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Volume 15 - No. 49 • 3 Sections – 20 Pages

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‘Government creating scenario for martial law’ by JESS

DIAZ Philstar.com

Rep. Edcel Lagman

DATELINE

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition congressmen warned the nation on Wednesday, Nov. 30, that the Duterte administration may be creating a scenario of violence and lawlessness that could lead to the proclamation of martial law. Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay noted the statement of presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo that suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is an option open to President Duterte in his war on illegal drugs. Lagman said the statement

USA

FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

Federal judge blocks overtime pay expansion law A FEDERAL judge on Tuesday, November 22 blocked a new law that would have expanded eligibility for time-and-and-a-half overtime pay, affecting millions of whitecollar workers in nearly every sector of the American workforce. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction on the grounds that the expanded eligibility rules violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which included exemptions to overtime requirements. The law – which was released by the Department of Labor (DOL) in May and would

IN SOLIDARITY. University students and activists from different generations converge at the People Power monument along Edsa, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to sing the same hits even as they protest the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Photo by Jilson Seckler Tiu/Inquirer

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Americans warned after bomb discovery near US Embassy THE US State Department has issued a travel warning for Americans bound for or in the Philippines following the discovery of an improvised explosive device (IED) some 250 meters from the US Embassy in Manila last Monday, Nov. 28. In its travel advisory on Tuesday, Nov. 29, the US State Department reminded its citizens traveling to or in the Philippines to be vigilant and take steps to ensure their personal safety. “The authorities have not yet determined which individuals and/or organizations may be responsible, nor have they established whether or not the Embassy was the intended target,” the message said. It advised Americans to “review (their) personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events,

and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.” Philippine National Police chief Director General Roland Dela Rosa earlier noted that the home-made bomb was similar to the one used in the Sept. 2 explosion that killed 15 people at a night market in Davao City, hometown of President Duterte. Dela Rosa said Islamic militants who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group were probably behind what he called “an attempted act of terrorism” apparently meant to “loosen” military operations against the militants in Lanao del Sur. Suspect’s image out The PNP chief on Tuesday released a

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Anti-Marcos groups launch protests on Bonifacio Day

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Largest Fil-Am mural in US vandalized

should be taken together with Duterte’s pronouncement that he would soon submit to the National Security Council and leaders of Congress a list of more than 5,000 officials involved in illegal drugs. “They are justifying the imminent suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus so they can resort to arrests and detentions without warrants. After that, the declaration of martial law is not a remote possibility,” he said. He added that Duterte’s statement that the so-called Maute group is now part of the Islamic

by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

LOS ANGELES — Vandals defaced a 21year-old mural in Historic Filipinotown celebrating historical and multicultural elements of Filipino heritage sometime before Tuesday, November 22. Photos circulating on social media show black graffiti spray painted over a central portion of the massive outdoor acrylic painting titled “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy)” located in the neighborhood’s Unidad Park. The artwork stretches roughly 150 feet by 50 feet and depicts traditional motifs and significant moments of Filipino and FilipinoAmerican history. It was first completed in

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DIFFERENT groups and various individuals crowded at the People Power Monument in Quezon City and launched a protest to show opposition on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB/Heroes’ Cemetery). Protesters denounced Marcos as a ‘hero’ of the country during the demonstration event, which Students flash the thumbs down sign as they burn an effigy of the late was also referred to as “Siklab dictator Ferdinand Marcos during a rally near the Presidential Palace Bayan” by the protesters, on to condemn last week’s burial Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Wednesday, November 30, which burial in LNMB, Millennials Against Dictaalso marked the national holiday honoring Filipino revolutionary and hero tors, as well as victims of torture during martial law and their families. Andres Bonifacio. Former head National Historical ComThe protesters were mostly youth from groups called Coalition Against the Marcos u PAGE A2

House passes Fil-Am WWII vets Congressional Gold Medal bill by KLARIZE

MEDENILLA AJPress

FILIPINO and Filipino-American soldiers who fought in World War II are now closer to being honored with one of the highest civilian awards in the United States. The United States House of Representatives on Thursday, November 30 passed S. 1555, also known as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Medal Act of 2015, securing complete approval from Congress. The bill – which now awaits a signature from the president – would honor the more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers who fought alongside American soldiers and Allied forces during the Second World War. The Filipino soldiers – of whom more than 18,000 are still alive – join the ranks of the Tuskegee Airmen and Hawaii’s 442nd Infantry Battalion with being bestowed with the honor. “These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, sacrificed,

fought and gave their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout the war,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said on the Congress floor before the House voted. “We’ve waited far too long to recognize these heroes who deserve this honor.” Gabbard, along with Rep. Judy Chu (D-California) and Mike Honda (D-California), pushed for the bill in the House, where it received 312 co-sponsors. Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada) was the Republican lead in the House for the bill, noting Filipinos’ efforts to secure a win for the U.S. and the Allies. “Filipino soldiers helped ensure Allied victory in the Pacific,” Heck said in a press conference in 2015 when the bill was introduced. “Bestowing this honor upon them is past due, but I am pleased to join in this bipartisan, bicameral effort to award these friends of the United States the Congressional Gold Medal.” On July 13, the Senate unanimously voted to approve the

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Duterte unveils ‘mega’ rehabilitation center in PH 29, with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte himself leading the facility’s inauguration. THE first phase of the “Mega” The rehab facility, built on an Drug Abuse Treatment and Re- 11-hectare compound, is expecthabilitation Center (DATRC) in ed to have the ability to accomFort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija modate about 10,000 patients opened on Tuesday, November u PAGE A2 by DANA

SIOSON AJPress

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DECEMBER 2-8, 2016 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160

From the Front Page

‘Government creating scenario for… PAGE A1 t

State and the police report linking an improvised explosive device (IED) found along Roxas Boulevard to the Maute group could be part of scenario-setting for eventual martial rule. Lagman pointed out that stage-managed incidents such as the ambush of then defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile preceded the declaration of martial law in 1972 by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list said he believed that Panelo’s statement on the habeas corpus suspension had Duterte’s go-signal. “They floated it to gauge public reaction and acceptance. If there is no protest, they will interpret it as acceptance. I think that people should begin to complain before it’s too late,” he said. He said administration officials are creating a scenario for “stronger measures that could lead to authoritarian rule.” Alejano, a former Marine officer, lamented that the President “is always painting the country on the brink of collapse and that only extraordinary measures could save it.” Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said it is incongruous for the President to claim there is brewing rebellion in Mindanao “when the government is in the middle of peace talks with various armed Muslim groups.” He said the report that presidential guards were injured in a blast in the Lanao area could be part of administration efforts to project increasing lawlessness in the south. For his part, Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan said the people should be vigilant against Duterte’s “increasing Marcosian tendencies.” The four congressmen belong to

the minority group led by Lagman and Baguilat. The group styles itself the genuine opposition in the House of Representatives. CBCP hits suspension of writ An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Wednesday, Nov. 30 said that government should secure the Filipino people but it should not suspend the writ of habeas corpus. CBCP Public Affairs Committee executive secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano issued the statement a day after an IED was found outside the United States embassy in Manila and raised speculations that it was part of a destabilization plot that would lead to the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. He said that while the Duterte administration should consider the neutralization of lawless elements and make them pay for terrorizing the people, it should not violate basic rights. “Any move to ensure the security and safety of the public should be welcomed. But to go

as far as suspending any legal remedy aimed at protecting the rights of our citizens, like the writ of habeas corpus, must be opposed,” said Secillano. On the part of church leaders, the CBCP official said that they are willing to suspend the liturgical activities if the safety of churchgoers would be compromised. “The church, for practical purposes, will be more than willing to suspend any liturgical activity if there will be threats to the safety of mass-goers. We will also instruct our parishioners to report to the police any suspicious looking individuals roaming the vicinity and depending on parish priests, they can request for police and military forces to secure their parishes,” Seciliano added. REAL HEROES The names of 19 people who fought the Marcos dictatorship have been engraved on the Wall of Remembrance at Bantayog Cotabato Archbishop Orlando ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. They were honored in solemn ceremonies last Wednesday, Nov. 30, Bonifacio Day. The names include Cardinal Quevedo Wednesday, those of the late Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and former Sen. Jovito Salonga. Photo by Nino Jesus Orbeta / Inquirer Nov. 30 said that the bombing in front of a church in Sultan Kudarat last Sunday, Nov. 27 was a pure act of terrorism. (With Evelyn Macairan) PAGE A1 t once all four phases are completed. With 172 building units, it will be the largest drug rehabilitation center in the country. To prevent the Philippines from becoming a “narco-state,” Duterte campaigned on the promise of cracking down on illegal drugs nationwide, earning him a landslide victory in the recent May 2016 elections. Since the president took office on June 30, police records show that around 700,000 drug users and 53,000 drug pushers have surrendered to the authorities. “Iyong mga tao na tumago at naghintay ng opportunity for a TERROR ATTEMPT? A member of a police bomb disposal unit inspects the improvised explosive rehab or something good along Photo shows an aerial view of the Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center at Fort device. Policement defused an improvised bomb found by a street sweeper near the US embassy the way, baka may makukuha Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija. President Duterte will formally open a portion of the mega rehab in Manila on Monday, Nov. 28. The bomb was similar to the improvised explosive device used sila, iyon ‘yung dadating dito. facility with a capacity for 10,000 patients, which addresses the health component of the in the Davao bombing, according to Manila Police District (MPD) Director Senior Supt. Joel (Those who hid and waited for an government’s war on drugs. Huang, chairman of the board economic development and soCoronel. ManilaTimes.net photo by Roger Rañada opportunity for a rehab or something good along the way, they of directors of Century Golden cial stabilities of all countries in might get something, those who Resources Group, has reportedly the world,” Huang said. According to Health Secretary come here),” Duterte said during donated an estimated P1.4 billion for the construction of the Paulyn Ubial, the first batch of Dela Rosa said the description suspect himself] is a terrorist the inauguration. patients in the new facility would He added that the center will drug rehabilitation center. was provided by a street vendor, who drove a taxi, or was simply “Mr. Huang, please accept be male patients from the “overwho will receive a token of ap- ordered by the terrorist group to accommodate drug addicts who preciation from the PNP. place the bomb in exchange for surrender to the government. my gratitude and that of the Fili- crowded” drug rehabilitation In a press briefing at the Que- money,” he added. “This bomb However, he reiterated his hard- pino people,” Duterte said in his centers in Central Luzon, as well zon City Police District head- may have long been hidden by line stance to those who choose speech, calling the businessman as other nearby areas. “We hope that it will really quarters, Dela Rosa said the PNP Maute here, and was just placed to fight back and refuse to sur- a ‘good samaritan.’ The president then added, “He help the victims of the illegal “theory” that the Maute terror now to create a diversionary render. “Those who choose to fight it (Huang) just came out of no- drug trade. The patients are acgroup was behind the incident move.” (With Jeannette I. An“stays.” drade and Jhesset O. Enano/In- out, made a stand, they are there where and went to my office and tually victims of the illegal drug in the memorials and cemeteries. said that he would help me solve trade so we want to ensure that “We still don’t know if [the quirer.net) the drug problem.” they are provided adequate and I am sorry for them,” he added. The Chinese businessman compassionate services for rehaAccording to the Philippine National Police (PNP), around lauded the president for his bilitation,” Ubial said. In a statement, Malacañang 4,000 people have been report- strong campaign against illegal edly killed in the country in rela- drugs, describing it as “the com- said the DATRC comprises the “health component” of the antition to the government’s war on mon enemy of mankind.” “Drug trafficking and drug drug campaign. narcotics — 1,800 of which were “The government has refatally shot during legitimate po- abusing are the chief culprits lice operations and about 2,600 in wrecking the society and de- sponded to concerns about the stroying the people’s minds. availability and preparedness of by unknown suspects. In his speech, Duterte also Drugs have long plagued gov- facilities to accommodate those thanked the Chinese tycoon, ernments and people all over the willing to submit to treatment Huang Rulun, who helped in world, and the spread of drugs by putting up the (DATRC),” it has brought great harm to the added. n building the rehab facility.

