OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 1
OCTOBER 17, 2020
Fighting Hypocrisy with Aloha
October is Fil-AM History Month
AS I SEE IT
The Covid-19 Outbreak at OCCC is Under Control
GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
Filipino American Candidates Advancing to the General Election
Prayer for the United States Elections
2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
Hawaii’s Tourism Reopens; Let’s Practice Safety As COVID-19 Peaks in the Fall-Winter Surge
udos to our health care specialists and the media for keeping the public informed on the latest in the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, certain politicians and interest groups have undermined efforts to treat the pandemic as a genuine public health crisis and turned it into a war of misinformation for political gain. But both our public health experts and the media have kept steady and focused on the scientific and medical facts. While many of us speak of suffering pandemic-fatigue, now is not the time to slip into complacency. For months now the top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and others have been warning the public about lowering the number of coronavirus infections before the fall and winter. The reason being is that the cold weather (keeps more people indoors spreading the virus) coupled with the flu season could create the perfect storm for a deadly coronavirus surge. Highlights of the current statistics are alarming: • As of Oct. 11, there has been 7.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 218,746 deaths in the U.S. • More than half (31 states) of the country are seeing increases in coronavirus cases by at least 10 percent, Johns Hopkins University tracking shows. Ten of 50 states have been reporting record one-day rises. States with rising rates have seen upticks for two straight weeks. • Hospitalization is trending up with nine states near capacity. • The U.S. has broken records for daily COVID-19 cases six times in the past two weeks. The nation recorded its highest-ever daily count on July 8: more than 60,000 infections. Because we’ve failed to bring down the spread of the virus, the projected surge is grim. Dr. Fauci said we could have 300,000400,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of the year or early winter. That is double the current fatalities in a much shorter amount of time. But experts say if we are disciplined in wearing facial covering (95 percent mask use), that number could be reduced by 100,000. Getting our annual flu shot will also curb fatalities. Without the flu shot (influenza vaccine) we are more vulnerable to getting the coronavirus and the flu. Contracting both would be catastrophic to our immune system and body, and lessens our chances to recover. Many people forgo getting their flu shot even if it’s discounted or free for those with health insurance. But this year is different. Consider getting your shot as your contribution to the community in stopping the spread of the virus.
Bad timing? As COVID-19 is set to reach its peak, Gov. David Ige rolled out the new pre-travel testing program that allows Hawaii-bound travelers who provide negative virus test results within 72 hours of arrival to sidestep two weeks of quarantine. But travelers will also have the option to undergo the usual 14-days quarantine in lieu of providing a negative test result. This poses a problem because it’s conceivable that a traveler unaware of being infected choosing to quarantine, could board the plane and infect travelers who tested negative. This is a glaring loophole in safety and must be corrected immediately should infection levels rise dramatically in Hawaii following the implementation of the new pre-travel testing program. It’s hard to fault the governor for reopening tourism during (continue on page 3)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
tarting Oct. 15, Hawaii-bound travelers will have the option to provide a negative test result within 72 hours to sidestep the mandatory quarantine or elect to go into quarantine as what normally has been done since late March. The proof of a negative test is called the pre-travel testing program which Gov. David Ige said will help to reboot tourism. While many businesses are pleased with the new program that will go a long way in reopening the state’s economy, it also comes at a time when health experts warn of an upcoming fall-winter coronavirus surge. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports while the coronavirus fall-winter surge leaves mainlanders more vulnerable because of the cold weather (more time spent indoors makes it easier for the virus to spread), Hawaii is also vulnerable as it always has been. A boom in infections on the mainland could also trigger a spike locally. But adding to this risk is the new pre-travel testing program that is certain to increase the number of in-bound Hawaii tourists. Health experts say the fall-winter surge will not only be driven by weather but the flu. The flu season converging with the ongoing coronavirus is what’s called a “twindemic” and a potential nightmare scenario. Dr. Seema Yasmin of Stanford said having one of the two viruses can make you more vulnerable to getting infected with the other. Not only are we more vulnerable, getting either one or both, would be far more catastrophic to our immune system. That’s why health experts like State DOH’s Immunization Branch Chief Ron Balajadia are encouraging local residents to get their flu shot, and as early as possible. Hawaii residents in our cover story have either already gotten their shot or plan to. Read what some of the other fall-winter COVID-19 drivers are and ways we can help to prevent community spread. The last part of the cover story explores the topic of accountability. Millions of Americans are already voting and Hawaii voters will get their chance soon. Who should be responsible for COVID going from a crisis to full-blown tragedy? Should your local political party and leaders pay the price at the polls or should accountability rest on President Trump? Local residents chime in on who and why accountability matters this General Election. On voting, we are pleased to present a General Election Supplement this issue. In it, HFC editorial assistant Jim Bea Sampaga gives a rundown of all the Fil-Am candidates and the district races they are vying for. Honolulu mayoral candidates Rick Blangiardi and Keith Amemiya appeal one last time to our Filipino community and HFC readers answering the question, “Why Should Filipinos Vote For You?” Also, responding to the same question are candidates for Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm and Megan Kau. For additional information on Filipino candidates and Honolulu mayoral candidates feel free to read our previous election (July 18, Aug. 1) and the presidential candidates (Oct. 3) on our website’s (thefilipinochronicle.com) archive. A General Election Guideline is also included for your reference. In this issue, we also have a news feature on October is Filipino American History Month. The Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS) announced this year’s FAHM theme: The History of Filipino American Activism. Be sure to read our columns and informative news, including how the pandemic is affecting Hawaii’s rental and tenant market. Lastly, we’re pleased to know many of you have relied on the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle once again this election year as one of your main sources of election information, candidates’ background and political analysis. To our Filipino community, let’s continue building on political empowerment and be sure to vote. Until next issue warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!
Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.
Publisher & Managing Editor
Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo
Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.
Photography Tim Llena
Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan
Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga
Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.
Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro
Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia
Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors
Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan
Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 3
The Response to, Handling of, and Trajectory of the Pandemic Should Be A Top Consideration this General Election
mericans in many states are already voting. In the course of over 3 ½ years there are many issues from immigration to trade to weigh before voters make their final decision in the General Election. In any ordinary election year, the “referendum” to boot or keep a president seeking reelection would normally be very basic – based mostly on the health of the economy. Late this election season came a bit of a surprise. A top consideration for Conservatives voting in 2016 that kept Never Trump Republicans from bolting the party (and gave Trump the margin to win) is once again an issue. What? Filling the Supreme Court’s vacancy. A replacement for the deceased Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is being deliberated at this very moment. While this is being pushed off by Trump as a top consideration for Conservatives again – what worked in the past, he wants to replicate – truth is there is already a stacked conservative majority at SCOTUS and it will not be a deciding factor as it was in 2016. Then there is the matter of the old-guard Republicans (Wall Street Bush-type elitists, the Lincoln Project
types, the George Will conservatives). Certainly they want their party back and feel Trumpism has gotten out of hand. In just a few days, they have been sending off dog whistles of their own to their own, to abandon Trump in the General. Just days ago Goldman Sachs’ chief economist gave glowing positives on the economy should Biden win. It’s Goldman Sachs! Insiders know where true power comes from, and when they speak. Wall Street also frowned upon Trump putting off the latest stimulation package until after the election. Now he’s back peddling. Truth be told, free market capitalists are just as fearful of dictatorship and chaos as liberals. Handing over the presidency to Democrats for four years, to old-guard Republicans, would be worth it since one, Biden is a moderate, and two, they’ll have time to regroup, rebuild. Referendum on Trump will center on the pandemic While there are interest group after interest group that collectively could impact the General, the outcome ultimately will be decided on how the President handled or mishandled COVID-19. 2020 came and unleashed a surprise crisis like no oth-
er. Based on the current infectious and death stats to date (7.5 million cases, over 215,000 deaths) and the state of the U.S. economy (worst recession ever since the Great Depression) Trump’s job performance on COVID-19 could be summed up as a complete failure. When the pandemic broke out, there were brief signs of bipartisanship that he missed the opportunity to build on. There was a major bipartisan stimulus package that passed quickly. The second one, not as quickly. Both parties took credit for both. But the President wasn’t about to share the limelight. He reverted to his old playbook, appealed to his base, turned what should have been a united front to combat the virus (as other countries have managed to do) into politics and dangerous mixed-messaging. The President’s leadership to COVID-19 has been so disturbing that for a very first time since it was founded 200+ years ago, the prestigious, non-political New England Journal of Medicine gave a blistering editorial criticizing the President’s handling of the pandemic and called for Trump to be voted out from office. After 215,000 deaths and months into the pandem-
Hawaii’s Tourism...from page 2)
the worst time. Hawaii’s economy is on life support, unemployment staggering (among the highest in the nation), and too many businesses have closed down permanently. The governor has been under tremendous pressure from the business community and unemployed workers to do something major. As unemployment benefits (and health insurance) are coming to an expiration in a few months for some; and as businesses continue to report losses while still having to pay for rent and fixed costs – their plea is justified. No one knows how the expected winter surge will play out in Hawaii especially after the new pre-travel testing program. But if we get the word out to the public to be extra cautious, not give into pandemic fatigue and continue practicing (even more vigilantly) social distancing and mask use, we can at least minimize the grim forecast. In the 1800s there was a French engineer and economist named Jules Dupuit who came
up with the concept of cost-benefit analysis. It’s a model used in many disciplines even today and most commonly in policy-making. It’s agonizing to apply cost-benefit analysis during this pandemic because basically it’s putting at odds human life for economic livelihood in policy. But leaders must make tough decisions in this most challenging time. When our leaders are truthful with the community and in their intentions (Gov. Ige has been), we may not agree with them, but at the very least they deserve some credit. Hawaii’s handling of the coronavirus in the Spring received national praise (practically the lowest infection rate in the nation). But it did come at a cost (Hawaii is among the hardest hit economically). The governor has responded by reopening tourism this month. Let’s hold back from caustic judgement, wait and see how this plays out. At the same time, do everything in our power to be responsible by staying healthy.
