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January 7-10, 2017 Volume 26 - No. 107 • 4 Sections – 32 Pages

Duterte open to joint military drills, warming ties with Russia by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte is open to having joint war exercises with Russia, Malacañang Palace said on Thursday, January 5. Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, however, clarified, that Duterte remains opposed to the permanent stay of foreign soldiers in the country. Following the arrival of two Russian Navy vessels earlier this week, Russia said that is considering holding joint exercises with the Philippine Navy that focus on countering piracy and terrorism. The anti-submarine Navy vessel Admiral Tributs and sea tanker Boris Butoma docked in Manila on Tuesday, January 3, for a five-day goodwill visit. During a press conference, Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of Flotilla of Pacific Fleet of

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FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

Veteran homelessness in LA down 32% in 2016 THE City of Los Angeles is notorious for having the largest population of homeless people in the United States. Furthermore, LA has more homeless United States veterans than any other city in the country. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), there are more than 45,000 homeless individuals in the county with veterans covering about 10 percent of that population. Over the last few years, the city — led by Mayor Eric Garcetti — has been collaborating with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community organizations and nonprofits to zero-in on the issue of veteran homelessness. In 2016, veteran homelessness in LA

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Two Vegas families work to overcome differences after antiFilipino rant goes viral TWO families are settling longstanding grievances after a Filipino-American resident of Las Vegas captured and published a video of his neighbor on Tuesday, January 3 in which she insults his ethnicity in a profanity-laden tirade. Dexter Manawat told local ABC television station, KTNV, that hostilities between him and the unidentified woman in the footage were rooted in recurring disputes over yard work. In the clip, she refers to the Philippines as a “...ghetto, living under a tarp, piece of [expletive] land,” and calls Filipinos “loincloth wearers” and “orange savages,” as she sweeps dead leaves away from her property. The video went viral and elicited outrage from the Filipino community. Numerous comments on social media accuse the woman of being a racist. Some individuals had even

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Russia, said that the Russian and Philippine governments are open to discussing “the possibilities of our maritime exercises.” “The Philippine Navy needs some help, we will help. The problem here is terrorism and piracy. You have the task to fight this problem and we will show you what we can do,” Mikhailov added. The Russian government said that Moscow is not seeking a “military alliance” with Manila. Malacañang said the goodwill visit by the Russian Navy “will contribute to the strengthening of friendship with the Philippine Navy.” “It also is an indication that our maritime cooperation can further be enhanced to enable diplomacy and camaraderie,” Abella added. Upon visiting the two Russian warships on Friday, January 6, Duterte asked the Russian Navy contingent to visit the country more often.

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RUSSIAN WARSHIP TOUR President Duterte checks out the Admiral Tributs, a Russian anti-submarine vessel on a goodwill visit toManila, at Pier 15, Port Area inManila. Joining him is Lt. Cmdr. Artem Kolpashchikov, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev, Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda and Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado. Inquirer.net photo by Joan Bondoc

US gov’t downplays PH defense ties with Russia by JOSE

KATIGBAK Philstar.com

WASHINGTON – Any bilateral defense ties between the Philippines and Russia will not affect how the United States views the importance of its bilateral relationship with the Philippines, a long time ally, State Department spokesman John Kirby said. He said the defense relationship between the United States and the Philippines remains MAKING FRIENDS. Russia has responded warmly to the friendly overtures “very, very strong.” of President Rodrigo Duterte, with its ambassador to the Philippines “Our overall mil-to-mil relasaying it is time for both countries to discover each other. Russian envoy to Manila Igor Khovaev said security cooperation must be equal tions remain robust, they remain between all members of the international community even as he urged multifaceted and that’s the way we want to see it continue,” Kirthe Philippines to diversify its circle of foreign partners. ManilaTimes.net photo by Bob Dungo Jr.

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Robredo denies existence of US blueprint to oust Duterte by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

PHILIPPINE Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, January 4, said she does not believe the existence of a “blueprint” allegedly left by former United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg that outlines plans to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. “Ako, hindi ako naniniwala In its earlier report, The Manila na mayroong ganoon (I do not Times, citing a “highly placed believe that it exists),” Robredo source,” said Goldberg suppossaid in an interview during her edly left behind a “blueprint to visit to Tiwi, Albay. u PAGE A2

US newspaper says coup vs Duterte possible by JOSE

KATIGBAK Philstar.com

WASHINGTON – The future of the once-solid US-Philippine defense alliance is uncertain as President Duterte cozies up to China and a coup may be on the horizon, The Washington Times reported. Manila has become one of the murder capitals of the world under Duterte’s watch, the conservative newspaper said in a three-part series on

US-Phl relations by staff writer Guy Taylor. The worrying prospect is if Duterte allows access rights to Chinese military vessels or some kind of air and sea access to Philippine airstrips and ports, John Blaxland, a former Australian military intelligence official who now teaches at the Australian National University, told the Times. “The question is will the Philippine military, which is

pro-American and already wary of Mr. Duterte’s flirtation with China, allow that, and whether a Trump presidency would perhaps condone a coup to overthrow Duterte if things turn so drastic,” Blaxland said. “We’ve got to put this on the table,” he said. “We frankly don’t know what the Trump presidency’s policy will be toward Southeast Asia.” The US and China are deeply intertwined economi-

cally and many analysts here believe Washington will do everything possible to try to keep the bilateral relationship on a peaceful and cooperative basis. But there are points of friction, including China’s expansion of military facilities on artificial islands it built in the South China Sea that is also claimed in parts by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. US president-elect Donald

Trump has said that what China is doing in the South China Sea violates international law, adding “we are going to restore our naval power and when we assert our freedomof-navigation rights like every power in the world, we will do it appropriately. There will be no ambiguity about it.” The Times quoted analysts saying the future of US-Philippines relations, and quite possibly of America’s over-

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Filipino Lakers fan wins $95K after sinking half court shot by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

according to reports from NBA.com. “I appreciate everybody for that. That’s a lot of money, man. Take care of it.” A FILIPINO Lakers fan on Tuesday, January Acoba told the crowd that he plans to buy his 3, took home $95,000 after hitting an improb- mother a new car with the money he won. He able half-court shot during a Los Angeles Lak- said that he wanted to upgrade her old van. ers game at the Staples Center. “She’s always been there for me when I need Between the third and fourth quarters, Jerald her,” Acoba said. “She’s always there to help Acoba, from Tulare, California, sank the Aria me out. It’s my turn to repay the favor to her.” Big Shot Jackpot contest. Acoba went to watch the game with his wife, Following his successful shot, the 30-year- Lenslie, and his nieces. He is the fifth winner of old pointed at his wrists, mimicking D’Angelo the Lakers’ Big Shot Jackpot and also the secRussell’s trademark “ice in my veins.” ond winner for this season. “It’s good to see a lot of fans keeping that ‘ice “It’s surreal right now,” Acoba said. “I can’t Jerald Acoba of Tulare said he plans to buy his mom a new car after winning in the veins’ going,” Russell said after the game, believe it’s just happening right now.” $95,000.

Photo from LA Lakers’ Twitter account


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Duterte open to joint military drills... PAGE A1 t “Mabuhay kayo (Long live)! It’s from the heart. I hope you can come back more often,” Duterte said, addressing the foreign navy after the signing of warship’s guestbook. On Friday afternoon, Duterte was escorted by Mikhailov and Russian Ambassador to the Phil-

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ippines Igor Khovaev around the Admiral Tributs. Duterte also expressed his hope that Russia would become Philippines’ ally and protector. “We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies or maybe our ally to protect us,” Duterte

said as he shook hands with Mikhailov. Duterte made the remarks following Khovaev’s earlier statement that Russia is open to supplying the Philippines with firearms. In a press briefing on Wednesday, January 4, Khovaev said that Russia is “interested not only in the long-term supply of weapons, but also in maintenance.” “We are also ready to provide assistance to build on defense,” Khovaev added, noting that this particular partnership has “no political conditionality.” Duterte, who is scheduled to visit Russia in April, has been seeking closer ties with the European country, as well as China. These moves have been part of his decision pursue an “independent foreign policy” and tilting away from the United States, the Philippines’ long-time ally. n

Robredo denies existence... PAGE A1 t undermine Duterte.” According to the report, among the ouster tactics Goldberg allegedly suggested include the support for “Robredo-led opposition groups” and fueling public dissatisfaction with the president. In a statement, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said that “[t]hese allegations of a blueprint are false.” “No such blueprint exists,” Russel stressed. He also reiterated that the United States’ relationship with the Philippines is “one of our most enduring and important relationships in the Asia-Pacific region.” “It has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years. It is built on shared sacrifices for democracy and human rights and strong people-to-people and societal ties. We continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines, and will work together in the many areas of mutual interest to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people

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US gov’t downplays PH defense ties...

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by added. In recent months President Duterte, seething at the outgoing Obama administration’s criticism of extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs, has been moving to lessen the country’s foreign military dependence on the United States and veering toward Russia and China. “I’d let the Philippine government and the Russian government speak to the degree of their bilateral defense relations and how that is taking shape. I’ve said many times – and this is a good example of it – that foreign relations aren’t binary. Right? And these choices that countries have to make are not binary choices, and every na-

President Duterte leads the flashing of his signature fist gesture during a tour of the visiting Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs at the South Harbor in Manila on Thursday, January 5. He was joined by Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, deputy commander of the Russian Navy’s Pacific fleet; Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev; Lieutenant Commander Artem Kolpaschicov and other ship officers. Also in photo are National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, presidential assistant Bong Go, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and AFP chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Anõ. Philstar.com photo by Kriz Jon Rosales

Veteran homelessness.. PAGE A1 t dropped 32 percent from 2015 due to collaborative efforts made by local leaders and organizations, the city and the federal government. Through conversations with the community and one-on-one interactions with the homeless Veterans themselves, the collective team continues to learn and address the issues that plague the homeless Veteran community. “We cannot have, in this city and in this country, a single homeless Veteran,” Garcetti asserted at a special session of the LA Veterans Alliance on Thursday, January 5 at the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, which is a historic building established as a resource center for U.S. veterans. Today, there are 8,000 formerly homeless veterans in the city of LA today who were able to find housing through the city, county and VA’s efforts. There are, however, still more than 1,200 veterans today without a home. “Today let’s commit ourselves today in continuing in that work, to not rest until that number is zero,” Garcetti added. One of the key programs is

the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher, which the HUD and the VA created to provide rental assistance among other services for homeless and in-need Veterans. In LA, more than 3,400 veterans have been issued HUDVASH vouchers, but the search for landlords that accept the HUD-VASH voucher proved to be troublesome for so many homeless veterans in the famously rigid LA rental housing market. There are hundreds of veterans in LA today struggling with this very issue, with some veterans experiencing rejection from more than a hundred landlords. Last year, national and local leaders established the Homes for Heroes program through United Way of Greater LA, which was a conscious effort to recruit landlords that will accept federal rent subsidies – like the HUDVASH voucher – and lease units to homeless veterans. Since then, the program has garnered more than 200 landlords’ support, housing hundreds of homeless veterans in the city. Garcetti – who serves as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Re-

serve Information Dominance Corps – said the issue is a personal one for him. His grandfather, Salvador Garcetti, emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles when he was a child. His youth and adolescence were rough: he failed to graduate junior high school, got into trouble and was arrested by none other than Tom Bradley, who was then a police chief for the LAPD. He then volunteered his efforts in World War II as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, fighting alongside General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines. When the war ended, the elder Garcetti was awarded citizenship, got a scholarship to USC and went on to build a life for himself and his family. “His service allowed him to lay down the groundwork that allows me to be standing here today as your mayor, and that’s why I feel so deeply about this issue of, not only homelessness, but veteran homelessness specifically,” Garcetti said, adding that the way to combat homelessness is through “one story at a time.” Minnesota native Todd Edhlund joined the Navy in the 1980s and was looking forward to a career in the service. For him, it was a way to “escape” Minnesota and build a life for

tion-state has the right to pursue bilateral relations of its own choosing,” Kirby said in a press briefing. “And so again, I would leave it to both of their governments to discuss it. What it – what I can promise you is that it won’t affect how we view the importance of our bilateral relationship with the Philippines,” he said. Russian anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs and tanker Boris Butoma made port call at the Manila South Harbor. In September, Duterte announced that he would establish alliances with China and Russia as part of his independent foreign policy. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philip-

pines and Russia have agreed to speed up work on a legal framework and plan of action for cooperative activities aimed at enhancing Philippines-Russia defense engagement. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana visited Moscow last month and discussed with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov expanding Philippines-Russia defense cooperation. The visit was a first for a Philippine defense chief since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 40 years ago. It also came on the heels of a meeting between President Duterte and President Vladimir Putin in Lima, Peru last Nov. 19.

US newspaper says coup... PAGE A1 t

all footprint in the region, now hinges on a huge unknown: will Trump get along or clash with his equally unpredictable Filipino counterpart. When Duterte telephoned Trump in December to congratulate him on his election victory, the Filipino leader said Trump wished him success in his campaign against the drug problem and invited him to the White House. But Trump’s transition team hasn’t confirmed the anti-drug endorsement or the invitation. Under former president Benigno Aquino III, ties with the US were strong but soured when Duterte took office on June 30 and launched his war against drug pushers and users which to date has resulted in over 6,000 people killed. Duterte has insulted outgoing US President Barack Obama for interfering in the country’s internal affairs by condemning extrajudicial killings in the drug war. He has also started lessening military dependence on the

United States and is looking to China and Russia as allies. The Times’ Taylor, who visited Manila for his article, quoted a spokesman for the US Navy 7th Fleet as saying there has been no disruption in the clearance process for visiting US Navy ships to the Philippines. But other Navy officials who spoke with the newspaper said nerves are on edge over Duterte’s negative posturing toward Washington. In his second installment, Taylor said there is a bipartisan move in the US Senate to scrutinize and perhaps cut off the $32 million the State Department sends annually to aid Philippine security forces in light of “horrific violations of basic human rights” that have come with Duterte’s election. It said according to latest data from the Philippine National Police, 6,206 people have been killed in the war on drugs since July 1. Of these 2,157 were suspected drug pushers/addicts killed in police operations as of Dec. 27

while 4,049 were victims of extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings. The Times said the hard-line populist Filipino president has succeeded in turning Manila into one of the murder capitals of the world by authorizing the police and an array of unknown accomplices to gun down at pointblank range anyone suspected of dealing or using drugs. In its final series on Thursday the Times interviewed elder statesman, former president Fidel Ramos, who suggested a Trump visit to the Philippines may be needed to downgrade Duterte’s threat to neutralize the 70-year-old US-Phl defense alliance and shore up Washington’s troubled ties with one of the linchpins of its regional security network. Ramos told the Times that he and other former high-level military officials have made it clear to Duterte that he should “maintain our military alliance with the US and pursue not an independent foreign policy but an interdependent foreign policy.” ■

himself. But when he tore all the ligaments in his right foot during an exercise, he knew his plans were kaput. When he approached the VA, it didn’t have the programs and resources that existed today. “Back then the VA wasn’t very proactive so they just gave me an honorable discharge and basically said, ‘Good luck,’”

Edhlund said. Over the next 30 years, Edhlund’s struggled with his injury but managed to stay afloat and, one that point, moved to LA. But the pain was so severe that it caused more injuries and the medical bills kept piling up. He soon found himself broke with no other option than to turn to living in his car. “I never thought that I would

call myself homeless, but I had to,” the Navy veteran remarked. “It’s one of those humiliating things that can happen to a person, when you don’t have any other option than living in a car. Everything felt impossible to overcome.” About two years ago, he learned about the growing resources the VA was now offer-

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A JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

Two Vegas families work... PAGE A1 t sought her identity, threatening violence, according to a followup post on Manawat’s Facebook page published on Wednesday, January 4. He has since taken the video down and said that his family and their neighbors have begun a dialogue with the intent of working out their differences. In an interview with KTNV, the woman— whose face and identity remain hidden—can be heard sobbing as she extends her apologies to the Filipino community at large. “I stooped to the lowest possible denominator to hurt someone because I was angry,” she told reporters on Tuesday. She added that “I’m not just saying that because I was…caught. What I said

wasn’t right and I wasn’t raised that way.” She also said that her frustrations were directed at Manawat and not his culture. The Fil-Am who shot the cellphone video admitted that he hasn’t always been the best neighbor, but said that the unidentified woman’s comments went too far. He said tension between him and his neighbors had existed for years, but he is averse to extreme suggestions of retaliation. “I don’t believe violence or physical harm is the answer,” Manawat wrote on Wednesday. He went on to say that “Instead of looking for her, we need to pray for her. Pray that God softens her heart.” (Eric Anthony Licas/AJPress)

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Long Beach launches fund for early childhood education

Teacher Dawn Velez shows a student of Little Owl Preschool in Long Beach, how to operate a record player. She said that this kind of hands on learning, which engages children while introducing them to problem solving skills, provides advantages that will benefit students throughout their academic careers.