Duterte unveils ‘mega’ rehabilitation…

Americans warned after bomb discovery…

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computerized facial composite of the man who allegedly hurled the package containing the IED into a trash bin on Roxas Boulevard around 2 a.m. on Monday. The man, who was then in a white taxicab, was described to be around 44 to 45 years old, 5’ 5” in height, of medium build and with fair complexion.

Anti-Marcos groups launch protests… PAGE A1 t

mission of the Philippines (NHCP) Maria Serena Diokno, Sen. Leila de Lima, former DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, Rep. Edcel Lagman and lawyer Barry Gutierrez, also reportedly joined the demonstration. “The burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is wrong; it denies our history, erases the memory of lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom,” Diokno, who recently resigned her post as NHCP head following Marcos’ burial, said in a previous statement. Despite the public objection

of martial law victims and their families, Marcos was buried “in secrecy” and with military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18. It was President Rodrigo Duterte who earlier gave the green light to bury the late dictator at the Heroes’ Cemetery, living up to his campaign promise that he would let the event happen to “unite” and “heal” the nation. The burial was postponed until the Supreme Court ruled that Marcos can be buried at the cemetery in November, dismissing all the petitions against the burial. Several artists also joined the protest, including Rock band

Moonstar88, singer Gary Granada and Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society. Earlier on the same day, a public demonstration was also conducted along the Mendiola street in San Miguel, Manila. Another anti-Marcos protest is reportedly set for International Human Rights Day on December 10. “The victims of Marcos and all victims of state fascism will continue to fight for justice, freedom and democracy as we gear for mass actions on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day,” Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said in statement released on Bonifacio Day. n


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NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • DECEMBER 2-8, 2016

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PH COA pushes for performance audit via its CPA program Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo urges citizen participation to enhance transparency, accountability

HIV TESTING. The National Youth Commission (NYC) expressed concern over the rising number of young Filipinos testing positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which it described as a worsening “youth epidemic” in the country. The NYC expressed support for a proposed legislation that would strengthen measures against HIV/AIDS in the country, including allowing minors to have themselves tested without parental consent. Photo by Boy Santos/Philstar.com

Federal judge blocks overtime pay…

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have taken effect on Thursday, December 1 – would raise the maximum salary cap required for overtime qualification from $23,660 to $47,476 for full-time executive, administrative and professional workers. The increased salary requirement would have extended overtime protections to nearly 4.2 million workers, 7 percent of whom are protected by the FLSA compared to 62 percent in 1975, according to the DOL. While the FLSA does allow employers to exempt white-collar employees from overtime, Mazzant said in his 20-page ruling that the rule “creates essentially a de facto salary-only test.” The DOL — as well as worker advocacy organizations — argued that the law would fairly pay employees for the extra hours they work past the 40-hour weekday, adding that it would contribute to closing the wage gap between wealthy and low-tomiddle income households. The DOL expressed strong disagreement with the judge’s decision and was looking into further action including a possible appeal as the Obama administration comes to a close. “The department’s overtime rule is the result of a comprehen-

The defaced portion of the murial

sive, inclusive rule-making process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options,” the DOL said in a statement. The DOL can appeal to the New Orleans, Louisiana-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, which has blocked many Obama initiatives in the past. But even if it passes the court, Presidentelect Donald Trump’s administration could enact legislation that could upend the rule. Twenty-one states and dozens of businesses and business groups -- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- had challenged the expansion on the grounds that the new regulation would hike up government costs in their states by $115 million next year. Moreover, they argued that costs would also increase for small, private businesses by millions. “This is a victory for small business owners and should give them some breathing room until the case can be properly adjudicated,” said Juanita Duggan, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, told USA Today. In the months leading up to December 1, many businesses across the nation have already begun making changes to ac-

Photo courtesy of Bayani Art

Largest Fil-Am mural in…

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1995 by muralist Eliseo Silva, 30 years after a multiethnic coalition of farm workers staged walkouts and demonstrations that ended the abuse of farm laborers in central California. “It is even more thoughtless and hurtful that the tagger targeted the part that honors Latino-Filipino unity through the Delano Grape Strike,” Silva told the Asian Journal via email on Wednesday, November 23. The vandalized section of the artwork specifically commemorates September 16, 1965, the day laborers from the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) joined forces to form what would eventually be known as the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. Black lettering now mars the likenesses of Cesar Chavez and Filipino and Latino farmworkers depicted just beneath largerthan-life portraits of Fil-Am labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz. “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” is the largest mural dedicated to Filipino heritage in the United States. Its presence partly inspired city officials to designate the community surrounding the mural as Historic Filipinotown in 2002. “Any tagging is undesirable,” Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Joel Jacinto told the Asian Journal on Monday, November 28. However, he went on to concede that “graffiti is a natural occurrence of its public life.” Last week wasn’t the first time parts of “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” have been vandalized. In addition, the mu-

ral had never been treated with a protective coating that would help preserve it and make it easier to remove spray painted graffiti. Shortly after Unidad Park opened in 2009, Silva had performed a partial restoration of the mural, but by then, other portions were showing signs of wear. On Monday, Silva told the Asian Journal he would be willing to give his time to perform a comprehensive restoration and enhancement of the mural if enough funds could be pooled to pay for materials. He said he had been in touch with the nonprofit which stewards Unidad Park, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, as well as city representatives, and groups like the Social Public Art Resource Center regarding fundraising options. He estimated that it would cost roughly $10,000 to repair the damage done earlier this month and $50,000 to refresh the entire mural and apply a protective coating. Procuring that money may require partnerships between public and private parties and efforts to bolster interest in supporting and preserving public art, according to Jacinto. “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” is the last of seven murals painted in Los Angeles celebrating Filipino heritage, according to Silva. Jacinto said that this mural and the many others that beautify the city’s public spaces serve an important role in celebrating and commemorating Angelenos’ rich and diverse identity. “Murals in Los Angeles are lessons in the world that’s been and the world we want to see,” said the commissioner on Monday. (Eric Anthony Licas / AJPress)

commodate the new law including raising employee salaries to avoid overtime costs. Many have begun preparation to demote salaried employees to hourly employees. This is the fourth time in 21 months that a federal judge from Texas has stymied one of President Barack Obama’s executive orders. Previous blocked Obama initiatives included protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation, establishing inclusive bathroom mandates for transgendered students, and requiring federal contractors to disclose labor violations. (Klarize Medenilla/AJ Press)

THE Commission on Audit’s (COA) mandate is quite expansive as the Philippine Constitution has given the agency the authority and duty to examine, audit and settle accounts owned or held in trust by the government. Overall, the COA is involved in financial, compliance and performance audit. However, with its expansive mandate, the COA has focused more on financial and compliance audit, with little time and resources given to performance audit. Now with the new administration’s goal to eradicate corruption by promoting accountability, the COA is on a course to change this by working towards a more performance audit focused approach. Performance audits examine the effectiveness, economy or efficiency of a government program. Auditors assess whether value has been delivered for the money spent and whether available resources deliver the best services. COA Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo talked about the commission’s strategic plan and capacity building during his speech at the recent International Leadership Conference (ILC) in Washington, D.C. The ILC is one of many conference series presented and organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) to focus on the urgent need for new vision and moral leadership. This year’s

Philippine Commission on Audit Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo

theme is “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Government, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations.” Aguinaldo shared that in connection with performance audit, the COA has been working on an initiative called the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA). “The Citizen Participatory Audit began as a response to the pursuit by the previous Philippine administration of the key result area of institutionalizing open, transparent, accountable and participatory governance,” said Aguinaldo. “The reform sought to overturn the political culture of secrecy, impunity and collusion by introducing transparency, accountability and citizen engagement.” The CPA is a mechanism for partnership and an audit technique that brings together citi-

zens and government auditors to conduct a performance assessment of government projects and programs, Aguinaldo explained in his speech. The initiative entails the participation of citizens in an audit team for a particular project or project. The citizens undergo training and then are sent to the field under the direct supervision and control of government auditors. At present, over 80 citizens have been trained and over 20 civil society organizations have been engaged. According to Aguinaldo, the CPA also has completed the audit of farm-to-market roads in 12 provinces, disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction, solid waste management, the Department of Education Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program, tourism roads, and disaster relief fund utilization in a number of regions, cities and/or provinces. The CPA was also utilized to check on compliance with the conditions of a conditional cash transfer program. Currently, the CPA is involved in the audit of revenue assessment systems of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) together with the organization of certified public accountants. “Don’t get me wrong; the citizens do not substitute the auditors,” said Aguinaldo. “They assist the auditors in the conduct of

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DECEMBER 2-8, 2016 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL

Dateline USa

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160

Over 120 organizations call on California schools and colleges to be designated as sanctuary schools and campuses

CLOSURE. A worker at a firecracker factory in Bulacan is shown laying out materials to make the traditional New Year noisemakers. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ordered the closure of all firecracker establishments in Bulacan Wednesday, Nov. 30, following an explosion that killed three persons. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello issued a work stoppage order to protect workers of firecracker shops and factories as well as the public. Photo by Val Rodriguez/Philstar.com

Long Beach police reopen investigation into 16 year old case of missing Filipina-Hispanic woman by Eric