ic Trump is still comparing COVID-19 to the flu. The use of masks in public and social distancing, both that are already established to be effective in stopping the spread of the virus, are still not regularly and steadily promoted by the President. On rare occasions that he would encourage mask use, his message would be undermined by his public appearances, rallies, WH events that showed him and his supporters practicing unsafe distancing and without them wearing a mask. If there were consensus on mask use and social distancing alone, if they weren’t politicized often by the President, so many lives could have been prevented, experts say. What started out as a crisis, turned into missed opportunities over and over, and now has become full-blown tragedy. The consequence has been lasting economic hardship – unnecessarily. Even more disturbing is that other countries that have been hit by the virus earlier could have been used as models of what to do and what not to do. Many of those countries have a lid on the virus for the most part, and probably spent far less in resources than the U.S. In the early coronavirus days, instead of utilizing the expertise of international or-
ganizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) which have collected valuable data and models from countries earlier hit from coronavirus, Trump uses WHO as a scapegoat, and terminates the U.S. relationship with WHO. The President has brought in top credible experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, but Trump often disregards, undervalues and undercuts not just Dr. Fauci’s recommendations, but other experts as well. At the same time, the president hosts at the WH meetings with charlatans wanting to promote alternative, non-scientifically proven drugs and supplements. He’s even had his top communications official Michael Caputo say that scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were conspiring against him and engaged in “sedition.” It has always been about intimidation with this president to get what he wants and go after those who go against him. Scientists and doctors could be armed with the facts, data, and truth about COVID-19, but no matter, politics come first for Trump. It’s critical that voters consider the President’s handling of COVID in the General. He’s had months to show Americans what he’s capable of. Ask yourself: “Is much of the same what our nation deserves?
4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
WINTER SURGE AHEAD FOR COVID-19, HAWAII REOPENS TOURISM By Edwin Quinabo
aiting for a coronavirus vaccine before business as usual can resume makes sense in a perfect world. But in a perfect world, the virus would not exist. The reality is that for some there will be no business to return to since lockdowns put a clamp on economic activity to a point of no return. It’s the same story in cities throughout the U.S. – community spread, lockdown, economic fallout, infections drop, reopen, infections up, lockdown. The only difference from state to state is the timing that governors decide to act on when “enough is enough” of community infections measured against economic health. Hawaii residents found out they too were no exception to this futile, catch-22 While Hawaii’s new pre-travel testing is not perfect, some say the program at least is an added layer of protection while the state begins to reopen tourism. Hawaii officials say travelers must get a specific type of coronavirus screening, a nucleic acid amplification test, and load their information onto a state website and mobile app that officials will use to track incoming passengers. The most glaring problem with the pre-travel testing and quarantine option is – those choosing the quarantine route unknowingly could be COVID-positive, board the plane and infect a passenger who previously tested negative 72-hours prior. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, commented on Hawaii’s new pre-travel testing program, “The reality is, no matter what you do, there are going to be infected people who slip through the cracks. It’s inevitable. I can understand the anxiety of people on the islands saying, you know, if you just do a test 72 hours
pattern of weighing human loss to capital and financial loss. The state registered stellar numbers in the Spring, only to find a summer bust (10% increase) as regulations eased to help the state’s flailing economy. A second state lockdown was ordered, then lifted. On Oct. 15 Gov. David Ige launched a new pre-travel testing program that allows Hawaii-bound travelers who provide negative virus test results within 72 hours of arrival to sidestep two weeks of quarantine. But travelers can still elect to quarantine instead of showing a test result. What this program basically does is it initiates an ambitious reopening of the state’s economy as tourism gets the green light; at the same time, aims to minimize new COVID-19 cases. After months the state finally has under-
earlier and that’s all you do, then that’s not going to be enough. You’re not going to get everybody, but statistically, you’re going to dramatically diminish the likelihood that an infected person enters.” He also said adding some kind of secondary screening would help. Aiea resident Jeoffrey Cudiamat, who owns his own engineering company Structural Hawaii, Inc. said he supports the pre-travel testing program and quarantine. “It (pre-travel testing program) will help identify and contain the spread of COVID-19. Safety measures should be implemented to the greatest extent practical, and government should absolutely open the proverbial doors for tourism, even if it’s not at full capacity.”
COVID-19’s Winter Surge Coinciding with Hawaii’s reopening of tourism is an expected peak of the virus on the horizon. Dr. Fauci has long advocated for the nation to get the number of infections down before the fall and winter be-
cause the cold weather that keeps people indoors for longer hours is bound to spike community spread. Current status. But that pre fall-winter surge preparation to get infections down has failed. *As of Oct. 11, there has been 7.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 218,746 deaths in the U.S. *More than half (31 states) of the country are seeing increases in coronavirus cases by at least 10 percent, Johns Hopkins University tracking shows. Ten of 50 states have been reporting record oneday rises. States with rising rates have seen upticks for two straight weeks. *Hospitalization is trending up with nine states near capacity. *The U.S. has broken records for daily COVID-19 cases six times in the past two weeks. The nation recorded its highest-ever daily count on July 8: more than 60,000 infections. Dr. Fauci said “The models tell us if we don’t do what we need to in the fall and win-
gone its biggest risk – and at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is expected to reach a peak in the fall-winter surge. Health experts warn there is no room for coronavirus fatigue and no time to let up on wearing a mask or let up on social distancing.
ter, we could have 300,000400,000 COVID-19 deaths.” That is potentially double the current COVID-19 deaths in just three to four months, compared to almost the same number of fatalities spread along nine months. He said the fall-winter surge is not considered a second wave of the pandemic because the nation had yet to see a considerable drop of the virus nationally. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said “I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health.” He expressed particular concern for the coronavirus infections coinciding with flu cases. A coronavirus-flu convergence, often called a “twindemic,” is a nightmare scenario for health officials and medical systems. Doctors worry they’ll have to deal with flu epidemics on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The projected surge is more grim when considering that a vaccine would not be available sooner than mid2021. Dr. Fauci says even when a vaccine is available, it would take a while before the U.S. is back to normal. He said “normality will be maybe the third quarter or so of 2021.” Research suggests that colder temperatures could boost coronavirus transmission, but the greater threat is hospital overcrowding during flu season. Flu season in the U.S. typically arrives in October and then peaks from December to February. An estimated 12,000 to 61,000 Americans die of the flu every year. Influenza cases could place further strain on hospitals already stretched thin by COVID-19.
Flu Season and importance of getting a flu shot Dr. Seema Yasmin, director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative said “having one of the two viruses (flu/influenza or COVID-19) can make you more vulnera(continue on page 5)
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 5
COVER STORY (from page 4)
ble to getting infected with the other. Your defenses go down, and it makes you vulnerable to getting the other virus.” Having both would be catastrophic to your immune system. Health professionals say getting a flu shot this year may be more important than ever. Lorna Reyes, Kapolei, said she has never gotten a flu shot but plans to this year. “I’ve been very fortunate not to get the flu in a very long time. I’m in my 50s and I can’t remember when was the last time I got the flu. So I never felt the need to get the flu shot. There has been several times that I never had health insurance while in between jobs which is another reason why I avoided it. “But this year, I need to be safe and get it, no matter how much it costs. We have a household of four people, myself, my husband, daughter and her fiancée. We all plan to get shots. We are doing it for our own safety and for each other. We know that living under the same roof means if one of us gets infected with COVID or the flu, the chances are high for all of us to get infected,” said Reyes. Health experts say getting vaccinated with the influenza vaccine (flu shot) can help lesson symptoms, shorten the time of sickness to 1-2 days, prevent serious complications (pneumonia, dehydration, inflammation of the heart and brain, multi-organ failure and death). The State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is recommending people get their flu shot early, by the end of October. Immunization Branch Chief Ron Balajadia said, “Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden on our health care system due to flu-related illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. Getting your flu shot helps conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.” People at high risk for the flu are young children, older people, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. Cudiamat got his flu shot early this year. He says he doesn’t always do it each
year, “but it seems wise to do it, especially now under these conditions. With COVID-19, the additional threat of the flu can easily compromise one’s health.”