Teacher Eric Eyman reads a story to students of Little Owl Preschool on Thursday, January 5. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia recognized the school as a model example for future pre-kindergarten programs during a press event announcing the launch The Mayor’s Fund for Education.

Long Beach City Mayor Robert Garcia shakes hands with supporters of early childhood education on Thursday, January 5, during a press event at Little Owl Elementary School announcing the launch of the Mayor’s Fund for Education.

Julia Huang – Mayor’s Fund for Education board member, interTrend Communications CEO, and first-generation Taiwanese-American – speaks to a member of the media following a press event at Little Owl Preschool announcing the non-profit’s launch.

Robredo denies existence... PAGE A2 t and uphold our shared democratic values,” Russel added. Malacañang, meanwhile, downplayed the rumors that the U.S. participated in any destabilization moves against Duterte. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that Duterte has a high trust rating in the country. The Social Weather Stations poll last month shows that Duterte has an ‘excellent’ +72 trust rating. On the other hand, Robredo clarified that she and Goldberg only talked about the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Philippines. “Unang una, nagkausap kami ni Ambassador Goldberg noong nasa isang event, pangalawa nag-courtesy call siya sa opisina. Wala kaming pinag-usapan tungkol kay Pangulo [Duterte] (I had a talk with Ambassador Goldberg in a particular event and when he paid a courtesy call to my office but we did not talk about the president),” Robredo said.

She also said that calling for the president’s resignation every time there is an upheaval in the government will do the country no good. “Paniniwala ko makakabuti sa Pilipinas na instead humingi tayong matanggal ang iyong pangulo, hingiin na lang natin sa pangulo na pakinggan ang ating hinaing (I believe that it would be best for the Philippines that instead of wanting to unseat him, we should ask that he hear us requests),” Robredo added. Last month, Robredo resigned as the housing secretary after Duterte ordered her to “desist” from attending all Cabinet meetings. Following her resignation, Robredo announced that she will become the “unifying voice” of the opposition. Duterte accused the ‘yellows’ of plotting to oust him, apparently referring to the Liberal Party, which uses the color as its political symbol. Robredo and the Liberal Party have denied the allegation. n

Veteran homelessness.. PAGE A3 t ing, and after a visit to Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, discovered that he was eligible for many programs for struggling veterans. “I went to Bob Hope after I lost some hope,” Edhlund quipped, noting that a year and a half later, he was able to find a studio apartment in Boyle Heights.

Over the last three years, the VA has promised to remain diligent in serving its Veterans so another Veteran doesn’t have to face years of uncertainty, like Edhlund, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said. “We are going to sprint to the finish and I commit to you that the Department of Veterans

A CHARITy launched on Thursday, January 5, which seeks to fulfill the city of Long Beach, California’s promise of a college education for every child, will focus its initial efforts on the city’s youngest students.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia joined educators and business leaders who share his belief in the importance of early childhood learning at Little Owl Preschool to announce the debut of the Mayor’s Fund for Education (MFE). The new nonprofit will operate independent from any local government office and hopes to,

Affairs will be with you every step of the way to end Veteran homelessness,” VA Secretary Robert McDonald said, assuring that VA has transformed as a proactive department that puts “the veteran at the center” of its mission. McDonald acknowledged that there’s far more work to be done in LA to combat the issue, but also praised the city’s lead-

ership for its achievements in the last two years. “I’m proud of what’s happened in Los Angeles, and I use Los Angeles as an example city for everywhere I go,” McDonald said. “I use the leadership of the mayor and the leadership of the county supervisors as the example of what can happen if we work together as a team.” (Klarize Medenilla/AJ Press)

by Eric

Anthony LicAs AJPress

Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser identifies and thanks supporters of the district’s effort’s to expand pre-kindergarten education AJPress photos by Eric Anthony Licas

over time, improve opportunities for students at all grade levels. “There’s no more important thing a city can do than support education,” Garcia told reporters at Thursday’s press event.

He added that “My job is to support the amazing, groundbreaking work of Long Beach Unified (LBUSD), Cal State Long Beach, Long Beach City College...[and]

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Only 20 percent of Americans support health law repeal without replacement plan by Jordan rau Kaiser Health News

government’s involvement and spending in health care — the long-sought goal of house Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican lawmakers — is less important to most Americans than is ensuring medical care is affordable and available. (Kaiser health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.) Views split not only on

The Republican strategy of repealing the Affordable health Care Act before devising a replacement plan has the support of only one in five Americans, a poll released Friday finds. The Kaiser Family Foundation survey also disclosed that shrinking the federal

partisan lines but also within the Republican Party, where nearly four in 10 think that the government should guarantee health care is available to the elderly and to low-income people, even if it means more federal involvement. Despite the rout of Democrats in the election, which gave the GOP control of both the White house and Con-

HOPEFUL. Retirees line up to submit their applications for benefits at the SSS main office in Quezon City as government officials and the pension fund study ways on how to grant the proposed P2,000 pension hike. ManilaTimes.net photo by Mike De Juan

Long Beach launches fund... PAGE A4 t preschools across the community.” The majority of the fund’s work in its first few years of operation will build upon the LBUSD’s efforts to expand access to prekindergarten education, according to Garcia. he said that, over the past few years, the district has managed to create space for 900 additional students at public preschools. however, Little Owl Preschool’s executive director, Linda Wilson, said there is a significant shortfall of open seats at early childhood learning programs in Long Beach. She told the Asian Journal that as many as 45,000 preschool-aged children in the city, many of whom come hail from underprivileged areas of the city, have not been able to enroll in classes. “All over the community, there’s lots of schools that have such a big wait list,” Little Owl Preschool teacher eric eyman told the Asian Journal following Thursday’s event. “Parents have to sign up for that wait list...years ahead of time.” As one of its first initiatives, the MFe hopes to address preschool shortages by helping the LBUSD procure funds to complete the construction of the educare of Los Angeles in Long Beach pre-kindergarten program. The facility will be located at Barton elementary School and serve as a proving ground for emerging childhood learning techniques in addition to its function as a preschool. “It’s not only going serve these 200 youngsters from birth to five,” LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser told reporters at Thursday’s press conference. “It’s going to serve everybody.” he later told the Asian Journal that uncertainties stemming from the election of Presidentelect Donald Trump were unlikely to interfere with the district’s proposals. Steinhauser went on to note that only a small portion of the district’s budget comes from the federal government. As a result, the LBUSD would be able to resist any of the president-elect’s policies that don’t conform to their values and move forward with its plans independently if necessary.

“No matter what Washington says or does, what’s most important is local action,” said Steinhauser. “Our job is to make sure that every kid is college and career ready, and that’s what we’re going to do.” Preschool classes have a dramatic impact on students’ future success, according to speakers at Thursday’s conference. California State University, Long Beach President Jane Conoley said ensuring that children receive quality instruction early on would mean that fewer children will have to overcome an achievement gap when they begin preparing for college. She added that students who have fallen behind require additional school resources, making them more expensive to educate. “everything we do for a 3year-old or 4-year-old will pay dividends for us 15 years later,” she said at Thursday’s press conference. In addition to its work to expand preschool programs, the MFe will also promote partnerships with colleges, universities and local businesses to generate scholarships and internships for students in Long Beach. One of the non-profit fund’s board members, interTrend Communications CeO Julia huang, said those resources and opportunities would ensure that LBUSD alumni make the most of what they have learned and become contributing members of society. “It’s not just providing education,” huang told the Asian Journal following Thursday’s event. “ It’s also about nudging people who have gotten this education … to be productive by offering them job opportunities.” She also said she was honored to have been invited by Garcia to serve on the MFe’s board. As a first generation American from Taiwan, huang said she viewed her upcoming work with the fund as an opportunity to give back to the institutions that allowed her to become successful. “I have benefitted so much from the American education system that … it breaks my heart when I see a lot of education budgets being deferred,” said huang. “I really do believe that education is what makes a country great.” n

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gress, the public’s view on the Affordable Care Act remains as divided as it has been since it was passed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats in 2010. Currently, 47 percent of the public wants to keep the law, which upended the way insurers do business and expanded coverage to 20 million Americans. Opponents have not coalesced behind the GOP’s twostage plan of repealing the law immediately and then constructing a replacement. More people (28 percent) want a replacement plan announced before repealing the existing law than the share that says the law needs to be disassembled now (20 percent). The survey found there are opportunities on both sides of the debate to influence public opinion. Twenty-two percent of those who said they want the law to remain switched their views when told that some consumers have seen large increases in cost. The same portion changed sides after being told the country cannot afford the expense of helping people buy health insurance. Those opposed to the law are also willing to reconsider their views. More than a third of those said they would not want the law repealed after being told that some people with pre-existing health problems would no longer be able to get insurance. A quarter reversed their opinion after being told some people who got insurance because of the law would lose it

if the law were repealed. President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants people with preexisting conditions protected after the law is repealed. Democratic fears that repeal of the Affordable Care Act will damage health care are not shared by most Americans. Six in 10 people believe the quality of their care will stay the same, and only two in 10 think their care will worsen. Families where someone has a serious medical condition are more worried, but even among them, only a third anticipate the cost of their health care will suffer if the law is repealed. The poll found that the public’s most widely shared health goal is reducing the

cost of care, with 67 percent of respondents calling it a top priority. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority for 61 percent of the public, followed by addressing prescription painkiller addictions, with 45 percent listing it. Abolishing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority for 37 percent of the public, primarily among Republicans. The poll was conducted from Dec. 13 through 19 among 1,204 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News (KHN), a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. n


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DATELINE PHILIPPINES

DFA: PH will not discuss Hague ruling during ASEAN summit by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

HOT ITEMS. A vendor displays small images of the Black Nazarene in his stall near the Quiapo Church on Wednesday, Jan. 4 as preparations for the Traslacion, one of the country’s biggest religious festivals, reach fever pitch. ManilaTimes.net photo by Boy Josue

Palace welcomes Duterte’s accolades as ‘Asia’s Big Winner,’ ‘Person of the Year’ by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

THE Malacañang Palace on Thursday, January 5, acknowledged the titles of “Person of the Year” and “Asia’s Big Winner” given by different media agencies to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Earlier this week, Duterte was named as the “Person of the Year” by a Chinese magazine. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that “Yazhou Zhoukan,” “the TIME magazine of the Chinese-speaking world,” gave the award to Duterte for his foreign policy shift away from the U.S. in favor of China. “The article also praises Duterte’s program of good governance and anti-corruption campaign as a reason for his

popularity among the Filipinos,” Abella told reporters. Duterte has also been named as this year’s “Asia’s Big Winner” in CNN’s commentary list of “Winners and losers in Asia in 2016.” Curtis S. Chin and Jose B. Collazo, authors of the commentary article, commended Duterte for winning the last year’s presidential elections in a landslide victory and “subsequently upending, rethinking and reshaping the state of affairs — for good or for bad — at home and abroad.” The opinion article, published on December 23, 2016, cited Duterte’s “unsparing and bloody” war against illegal drugs that earned him condemnation from different local and international human rights

groups. Chin and Collazo also mentioned Duterte’s declaration to “separate” from the United States, the Philippines’ decades-long ally, and lauded him for setting aside the territorial disputes in the South China Sea to pursue business deals with China. “For now, the Philippine leader’s unconventional moves seem a harbinger of things to come,” the authors wrote. Chin and Collazo also took note that Duterte still enjoys a high approval rating despite being surrounded by controversies. In the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted last month, 77 percent Filipinos said they were satisfied with the president’s

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THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the Philippines will not mention the international tribunal’s ruling last year regarding the South China Sea territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing during the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. “Well, actually, there’s no need to really discuss The Hague ruling because it already exists. It’s already a part of the law, of the international law, so it’s there and the focus will be of course on – I think the priority now is to try and get a Code of Conduct,” DFA Undersecretary Enrique Manalo said on Thursday, January 5, in a press briefing at the Malacañang. Last year, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague ruled that China’s historic “nine-dash line” claim of sovereignty over the South China Sea had no legal basis. The tribunal also concluded that China violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a treaty signed by both Manila and Beijing. The Chinese government, however, has refused to acknowledge the ruling. “The Hague ruling will not be on the agenda in the sense that it’s already part of international law. So we really can’t discuss the ruling, it’s there,” Manalo added. Early this week, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also said that he “can’t see the point” of discussing the ruling during the summit. “The PCA arbitral ruling on the South China Sea is fi nal and binding only between the par-

ties. No discussion of the ruling by ASEAN is going to change it or result in its implementation without the use of force except through our peaceful bilateral engagements with China,” he said. According to Yasay, no one could implement the ruling, not even the ASEAN. He noted that the arbitral tribunal itself has no enforcement power. “[B]ecause the arbitral tribunal has no enforcement power, the only remaining issue is on its implementation that the Philippines and China have agreed to defer until both parties are ready with a solution without eroding or compromising their respective claims,” he added. The Philippines will be hosting the ASEAN summit this year. Despite not discussing the ruling, the DFA said, however, that among the top priorities during this year’s ASEAN summit would be fi nalizing of the code of conduct for claimants on the South China Sea. “The issue of the South China Sea, of course, is in the agenda of the ASEAN. In fact, we will be undertaking ongoing work throughout the year focusing on the unfi nished Code

of Conduct of the South China Sea and the Declaration of the Code of Conduct and the principles of the Code of Conduct,” Manalo said. Asked how they would form the code of conduct with China’s reported construction and militarization on the South China Sea, Manalo replied: “That’s the challenge we face in coming out with the framework. It’s not only the Philippines who faces this challenge but other claimant states in the region.” “And I think the whole purpose of the Code of Conduct is to try and see how these disputes can be managed in a peaceful way and in a non-confrontational way. And this is the position that the Philippines and the other ASEAN countries will be taking when we discuss a possible framework for the Code of Conduct and the implementations of the principles on the Declaration of the Code of Conduct,” he added. Yasay said that any ASEAN member may also raise its militarization concern in the South China Sea as a separate issue distinct from the arbitral ruling. “However, only by unanimous consensus can the regional group agree to place this in the agenda,” Yasay noted. ■

Leader of pro-IS group in Phl killed by JOHN

UNSON Philstar.com

Guns recovered from the slain Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, leader of the radical Khilafa Islamiya Philippines, and three companions now detained in an undisclosed police facility in Region 12. JOHN UNSON

MANILA, Philippines – Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, the figurehead of the extremist Ansarul Khilafa Islamiya Philippines, was killed in an encounter with security forces at a beach resort in Kiamba, Sarangani early yesterday. Police said three of his bodyguards were arrested during the encounter at Angel beach resort in Barangay Kitagas at around 1 a.m. Matahata Dialawe aArboleda, Ismael Sahak and Morhaban Veloso gave up and surrendered to the lawmen after seeing Maguid fall during the firefight, police said. Maguid, known abroad as Abu Shareefa al-Filibini, founded

the Ansarul Khilafa Philippines (AKP) as among the several violent Islamic militant groups in Mindanao that has carried out deadly attacks on civilians to win support from Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria. “He’s wanted for bombing incidents. They use improvised explosive devices, killing people at town festivals,” regional police director Chief Supt. Cedric Train said. “They fly the ISIS flag in their camps. They want to be recognized by the ISIS,” Train added, referring to the Islamic State group by one of its acronyms. The military killed eight Ansarul Khilafa members in a clash in November 2015 at Maguid’s hometown of Palimbang, Sultan

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Dateline PHiliPPineS

LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARY 7-10, 2017

Poll chief Bautista liable for ‘Comeleak’, privacy body finds by Patricia Lourdes Philstar.com

FISH HAUL. Fishermen bring their catch from the Laguna de Bay to the fish port in Binangonan, Rizal province, for delivery to different markets. The lake produces 400,000 metric tons of milkfish and tilapia, supplying 70 percent of the fish needs of Luzon and parts of the Visayas. Inquirer.net photo by Rem Zamora