Anthony LicAs AJPress

AN anonymous tip drove detectives to formally reopen the case of a Long Beach, California resident who disappeared 16 years ago, but an excavation in Kern county conducted on Thursday, November 17 did not produce the victim’s body. Diana Raquel Rojas, whom police describe as 5’2” woman of Filipina and Hispanic descent, was last seen at her home on Friday, November 20, 2000. Her family failed to locate her after she missed an appointment the following Saturday. They then contacted police the next day. Evidence found at the scene led detectives to suspect foul play in her disappearance. The case grew cold over the years until police decided to for-

a black 1992 Nissan extended cab truck missing a driver’s side door lock and car stereo with texas plates, which hasn’t been seen since Rojas’s disappearance. As of Thursday, November 17, officers had not identified a person of interest in the case. Rojas’s estranged husband had been interviewed and ruled out as a suspect earlier on in the investigation. Rojas had been caring for a 2year-old daughter at the time of her disappearance. She worked at a church providing aid to other single mothers. “If there is anyone out there with any information, anything, please help my family find closure,” Rojas’s brother, Solomon Cortez, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, November 16. Anyone with information that might help detectives make a break in Rojas’s 16 year old case are urged to call Long Beach Po11 U.S. History lesson plans. lice Homicide Detectives Mark Earlier this year, the United Bigel and Todd Johnson at (562) States Citizenship and Immigra- 570-7244. tion Services (USCIS) rolled out Potential informants can also a new family-based immigration submit an anonymous tip via program for Filipino WWII vet- the LA Crime Stoppers hotline erans and their families called at (800)-222-TIPS(8477) or their the Filipino World War II Veter- website at www.LACrimestopans Parole Program. n pers.org. n mally reopen the case and classify it as a potential homicide after receiving an anonymous tip earlier this November. Based on that lead, forensics experts identified four locations in Ridgecrest, a town in Kern County, California, that might have contained the victim’s remains. Cadaver dogs dispatched to sniff out traces of human remains showed interest in one of those locations, but the police led excavation on Thursday failed to locate her body. However, investigators have received several tips since then and are actively looking into them. The victim was last seen wearing sweatpants featuring a Winnie the Pooh logo, a jacket with a medical insignia, and a pink spaghetti strapped shirt. Police also hope to locate her vehicle,

House passes Fil-Am WWII… PAGE A1 t

bill, as previously reported by the Asian Journal. The California State Board of Education recently approved curriculum changes of the state’s high schools to incorporate more information about Filipinos’ roles in the war in Grade

LOS ANGELES — Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA), together with more than 120 community, education, health, faith, labor, student, and parent organizations in California, has released an open letter calling on California’s educational leaders to address the growing fear around deportation and the troubling spike in hate crimes, incidents, and bullying in K-12 schools and on college campuses since the election of Donald Trump. Coordinated by the College for All Coalition, the open letter calls for safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environments for California students, especially those who are most vulnerable. The President-elect campaigned on a promise to deport undocumented immigrants and, since Election Day, has stated that his administration will seek to deport up to 3 million individuals, generating significant fear across diverse immigrant communities. In addition, hate incidents have been on the rise in recent months. Even before the November 8 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported that more than twothirds of 2,000 K-12 teachers surveyed nationwide said that students - mainly immigrants, children of immigrants, and Muslims - expressed concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election. In the aftermath of the election, these fears have been exacerbated with widespread reports of a disturbing increase in the targeting of students of color and of immigrant, Muslim,

LGBTQ, differently abled, and female students in schools and on college campuses across the nation and in California. “We in California have an obligation to counter bigotry and hate by protecting the safety and well-being of our diverse students and their families,” stated Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of Advancing Justice-LA. “The spike in hate crimes and incidents in the wake of the presidential election and the President-elect’s threats to deport three million immigrants are extremely troubling and antithetical to our values as a nation and as a state. We call on California’s educational leaders to rise to the challenge and ‘go all in’ to put our values of diversity, inclusion, and equity into action for our state’s students, families, and communities.” The open letter urges California’s K-12 and higher education leaders to protect vulnerable students who are being targeted in this current climate, particularly students of color and immigrant, Muslim, LGBTQ, differently abled, and female students, and to transform this into an opportunity to support educators, students, and their families in promoting diverse and welcoming learning environments by: • Designating all K-12 public schools and colleges and universities to be sanctuary schools and campuses; • Allocating adequate resources and support to promote diversity, inclusion, and positive intergroup relations; and • Protecting all California students from being bullied, intimidated, harassed, or discriminated against on the basis of protected

PH COA pushes for… PAGE A3 t

a performance audit.” Now with the help of technology, the COA is able to go further and engage with individual citizens directly through geotagging, or Global Positioning System (GPS). Through this technology, it enables users of mobile phones or gadgets to capture real-time photos with metadata. The Philippines has a database of more than 10,000 roads mapped out and verified to date with the help of the World Bank. Geotagging

also allows the COA to monitor infrastructure projects as they are being built by posting photos and information on social media sites such as Facebook. “Transparency breeds accountability. With transparency, there is a better chance for corruption to be curbed, delivery of public services to be improved, and business and economic environment to be enhanced,” shared Aguinaldo and then added, “It is our hope that the CPA will create greater transparency and com-

categories. While some K-12 districts and higher education institutions have already indicated they plan to take steps to protect undocumented immigrant students, the open letter offers specific recommendations for sanctuary schools and campuses, including prohibiting access to federal immigration officials unless there is a judicial warrant and guaranteeing privacy and refusing to release information regarding the immigration status of students, staff, and community members. The open letter also recognizes and expresses concern that other vulnerable student populations, such as students of color and Muslim, LGBTQ, differently abled, and female students, have experienced a rise in hateful bullying and intimidation. The letter makes a broader call to ensure the safety and well-being of all students, and for California’s educational leaders to invest resources to increase the capacity of educators, students, and their families to develop and implement strategies that reduce prejudice, address implicit bias and stereotyping, and promote positive intergroup relations. The letter is being sent to State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, California State Board of Education President Michael Kirst, University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White, and incoming California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. Members of the College for All Coalition also will be delivering the open letter to their local school districts and colleges and universities. n munity involvement.” Aguinaldo was appointed to head the COA in 2015. As head of the COA, he is currently the external auditor of the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the International Labor Organization. Prior to his appointment to the COA, he was the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Office of the President from 2011 to 2015. He also headed the Investigation and Adjudication Office and oversaw the implementation of integrity consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). (AJPress)


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House panel approves death penalty bill

The house Justice Sub-Committee on Judicial Reforms has approved a bill that seeks to reimpose the death penalty on heinous crimes, including possession of at least 10 grams of illegal drugs. The panel approved the substitute death penalty measure, a consolidated version of six bills, even if it was not listed in the agenda. The six lawmakers who voted for the restoration of the death penalty are Deputy Speakers Gwen Garcia, Sharon Garin and Fredenil Castro and Reps. Aurelio Gonzales, Art Defensor and Ace Barbers. Five lawmakers — eric Singson of Ilocos Sur, Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte, Luis Campos of Makati, Victoria Noel of An Waray and eugene de Vera — wanted the capital punishment meted only on drug-related offenses. Barbers said possession of 10 grams of illegal drugs should be punishable by death to deter any-

body from getting near drugs. “This [10 grams] amount of drugs can be concealed and kept in a pocket. If we include this in the law [imposing death penalty, it will cause a fear factor and nobody would even dare carry drugs in his or her pocket. I believe that [step]is a deterrent,” Barbers pointed out. But for Reps. edcel Lagman of Albay and Ramon Rocamora of Siquijor, passing the death penalty bill without a committee report violates house rules. “Who presided over the drafting of these substitute bills which are not even on the agenda? Who participated in such a meeting? This is a clear violation of our rules which requires a Committee report [on a substitute bill],” Lagman said. “The Constitution requires a compelling reason to restore death penalty, and there is no compelling reason now. The railroading has begun. The mes-

sage of the house leaders is clear: have a deadly Christmas,” Lagman added. Rocamora, a public prosecutor for 24 years, argued that bringing back capital punishment will lead to the execution of innocent people. “I oppose the death penalty because our criminal justice system is not capable of implementing it. For one, 60 percent of drug-related cases stem from trumpedup charges because authorities find it difficult to find other evidence. Now, is it fair to put people to death based on trumped-up charges?” Rocamora stressed. “We need to maintain our decency. We need to maintain our humanity,” he added. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte earlier said the house will approve the death penalty measure before Congress adjourns for its Christmas break on December 14. (Llanesca T. Panti/ManilaTimes.net)

NO. 1 CRITIC, SUPPORTER. President Rodrigo Duterte and former president Fidel Ramos bump their fists during the reunion of the San Beda College of Law in Taguig City on Saturday. Duterte described Ramos, who has criticized his anti-American stance, as ‘my No. 1 critic and No. 1 supporter.’ Malacañang photo

PH slams UN envoy for reference OFWs exempted from airport after Khmer Rouge trials by Patricia Lourdes Philstar.com

terminal fee starting March

Viray

MANILA — The Philippine government expressed strong disapproval over the reference to the Philippines made by David Scheffer, United Nations Special expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, following the verdict against two of the Cambodian communist group’s senior surviving members. Scheffer warned the Philippines, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria and North Korea that leaders should “take note” of the ruling against Khieu Samphan, the 85-year-old Khmer Rouge head of state, and Nuon Chea, the 90-year-old right-hand man to the communist group’s late leader Pol Pot. The two senior members of the Khmer Rouge regime were sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity including extermination, enforced disappearances and political persecution. About 1.7 million people are estimated to have died from starvation, disease and execution due to

by rudy

santos Philstar.com

United Nations Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials David Scheffer warned leaders of the Philippines, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Syria and North Korea to “take note” of the verdict against Khmer Rouge senior members.

the extremist policies of the communist Khmer Rouge when they held power from 1975 to 1979. Scheffer noted that international justice can ultimately prevail. The Philippines, however, said that Scheffer’s remarks are unjustified and without basis. “Mr. Scheffer’s remarks are irresponsible and alarming since these are directed at the leadership of a democratic country with a functioning criminal justice system

fully committed to respect human rights,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The DFA stressed that the Filipino people continue to enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms. Scheffer made the statement following reports that about 1,941 drug suspects have been killed in legitimate police operations, according to data from the Philippine National Police.

