Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - July 2, 2022

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JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  1

JULY 2, 2022

PICTORIAL NEWS

Maria Ressa Receives Recognition at Hawaii State Capitol

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Overturning Roe and Abortion Makes U.S. More Like the Philippines

AS I SEE IT

Let’s Not Be Complacent, The War Vs. Corona Is Still On!

BOOK REVIEW

A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches


2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  JULY 2, 2022

EDITORIAL

Our Next Governor Must Prioritize Affordable Housing and Diversification of Hawaii’s Economy

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ike the rest of the nation Hawaii isn’t the same since the outbreak of COVID-19. This midterm election – the first post-pandemic election (ongoing, but manageable) – is largely a referendum on how COVID-19 has been managed in its second half. In Hawaii’s governor’s race with no incumbent, accountability as accolade or condemnation, rests on the second highest state executive seat which is occupied by Lt. Gov. Josh Green. There’s no overwhelming approval or disapproval of how state leadership managed the pandemic. From the viewpoint of hard statistics on COVID-19 deaths and infections, relative to other states, Hawaii’s state government performed phenomenally in keeping both deaths and infections low throughout the peaks of the pandemic, ranking among the best in the nation. As a physician and the Lt. Gov. who played an active role in COVID-19 management, particularly in the area of public health, gubernatorial candidate Green can claim proven history of statewide executive success that no other candidate can do. This is perhaps doubly impressive coming at a time when the state had never experienced such a seismic crisis. Based on early polls, Green has high approval ratings and there is little doubt why – which is largely due to his part in handling of COVID-19. As a member of Congress during the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, as well as other COVID-19 relief bills such as $55 billion to support local restaurants and small businesses nationally still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19, gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele can also say he had an important hand in getting Hawaii through the pandemic and take credit for such critical aid from the federal government. His background as the only top candidate to serve in Congress is also a plus as Hawaii (as other states) relies heavily on federal funding. While much of the public health side of pandemic management has been a resounding success, some can argue it came at a hefty price to Hawaii’s economy that registered some of the highest unemployment numbers nationally; and many businesses – some longtime fixtures in our communities – ended up closing down. Some in the business community have been critical of the restrictions imposed by Gov. David Ige and the lack of support they received from the state during the pandemic. And even before then, some business owners have felt the state wasn’t business-friendly enough. This area of private-sector executive business management to be applied to governance is where long-time businesswoman and gubernatorial candidate Vicky Cayetano becomes a blue chip candidate. She is the only top gubernatorial candidate with such experience. Can Cayetano pull out a Rick Blangiardi-type victory at the state level? While Vicky hasn’t held public office, clearly she is no stranger to politics as the former First Lady of the State married to former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Her ideas proposed in solving pressing issues shows a thorough understanding of how government operates; and her ideas are infused with private-sector thinking innovation. Cayetano is also the only immigrant (an ethnic Chinese born in the Philippines) among the leading candidates and she could be relatable to some in that way. Pressing issues Competing with the pandemic (or crisis-management) for oxygen as top reasons for choosing a candidate is the obvious confluence of urgent and related issues: soaring high inflation, housing, homelessness, the economy and the quest towards diversification, climate change and a green economy, crime and social services. The pandemic made people poorer. Fifty percent of Hawaii residents have experienced income reduction. And over 40% of Hawaii working residents are now in the Asset Limited, Income Con-

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

n the course of over a quarter of a century the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle has covered each election with in-depth analysis and fairness. Our readers look forward to our coverage; and likewise political candidates have relished the opportunity to inform our community what their positions on the issues are. Last issue we’ve presented the leading candidates for Hawaii’s Congressional Districts 1 and 2 (visit our website thefilipinochronicle.com). We continue our Primary Election reporting this time on Hawaii’s race for governor. To begin the cover story associate editor Edwin Quinabo illuminates the current political environment in our state – what are the top issues our residents are concerned about, where we can be hopeful, where urgency exists that voters want our leaders to prioritize. The cover story then pivots to a Q&A where we feature three of the top Democratic candidates for governor: entrepreneur and former First Lady Vicky Cayetano, Lt. Gov. Josh Green and U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele. The Republican candidate who wins the Primary Election will be featured in a future issue. Cayetano says it’s time to shift from a tourism focused economy to a family-focused economy. She has already called for the immediate waiver of the GE tax on food, medicine and diapers for those earning less than $100K and to suspend the state gas tax of $0.16/gallon during the current inflationary crisis, which she gives as examples of what a family-focused economy would look like under her administration. Green says as governor he would make meeting our housing demand a top priority. He has a multi-pronged approach designed to accelerate home production which include (among others) fast-tracking of new home construction with a streamlined and common-sense regulatory process. Kahele says he supports the state’s efforts to achieve a universal pre-k program. “Native Hawaiians and Filipinos make up nearly half of the public education system. Universal pre-k would be a monumental benefit to our communities, working parents, and our keiki,” Kahele said. Get the details on some of the candidates other ideas as well as read in our lead editorial our priorities that the next governor should work on. As most of you already heard the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade. We have two articles on this controversial decision. HFC columnist Emil Guillermo contributes “Overturning Roe and Abortion Makes US More Like the Philippines” and Atty. Emmanuel Tipon writes “Every Woman Has a Right to Abortion and Every Man Has a Right to Circumcision.” Also in this issue, we have a pictorial news of Nobel Peace Prize winner Philippine journalist Maria Ressa’s visit to Hawaii where she was welcomed by legislators at the State Capitol and by members of our Filipino community. HFC’s contributing editor Dr. Belinda Aquino, contributors Dr. Raymund Liongson and Rose Churma, and HFC photographer Tim Llena took part in the event. It’s summer time and many of you are planning to go on vacation. If the Philippines is your destination, read HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma’s Book Review “A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches.” The Philippines has many historic, grand, architecturally stunning churches. Some of them are centuries old. Plan to visit one or a few of these churches. Lastly, be sure to read our other interesting columns and news in this issue. If you haven’t registered to vote in the Primary Election, remember that the paper vote registration deadline is Aug. 3, 2022. Voter registration applications are available by visiting https://olvr. hawaii.gov. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.

Design

Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga

Columnists

Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Perry Diaz Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Seneca Moraleda-Puguan J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

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 LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives

strained, Employed (ALICE) category, belonging to households with income above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but below the basic cost of living. These are Hawaii residents living from paycheck-to-paycheck. Affordable Housing and Diversifying the Economy Should Be Top Priorities Inflation is adding to the weight of ALICE and FPL Hawaii (continue on page 3)

Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  3

EDITORIAL

Overturning Roe Is A Major Leap Backwards, Other Rights Now in Jeopardy with this Precedent

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he U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) overturning of Roe v Wade -- which granted the right to an abortion in the first two trimesters of pregnancy and has been the law of the land for 50 years -- is a giant leap backwards. The 6-3 decision by the conservative-majority now leaves abortion laws to states to decide what condition for abortion, if any, will be allowed. More than half of states are expected to ban abortion completely even in extreme cases that involve rape and incest. Thirteen states had trigger laws in place that made abortions illegal immediately after the Roe decision. The high court’s ruling will not affect the state of Hawaii where it will continue to be legal and available.

Health issue Roe is about bodily autonomy, the right for women to have control of their own health, their bodies, and to control their own destiny. It is a health issue, a private decision between a woman and her physician. And politicians should not be interfering with women and their doctors on this very personal, life-impact(Our Next Governor ....from page 2)

residents. The biggest expense for ALICE and FPL Hawaii residents is housing. Rent has been skyrocketing each year that increasingly more long-time Hawaii families are finding that the only solution to survive is to move to the mainland. It’s arguable that the housing crunch (like the need to diversify Hawaii’s economy) has never really been given serious attention. And it took the crisis of the pandemic for politicians and the greater Hawaii population to finally realize that we in fact do have a housing crisis. The first sign of Hawaii’s affordable housing crisis was when homelessness started to rise. At first, it was deemed just a mainland transplant problem. Then more locals started to become homeless. And now as ALICE has grown to a whopping 40-plus percent and far more residents are vulnerable, we realize now that we are in a housing crisis.

ing decision. Roe gave women access to safe abortions; and with Roe gone, health experts say women’s health and even their lives could be at risk because women will continue to get it even if it means seeking it under unsafe conditions.

Majority of Americans support Roe The latest Pew Research Center survey, conducted March 7 to 13, shows a majority of Americans support Roe. Over 60% of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. These views are relatively unchanged in the past few years. Clearly there has been a national consensus on a women’s right to reproductive freedom for decades and for SCOTUS to make such a dramatic move to deny women this right is simply extremist ideology. Further, it would not have been possible if it weren’t for former President Donald Trump (who did not win the popular vote) appointing three ultra conservative justices to SCOTUS, two of which (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh) lied to U.S. senators during the confirmation process. The next governor must prioritize both housing and diversifying (strengthening) our economy as top priorities. Otherwise, the Hawaii we know and enjoy, will cease to exist as it is. Hawaii will no longer be diverse as more locals leave. Hawaii will then resemble more like Monaco, a destination for the rich and super rich and a population of mostly service workers only here to serve the rich. Of interest and related to these current times of austerity, local politics is beginning to be more economically-class conscious far more than in recent decades. Nationally and on the mainland this trend emerged in the rise of progressive Democrats who have as their agenda putting the interests of working people over special interest groups. Recently in Hawaii a Progressive Legislative Caucus was established. It’s still a minority at the State Legislature. It could be said that a few

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said “This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents.” Previous SCOTUS courts had Republican justices upholding Roe and the rule of long-standing precedents. This current SCOTUS is uniquely extreme, even radical to a majority of Americans.