Palace welcomes Duterte’s accolades... PAGE A6 t performance. “Duterte ends 2016 vowing to rebalance his nation’s ties, improve the life of the average Filipino and make the Philip-

pines — a one-time economic and trade powerhouse — great again,” the article further read. Last month, Duterte has also been included in Forbes Magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful People in 2016,” ranking

Leader of pro-IS group... PAGE A6 t Kudarat. Maguid and his followers were trying to put up a Talibanstyle government in Butril, a remote village in Palimbang, when security forces attacked them. The Maguid-led Khilafa group is known for its links with the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao and the Dawlah Islamiya, also known as the Maute group in Lanao del Sur. Repercussions Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno warned of potential violent repercussions following the death of Maguid, more widely known by his nickname, Commander Tokboy. “They might retaliate so we have to double our preparations,” Sueno said, citing the upcoming feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila on Jan. 9. Ansarul Khilafa was behind an attack that left two civilians dead in Mindanao in 2008 as well as a series of robberies and other crimes, according to Sidney Jones, director of the Indo-

nesia-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. Maguid was arrested in 2009 but escaped eight months later, Jones said in a research paper published in October last year. Train said the authorities had also been looking into Ansarul Khilafa’s role in a bombing in Davao City in September last year that killed 15 people and injured dozens of others. Maguid, who Train said was aged 32, appeared in a video circulated on social media last year with the leaders of other local militant groups pledging allegiance to ISIS. The military said the killing of Maguid was a setback for terrorism in the country. “The death of Tokboy is a big blow to the AKP and the group’s terror plot across the country,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office chief. “The AFP will not stop until we neutralize each and every one of the AKP. The AKP is one of the groups that has expressed sympathy or allegiance to ISIS,

70th among its featured 74 personalities. “It’s heartening to know that certain media agencies are able to notice the good things the President is doing,” Abella said. n

although our view is that those are just mere professing. We don’t have clear information that they have been accepted or acknowledged by ISIS as its member,” Arevalo added. – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jaime Laude n

Viray

MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission on Thursday found Commission on Elections Chairman Juan Andres “Andy” Bautista criminally liable for a breach the Comelec’s database last year. Prior to the May 2016 national elections, the Comelec website was hacked, which later led to the leakage of voters’ data. “The voter database in the Precinct Finder application contained each voter’s complete name, date of birth, gender, civil status, address, precinct number, birthplace, disability, voter identification number, voter registration record number, reason for deletion/deactivation, registration date and update time,” the privacy commission said. Data on millions of Filipino voters stolen from the Comelec database was made available online for downloading by a group of hackers. In its decision, the commission stressed Bautista’s lack of appreciation for data protection, which it said is more than just the implementation of security measures. “Data privacy is more than the deployment of technical security; it also includes the implementation of physical and organizational measures, as

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well as regular review, evaluation and updating of Comelec’s privacy and security policies and practices,” the NPC said in its decision dated Dec. 28, 2016 and released Thursday. The Comelec violated Sections 11, 20 and 21 of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act in the dispense of its duty as personal information controller,

u PAGE A9

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A8 JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

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OPINION

FEATURES

Special courts

The Supreme Court is being asked to create special courts to handle cases involving “unintended deaths” in the ongoing bloody war against illegal drugs. This is a commendable proposal, but it presumes that the so-called collateral deaths of innocents are actually being investigated and police are pursuing and arresting suspects. By most indications, however, these are done only when a case is highlighted in mass media. In many other cases, especially involving police officers, or when the “vigilante” killer is believed to be a law enforcer, the process appears designed to ensure that the perpetrator would escape justice. There have been reports that police fi le complaints before prosecutors, all right – but against those killed, ostensibly for drug violations or shooting at arresting officers. The complaints are quickly junked and the case is closed. Or else, with no authentic investigation conducted, complaints can be fi led against fictitious individuals described to be at large. Naturally, no defendants will ever appear in court and the cases will eventually be relegated to the archives. In police statistics, such cases will be included in the list of

solved crimes. A government that seriously wants to look into such killings and stop impunity must organize a special body to handle such cases. After a thorough investigation of every aspect of the killing including police involvement and possible abuse of power, a case with sturdy legal legs to stand on can then be fi led in court. Special courts will be fi ne for such cases. But a better move is for the Supreme Court to work for a speedier dispensation of justice in all courts. Snail-paced justice and the weakness of other pillars of the criminal justice system are undoubtedly among the reasons for the muted public protest against the mass killings. The Supreme Court, which supervises the judiciary, must show the nation that there is no need to resort to mass executions to get swift justice. (Philstar.com)

Guest Editorial

Philstar.com photo

Warning to all California drivers on new law re: cellphone use or read a BEFORE YOU DRIVE, take text-based the time to know these new laws The Fil-Am communiin California or you may end up cation, as paying hefty fi nes and have a re- Perspective def ined, cord of violating laws. unless the The State of California has electronic already been implementing a wireless law that says a person driving a GEL SANTOS-RELOS commumotor vehicle is prohibited from n ic at ion s using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, device is specifically designed and

configured, and is used, to allow voiceoperated and hands-free operation. Yet we still see a lot of “pasaway” or rogue drivers who still use the phone while holding it and not pressed against the ear. BUT this still goes against the very spirit of the law which is to make sure the driver is not distracted while operating the vehicle and BOTH hands are on the steering wheel.

This is why California has passed AB 1785, which has now been enforced since January 1, 2017. AB 1785 now prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communication device, as defi ned. This authorizes a driver to operate a handheld wireless telephone or

a wireless electronic communications device in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand only under specified conditions. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook. com/Gel.Santos.Relos

How African American women rose above indignities Rhizomes

PROSY ABARQUEZDELACRUZ, J.D. “MY investigation became more like an obsession; I would walk any trail if it meant fi nding a trace of one of the computers at its end. I was determined to prove their existence and their talent in a way that meant they would never be lost to history. As the photos and memos and equations and family stories became real people, as the women became my companions and returned to youth or returned to life, I started to want something more for them than just putting them on the record. What I wanted was for them to have the grand, sweeping narrative that they deserved, the kind of American history that belongs to the Wright Brothers and the astronauts, to Alexander Hamilton and Martin Luther King Jr. Not told as a separate history, bust as part of the story we all know. Not at the margins, but at the very center, the protagonists of the drama. And not just because they are black, or because they are women, but because they are part of the American epic.” –Margot Lee Shetterly, “Hidden Figures,” 2016. When I read the prologue of this book, tears rushed down my face. At the end of the “Hidden Figures,” the movie, we all clapped inside Arclight Hollywood. It was perhaps to celebrate these African-American women of vintage 1950s and the white men who saw “fine in them,” as our own American story. “The cruelty of racial prejudice was so often accompanied by absurdity, a tangle of arbitrary rules and distinctions that subverted the shared interests of people who had been taught to see themselves as irreconcilably different,” noted Margot Lee Shetterly in her book, “Hidden Figures.” I still remember the heartwrenching dialogues of “Hid-

den Figures,” the movie, when three African American women — an engineer, a mathematician, and a computer supervisor — worked side by side with white men, yet minimized. “If I were white, I would have been an engineer by now.” “You know I am not against your group.” To which the response was, “I know you truly believe that.”Or the exchange between a mathematician and an engineer: Katherine Johnson: How can you be possibly ogling these white men? Mary Jackson: It’s equal rights. I have the right to see fi ne in every color. Or how the fi nish line keeps getting changed. Mary Jackson: Every time we get a chance to get ahead they move the fi nish line. Every time. In the fi lm, the absurdity is further depicted when mathematician Katherine Johnson had to run several times a day, in her high heels, half a mile away to the colored bathroom. It affected her workplace, as she was gone 40 minutes. In one scene, it shows her running to the bathrooms during heavy rains. Would these not take you down to your lowest of low self? In one of the dramatic peaks of the fi lm, a fictional male manager, Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner, confronts Katherine Johnson. She explains to him and the rest of her colleagues why she was gone 40 minutes at a time and what it takes for her to relieve herself.Her manager, Al Harrison responds by creating a more equal NASA, by taking down signs of separation: the sign of colored bathrooms (making it simply a bathroom) or the coffee pot marked colored (making it simply a coffee pot for all). Of course, this is largely fictional yet it creates an impactful relief after watching the brazen wickedness, cruelty and mean hostility of the segregated workplaces. Kathleen Johnson (played with quiet dignity by Taraji

Henson) worked with no hesitation when asked to recheck the mathematical calculations for John Glenn’s safe trajectory for his spaceship’s return to earth. With full assurance, she heeded her mentor, Al Harrison, to think man is already on the moon, rather than just journeying in space to reach it. Imagine if you were in her shoes, would your math skills be up to par such that even with the public actively monitoring the space fl ight manned by John Glenn, your computed trajectories will be so precise as to enable his safe return into the earth, defying the pull of the earth’s gravity and the friction caused by air particles that come its way? Remember that gravity pulls that spaceship into the earth naturally, but the speed of return to earth has to be tempered, as space shuttles reach extra hot temperatures of about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, Jane McGrath of Science/Spacecraft continued. Picture yourself working in this space station, but arbitrarily ties down your left hand. In effect, you are deemed disabled, but you are not. You are simply preempted from applying all your talents. In one fi lm scene, she was given incomplete information, yet, expected to still perform the mathematical calculations, as if she had a full set of data to work with. Of course, she applied her smarts, and in the redacted spots, she used light to read the redacted information, and her mathematical wizardry to figure out the calculations. She pushes herself and does her research. She works long hours and does her math calculations visible to all. As good as she was, she got suspected of being a Russian spy, when obviously she is not Russian, but a fullblooded American! Katherine Johnson rose to claim her dignity, as a respectable person, worthy of a full measure of respect. She does not stay down, nor does she victimize herself. As I watched the fi lm, I re-

called seeing John Glenn when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama inside the White House in May 2012. I now realize John Glenn’s historical significance, not just for being the space pilgrim in a “temperamental Atlas rocket, a ninety-five foot high, 3.5 million horsepower intercontinental ballistic missile,” as described by Shetterly, but also for “imploring the engineers to execute one more check: a review of the orbital trajectory that had been generated by the IBM 7090 computer.” “Get the girl to check the numbers,” said the astronaut, John Glenn, “If she says the numbers are good, he told them, I’m ready to go,” wrote Shetterly. John Glenn by that act, communicated to his male colleagues that the brainy computers can trust their computer, Katherine Johnson – that these black women can be in parity with their male mathematicians and white male scientists. This essay highlights “Hidden Figures,” the movie, as it is inspiring not just for the women, but also for men saw it. For example, “Kaz Czarnecki wasn’t about to leave brainpower on the table. He only learned of Mary Jackson’s double major in math and science after he made her the offer to join the Four-foot SPT group. Even so, without having reviewed her resume, something about her gave him the idea that she was both qualified and the right fit for the job. He was white, male, Catholic and a Yankee. She was a black woman from the South, a devout member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It would have been easy for each of them to look past the other, to see the outside and assume that they could have nothing in common. But what Kaz Czarnecki intuited, and what the years would bear out, was this: Mary Jackson had the soul of an engineer,” wrote Margot Lee Shetterly. But to get classified as an engineer, NASA required core courses in engineering and

“Hidden Figures” movie poster (Courtesy of 21st Century Fox)

before that, a knowledge of differential equations, which she could only get by matriculating in an all-white high school. As the State of Virginia was segregated, she had to petition to get into that “white only high school.” Shetterly describes her journey as “there was never any doubt in Mary’s mind that it must be done. Indignities, disparities, injustices, racism are actively dismantled by a number of tactics: good work performance; voicing the absurdities of segregated and hostile work practices; challenging the disparities by persuasive reasoning in the courtroom; a champion who sees the strengths in others and allowing them to proactively change the culture, but also

remembering, as a good friend said, that in the “tree of life,” we are also a part of the “tree of rise.” *** 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.

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LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARY 7-10, 2017

BLACK NAZARENE DEVOTION. A young boy gets some help from his adult companion to reach up and kiss the exposed toes of the Black Nazarene figure which is kept in a glass case inside Quiapo church in Manila City. Inquirer.net photo by Lyn Rillon

‘Duterte in full control of drug war’ – Palace by Catherine

S. Valente ManilaTimes.net

MALACAÑANG on Friday dismissed an opinion piece in the British newspaper The Guardian that President Rodrigo Duterte’s aggressive war against illegal drugs was “out of control” and that he needed to be stopped. “President Rodrigo Duterte is in full control of the drug war,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said, as he dismissed the recommendation by the author that the international community impose “economic sanctions” on the Philippines. Robert Muggah, research director of the Igarapé Institute and SecDev Foundation, wrote that Duterte was “upending the country’s (Philippines) international image” because of his

deadly war on illicit drug sale. “On the one hand, he has undermined the prospect of a serious and evidence-based strategy to prevent drug abuse problems,” said Muggah, who also advises the Global Commission on Drug Policy. “His (Duterte) dragnet collapses users of a wide range of drugs with devastating effect, including violating basic human rights. This king of impunity cannot be tolerated,” he added. Aside from economic sanctions on the Philippines, Muggah said foreign governments could withdraw their assistance to the country “if no change of direction materializes.” But the Palace official said the recommendations were “unnecessary.”

Poll chief Bautista liable... PAGE A7 t the commission said. Bautista also violated several provisions of the same law, the NPC said. The Data Privacy Act penalizes accessing sensitive personal information due to negligence and imposes imprisonment from three to six years and a fine from P500,000 to P4 million. The law also accords ad-

ditional penalties when the offender is a public officer. This consists of disqualification from public office. The NPC concluded that Bautista’s willful and intentional disregard of his duties as head of agency is tantamount to gross negligence. “A head of agency making his acts depend on the recommendations of the executive director of the Information

“The Guardian’s call for economic sanctions by foreign countries on the Philippines is uncalled for. Threats of withdrawal of development aid and other forms of assistance are totally unfounded,” Andanar said. “The President remains undaunted as he will never compromise the dignity of the nation for foreign aid. There is an enormous drug problem in the Philippines and he is trying his best to keep the country from becoming a narco-state,” he added. Andanar also cited polls that showed trust in the President remained high. “We hope that other countries will treat the Philippines as a sovereign nation and with mutual respect,” the Palace official said. n Technology Department amplifies the want of even slight care. The duty to obey the law should begin at the top and should not be frustrated simply because no employee recommended such action,” the decision read. Bautista was ordered to appoint a data protection officer and conduct an agency-wide privacy impact assessment. The NPC also recommended that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II look further into possible prosecution under the Cybercrime Prevention Act. n

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A10 JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

Dateline PhiliPPines

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Ombudsman pursuing Mamasapano probe by Ma.

reina Leanne toLentino ManilaTimes.net

THE Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation into complaints against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the antiterrorist police operation in Mamasapano in 2015 is ongoing, according to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. “As far as the complaints against Aquino are concerned, of course those are still being investigated, you cannot instantly assess whether there is probable cause or ground to conduct preliminary investiga-

tion,” Morales said at the sidelines of an awarding ceremony at the Tandang Sora Shrine in Quezon City. The investigation might be completed “maybe this year, maybe next year,” said the Ombudsman, whose term ends in 2018. On Friday, Morales received the Tandang Sora Award, given to individuals who embody the virtues of the revolutionary heroine after whom the award is named. In her speech at the awarding ceremony, Morales said she took on the challenge of being

the Ombudsman not only to fight corruption and impunity but also to “disprove a few detractors who discouraged me from accepting the position on the basis of age and gender.” “For me, the primary qualifications necessary in this kind of work are unassailable integrity and a steadfast work ethic. As we celebrate the life of Tandang Sora, who was already an octogenarian when called to serve her fellow Filipinos in the revolution, we should all be reminded that heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things,” she said. n

Witness vs cops accused of protecting Kerwin Espinosa shot dead by robert

c. dejon

Inquirer.net

AN ICON DIES. captionA few employees on duty on Monday, Jan. 2 at the Manila City Hall pass near the portrait of former Manila Mayor Gemiliano “Mel” C. Lopez. He was designated as acting mayor during the change of government after the 1986 People Power revolution, later elected as mayor in 1987 and serving until 1992. Lopez died Jan. 1, 2017 at the age of 8. Inquirer.net photo by Lyn Rillon

DILG seeking donors for drug rehab centers by aLexis

roMero Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging donors to fund smaller drug rehabilitation centers so the treatment facilities can be established in different parts of the country and not concentrated in just one area. Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno also noted that smaller facilities, the kind that could accommodate 500 to 1,000 patients, are easier to maintain. “We are negotiating with these donors if they can divide the resources to establish facilities with (a smaller) capacity so we can (distribute the fund to) several provinces. Several provinces are willing to donate (for the construction of rehabilitation centers),” Sueno said. He said mega facilities like the one in Nueva Ecija might be difficult to maintain. The facility was funded by Chinese real estate billionaire Huang Rulun and can serve up to 10,000 patients. It occupies

about 11 hectares of land. Sueno said a number of businesses and private individuals, including businessman Ramon Ang, MegaWorld and DMCI, have promised to help build treatment facilities. “Anybody who can help us, local or international, we are accepting them, we are welcoming them,” the secretary added. Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Cebu-based architectural firm Archiglobal Inc. has also committed to build a rehabilitation center in the Visayas.