Cost and where to get your flu shot Flu shots are free for Medicare enrollees, for veteran and military families. Most Kaiser Permanente members have nocost for flu shots; most health plans also offer free-to-discounted flu shots. Flu shots are available at most big-box pharmacies, Costco, CVS, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite-Aid by appointment or walk-ins. For those without health insurance, the average cost of a flu shot at a big-box pharmacy is $40, at some Urgent-care clinics $25. Some federally funded health centers and state departments have flu shots for free or at a low cost to the uninsured, depending on income. “We can prevent both influenza and COVID-19 together by continuing to follow safe practices to prevent the spread of germs,” added Balajadia. “Remember to also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and to frequently clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects like doorknobs, light switches and cell phones.” How do you know if you have the flu or coronavirus? Both illnesses share the same common symptoms, including fever and chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain, body aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. The key difference between the two illnesses concerns the sense of smell, the CDC points out. The sudden loss of smell and taste is associated with COVID-19, not the flu. Other ways to protect yourself in the fall-winter Health experts want to clarify that the cold in winter itself does not raise a person’s chance to get infected, but the extended hours spent indoors because of the cold weather. Hawaii temperatures do not drop very low,
but winter is Hawaii’s rainy season and could increase time spent indoors. *Hold events outdoors. Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Infectious Diseases recommends that interactions at indoor venues be kept to a minimum or avoided. If a gathering must take place, it should be held outdoors with heated lamps. On expected rainy days in Hawaii, outdoor gatherings could be in held in garages or patios, or in public spaces where there is a roof covering but open space. *Wear a mask. Health experts say that wearing a face mask is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent exhaling viral particles. For the projected fall-winter surge, if 95 percent of Americans wear a mask, it could be a difference from 3,000 daily deaths in late December down to 1,000. • Avoid or keep traveling to a minimum. • Visit family and friends sparingly. • Try virtual holiday celebrations. • Act like you’re contagious. Many who are infected are asymptomatic so following all CDC safety guidelines like wearing a mask and social distancing should be a practice for everyone. While pandemic fatigue is common, which is another reason health experts predict a surge in the fall-winter, others keep disciplined. “I am still cautious during this pandemic situation. I have many friends who are in healthcare, and they have seen the outbreak first hand. I wear my mask in public and observe social distancing,” said Cudiamat.
Who to blame with the handling of the coronavirus? Local government. Cudiamat said while he is not fatigued with the pandemic (practicing CDC safety guidelines), as a small business owner he is frustrated with the government’s handling of the coronavirus. “I feel that local government should relax its stranglehold on small businesses.
“Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden on our health care system due to flu-related illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths. Getting your flu shot helps conserve scarce medical resources for the care of people with COVID-19.”
— Ron Balajadia
Immunization Branch Chief, the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) If big box stores can open for business with many people in close proximity, then small businesses should be able to do the same also. I think mandates such as wearing a mask and other precautions can be implemented fairly simply. I also think the government should allow families to attend the beaches, dine in, play at a park, and do other things together without having to be limited to 2 or 4 people. Being able to live together but not being able to go to a public place together just doesn’t make sense.” While Gov. Ige, who is not up for reelection in this General, would be the person to hold accountable in the way government is handling the virus locally, political analysts say voters might take out their frustration on the Democratic party, because in Hawaii’s case the state’s leadership is Democratic. Placing accountability on state and local leadership holds true anywhere-- Democrat-led or Republican-led. State gove r n o r s whether they are up for reelection or not represent their political party. Political analysts say If voters are not happy with their state’s leadership in handling the coronavirus, their governor or governor’s party could be held re-
sponsible at the polls. Federal government. But more commonly voters are looking to the President for accountability of COVID-19. A typical example of missed opportunity by the President is his inaction on a recent CDC proposal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month drafted a sweeping order under its “quarantine powers” that would require all passengers and employees to wear masks on public and commercial transportation in the United States, from airplanes to buses to rail and trains. The New York Times reported that the White House blocked that order which what would have been the toughest federal mandate to date to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Health experts say the lack of implementing federal regulations as this latest one is just one area where the president’s leadership has failed. State and local government (continue on page 6)
6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
Fighting Hypocrisy with Aloha By Emil Guillermo
en. Mazie Hirono was probably speaking for you when she looked at Judge Amy Coney Barrett and said, “Aloha.” But there was barely any aloha coming back from Judge Barrett during her rushed Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Judge Barrett was masked up accordingly. She may be the person we should fear the most, after the president himself. Judge Barrett is the handpicked nominee, who was essentially approved by the Republican senators even before she was named. What? Sure, it’s the selection handpicked by Trump himself who is on the record saying he was looking for a judge to dump the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka (COVER STORY: Winter....from page 5)
arguably have the last authority to decide how to combat COVID-19, but critics say that shouldn’t be stopping the President from uniting governors to come up with uniformed policies, uniformed safety guidelines and better coordination among states. This is what leadership is, making the difficult possible. And the president hasn’t delivered on that -- Trump’s detractors commonly say. A local RN who works at a military hospital in Hawaii,
Obamacare, aka the reason tens of millions of people have any healthcare coverage at all. So, there’s health care, and all that entails. Pre-existing conditions, lifetime limits, it’s all threatened with Judge Barrett’s confirmation. There’s abortion and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. There’s an election question that could rise to the Supreme Court and get a pro-Trump decision. And then there are the significant issues regarding LBGTQ rights, specifically same-sex marriage. Are the current laws safe? Who will assure those laws are upheld? Or will they be allowed to be struck down by the woman known as a mentee of Antonin Scalia, the archconservative who voted against all the aforementioned issues. That’s what’s at stake if Judge Barrett is approved. From her answers, the judge evaded and dodged every question as inappropriate to answer. Sen. Hirono came close to getting Judge Barrett to say she would take into account “re-
al-world impacts.” But digging deeper, Judge Barrett admitted it wouldn’t be similar to how the late Judge Ginsburg, a liberal icon, considered them. It was as close as the conservative judge got to saying she would vote against the interests of tens of millions of American people. Just think if the ACA goes away, millions of people would lose coverage, including 12 million others on Medicaid and more than 2 million under the age of 26 who couldn’t be on their family’s plan. After the week of hearings, a vote is expected before Halloween. Scary? You bet. Unless some Republicans cross over, Barrett’s approval almost assures a massive backslide caused by a majority 6-3 conservative court that could last 30-40 years. The pain will come swiftly. The next hearing to end the ACA is set for a week after the Nov. 3 election. That’s why slowing down the process is important. If defeated,
Trump may not get to choose such an important judge. Wouldn’t it be wise to wait on Barrett’s appointment? Of course. And so close to an election? The Republicans have backed that approach in the past. Remember it was Sen. Lindsey Graham who now infamously said, “I want you to use my words against me…If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be making that nomination.” Graham is the chair of the Judiciary Committee in 2020 pushing through the Barrett express for Trump. The scales are tipping toward hypocrisy, not aloha. Definitely not toward the people.
Letty (requested last name be withheld) said the President should be held accountable this election. “The President keeps ignoring recommendations from public health professionals, even those on his own Coronavirus task force. Hot spots keep popping up in one state, go down, then flare up again. How can we get over the virus when people travel and move around? “Each local government have their rules. Policies across the country are patchwork, and enforced on differ-
ent time schedules. It’s just chaos after another from state to state, and why, because there is chaos coming out of the White House. Look, the White House is now a hotspot. If the President cannot control the virus from spreading in his own home and office, it’s no wonder why we’re in this crisis. Why were other countries able to control the virus but not us? It’s because they don’t have our leader. It’s Trump’s fault,” said Letty. As a health professional, Letty admits to being partial
as she sees public health experts being ignored by Trump. She says hospital employees cannot speak freely about COVID-19, especially since her employer is the military. “Sure we can talk among ourselves, but we have to be careful with what we say publicly. I know the situation as bad as it is could get worse, definitely on the mainland this winter like what I hear in the news. But just like Trump always does, he’s not warning people to prepare. He’s acting like everything is ok. He’s had this same attitude of underestimating the virus, and lying about it, too. All he’s doing now is campaigning, not talking about the number of infections on the rise all around us or how it could get worse,” said Letty. She said she’s already gotten her flu shot and maintains proper safety rules. As for Hawaii’s cautious approach to handling COVID-19, Letty said, “As a health care professional, maybe I’m biased again because
THE VEEP DEBATE—IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE NEW LOOK OF AMERICA
We may not have any other debates this cycle, which may be ok because we’ve seen what
we need. For me, the big takeaway is at the vice presidential debate. It reminded me of a song from 1963. You know it when you hear it. And when you see it: “Just one look, that’s all it took.” If Veep debates were so important, we’d still be quoting lines from that memorable Pence/Kaine debate four years ago. NOT. But this Veep debate was different. It showed us. And it matters. This is a campaign season where a COVID-sick, 74-yearold, obese white male gets helicoptered to the White House, struggles up the stairs, then proudly doffs his protective face mask as he tries to catch his breath to show strength. Once again, optics are everything—when they’re false like the president’s. They’re even more important when the optics are true, as in the vice presidential debate. That’s why all you need to know about the Veep debate is the one wide image of the stage. (continue on page 10)
for me safety comes first, and I have a secure job. I don’t live in a bubble so I do understand our local people are hurting and want to open tourism and relax regulations a bit because of money. I get it. “But we cannot just point the finger at the governor. We live on an island so he is right to be extra, extra careful. I notice the people always complaining are the ones who don’t follow the rules. Try respecting the rules and everyone around you and maybe we can get back to normal faster,” said Letty. Public health experts attribute Hawaii’s summer outbreak to low testing per capita and not having enough contact tracers. Hawaii still has one of the fewest coronavirus deaths per capita. Since the state’s second lockdown, numbers have improved slightly and stabilized from consecutive triple digit new infections daily to under a hundred. The total infections in Hawaii (as of Oct. 11) is 13,472 and 169 deaths.