Women just became second-class citizens Critics of Roe’s overturn say overnight women in this country have become second-class citizens. And they are right to think this. Women having control of their own bodies is basic to not just rights as a citizen, but as a human. SCOTUS justices wrote in their dissent notes. “When the majority says that we must read our foundational charter as viewed at the time of ratification (except that we may also check it against the Dark Ages), it consigns women to second-class citizenship.” The court’s liberal justices wrote further, “The majority has of Hawaii’s top Democratic candidates are progressive, and one (Kahele) was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. It’s likely that as the cost of living in Hawaii continues to spike and there is a growing consensus that not enough is being done in areas like housing and bolstering economic opportunities, it’s inevitable that Hawaii politics will follow the trend of mainland politics and will increasingly become in practice and rhetoric more class conscious. The next governor of Hawaii has monumental work ahead. There’s still so much for others living in other states and places around the world to be envious of many of us who live in Hawaii. We need a leader who can maintain what’s great about Hawaii and improve on areas where our residents are struggling. We need to keep our aloha, but not just in words, but in policies that matter.

overruled Roe and Casey for one and only one reason: because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.” Slippery Slope Justices who supported Roe’s overturn wrote that Roe was “egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided.” Justice Samuel Alito wrote of Roe “It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation, and it effectively struck down the abortion laws of every single State.” Many legal experts believe Roe’s overturn is not a single issue and could lead to the striking down of other constitutional rights that became law in the same way of Roe. Conservative SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court should reconsider rights like birth control and same sex marriage in future decisions. SCOTUS justices opposing Roe’s overturn warned that other Supreme Court precedents securing “settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation” may now be in danger. What now? Congress can and should

codify Roe as the next step. The obvious challenge is getting enough pro-reproductive rights politicians elected. Inversely, it should be said that reproductive rights could get even more restrictive should Trumper Republicans win a majority in both the House and Senate. They could codify that abortions be banned nationally, which is precisely the reason why Americans in Blue states like in Hawaii where abortions remain legal are now vigilant over this issue. Supporters of Roe point to missed opportunities. They say Congress should have codified Roe in the past 50 years when support of women’s reproductive rights was higher, even among Republican politicians. So here we are as a nation, where for the first time, legal experts say SCOTUS has taken away a constitutional right already granted. Not just weakening or stripping away in parts a constitutional right, but taking it away entirely. Having less rights, especially one that potentially could result in unnecessary deaths of women, is not the direction the country should be headed. Overturning Roe is a historical injustice that must be corrected. Roe is on the ballot this midterm. Get out and vote!


4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  JULY 2, 2022

COVER STORY

Top Democratic Candidates for Governor Speak on Affordable Housing, Economic Diversification, Lowering Cost of Living by Edwin Quinabo

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he headwinds are heavy for Hawaii’s next governor. The unrelenting force of inflation is slashing income and wages across the nation. In Hawaii the housing crunch leading to skyrocketing real estate and rent is particularly acute relative to other states. Homelessness. Violent crimes. A stronger, diverse economy. Demand for more and better quality jobs – all these challenges exacerbated by the pandemic are waiting for Hawaii’s next top executive. From a glass is half-full perspective, at least Hawaii is not embroiled in the thick acrimony of division over abortion and gun violence as in the mainland. There is relative high consensus locally on both issues and the local laws reflect that and are not expected to change, politicos say. Also the recent passing of the long-awaited and popular minimum wage increase could offer relief for many sectors of Hawaii’s population, including many in the Filipino community who are working in the service-sector. Still, what many Hawaii voters reportedly want is a strong crisis manager-leader because a great number of Hawaii households (some 40 percent) find themselves in crisis, living paycheck to paycheck, even as they hunker down in multi-generational dwellings to offset costs and hold down multiple jobs. Hawaii’s next governor will be the state’s first post-pandemic (ongoing but relatively manageable) governor. Ingenuity. Fresh ideas and new ways of governance are arguably more needed than ever. Politicians and economic experts say the pandemic exposed Hawaii’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Most notably, that tourism – the state’s bread and butter for decades – as reliable it has been, must be complemented by multiple robust industries. The “diversify-the-economy” mantra since the 1990s, finally must be put into motion, economists say. Agriculture. Aquaculture. Research and Development. High tech and science. Small scale clean manufacturing. These are all areas Hawaii could expand in the pursuit of economic diversification, politicians have been saying for a while.

Both as a potentially economic juggernaut industry and a means to preserve Hawaii’s chief asset, its natural beauty – the green movement with goals of bolstering renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, biomass) or revolutionizing net-zero buildings is an area collectively, any governor of any forward-thinking state cannot ignore when thinking about building a diversified economy. To be successful in such an ambitious string of projects as building a future complementary green economy would take collaborative efforts from all levels of government and the private sector, which means the next governor must also be a collaborator with the social smarts to lead effectively. What COVID-19 has also showed is how dependent Hawaii’s economy is on small businesses, how they employ tens of thousands and contribute to capital flow immensely. The blunt force of the pandemic has many small businesses (those that survived) still not yet fully anchored in economic recovery mode. Our local small business community is depending on the next governor to get the state as quickly as possible out of economic mire and back on track to more prosperous times. Fifty percent of Hawaii residents have experienced income reduction since the outbreak of COVID-19. Social services in Hawaii is becoming increasingly important and it will take reimagining from the next governor to sustain social services and provide efficient access. Experts believe social service is optimal when it encourages self-sufficiency with programs like workforce retraining programs in place. Voters will look to a governor who believes in investing in people – and part of that includes a helpful lift in times of urgency. The sign of the times is clear that Hawaii along with the rest of the nation is in a state of rapid transition. Voters are hoping for the right governor to maximize vertical gains and finally address areas of neglect. Hawaii’s Primary Election is on Saturday, August 13, 2022. Voters will receive their voting packets by July 26, and completed ballots must be received by voters county’s Election Division by election day, 7 p.m. For our cover story this issue we feature three top Democrats in Hawaii’s governors race: Vicky Cayetano, Josh Green and Kai

Kahele. Cayetano is the semi-political outsider in this race (married to former Gov. Ben Cayetano but not having served in public office). She has decades of business experience as an entrepreneur, is the former President of the largest laundry company in the state with over 1,000 employees. Cayetano is the only top Democratic candidate for governor with executive experience in the private sector. Green is Lt. Governor, a former state senator, and a physician. He is leading in fundraising. Green is the only candidate for governor with executive experience in government. Kahele is the U.S. Rep for Hawaii’s Congressional District 2, a former state senator, and a commercial pilot. He entered the governor’s race very late and politicos say he could have difficulty with fundraising. But Kahele already has name recognition and is taking a completely different approach to his campaign which is to accept donations no larger than $100, a truly grassroots campaign, some have said. Kahele is the only top candidate with experience serving in the Federal government. There are other candidates but the HFC editorial board narrowed the list to the top three Democratic candidates, who were asked questions we’ve prepared on some of the popular issues facing our state. The Republican gubernatorial winner of the primary will be featured in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle in a future article. We know there are many major issues impacting our state but due to space we had to narrow the topics to those we believe are most pressing at the moment. Candidates answers to our Q&A have been edited for space and clarity. (continue on page 5)


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  5

COVER STORY (Top Democratic....from page 4)

CANDIDATES BACKGROUND

VICKY CAYETANO

Democratic Candidate for Governor Cayetano is the former President of United Laundry, PureStar Laundries, a company she built over 34 years. She was chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i in the late 1990s. She helped to establish the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra in 2011 to replace the defunct Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. She received numerous awards for business. She and her husband former Gov. Ben Cayetano established a scholarship fund to support students with the most needs. Cayetano was born in Manila, Philippines. Her parents were Chinese immigrants who had moved to the Philippines to escape the famine that ravaged China during the 19th century. She studied business and economics at Stanford University.

Q&A

HFC: The Hawaii Health Data Warehouse (working partners with various state departments, nonprofits and the University of Hawaii) released a report showing 42% of Hawaii households are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and below. There are 148,771 ALICE households (33 %), while another 41,619 households (9 %) live below the poverty level. That’s a large percentage of Hawaii households essentially living paycheck to paycheck. The biggest expense for ALICE residents in Hawaii is housing. What are your specific plans to improve Hawaii’s lack of affordable housing?