He said the health department and Archiglobal signed last Wednesday a memorandum of agreement for the establishment of a mega drug abuse treatment facility inside a military camp in Carmen, Bohol. President Duterte has launched an aggressive campaign against narcotics and has vowed to continue the crackdown until the last drug lord is killed or placed behind bars. He also said there are four million drug addicts in the country. n

ORMOC CITY, Philippines— A witness in the cases filed against policemen accused of protecting suspected drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. was shot by still unidentified armed men on Juan Luna Street, Ormoc City, Leyte on Friday night. Ferdinand Rondina, 38, was watching television news report at the barbecue stall of his sister just outside his house when Ferdinand Rondina two men shot him at the different parts of his body about 7:30 p.m. When the victim fell on the ground, the gunmen, who were both wearing bonnets, shot him in the face to finish him off. His relatives rushed him to a private hospital where he died. Senior Insp. Joseph Joevil Young, head of the City Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group, said they had yet to determine the motive in the killing. He said Rondina had stopped his illegal drugs trade as they could no longer buy shabu from him despite several attempts. “We will help in the investi- District 4 Councillor Rodolfo Juntilla shows the spot through his flashlight where the victim gation because his death may be Ferdinand Rondina was shot dead while watching television at his sister’s barbecue stall on Juan Luna Street, Ormoc City on Friday night. Robert Dejon drug-related,” he added. Rondina was among the He was later used by Espe- as the one who introduced him trusteed men of Kerwin, considered the biggest drug lord nido as witness to the charges to Ronnie Dayang, driver of in Eastern Visayas composed of that the police officer filed now Sen. Leila de Lima who althe provinces of Leyte, Southern against fellow men in uniform legedly received P8 million in Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, who allegedly were protecting campaign funds from the drug Kerwin’s operation. Biliran and Northern Samar. lord. Espenido had denied the Espenido earlier explained claim. He reportedly stopped his operation in July when he surren- that Rondina was trusted by According to witnesses, dered during Oplan Tokhang, a Kerwin to distribute money to Rondina had just finished readpolice house-to-house campaign police and local officials whom ing his Bible after dinner about to urge known drug personalities the drug lord wanted to get fa- 7:30 p.m. when he decided to in the community to stop their il- vors from. go out of his house on Juan Mayor Espinosa was killed Luna Street. legal drugs operation. Rondina also surrendered inside his cell at the sub-provinHe went to the stall of his to Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, cial jail in Baybay City, Leyte, sister and watched a news rethen Albuera police chief, when on Nov. 5 in what the Criminal port on television. he learned that he was among Investigation and Detection Rondina was engrossed those named by Kerwin’s father, Group claimed was a shootout. watching TV that he didn’t Espenido was later trans- notice two men in bonnets apMayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. as among those involved in his ferred to Ozamiz City, Leyte, proached him and shot him reafter he was tagged by Kerwin peatedly. n son’s illegal operation.

Aquino, 6 others face complaints over supposed gold shipment by Patricia Lourdes Philstar.com

Viray

MANILA, Philippines — Graft and plunder complaints have been filed against former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and six other officials during his administration for the alleged shipment of $141 billion in gold to Thailand. Also facing the charges are former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Treasury Department chief dealer Lorelei Fernandez and Sen. Franklin Drilon. The complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman was based on a purported BSP circular that was first seen on social media. According to the supposed BSP circular, about 3,500 metric tons of gold was shipped and deposited at the Bank of Thailand. The complainants, Rogelio Cantoria and lawyer Fernando Perito, said that the gold bars could be retrieved and returned to the BSP if those were properly and legally processed. According to the purported circular, the gold bars weighed 12.5 kg/bar and had a purity of 99.999 percent. Aquino, De Lima, Roxas, Tetangco, Drilon and Purisima allegedly approved the certification of the shipping in December 2014. Thailand’s Centennial Energy Company and the Philippine government under the Aquino administration agreed to produce funds in exchange of the gold bars for humanitarian projects. n

Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III are facing graft and plunder charges for the alleged shipment of 3,500 metric tons of gold bars to Thailand. Philstar.com/File


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A11

DOJ submits for resolution 2nd NBI case vs De Lima by TETCH

TORRES-TUPAS Inquirer.net

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted for resolution the second complaint by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Sen. Leila de Lima after she failed to respond to the case. De Lima is facing a case for violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for receiving P8 million drug money from self-confessed drug peddler Kerwin Espinosa. The senator, through her lawyer Filibon Tacardon, questioned the jurisdiction of the DOJ panel of prosecutors led by senior assistant state prosecutor Peter Ong in handling the case against her. In her omnibus motion, De Lima said only the Ombudsman had jurisdiction over public offi cials like her. She also asked the panel to inhibit from handling the case. “If ever my motion will be denied, then we can take the necessary legal steps by preparing the counter-affi davit of Senator De Lima or raising the matter on appeal,” Tacardon said. But Ong said if Espinosa

would no longer revise his affi davit, there would no longer be any changes to the case. “Then we will proceed to resolve the case,” Ong said. Tacardon sought reconsideration and asked if the panel deemed waived the right of the senator to submit her response to the NBI’s complaint. According to Ong, under Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, the respondent is required to submit a counter-affi davit. “Under Rule 112, respondent is required to fi le his or her counter-affi davit. What

you fi led is not a counter-affi davit [but an Omnibus motion]. You are aware of that [Rule 112], the good senator is aware of that as she has been secretary of justice,” Ong said. “We have been using the Manual of Prosecutors during her time and the criminal procedure has not been amended long before she became justice secretary and after her term at the DOJ,” Ong added. Aside from De Lima and Espinosa, also included in the NBI complaint is De Lima’s former driver and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan. ■

STRAY BULLET VICTIM. The 15-year-old girl who was hit by a bullet while watching a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve in Malabon passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 4. A report sent to National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said Emelyn Villanueva was declared dead by Dr. Christian Perolina at 6:12 p.m. She passed away in the surgical intensive care unit of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center. Inquirer.net photo by grig Montegrande

SACRED RITUAL. In this , the centuries-old image of the Santo Niño arrives at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, Cebu province after a procession marking the start of the feast of the Holy Child Jesus. The Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in downtown Cebu City will be open 24 hours a day to welcome pilgrims starting January 5 until the feast day on Jan. 15. Inquirer.net photo by Tonee Despojo


A12 JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

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SHOWBIZ&STYLE

B

Journal â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Die Beautiful,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Vince and Kath and Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; top MMFF box office rankings by Rosette

Adel

Philstar.com

METrO Manila Film Festival entries â&#x20AC;&#x153;Die Beautifulâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vince and Kath and Jamesâ&#x20AC;? led the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s box office rankings, the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive committee announced Wednesday, Jan. 4. Ten days after the start of screening, Jun Lanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drama comedy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Die Beautifulâ&#x20AC;? was named the top-grossing entry in Manila while Star Cinemaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vince and Kath and Jamesâ&#x20AC;? emerged as entry that earned most in the provinces.

Erik Mattiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seklusyonâ&#x20AC;?, on the other hand, took second place in both Manila and provincial box office rankings. Here are the MMFF box office ranking released by festival public relations head Noel Ferrer: Official Ranking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Metro Manila 1. Die Beautiful 2. Seklusyon 3. Vince and Kath and James 4. Saving Sally 5. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2 6. Sunday Beauty Queen 7. Oro

8. Kabisera Official Ranking â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Provincial 1. Vince and Kath and James 2. Seklusyon 3. Die Beautiful 4. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2 5. Saving Sally 6. Sunday Beauty Queen 7. Oro 8. Kabisera The MMFF executive committee has yet to release the official figures of the filmsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; earnings but Star Cinema disclosed that â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vince and Kath and Jamesâ&#x20AC;? obtained over P100 million in ticket sales. Ferrer said the committee did

Mocha Uson named MTRCB board member by Alexis RomeRo

/64,36(5 $IRECT,ENDER

Philstar.com

MANILAâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; A sexy dancer and staunch supporter of President rodrigo Duterte who once appeared in daring flicks has been named board member of the Movie and Television review and Classification Board (MTrCB). Margaux Justiniano Uson, popularly known as Mocha Uson, was designated MTrCB board member last December 28, appointment papers released to the media Thursday showed. Her term will expire on September 30. Asked why the president named Uson to the post, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar replied: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why not?â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mocha is an artist. She is one of the biggest artists we have in the country. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been in the show business world for more than a decade already,â&#x20AC;? he added. Andanar also described Uson as â&#x20AC;&#x153;an educated personâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the biggest bloggers in the Philippines.â&#x20AC;? Uson has been using her blog to attack critics and perceived political rivals of Duterte including Vice President Leni robredo

not target to exceed MMFF earnings last year given the change of entries. However, he is grateful for the public reception for all the eight entries which were deemed different from the previous entries of the festival. He stressed that it is no longer a battle between independent films and mainstreams because priority is to give value on quality over commercial viability of films. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the end, there is no price that we can put on audience education and development. Ang Jun Lanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drama comedy â&#x20AC;&#x153;Die Beautifulâ&#x20AC;? was named the top-grossing entry in Manila. PAGE B3

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Uson is an outspoken supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and a vocal critic of his perceived political enemies.

and the media, which she called â&#x20AC;&#x153;presstitutes.â&#x20AC;? She has also asked Duterte to boycott mainstream media outlets for their supposed bias against him. Before campaigning for Duterte, Uson, the leader of the all-female dance group Mocha Girls, appeared in sexy films and sex instructional videos. Uson has decried what she described as sexist attacks against her and has urged critics to focus on her arguments instead of her past. Asked if he thinks Usonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sexy image can affect the performance of her duties in MTrCB, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella

said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;As far as I know, when you enter into public office, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re supposed to delineate yourself between your past jobs and your present position.â&#x20AC;? As board member, Uson is tasked to help the MTrCB perform its function, which includes censoring material that â&#x20AC;&#x153;in the judgment of the board applying contemporary Filipino cultural values as standard, are objectionable for being immoral, indecent, contrary to law or good customs, or injurious to the prestigeâ&#x20AC;? of the country. Aside from Uson, a certain Jeremiah Jaro was also named board members of the MTrCB.

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B January 7-10, 2017 • La WEEKEnD aSIan JOurnaL

Moonlighting by Mylah de

leon

IN a world running at digital pace, many newspapers have long been forced into the traditional news magazine model, with larger form writing and more big picture thinking. But we still have to do it every day, after all, there is only so much wisdom one can summon in a few hours. We are aware that readers know what the news is. It would be a sham to pretend that we can guide them through the chaos of the information age. Nothing beats the Internet in doing a good job of playing the role that has been long filled by newspapers: delivering headlines, opinions and instant analysis. Every newsman thinks what we do is truly important — that every issue represents our effort to bring original reporting, provocative (but not partisan) arguments and unique voices to our readers,

Features

Today’s path-breaking role of the news magazine even if only on a weekly basis. In the final analysis, what matters in the news world is whether our readers think that our work repays the investment of your time. Asian Journal Publications, Inc. aims to bring to our readers intellectually-satisfying, as well as visually-rich experiences, as the great newspapers of old times did — giving the benefit of careful work. For the most part, there is variety. The reported narrative (pieces grounded in original observation and freshly discovered fact) which illuminates the important and the interesting. There are also editorial pieces grounded in reason and supported by evidence. Perhaps displaced by these two categories, one would think that straightforward news would be the chief. Will we cover breaking news? What rigorous standards do we have in mind?

Are we truly adding to the conversation? Are our photographs and design values exceptional? The question is the answer. Because if the answer is yes, then we are in business. The cycle of news reporting We’ve always hoped for a model of the form. This could be a continuing rethinking of the best structure of the magazine, features in the form of a visual dissection or explanation of an important issue, or that happening or event that will satisfy one’s curiosity, if not pique interest including our cultural taste, global stability, views about the state of the world. Global commerce assessment also counts. The issue of news reporting brings to mind how comic tradition in the early 19th Century evoked American journalism through Mark Twain. He was Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), the unsanctified newsPAGE B6

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The Global Kababayan G. TönGi EVERY New Year’s Eve, my entire family and I find ourselves in Pasadena at our family friend’s home, the Ramos-Suguitan’s. New Year’s Day is usually spent walking in parkas to the parade some 10 minutes away on foot to watch the Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses. The Rose Parade happens to be one of the most iconic, historic and watched parades

The Philippine Scouts 26th Cavalry Mounted Unit featured in 2017’s Rose Parade in the world on New Year’s that includes flower-covered floats, marching bands, and equestrian units and is followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. This year, however, since New Year’s fell on a Sunday, the Rose Parade was moved to Monday, January 2 due to their tradition. The Tournament of Roses website clarifies why: “The Tournament of Roses® has had a ‘Never on Sunday’ tradition since 1893, the

Programming of Kababayan Today, January 9-13, 2017 Monday, January 9 - Two members of the The Los Angeles Based 26th Calvary Philippine Scouts, Frank Quimbao, president of the Lt. Alexander Nininger Chapter of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society & Ricardo Molina, grandson of a 26th US CAV Trooper, share their experiences of being part of the 2017 Rose Parade. Tuesday, January 10 - Joining us for Talk Tuesday is Attorney Angelo Ancheta, Attorney Allison Aquino Silva, Actor/Activist Marie Matiko and Filmmaker/Producer Daniel Ferguson who share their concerns with the new administration as Trump steps into office. Wednesday, January 11 - The Asian Journal shares the headlines for the Fil-Am community. YouTube Star “The Monster’s Without” Director Randal Kamradt and Cast Member & YouTube Star Jessica MacCleary also join the show. Professor Brandon Reilly shares his thoughts on Marcos in relation to Duterte and history. Thursday, January 12 - Meet the Fil-Am team of “Songs for a New World” opening up at The Old Town Temecula Community Theater. For tickets go to: www.TheBarnStageCompany.com or www.TemeculaTheater.org. Friday, January 13 - If you are looking for a children’s book series that our AAPI children can read to learn about our culture, then the “Guardian Princesses” book series is it! We present an exclusive reading of the books too!

first year since the beginning of the Tournament, that New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.” This is because the bells of the church disrupt the equestrian units. Through historian Eloisa Borah, retired Fil-Am librarian from UCLA, she was the one who emailed me the good news about the Philippine Scouts riding in the Rose Parade this year! Eloisah, Salamat! Among the 20 units of equestrian groups that were part of this year’s parade, the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society – U.S. Army’s 26th Cavalry Regiment from Los Angeles was one of our most visible representations of our Filipino-American kababayans. I was giddy watching the parade seeing the Philippine Scouts ride the horses in full combat regalia! The Philippine Scouts are also known as MacArthur’s soldiers as they fought for the United States during World War II on horseback. Most of the riders are current or retired military or descendants of the original group of Filipino veterans as well as other people who are interested in the history of the 26th cavalry unit which may up many different ethnicities. I reached out to the president of the Los Angeles Chapter, Frank Quimbao, who graciously made time to come into the LA18 studios for an exclusive interview on “Kababayan Today.” Make sure to watch it this week on television on Monday, January PAGE B7

Photo courtesy of Gil Mislang


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Features

*** 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.

‘Die Beautiful,’ ‘Vince and Kath and James’... Ferrer wrote. “Sa huli’t huli, hindi mapapantayan ang mga palakpak pagkatapos ng magandang palabas at ang matinding kahilingan na panatilihin o ibalik sa sinehan ang mga magagandang pelikulang karapatdapat nating suportahan,” he added. “Die Beautiful” earned various awards both international and

Ronnie Alonte and Joshua Garcia as cousins in ‘Vince and Kath and James’

locally. At the MMFF Gabi ng Parangal, it won My Most Favorite Film and Best Float awards while central actors, Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables won Best actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Paolo welcomed the lead in rankings gratefully. “DIe BeAUTIFUL IS nO.1! More than the awards, box-office hit, maraming salamat sa bawat tawanan, luha at palakpak na ibinibigay nyo sa aming lahat sa bawat pagtatapos ng pelikula! Thank you! Wooooh! nakakaiyak!,” he wrote in a Facebook post. On the other hand, “Vince and Kath and James” was granted Children’s choice award. It was also named the first-day top grossing MMFF entry. Cinema owners decided to extend the screening of the MMFF entries until January 7. however, of which, only seven are still being shown in cinemas because controversial film entry “Oro’s” screening has been deferred until further notice.