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 7
WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?
Don’t Change Horses in Midstream – Especially with a Donkey By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon
h a n g e horses in midstream- to choose a d i f f e re n t leader or policy during a time when serious problems are being dealt with.” https://www. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change%20horses%20 in%20midstream “Don’t change horses in midstream means don’t alter your course of action, plan, or leader in the middle of a project, don’t change your mind at an inopportune moment.” Google Symbols are used by parties in their campaigning, and printed on ballot papers where a voter must make a mark to vote for the associated party. One of their purposes is to facilitate voting by illiterate people, who cannot read parties’ names on ballot papers. Google. An elephant is the Republican party symbol. It represents strength. Donkey is the Democrat party symbol. You can guess what it represents. The phrase “change horses in midstream” has been generally attributed to President Abraham Lincoln. On June 9, 1964, a delegation from the National Union League had come to the White House to congratulate him on his nomination for a second term as President. Lincoln REMARKED: “I do not allow myself to suppose that either the convention or the League have concluded to decide that I am either the greatest or best man in America, but rather they have concluded that it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap.” Legend has it that the phrase originated in England where a man was crossing a river with a horse and a donkey. The horse that he was riding on was floundering. Bystanders shouted: “Change
your horse, change your horse.” He changed from the horse to the donkey. The donkey could not carry the man. They were swept by the current and drowned. The horse successfully crossed the river. After the Philippines was liberated from the Japanese, the U.S. 5th Air Force expanded the airport in Laoag, our hometown, to make it the biggest air base in the Philippines. It would be the launching pad for the invasion of Japan. I worked without compensation as a “tent boy” helping with the household chores of the airmen whose tents were set up across the river from the center of town. It was a “status” symbol. Many applied, few were chosen. The retreating Japanese had blown up a span of the bridge from our town to the tent grounds. Bamboo poles were laid down in order to bridge the span so people could cross. It was risky and the height to the river below was dizzying. One afternoon an airman offered to let me ride on the amphibious vehicle that operates on land and water (amphibian) that they regularly used to cross the river. When we were midstream, the amphibian’s engine stopped. The driver’s efforts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The current was carrying the amphibian downstream to the South China Sea (before China claimed it as its own). “Do you know how to swim?” asked one of the airmen. “Not really,” I replied. He gave me the interior of a tire. Another amphibian must have seen us floundering. It came to help us. I did not change my amphibian in midstream.
SHOULD WE CHANGE PRESIDENT TRUMP IN MIDSTREAM? Why should we change President Trump? He is not floundering. He is strong. As I write this article on October 12, 2020, I am watching him campaigning in Florida. He is more vigorous than before. He is the epitome of “vim, vigor, and vitality”. His crowds are enthusiastic, Thousands are cheering him “We love you.” President Trump just re-
photo from foxnews.com
covered from corona virus (aka China virus). On Fri-
day when he was diagnosed as positive for corona virus we prayed: “Father, heal thy son.” On Monday the Father answered: “He is healed.” Is there any doubt that God is with him? Of course anything can happen between now and Election Day on November 3. Satan and the Demoncrats could prevail. That would be the beginning of the Decline and Fall of America – like the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire when “bar-
barians” prevailed during a time of political instability. https://www.google.com/ search?channel=cus2&client=firefox-b-1-d&q=why+did+Roman+Empire+decline+and+fall Have you seen Biden lately. He looks listless. He is forgetful. He said he was running for the Senate. He is gaffeprone. Listen to Hannity on FoxNews 10/12/2020. Have you seen his rallies, if any? Have you seen people shouting “We love Joe?” Just look at President (continue on page 8)
8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY? (Don’t Change....from page 7)
Trump and former VP Biden. A Filipino observer remarked: “Sa ichura lamang, talo na si Biden” (By their looks alone, Biden is a loser). If you want to stay awake, listen to President Trump. If you have insomnia and want to sleep, listen to Biden. PERFORMANCE v. NONPERFORMANCE “I have done more in 47 months than you have done in 47 years,” shouted President Trump in his debate with Biden. The record supports President Trump’s declaration. The record – or non-record – supports Trump’s claim that Biden has done nothing, nada, awan, wala. Biden promises 4 million new jobs, clean and green America, etc. Why did he not do these things during the 47 years he was in office. The Democrats controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress for many years. Promises. Sounds like a Don Juan Tenorio trying to seduce women. His motto was “Tan largo me lo fiáis” (“What a long term you are giving me!”) implying that there is still life left in him and he can still do it. https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Don_Juan. During the 1918 Spanish flu Don Juan served as a metaphor for the flu microbe – “the braggart microbe”. Davis, Ryan A. (2013). The Spanish Flu: Narrative and Cultural Identity in Spain, 1918. Don Juan has been portrayed as a servant of the Devil sent from hell to seduce a young woman before her marriage. See Ingmar Bergman’s The Devil’s Eye. According to Anthony Powell in Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant Don Juan “merely liked power” and “obviously did not know what sensuality was”, whereas Casanova “undoubtedly had his sensuous moments”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don Juan.
WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP DEFEND THE PHILIPPINES? For Filipinos, especially those in our homeland, will President Trump protect the Philippines if China invades? Absolutely. He has stood up to China. He has already sent ships to the West Philippine Sea. As for Biden, he will
not stand up to China. He is a friend of China. Ask his son if he received money from China. Read “Riding the Dragon: The Bidens’ Chinese Secrets”. www.foxnews.com › politics › hunter-biden-deals-china-...
WHAT HAS PRESIDENT TRUMP DONE ON CORONAVIRUS? The President is using all available means to ensure safe vaccines and therapeutics. Diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time. White House Briefing. July 27, 2020. He stopped travel from China to stem the spread to the United States of COVID-19. He denounced China as the origin of the virus while Democrats and media cowered. White House briefing, Aug 10, 2020. In his February 4th State of the Union address, President Trump pledged to “take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from the virus”. The Administration established guidelines for nursing homes and expanded telehealth opportunities to protect vulnerable seniors. The President ensured that uninsured Americans can get the care and testing they need. He launched the Paycheck Protection Program – helping save 51 million American jobs. He secured direct payments to help Americans who are suffering from the pandemic. He provided support to help states safely reopen as soon as they were able. https://www.whitehouse. gov/briefings-statements/ p r e s i d e n t - t r umps-historic-coronavirus-response/ Biden opposed stopping travel from China calling it “xenophobic.” During the debate between Vice President Pence and Democrat Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala (don’t call her Kamalala) Harris, she was asked what Biden would have done. Harris replied: Biden would enforce wearing a mask, social distancing, more testing, developing a vaccine. VP Pence retorted: We are already doing that. Sounds like plagiarism, about which Biden knows something about. VP Pence was referring to a number of plagiarisms committed by Biden. See Jeff Wilser’s “The Book of Joe”. Biden withdrew
from the 1987 Democratic presidential primary when Michael Dukakis exposed Biden’s plagiarisms. Writers hate plagiarists. They steal ideas and writings.
The President wants to prevent illegal aliens from coming to the U.S. who will get our jobs, go on welfare, get free health care, and commit crimes.
WHAT HAS PRESIDENT TRUMP DONE ON THE ECONOMY? The value of many stocks have doubled and tripled during the Trump administration. For example, Google in 2015 was valued at $528. Today it is valued at $1,569. Even Hawaiian Airlines valued at $4.92 in 2007 is valued today at $13.17 despite the pandemic. Nearly 7 million jobs have been created nationwide since President Trump’s election. The unemployment rate is 1.4 % lower than the CBO’s pre-election projection. Nearly 2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty, including nearly 1.4 million children. The poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans hit new lows in 2018.
WHAT HAS PRESIDENT TRUMP DONE ON OTHER ISSUES? Taxation. President Trump enacted the biggest tax cuts in history, cutting over $5.5 trillion in taxes over ten years. Every taxpayer benefited, rich and poor alike. He doubled the Child Tax Credit and saved nearly 40 million families an average of $2,200. More than 3.5 million American workers working in more than 300 companies have received bonuses and pay raises. Many companies announced new investments and new hiring. https://www.whitehouse. gov/briefings-statements/ president-donald-j-trumpachieved-biggest-tax-cuts-reforms-american-history/
WHAT HAS PRESIDENT TRUMP DONE ON IMMIGRATION? “Take care of our people first”. That is the credo of President Trump. He wants our country to adopt an immigration system that serves the national interest. To restore the rule of law and secure our border, he is committed to constructing a border wall and ensuring the swift removal of unlawful entrants. To protect American workers, the President supports ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and moving the country to a merit-based entry system. https://www.whitehouse. gov/issues/immigration/
Obamacare is hurting American families, farmers, and small businesses with skyrocketing health insurance costs. Soaring deductibles and copays have made already unaffordable plans unusable. Replacing Obamacare will force insurance companies to compete for their customers with lower costs and higher-quality service. In the meantime, the President is using his executive authority to reduce barriers to more affordable options. https:// www.whitehouse.gov/issues/ healthcare/
WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN Trump ran in 2016 on the promise to “Make America Great Again”. For many, America is our country of choice. For those who want to change America, they should leave America and go to another country. We do not want to change America. We love Obamacare. The Afford- America as it is. able Care Act (ACA) (aka ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Obamacare), P.L. 111-48, was Laws degree from Yale Law School enacted on March 23, 2010 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from by the Democrat controlled the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immiCongress. https://www.gov- gration law and appellate criminal info.gov/content/pkg/PLAW- defense. He has written books and 111 p u b l 1 4 8 / p d f / P L AW- legal articles for the world’s largest law book publishing company and 111publ148.pdf. If you can writes legal articles for newspapers. afford health insurance but Listen to The Tipon Report which he choose not to buy it, you may co-hosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law pay a fee called the individual Firm. It is considered the most witty, Shared Responsibility Pay- interesting, and useful radio show in ment when you file federal Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon taxes. (“penalty,” “fine,” or served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. “individual mandate.”) He co-authored the best-seller “Imhttps://www.healthcare. migration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an practice guide for immigragov/fees/fee-for-not-being- 8-volume tion officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon covered/ was born in Laoag City, Philippines. On September 16, 2019, Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@ yahoo.com. Websites: https://www. eliminated the individual tiponlaw.com , https://www.hawaimandate on the federal level. ianimmigrationattorney.com, https:// www.bileckilawgroup.com.)