CAYETANO: Working with the legislature, my first act as Governor would be to proclaim a State of Emergency to accelerate the development of affordable homes. I will lead with a sense of urgency and work to enact policies that allow for expedited approval of construction permits, including accelerating housing projects taking place within the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. My affordable housing plan contains three elements: 1) Rent-to-Own, 2) Designated Workforce Housing and 3) Affordable Rental Communities. Rent-to-Own is aimed at those unable to make a down payment on the purchase of a home but could manage monthly payments. Under the Rent-to-Own plan, a tenant pays monthly rent which would function as a mortgage payment. Once the cost of the unit is reached with the monthly payments, the state would offer the tenant title to the unit. Dedicated Workforce Housing begins with identifying under-utilized state lands to allocate affordable rentals and housing for three key sectors of our community - Healthcare, Education, and Emergency Response. Hawaiʻi has critical shortages in these professions and one of the key reasons is the lack of affordable housing. Affordable Rental Communities will be family and kupuna friendly affordable rental projects that lend to a strong community environment. HFC: COVID-19 exposed Hawaii’s economic vulnerability. For decades the state economy has relied on tourism, the military and construction with not much else in economic diversity (retail and services are mostly lowwage jobs). What are your specific plans to diversify the state’s economy? CAYETANO: We cannot diversify the economy without first attracting businesses. This requires a more business friendly environment and a need to review the current business regulations. We

cannot achieve food security without a prosperous agricultural industry. This requires investing in resources to help our farmers and ranchers. The Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture must work in alignment to do this. Farmers and ranchers who are leasing state land from the DLNR need lease terms that are longer in order for them to make the appropriate investments. We must have a strategic approach at getting federal monies without compromising our local businesses. HFC: Since the 1990s we have seen large out migration of Hawaii residents largely due to the high cost of living. Besides addressing affordable housing and bolstering the jobs situation (questions 1 and 2), what creative ways would you pursue to alleviate the high cost of living in Hawaii? For example, bringing down the cost of food? Or Healthcare? Or Childcare? You choose the area you want to focus on. This is a question specifically designed for you to show voters original, outof-the-box thinking because we hear a lot from candidates about wanting change. CAYETANO: I’m running for Governor for one simple reason – to help our children and grandchildren be able to afford to live and thrive here. As Governor, revitalizing and diversifying the economy will be my priority. It is time to shift from a tourism focused economy to a family-focused economy. I have called for the immediate waiver of the GE tax on food, medicine and diapers for those earning less than $100K. I would also suspend the

state gas tax of $0.16/gallon. A cornerstone of my Family Focused Economic Plan is my call to establish a Community Reinvestment Plan – one that requires businesses over a certain size to contribute a certain dollar amount to Hawaii’s non-profit organizations in order to support the community from which the businesses profit. This creates a sustainable community. HFC: Cost of doing business in Hawaii is still notoriously high. How do you plan to bolster small and middle size businesses in Hawaii? CAYETANO: Small Businesses are suffering and being decimated. Many of them are local and family owned. As Governor, I would work with the legislature to introduce a lower tax rate for businesses that gross less than $5 million. HFC: Describe the future of Hawaii’s tourism. Tell us what direction you would lead it. CAYETANO: The plans that the community members from each county have put forward provide a pathway of regenerative tourism that I would ensure is acted upon. HFC: Many waii has a culture with government.

have said Ha“play to pay” regard to state Recently the

corruption case against two Hawaii legislators have shaken public trust in government. How can you restore public trust in the business of government? CAYETANO: I propose the following: • Require disclosure for Introduction of bills. • Outlaw the infamous practice of “gut and replace”. • Enact term limits for the Legislature - Representatives (four 2-year terms) and Senators (two 4-year terms). • Require that no legislator, governor, or lieutenant governor shall be a paid lobbyist for a period of four years after leaving office. • Enact Campaign Finance Reform - disallow corporate and union contributions; lower the percentage of out of state contributions; prohibit political campaign fundraising during the legislative session; limit the ongoing accrual of campaign accounts and eliminate the ability to carry amounts over from one election to another. HFC: Climate change is obviously real. Hawaii depends on its natural beauty to draw in tourists. What are your plans for preserving Hawaii’s (continue on page 6)


6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  JULY 2, 2022

COVER STORY (Top Democratic....from page 5)

environment and sustainability (two issues, but related)? CAYETANO: As Governor I will take the following actions: • Take the reports of the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission and put its recommendations into action with a planned timeline. • Work with the counties to produce coordinated plans to shore up our infrastructure and lessen the impact on our island lifestyle from climate change. • Restructure the Department of Land and Natural Resources that has had staff shortages for too long and, as a result, the management of our natural environment has suffered. • Create a designated position specifically to secure grants-in-aid to manage sea-level rise and shoreline erosion, and all other climate change initiatives. • Prioritize the critical maintenance of dams and reservoirs. It is imperative to not only manage what is before you now, but to anticipate what science tells us. HFC: What areas not mentioned above you would like to address that will be important in your administration? CAYETANO: Diversity is a priority. It is important that the cabinet and administration reflects the diversity of Hawaii so we understand the communities we serve and the decisions we make which impact them. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? CAYETANO: I was born in Manila, Philippines and my family moved to this country when I was three years old. I understand the desire for wanting a better life for our families and giving back to our communities. I will use my business experience and knowledge to tackle the many challenges that we face with the urgency that is needed to get things done.

CANDIDATES BACKGROUND

JOSH GREEN

Democratic Candidate for Governor Josh Green is an ER doctor and Hawaii’s Lt. Governor. More than 20 years ago, he started caring for local families as a doctor in a small clinic on the Big Island. He said after seeing the challenges many people faced, like the high cost of living, the lack of affordable housing, and the plague of addiction, he ran for office to help make a difference, serving in the State House and State Senate from 2004 to 2018. In 2018, he became Hawaii’s Lt. Governor, and led the largest healthcare response in state history, pulling Hawaii together to vaccinate over a million people. Green said he and his wife Jaime share the values of Hawaii — family and community, diversity, and a responsibility to future generations. They are the proud parents of 15 year-old daughter Maia and 11 year-old son Sam.

Q&A

HFC: The Hawaii Health Data Warehouse (working partners with various state departments, nonprofits and the University of Hawaii) released a report showing 42% of Hawaii households are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and below. There are 148,771 ALICE households (33 %), while another 41,619 households (9 %) live below the poverty level. That’s a large percentage of Hawaii households essentially living paycheck to paycheck. The biggest expense for ALICE residents in Hawaii is housing. What are

your specific plans to improve Hawaii’s lack of affordable housing? GREEN: The biggest issue facing Hawaii today is a lack of housing that’s affordable and available to our residents. The cost of housing is the single largest monthly expense for Hawaii households and the lack of supply contributes to home prices that are unattainable for far too many. As Governor, I will make meeting our housing demand a top priority. My plan incorporates a multi-pronged approach designed to accelerate home production which include: fast-tracking of new home construction with a streamlined and common-sense regulatory process, increasing the amount of public land available for home development, and expanding home builder access to government financing and tax credits to accelerate the production of homes so we can provide enough supply to meet our demand sooner, not later. HFC: COVID-19 exposed Hawaii’s economic vulnerability. For decades the state economy has relied on tourism, the military and construction with not much else in economic diversity (retail and services are mostly lowwage jobs). What are your specific plans to diversify the state’s economy? GREEN: While the visitor industry, military, and construction industry remain the main drivers of Hawaii jobs and revenue, we must build a more diversified economy post-pandemic. Economic diversification is critical for several reasons: wages in emerging knowledge-based industries are usually higher than service-related jobs and diversification makes our economy more resilient in the face of an unpredictable future. As Governor, I will focus state efforts on fostering sustainable industries like renewable energy, environmental technology, and science-based innovation; revitalizing the agricultural sector through incentives; directing government infrastructure spending in ways that maintain key functions of a sustainable

community; and growing partnerships between our educational institutions and the private sector to prepare Hawaii residents to compete economically for jobs. HFC: Since the 1990s we have seen large out migration of Hawaii residents largely due to the high cost of living. Besides addressing affordable housing and bolstering the jobs situation (questions 1 and 2), what creative ways would you pursue to alleviate the high cost of living in Hawaii? For example, bringing down the cost of food? Or Healthcare? Or Childcare? You choose the area you want to focus on. This is a question specifically designed for you to show voters original, outof-the-box thinking because we hear a lot from candidates about wanting change. GREEN: We can do more to help working parents and keiki struggling today to live better lives. I believe every parent and child in Hawaii is entitled to three basic guarantees: 1) freedom from hunger, 2) a quality education, and 3) access to comprehensive healthcare and developmental screenings. This starts with improved nutrition programs in our schools so that more children can receive breakfast, summer meals, and after-school meals, a universal public Pre-K program to prepare keiki for success, and expanding mental health care services for children and teens. HFC: Cost of doing business in Hawaii is still notoriously high. How do you plan to bolster small and middle size businesses in Hawaii? GREEN: Two impactful strategies we can employ to help business in Hawaii is to identify ways we can streamline the regulatory burdens that local companies encounter in Hawaii and place more emphasis on the state prioritizing the purchase of goods and services from small and mid-size employers. HFC: Describe the future of Hawaii’s tourism. Tell us what direction you would lead it. GREEN: The tourism in-

