biggest supplier of nickel since 2012, following Indonesia’s ban on mineral exports.

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez

In the wake of the mine closures, the environment chief said she was considering an “area development approach” in the affected communities, which largely entails developing ecotourism and natural resource-based industries. Rehabilitation funds She said she planned to use the mine rehabilitation funds from the closed mines for that venture. Lopez reiterated that she was not opposed to mining but was against the suffering of people in communities that hosted mines. “I don’t care about the money. I just care that our people should not suffer,” she said. “Why should they suffer? So that the stock market goes up? What’s more important—the stock market or the well-being of our people?” she added. (Doris Dumlao-Abadilla and Alan Nawal/

Philippines seen to weather Trump... PAGE D1

He said the Philippines has successful BPO operations and remains an attractive location for American BPO companies. He said the country also has competitive wages. In addition, there is very strong cultural affinity that drives US businesses to set up BPO operations in the Philippines instead of other countries.

For its part, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said that “amidst the positive outlook, the IT-BPM industry shares the concern of the national and local governments, industry regulators, legislators, the financial sector, and all other stakeholders regarding the future development of trade policies between the Philippines

and the United States.” Expected to pick up the slack in US investments, however, are investments coming from China and Japan. In terms of trade, Lopez said the Philippines would continue to take advantage of its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) privilege with the US and also its GSP Plus status with the European Union.

reckless entrepreneurs out to rob the ignorant people of their hardearned money while exposing them to cancer and death..

holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@

Tanning and skin cancer PAGE D3

without delay. If treated early and caught in time, most skin cancers are curable. To our legislators and civic leaders: Tanning beds and tanning salons must be banned to protect the public from the unconscionable, greedy, and


*** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he




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