MANILA — Starting March 2017, overseas Filipino workers no longer have to pay the P550 airport terminal fee. Manila International Airport Authority general manager ed Monreal announced this on Monday, Nov. 28 in a news forum at the Manila hotel. Monreal said his office is working on technical details and coordinating with international airlines to eliminate the airport terminal fee imposed by the previous management of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on OFWs in February 2015. OFWs are required to pay the P550 airport terminal fee when they buy tickets online or in airline ticket offices. They can claim their refund upon departure at the airport terminals. But since OFWs are busy individuals, many failed to claim their refund. Total collections of the airport

terminal fee has reached more than a billion pesos and half of this amount remains unclaimed by OFWs. The unclaimed amount remains in the general fund of the NAIA. Monreal said his office is ready to refund the fees to OFWs as long as they possess the e-ticket, boarding pass and passport they used even several years ago. Air traffic to improve Air congestion at NAIA is also expected to be greatly reduced in the first quarter of 2017 as aviation agencies prepare projects for more efficient management of air traffic. Antonio Manuel Tamayo, deputy director general of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the much-delayed Communication and Navigation System (CNS) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) would be operational soon as these have been installed near the NAIA runway. The CNS/ATM system is comprised of a computer-based flight

data processing system that will enable aircraft operators to meet their scheduled departure and arrival and stick to their preferred flight plans with minimum constraints and without compromising agreed levels of safety. It will also extend surveillance of aircraft and improve navigational accuracy. “The government had constructed 12 radar stations across the Philippines as adjunct to the CNS/ATM to monitor each arriving and departing flight, and these would greatly speed up the landing and takeoff, contributing to the efficiency of the NAIA,” Tamayo said. Air traffic controllers and other technical experts are being trained as part of the CNS/ATM system. “Right now, they are doing shadow training, comparing the airplanes they see on the current radar system with this next generation system that is also linked to satellite in space,” Tamayo said. n


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Features

OpiniOn Heretic

AS soon as she took a stand against the alleged rising cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, Sen. Leila De Lima put a target on her back. When she criticized the government’s bloody war on drugs, she was chastised. Some lawmakers are now hellbent on linking the senator to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). The former justice secretary is accused of receiving money from drug lords who have been conducting drug trafficking at the national penitentiary. To implicate her further, some congressmen are willing to destroy her character and reputation. When De Lima’s former driver and lover Ronnie Dayan faced the House Committee on Justice last week, lawmakers pried on their seven-year relationship. The objective of the House inquiry was to determine De Lima’s alleged involvement in the NBP drug trade, where Dayan is accused of serving as her bagman. Intimate details of their love affair were divulged as lawmakers asked about the “intensity” and “climax” of the relationship and even asking whether an alleged sex video exists. De Lima earlier admitted that she had an affair with Dayan. Dayan also confirmed having a relationship with the former Justice secretary despite being married. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defended that this line of questioning is relevant to the inquiry. “If you look at the whole picture, there is a connection because here is a woman pretending to be clean, righteous, graft-buster, crime

buster. But here also are the allegations against her. How can you demolish her credibility?” Alvarez asked. For her part, De Lima cried foul over the probe she described as “spectacle that diverts from more important issues” of the country. “As a woman, it breaks my heart that my private life and personal relationship have become subject of the public and Congress’ ridicule. No woman, whoever or whatever she may be, whether a sitting senator or a humble secretary, deserves to be betrayed, to be treated with so much disrespect and without dignity before the public eye, by any man she is with or had a relationship with,” De Lima said. The senator said she is ready to prove her innocence when her accusers bring their cases to the courts. “May justice and truth prevail today and the days to come, as we sort out the truth from the lies that are easily weaved into this tall-tale narrative of a human rights and justice advocate turned drug queen. Regardless of the Goebbel’s playbook they are following, a lie repeatedly told can never become the truth. Instead, the truth revealed will set us all free from this madness that we should stop from becoming our new normal,” De Lima said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has been asked

Editorial

WITH Cuba’s half a century of stagnation under his rule, the late communist strongman Fidel Castro, who died last Friday, Nov. 25 at age 90, does not seem to offer much for any nation to learn, except perhaps lessons on what not to do. Yet, in fact, there are at least three areas in which Castro’s Cuba outperformed many countries, including the Philippines, despite its far less resources, plus the antagonism from the West: health, education, and sports. Despite its small population of just 11.4 million, Cuba perennially wins international athletic competitions. In this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, its athletes took home five golds, two silvers, and four bronzes — No. 18 in the world medals tally. In the Pan-American Games predictably dominated by the United States, Cuba has won 2,026 medals, including 875 golds since the competition began in 1951 until 2015. That beats countries with far greater resources and populations, like Canada (456 golds), Brazil (329), Argentina (294), and Mexico (221). Only the US has more Pan-American medals (4,431 total, including 1,948 golds). How does Cuba keep winning?

As other communist states do, the government spots talented youngsters and gives them support and training from youth. But it also disseminates sound physical development dos and don’ts, like telling mothers to massage their babies’ muscles 45 days after birth. The National Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (INDER by its Spanish initials) promotes fitness nationwide, but also scouts for and develops young potential. That probably makes the body too busy to squabble over who heads the national Olympic committee. Beyond state programs, Cubans also take great pride in competing and winning for the nation. And with name brands banned by the US trade embargo selling to Cuba, its homegrown BATOS company makes most sports gear used in the country. Now, it’s doing deals with foreign marques interested in manufacturing and marketing its items. How to make a nation healthy and bright Health is another area of world-class excellence for Cuba, focusing more on preventing ailments rather than curing them. Visiting in 2014, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan praised Cuba’s achievements not only for its prevention thrust, but also for its innovation. “Cuba is the only country that has a health care system closely linked to research and develop-

WE ARE happy for the country, now that the youth have been roused by the sneak hero’s burial last Nov. 18 of the remains (or the wax facsimile) of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who died 27 years ago in ignominious exile. The Black Friday protest rallies at the Rizal Park in Manila and other sites across the country carried out by the youth and their elders incensed by the stealth of the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani bear watching, together with the administration’s countermoves.

contempt for preventing Dayan from attending the House hearing. De Lima may be free from bars now, but not from the stigma. They say the truth will set us free. Will De Lima’s “truth” afford her the constitutional freedom she deserves or will it slap her with legal consequences? Despite all the scathing accusations, the senator remains innocent until proven guilty. (AJPress)

ment,” said the WHO head, who hails from Hong Kong. “This is the way to go, because human health can only improve through innovation.” How good is Cuba’s health? Well, take infant mortality: 4.7 deaths per 1,000 births is better than even the US (6.2), and leads developing nations. Sadly, in the Philippines, there are 17.6 deaths for every thousand births, as of 2014. It dropped by about one death per year between 2000 (29.5 deaths) and 2010 (19.9), but the improvement has slowed since. If the country adopts federalism, it must ensure that regional governments don’t falter in health care, as many provinces and cities did after the Local Government Code devolved the primary services of the Department of Health. One way to prevent that is to learn from Cuba, which provided world-class health services to a population similar to a typical Philippine region. And the same can be recommended in education. Here’s what an education expert of the Food and Agriculture Organization reported about Cuba in a 2000 paper, “The Cuban Educational System: Lessons and Dilemmas” by Lavinia Gasperini. “The record of Cuban education is outstanding: universal school enrollment and attendance; nearly universal adult literacy; proportional female representation at all levels, including higher education; a

strong scientific training base, particularly in chemistry and medicine; consistent pedagogical quality across widely dispersed classrooms; equality of basic education opportunities, even in impoverished areas, both rural and urban.” Gasperini, who holds a PhD in Education from the Sorbonne, also noted that Cuba ranked first in math and science achievement for both males and females, in a recent regional study of Latin American and Caribbean countries. She sums up: “In many ways, Cuba’s schools are the equals of schools in OECD [ind ustrialized]countries, despite the fact that Cuba’s economy is that of a developing country.” What if Castro didn’t fight America Actually, Cuba is not far behind the rich world, going by the World Bank’s purchasingpower parity (PPP) ranking of per-capita gross domestic product (GDP), which removes price disparities between countries in assessing the output of goods and services. Based on 2015 World Bank GDP PPP data, Cuba ranks No. 58 with $20,649 per-capita GDP in PPP dollars, just behind several East European and Latin American countries (Croatia, Romania, Chile, Panama, Uruguay), and ahead of Thailand ($16,306), China ($14,239), Indonesia ($11,035), and the Philippines ($6,969). One wonders how much better Cuba might have done if it had

Fidel Castro

not crossed America by allying with Russia, nearly hosting its nuclear missiles, and fomenting communist revolution in Latin America. For that, Washington not only embargoed trade and travel to Cuba, but also restricted aid and loans from multilateral bodies where the US had clout. Which may be the other lesson the Philippines should learn from Castro’s Cuba: better not pick a fight with any big power, or become a pawn in superpower rivalry. Especially if the nation one would take on happens to be the global engine of economic growth, as America was in the last half-century, and China looks set to become in the current one. To be sure, the US gave Cuba much reason to fight it. The Central Intelligence Agency funded the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion

by Cuban exiles in 1961, just two years after the Cuban Revolution installed Castro. And while he might have wanted to improve relations long ago, Washington seemed in no mood, even after the Cold War with Moscow ended after the Soviet Union broke up a quarter-century ago. Now, President Rodrigo Duterte is leading what may be his own revolution, breaking away from America, refocusing on long-deprived regions and services for the poor, and making friends with all, instead of taking sides in big-power tussles. As he leads 100 million Filipinos toward change, the man from Davao would do well to learn from not just one, but two Fidels fond of cigars: former president Ramos, whom Duterte calls “my No. 1 critic and supporter,” and his fellow revolutionary from Cuba. (ManilaTImes.net)

Sneak hero’s burial arouses the youth

Commentary

Federico d. Pascual Jr.

to disbar De Lima over her illicit affair with Dayan who is a married man. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said that De Lima’s public admission and Dayan’s testimony were enough to prove that the senator committed gross immorality that should warrant the cancellation of her license as a lawyer. Furthermore, De Lima also faces a show-cause order to explain why she should not be cited for

What Filipinos should learn from Fidel Castro

Commentary

RicaRdo Saludo

ManilaTimes.net photo

The scattered protests, held in bad weather, have not gathered a critical mass, but – if mishandled by the administration – could spread as mass action against historical revisionism and the same arrogance of power that spelled the downfall of Marcos in 1986. The EDSA Revolt that sent the ailing dictator and his family scampering to Hawaii was the culmination of similar street protests against human rights violations, oppression and corruption – the same issues being raised these days. President Rodrigo Duterte, who approved Marcos’ hurried burial, must heed the lessons of history. Note that he has entangled himself into the protest rhetoric, he is now being denounced in the

same breath as the late unlamented dictator. It is not far-fetched that soon, depending on how well he swims with or against the tide, Duterte will not only have his hands full grappling with the country’s serious problems, but also in defending his rule. We note with concern that Duterte has organized his own youth group – like Marcos (and even Hitler) did during his time – which could collide with militant students and millennials critical of his administration. Morales comments on ‘trying times’ Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, meanwhile, talked of how Filipinos now live in trying times as he warned of how “great

people fall as prey and transform as predators themselves.” In a critical speech last Friday before fellow alumni of the UP College of Law, she said in what we took as an allusion to Duterte’s argument that burying Marcos at the Libingan was not prohibited by law: “Just because you can, does not mean you should.” She also said: “The people should be bothered when the leaders themselves equally could not figure out what is right and wrong. “When leaders seem to send the message of promoting, rather than condemning, reprehensible acts that transgress basic human rights, the people ought to be concerned about it – rather than cheering for it either out of sheer

ignorance, callous conscience, blind loyalty, or gorgonized fanaticism.” “Indeed, these are interesting times we live in – again,” she said, recalling how Marcos’ regime divided the nation decades ago. Duterte has said that burying Marcos as his family wished would finally lay the issue to rest and unite the country. It appears, however, that the opposite – the dividing of the nation – is happening. Back to the Black Friday rally, we share with President Duterte these telling remarks of human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag, among the elders who flocked to the Rizal Park event, in case he has not come across them: “I believe your title is President,

not King. You demand respect but seem to being incapable of giving any. We elected a leader, not a ruler, and you can’t seem to tell the difference. “You took an oath to defend the Constitution, but from your actuations since taking office you seem to be testing your new-found powers, from your pronouncements about imposing martial law, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, to having to ‘innovate the law,’ whatever that means. “Be very careful about crossing the Filipino people, sir. The Philippines is bigger than Davao. You cannot bully your way through any decision you make and expect no consequences.” (Philstar. com)

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Your Immigration Solution AMANDA C. KWONG AND NANCY MILLER ONCE asylum has been granted, the non-citizen has lawful status to live and work in the United States—even without an employment authorization document (EAD). Some asylees apply for EADs to obtain an additional government issued identity document and they are eligible to do so. While asylee status does not expire, it may be revoked. A change in country conditions or a return to the country of persecution may result in the loss of asylum. So can obtaining lawful status in a third country. And conviction of various crimes may render the asylee ineligible to maintain that status. The asylee may apply for her spouse and children to join as derivatives within two years of the grant of asylum. Proof of the familial relationship is required for spouse and children. However, applications for children have additional requirements. The children must have been under twenty-one years old and unmarried as of the date of filing the asylum application. Additional requirements apply depending on whether the child is biological, step, adopted or even unborn at the time of the initial filing. USCIS may require a DNA test of a purported biological parents and child when the officer suspects that the relationship does not exist. Step-children qualify as derivative children as long as the relationship among child, biological parent, and principal asylee can be demonstrated. An adoptee is considered to be a child where the legal adoption took place prior to the child’s 16th birthday, and the custody and joint residency requirements have been met. Finally, an unborn child will need to be explained and documented as the child was most likely not included on the initial asylum application.