The holidays may be behind us but their physical effects, among others, will linger for a while. Medically speaking, it is actually a time for “damage control” for those of us who overindulged during the festivities. The post-holiday “makeover” is just as a healthy preemptive measure, more so for those who really want to maintain their normal weight or those who have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia. As with anything else, damage control is best as a preventive strategy. however, the holidays and special celebrations (like a birthday or a wedding reception), which could go on for more than a week, expose all of us to that great irresistible gastronomical temptation. For dieters, those who are watching their weight or counting calories, these occasions are tough times. Blessed are those strong-willed souls, whether or not they carry a calorie counter on one hand and a scale on the other. These health-conscious individuals will reap their rewards in terms of stamina, energy, a stronger immune system, and even longevity, as shown by medical statistics. Bear and horse analogy here is an analogy to clarify a point: “The bear, a carnivorous, eats with impunity in one sitting, gaining pounds after pounds, and then sleeps, slowing down its body metabolism, while the horse grazes on grass several times the whole day, and runs around very frequently, and as such, is a more agile, much leaner, and healthier animal.” Our physiology is at the optimum when we exercise and consume just the right amount of calories of the right foods to maintain our normal weight and when our glucose (blood sugar) levels are on an even keel most of the time. When we overeat and then try to starve ourselves to compensate for our indiscretion, our blood glucose spikes up and down — a phenomenon

brain to tell the person to stop eating. These substances control hunger and satiety. Which is the “hunger hormone”? The hunger hormone is Ghrelin, which is secreted by our guts (stomach and intestines). When its level goes up, we feel hungry and have the urge to eat. The level of Ghrelin goes up when we get less sleep or not enough sleep. This is the reason why those who are trying to lose weight should get adequate amount (about eight hours) of sleep. An imbalanced meal and stress also elevate the Ghrelin level. Food deprivation obviously increases the Ghrelin level, hence it is better to keep the level of this hormone on an even keel and not fluctuate too much by eating regularly (or even more than three times a day) but at a controlled total calorie ceiling, to maintain health and body weight. So, starving oneself is not a good way to lose weight, since this will lead to a Ghrelin “boomerang” in the latter part of the day. What is the “satiety hormone”? The opposite or counter-hormone, which is called Leptin, signals the brain when to stop eating. It controls the appetite. This “satiety hormone” is produced by fat cells in the body. When a person loses weight, the PAGE B7

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described as yo-yo dieting. This severe fluctuation in our blood glucose levels has adverse effects on our bodies and on our immune systems. And this poses an even greater danger for persons with diabetes. eating several times a day, even five or six times a day, not exceeding the total 24-hour caloric need of our body, is a healthier habit, which helps maintain our blood glucose level in a more stable, less erratic, pattern during the day. But the key is caloriecontrol, especially the ones from carbohydrates (rice, bread, soft drinks, cakes, ice cream, candies, and other sweets). Several years ago, we wrote about two main hormones that control our appetite, which is apropos to our discussion. here is a segment of that column: What triggers hunger and satiety? The urge to eat (hungry or not) is, to a large extent, controlled by hormones in our body. And these hormones fluctuate depending on how much sleep we get, what types of food we eat and how many calories we take in, and on how much physical activities we indulge in daily. Scientific researchers are focusing on four specific substances they call “fat hormones,” which our own endocrine glands in the body produce. There are hormones that make one eat and there are also hormones that signal the

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Health@Heart

GUAn Yu, a very famous legendary military general, appears in “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.” It is also said that Guan Yu invented the abacus, the counting tool. Many overseas Chinese merchants have great faith in Guan Yu as the god of business, as well as the god of crime-prevention (security). By just setting his statute in a building (room), huge fortune is expected to flow in, while evil energy is vaporized. In addition, if a Long Gui statue (dragon turtle) and an abacus are kept near Guan Yu, your economic fortune will be tremendously enchanted and business will be very prosperous. Dragon God offers specially treated and purified Feng Shui items. Ask a Feng Shui master how to use them.

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Shono

PAGE B1 sarap makita ng mga reaksyon ng mga manonood sa social media at marinig sa iba’t ibang umpukan na sa matagal na panahon, ang pinag uusapan ay hindi kung sino ang sikat - kundi kung ano ang maganda, mahusay at nakaantig ng ating puso. Kahit sa gitna ng isyu sa ORO, prinsipyo ang pinag-uusapan hindi iskandalo,”

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Post-holiday ‘damage control’

Guan Yu By Sean

LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARy 7-10, 2017

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1956 A GOOD

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Grace Mercado Ouano (Grace O) was born on New Year’s Eve in 1956 shortly after her parents, Rosario Santos Mercado and Dr. Felixberto A. Mercado, Senior, returned from their six-month journey around the world on the same cruise liner that happened to be carrying Grace Kelly, who was en route to Monaco to marry Prince Rainier. Mrs. Mercado so enjoyed meeting the beautiful actress and future princess that she decided to name her daughter Grace.

Grace O celebrated her 60th birthday in style at the prestigious SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills with over 250 close friends and family members. The celebratory evening, which was planned and coordinated by Grace’s good friend and associate, Trinity Foliente began with a Catholic Mass. The main celebrant was Monsignor Larry Spiteri, who was visiting from the Vatican, and the ceremony was concelebrated by Father Robert Victoria of the St. Anthony Catholic church in the El Segundo Parish, Father George Peters of the Corpus Christi Parish in the Pacific Palisades, Father Donald O’Connor of the Divine Word Seminary in Riverside county, and Fathers Antonysamy Jebamalai and Xavier Raj Thamburaj from India.

Parade of Roses and Candlelight

As guests arrived in the main ballroom, they were welcomed with favorite songs from 1956 that were performed by the Maricar 4700 Band, which was joined by famous Filipino saxophonist, Ner De Leon. As a special tribute to Grace O at the beginning of the evening, 60 male quests each presented Grace O with a single red rose and 60 female guests each presented a lit candle that was then placed around a most delicious golden birthday cake filled with meringue and caramel buttercream from Karina’s Cake House in Glendale. Grace O’s husband, Rupert Ouano gave a heartfelt toast to celebrate his wife, who was dressed in an elegant red evening gown designed by Oliver Tolentino. The Maricar 4700 Band was then joined by singer Christine Love, who serenaded Grace and her guests with several popular songs from the 1950s. Following Ms. Love was child phenomenon, singer-actor Michael Keith, who’s 10 years old and performed several of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs, including Thriller. Michael Keith, who’s worked on Disney and Nickelodeon projects, performed Jackson’s “moonwalk.”

Grace Mercado Ouano arrives for her birthday celebration

Singer Martin Nievera

Music Merriment

Susan Angustia, Grace, Paul & Cynthia Cleveland

Kudos Awards

A great night of music and dancing included Martin Nievera, Christine Love (top), the Maricar 4700 Band with Martin Nievera and young singer Michael Keith. Sax player Ner De Leon (above, right). Emcee Randy Trinidad with Grace (above). Rupert Ouano dances the night away!

Senator Huff presents Grace O with Recognition award

Many Blessings

From left: Senator Robert Huff, Cora Soriano, Mei Mei, Consul General Adelio Cruz, and Grace O

Cousin Danda Gipealago with the Mass Anna & Joe Sayas present an award from the Mayor of La Cañada

An invocation prayer headed by Bishop Oscar Solis (left) was given for Grace and included (from left) Monsignor Antonio Cacciapuoti, Father Donald O’Connor, and Father Robert Victoria


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LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARy 7-10, 2017

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D YEAR TO BE BORN

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that celebrated Grace O’s life and concluded with a special birthday message from KTLA Entertainment Reporter Sam Rubin. The highlight of the evening was a concert performed by Martin Nievera, a renowned Filipino-American singer, songwriter, and actor. During his illustrious career, Mr. Nievera has recorded 18 platinum, 5 double platinum, 3 triple platinum, and 1 quadruple platinum albums. He has also co-hosted two variety shows, and appeared in eleven movies and seven television series and specials. Mr. Nievera’s musical director is Lori Ilustre. Randy Trinidad served as the emcee and entertainment director.

During the evening Grace O received Certificates of Recognition awards and birthday greetings from Senator Huff and the State of California; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu; Assemblyman Rob Bonta and the California Legislative Assembly; and a certificate from the mayor of La Cañada, Jonathan Curtis, which was presented by Anna and Joe Sayas.

When the Clock Struck Midnight

Singer Martin Nievera, Grace & Rupert Ouano

Guests came from across the country and from around the world to celebrate Grace O’s birthday and the New Year, including Senator Robert Huff and his wife Mei Mei, Philippine Consul General Adelio Cruz and his wife Catherine, Deputy Consul of the Philippine Consulate Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso, and Bishop Oscar Solis, auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles.

A five-course plated dinner service began at 7:00. Guests enjoyed a first course of sautéed shrimp with garlic and guindilla pepper, followed by a delicious second course of baby leek and Yukon gold potato soup and a third course of Bucatini with sautéed mushrooms and shaved black truffles. For the main course, guests had a choice between a perfectly prepared New York Steak, seared sea bass, or a cauliflower steak (cauliflower cous cous, quinoa, raisins, and pine nuts). These delicious entrees were followed by Spanish Flan with Catalan foam and SLS layered chocolate mousse. In between courses, Grace O and her quests were shown a five-minute video produced by the Emmy Award-winning producer Robb Weller

h Grace & Rupert at

As the clock approached midnight guests had their choice of a wide array of sweets when a Patisserie from The Bazaar by Jose Andres was presented along with the birthday cake. At midnight both Mr. Nievera and Michael Keith returned to the stage to sing Auld Lang Syne. Everyone cheered as the clock struck midnight. As each guest departed at the end of the evening, they were presented with Mr. Nievera’s latest CD, wrapped in gold with a black ribbon. Grace O’s 60th birthday party will be long remembered by every guest! Grace O is the creator of FoodTrients® and the author of two cookbooks – The Age GRACEfully Cookbook and The Age Beautifully Cookbook. Both cookbooks were awarded Gold in the Specialty Cookbook category of the Living Now Book Awards. Last week, The Age Beautifully Cookbook won the National Award in the INNOVATIVE category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The cookbook, which is Grace O’s newest book, will go on to compete in its category against the winners from other countries for the Best in the World award. Winners will be announced at the Gourmand awards event in Yantai, China on May 27.

FriendsFamily

Grace O and Robb Weller Trinity Foliente & Grace O

Standing (from left): Dr, Marissa Choy, Grace O, Marilou Virata, Dr. Joy Cordero Ramos, and Sisa Katigbak (seated)

Martin Nievera and Trinity Foliente

Tony Agoncillo with Grace O

Grace’s nieces (from left) Mariam Santiago, Mayes Inciong, Sarah Vilar, and Felichie Hemedes (at right)

Grace & Rupert Ouano with cake Roger & Lina Seaver

From left: Mike Cucueco, Joshua Rocco, Bob Hemedes, Rommel Valarao, Geoffrey Rodriguez

Polo Dellosa & Remy Quito Photos by Robert Koi and Matthew Fried


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EntErtainmEnt

LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARy 7-10, 2017

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Julia Barretto: It’s tough to suffer consequences of my family’s controversies by Dolly Anne CArvAjAl Inquirer.net

There’s a thin line between friendship and love. It’s a tricky thing to cross from the “friend zone” to the “romance department.” That’s what “Vince & Kath & James” is basically about. Lead stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia and ronnie Alonte make quite a charming combination. What a “three-fic” team, indeed. Their movie is the stuff that millennial thrills are made of. here’s my chat with Julia: How does your movie redefine love triangles? It’s a modern-day love triangle about how friendship and love can sometimes overlap. It’s very real and relatable. Tell us what your leading men are like. It’s always been a refreshing experience for me to work with different actors. This was something new. They were both easy to work with, and it was nice to have experienced their hunger for their craft.

The Philippine Scouts 26th... PAGE B2 9, 2017 on LA18. If you miss the broadcast, you can check out my interview with Mr. Quimbao, together with Mr. ricardo Molina, a grandson of one of the original troopers from the Philippine scouts 26th Cavalry Unit online atwww.la1.tv/kababayantoday. If you are interested in learning more on the history of the Philippine scouts 26th Cavalry unit, these books are recommended by Mr. Quimbao: Literary Books: Lieutenant

ramsey’s War, Twilight riders, The Doomed horsemen of Bataan Films: The Forgotten soldiers & Never surrender, The ed ramsey story *** 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

Photos courtesy of Gil Mislang California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.

Post-holiday ‘damage control’

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leptin level in the blood stream also goes down. As a result, there is a “rebound” weight gain. The best strategy for losing and maintaining a desired weight level is to lose in a slow and steady pace, about one to two pounds a week, and not more. In this manner, there will still be an effective level of leptin in the body to control the urge to eat. Are appetite suppressants safe? Most appetite control pills, juices, solutions and powders on the market are not the physiological and unnatural way to suppress (by force) the appetite for weight control. While they are readily available and very popular, they have potential adverse side effects on the heart, liver, kidneys and brain in the long haul. some serious complications and even deaths have been reported from

the use of these diet substances. since greater calorie intake than output is the cause of an increase in body weight, the safest, most natural strategy is to eat less and burn more calories with physical exercises, making the output of calories (energy) greater than the intake of calories (food). The use of appetite suppressants could be dangerous. The healthier “damage control” for our post-holiday misadventures includes daily gradual incremental reduction in the food we eat, daily physical exercises, as simple and easy as brisk walking for about 30 minutes a day, and hitting the scale daily (yes, daily) to check on any progress. Drinking a lot of water (not fruit juices and, especially not toxic soft drinks!) can help a lot. excess weight that does not come down only means a greater reduction in food intake is needed.

The excess weight gained over the holidays could be safely eliminated within a week. For those really overweight to begin with, the same strategy (output of calories must exceed the intake) could be used. simply put, more exercise and less food, until the scale tells you that you have achieved your dream weight for the NeW YOU and the new year. *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Julia Barretto

What’s the best part of being a Barretto? I’m glad to be a part of a clan that values the importance of family. What’s the toughest part about being a Barretto? Maybe having to suffer the consequences of their past controversies, even if they do not involve me in any way. And living up to ex-

pectations because of my aunts and parents’ excellent work in the past. But it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on and I’m happy to have as motivation. How’s your relationship with your dad (Dennis Padilla)? everything’s better now. What’s one advice of your mom Marjorie that you find hard to follow? Many. Although I was always that child who listened to her mother. What will it take for a guy to make you fall for him? I can’t predict. It’s so unpredictable what your heart, mind and soul decide to fall for. But a gentleman with a sense of humor would catch my fancy. If you had to choose between love and career, which would you pick and why? For now, I’d choose career. Although I believe a person does not deserve to be put in a situation where he or she would have to pick between the loved one and something that he or she loves to do.