dustry is a key economic driver for Hawaii, but it cannot come at the cost of our quality of life. We must address the effects of over tourism on our state by combatting illegal short term rentals and exploring changes to our tourism tax structure to balance visitors and the impacts they have on our natural resources. We should also begin the transition to a more sustainable visitor industry by promoting health, wellness, and eco-tourism. HFC: Many have said Hawaii has a “play to pay” culture with regard to state government. Recently the corruption case against two Hawaii legislators have shaken public trust in government. How can you restore public trust in the business of government? GREEN: As Governor, I will commit my administration to regularly engage Hawaii media so the people are fully informed on decisions made and the rationale for those decisions. I will appoint cabinet members of the highest ethical standards who are willing to be transparent not only about themselves, but in the way they make decisions. HFC: Climate change is obviously real. Hawaii depends on its natural beauty to draw in tourists. What are your plans for preserving Hawaii’s environment and sustainability (two issues, but related)? GREEN: Getting out in front of climate change starts with accelerating our transition to 100% clean energy and building our capacity for resilience for the years of climate change ahead. Simply put, we need to end our dependence on oil before it ends us. The islands provide the perfect laboratory for implementing a smart and achievable transition to clean energy. The lessons learned through this journey are something we can export across the globe. Hawaii is in dire need of a diversified economy and can use its transition to 100% renewable energy to create new, green jobs for future generations. HFC: What areas not men(continue on page 7)


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  7

COVER STORY (Top Democratic....from page 6)

tioned above you would like to address that will be important in your administration? GREEN: Health care is a right and shouldn’t be determined simply by where you live or how much money you make. As Governor, I will focus my efforts on fixing our healthcare provider shortage, creating a comprehensive telehealth system be providing Universal health screening for our keiki. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? GREEN: I’m running for governor because Hawaii needs elected leaders we can trust — to tell us the truth, keep us safe and informed, to care about working families, and to be transparent and accountable to the people.

CANDIDATES BACKGROUND

KAI KAHELE

ICE households (33 %), while another 41,619 households (9 %) live below the poverty level. That’s a large percentage of Hawaii households essentially living paycheck to paycheck. The biggest expense for ALICE residents in Hawaii is housing. What are your specific plans to improve Hawaii’s lack of affordable housing? KAHELE: In addition to building more affordable housing, we need to protect the housing that we have, and ensure that local families have access to every possible tool to buy or rent a home that will provide the safety and security they deserve. This will require leadership, collaboration and an unwavering commitment to the people of Hawai‘i. As Governor I would: build truly affordable housing in the areas that would thrive with greater density; bridge the divide between the counties and DoTax to enforce laws against vacation rentals and support a vacancy tax on unoccupied units; protect the security and stability of our working families by offering zero-interest and down payment loans to first-time homebuyers; build housing specifically for Native Hawaiians and public sector workers like teachers; and negotiate with the military to house more of their personnel on base. The issue is not simply that there are not enough homes in Hawai‘i. Folks from around the world want to live here, and they have the means to pay (often above asking price). We need to start developing lawful ways to keep these homes in the hands of our working people.

Democratic Candidate for Governor Kai Kahele is Hawaii’s congressmember for Congressional District 2, encompassing the neighbor islands and rural Oahu. He is a combat veteran, pilot and a commissioned officer in the Hawaii Air National Guard, and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. HFC: COVID-19 exposed Prior to Congress, Kahele was Hawaii’s economic vulneraa member of the Hawaii State bility. For decades the state Senate. economy has relied on tourism, the military and conQ&A struction with not much else HFC: The Hawaii Health in economic diversity (retail Data Warehouse (working and services are mostly lowpartners with various state wage jobs). What are your departments, nonprofits and specific plans to diversify the the University of Hawaii) restate’s economy? leased a report showing 42% KAHELE: Regarding agof Hawaii households are ALriculture, we need to actually ICE (Asset Limited, Income empower the Department of Constrained, Employed) and Agriculture with a budget inbelow. There are 148,771 AL-

crease from .4% to 3% of the state budget. The DOA director and deputy director should be “outsiders” who have experience in agribusinesses and a proven track record of success. Beyond this, we need to increase the capacity of DOA staff to target federal resources, and propose an increase to CIP investments for the state’s agricultural processing facilities. I also believe that we should focus on underperforming assets first. This includes the University of Hawai’i, which has the potential to add more to our economy. On average, over $500M in grants come into our state via the UH system. Through collective support and collaborative efforts across government, I believe we could increase this number by 10 times, allowing us to see $5 billion of inflow annually. Further, technology and innovation have created entrepreneurial opportunities and new job markets. The federal government is making historic investments in broadband and digital equity. Hawai’i needs to capitalize on these federal dollars and ensure that all of our residents have access to high-speed, reliable internet, devices and digital skills training. We should not be encouraging folks from the mainland to come to Hawai‘i with their remote jobs, but supporting our residents to get those high-paying, knowledge-economy jobs. HFC: Since the 1990s we have seen large out migration of Hawaii residents largely due to the high cost of living. Besides addressing affordable housing and bolstering the jobs situation (questions 1 and 2), what creative ways would you pursue to alleviate the high cost of living in Hawaii? For example, bringing down the cost of food? Or Healthcare? Or Childcare? You

choose the area you want to focus on. This is a question specifically designed for you to show voters original, outof-the-box thinking because we hear a lot from candidates about wanting change. KAHELE: COVID-19 really showed us how important pre-k education and childcare is for our state. Working parents need more affordable options for their young keiki. And we know that pre-k education is instrumental in childhood development and setting our keiki up for success in their education and lives. On average, American families spend about $6,000 out-of-pocket annually, or about $500 a month, on child care and early education for their young children. Given our state’s high cost of living, that figure is certainly higher here in Hawaiʻi. That’s why I support the state’s efforts to achieve a universal pre-k program. Native Hawaiians and Filipinos make up nearly half of the public education system. Universal pre-k would be a monumental benefit to our communities, working parents, and our keiki. This year, the State Legislature passed legislation, such as allowing the School Facilities Authority (SFA) to repair and maintain & build pre-k classrooms. They also passed Senate Resolution 7, which requested the Legislative Bureau to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing a universal pre-k program. This report should be available before the end of the 2023 Legislative Session, and will provide a foundation on top of which the next governor can build a roadmap to executing such a

program. HFC: Cost of doing business in Hawaii is still notoriously high. How do you plan to bolster small and middle size businesses in Hawaii? KAHELE: Small business is critical to job creation and stabilizing the economy post COVID. As your Governor, I will immediately convene a small business task force to provide recommendations on removing barriers to doing business, requiring local food products to be purchased by government agencies, analyzing our tax policies and removing the burdensome barriers to over regulation. As the only candidate with federal experience in Congress, I will supercharge our relationships with the federal government, the SBA and local banks to seek out and secure loans, grants and federal funds that can be used to help small startup businesses succeed. I will vigorously protect Hawaiiʻs marketing and brand and ensure that financial literacy and education are a cornerstone of government support to the small business community. Finally, I will pledge to you that I will appoint a business experienced individual to lead the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism. HFC: Describe the future of Hawaii’s tourism. Tell us what direction you would lead it. KAHELE: Tourism will always be a substantial portion of our state economy. However, our environment and (continue on page 14)


8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  JULY 2, 2022

PICTORIAL NEWS

Maria Ressa Receives Recognition at Hawaii State Capitol By HFC Staff / Photography: Tim Llena

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obel Peace Prize laureate and veteran Philippine journalist Maria Ressa met with Hawaii supporters on June 27 at the State Capitol where she was honored by Filipino organizations and Hawaii State legislators for her work defending press freedom. Ressa is a veteran journalist who was included in Time’s Person of the Year 2018 issue. In 2011, she founded Rappler, an online news organization now known for its critical coverage of former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies, including a drug war that has claimed thousands of lives. Ressa is now the target of several legal cases filed by the Philippine government. Convicted of libel in 2019, she remains free on bail while her case is on appeal and has been granted court approval to travel to Hawai’i to speak at the East West Center’s International Media Conference on June 28. At the Capitol, Hawaii senators, Filipino organiza-

tions and community leaders showed their support for Ressa. “She’s not afraid, which is really why she really should be commended beyond words,” said co-founder of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Center for Philippines Studies Belinda Aquino in an interview with Hawaii News Now (HNN) journalist Annalisa Burgos. Maui-based Filipino community leader Kit Furukawa told HNN: “Many support what she is fighting against. And that’s a little hard to reconcile, you know, inside of me. But I feel like I’m on the right side of history for this one.” “We honor her as a symbol of press freedom. She is what fighting for your ideals is all about. We honor her on behalf of many of Hawai’i’s student journalists in our schools who are also aspiring to give a voice to their communities,” State Senator Bennette Misalucha said. Ressa thanked the Filipino community for its warm welcome: “Thank you for taking the time to come here today. We live in an attention economy and where you spend your time is where you choose to give your life meaning. So, your time

today is very precious to me. It is so wonderful to see Filipinos here.” The reception was spearheaded by Filipino Association of University Women Hawaii and co-sponsored by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii. Consul General Emil Fernandez was also in attendance.