Asylum granted: Now what?

Like the principal asylee, derivatives are eligible to apply to adjust status to lawful permanent residence after one year of asylum status. As green card holders, they can petition family members who did not qualify as derivative asylees. In certain circumstances, family members not eligible as derivatives may be paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons, even before the asylee becomes a permanent resident. Most commonly are minor grandchildren or parents with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves. There are times when a derivative may be made a principal asylee nunc pro tunc, such as divorce from or death of the original principal asylee. In other words, the derivative spouse may retroactively become a principal asylee backdated to the date that her spouse was granted status. There are other benefits of changing a derivative into a principal, such as being able to bring the principal asylee’s grandchild who did not otherwise qualify as a derivative. While an asylee has the right to be lawfully present and work in the US, she needs to apply for a refugee travel document if she plans to travel internationally. Without this travel document, the asylee will be considered inadmissible when attempting to reenter the US. The refugee travel document is valid for up to one year. Once expired, an aslyee who has traveled outside of the country is inadmissible and may not resume her status unless she is granted a new refugee travel document. While the asylee may apply for a new refugee travel document at a US consulate or port of entry, there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Thus, it is wiser to return to the US before the document expires. Traveling on the passport of the home country is considered

availing oneself of the protection of the country of persecution and can result in the revocation of asylum (or the green card). Likewise, returning to her country of origin after obtaining asylum status may be considered “voluntarily re-availing oneself of the protection of the country of nationality.” What that means is that an asylee could lose her asylum status because it appears that she no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country as a result of her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Of course, there are instances where an individual must go to her home country despite her well-founded fear. Should the government seek to revoke the asylum grant, the asylee (or green card holder) may contest that attempt in Immigration Court. Asylee status is precious. It accords one safety from persecution. It allows the family of the principal asylee to live and work with them here in the U.S. And asylee status can also lead to green cards and U.S. citizenship. But it can also be lost. Asylees should consult a knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer when contemplating travel or when experiencing other life-changes. *** Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration firms in the United States with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Manila. For more Information please call (800) 7958009 or visit www.rreeves.com. 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)

by MAYVELIN

U. CARABALLO ManilaTimes.net

DESPITE hitting its weakest level in eight, or even 10, years against the dollar this month, the Philippine peso was among the less volatile currencies in Asia, the Department of Finance said, citing data from its latest study. In a statement over the weekend, Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil Beltran said the peso has moved generally in line with other Asian currencies—the local unit depreciated by 3.27 percent from November

1 to 24, just slightly more than the average depreciation of 3.26 percent for Asian currencies during the period. Other Asian currencies had been more volatile. “The Japanese yen depreciated most wildly by 8.5 percent compared with 6.73 percent for the Malaysian ringgit and 3.92 percent for the Indonesian rupiah,” Beltran said. He did not mention the other currencies that registered the least movement. The overall weakening of Asian currencies vis-a-vis the dollar was an overreaction by

fund managers to the prospects of higher interest rates in the US in December, Beltran said. Citing another period—from 2000 to Nov. 24, 2016, Beltran said that with a standard deviation-mean ratio relative to the dollar of 5.0 percent compared with the Asian average of 7 percent, the Philippine peso has been one of the least volatile currencies. During this 16-year period, “the most volatile [were]the Chinese yuan (16.3 percent), Indonesian rupiah (11.9 percent) and

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Jollibee eyes Italy for European debut by IRIS

GONZALES Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) will make its debut in Europe, possibly by next year, riding on the growing population of overseas Filipinos and Filipino migrants in the continent, a ranking official said. JFC Group president Jose Miñana Jr. said the company would start in Italy where there are many Filipinos to mark its foray in Europe. “We’re looking at possibly Italy to be our (starting point) in Europe. We’re not in Eu-

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Community Journal

DECEMBER 2-8, 2016 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL

When your green card expires: What next?

The CTV Files Atty. lilli B. BACuli WHAT happens when my green card expires? Lawful Permanent Resident status is not affected by the expiration of the Form I-551, or the “green card.” A person does not lose his or her status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States by the mere fact that their green card has expired. However, individuals will need to replace their cards to have valid evidence of their status. It is important to have valid evidence of status for employment and travel purposes, and to obtain other benefits incident to LPR status. A quick note about Conditional Permanent Resident Status Conditional Permanent Residents in possession of an expired green card must continue to have evidence confirming that their conditional resident status has been extended. The following only applies to renewal green card applicants with an expiring or expired 10-year green card.

Help – my green card expired while outside of the United States! Can I still enter the U.S.? Yes. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officers encountering an arriving lawful permanent resident in possession of an expired 10-year permanent resident card are to advise the returning lawful permanent resident of the need to renew the card and furnish him or her with an application to replace the permanent resident card. No further action must be taken by the CBP. CBP officers are not authorized to cut, clip, or otherwise mutilate a person’s green card in any manner. Must I fill out and sign the Application to replace my green card on the spot at the airport? No. Officers will advise an arriving alien at all air ports of entries of the requirement to renew their green card. These arriving lawful permanent residents shall also be instructed that the Application to renew their green card may be processed at the airport at the time of arrival only, if the

LPR is in possession of the requisite fee. If the LPR is not in possession of the appropriate fee, requests a fee waiver, or elects to submit the application at a later date, then he or she shall be given the application form and advised to file at the appropriate USCIS office. I am outside of the United States and the airline will not let me on the plane to return home to the United States. What do I do? Carriers should permit boarding to any bona fide lawful permanent resident in possession of an expired green card with a 10-year expiration date, if the expiration date on the card is the only reason that the LPR would otherwise not be boarded. My Naturalization application is still pending and my green card expired. What now? Applicants for Naturalization six months or more prior to the expiration date of their green card, and who have not yet re-

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Coming back from the brink NDE: The Near Death Experience

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA EMMA looked down at the busy huddle in the operating room. She was floating, hovering above the doctors and nurses in their blood spattered scrub suits while working on someone. They were desperately trying to bring a patient back to life. Emma took a closer look. “Why that’s me,” she thought. The doctors were trying to bring her back from the brink. Her vital signs were weakening. If the monitor flat lined, Emma knew she would be gone for good. There seems to be a thin silver thread that still anchors her to her body but the physical life force is ebbing away fast. She remembered being in a car accident. Emma was only 42. “Go back,” she seemed to hear someone tell her but there was no sound. Emma felt so light, so free. She hadn’t felt this wonderful in a long time. A feeling of wellbeing was engulfing her. She was in a tunnel and a white speck of light glowed at the end. There was a being of light in the distance. She began moving towards it. Suddenly, she felt the grief of her husband and her two young children weighing down on her. She caught a glimpse of them in the hospital waiting room. Matt, the younger one, has his face pressed against the windowpane staring out through the glass at the pouring rain. Her heart was filled with love for them. They still need her. “Go back. It’s not yet time,” she seemed to hear the gentle voice once more although there was no one and there was no sound. And Emma did. She heard one of the doctors say to her, “Welcome back.” Emma knew her life, what remained of it, was never going to

PhiliP S. ChuA, Md, FACS, FPCS

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— From a hymn composed by Bernadette Farrell

be the same again. Emma is only one of several millions the world over who have come back from the edge of death, having gone through what is called NDE or Near Death Experience. Are you afraid of death? I am. I suppose so do most of humankind through most of history. In Greek mythology, the Fates represented by 3 women named, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos determined a person’s destiny upon birth. Clotho is the spinner who spins the thread of life and Lachesis is the measurer who chooses a man’s lot in life and how long it is to be. Atropos is the most dreaded one. It is she who decided how and when a man is to die, using her large, sharp, unrelenting scissors to cut off the thread of life. No one, not even the Gods at Olympus trifled with her. Should we fear death? Stories abound that tell of those who have gone through NDE that strongly indicate that there is grace in dying. There is strong evidence of life beyond death and that the act of dying is transitioning into that life. In almost all cases of NDE, people relate of feeling weightless, floating and hovering above looking down at their own bodies and even seeing how doctors, nurses and technicians struggle to bring them back from the brink. They are literally hanging on by a thread. It is an out of body experience and that there exists a thin silver iridescent cord that still connects them to their own bodies. If that cord is cut,

it means that they are now truly physically dead and that they will continue on to the afterlife with no more chance of coming back to their previous physical life. Many of those who have gone though NDE report that there is that feeling of being drawn into a tunnel. There is the presence of a strong, white, comforting light at the end of it. The light appears small and as they progress through the tunnel, it becomes a strong being of light filled with love and compassion. Many report of meeting deceased relatives. Many go through a flashback of powerful memories like a review of their life, both good and bad. Above all, there seems to be an overwhelming feeling of release from all the constraints of their physical lives. For some, the decision to return is theirs to make. For others, the decision has already been made that their time to die hasn’t come yet and that they must go back. An unfinished business or a strong emotional attachment can make some go back and resume living. The impact of NDE is life changing. Documentation for those who have been declared clinically dead and have come back to resume living shows that those who have seen a glimpse of life beyond death undergo profound changes. Many have changed their view of life for the better. Some have a better appreciation of life becoming more kind, compassionate and consid-

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The wonders of super gene

Health@Heart

WE ARE

“ Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die, It remains but a single grain with no life.”