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COMMUNITY Journal

The necessity of being represented by an immigration attorney Your Immigration Solution Atty. Devin Connolly & nAnCy Miller The ability to lawfully live and work in the United States is a dream of so many people. The fulfillment of this dream requires the aspiring immigrant to navigate the United States’ immigration laws, which are considered to be a very confusing and complex area of law. however, despite this complexity, and the incredible importance placed on being granted permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship, countless numbers of aspiring immigrants attempt to achieve their immigration goals without the assistance of an experienced attorney who specializes in immigration law. Sure some may indeed succeed, but many others do not; and this failure may lead to their ultimate nightmare – being deported. A person born outside the United States, commonly referred to as an “alien,” files their request for immigration benefits with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The USCIS is a branch of the U.S. Department of homeland Security. Prior to filing any application with the USCIS, it is imperative for the applicant to confirm their eligibility for the requested benefit. This assessment requires a review of many things, including dates of entries and exits from the U.S., type of visa (if any) held at entry to the U.S., the immigration status and history of the applicant and their family members, etc. Successfully applying for immigration benefits requires much more than merely completing required forms. It must include an accurate assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for the requested benefits. eligibility must take into account the impact of

any and all prior immigration history and criminal history – in this country or any other. This assessment is essential, because applying for an immigration benefit when you are not actually eligible may lead to a person being immediately deported. Previous immigration problems may mean that the alien is not eligible for the relief that they are seeking. It may also mean that the alien will require a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility. The same is true for criminal history. They type of conviction or the sentence may preclude the alien from relief (and result in deportation). Alternatively, it may require a waiver with a showing of extreme hardship to the qualifying relative(s). Criminal immigration problems may exist even if the alien was not actually convicted of a crime if the event causes the officer to have a reason to believe that they are ineligible. It is crucial to submit a welldocumented request for an immigration benefit. The submission of sufficient documentary evidence is vital since the applicant has the burden of proving that they are eligible for the requested benefit. In light of the fact that the burden of proof is on the applicant, they submit evidence that is thorough and persuasive to maximize their chances of being granted the requested benefit. Aspiring immigrants should do everything possible to ensure their personal interview is successful. These interviews can be stressful, nerve-wracking experiences. It may be the applicant’s first time attending a personal interview for an immigration benefit with the USCIS, and they are likely to be questioned by an experienced USCIS officer who has conducted many of these types of interviews. The USCIS officer may aggressively question the applicant, they may pressure them to answer questions to which they do not know the answers, and they may

also allow the applicant to make statements that are harmful to their case. Saying the wrong thing during an interview can make it significantly more difficult to ever lawfully reside in the U.S. And while the applicant may later realize they misspoke or that they did not actually understand the questions they were being asked, it may too late to fix the problems created. The application may already be denied and the Department of homeland Security may have already begun the process of deporting them to their native country. Representation by an attorney includes not just preparing and submitting the application, it also includes preparation for the interview and attendance at the interview with the alien. What an applicant said or did not say may be the basis of a delay in adjudication or a denial. The attorney should be there to ensure that the questioning is fair and lawfully permissible – and to stop an interviewer who oversteps his or her bounds. Federal Court judges have said that the only area of law that is more confusing than immigration is tax law. Maneuvering one’s way through the statutes, regulations, case law and personal interviews should only be done with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who is dedicated solely to the practice of immigration law. hiring the right attorney may be the difference between obtaining a green card and being deported. ***

Reeves, Miller, Zhang & Diza Law Corporation’s offices are located in Pasadena, Irvine, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Makati City. Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: immigration@rreeves.com Website: www.rreeves.com. *** 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)

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Do you have these fears about bankruptcy? Minding Your Finances Atty. RAymond BulAon Are you struggling with debt problems and have thought about filing for bankruptcy but have questions that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re afraid to ask? Over the last 12 years, I have counseled and helped thousands of individuals in debt. From what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen, a lot of people suffer for many years in debt when they could have obtained relief sooner- simply because they have questions about bankruptcy that they are afraid to ask. Instead of asking a bankruptcy attorney, they listen to advice given by well-meaning family and friends but in so doing, only make their situation worse instead of better. Why? Because most of the time, the advice they get is based on misconceptions about bankruptcy. relying on incorrect information can be disastrous to your financial health. If you are currently struggling with debt and one or both of the following statements are true- (a) your total liabilities exceed your total assets Or (b) you cannot meet your financial obligations as they become due- you are ALreADY considered insolvent or bankrupt by law. Now, you may

be in denial about it. You may refuse to accept this reality. But you will never get anywhere with your debt problems unless you accept things AS THeY Are, not as you wish they had been. Here are some of the misconceptions about bankruptcy that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen that have stopped people from taking action to turn their situation around for the better: Filing bankruptcy means that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve failed. FALSe- Studies show that most bankruptcy filings are a result of circumstances beyond peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s control. Sickness, disability, unemployment, divorce and death- These events can happen to anyone at any time and when they do, there is often a disruption in income which could lead to bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy can hurt your immigration status, your application for citizenship or your eligibility for Social Security when you retire. FALSe- Filing for bankruptcy relief is NOT a crime- so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be afraid that you will be treated like a criminal if you file bankruptcy!. As a matter of fact, we have laws in this country that protect the legal rights of bankrupt individuals in need of a fresh financial start. It will not hurt your immigration status or affect your citizenship application. You must be behind on all your bills before you can file bankruptcy. FALSe- If you can

see that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re headed to debt trouble, do not wait until your situation becomes a financial emergency. By filing sooner, you can actually avoid the stress of dealing with creditor calls, lawsuits, wage garnishments and other collection actions. My credit will be ruined forever and I will never be able to buy a house or obtain credit in the future. FALSe- Although a bankruptcy can stay on your record for 7-10 years, the truth is that most people can rebuild credit in only 2-4 years. A lot of people in debt also already have low credit scores due to late payments, high debt amounts, etc. and they are actually better of filing for bankruptcy so they can start fresh again and rebuild their credit. If you are drowning in debt, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose hope. What you need to do is to find out what your options are so you can do something positive about your situation instead of doing nothing. For a free office consultation, please call Toll-Free 1-866-4777772. 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)

â&#x20AC;&#x153;SIMBANG GABI 2016â&#x20AC;? celebrated with greater success at Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills FILIpINO-AMerICAN and ethnic parishioners of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills were grateful at the successful outcome of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Simbang Gabi 2016â&#x20AC;? celebration at 7:00 p.m.last Dec. 19, 2016.. The Filipino pre-Christmas Advent Mass Tradition was held for the 4th time the multiethnic way with Most reverend Bishop Oscar A. Solis as main celebrant. Fr. Alex Aclan, Vicar for Clergy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Fr. Lester Avestruz, Chaplain of Cedar-Sinai Medical Center and Fr. ed Benioff, CGS pastor con-celebrated the festive occasion. The local parishioners and guests from neighboring parishes and far-away cities of Los Angeles swarmed the church for the 5th

day of novena of masses in Our Lady of Angels region. The advent mass celebration is an archdiocese-wide activity under the auspices of the Filipino Ministry. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Simbang Gabi theme is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jesus make us generous dispensers of your divine mercyâ&#x20AC;? translated in pilipino as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hesus gawin mo kaming masaganang daluyan ng iyong banal na awaâ&#x20AC;?. The new philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz honored the Fil-Am & ethnic parish community with his presence as one of the offerors in the advent mass event together with the other members of the philippine Consulate Office. A special appreciation was extended to the philippine Chamber Singers of Los Angeles for

their wonderful choral arrangements of religious hymns and Christmas carols. A sumptuous reception of Filipino food and delicacies followed after the Mass at the church hall which was well-attended and well-served and much appreciated by parishioners and guests. The Church of the Good Shepherd Simbang Gabi 2016 Coordinating Committee ledby ped L. Dar Santos as Head Coordinator expressed its heartfelt thanks to all Committee Members, Sponsors, Donors and participants of â&#x20AC;&#x153;CGS Simbang Gabi 2016â&#x20AC;? and to the numerous individuals who selflessly devoted time, effort and financial support to make the festive Advent Mass possible. n

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Community Journal

“On-call” during breaks? You may be entitled to additional wages Protecting Employee & Consumer Rights Atty. C. Joe SAyAS, Jr. ABM Security Services, Inc. employed about 15,000 current and former security guards at residential, retail, office, and industrial sites throughout California. In 2005, Jennifer Augustus and two other security guards, filed a class action case against ABM on behalf of all ABM security guards. The complaint accused ABM of failing to provide uninterrupted rest breaks as required by California law. The employer did not relieve guards of all duties during rest breaks. Guards were required to be on-call, to keep their radios and pagers on, and respond to employer calls. However, the employer argued that the guards regularly took rest breaks and were rarely interrupted by workrelated calls. The trial court sided with the employees, stating that an on-duty or on-call break is no break at all. The court awarded approximately $90 million to the employees. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which answered these two questions:

Are employers required to give their employees off-duty rest periods? Should employers require their employees to remain oncall during rest breaks? off-duty rest breaks: A rest break plainly refers to “a period of rest.” “Rest” implies the opposite of work, and could mean the cessation of work or freedom from activity or labor. The high court concluded that an off-duty rest break means a time during which an employee is relieved from all work-related duties and free from employer control. Such off-duty rest breaks must be provided. on-call rest breaks: The high court ruled that if an employer requires its employees to remain on call during a rest break, the employee has not been relieved of duties and is still effectively on-duty. Employees forced to remain on call during a 10-minute rest break must fulfill certain duties: carry a phone or pager so the employer can reach them at any time, respond to employer’s call, and perform other work requested by employer. These obligations inhibit the employees’ freedom to use rest breaks for their own purposes. Therefore, employees must be relieved of all work duties, and must be free to spend their time as they wish. The Supreme Court noted that an on-duty rest period may

be allowed under very limited situations. For example, employees who are directly responsible for minor children, or persons receiving 24-hour residential care, and employees of 24-hour residential care facilities for the elderly or disabled, may be asked to remain on the premises and maintain general supervision of residents during their rest breaks if the employee is in sole charge of residents. But generally, and for most employees, California law prohibits on-duty and on-call rest breaks. During required rest breaks, employers must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time. otherwise, employers must pay an extra hour of pay per day that a rest break is not provided. *** 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. joesayaslaw.com. *** 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)

Devotion to the Black Nazarene now in Baldwin Park, CA To Live With Faith reverend rodel G. BAlAGtAS I ASKED a Filipino man who was participating in a ‘Traslacion’ procession of the Black Nazarene in the streets of Manila during my last trip to the Philippines why he has a deep devotion to the image. He responded, “Jesus Nazareno heard my prayers, Father.” “What were your prayers to him?” I queried on. “I was having marital problems because I could not get a permanent job. My son was also getting addicted to drugs. I was getting depressed. Then I decided to pray the novena to Jesus Nazareno and to join the image’s annual procession in Quiapo to help me with my problems. I could not believe that Jesus Nazareno heard my prayers, Father. I have a permanent job now, my marriage problems are resolved and my son is well. So now, every year I participate in the procession and continue to ask favors

from him.” Such is the faith of this devotee to the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, Manila and the other million people who show up in the streets of Manila each year on January 9 to participate in the ‘Traslacion,’ a 20-hour-long procession of the Black Nazarene. Bringing their statuettes or replica images of the Black Nazarene, AlJazeera News reported that devotees would “endure sleep deprivation, extreme heat, hunger, and even injuries during the procession of the statue for a chance to touch, kiss, or simply feel close to the Black Nazarene.” I witnessed this scenario too when I found myself last year in the middle of a wave of devotees, mostly young men, parading barefoot around the image of the Black Nazarene. We were like bees swarming around the statue. It was an amazing experience—a demonstration of religious piety that is unfathomable for many people. This devotion to the Black Nazarene (Spanish: El Nazareno Negro, Padre Jesus Nazareno; Filipino: Poong Itim na Nazareno) started in the Philippines in the mid-1600s when the image arrived in Manila through

galleon from Acapulco, Mexico. The image, which is dark and carved from a mesquite wood by an unknown Mexican artist, depicts Jesus bearing the cross on his way to crucifixion. It is a life-sized statue that is considered miraculous. From then on replicas of this image have been carved. Wikipedia gives an account of the history of this image: “The older and more popular copy belonging to the Recollects was destroyed in the Second World War during the Liberation in Manila in 1945. The surviving image has been enshrined in the Minor Basilica for centuries, withstanding several fires, earthquakes, and war…The presentday statue enshrined in Quiapo Church is, in fact, a composite of the original head and replica sculpted by renowned santero (saint-maker) Gener Magalaqui, as commissioned by the Archdiocese of Manila. The second composite statue, comprising the original body and the head of the Maglaqui replica, is normally stored in a different location and brought out only for the three major annual processions. This arrangement began in the 1990s because of security concerns for the image as well as to prevent

Can I get a green card if I had a previous marriage petition denied based on fraud? Dear Attorney Tan, I recently married a uS Citizen, who is my second husband. He has filed an immigrant visa petition and green card application for me. My husband recently received from uSCIS a Notice of Intent to Deny the petition that he filed on my behalf. The Notice indicated that the immigrant visa petition could not be approved since the uSCIS had determined that I previously entered into a fraudulent marriage to get a green card several years ago. My ex-husband previously filed an immigrant petition on my behalf several years ago, which was denied since uSCIS determined that I only married him to get a green card. My second husband and I truly love each other. What are my options? -- In Love but out of Status Dear In Love but out of Status, under INA Section 204(c), a person who “attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage” in order to receive permanent resident status in the uS is prohibited from obtaining uSCIS approval of an immigrant visa petition. Simply stated, Section 204(c) prohibits approval of any immigrant visa petition if there has been a finding of “marriage fraud” in a prior marriage-based petition. Based on the above law, your case seems at first glance like an “open-and-shut” case in favor of denial. However, you still have hope of getting a green card—a person can apply for and get his immigrant petition approved despite the prior finding of “marriage fraud” under certain circumstances. You may ask, how is this possible? Isn’t Section 204(c) straightforward? Not quite. The answer lies in the fact that uSCIS must independently examine the prior finding of “marriage fraud” in considering the subsequently filed immigrant visa petition. Before invoking the Sec. 204(c) bar to approval of a subsequent visa petition, uSCIS must make an independent determination of fraud based upon the record, including but not limited to any evidence gathered during adjudication of the prior visa petition, but may not parrot or rely on the conclusions made by other adjudicators. uSCIS must have “substantial and probative” evidence of “marriage fraud.” Matter of Tawfik, 20 I. & N. Dec. 166, 168. The determination is to be made by the uSCIS district director while adjudicating the subsequent visa petition. Matter of Samsen, 15 I. & N. Dec. 28, 1974 WL 29995 (B.I.A. 1974). The district director should not give conclusive effect to the determinations made in the prior proceedings, but should reach his own independent conclusion based on the evidence actually before him. Matter of F-, 9 I. & N. Dec. 684 (BIA 1962). Therefore, in cases such as yours in which the uSCIS has indicated it intends to deny the subsequent immigrant visa petition due to the prior finding of “marriage fraud,” new evidence can be submitted that demonstrates that the prior finding of “marriage fraud” was incorrect—i.e., evidence that shows that the prior marriage petition was based on a bona fide marriage, or that explains that the prior denial was based on an incomplete or inaccurate assessment of the facts. In cases in which the subsequent immigrant visa petition has already been denied, this new evidence should be submitted as part of a motion to reconsider. I recommend that you seek an experienced attorney to assist you in properly presenting the law and facts to the uSCIS adjudicator to address the Section 204(c) bar. *** 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)

LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARY 7-10, 2017

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrSUA reyeS You own a successful business, as a sole proprietor, prior to marriage. You later meet the love of your life and decide to marry her. Years into the marriage, you decide to incorporate the business. A common question when the couple later divorces becomes 1) did your separate property business become community property by virtue of incorporating it during the marriage? 2) Was your separate property business “transmuted” to community property by incorporating it during the marriage? No community property presumption Family Code §760 defines “Community property” as “Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. However under Marriage of Koester, the Court held that the community does not “acquire” a separate property business simply because the business is incorporated during the marriage. The mere incorporation of a business operated by spouse is not a change in its character, for purposes of division of community estate following divorce. In Koester, the Court stated that he incorporation simply effects a change in the legal form under which the business is conducted and property does not change its character merely because of a change in form or identity. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1035, 1038, 87 CR2d 76, 79, 81. The Court in Koester also stated further damage to it; up to the point, the original image in its entirety was processed.” The devotion is now strongly rooted in the Philippines. It is because Filipinos, especially poor people, identify themselves with the passion and suffering which the statue depicts. Every Friday of each week, devotees come to Quiapo Church in Manila to say the novena to the Black Nazarene. The heavy traffic of Manila would not prevent them from giving hon-

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Will incorporating a separate property business during marriage make it community property? that “In contrast with the way title is taken when a married couple own residential property, the incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship. To say ... that an asset was ‘acquired’ by the community ... because some aspect of corporate formation took place during the marriage is to elevate semantics over substance” No transmutation Incorporation of a sole proprietorship business during the marriage can trigger a family code § 2640 tracing right of reimbursement only when it is also accompanied by an unambiguous express written transmutation of the business to community property as required by Family Code § 852. Marriage of Koester, supra, 73 CA4th at 1036–1037, 87 CR2d at 79–80 & fn. 5. under Family Code §852, a transmutation of real or personal property is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected. In Koester, the act of changing the legal form under which a business is conducted does not meet the requirements of family code § 852 for a valid transmutation. Marriage of Koester (1999) 73 CA4th 1032, 1037, 87 CR2d 76, 80 & fn. 5. Incorporation of a sole proprietorship business is typically done for reasons extrinsic to the marital relationship.