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  9

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Overturning Roe and Abortion Makes U.S. More Like the Philippines

By Emil Guillermo

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s American Filipinos, I know we have a strange nostalgia for ideals like freedom and independence. And even as we have less and less of it, we’ll still find reason to party. It was a bit odd that there was a celebration in San Francisco for the 1898 declaration of independence from Spain on June 26th. It was on a Sunday, the same day most Filipinos show their enduring loyalty to the Catholic Church. Those chains are still showing in the Philippines and Filipino communities here. And that brings us to the true complications for Filipinos. First, the declared independence from Spain is not to be conflated with the independence the US granted Filipinos after World War II. For a long time, July 4th was considered Independence Day from the US, but celebrated on the same day as the US celebrated independence from England? That was considered too cute, coincidental, and colonial. Hence, “Friendship Day” became the agreed to euphemism. And that made the “official” independence worth honoring the one from Spain. All good, but it’s more ironic and stranger this year as the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade which had constitutionally guaranteed the right of abortion for women. Think about that coincidence when you celebrate freedom and independence from Spain or the US this year. 2022 is the year America took a step toward being more like the Philippines. Because of the influence of Spain and the Catholic Church, abortion has been illegal in the Philippines for more than a hundred years. And just to make clear the history extends

to the modern day, the policy was recodified in the Philippines Constitution in 1987. There it is in Article II, Section 12, as if it were written in by Clarence Thomas himself. It reads: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” The law makes abortion illegal with mandatory prison time for any woman who gets an abortion, and any person who helps her. But, of course, that doesn’t stop any one from getting an abortion. In the Philippines, 37% of all births are unwanted, and 54% are unintended. And four out of five abortions are for economic reasons, according to the Philippines Orphanage Foundation. That means illegal abortions are commonplace putting women and babies at risk to back alley dealers who are all too willing to “help.” Since illegal abortions aren’t reported, it’s hard to get a number. But the World Health Organization has placed the number as high as 800,000. That’s what happens to a small country like the Philippines where abortion is flat out illegal. But 100% available on the black market. And so, 2022 is the year the Philippines Constitution has become the model for the USA. The US Supreme Court has paved the way.

When The Decision On Roe Came Down I saw a crying Asian American woman on the TV news. She reminded me of my daughters. What is worse? To kill abortion in America, or to kill our sense of freedom and

American democracy? By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court of the United States managed to do both. The court declared itself a political animal and took away a constitutional right women have had for nearly 50 years. When the ruling came down, I was considering a column on the latest Jan. 6 Committee hearings that revealed how the former president tried to get his legal arm, the Justice Department, to aid him in stealing the 2020 election. That came perilously close to crossing the line from democracy to autocracy. But Supreme Court ruling has the same impact of the autocracy we fear. In one of the most personal and intimate matters a person can experience– childbirth–the government in many states has the last word. You’re having the baby. Even President Joe Biden can do nothing to reverse the ruling by executive order and called the court’s decision “a tragic error.” And so now the chaos begins.

For Asian American Filipina women living in states that have protected abortion through viability, the right to choose still exists in places like California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, among others. But other states, like Missouri, have laws set to make abortion illegal as soon as Roe is overturned. And others have already restricted abortion before viability. If you want an abortion, you may have to drive some place hours away. If you are able and can afford to do it. The real impact is clear. A woman’s choice has been compromised when the decision came down. If you wanted an abortion on Thursday, in many states it was no longer available on Friday. The court’s actions come in two separate decisions, the first affirmed by a 6-3 vote a Mis-

sissippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks when some mothers don’t even know they’re pregnant. The second vote on abolishing the right to abortion established by Roe in 1973 was overturned 5-4, giving Chief Justice Roberts a way to join the dissenting liberals (Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor). It likely was an attempt for Roberts to look slightly less radical than the ultra-conservative disruptors (Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Barrett). But the damage is done.

Undoing the 14th Amendment The logic of the rulings still comes from that Justice Alito’s leaked draft, which stays true to the extreme originalist view that questions how abortion can be guaranteed by the Constitution when the (continue on page 13)


10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JULY 2, 2022

AS I SEE IT

Let’s Not Be Complacent, The War Vs. Corona Is Still On! By Elpidio R. Estioko

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s the Russia-Ukraine war aggressively nears its 200-day, the war against the corona virus is also surging! The latter’s war seemed to have been overlooked when the Ukraine-Russia war erupted. As such, people were just surprised when suddenly there was a surge of the pandemic in some states without us noticing it. People thought it was over! Well, it’s not over yet, so we need to address it… just like before, with added precaution. According to NBC News, the following states saw prolonged or dramatic case increases around the country: Alaska Arizona Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina; North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

The report also named the states where cases are not rising: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota. New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, US Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. While California has been reported to be not surging, there are some isolated cases I know happening in a school in the Bay Area where 44 students were quarantined and about 32 staff were likewise quarantined because they have shown symptoms or are already positive. This may not have been contained in the report or must have been overlooked in tracking the surge. I just hope this is an isolated case, but we need to address it just the same. With Hawaii, it was not reported as surging, but we should not be complacent because the virus, just like the thief in the night, can strike any time. In a related report by WebMD Health News: “Ris-

ing COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations likely mean we’re in a new phase of the pandemic. And the number of Americans dying from COVID-19 is also anticipated to grow, although the surge in the short term is not expected to look like previous waves.” While states are surging, the team of experts from Johns Hopkins University told reporters that it’s not as severe as before. “In the short term, this new surge is not expected to be as severe as previous waves. But, they said, that all could change,” the report confirmed. David Dowdy, MD, PhD, associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, during the briefing said that “Cases rose threefold in the last several weeks compared to a 25% increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19.” He added: “COVID-19 still kills an average of 300 Americans per day, so we’re not done with the pandemic yet. People are still dying of COVID and we can’t rule out the possibility of a major wave in the coming months.” While Dowdy said the average case of COVID-19 is getting milder over time,

he said: “What this means is that for people who are still unvaccinated, don’t have that immunity built up, or who have weakened immune systems, this virus is still a very dangerous and deadly one.” Exposure to the virus, sometimes people in the same household experience the pandemic differently, ranging from not getting sick to mild or even severe disease. This is a rare incident but we need to be aware of it so we can be ready for it. “There can be many reasons for such differences,” Priya Duggal, PhD, MPH, professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, said during the briefing. “Differences in exposures, immune responses, preexisting conditions, and how well a home is ventilated can all play a role. A person’s general health can also determine how well they fight off infections.” Will there be a summer surge? Dowdy said, “It’s important for us to realize that in some ways we are already in the midst of a surge.” Apparently, there is a possibility that during the summer season, we may have to contend with the original preventive measures like wearing masks, isolation and social distancing.

This is concerning because Dowdy even said “there are indicators that the level of coronavirus transmission in the U.S. now is about the same as we experienced during the Delta wave and almost as high as the surge during the first winter of the pandemic.” Well, this is scary, so we need to have extra care in our daily life and be cautious of what we do. “So we are seeing a surge. Whether that’s going to require us to go back to the more restrictive policies, I think, still remains to be seen,” Dowdy said. We should not be complacent. We need to put in more efforts, as we used to do, during the past two years. This is not the time to relax. We need to equally devote some time in addressing the war, not only in the Ukraine-Russia war, but also the war vs the COVID-19 pandemic! The fight versus the virus is still on. Let’s combat the virus and win the war. Don’t panic but don’t be complacent too! We will win this war!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.

PERRYSCOPE

Is Bongbong Machiavellian? By Perry Diaz

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ith President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. taking over the government, one must look at the people he has chosen to be his alter egos and wonder: Are they ready to run the administration or is Bongbong ready to be president on Day One? Looking at his published list of cabinet members, he

has picked qualified—except for a few misplaced appointees—so far. Bongbong appointed Clarita Carlos to be the National Security Adviser. A retired political science professor, Carlos will be the first woman to sit as National Security Adviser, a post typically given to former military officials. As National Security Adviser, Carlos will head the secretariat of the National Security Council, the principal advisory body of the president on national security and foreign policy. Recently, Carlos requested the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate

alleged libelous posts made against her by five personalities that includes former PCGG Commissioner Ruben Carranza for his tweet last March 2022. Hmm… Makes one wonder: Have you heard of “Making a mountain out of a molehill?” The positions of Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Adviser are arguably the three most important cabinet positions. They’re the triumvirate that is responsible for keeping the country secure and prepared to defend from external forces.