ALL of us want to live a long and healthy life. The search for the Fountain of Youth has been an obsession of man from time immemorial. More than ever before, our quest for that “secret formula” today has intensified in the research labs and medical centers around the world. While the scientific exploration and pursuit goes on, cosmetic surgery today is able to do “miracles” with the external physical look, from sophisticated dental procedures to nose and eye job, breast enhancement, facelift, liposuction, to tummy tuck, etc. While these wonderful procedures can make a 60year-old look like 40, or even 30, and improve the psyche of the individual, they do not confer physiological youth, health, and longevity. Physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, on the other hand, have continually advocated their time proven prescription for health and longevity: moderation in calorie intake of low-fat, lowcholesterol, low-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet, consisting mainly of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, and minimal red meat, eggs and other dairy products; daily physical exercises; abstinence from tobacco; moderation in alcohol intake; stress management with mini-vacation and time offs, with family and/or

friends; and regular annual medical check-up. Clouding the issue to a blur, pseudo-scientists employed by food supplement manufacturers, who are obviously motivated purely by financial gains, are victimizing the unsuspecting public with their grand claims that their juices, potions or lotions, or tablets and capsules are a cure to multitude of diseases on the planet from acne to Alzheimer’s, from diabetes to cancer. Some even have the audacity to infer their product improves longevity. Unfortunately, people who do not know any better, who are simply groping for a relief, a cure, or a remedy to make them feel younger, swallow all these medically unsubstantiated infomercials and ridiculous assertions, hook, line and sinker. Disappointingly, even our government and its agencies are impotent in protecting the public from this sham and scam. Geneticists have now identified a gene that allows people to live to 90 or older and also helps prevent the onset of dementia we call Alzheimer’s. Those with this “supergene” have a lot greater chance of hitting the century mark without the usual accompanying confused thinking and memory loss from brain cell damage, which some hypothesize could be due to beta-amyloid protein deposition. More studies are underway to settle this issue. This gene variant, the “supergene,” is technically known as CETP VV. Individuals with this special gene “age slower and

have the ability to resist lifethreatening ailments such as heart disease,” according to Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “A brain function test found that seniors who had inherited the gene variant were twice as likely to have good brain function - able to think clearly and remember new information – compared to seniors without the gene,” says the report. How the “supergene” promotes longevity and protects the brain is still unknown. Past studies have shown that the gene “could affect the size of the lipoproteins in the blood that deposit or clear away cholesterol…people with the gene tend to be at less risk of clogged arteries,” according to Dr. Barzilai. The bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoprotein) and triglycerides from the food we eat thicken our blood. The thick blood is circulated through the arteries and “painted” on the inner wall of all arteries in the body, including the coronary (heart) and cerebral (brain) arteries. As the arterial walls thicken with layers upon layers of thick blood, the arterial lumen (caliber or diameter) becomes narrower, and the arteries eventually get clogged. This obstruction reduces or cuts the blood (oxygen and nutrients) supply to the organs they are supposed to deliver to, which damages the cells and tissues of those vital

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Business News SURVEY SHOWS LESS OPTIMISM FOR Q1 2016

‘More businesses plan to expand but hire less’ by Mayvelin

U. Caraballo ManilaTimes.net

Fax résumé to:

info@asianjournalinc.com

MORE companies plan to expand in the first quarter of 2017, but many of them will hire less workers as the business outlook for January to March turned out to be less positive than in the recent quarters, based on the latest central bank Business Expectation Survey (BES). The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said companies with expansion plans increased to 31.7 percent of the 1,470 respondents in the latest survey, from 28.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. The survey was done from October 3 to November 17. Despite the rise in overall expansion plans, however, the employment outlook for the first quarter of 2017 showed a decline to 19 percent from 23.6 percent. Companies in retail trade and services were less optimistic, while industrial companies were broadly steady, and those in the construction sector were more bullish in hiring.

The employment outlook is consistent with the less optimistic business sentiment for the quarter ahead, which fell to 39.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 45.4 percent in the third quarter. The BSP noted the seasonal uptick in demand was outweighed by concerns about the direction of foreign policies and economic reforms in the country,

a weakening global demand, foreign exchange losses due to peso depreciation, and lack of supply of raw materials. The BES is a quarterly survey of companies drawn at random from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s top 7,000 corporations ranked in 2010 and Business World’s Top 1,000 Corporations in 2014. n


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Community Journal

Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ AFTER Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, many people became fearful, anxious, and nervous about their future in America. After all, he started his campaign by stating he wanted to deport ALL of the approximate 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. He recently modified that position, by stating he wants to first start with immediately deporting the approximate 3 million undocumented immigrants who are felons, terrorists, and “bad people.” As for the remainder of the undocumented immigrants, he still has to decide what to do. He has also brought in as advisers some very hard-liners on immigration reform. Some of these people helped draft some of the harshest immigration laws across the country. Those same immigration hard-liners will be advising him on proposed new immigration laws. Some people are worried that there may now suddenly be a “knock on the door”, by Homeland Security officers, with guns and badges, “arresting” them at their home or work, and taking them directly to the airport, because of some minor crime they committed years ago, or they may have been ordered deported in the past. While it remains to be seen how Trump and the Republicancontrolled Congress will deal with immigration reform, here are some of my thoughts (which are merely my opinions, and not established fact, and may not come to pass.): • Build a wall: I think Trump will attempt to build some kind of fence or wall along the Mexican border, both to keep his campaign promise, and to stop the flow of people across the border, just in case he may later decide to have comprehensive immigration reform. Last year, tens of thousands of people poured

across the border from Central America, and Obama was trying to deport them as quickly as possible. If there will ever be some form of immigration reform, I think the lawmakers don’t want hundreds of thousands of people pouring in to the US in anticipation of such immigration reform. So they want a wall first. • Deporting the felons: I believe he will move forward on his pledge to deport the “bad guys” as quickly as possible. These would include convicted felons, terrorists, etc. I hope it would not include people with old “in absentia” removal orders. I would also hope he would leave in place prosecutorial discretion, allowing ICE to focus on these bad people, but leaving the “low priority” undocumented alone for now. • Convert DACA into the Dream Act: Pres. Obama brought about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by “executive action,” after Congress did not pass the Dream Act. But if you think about it, DACA and the Dream Act are similar, in the sense that both address the issue of allowing young people who were brought to the US at an early age to remain in America. Trump’s opposition to DACA was that it was brought about through executive action, rather than congressional legislation. He seems to have no problem if these measures are brought about by way of laws passed by Congress. Therefore, if the Republican-controlled Congress will pass the Dream Act, it would not be “executive action”, and may even be politically expedient for the Republicans to gain favor with the Latino community, as they would definitely benefit by the enactment of the Dream Act in lieu of DACA. • Eliminating the 3/10 year bar and bringing back Section 245(i): One of the main impediments to people being able to legalize their status is that they are not eligible to do so in the US, and if they depart the US to process their immigrant visa at the em-

bassy in their home country, they could be banned for 10 years. If he eliminates the 10 year bar, it would be easier for people to consular process. Moreover, if he brings back Section 245(i), and has people pay a fine or penalty of perhaps $5000 so they don’t have to travel back to their home country, he could make billions for Homeland Security. Let’s not forget that Trump was the author of the best-selling book, “The Art of the Deal”, which involves give and take, negotiations and compromises in order to make deals. This shows that while he may take a particular position at the outset, he may be willing to change his position. And that attitude may be far better than other people, who once they take a position, refuse to change it. As a businessman, he may be willing to negotiate and change his positions when it comes to immigration reform. And finally, now, more than ever, it may be a good idea to make sure you have an attorney representing or readily available to you, with these massive anticipated changes to the immigration landscape. An attorney can help navigate you through these dangerous waters. *** 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)

Business News

Philippines urged to come up with energy mix soon O. RiveRa

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Coming up with an energy mix policy should be among the priorities of the Philippine government in order to shield consumers from price surges affecting specific power plant fuels like coal, Lopez-led First Gen Corp.’s top official said. The call was made as prices of coal, the dominant fuel for Philippine power plants, have turned volatile this year, First Gen president and COO Francis Giles Puno said in a statement. “Prices of coal have more than doubled between January and October this year. Such price volatility should give us reason to pause and think of other fuels we can use to protect consumers from erratic fuel price movements. One solution is to cap the share of specific fuels we use to generate our electricity,” he said. As of June, the Philippines

Malaysian ringgit (11.6 percent). This means that during this 16 year-period, the peso has been moving within 5.0 percent from its average value,” he said. Not dependent on cheap loans Several emerging economies with excess savings like the Philippines are not dependent on a regime of cheap financing as a result of the post-2008 financial crisis move by the Federal Reserve to cut rates as a monetary stimulus to spark an economic recovery for the US, the DOF official said.

A HUSBAND’S 30-YEAR-OLD “SECRET” ALMOST DERAILED THE FAMILY’S GREEN CARDS ON AN ENCORE EPISODE OF “CITIZEN PINOY!” Leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel was able to revive Alice’s petition by her US citizen father, after it was terminated due to the petitioner’s death. The family was then eligible to get their visas years ahead of schedule by using the priority date of Alice’s Lebanese husband, Andre. But Andre refused to come to the US because of a “secret” he had kept for 30 years, preventing him from going back to the US. Atty. Gurfinkel worked “miracles” to resolve the mystery behind this fascinating success story, on an encore episode of “Citizen Pinoy” – on Sunday, December 4 at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on TFC.

Calendar of Events across

America

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENTS! PRE-EVENT AND POST-EVENT GO DEEPER. GO WIDER. LET THE WORLD KNOW. CALL ASIAN JOURNAL: (818) 502-0651 DISPLAY AD SIZES AT SPECIAL RATES FOR NON-PROFIT GROUPS D EC E M B E R 3

FASO’s Christmas Concert in Glendale, CA The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO), the only Filipino symphony orchestra outside of the Philippines, as it presents “A Christmas Concert” on Saturday, December 3, 6:00 p.m. at the John Wayne Performing Arts Center in Glendale, California. FASO will play Christmas carols, accompanied by the voices of various choir groups. John Wayne Performing Arts Center is located at 1440 E. Broadway, Glendale, California 91205. For tickets, call Andy Tecson (323) 467-5096; Bob Shroder (818) 395-8936; and Arlene Ferrolino (213) 248-9850. Tickets are also available athttp://fasochristmas.eventbrite.com/. Tickets are at $25, $45 and $75. More information at www.fasofoundation.org.

Pasko Na Naman in Glendale, CA The Channel of Charity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization is sponsoring Pasko Na Naman on Saturday, December 3. It is a music and dance presentation that revolves around two siblings, Luz (Lyra Dominguez) and Gene (Peter Jeensalute), who are reminiscing their early childhood at Christmas time while growing up in the Philippines. The music part will be provided by Koro Filipino of Los Angeles under the direction of Ning and Joe Manahan while the dance part will be provided by the Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts. The presentation will prove to be one that is joyful — full of familiar sights and scents that will bring nostalgia especially among Filipinos living in America. The presentation will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Incarnation Community Center at 214 W. Fairview Ave, Glendale, CA. The funds from the show will benefit children in the Philippines who are unable to attend school due to poverty and lack of resources. For ticket information, please call Arnel Bailon at (818) 310-3663. For other inquiries, please call May Mallari at (323) 401-0886.

Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” in Walnut, CA

gets 33 percent or 6,666 megawatts (MW) of its electricity supply from coal-fired power plants based on data from the Department of Energy (DOE). This is expected to expand further in the coming years with 4,600 MW of committed and another 6,900 MW of indicative coal-fired power plants in the pipeline, according to think tank Institute for Climate and Sus-

tainable Cities (ICSC). This would mean the country’s dependence on coal would increase to as much as 80 percent by 2030, according to global analytics firm IHS. While coal has an important role in the country’s energy mix, its dominance will not be good for the economy “especially now when coal prices have turned

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What to expect from President Trump on his immigration plan

Immigration Corner

by Danessa

NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • DECEMBER 2-8, 2016

“Economies like the Philippines are net lenders rather than borrowers. There is, however, an overreaction by fund managers and have lumped all economies into one category without regard to macroeconomic fundamentals,” he said. With the impending normalization to be undertaken by the Federal Reserve, Beltran said “the days of cheap financing and large capital inflows are coming to an end.” The Fed would soon end its monetary stimulus program, which it resorted to in 2008 to aid the American economy at the

height of the then-global financial crisis, he said. “Low interest rates were a boon to developing countries with lower borrowing costs and significant inflows of capital,” he noted. On Thursday, Nov. 24, the peso hit the P50:$1 level intraday, the weakest since Nov.11, 2006, when it traded at P50.12:$1. That affirmed analysts’ forecasts: that expectations of higher interest rates in the US and the political noise drowning out the Philippine economic story could depress the peso back to the P48-to-P50 range as 2016 draws to a close. n

Jollibee eyes Italy for European…

Come to the third annual Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise”, on December 3 at 7:00 p.m. at City Blessing Church of Walnut. Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” is an exquisite holiday event for the community to enjoy the beautiful light displays that have been designed for this Christmas Season. This event will span for 12 days of the weekends in December starting on Saturday, December 3 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 p.m. with the official opening ceremony. Our Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” will encompass not only a decorative lighting display, but also a fun narrative Christmas lighting show. Each night will bring a cheery atmosphere with many holiday refreshments to enjoy. City Blessing Church of Walnut is located at 18901 Amar Rd., Walnut CA 91789.

D EC E M B E R 4

Aurora Inter-organizational Alliance-USA celebrates 8th anniversary in Granada Hills, CA Aurora Inter-organizational Alliance-USA announces its 8th anniversary celebration on Saturday, December 10 in Granada Hills, CA. It is an annual gathering of immigrants from the Aurora province’s 8 towns, aiming to further strengthen the camaraderie and spirit of the members. This year’s celebration hopes to gather 100 members and guests, who will be treated with traditional Filipino dishes as well as entertainment amid the sounds of Christmas carols. The night will be capped by the election of new officers for the new year. The event will be held at the Granada Hills Pavilion at 11128 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please contact Atty Al Nabor at (951) 818-8172 or Luchie Cuento at (818) 300-3212.

D EC E M B E R 5

AAPA Graduation Gala

Asian American Professional Association (AAPA) cordially invites you to the Graduation Gala on Monday, December 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate with AAPA mentor and mentees and learn about the organization’s impact in the community. Mr. Anthony Hong, vice president of clinical research and development of Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular & Specialty Solutions will be the keynote speaker of the night. It will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton - Rosemead at 888 Montebello Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770. The event is business casual/cocktail attire and is open to everyone. Complimentary for mentors and mentees. Guests at $25. Please RSVP and purchase tickets by November 28 at www.aapa. abcptsa.org.

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at info@asianjournalinc.com or calendar@asianjournalinc.com

When your green card expires…

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ceived a decision on the Naturalto open in Manhattan in the first bon branches, 453 Mang Inasal ization application, do not have PAGE CJ1 t stores, and 67 Burger King out- to apply for the renewal of their rope yet. We will follow where half of next year. The company is also opening a lets. the Pinoys are,” he said, adding green card. If they wish to obtain Abroad, it operates 671 stores: a new card, they are advised to that the company’s target Eu- branch in Florida and its second Yonghe King (China) 316; Hong apply for a renewal green card rope debut is between 2017 and store in Chicago next year. In Canada, it is also opening Zhuang Yuan (China) 42; San Pin and pay the requisite filing fee. 2018. Miñana expressed optimism in Winnipeg by next month and Wang (China) 68; Dunkin’ DoApplicants who applied for nuts (China) eight; Jollibee 157 Naturalization within the sixthe JFC brand would be well re- also in Ontario. JFC is on the look out for new (US 34, Vietnam 80, Brunei month period preceding the exceived in Europe because of the companies to acquire in the Unit- 14, Saudi Arabia 10, Qatar four, piration date on their green card Filipinos there. He said in Rome, the capital, ed States and China as the com- Kuwait four, Hong Kong two, are advised that they still must and in Milan, an equally famed pany grows even bigger, Miñana Singapore four, Bahrain one and file for their renewal green card UAE four); Red Ribbon in the US and pay the requisite filing fee. city, there are many Filipino said. In the Philippines, JFC oper- 33, Chowking 44 (US 16, UAE workers and migrants. Applicants who indicate that Italy is home to roughly ates 2,565 restaurants as of end- 19, Qatar four, Oman two, Ku- they wish to file for Naturaliza200,000 Filipinos, said to be the October. Of the total number, wait two and Saudi Arabia one), tion instead of applying for a largest population of overseas there are 954 Jollibee restau- Jinja Bar (US) three. renewal green card are advised In all, the JFC Group had a to- that this is not an option. They rants, 465 Chowking outlets, 241 Filipinos in Europe. In the United States, JFC is set Greenwich stores, 385 Red Rib- tal of 3,236 stores worldwide. n must file for their renewal green

card and pay the requisite fee, regardless of whether they intend to file a Naturalization application. No two cases are alike, and with immigration laws constantly evolving, individuals must carefully consider their particular situation in relation to immigration laws before filing for any benefit or application, such as an application to renew their green card or an application for Naturalization. Those who might be eligible for any immigration benefit or program should consult with an experienced, licensed immigration attorney to obtain an in-depth consultation about the law, what the law requires,

and how to proceed. In addition, people should be wary of online tools that offer immigration help or notarios who are not licensed to practice law. *** Atty. Lilli Berbano Baculi is an associate attorney with Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional Legal Corporation (CTV) - a full service law firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Philippines. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (619) 955-6277; (415) 4958088; (916) 449-3923; lbaculi@ctvattys. com. For general information visit www.


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Business news

DECEMBER 2-8, 2016 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160

Philippines urged to come up with… PAGE CJ3 t

volatile,” First Gen’s Puno said. Coal prices, based on the benchmark Newcastle, traded as low as $49 per metric ton at the start of 2016, but surged as high as $108 in late October. So far this month, coal prices have hovered between $90 to over $110 per MT. “Coal’s volatility would expose consumers, including business establishments, to drastic and unpredictable changes in their power bills. Households and businesses would find it challenging to budget and manage their expenses,” Puno said. The DOE is currently in the process of reviewing the fuel

mix policy “to find the correct mix.” The agency is looking at 65 percent from baseload plants such as coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydropower; 25 percent from mid-merit plants and 10 percent from peaking plants. Among other baseload sources, Puno said other energy sources, particularly natural gas from the Malampaya project, remain stable—if not cheaper than coal. The fuel source is largely indexed against a basket of oil products that include Dubai crude. The Brent oil benchmark, which closely tracks Dubai crude, traded as high as US$112

per barrel in 2014, but its price now hovers below US$50/barrel. “If the share in the mix of other power plant fuels such as natural gas is clear, they can help absorb price shocks from coal for the benefit of consumers,” he said. Natural gas from Malampaya provides the fuel for First Gen’s 1,000-MW Santa Rita and 500MW San Lorenzo combinedcycle power plants located in Batangas City. Apart from natural gas plants, the Lopez firm also has geothermal, hydro, wind and solar plants totalling 3,470 MW in combined capacity. n

Coming back from the brink NDE: The Near…

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erate of others. For others, there is a renewed sense of purpose and a reordering of life’s priorities. Some have even gone on to develop a sense of spirituality convinced that their new lease on life tells them that they were made for something more. But not all stories of NDE are the same. It seems that for some on the dark side, the experience is totally different. Some report of the presence of a dark void and all the chillingly cold, negative, consuming energies of such emotions as seething anger, loathing and arrogance swirling about in a thick, dark, putrid cloud, the complete antithesis of the typical NDE experience of light. This story is more like horror. Just as there are good people and bad people, the nature of the near death experience seems to be a direct and proportionate result of the collective, aggregate choices each one makes through life. Remember the movie Ghost?

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The merciless murderer Willie, was on his way to commit another contract murder, when he is confronted by the invisible energy of the spooky, rampaging spirit of Sam whom he murdered earlier for money. He suddenly flees and in his haste, is run over by a car and dies on the spot. The murderer’s spirit rises from his body as he realizes he is dead. His soul, however, is instantly shackled and suctioned off screaming into the void by howling, hooded, dark, macabre, misshapen creatures rising like toxic fumes and disappearing just as suddenly from the sewers of New York City. That is, perhaps, a glimpse of what it must be like to truly die and go to hell. When the other kind of NDE happens, some report that there is no concept of space or time at all. There is neither beginning nor end. Communication with beings of light or deceased relatives who may accompany the dying is telepathic. There is no sound and no need for words.

Many of those who have nearly died and allowed to come back to live out the rest of their lives express a reluctance to return to their previous physical lives. But there was a strong pull, a tug from their earthly life that made them do a U-turn, at least for the time being. What is stunning is this. Nearly all those who have had an encounter with death and did come back to resume their lives claim they no longer fear death. The fear of death is no more. Death for them has become a door one must pass to enter a more beautiful, enticing reality full of love and mercy. What most have learned from their brush with death is startlingly simple. LOVE, they profess, is the most important thing in this earthly life — giving it, accepting it and learning from it. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@ asianjournalinc.com

The wonders of super…

parts of the body. The usual findings among Alzheimer patients are elevated blood cholesterol level, and on postmortem, their brain tissues have a lot of beta amyloid deposits, akin to the cholesterol deposits on the walls of the arteries elsewhere in their body. In view of this, it is postulated that the inherent ability of the supergene to slow down the cholesterol and beta-amyloid deposit, or even clear existing deposits, promoting better blood circula-

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tion to the brain and other vital organs, might be the mechanism of its protective action. The final word has not been said on this issue. Since we do not know who among us have the “supergene,” all of us have to behave, live a healthy lifestyle, and take advantage of what today’s sophisticated medical science and technology can offer us to maximize our health, happiness and longevity. Getting older is terrific, because the only alternative is to die young. Let us grow in years but

remain young at heart.