Hawaii to Receive Nearly $800,000 for COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution
awaii will receive $797,942 for funding COVID-19 vaccine preparedness, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s Oct. 5 announcement. The Department of Health will use the funding to develop vaccine distribution plans,
administration and providers. “Once a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine is available, Hawai‘i must be prepared to successfully distribute it to families across our state,” said Senator Schatz. “These federal funds will
ensure that we have the infrastructure in place to quickly and widely administer the vaccine.” In July, 28 Senators called for Congress to provide at least $5.6 billion to develop and support COVID-19 vaccine infrastructure.
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 9
10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
October is Filipino American History Month
By Jim Bea Sampaga
ilipinos have a long history in Hawaii and United States. In the first half of 1900s, around 125,000 Filipino migrant workers called “Sakadas” worked in Hawaii’s sugarcane field. Just like in Hawaii, Filipino migrant workers also came to California in early 1900s to work as agricultural laborers in California’s Central Valley. Over time, these Filipino migrant workers would petition their families back home to live with them in the U.S. According to the 2010 Census, there are 3.4 million Filipinos in America, making the Filipino community the second-largest Asian American group in the US with high populations in Hawaii, California and Texas. In Hawaii, the Filipino community is the second-largest ethnic population in the state. To celebrate the culture,
heritage and history of Filipinos in America, October is Filipino American History Month (FAHM). October was chosen to be FAHM because it commemorates the arrival of first Filipinos in Morro Bay, California back in October 1957. The U.S. Congress passed the resolution in November 2009 officially recognizing October as the month in which Filipinos celebrate and learn about their history in the country. Throughout the month of October, Filipino groups, foundations and organizations are hosting events for Filipinos in the diaspora to participate. These events aim to educate Filipinos about their rich history in the state and country they currently reside in. They also encourage participants to engage in conversations about history and diaspora. The Filipino American National Historical Society
(FAHNS) announced this year’s FAHM theme: The History of Filipino American Activism. According to the FANHS website, “this theme highlight the myriad ways Filipino Americans have participated in social justice movement, including but not limited to, the United Farmworkers Movement, the fight for Ethnic Studies, Hawaii Sugar Plantation strikes, Washington Yakima strikes, and Anti-Martial Law Movements across multiple decades.” In light of recent historical events and current issues that are affecting not only Filipino Americans but also the country, FAHNS felt that creating a safe space for discussion about the history of activism within the Filipino community during FAHM will encourage Filipinos to vote and support issues that are connected and personal to us.
“We believe this theme is particularly crucial in 2020, as it is a key election year and we are living amidst a pandemic and mass movement towards racial justice,” FAHNS further explained. “Thus, we encourage all of our chapters and communities to reflect on decades of Filipino American activism, in order to inspire and foster our civic responsibility in the Filipino American community.” In partnership with multiple Hawaii-based Filipino organizations, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu announced their October line-up of online events and seminars in celebration of FAHM. OCTOBER 24 Branding things Filipino: What, Why, and How featuring Corinne Romabiles. Register via suyomano.com/hfa/. Filipino American Heroism
in World War II by Andrei Julian. Register at suyomano. com/hfa/. OCTOBER 25 Pusong Filipinx Virtual Market Place. More information on facebook. com/pusongfilipinx and instagram.com/pusongfilipinx. OCTOBER 26 Creative Resistance Within the Filipino Diaspora. More information on facebook.com/PHinHonolulu. OCTOBER 27 Montanyosa: A conversation on regional cuisine of Northern Philippines featuring Chef Jo Seoung of Wow Baguio. More information on facebook.com/PHinHonolulu. OCTOBER 28 “Pakada” Ilokano - English Children’s Book Launch. More information on facebook.com/ilokanoTM. OCTOBER 30 32rd Annual Pamantasan 2020 Virtual Conference: Leading from where you are, moving forward, and staying focused! Register via pamantasan2020. wixsite.com/welcome. Filipino American History Trivia Night - Battle of the Filipino Organizations hosted by Mystery Maui. Register via bit.ly/3j8Hq6d.
(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: The Democrats....from page 6)
Vice President Mike Pence, the former radio talk host turned politician, looking more like the white-haired local bank teller, protected by a plexiglass screen. Or is it a buffet macaroni and mayonnaise protected by a sneeze-plate? And sitting across him, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the Indian and Black woman, daughter of immigrants, behind her own plexiglass. Glass ceiling? Let’s hope not. The two debaters protected each other from the virus, as Pence has been part of that likely super-spreader event that introduced the Supreme Court nominee. (Should she be remembered as “Amy Covid Barrett”?) Just looking at the stage gives you the major subtext from the night. It’s not what’s said. All that mattered is how America reacts to that image: Pence, the ultra-white conservative, and across from him Harris, the ultra-person of color, the first Asian American of Indian descent, the first Black woman. We have never seen this before in a major political debate in America. And it is the image that looks into the future in a way that the current presidential debates can’t. Trump and Biden, two white men in their ’70s, aren’t the future America. No, the future of America, our culture, our society, our politics, is that de-
bate stage of Harris and Pence. Since 1989, demographers have been talking about the U.S. becoming a majority minority in the year 2050. That’s been revised over time to 2030. We are less than ten years away. How does the country, gripped by racial reckoning stemming from BLM and police violence, feel about that? That’s the reaction we need to pay attention to. Is it embraced wholeheartedly as the evolution of our great country? Or will some look at the stage and, out of fear, wonder if Trumpism is just a little more palatable to ward off the demographically inevitable? Does it inspire a new group of Sen. Tom Cottons to emerge and counter the rise of America’s coalition of color? In 2016, the GOP had a plan ready for a full embrace of diversity. It was dealing with the demographic reality and ready to welcome the continuing surge of Hispanic voters. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was poised to be the political era’s “Golden Boy.” But from out of nowhere came Trump. Despite the Bush legacy and more than a dozen experienced politicos, Trump got the backing of voters who felt that demographic fear. He promised walls, if not plexiglass. They gave Trump their votes. Few political pollsters saw it coming. It hasn’t exactly worked out so well. The swamp was drained and replaced (continue on page 19)
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 11
12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
AS I SEE IT
The COVID-19 Outbreak at OCCC is Under Control – PIO Toni Schwartz By Elpidio R. Estioko
here is something Hawaii residents need to know: COVID-19 did not spare the inmates and staff in one of its detention cells on the island! However, the outbreak at the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) is under control, according to Toni Schwartz, Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (PSD). “There are currently no inmates hospitalized,” she added. As to the class action suit filed over the COVID-19 outbreak at the OCCC, Schwartz said: “The Department of Public Safety has not been served with a copy of the lawsuit. We have been advised not to comment on possible pending litigation. We defer to the Attorney General’s office for response on legal matters.” This was the latest information Hawaii Filipino Chronicle got from the class suit filed after the Aug. 7 COVID-19 outbreak in OCCC where 310 inmates and 9 staff were reported found positive for the
virus. In an email sent to us, Schwartz said, “The Department of Public Safety follows the national standards and guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH). We are aware of the risks over-population and crowding in our jails, especially during this pandemic and that is why the PSD Health Care Division developed a comprehensive pandemic response plan for the facilities that is reviewed by the facilities and updated frequently. “Each facility has adapted the plan to meet their individual facility needs. Each facility has situations they deal with that are unique to their facility, and the administration at those facilities takes that into consideration as they execute their plans to the best of their ability.” Schwartz added in her email that PSD staff are practicing the recommended health and safety protocols such as wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Staff and inmates are under close PSD supervision as well. “All facilities have been issued PPE and routinely keep an inventory of PPE for con-
tinuous distribution to staff as recommended in the Pandemic Plan. Each employee has been issued several face masks. Face shields have been issued to all facilities for distribution to staff as added protection. Staff have gloves and other protective supplies, available all over the facility,” she explained. Aside from proving PPE to the staff, inmates are frequently informed about ways to limit the spread of COVID-19. “Inmates are frequently reminded of proactive ways they can help prevent the spread of germs, including wearing their facility-issued masks at all times, frequent handwashing, sanitizing their common living areas, refraining from sharing cups and utensils with other and limiting close contact,” Schwartz said. “They have also been reminded if they are not feeling well, to report it immediately.” On Aug. 7, PSD confirmed the first inmate and three employees were found COVID-19 positive. They were immediately placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine, as is procedure for all new inmates and staff. “The facility acted quickly to implement the Department’s COVID-19 pandemic protocol for correctional facilities, in an effort to mitigate any potential spread of the virus,” said Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. According to Espinda, PSD worked closely with DOH to ensure and maintain “the health and welfare of our staff and the incarcerated population.”