Defense Secretary

Bongbong named retired Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr. as Senior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge of the Department of National Defense (DND). However, Faustino will assume the position of Secretary of National Defense on November 13, 2022, in compliance with the one-year ban on the appointment of retired military officers under Republic Act no. 6975. It’s interesting to note that during the “Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential Candidates Interview,” Carlos asked Bongbong whether he thinks of himself as Machiavellian. Bongbong’s reply was:

“Am I Machiavellian? Well, I’ve studied him quite thoroughly, and I know very many Machiavellians in my life.” Needless to say, his model would be his own father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos who was a practitioner of Machiavelli’s famous dictum: “The end justifies the means—no matter how cruel, calculating or immoral those means might be.” His proclamation of martial law in 1972 was a classic example of Machiavellian act. Bongbong then explained, “It’s about knowing the situation on the ground to help achieve success.” However, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Machiavellian as suggesting the principles (continue on page 12)


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  11

WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?

By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon

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t is a God-given right to control your own body. The Founding Fathers recognized certain God-given rights when they declared: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” They did not mention abortion and circumcision because the enumeration would be too long. That is why they simply said “among these.” But abortion and circumcision are included under the rule of ejusdem generis. At the very least they are encompassed in the unalienable right of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Unalienable Rights According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, “unalienable” means impossible to take away or give up. In Oxford Dictionary, “unalienable” also means incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another. Therefore, what God giveth only God can taketh. It is a sin to take what God giveth. God gave you the unalienable right to control your own body. No court or legislature or any other creature has any authority to interfere with the “unalienable rights” endowed by God to men [and women]. God did not give any court or legislature or any other creature the authority to control a person’s body. You did not give them the authority to control your own body. Therefore, it is ungodly of any court or legislature or any other creature to control or even attempt to control a person’s body or to tell a person

Every Woman Has a Right to Abortion and Every Man Has a Right to Circumcision what such person can do and cannot do with his or her body. These principles should be the ones cited by people who support abortion.

Abortion Is Not In The Constitution Pro-abortionists instead invoke the U.S. Constitution in claiming that they have a constitutional right to abortion. But their invocation is misplaced. The Constitution does not say anything about abortion. As I have been telling my radio audience for years, I will eat the Constitution for breakfast together with a Laoag longganisa if you can find the word “abortion” in the Constitution. The Founding Fathers were thinking of many things when they wrote the Constitution – but not abortion. They were all men. Why should they be concerned with abortion? Therefore, the Supreme Court was correct when it ruled today, June 24, 2022, in a 6-3 decision, that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392. The Court then overruled Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 and Planned Parenthood of Southeaster Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 which held to the contrary. The Court said that the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives. Roe v. Wade reasoned that the right to an abortion is part of a “right to privacy” that springs from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Planned Parenthood of Southeaster Pa. v. Casey was based on the theory that abortion is part of the “liberty” protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. The Supreme Court rejected these theories, saying that the Court has been “reluctant” to recognize rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution. The Court said that the Four-

teenth Amendment clearly does not protect the right to an abortion. No state constitutional provision recognizes such a right. Abortion has long been a crime in every single State. The Court said that Roe ignored or misstated history showing that abortion had been a crime at common law. The Court rejected the argument that history does not matter.

rights, because abortion is generally unplanned activity.

Political Considerations The Court said that it cannot allow its decisions to be affected by extraneous concerns – the danger that the public will perceive a decision overruling a controversial “watershed” decision, such as Roe v. Wade, as influenced by political considerations or public opinion. The Court said that its job is to interpret the law, Stare Decisis Inapplicable apply long-standing principles Stare decisis is a Latin of stare decisis, and decide the phrase meaning “to stand by case accordingly. things (previously) decided” refers to the legal doctrine of Comment On Supreme Court judicial precedent – “that pre- Decision “God made the decision,” vious rulings should govern future rulings on the same or former President Donald Trump reportedly told Fox similar issues.” The Court said that stare News, and he expressed hope decisis plays an important role that the decision “will work and protects the interests of out for everybody.” Three of those who have taken action the justices that comprised the in reliance of a past decision. majority were Trump appoinBut stare decisis is not an in- tees – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kaexorable command, and “is at vanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett. Trump, however, indicated its weakness when the Court that the decision is bad for the interprets the Constitution. There are factors that Republican Party. Other comshould be considered in decid- mentators attacked or supporting when a precedent should ed the decision. be overruled, including (1) the nature of the court’s error, (2) Where Do We Go From Here Some critics want to imthe quality of the reasoning, (3) workability, (4) effect on peach certain Supreme Court other areas of law, (5) reliance justices. But that is not the solution. You cannot impeach interests. The Court discussed each a justice simply because you of these factors. The Court do not like their opinion. Imsaid that Roe was egregious- peachment is easier said than ly wrong and on a collision done. Remember Trump. The course with the Constitution Democrats did it twice. The from the day it was decid- Senate voted NO. The Court said that the aued. Roe was not grounded on constitutional text, history, or thority to regulate abortion is precedent, but imposed on the returned to the people and their entire country a detailed set of rules for pregnancy divided into trimesters. Roe was not workable because it could not be applied in a consistent and predictable manner. Roe led to the distortion of many important but unrelated legal doctrines. Overruling Roe will not upend concrete reliance interests like those that develop in cases involving property and contract

elected representatives. People will pressure state legislatures and even Congress to pass laws to have abortion on demand. There will be a patchwork of laws with some states legalizing abortion while others will prohibit abortion. People from states like Texas or Mississippi with stricter abortion laws might travel to Hawaii with liberal abortion laws to have an abortion. Aloha Hawaii. We will have “Abortion Tourism.”

Recommendation Legislatures should stop legislating on abortion. Let men and women exercise their God-given and unalienable right to control their own body. ATTY. TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most prestigious legal publisher and writes columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he cohosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon. They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, and current events. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.


12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JULY 2, 2022

BOOK REVIEW

A Tourist Guide to Notable Philippine Churches By Rose Cruz Churma

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t is time to visit the Philippines! If you do, don’t forget to see its churches that are located from as far north as Batanes to Misamis Oriental in Mindanao. The Philippines is known as a predominantly Roman Catholic country in Asia due to its colonization by Spain. These churches are known for their historic significance and their aesthetic value, and was built by Spanish friars to provide a permanent structure for worship, as well as impress the non-believers into converting into the Christian faith. Interestingly, not all the churches featured here belong to the Roman Catholic faith. The church from Sagada in Benguet is of the Episcopalian denomination which reflects its history as an American-influenced town. Another church which defies classification is the flying-saucer shaped church located within the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City. An example of modern religious architecture, it was designed by the late National Artist (1990) Leandro Locsin where he ex-

perimented with the use of a thin concrete shell for its roof. Most of the churches featured have significant historic value. The church in Dipolog City in the province of Zamboanga Del Norte, which was built in 1895 boasts of an altar designed by Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero. Another church located 15 kilometers from Dipolog is the Church of St. James in Dapitan. A marker identifies the spot where Rizal stood when he heard Mass every Sunday during his exile from 1892 to 1896. The book identifies significant churches in all regions of the country. Shown on the book’s cover is the famous Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte. Named the Church of St. Agustine, this is the town’s most notable landmark, with its Aztec-like structure that is situated near the banks of the Wawa River. The church is an example of “Philippine Earthquake Baroque” architecture and has been declared a National Cultural Treasure and is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1994. Its thick coral block walls (1.67 meters thick) were covered with

bricks and sealed with a hard lime mortar mixed with sugar cane juice. In Central Luzon, the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, was the site of the Revolutionary Congress and the venue for the inauguration of the short-lived First Philippine Republic, as well as the short-lived term of Joseph Estrada. Metro Manila boasts of a few historic churches, some of which were rebuilt after the war or after a major earthquake like the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian located at Plaza Del Carmen at the end of C.M. Recto Avenue in Quiapo. The structure was declared a historical landmark in 1973 and was listed as “endangered” by the World Monuments Watch, a global program of the

World Monuments Fund. It is the only all-steel church in Asia and second to the Eiffel Tower in the world. It is also the first pre-fabricated building in the world. Located on a 704 square-meter site, its central nave is 12 meters from the floor and its dome reaching up to 32 meters to the tip of the spires. The most interesting part of the book was its “Introduction” where the author provides a historical context to the churches: how these were built, influences to its architectural style, and the impact of the local climate (and regularity of earthquakes and typhoons). The author describes how the church hierarchy in Spain during that time systematized the process of evangelization: they divided the Philippines into zones of influence and assigned these to five different religious orders. The Agustinians arrived in 1565 with the conquistadores, followed by the Franciscans in 1578, followed by the Jesuits in 1581. The Dominicans came in 1587 while the Augustinian-Recollects (a reformed and stricter branch of the Agustinians) arrived in 1606. The Spanish missions created by the orders followed a certain pattern (called Ortho-

dox Mexican Model) and consists of a church, the convent, the bell tower and the atrium. Eventually the atrium evolved into the now familiar town plaza. Four Philippine churches are on the UNESCO World Heritage List: The Miagao Church in Iloilo, the church in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, the San Agustin Church in Intramurous, Manila and the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte (as shown on the book’s cover). These churches are recognized as fusions of European Baroque as interpreted by Chinese and Filipino craftsmen. In addition to this four notable structures, the National Museum honored 26 other Spanish-era churches as National Cultural Treasures. For those doing a road trip in the Philippines, reading up on these notable churches before you plan your itinerary is recommended. Each town has an edifice dedicated to worship—and most likely it will be a historic structure worth your time to visit and will also be an experience to satisfy your five senses. ROSE CRUZ CHURMA established a career in architecture 40 years ago, specializing in judicial facilities planning. As a retired architect, she now has the time to do the things she always wanted to do: read books and write about them, as well as encourage others to write.