Although the mere act of incorporating a separate business during the marriage does not change the character of the business to community property, the community may still acquire an apportionment interest if the value of the business substantially appreciated during the marriage due to the labor and hard work of the managing spouse during the marriage. The apportionment calculation is done using the formula in the Pereira or Van Camp case where the contributions of effort and return on capital are separated from the value of the business. ***

or to the image and asking the Black Nazarene to answer their prayers. Aside from the novena, devotees would kiss the image, light devotional candles and walk on their knees down the nave of Quiapo Church toward the altar that enshrines the image. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle explains this devotion in this way in a homily on January 9, 2016: “Have you ever experienced having no one to turn to and no one to

hold on to? Go to him, and you will understand and experience for yourselves why the devotees have that kind of affection towards the Black Nazarene.” The devotion to the Black Nazarene is now being promoted in the united States at St. John the Baptist Church in Baldwin Park, California. Through the blessing of Fr. Michael Gutierrez, the pastor of the church, Filipino parishioners were able to obtain a replica of

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) 3881611 or e-mail kureyeslaw@gmail.com or visit our website at Kenreyeslaw.com. *** Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation. (Advertising Supplement)

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C JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

Debt Relief Atty. LAwrence yAng Mr. Trump has made filing for bankruptcy relief as a sign that he’s smart. He’s smart he says because his companies filed for bankruptcy 4 times using applicable law. Bankruptcy allowed his businesses to get rid of debt, a lot of it, and bankruptcy allowed him to keep his ownership over these businesses, which emerged from bankruptcy leaner and more productive. So, since we are now in Trump Land, filing for bankruptcy to get debt relief is smart. American bankruptcy laws exist to help debtors become productive again, allowing debtors to keep exempt assets while getting rid of accumulated debt. Hence, if you think filing for bankruptcy when you need it, is dumb, you are wrong. Just ask Mr. Trump. He got away with not disclosing his tax returns and not paying income tax for the last 20 years. And still becoming president elect for our great country. The man is a genius. What are the signs that you will need to be smart next year by filing for bankruptcy? Let’s go over the common red flags that you have to watch out for: 1. Mortgage default or car default: If you are behind in your house or car payments, you have serious cash flow problems. This means that your income is not enough to pay for your most important asset that puts a roof over yourself and your family. Your first instinct might be to blame every one else and everything else. But seriously, you have to analyze your financial situation to determine what the cause is. You might be paying $1K just to service $30K of credit card debt at the expense of paying for your house or car. Chapter 7 or 13 will get rid of the $30K credit card debt, or allow you to reorganize your financial affairs to get rid of your credit card debt with nominal payment while giving you time to cure the default on your house or car. 2. Borrowing from A to pay B: If you borrow from Peter to

Community Journal

Signs that you will you need bankruptcy relief in 2017 Best wishes to all readers for the new year! pay Paul, you are living the illusion that your finances are ok but in truth, you are not paying down your debt. If you borrow $50K from Peter to pay Paul $50K, you owe the same $50K, except you now owe it to Peter instead of Paul. Maybe the $50K loan from Paul matured today so you got a new loan of $50K from Peter, which matures in 12 months. Yes, you bought yourself 12 months but admit to yourself that you have serious debt problems you are not able to pay down the $50K from your own money. 3. raiding your retirement account to pay debt: Never ever use retirement money to pay debt. retirement money is for retirement. Is that clear enough? That’s why its called a retirement account. Let’s say your IrA or 401K is $70K. You want to pay off your credit card debt of $30K. Don’t make the mistake of using the retirement account to pay off the credit card of $30K. First of all, there is a penalty for withdrawing early. Second, you can wipe out the $30K credit card debt while keeping all of your $70K retirement account intact with a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so why sacrifice your financial security when you retire? 4. You sacrifice necessities to pay debt: Let’s say you owe $40K of credit cards that require $1,200 of monthly minimum payments. Your net income is $3,000. You only have $1,800 for necessities. Necessities are food, shelter, transportation, insurance etc. If you feel the constant tug between necessities and credit card payments, you may need bankruptcy relief to get rid of the $40K credit cards. It’s pretty hard to have your family eat less or not pay the rent. 5. refinancing your house to pay down credit card debt: If you are really tempted to refinancing your house to cash out $50K to pay off $50K of credit card debt, think again. Adding $50K to your mortgage now means adding $200 to your mortgage. When you retire, $200 more for the mortgage is an amount that you cannot

afford. When you retire, every dollar from social security and other sources is critical to survival. It can mean the ability to keep your house when you retire. You can actually keep your house and get rid of your $50K with Chapter 7 or 13 so why pursue refinance? Be smart, that’s the name of the game now in Trump Land. 6. Your savings account doesn’t exist: All of my clients, without exception, answer this when I ask them do you have $5K in your savings account? They always answer: I wish I had $5K in it. I have practically nothing in my savings account. If you have extra money at the end of the month, your instinct will be to stash it away into a savings account. If you have no savings, this means all your income is being used up to pay all your monthly expenses. If you owe $20K of credit cards, you need $600 a month. Instead of saving $600 a month, or $7,200 a year, you use the $7,200 to keep your $20K of credit cards current. That’s why you have no savings and that’s why you need bankruptcy relief. 7. You have maxed out your credit cards: If you have maxed out your credit cards, you are in bad shape financially. Need I say more? You need bankruptcy Chapter 7 or 13 to get rid of your credit cards and start fresh without accumulated debt. Be productive again. Be smart! Best wishes to all readers for the New Year!! If you filed for bankruptcy in 2016, you would have no more debt in 2017, but its not too late. Get bankruptcy relief in 2017 if you need it. It’s the smart thing to do says Mr. Trump. You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11 *** 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)

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Proving your citizenship

by Andrew PArAnAl, eSQ

A LITTLe known provision of a new law could result in a denial of health care benefits to an estimated 50 million Medicaid (California’s Medi-Cal) enrollees. This includes hundreds of residents in nursing homes around the Southland. With Presidentelect Donald Trump taking office soon, these issues are sure to be raised again. On February 8, 2006, President George Bush executed a bill into law (the 2005 Deficit reduction Act) which now requires recipients of Medicaid (Medi-Cal) benefits to provide either an original birth certificate or passport in order to apply for or to continue to receive their health care benefits, commencing July 1, 2006. The new law was part of Washington’s efforts to clamp down on illegal immigration by preventing undocumented immigrants from claiming to be citizens in order to receive benefits only provided to legal residents. With the election of Donald Trump as our next president and his focus on immigrant reform, these issues are poised to be raised again. In general, Medicaid (MediCal) is available only to U.S. citizens and certain “qualified aliens.” Under the current law, there is no requirement to show proof of citizenship. Unless the claims seemed questionable to state eligibility workers, benefits were provided relying only upon a signature of the applicant to certify whether or not they were American citizens. Under the new law (the Deficit reduction Act), states cannot receive federal Medicaid (MediCal) money unless they verify citizenship for people who receive or apply for Medicaid (Medi-Cal). “An applicant or recipient who does not cooperate with the requirement to present documentary evidence of citizenship may be denied eligibility or terminated from Medicaid”. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicates that this

provision will affect 49 million US-born citizens and two million naturalized citizens covered by Medicaid over the course of a year, not including new applicants. Many affected will be illegal immigrants, but some will be citizens unable to present the necessary documents. Some Medicaid experts are estimating that millions of citizens could find their health care in jeopardy. According to Families USA, a consumer advocacy organization, the disabled, the mentally ill, the homeless, the elderly and the chronically ill will unfairly suffer as the result of this new law, as they would have difficulty accessing copies of birth certificates, and would be far less likely to own a U.S. passport. Therefore, they will be unfairly denied necessary health care beginning as early as July 1st. The law specifies documents that can be used to establish citizenship. This documentation will be required for every new determination of Medicaid once implemented. The following documents are said to meet “satisfactory documentary evidence of citizenship or nationality:” - A birth certificate from the US - A US passport - A Certificate of Naturalization (Form –550 or –570) - A Certificate of US Citizenship (Form –560 or –561) - A valid state driver’s license or other state ID document that requires proof of citizenship or a valid Social Security number - Certification of Birth Abroad (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350) - US Citizen Identification Card (Form t-97) - report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States (Form FS-240) - An identity document as described specifically in the Immigration and Nationality Act - Another document the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) may specify by regulation that requires proof of US citizenship or nationality and

Andrew Paranal, ESQ

that provides a reliable means of documenting personal identity But, you might say, “I don’t ever plan to go to a nursing home!” Well, my advice is, find or obtain your birth certificate anyway. You never really know what tomorrow may bring. Maybe your kids will have the time (and/or inclination) to take of you, maybe they won’t. even if you stay at home, or perhaps go to an assisted living or retirement home, you can still benefit from Medi-Cal if you are paying several hundreds of dollars or more a month in prescription drugs and medical “co-pays,”. “Say what? I thought Medi-Cal was only for nursing homes?” Not so. You can qualify for and obtain Medi-Cal benefits even if your staying at home. i.e., “community-based” Medi-Cal to pay for prescriptions, procedures, and help with daily activities. *** Elder Law Services of California is proud to announce that attorney Andrew Paranal has joined its trust department. Mr. Paranal began his career in estate planning in 2013 and has since expanded into asset protection and Medi-Cal planning. He became interested in Elder Law after helping care for a family member who experienced a debilitating event. Mr. Paranal is excited to join an established law firm and hopes to educate his Filipino community about the tremendous benefits of proper estate planning. For more information, please visit elderlawcalifornia.com or call 1-800-411-0546 (Advertising Supplement)

Devotion to the Black Nazarene now... PAGE C3 t

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the statue from the Philippines. It is the hope of the pastor and the parishioners that this devotion would be another way to evangelize people -- not only Filipinos, but also other nation-

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.


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Community Journal

LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARY 7-10, 2017

Sunhak Peace Prize announces 2017 laureates Core theme focuses on the global refugee crisis

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he Sunhak Peace Prize Committee announce its 2017 laureates last November 28 at the JW Marriot hotel in Washington D.C. The announcement was made via a press conference attended by 20 international journalists, including Korea’s three main broadcasting agencies — KBS, MBC, SBS — and other major media outlets. The global refugee crisis is the core theme for the 2017 awards, with the laureates being chosen for their remarkable strides on a global scale, and their proposal for a clear vision to solve the issue. Selected as dual laureates to receive the prestigious award are Italian doctor Dr. Gino Stra-

da, 68, and Afghan educator Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, 66. The Committee received a total of 225 nominations from 76 countries during this year, from March until June — 178 for individuals and 47 for organizations. Committee Chairman Dr. IlSik hong announced the laureates stating, “At this time in history, we are crossing a bridge into a momentous new era, and we are being tested on the very essence of our humanity.” he announced, “The Committee has chosen, as the 2017 laureates, Dr. Gino Strada, who provided medical and surgical care to victims of war and poverty, and refugees around the world, and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, who

presented an innovative solution for refugee resettlement through education. Chairman hong went on stating that, “the Sunhak Committee annually presents a ‘futurepeace agenda’ that will guide our shared human destiny toward peace.” he also mentioned that, “Observing the refugee and diaspora crises occurring throughout the world over, I am reminded once again of our Founders’ love for humanity, which has transcended national borders.” he also highlighted, “the great love for humankind with which the 2017 Sunhak laureates have sought to solve these problems has historical significance in our struggle for a sustainable peace.” Meanwhile, a video presentation covered how the laureates were chosen, and focused the viewers’ attention on the seriousness of the global refugee crisis. Dan Burton, a former member of the U.S. Republican Party, mentioned that “through the video we are shocked by the fact that 1 in every 113 people globally is now a refugee.” he received an ovation after asking those in attendance to come together, urging for “greater awareness and cooperation to solve the refugee crisis,” “The U.S. should take a more leading role in solving the issue,” he added. Among the 300 attendees were

Larry Beasley, President of the Washington Times, Dr. Thomas Walsh, Chairman of the Sunhak Foundation, hon. Jose de Venecia, former Speaker of the Philippine house of Representatives, hon. Tae-Ik Chung, President of the Korean Council on Foreign Relations, Rev. Sung-Il Cho, Director of FFWPU International headquarters, hon. Dan Burton, former member of the U.S. Republican Party, as well as over 70 incumbent diplomats from 56 nations worldwide. n

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C JANUARY 7-10, 2017 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL

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LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • JANUARY 7-10, 2017

MARKETPLACE SHOWROOM

Immigration Corner ATTY. MICHAEL GURFINKEL, ESQ MANY people are justifiably afraid and concerned about their future in America once Donald Trump becomes president. When he kicked off his campaign, he stated his intention to deport the approximate 11 million illegal aliens who are in the US. He later changed his position to focusing on the approximate 3 million he referred to as “bad hombres,” or those who pose a danger to society, such as criminals, terrorists, and possibly those with previous deportation orders. However, people are still worried that ICE will come to their home or workplace, handcuff them, and take them off to the

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What to do if you get a ‘knock on the door’ PH gov’t remains bullish on economic growth in 2017

airport, to be flown back to the Philippines. But it is not that simple or easy for the government to deport/remove people. You have rights and are entitled to Constitutional due process, and if you are ever faced with a knock on the door, you should have an attorney represent you, to protect your rights and determine if you are possibly eligible for some sort of relief from deportation/removal. With respect to fearing a knock on the door, you should be aware of the following: The government cannot simply knock on a person’s door or come to their place of work, grab and handcuff them, and take them to the nearest train station or airport and send them out. Instead, each person is entitled to his or her “day in court.”

EVA economy class ranks third worldwide for 2017 Elite Class premium economy ranks seventh for airline in top-10 best

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – EVA Air’s Economy Class rates as the world’s third best inAirlineRatings’ evaluations for 2017 while its Elite premium economy ranks seventh and the airline has earned overall recognition among the top-10 best of the best. EVA earned the website’s top seven-star rating by demonstrating excellence its in-flight product, services and innovation in addition to its safety record and standards. AirlineRatings released its top-10 seats in the sky for first, business, premium economy and economy cabins through a DailyMail.com report in December 2016. Travelers can learn more about EVA seats, flights, services and routes at www.evaair.com . Economy Class seat pitch and width were among the ratings website’s evaluation criteria. It

also considered seat design and service. AirlineRatings praised EVA for leadership in Taiwan aviation and innovations such as the industry’s first premium economy cabin in 1992. The website is led by editors recognized worldwide for their expertise in the airline industry. AirlineRatings.com ranked EVA Air among the world’s top10 airlines, identifying it as an airline of choice for business and leisure travel for 2014, 2015, 2016 and, now, 2017. EVA has high standards for comfort and service. SKYTRAX awarded it 5Stars, recognizing it among only nine carriers worldwide to hold the elite distinction. SKYTRAX and Travel + Leisure also rank it among the world’s Top-10 Best International Airlines. PAGE D2

eJeepneys pushed for tourism by RICHMOND

MERCURIO Philstar.com

MANILA – The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said the Philippines can take a page from Vietnam’s book and use electric vehicles in its tourist areas. EVAP executive director Bong Cruz said in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, there is a proliferation of electric vehicle shuttles within tourist areas. Cruz said the electric vehicles there are the big six-seater golf cart varieties which are smaller yet very similar to the 14-seater electric jeepneys (eJeepneys) now plying Makati, Filinvest City Alabang, Muntinlupa and Ateneo. “We are now encouraging tourism industry players to help develop green tourism in the Philippines. I believe this is one lesson we can learn from the Vietnamese—provide tourists with shuttle vehicles that are quiet, comfortable and smoke-free. This will be good for everyone in the tourism industry,” he said.

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According to Cruz, eJeepneys in the Philippines are more commonly used for public transport. However, he said it is now high time for the Philippines to have more eJeepneys for tourism application. “This is understandable since the jeepneys are the backbone of the Philippine mass transport system. But in Vietnam, the electric vehicles are used more in the tourism industry to promote green and convenient tourist transport that is quiet and smoke-free,” he said. Cruz said it would be more enjoyable for foreigners visiting Philippine tourist sites to ride electric vehicles. He noted EVAP welcomes progress in the industry so far as electric tricycles (eTrikes) are concerned. eTrikes have managed to penetrate famous tourist areas such as Coron, Boracay, Puerto Princesa and Intramuros. The group, however, hopes eJeepneys will also be introduced in these sites to cater to bigger groups.