PIO Schwartz confirmed that all facilities follow the PSD Pandemic Response Plan which falls in line with CDC and DOH guidelines for identifying and isolating inmates who fit the CDC and DOH criteria for testing. Meanwhile, PSD and the DOH are continuing mass testing of OCCC inmates and staff to mitigate virus spread in the incarcerated population. There were no new positive OCCC inmate or staff results reported lately and there are currently no inmates hospitalized. The total number of PSD staff who have recovered and returned to work has jumped to 85. In a press release issued on Sept. 28, PSD’s Health Care Division “is working with Hawaii Department of Health to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 at all correctional facilities. The broad-based testing at the neighbor island jails is beginning with the staff. PSD and the DOH are continuing mass testing of OCCC inmates to mitigate virus spread in the incarcerated population.” PSD’s COVID-19 update reported that OCCC has seen a substantial decrease in the number of active infected inmates since the beginning of August. DOH began the fourth round of follow-up testing at OCCC to make sure the virus remains under control in the incarcerated population. There were no new COVID-19 test results received for OCCC staff or inmates lately and there are currently no inmates hospitalized, the release stated.
According to a Hawaii News Now Sept. 21 article, “A class-action suit was filed over COVID-19 outbreak at OCCC” alleging that “prison officials failed to protect staffers and several sick inmates with health ones.” According to Atty. Eric Seitz, the lawyer who filed the class suit, “This was not just negligence, it was not indifference. It was in our view malicious that they did not take proper steps to protect people who cannot protect themselves.” Among the allegations are: “one inmate who got sick said he was required to work in a kitchen with a prison staffer who was infected with COVID-19.” Another prisoner said he got infected “after he was placed in the same room for two days with another inmate who was feverish and later tested positive.” The ACO alleged that “she was assigned to one of the prison’s annexes where there were 65 positive cases.” PSD had no immediate comment on the lawsuit but has said that it has provided staff with proper equipment, including face shield, masks and gloves. Besides, according to Schwartz, they are still waiting for the copy of the class suit and they are “not in a position to discuss the case due to possible pending litigation.”
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at email@example.com).
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 13
Prayer for the U.S. Elections By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
mericans will be voting for their next President in a few weeks. The results will change the course of history. I am not an American. I am a Filipino living in South Korea. But my mother is a Filipino who is now an American citizen. I sell preloved luxury bags and ship them to the US. I have a lot of family and friends who live there. I invest in stocks that are greatly affected by the economy of the United States. In one way or another, the US elections will have an effect on me and my family. The whole world will be greatly affected by this crucial event that happens every four years. Since I am not a US citizen, I will not be able to cast a vote but there is one thing I can do – to pray. Here is my prayer.
I pray that the elections and the casting of votes in all states will be peaceful, safe and fair. I ask for protection upon the candidates and their families throughout the campaign season. I also declare protection upon the electorate as they cast their votes. I pray that the people of America will have wisdom and discernment to choose a godly leader, one who leads
with integrity and righteousness. I declare that the one who will lead the US in the next four years is one who will set aside his own agenda and selfish ambitions, and think about the welfare of his people. I claim that the next leader of this great nation will be one who has a listening ear and a kind heart that he will be able to address the press-
ing issues of the nation such as poverty and injustice, and stand with the marginalized and oppressed. I pray that the next leader’s heart will be one that flows with mercy, compassion and love for the diverse people of America. I declare healing upon the nation of America, not just from the pandemic but also from division, persecution and oppression.
I speak that the Americans will learn to love and respect one another despite their differences and disagreements. I pray that the coming elections will have a positive effect on the poor, the migrants and refugees, those who are sick and hungry, jobless and homeless, those who are unborn and whose lives are not valued. I am in faith that the coming US elections will affect not just America but the whole world in a good way. I trust that our prayers avail much. I believe that as people unite in prayer for the elections, great things are going to happen. As we seek God at this time, I am hopeful that the people will begin to see a silver lining and have hope in the midst of a seemingly bleak future. On the 3rd of November and the succeeding days, all eyes will be on America. It is my hope that its people will vote wisely. God bless America!
14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
Filipino American Candidates Advancing Lanakila Mangauil to the General Election
, Running for Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii Resident Trustee
By Jim Bea Sampaga
rior to the Aug. 8 primary election, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) featured 30 Filipino American candidates running for various positions in public office. More than 10 Fil-Am candidates advanced to the general election with some of them facing off with a fellow Fil-Am candidate. To echo HFC’s July 17 article, “exercising your right to vote by registering and learning more about the candidates are crucial in the upcoming [general] election.” Here’s a quick rundown of all the Fil-Am candidates you will see in your general election ballot and the positions they are running for.
Jacob Aki, Running for Honolulu City Councilmem-
ber District 7 (Kalihi, Lwilei, Kalihi Kai, Mapunapuna, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Hickam, Foster Village, Ford Island, And Sand Island)
Mapunapuna, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, Hickam, Foster Village, Ford Island, And Sand Island)
Ty J.K. Cullen, Running for State House, District
39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch)
Donovan M. Dela Cruz,
Running for State Senate, District 22 (Mililani Mauka, Waipiʻo Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, Poamoho)
Rose Martinez, Running for State House, District 40 (‘Ewa, ‘Ewa Beach, ‘Ewa Gentry, Iroquois Point)
Bennette Misalucha, Running for State Senate,
District 16 (Pearl City, Momilani, Pearlridge, Aiea, Royal Summit, Aiea Heights, Newtown, Waimalu, Hālawa, Pearl Harbor)
Tess Abalos Quilingking,
Running for State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate)
Running for Honolulu City Councilmember, District 9 (Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Mililani Town, West Loch, Iroquois Point, Portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach)
ate, District 2 (Puna, Kaʻū)
Sonny M. Ganaden, Running
for State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate)
Joy San Buenaventura, Running for State Sen-
Running for Kauai
Gil S. Coloma Keith-Agaran, Running for State Diamond Garcia, Running for State House, Dis-
Joseph Kaahema Simpliciano Jr, Running for State House, District 44 (Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua)
Ernest Kanamu Balinbin,
Augusto Tulba, Running for Honolulu City Coun-
Senate, District 5 (Wailuku, Waiheʻe, Kahului)
Running for State House, District 10 (West Maui, Ma’alaea, North Kihei)
Addison Bulosan, Councilmember
Running for Kauai County
Running for Honolulu City Councilmember District 7 (Kalihi, Lwilei, Kalihi Kai,
trict 43 (Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili)
Trish La Chica, Running for State House, District 36 (Mililani Mauka, Mililani)
Austin Maglinti, Running
for State House, District 39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch)
cilmember District 9 (Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Mililani Town, West Loch, Iroquois Point, Portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach)
Dominic Yagong, Running for Hawaii County Councilmember District 1 (Portion of South Hilo, North Hilo, Hāmākua, and Portion of Waimea)
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 15
GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
I Am Endorsing Rick Blangiardi Why Should Filipinos Why as the Next Mayor of Honolulu Vote for – Colleen Hanabusa
Rick Blangiardi for Mayor of Honolulu
believe I have the right experience for the job, particularly during this challenging time, and I am passionate about making life better for the people of Oahu. My parents were immigrants who worked hard to put food on the table. My dad was a machinist at the naval yards and in 1965, he was transferred to Pearl Harbor, which made it possible for our family to come to Hawaii. They gave me and my brother every opportunity to succeed in life and achieve the “American Dream.” Nothing was handed to us, we had to work for everything we received. I was the first in my family to go to college and, later, I received my master’s degree from the University of Hawaii. My brother became a Jesuit priest because of the desire to serve instilled by our parents. I played football and later coached football at the University of Hawaii. In the beginning I made $15,000 a year as an assistant coach at UH. It was not easy to make ends meet and it was a struggle to provide for a young family. I understand the concerns and challenges of immigrant families who want to make a better life for themselves and their children, but find it challenging in an environment full of obstacles each step of the way. The high cost of living, the even higher hurdle of affordable housing, and the shortage of good paying jobs are just some of those obstacles. Many people find themselves working several jobs just to make ends meet. I have been there, and I know how it feels to worry every day and wondering how to give better opportunities for my children. In my work, I have always been asked to come in and fix what has been broken. I have taken broken companies and turned them around to make them successful; from large market media companies to Telemundo, the largest Hispanic media company in the USA. I have always been responsible for working through challenges and finding solutions. I have over five decades of proof that I get things done and achieve results, and that is what I will bring to the Mayor’s office. I humbly ask for your vote because I am ready to get things done. As a friend of the Filipino community, I thank you for your support and join you in celebrating Filipino American History month through October. Mahalo and Mabuhay!