(PERRYSCOPE: Is Bongbong....from page 10)

of conduct laid down by Machiavelli specifically: marked by cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics. Wikipedia defines Machiavellian as a personality trait centered on manipulativeness, callousness, and indifference to morality, which is more akin to the personality of Marcos Sr. Those who exhibit high levels of Machiavellianism show signs of interpersonal manipulation, such as “the use of flattery and deceit, as well as by aloof, cynical, and traditionally amoral viewpoints adopted in order to promote their own goals/interests,” according to a 2013 study on the personality trait.

Machiavellian comes from the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), the author of the most famous treatise on bare-knuckled politics ever published, The Prince.

Troll Farm Bongbong’s use of an “army of trolls”—which he admitted—to win the election was another example of Machiavellianism. A YouTube video recently surfaced in which Bongbong admitted using a “troll army”— thousands—in his campaign to “keep political fortunes alive.” Then he changed his tune, claiming that his support base on social media is “or-

ganic.” He dared those who claim that he has troll farms to show evidence.”I have never had a troll farm,” he said. But his YouTube confession has already gone viral! A Filipino-American group called US Filipinos for Good Governance (USFGG) launched a website called Troll Exposer that identified 102 trolls using public data and artificial intelligence. The site collected extensive evidence of how those accounts coordinate with each other, sharing the same propaganda that berates Robredo’s intelligence, downplays her accomplishments, and tags her as a communist sympathizer. (continue on page 15)


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  13

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

Finally Free? By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

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fter more than two years of being stuck and quarantined because of the pandemic, borders have started to open, flights are getting booked, airports are becoming crowded and tourism is starting to flourish again. At the beginning of June, South Korea finally welcomed tourists back. The streets of Myeongdong, a famous shopping area, which became a ghost town during the pandemic, are now teeming with people again. Hongik University, which became quiet, is once more filled with street performers, entertaining tourists, and locals alike. People walking the streets is a sight to behold and

the sound of music and chatting, albeit mouths still covered with masks, is music to the ears. Have we finally been set free from the clutches of the pandemic? Not yet. The number of cases here in South Korea is still in the thousands by the day and many countries are still recording thousands of new cases but I must say, we have learned to live and cope with it. The virus is still lurking but the fear it causes has lost its grip. We made it through the darkest part of the tunnel. We haven’t got out of it yet, but flickers of light are breaking through. Humanity has survived one of its greatest battles yet,

but we are still picking up its remnants. The war isn’t over yet. In fact, it will be a long journey to recovery, but we are taking it one day at a time. Our family started to attend church services and gatherings. Friends and relatives have booked flights to come over. We have booked weeklong stays in some of the famous tourist spots in the country. Just recently, we rode the plane for the very first time since the pandemic and flew to Jeju Island to attend a conference and for a time of

rest and recreation. Even on Facebook and Instagram, I see many of my friends enjoying the beach, flying to another country, and enjoying a reunion with family and friends. We are slowly gaining our lives back. We are starting to have a sense of normalcy. We are moving on. Yes, we are moving on but not without the lessons we have learned from the pandemic. Some people will have to move on carrying the pain of losing their loved ones. Some will have to face a new day, starting from scratch because the pandemic has taken away their resources. We will all have to move on with a fresh perspective on life with more gratitude for the gift of fresh air, for our lungs that help us breathe, and for our hearts

that continue to beat; with a deeper appreciation for the people we love and care about; with greater consciousness about the futility and brevity of our life on earth. Just recently, we celebrated the 124th Philippine Independence Day. We remember how we, as a nation, have been set free from colonization and oppression. With what we’ve been through during the pandemic, freedom has taken on a deeper meaning. We have been taken captive by an unseen enemy and it has wounded us in unimaginable ways. But as always, by God’s grace, we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9). Freedom is sweeter this time around. 

preme Court. She was crying for our democracy. “If feels like a betrayal,” she told NBC News. “It feels like my country doesn’t love me and appreciate my body as a woman…I can’t say anything except that it hurts.” A young woman’s tears were all the evidence one needs. Something’s out of balance in our country that’s more divided than ever. Sad-

ly, as the US becomes more like the Philippines, that’s nothing to celebrate.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Overturning Roe....from page 8)

word isn’t in the Constitution. Legally, you can argue that. But since 1973 when Roe was decided, that argument lost to issues of privacy and personal choice, matters upheld not by the word “abortion” in our Constitution, but by the presence of the 14th Amendment, which reads in part “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” As President Biden said to the nation, Roe v. Wade was the law of the land for the lifetime of many Americans today. When it became law, Roe was a 7-2 decision written by a justice appointed by Nixon,. For nearly five decades it was upheld by a majority of judges appointed by mostly Republican presidents. And now it’s undone by three Trump appointees, two of whom appear to have lied under oath in confirmation hearings when they said they respected precedent, specif-

ically when it came to decades-long rulings like Roe. Little lies? Add it to the Big Lie, and if you thought our democracy was hanging by some dental floss, it’s even worse today. But now there are real consequences of women’s lives, their health and safety. California, where the majority of Asian Americans live, should be fine, but what of those states with big AAPI communities like Texas? What about those with restricted means who may have to travel to seek an abortion? And what about states that may seek to criminalize those seeking an abortion or even those who aid them? And then since the court has other issues on the agenda, what are we to make of Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion where he boldly states “[We] should reconsider all of the Court’s substantive due process precedents.” Specifically, he means laws on contraception, LGBTQ equality, and same-sex marriage. It’s a lifetime appointment, after all. Maybe he wants to overturn every bit of social justice good that has happened

in a lifetime. What’s the way out? There has been talk about making the court bigger. It used to be called “packing the court.” But in truth, the Republicans of the last 20 years have done it better than anyone else. No, overturning Roe is something that requires a real check. If the court insists on being a political player and not an impartial arbiter, then maybe it’s time to consider things like “term limits.” In the meantime, the Court has lost a sense of itself and its adherence to legal precedents. Laws aren’t about laws. It’s about judges. It’s nine personalities now, six of them far too conservative for where this country is now. The ruling shows the Court is far too prone to the political, maybe to the point of autocracy. Or, considering the religious bent of the three Trump justices, theocracy? But that’s why we the founders came to America. We are in a different democracy now than we’re used to. On the TV news, I saw a young Asian American woman interviewed outside the Su-

EMIL GUILLERMO is a journalist and commentator. He writes a column for the Inquirer’s North American Bureau. He talks about this column and other matters on “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” my micro-talk show. Live @2p Pacific. Livestream on Facebook; my YouTube channel; and Twitter. Catch the recordings on www.amok.com.


14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JULY 2, 2022

PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE

Kantaniw Ken Dallang Iti Panawen Iti Panagpasubli ILOKO By Amado I. Yoro

Awan manen ti sumnek a turog

Ikur-itko met ti dallang Ti pammasubli dagiti nagpauyo A regta, dagiti nagpanaw a pia Ken karadkad Insangpet ti damsak…

Ita, ita a rabii, kadagiti di makaturog a kaltaang iti Ewa Beach, ket padasek nga ikur-it ti malmaldaang a daniw.

Agsangitak, wen, agsangitak Kadagiti sililimed a saning-i Dagiti diak maibalikas a panagdung-aw Urayek nga agukrad ti sabong Iti parbangon Agdanggay ti kanta ken daniw Ti dung-aw ken dallang Iti panawen iti panagurayko kenka Nga agsubli Cielo Alma Iti kasisigudmo a sika, a sika

Iti kanito iti panagpasungad Panagsubli ti musa dagiti balikas Iti irair dagiti rabii Malagipko manen kanta Echo o, morning dews Allangogan, linnaaw iti agsapa Agsublika Kadin kanito ti panagpartuat kadagiti linabag a nabiag

Daydi sika kadagiti naglasatanta a Limapulo ket uppat nga Abril Dagiti nagdanggay a rikna Iti amin a panawen, iti amin A dalluyon Dagiti linasatta a taaw Sika, sika ti agnanayon nga ur-urayek Uray napno iti kettang ken puyat Dagiti saan a matmaturog a rabiik Ditoy nagsulian Imeng daytoy nagkul-ob a daan A balay a duata a nangbangon Ken nangipasdek iti naglantip Nga ayat Agsublikan, perngek ti kinaasinok Kadagiti matam Kailiwko ti tarnaw Ket matukodko ti ayat Daydi umuna a panagdaton.