Business Quote of the Week “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” - Tony Robbins, businessman and author of “Unleash The Power Within”

They must be served with a Notice to Appear (NTA), which sets forth the charges or reasons they are deportable. The person then has the right to appear in court, and apply for various forms of relief, if eligible, which must be heard and ruled on by the immigration judge in a trial-like setting. Some forms of relief, which exist under current laws, could include cancellation of removal, adjustment of status (if they were petitioned by a relative and their priority date is current), waivers (if they are in removal/deportation because of some previous immigration violation such as fraud or crimes, to name a few). Court proceedings could involve several appearances. If their case is denied by the immigration judge, they can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which could take several more years. Where is Mr. Trump going to find enough courtrooms and judges to handle the approximate 11 million new removal proceedings? It will cost billions of dollars to build new courtrooms and hire and pay new

judges (and their staff) to handle all of these removal proceedings and appeals. The bottom line is it is not feasible to gather up and deport/ remove millions of people. But if you are among the “unlucky ones” who are facing removal, or are later placed in removal, it is vital you have an attorney represent you, and protect your rights. ***

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 reenactments) 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: www.gurfinkel.com 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)

by DANA

M. SIOSON

AJPress

THE Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) is bullish that the country will maintain its high economic growth in 2017 despite the political noise during the first six months of the Duterte administration. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government is optimistic that the country’s economic growth remained “on the upswing on the back of rock-solid macroeconomic fundamentals.” “This means there will be no letup in the Duterte administration’s commitment to spending big on urban and rural infrastructure as a growth driver, to guarantee sustained high and inclusive growth,” Dominguez said in a statement. The Philippine government said it is expecting the economy to grow between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent in 2017. “So if we manage to grow by 7 percent, we become the fastest-growing country in the fastest-growing region in the world

and that’s an honor, right? And that would be an accomplishment,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters. The DOF said credit raters and other international institutions, such as S&P Global, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also share this rosy economic outlook on the Philippines. S&P Global Ratings forecasted the Philippine economy to grow 6.7 percent in 2017. ADB, on the other hand, expects a 6.8 percent growth rate while the IMF projects about 6.4 percent. According to Dominguez, the Duterte administration is committed to pursuing an accelerated spending program to sustain the country’s economic momentum. This, he said, would also help spread the benefits of growth to all sectors across the country by providing more jobs and better living standards. Likewise, he added that the PAGE D2


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Budget chief nixes unnecessary tax perks So, you want to invest in real

estate? Here are some tips

by Alexis

RomeRo Philstar.com

MANILA – Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno has likened redundant fiscal incentives to “pork barrel” as he cited the need to review tax perks that have led to significant losses of state revenues. Diokno said tax incentives have resulted in revenue losses equivalent to one to two percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the sum total of the goods and services produced by an economy in a given period. “We will review the tax incentives. There are many businesses that will remain profitable even if they are not given incentives. The incentives are redundant,” Diokno told radio station dzMM in Filipino last Monday. “I call the incentives pork barrel on the tax side. If you are a congressman or a senator, you would sponsor a bill that would provide incentives to a sector, which would definitely help you once you seek reelection,” he added.

“Pork barrel” refers to lawmakers’ allocations for their chosen projects. Critics said the system has led to corruption and patronage politics. “Because of the pork barrel on the tax side, the revenues the government should be earning to sustain education and welfare are sacrificed,” Diokno said, adding only big firms benefit from the incentives. Bills seeking to rational fiscal

incentives had been filed in previous congresses but had been bypassed. Diokno said the administration is also pushing for a bill that will impose specific tax on gasoline and diesel. Diesel is exempted from excise tax. “Many rich people drive dieselrun vehicles. The argument that you are not pro-poor if you slap taxes on diesel is no longer applicable,” Diokno said.

PH gov’t remains bullish... PAGE D1 government is also focused on seeking congressional approval of its proposed comprehensive tax reform program. The tax reform program, according to Dominguez, will “ensure the financial sustain-

ability of the government’s unparalleled spending on infrastructure, human capital and social protection for the country’s most vulnerable sectors.” Dominguez said the government will also maintain its focus on other urgent measures

such as fully implementing the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, modernizing agriculture to pull down food prices while increasing farmers’ incomes, and leveling the playing field for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).

MANILA –Why would you invest in real estate? Is it because of the idea that you can earn good income from renta lproperties without doing much work? Are you inspired by many success stories in house flipping? Perhaps, you just want to get to your financial goals sooner. Whatever encouraged you to try real estate investment, know that it will require some work and the right mindset. Before putting some of your hard-earned money into a property, it’s best to keep these things in mind first. 1. Have the determination. If you’re venturing into real estate investment hoping that you’ll earn money easily, you might want to revisit your objectives. Remember that there’s no such thing as easy money. Renting out a property or house flipping or any type of real estate investment always comes with legwork and requires determination.If you are determined enough to be a successful real estate investor, create smart and realistic goals now and carefully plan your next steps. 2. Study and take action. Part of the legwork is research, so learn as much as you can about real estate investment. But while there are many resources you can find on the internet, consider as well investing in books and seminars to gain more knowledge. It’s also wise to connect with experienced investors so you can listen to their insights and get some pieces of

good advice. But your research will just be in vain if you don’t put the lessons into practice. Believe it or not, many people who say they want to start investing in properties do read up a lot but always put off making the first step. This will never help you reach your financial goals. Make sure to take action. 3. Invest as soon as you can. Are you wondering about when’s the best time to invest in a property? Is it when interest rates are low? Is the start of the year a good time? You can study the trends and predict the perfect time to get into property investment. But many investors believe that you’re actually good to go as long as you have the money, better yet prospective properties to invest in. “As soon as you have the (financial) capability and the decision to buy real estate property, please proceed to do so,” 8990 Holdings, Inc. President and CEO JJ Atencio told Philstar.com when asked to give a piece of advice to millennials who are interested in investing their money. 4. Consider going for a modest investment.

While it can be exciting to own a high-end condominium unit, you can save that for future investment when you are financially capable to expand your horizons. In the meantime, as a beginner, consider buying a property at a conservative price first. Look at the condos, apartments or dormitories near schools.There are also affordable, good-quality houses in the provinces where real estate business is also booming. This gives you an opportunity to test the waters in the real estate industry and if the endeavor really works for you. Deca Homes’ properties, for example, can be owned for as low as P800,000. These are located in the outskirts of the metro, particularly in spots where young families could flourish. Their payment schemes are designed to help buyers own a home as soon as possible. To sum it up, investing in real estate will not give you easy money. But with determination, right knowledge, a concrete game plan and the best property, you can be sure to succeed in making your money grow with real estate.

BPO sector still an ‘area of certainty’ by DoRis

DumlAo-AbADillA Inquirer.net

UNIVERSITY of Asia and the Pacific economist Bernardo Villegas, also known as the country’s “prophet of boom,” has shrugged off concerns about the Philippine business process outsourcing (BPO) industry contracting under the term of US president-elect Donald Trump. In a presentation during a macroeconomic briefing held by First Metro Investment Corp. Thursday, Villegas said the BPO industry— which contributes more than $22 billion in annual revenue— remained an “area of certainty” for the Philippines notwithstanding the looming Trump presidency. “Even if it’s true that Trump can force some of the investors to try to redevelop manufacturing in the US, he won’t be able to do that in services, Villegas said. “The differences in wages in services are much more than wages in manufacturing. If you take a look at some wages that people in New York have to pay for BPO services, it’s anywhere from eight to 10 times what they pay in Manila or

Iloilo or Dumaguete. “There’s no way Trump can force American companies to relocate their service-oriented companies back to the US,” he said. At the same time, while the US could compete well in manufacturing, he said the Americans were “not exactly cut out for services.” Villegas said outgoing US president Barack Obama had also talked about bringing back jobs to the US previously. “Nothing happened. These decisions are made by businessmen,” he said. It’s also good for the Philippines that it is now developing BPO hubs in second-tier cities as these make the cost proposition even more attractive for multinational corporations. The economist is also optimistic that President Duterte—despite all previous anti-US rhetoric—would be able to improve relations with the US under the Trump presidency. On the rising tide of protectionism, Villegas said the Philippines PAGE D3

EVA economy class ranks... PAGE D1 EVA also excels at convenience. Its routing within Asia is among the industry’s best. With one stop in Taipei, travelers can connect onward aboard 132 flights throughout Southeast Asia and 155 in Northeast Asia. EVA and affiliate UNI Air operate an additional 113 weekly flights to 27 destinations in Mainland China and fly to Guam, Korea, 8 major cities in Japan and more major gateways throughout the region. EVA operates more flights from North America to Taiwan, connecting to more destinations in Asia, than any other airline. As a Star Alliance member, EVA extends its network to nearly 1,330 destinations in 192 countries. It code-shares with Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Hainan Airlines, Hongkong

Airlines, Air India, Shandong Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Air, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines. EVA Air, a Star Alliance member, is widely recognized for exceptionally high service and safety standards. The carrier was established in 1989 as Taiwan’s first privately owned international airline. It is part of the respected Evergreen Group and a sister company to global container-shipping leader Evergreen Line. It flies a fleet of more than 70 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to more than 60 international destinations throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America where gateways are Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver. Travelers can learn more about EVA’s schedule and book and buy tickets atwww.evaair.com.


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Singapore to increase investment Aggressive infra plan to sustain PH construction boom in PH, launch more flights to Manila by aMy

r. reMo Inquirer.net

by Mayvelin

U. Caraballo ManilaTimes.net

ThE government of Singapore is interested in increasing its investment in the Philippines, as well as adding more flights to Manila ahead of higher demand for air travel between the two countries the Department of Finance (DOF) said. In a recent meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, Singaporean Ambassador to Manila Kok Li Peng said Singapore’s private sector would like to explore new growth opportunities in the Philippines, particularly in the retail, transportation, infrastructure and tourism sectors, the DOF said in a statement on Thursday. Singaporean businessmen are planning to schedule the next meeting of the PhilippinesSingapore Business Council (PSBC) in Davao City and, if possible, discuss new business and investment activities in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte. “We’re trying to get a meeting of the PSBC here. They want to bring the members to Davao to meet with the President,” Kok was quoted as saying, to which Dominguez responded that a possible date for such a dialogue could be in February. Valued at P16.8 billion in 2015, Singapore’s investment in the Philippines is focused on real estate, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply and manufacturing activities. Singapore was the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner, with exports valued at $3.8 billion in 2015—mainly electronic products, petroleum products, and electronic equipment and parts. The Philippines, in turn, imported $5 billion worth of goods from Singapore, mostly mineral

fuels, lubricants, food and live animals, and industrial machinery and equipment. Kok said Singapore is looking at expanding its airline industry market in the Philippines. “More competition is good for the consumer,” Kok said, explaining the plan by Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Tiger Airways to add more flights to the Philippines. Dominguez noted that opening the Philippines’ air travel industry to competition and even partnerships with other airlines would benefit the economy and boost the tourism sector. The Duterte administration is inclined to engage more with members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other Asian countries to move forward and achieve a balance in strengthening diplomatic ties with other nations across the globe. The 10-member Asean block consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The DOF said both Dominguez

and Kok agreed that technology and innovation are indispensable to sustaining growth under the current knowledge-based global economy. “We’re now a knowledgebased economy. We think innovation is the way to go in the future,” Kok said. Dominguez said the rapid growth of online-based businesses and investments was among the reasons the government considers it a priority to improve interconnectivity and internet speeds. “The structure of the industry right now is really holding us back. And it’s becoming quite obvious that the system we now have, where we basically have two service providers, is not really working,” Dominguez told Kok. Kok also asked Dominguez for a review and an update of the terms of the 40-year old double taxation agreement between the Philippines and Singapore. Dominguez intends to discuss Singapore’s concerns with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

BPO sector still an ‘area... PAGE D2 had the advantage because the domestic economy was not dependent on exports. “Our growth is from the domestic market, for as long as we can implement those infrastructure projects and continue receiving all

of these remittances. Our consumer market will take care of 6-7 percent (annual growth), the additional 1-2 percent will be addressed by infrastructure. That’s not dependent on what’s happening to the rest of the world,” he said. Villegas stressed that the jewel

of the economy remained the country’s pool of young and growing English-speaking population. As such, he said he disagreed with the Duterte administration’s bid to control population growth. “That’s our source of competitive advantage,” he said.

ThE figures are staggering. Over the course of President Duterte’s six-year term, some P7 trillion (about $144 billion) are expected to be poured in the country’s infrastructure sector—reportedly the “boldest, most ambitious… in history.” Some P860 billion had, in fact, been programmed by the administration for public infrastructure for this year alone. The target for 2017 was to ramp up infrastructure spending to 5.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)— twice the 2.6 percent average seen in the past six administrations, spanning across the last 50 years. For the Philippines and its people, this meant having more railways, urban mass transport systems, airports and seaports; new bridges and roads; as well as better and smarter cities. The economy is, of course, stands to benefit as well. As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had put it, a “sustained increase in public infrastructure spending to 5 percent of GDP would add a total of 5 to 6 percent to GDP after 15 years.” For the local construction sector and other related industries, this aggressive public spending could only spell better and bigger prospects for growth and expansion, and signal a brighter year ahead. Sustained growth According to the Philippine Infrastructure Report by BMI Research dated January 1, the country’s construction sector is well poised to sustain a healthy growth up to 2021, on the back of this administration’s infrastructure plan. Forecasts by BMI Research— a Fitch Group company that provides independent analysis and forecasts on countries, industries and financial markets—showed that the Philippine construction sector may grow from P1.09 trillion in 2017 to P1.73 trillion by 2021. The sector’s contribution to GDP is also seen to grow steadily from 6.8 percent this year to 7.3 percent by 2021. “We are maintaining our positive outlook for the Philippines’ construction industry as it receives substantial support in the form of President Rodrigo Duterte’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment plans as well as his aim to accelerate

PPP (public-private partnership) projects and develop rural regions of the country,” BMI said in its report. “President Duterte’s plan to spend more than P7 trillion in infrastructure between 2016 and 2022 will provide strong support to the construction industry, although we note bureaucratic obstacles which have previously weighed on project progression, particularly in the transport sector, will remain a hurdle,” it further stated. According to BMI Research, President Duterte’s tilt toward China is expected to “drive greater investment and involvement from Chinese firms in infrastructure, with $24 billion worth of financing and investment deals signed after his state visit to Beijing in October last year. It also pointed out that Mr. Duterte’s promise to honor existing PPP contracts would “bode well for policy continuity, while his pledge to review the framework will help to speed up future projects.” As such, BMI Research has forecasted a “robust expansion in the Philippine construction industry, which we expect to record real growth of 9 percent in 2017 and 8.5 percent in 2018.” Build, build, build This proposed massive infrastructure build-up is seen as a crucial cornerstone to the Duterte administration’s 10point socio-economic agenda as it was expected to help solve the country’s lingering concerns, particularly on unemployment, high prices, and traffic woes. Apart from those that had been approved last year, some of the infrastructure projects being eyed by this administration included: Santa-Monica-Lawton-Bonifacio Global City (BGC) link bridge, which is expected to divert 100,000 vehicles off Edsa; UP-Miriam-Ateneo viaduct which will reduce by 80 percent

the travel time from Katipunan to C.P. Garcia Ave.; Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros-Cebu link bridge; Davao City Bypass construction project, which will reduce the travel time from Digos, Davao del Sur to Panabo, Davao del Norte to 45 minutes from the current two hours; North Luzon Expressway (NLEx)-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) Connector Road, which will cut travel to Alabang from Balintawak to 30 minutes; Manila-Clark Railway, which guarantees a one-hour travel from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport; Metro Manila Bus Rapid Train (BRT) system; Mindanao Railway, which will cut the time it takes to go from Davao to Surigao and Cagayan de Oro to only two hours, thus allowing a faster and cheaper alternative to deliver agricultural products; Regional airport and roll-on, roll-off developments; Clark International Airport new terminal building to decongest the NAIA; and the Clark Green City, a 9,450hectare area within the government-owned Clark Special Economic Zone that is touted to become the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis. The target of the administration was to complete all these projects in five years’ time, or before Mr. Duterte steps down from office in 2022. Indeed, these are ambitious infrastructure goals that the government is seeking to undertake—one that is closely being watched by the local and foreign investor community as this could have a significant impact on the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination, and by many Filipinos who are awaiting whether Mr. Duterte can truly deliver on his campaign promise that “change is coming.”


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