ahuhay Please permit me to begin by thanking you for the years of support you have given me during my incomparable political journey. A journey that would not have been possible but for the amazing support this Filipino Community has given me. I am writing to ask that you trust me once again in my endorsement of Colleen Hanabusa Rick Blangiardi for the next Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. I trust Rick. This is because I believe in his experienced leadership and his ability to make the tough decisions. We know that he can draw upon a broad range of knowledge and a hands-on experience of dealing with all type of businesses, turning many of them around. In this time of the pandemic, we need a leader who can turn failing situations to positives ones. Rick is not beholden to any group and is running for Mayor because he wants to serve you. He has always said this election is about you, and he sincerely means this. His combination of talents, executive abilities, range of administrative qualities, and proven leadership in whatever position he has held in the past will truly serve him in good stead as the next Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. On a personal note, I have come to appreciate his stable temperament which is so necessary as he tackles the challenges which he will face. Finally, please know that Rick will be a Mayor for everyone. He will not forget all of you who have stood by him, given him your support and worked so hard to help him become Mayor. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. Mahalo and Mabuhay! Sidadayaw Colleen Hanabusa
Why I Am Voting for Rick Blangiardi for Mayor of Honolulu – Former First Lady Vicky Cayetano
ovid-19, a collapsing economy, record high unemployment and the ongoing rail debacle are some of the challenges facing the next Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. These problems will not be solved without a strong and decisive leader who is not afraid to make the tough decisions. We need a leader who will provide a solution-based approach to our problems versus lockdowns that cripple our Vicky Cayetano economy and leave so many people jobless. We need a leader who is not beholden to selective interests. This is why I support Rick Blangiardi for Mayor. Rick has shown throughout his career the ability to creatively find solutions to complex issues; he thinks out of the box and he’s not afraid to make the tough decisions that so many of our government leaders keep avoiding. As a football coach and through his various positions as a senior executive at CBS, President of Telemundo and most recently, as the general manager of Hawaii News Now (KGMB-KHNL), Rick has exhibited his ability to identify, recruit and develop talented individuals to build a strong team to turn around companies from failure to success. His experience is rich in its depth and success. Rick’s decisive and clear communication skills will make him a Mayor who can articulate a vision with a plan that is communicated to all his constituents, bring people together to know what must be done and how it must be done. It’s time to elect a Mayor who has the experience, the heart and the ability to get the job done. This is why Ben and I are supporting Rick Blangiardi for Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu and we hope you will too.
16 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
Why Should Filipinos Vote for Keith Amemiya for Mayor of Honolulu
y name is Keith Amemiya and I’m running for Honolulu Mayor. I was born and raised on Oʻahu. I love this place and want to make sure it remains special for generations to come. My entire career has been in public service, with much of it dedicated to the youth of Hawaiʻi, when I was the head of the Hawaiʻi High School Athletics Association. Through that experience, I got to meet families from all across our islands to learn about the strength of our communities but also how hard it is for our working families. Families had to choose between working multiple jobs or paying the bills, sitting in traffic for their jobs or spending time with their family, taking care of their physical health or taking care of their family. Now as our island faces the devastation of COVID-19, these problems still exist and are even
worse, and the Filipino community has also faced many hardships. As Mayor, I would focus on getting people back to work, increasing the amount of affordable housing for Oʻahu residents, and ensuring the health and safety of our community. I’m proud to have the support of many respected Filipino community leaders, including Dr. Amy Agbayani, Councilmember Kym Pine, Councilmember Brandon Elefante, Councilmember Joey Manahan, Major General Antonio Taguba, and many others. I am proud to have the endorsement of the Laborers Union and Local 5. I pledge to always work with the Filipino community to understand what is happening and to address any concerns. I look forward to serving the Filipino community, and humbly ask for your support and vote. Maraming salamat po, Keith
Why I Am Supporting Keith Amemiya for Mayor of Honolulu MaJ. Gen. Antonio Taguba
Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine
share the same priorities with Keith. First, his administration must strive for a full recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, namely, restoring the health and welfare of Hawaiʻi residents and the economy. Second, to focus on affordable housing. And third, to reduce homelessness. I know that Keith will work tirelessly and collaboratively to see them through. He is the leader Oʻahu needs.
K Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba
eith knows our communities and he believes in the power of our people. He treasures the history that binds us, and his decisions are rooted in island values. Keith will engage with our communities and bring peoKymberly Marcos Pine ple together to solve problems for people like my daughter and Keith’s son and future generations. Right now, the only way we will get out of the COVID crisis is by working together. We’ve had too much squabbling, grandstanding, and ignoring the voices of the people. Keith is a collaborator who is more interested in solving problems than getting the credit. His leadership style will help us realize what we can accomplish together.
Hawaii Rental Tenants Are Struggling as Vacancies Rises
n an August survey, the Economic Research Organization at University of Hawaii (UHERO) found that over 9,000 households are behind on rent while vacant rental units increased to 9% from 3.89% during preCOVID. The survey data is based on 6,719 rental units and a total of 271 landlords and property managers across the State of Hawaii. UHERO partnered with several organizations including the Honolulu Board of Realtors and the Kauai Board of Realtors to more landlords and property managers to complete the survey. Before the pandemic, nearly 95% of tenants are paying their rent on time. In
August, it’s down to 85.80 percent. Even though that 85% of tenants are paying, according to UHERO, “the job figures suggest that a substantial portion of those households have experienced at least one job loss, forcing them to sacrifice well-being to pay their rent.” Six percent of tenants paid their rent late while 3.21% has 30-day delinquency and 4.97% has a 60-day delinquency. Although the 4.97% 60day delinquency seems small, this percentage represents over 9,000 households according to the survey. “The “invisible” struggle is echoed by our respondents. Landlords and property managers can’t know everything
about what their tenants are going through, but their assessment of their tenant’s financial situation is sobering,” according to Philip Garboden of UHERO. “Our respondents estimate that 60% of their tenants have suffered a financial hardship, although two thirds of those tenants are still current on their rent.” Garboden also explained that landlords and property managers are “willing to work with their tenants during the crisis.” As per the increase of vacant rental units to 9%, UHERO noted the reason for the increase is “certainly multifaceted.” Reasons include financial strains pushing families to live in a multi-generational
household, out-migration and epidemiological motives. With the increase in vacant units, 50% of landlords and property managers are still maintaining profitability, 40% are struggling and 10% are considering selling their properties. The UHERO August survey on rental properties was conducted to collect data before the launch of Hawaii’s rental relief fund, a program that provides assistance to renters and homeowners who was greatly affected by the economic challenges due to COVID-19. “For struggling tenants and their landlords, this program has the potential to provide an essential lifeline,” wrote Garboden.
If the patterns in the survey continues, “the preservation of rental housing may become an increasingly pressing issue,” according to Garboden. “This is particularly salient given that relief funds are scheduled to end on January 1st, long before UHERO forecasts any meaningful economic recovery,” he added. “But even in a best case scenario, with additional federal assistance allowing for robust UI and rent support through 2021, an increase in vacancy rate alone presents a threat to our rental housing stock, as more landlords may elect to sell their properties during what promises to be a long road to recovery.” To learn more, visit uhero. hawaii.edu.
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 17
GENERAL ELECTION SUPPLEMENT
Why Should Filipinos Vote for Megan Kau For Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney
am running for Honolulu Prosecutor to end corruption and bring change to Honolulu. Crime is on the rise, and our community is fed up with it. We will bring law and order to Honolulu so that criminals know that we will no longer put up with this. We will charge all crimes: low- and high-level crimes. This includes low level property crimes that so many of us suffer from. This also includes charging crimes when there is only video surveillance available. The primary cause of crime is crystal methamphetamine. Drug addicts become criminals and have been getting away with violating our community. They commit 40-50 crimes yet Megan Kau still are free to roam our streets. This is not acceptable. Also, I will end corruption by terminating anyone that helped Katherine Kealoha and Keith Kaneshiro in their misconduct. I am the only candidate that helped the federal agents investigate Katherine Kealoha and Keith Kaneshiro. I provided the agents with evidence, witnesses, and background information. I will end corruption. Lastly, I will be a community leader who inspires our community. At 15 years old, I was homeless. My parents suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. I worked in many bars just to survive. Then I was a domestic violence victim. Although I am a strong, independent, and educated woman, I stayed in a violent relationship for about five years. When I finally left that relationship, I was homeless again for the second time in my life. I want to show those who have struggled and those who have been victimized that we can rise up. I want to bring real change to Honolulu by inspiring our community. If you would like to know more about me, please go to www.friendsofmegankau.com or visit our Facebook page (Megan Kau for Prosecutor) or our Instagram (Megan Kau for Prosecutor). If you want to end corruption and want real change for Honolulu, please vote for Megan Kau for Honolulu Prosecutor.
GENERAL ELECTION GUIDELINES Check Your Mail Ballot’s Status
If you’re still waiting for your mail ballot packet to arrive or you already mailed it back to the County Elections Division, the Office of Elections created a website to easily check the status of your mail ballot packet by only providing your Hawaii Driver’s License or Hawaii State ID and your Social Security Number. Visit ballotstatus.hawaii.gov to check the status of your mail ballot packet.
Your Mail Ballot Packet
Your mail ballot packet includes a ballot, ballot secrecy sleeve and return envelope. After voting your ballot, place it inside the secrecy sleeve and then into the return envelope. Read the affirmation statement and sign the return envelope before returning it to your County Elections Division. You must sign the return envelope for your ballot to be counted.