*** 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. For more data, visit philipSchua.com; Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

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75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Pearl Harbor & the Philippines SAN FRANCISCO, CA –Bataan Legacy Historical Society will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Philippines on Wednesday, December 7 at 6 p.m. at the War Memorial Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Ave., Room 210 in San Francisco. The event is organized in collaboration with Memorare Manila 1945, through the sponsorship of the American Legion War Memorial Commission and VFW 4618 91st Division Chinatown Post. Keynote speaker will be Phil Gioia, military historian and decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. Mr. Gioia served two combat tours in the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 5th Cavalry Regiment of the First Cavalry Division. He currently serves as a Director of the Friends of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor where the United States Navy suffered loss and

destruction, Japan bombed the Philippines just a few hours later on December 8. A bitter war between the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) took place on the Bataan Peninsula until April 9, 1942 when the USAFFE forces, suffering from major disease and starvation and fighting without any air support, were forced to surrender. The USAFFE troops were able to delay the timetable of the Imperial Japanese Army but what ensued after was one of the greatest tragedies during WWII. Approximately 10,000 Filipino and 650 American soldiers died when they were forced to walk to their prison camp at Camp O’Donnell some 60 miles away with no provisions for food, water, shelter or medicine. Those who could no longer go on were beaten, bayoneted, shot and some were even beheaded. This became known as the Bataan Death March. Another 20,000 Filipinos and 1,600 Americans died while inside the

prison camp. The Philippines was not liberated until September 1945. We have been working with the California Department of Education since 2014 to include this seminal segment of WWII history and other events in the Philippines in the U.S. history curriculum framework for Grade 11 (Chapter 16) and on July 14, 2016, it was approved by the California State Board of Education. We also have an ongoing exhibition at the War Memorial Veterans Building (Room 102) on WWII in the Philippines and the Role of San Francisco until December 16. It is open from 1PM to 4PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For further information, please contact info@bataanlegacy.org or call (510) 520-8540. Please visit our website at www.bataanlegacy.org for more information about our work to include WWII in the Philippines in the U.S. history curriculum framework. n

Simbang Gabi 2016 Starts with December 6 Commissioning Mass THE Filipino Ministry Consultative Board of the Archdiocese of San Francisco invites everyone to its 9th Annual Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass to be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption (1111 Gough Street, San Francisco). The Commissioning Mass heralds the beginning of the Simbang Gabi Masses celebrated in various parishes within the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Most Reverend William Justice, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, will be the principal celebrant of the Commissioning Mass. A reception and fellowship follows immediately after the Mass. The following is the 2016 schedule of Masses (please doublecheck the times of the mass, and check the schedule of your local church if it is not listed below): San Francisco County: • Church of the Epiphany (827 Vienna Street; 415-33307630) – Dec. 15-19 & 21-23, 7pm; Dec. 20, 7:30pm

• Church of the Visitation (655 Sunnydale Avenue; 415-4945517 – Dec. 16-24, 6am • Corpus Christi (62 Santa Rosa Avenue; 415-585-2991) – Dec. 15-16 & 19-23, 7pm; Dec. 17-18, 5pm • Holy Name of Jesus (1560 40th Avenue; 415-664-8590) – Dec. 16-24, 5:30am • St. Anne of the Sunset (850 Judah Street; 415-665-1600) – Dec. 15-23, 7pm • St. Boniface (133 Golden Gate Avenue; 415-863-7515) – Dec. 15-23, 5:30pm • St. Elizabeth (459 Somerset Street; 415-468-0820) – Dec. 1523, 7pm • St. John the Evangelist (19 St. Mary’s Avenue; 415-334-4646) – Dec. 16-17 & 19-24, 9am; Dec. 18, 7:30am • St. Monica(1) (470 24th Avenue; 415-751-5275) – Dec. 2123, 7pm • St. Patrick (756 Mission Street; 415-421-3730) – Dec. 1624, 6am • St. Paul of the Shipwreck

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(1122 Jamestown Aveue; 415468-3434) – Dec. 21-23, 7pm • St. Stephen(2) (451 Eucalyptus Drive; 415-681-2444) – Dec. 16-24, 6am • St. Thomas More (1300 Junipero Serra Boulevard; 415452-9634) – Dec. 15-17 & 19-23, 7pm; Dec. 18, 8pm San Mateo County: • All Souls (315 Walnut Avenue, SSF; 650-871-8944) – Dec. 15-16 & 17-23, 6pm; Dec. 17-18, 5:15pm • Holy Angels (107 San Pedro Road, Colma; 650-755-0478) – Dec. 15-23, 7pm • Mater Dolorosa (307 Willow Avenue, SSF; 650-583-4131) – Dec. 15-23, 7pm • Our Lady of Mercy (1 Elmwood Drive, Daly City; 650-7552727) – Dec. 15-16 & 18-23, 7:30pm; Dec. 17, 5:30pm • Our Lady of Perpetual Help (60 Wellington Avenue, Daly City; 650-755-9786) – Dec. 1624, 5:30am • St. Andrew (1571 Southgate

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(650) 689-5160 • http://www.asianjournal.com

NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • DECEMBER 2-8, 2016

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SF Consul General inducts officers at Pangasinan In celebration of Fire Prevention Month, South San Francisco firefighters complete week-long Presidents Club USA Inauguration Ball CPR training to local high School students

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pangasinan Presidents Club USA (PPC USA), an organization composed of present and past Presidents of various Pangasinan-led organizations in Northern California and beyond, held its Inaugural Banquet and Ball in South San Francisco on November 19, 2016. PPC USA gathers leaders who have vast experience in mobilizing people and resources that benefit the respective Communities that they serve. With the ultimate goal of uplifting the profile of Filipino-Americans across the United States, the organization hopes to become a model for Filipino organizations in the nation. Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., along with Madame Mariza Bensurto, were invited to the event, where the former was asked to speak before leaders of the FilipinoAmerican Community. Consul General Bensurto lauded the organization for its vision, reminding them of the Philippines’ and the Filipino people’s history of helping other peoples and nations in need, such as when the Philippines generously opened its doors to Vietnamese, Jewish and Russian refugees. He challenged the members to share best practices in steering their constituents and serving the Community, adding that while 3.5 million of the Filipino diaspora reside in the United States, Fiipinos remain under represented in government. He encouraged the leaders to fully transform our advantage into concrete benefits for Filipino-Americans by “join-

ing hands in uplifting the Filipino-American Community, and fostering our spirit of bayanihan”, and reaching out to to the youth, sparking interest in them

about Filipino culture that would move them to connect with one another and with the Philippines, empowering them to act for the benefit of the Community. n

Simbang Gabi 2016 Starts with…

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Avenue, Daly City; 650-756-3223) – Dec. 15-16 & 19-23, 7pm; Dec. 17, 4:45pm; Dec. 18, 7pm • St. Augustine (3700 Callan Boulevard, SSF; 650-873-2282) – Dec. 15-23, 7:30pm • St. Bruno (555 San Bruno Avenue, San Bruno; 650-588-2121) – Dec. 16-21, 6pm; Dec. 17, 7pm; Dec. 22-24, 5am • St. Gregory(3) (2715 Hacienda Street, San Mateo; 650-3458506) – Dec. 15-23, 7pm • St. Robert (1380 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno; 650-

589-2800) – Dec. 15-23, 7pm • St. Timothy (1515 Dolan Avenue, San Mateo; 650-342-2468) – Dec. 16-17 & 19-24, 6am; Dec.18, 7:30am • St. Veronica (434 Alida Way, SSF; 650-589-3909) – Dec. 15-16 & 19-23, 6:30pm; Dec. 17, 5pm; Dec. 18, 4pm • Deanery 11 Joint Celebration St. Charles, Dec. 15 & 21, 8pm; St. Raymond, Dec. 16, 7pm; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Dec. 17, 5pm; St. Charles, Dec. 18, 5pm; Church of the Nativity, Dec. 19, 7pm; St. Pius, Dec. 20 & 23, 7pm;

St. Mathias, Dec. 22, 7pm Marin County: • St. Isabella (1 Trinity Way, San Rafael; 415-479-1560) – Dec. 16-20, 7pm (1) Joint celebration with Star of the Sea, St. Thomas Apostle (2) Joint celebration with St. Brendan, St. Cecilia, St. Finn Barr, St. Gabriel and Star of the Sea (3) Joint celebration with St. Bartholomew, St. Catherine, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew and Our Lady of Angels. n

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — South San Francisco high school students received a lesson in life recently, and it’s one they’ll hopefully carry throughout their adulthood. While the nation commemorated Fire Prevention Week, which was October 9-15, the South San Francisco Fire Department has chosen to make it a month-long recognition. As part of this national observance, the South San Francisco Fire Department visited each high school in South San Francisco last week to teach students “hands only CPR” and bleeding control emergency techniques. “We are proud to bring another year of Fire Prevention and emergency education to our local high school students,” said Gerry Kohlmann, South San Francisco Fire Chief. “The basis for the training is to encourage engagement in emergency situations and to teach individuals simple actions that can save lives.” South San Francisco firefighters provided hands only CPR and bleeding control training to freshman and sophomore students at El Camino, South San Francisco, and Baden High Schools. The instruction was provided each period during Physical Education Classes; the first half of instruction followed the American Heart Association’s curriculum for learning Hands Only CPR. Students observed multiple demonstrations and then had the opportunity to practice compressions on provided mannequins. The second half of the training provided was the Stop the Bleed initiative, which coincides with a campaign recently introduced by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Students saw demonstrations

on how to apply direct pressure, learned how to apply a tourniquet, and then had the opportunity to practice the skills. For an overview of the Hands Only CPR training and Bleeding Control techniques shared by the South San Francisco Fire Department, please watch the following videos online at: https://youtu.be/ zSgmledxFe8 and https://www. dhs.gov/stopthebleed. South San Francisco Fire Marshal, Luis da Silva, also adds “While October is Fire Prevention Month, it’s never too early to remind residents about being safe this holiday season. On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.” Did you know? • Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. • Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.

• During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing. • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Go to our website, http:// www.ssf.net/434/Fire-Prevention, for Preparedness Tips for the Holidays. The City of South San Francisco proudly remains The Industrial City, a reflection of its steel mill and ship building past, redefined to reflect the innovative, entrepreneurial and industrious spirit which has made South San Francisco the Biotech Capital of the World, with 211 active biotech companies and growing. A vibrant community of 64,585 residents, South San Francisco enjoys a high quality of life with an extensive public parks system, active library and learning programming and a dynamic, engaged community making South San Francisco a great place to live, learn, work and play. n

Free health services offered by Mabuhay Health Center THE Mabuhay Health Center is offering free health services every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (last patient accepted at 12:30 p.m.) at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco. They are also working in conjunction with UCSF. Offered health services and clinic dates for

2017: • Health screening - April 8 • Blood pressure check - May 13 • Diabetes monitoring - June 10 • Medication counseling - January 14 / July 8 • Health education - February 11 / August 12 • Care from UCSF providers - March 11 / September 9 n

why ORGANIC? Organic products meet stringent standards Healthier for you & kids Organic food tastes better Organic farming respects natural resources Avoids pesticides & are artificial-fertilizer-free Non-GMO, no synthetic pesticides, no growth-promoting antibiotics There are many, many more reasons to go Organic. But in short: You’ll leave the world a better place than when you found it


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DECEMBER 2-8, 2016 • NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160


San Francisco Edition -- December 2 -- 8, 2016