(COVER STORY : Top Democratic....from page 7)

residents are being pushed to their limits. I believe by diversifying our economy, investing in emerging sectors, and focusing on the workforce development of our local people, we can begin to shift our local economies away from being so tourism dependent. We can implement green fees and

reservations systems to mitigate and offset environmental damage. I am also proud that for the first time in our state history, Native Hawaiians will be taking the lead in deciding how Hawai‘i is marketed to the public. HFC: Many have said Hawaii

has a “play to pay” culture with regard to state government. Recently the corruption case against two Hawaii legislators have shaken public trust in government. How can you restore public trust in the business of government? KAHELE: I launched my campaign with a 10 point plan to reform how campaigns are conducted in our state. I am proposing we supercharge public campaign financing, lower campaign contribution

limits, cap campaign accounts across election cycles, prohibit corporate and union contributions, regulate bundling, ban in-session contributions, and institute term limits at the State Legislature. These steps will greatly increase our electorate’s ability to ensure their democratic vision for Hawaii is represented in our elected officials. HFC: Climate change is obviously real. Hawaii depends on its natural beauty to draw in tourists. What are your plans for preserving Hawaii’s environment and sustainability (two issues, but related)? KAHELE: Caring for our whole environment - our ʻaina, oceans, and coasts - is part of our culture. We must continue to take strides to ensure that critical parts of our environment are protected and conserved. I will continue the momentum of the state in conserving 30% of our coasts by 2030. I will also address environmental and watershed health across the entire pae ʻaina by working with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to address ungulate control and invasive species. Finally, to care for our whole environment, we must commit to generating 100% or our energy through clean, renewable means, on the fastest timeline possible. There is no time to waste. Our state has the opportunity to be recognized as a worldwide pioneer in the field

of renewable energy, while at the same time benefiting our local communities and ensuring energy security across our future. HFC: What areas not mentioned above you would like to address that will be important in your administration? KAHELE: As a combat veteran pilot and officer in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard, I will bring unique experiences & skill sets to the Office of the Governor. The United States and the Philippines have always had a strong relationship and partnership. With the new President Marcos, I want to cultivate that relationship and work together so our military & economic alliances remain strong. As an airline pilot with Hawaiian Airlines, I know how important air transportation is between Hawaiʻi and the Philippines. As your Governor I will work on re-establishing direct service between Honolulu and Manila in my first term. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? KAHELE: This election is about our families. I am blessed to have a Filipina wife (Maria Gorospe) who was born in Baguio and we have two Filipina daughters. My mother-in-law Eleanor is from Aparri in Cagayan & through this marriage we have a strong, vibrant, and loving Hawaiian & Filipino family.


JULY 2, 2022  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  15

COMMUNITY CALENDAR 50TH STATE FAIR | E.K. Fernandez | Until July 4 | Lower Halawa Lot, Aloha Stadium | After a two-year break, the Hawaii State Fair is now back! The state fair is filled with awesome rides, live shows, and food stalls. Tickets start at $3. To view the event’s full schedule, visit alohastadium.hawaii.gov/main/ the-50th-state-fair/.

2022 BAYANIHAN GALA | Filipino Community Center | July 23 at 5:30pm | Coral Ballroom, Hilton Hawaiian Village | The Filipino Community Center (FCC) celebrates its 20th anniversary by honoring extraordinary individuals who served the Filipino community in Hawaii and the Philippines. Tickets starts at $500. For more information, con-

tact FCC at (808) 680-0451 or at filcom@filcom.org. 52ND ANNUAL UKULELE FESTIVAL HAWAII | Hawaii Tourism Authority | July 17 at 7-8pm | Virtual | The world’s first and original ukulele festival returns for another virtual celebration filled with performances, giveaways and auction. The event is free. For more info, visit ukulelefestivalhawaii.org.

PHILIPPINE NEWS

Diplomatic Corps Wishes Marcos Presidency Well

By Alexis Romero Friday, July 1, 2022

M

ANILA, Philippines — Members of the diplomatic community yesterday vowed to cooperate with the administration of President Marcos and expressed hope that his government would achieve its aspirations. Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown said Filipinos have placed their trust and their hopes for a prosperous, safe, equitable, and just future in Marcos. “I know that I speak for all the diplomats gathered here with you this afternoon when I say that we, too, in the international community harbor the same hopes for your presidency and for your nation. And that we pledge our cooperation and collaboration with your administration in achieving the success of your mandate,” Brown said during the vin d’ honneur, a formal reception for diplomats, held after presidential inauguration at the National Museum in Manila. “There will certainly be

challenges as there are for every administration. But, Mr. President, you bring to the Office of the Presidency an extensive experience of many years in governmental service and your call for unity has resonated deeply and widely with the Filipino people,” he added. The papal nuncio, the dean of the diplomatic corps, said Marcos began his term as president with “a strong note of hope and confidence in the future.” “May God bless that future and make it fruitful for the good of the nation,” Brown said. Marcos thanked members of the diplomatic corps for their kind wishes and for their offer to support the Philippines in the future. The President said the transformation of the world economy and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic would be dependent on the Philippines’ partners and allies. Such partnerships would strengthen recovery and would make a more balanced and stable new global environment, he added.

“And I cannot think of a most – of a better beginning to a new administration than to be able to have determined the partnerships and strengthen the relationships between our countries. And that is something that we will work with very, very clearly,” Marcos said. “We have seen and it has been proven to us very clearly in the past weeks and months, how interconnected the world is now, how interconnected the econo-

mies are, how interconnected the political systems are, how interconnected even our cultural and educational relationships are,” he added. Marcos said he was struck by the importance that other countries have given on climate change, noting that all the envoys he has met with have offered help in terms of mitigation and adaptation to the phenomenon. “It is something that is ter-

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Maui’s Binhi At Ani Org to Launch Summer Program

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n June 27, Binhi At Ani launched its new summer program called “Summer at Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center.” The variety of classes at the summer program are offerred for free until July 27. “The purpose of the Summer at Binhi at Ani program is to provide activities during the summer, especially for youth,” says president Melem Agcolicol. The free classes open for registration are: Voice Lessons by Angelina Abapo (Mondays, 5-6pm), Ballroom Dancing for High School Seniors and Older by Jeffry and Lydia Dela Cruz (Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm), Philippine Cultural Dance (Wednesdays, 4:30-6pm) and Escrima (Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30pm) by Madelyne Pascua, Art Classes for Youth by Philip Sabado (Thursdays, 4:30-6:30pm), and BINGO for Seniors (Mondays, from 6:30pm). To register, email your name, phone number and class name to binhiatani@gmail.com

(PERRYSCOPE: Is Bongbong....from page 12)

Foreign Policy Bongbong’s lack of “foreign policy” initiatives on his official website are causing uneasiness among international community observers. He didn’t have a position on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) territorial disputes. He seems to be ambivalent on where to stand. One thing for sure, he’s been vocally supportive of China. He calls China a “good friend” and the Philippines’ “strongest partner” and at the same time maintained that he would implement an “independent foreign policy,” which amounts to nothing more than posturing. Wait until China starts dangling infrastructure loans for the various projects that Bongbong has in mind. Wait until Chinese fishing ships start swarming in the West Philippine Sea. Wait until killer typhoons inundate the Phil-

ribly important simply because for the Philippines, we are very much in the most vulnerable position... compared to many other countries. So I thank you all for that,” the President said. Marcos, his wife Liza Araneta-Marcos and their children Ferdinand Alexander, Joseph Simon and William Vincent greeted the guests from the diplomatic community who attended the inaugural ceremony. (www.philstar.com)

ippines’ towns and we need humanitarian assistance. Wait until the Chinese Navy starts shooting at Philippine fishing boats in the Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands. Wait until Chinese drug lords increase their smuggling operations in the country. Wait until China moves to take over the mining industry in the Philippines. Wait until the Philippines falls into a Chinese debt trap. The loans that China gave to fund Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” projects will soon be due. With the Philippines’ debt-toGDP ratio above 60% right now, the country needs to grow between 6% and 7% on a sustainable basis, which is hard to achieve under the dire economic situation. The Marcos Jr. administration would be forced to raise taxes, defer tax reductions, and repeal certain tax exemptions to reduce

the anticipated huge deficits. And it would certainly help a little bit if the Marcos family would pay off their P203-billion tax liability. How does Bongbong expect the people to pay their taxes if their president refuses to pay the taxes his family owed? Right now, the Philippines’ economic troubles are immense. Is the Philippines ready to put as collateral its sovereignty like what’s happening to Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Malaysia, and several others who had fallen prey to China’s debt trap diplomacy? The numbers are getting there. It’s just a matter of time. And once again, Bongbong will have to deal with Xi Jinping, the grand master of Machiavellianism. PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.

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JULY 2, 2022