Returning your Voted Ballot
By mail. Your return envelope’s postage is paid by the U.S. Postal Service. Return your ballot by mail no later than Oct. 27 to ensure it is received by the close of voting at Nov. 3 at 7pm. Ballots received after the deadline cannot be counted even if it is postmarked by Election Day. After Oct. 27, you have to drop off your mail ballot in person. In Person. Drop your voted ballot to a voter service center or place of deposit established by your Country Elections Division. The voter service center in Oahu are in Honolulu Hale (530 South King Street) and Kapolei Hale (1000 Uluohua Street). To see the full list of voter service centers and place of deposit, visit elections.hawaii.gov.
Voting In Person
If you would rather vote in person, the voter service center will be open for in-person voting, same-day registration and voting, and mail ballot drop off. The centers will be open from Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, Monday through Saturday from 8am to 4:30pm. On Nov. 3, the centers will be open from 7am to 7pm.
Mail in your Ballots Now. Vote and Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Why Should Filipinos Vote for Steve Alm For Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney
y name is Steven Alm and I seek your support. I was born and raised in Honolulu. My parents were professors at the University of Hawaii College of Education, and I went to University Lab School with my older brother Robbie. I worked for four summers at Dole Cannery, and later drove a cab for Charley’s Taxi. I Steve Alm boxed for Kalihi Youth Boxing Club out of Kalakaua Gym. At nineteen, I met Ben Villaflor there. He was a Champion Professional, and I was an amateur. We have been friends since, and Ben is Sergeant at Arms for the Hawaii State Senate. I attended UH Manoa for two years, and then the University of Oregon, graduating with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in education. I met my wife, Haunani, a Kamehameha Schools Graduate, there, and we have been married for forty years. We have a great son, Chris, who currently lives in Washington DC. This election is about restoring trust to the Prosecutor’s office. I have a proven record of leadership. I started at the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, and was promoted to be a Felony Team Captain, and later, Director of the District and Family Court Division. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed me as the United States Attorney for Hawaii. We focused on political corruption, drug trafficking, and organized crime. I led the Weed & Seed Effort in Kalihi-Palama and Chinatown, reducing crime there by over 70% in 3 years. In 2001, Governor Ben Cayetano appointed me as a Circuit Court Judge. I was the toughest sentencing judge, and sent the violent and dangerous, and those who wouldn’t stop stealing, to prison. I used proven strategies like Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and HOPE Probation to help others succeed on probation. In 2010, I was named Hawaii Judge of the Year. 16 unions have endorsed me, including the Hawaii Nurses Association, the Carpenters, the ILWU, Local 5, the Masons, the Laborers, the Teamsters, and SHOPO. I feel fortunate to have a lot of support in the Filipino Community, including Amy Agbayani, Firmo Dayao, Bennette Misalucha, Abby Shaw, Don Pacarro, Loreto Viloria, and the Yadao family. I am committed to changing the Prosecutor’s Office and restoring trust there, and have the experience, accomplishments, leadership, determination, honesty, and integrity to run the office successfully from Day One. I humbly ask for your vote. Mabuhay!
18 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEOCTOBER 17, 2020
he Filipino community is the second largest ethnic population in Hawaii. It’s no wonder that more than 30 Filipino Americans ran for multiple positions in the local government in the 2020 primary election. Now, more than half of them are on the general election ballot. One of the Fil-Am candidates you will see on your general election ballot is Radiant Cordero. She’s born and raised in Kalihi, one of Honolulu’s neighborhoods with high concentrations of Filipinos. Radiant has dedicated her time and effort in the last decade to the community as a servant-leader in various roles in foundations, organizations and state legislature. “Given the opportunity to serve in local government for nearly a decade has allowed me to witness just how impactful being a community connector is for our community,” says Radiant, who is currently working as the chief of staff in the District 7 council office. “Whether it’s as basic as fixing administrative processes or as broad as writing new legislation, using policy to change systems has been at the core of my time in public service. In partnership with the community, we’ve shaped some of the most impactful policy discussions in our city.” Prior to her involvement in the local government, non-profits and volunteer work, Radiant worked in the hospitality and food service industry. She admits that she wasn’t always aware of the local government. Radiant was too busy studying and working to survive to notice how government policies are greatly affecting her and her community. “However, as I got involved in the community, I quickly became astute to the fact that the very systems that are meant to serve us – don’t,” Radiant realizes. She made sure to get involved in every way she could, from volunteering, writing testimonies to supporting groups of neighbors
in their efforts and advocacies. “We might not have been in the halls or seats of power, but we organized, advocated, and we achieved tangible victories or steps towards them,” she says. This is why transparency is Radiant’s top priority as a District 7 councilmember. If elected, she will prioritize communication with her constituents to ensure policies are created in partnership with the community. “I am running because there’s a need to build our citywide decision-making infrastructure with clear goals around representation that will help us get better decisions for everybody and bridging the gap between residents and government is well within our reach if we prioritize it,” she says. “I want to help our neighbors see our government work for them instead of being intimidated with the processes. I wanted and still hope I can be a representative of our local government that makes people feel like they can see someone relative to them and the community they live in.”
With her current role in City Council, Radiant is the only candidate in the District 7 race who truly understands the needs of the community first-hand. She has co-authored and helped pass legislation benefitting the community such as the language access program, renewable energy and city contracting reform. Current District 7 councilmember Joey Manahan proudly endorses Radiant to replace his seat in the City Council. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser recognizes her dedication and hard work as they endorses Radiant for the City Council District 7 seat. “Radiant Cordero gets our vote,” the newspaper announced. She also received endorsements from Filipino community leaders such as community advocate and UH Operation co-founder Amy Agbayani, Filipino community leader Maggie Domingo and former candidate for City Council District 7 Ryan Mandado. Their support for Radiant echo what the community needs, a servant-leader with the
experience and leadership skills to solve our community’s challenges while keeping its residents informed and engaged. “I have dedicated the last decade to my community by serving in various roles with nonprofits, state legislature and most recently in the district 7 council office,” Radiant emphasizes. “On day one, I can continue fighting for the needs of our district. Now is a critical time for the community, our community needs
a leader to lead on day one.” Radiant Cordero is a Honolulu City Council District 7 candidate. With her ten years of experience in serving the community through non-profits and the state legislature, Radiant is the leader the community needs. Vote for Radiant Cordero in the general election. To learn more about her platform, visit radiantcordero. com.
OCTOBER 17, 2020 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 19
COMMUNITY CALENDAR LEA SALONGA LIVE | Friday-Saturday, October 23-24, 2020; 8-10PM | Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu l Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga to serenade the Hawaii crowd in a two-night spectacular concert. Tickets $35 and up. Visit blaisdellcenter.com for more information.
MABUHI PACIFIC EXPO & SUMMIT | November 27-29, 2020 | Hawaii Convention Center l Panelists-presenters on various topics are being accepted for the Expo. For more details, visit mabuhiexpo.com.
(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: The Democrats....from page 10)
with Trump swill. Like the virus was his “blessing from God”? And now, here we are with the future getting second billing in the Veep debate. I wish what would be said tonight would be important. There were no major gaffes really. Pence kept speaking overtime and tried to bully Harris. She didn’t answer a question about stacking the court, but she held her own. She proved her qualifications to be president. Harris and Pence were decent debaters. We saw many more clash of ideas than in the presidential debate. Of course, Pence had an audience of one (Trump) to please and had to defend him accordingly. That’s not a winning position. Harris was Harris. For those of us
who have followed her, we know she is more fluid than not. It’s a sign of a good politician perhaps, one willing to look for solutions, rather than being intransigent. That may be how some California backers look at her mixed record as both the San Francisco DA and the state’s attorney general. Harris said what was needed to win the night. Fracking, anyone? Sure. I didn’t expect anything in their words to make a difference in a profile of voters that shows almost everyone has made up their minds. People are already voting. That leaves only the visceral reactions. How will America respond to the look of the stage–an event moderated by a white woman, over-
seeing a white-haired, white male debating a woman descendant of Blacks and South Asians? It’s our national politics beginning to look like America. Now as for other minor matters. Yes, it was yet another poorly moderated debate. I’ve moderated debates at the state and local levels (gubernatorial, senate, congressional, mayoral). I kept time, asked questions, and controlled the flow. But one thing you do a lot if you’re in control is you rein in the candidates. You say, “Time. Mr. X, time. That’s all the time. Please, sir. That’s all the time. PLEASE, SIR. SHUT UP!” OK, I didn’t say the last part, but you talk the rude candidate down until they listen to you. That’s how you
Have your organization’s events listed in our community calendar. It’s recommended to submit press releases a month in advance of your organization’s event. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org. know you have a decent moderator. Susan Page was too timid and deferential. I was disappointed she allowed Pence to more subtly interrupt the debate by using time for other questions to backtrack. But what did we expect? Trump and Pence don’t play by the rules. I do know one fly who played by his own rules. And it sure detected something it liked in Pence’s white helmet hair. Yes, a fly was in Pence’s white hair. And it was a hit with the masses on social media. Just like that song. Just one look. EMIL GUILLERMO is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @emilamok. (Sagot sa Krosword No. 19 | October 3, 2020)
SOCIAL SECURITY UPDATES
Social Security Enrollees to Receive 1.3 Percent Benefit Increase Next Year ty enrollees in December 2020.
eginning January 2021, 70 million Americans will receive a 1.3 percent increase in benefits in their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Administration announced. The increase is due to the cost-of-
living adjustment (COLA). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notification of an increase will be sent to Social Securi-
Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www. socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
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