AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 1
AUGUST 6, 2022
What U.S. Filipino Voters Think; And If the Walis Tambo Man Goes Down..... PRIMARY ELECTION: AUGUST 13
GO OUT AND VOTE!
Obiena Earns First-Ever WCH Medal For The Philippines
The Myth of The Yamashita and Tallano Gold
2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
The LG Race is Competitive and Diverse – This is a Plus for Hawaii Voters
awaii’s Office of the Lieutenant Governor is tasked with a few important responsibilities but ultimately the Lt. Governor’s role is largely dependent on – how expansive a role he or she plays -- what the Governor decides to appoint the Lt. Governor to do. The Lt. Gov does not affect legislation by vote directly as a state senator or representative. And unlike in the federal level wherein the vice president presides over the U.S. Senate, the Lt. Governor of Hawaii (assistant chief executive) does not have that power to preside over the State Senate. The Lt. Governor’s primary function is to become Acting Governor upon the absence of the Governor from the State. Based on the official structure of the Office of LG, this position is very limiting and not glamorous by any stretch in terms of actualization of real political power, especially if the governor has little faith in an LG to assign anything of substance. And we know this has happened in the past with past administrations. But an active LG could play a very pivotal role if the LG has a specific skill set or background the governor could utilize, for example, how Lt. Gov. Josh Green, as a medical doctor, was given extensive executive responsibilities in handling the state’s public health response to COVID-19 during the high point of the pandemic. It also helped that Green was a former senator and knew the process and legislators. Who has the ideal skill set to tackle our most pressing issues? The golden question then is which candidate for Lt. Governor has the most ideal set of skills to aid our top chief executive in government? Relatedly, what are the top and most pressing issues facing our state that the next AG is best skilled at to improve on these issues? If we believe economic recovery and diversifying our economy is at the top of priorities, perhaps someone with a solid private sector background in business could be the best match for the position, which would give an edge over the others to CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Sherry Menor-McNamara and business executive Keith Amemiya. But we also know that government is not run like a business and government’s hand at boosting our economy and especially providing a conducive environment for an industry like agriculture or renewable energy, etc. to succeed actually require an LG with the legislative background and know-how to work with the governor and legislators to craft creative bills to get things done. The candidates with the highest degree of legislative experience (a skill set) is clearly first State House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, and followed by former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson who has done much of the same (in process but with smaller jurisdiction, some issues are just specific to counties) at Hawaii’s largest county. Another top issue facing the state – some could argue that it’s the number one issue to tackle – is improving the state’s housing crisis. While the state has accomplished much in this area and market forces ultimately is the main driver (demand exceeding supply), the conventional thought is that the state hasn’t’ been doing enough as real estate prices and rent keep skyrocketing and increasingly more local residents find themselves pushed out of the buyers and rental markets and resort to leaving the islands. Again, Luke is the candidate with the know-how to get a better handle on the state’s housing crunch. But all three of the top Democratic party candidates – Amemiya, Anderson, Menor-McNamara – could fairly argue that Luke as a powerbroker for the state for many years, had not prioritize enough housing for it to mushroom into today’s crisis. And that they (each one of them) better understand the urgency to work with the governor to finally address this situation. Who is ready to step in as Governor? And the stepping stone concept. The LG is traditionally looked upon as “Governor-in-training” as the LG serves the role as the bridge between legislators, the public, federal representatives (collectively) and the governor. In a way, the voting public accepts this idea that the LG is there
FROM THE PUBLISHER
e are pleased to present our fourth consecutive issue covering Hawaii’s election. Already we’ve done extensive coverage on the race for Hawaii’s Congressional Districts 1 and 2, the Governor’s race, and Filipino-American candidates running for public office. (See our HFC website thefilipinochronicle.com for more details.) For our cover story this issue we feature the top Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor. As HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports based on a recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii poll the top three candidates are in a dead heat. House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, former mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya and former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson are essentially tied. But with 38% of the electorate still undecided, a huge bulk, last place candidate in polling Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, can still mount a comeback, especially if she continues an aggressive campaign as seen in her last televised debate. Preceding our Q&A in the cover story (as well as in our first editorial) in which the top four candidates share their platform with our Filipino community -- we have an analysis on the limited statutory power of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the situations in which the LG can be very influential, the historical stepping stone potential of the LG, and the strongpoints each of the top candidates have and where their specific skill set could best be utilized. It’s most likely that Hawaii voters haven’t processed who to vote for in the LG race and had been focusing on the Governor’s contest. To the average voter, arguably the candidate with the highest name recognition is someone who hadn’t served in public office in Amemiya. His recent mayoral bid has spiked his profile. Luke is that behind-the-scenes power broker not widely known beyond politicos. The same could be said of Anderson who has less recognition even than Luke on the neighbor islands. Menor-McNamara, the only candidate from a neighbor island, with the least familiarity – actually has the highest potential for growth in the last stages of this race. Her poor showing in the Star-Advertiser poll could very well be attributed to her not getting her name and platform known. On to national elections, HFC columnist Emil Guillermo reports on the Asian American Voter Survey (comes out every two years) which has a large sampling of Filipino-American voters among other Asians. The survey shows of Asian American voters who intend to vote in November for House of Representatives races, 52% of Filipinos say they will vote Democrat and 23% say Republican. In Senate races, it’s 50% Democrat and 32% Republican. This is an interesting snapshot of where our Filipino community is at this very moment in their political inclination. Also political-oriented, HFC’s Senaca Moraleda-Puguan gives us an international perspective in her article “Coping with Climate Change,” an increasingly significant issue among voters worldwide as extreme weather conditions with more frequency and intensity are causing havoc. Lastly, HFC contributor Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand gives us a news feature “Obiena Earns First-Ever WCH Medal for the Philippines.” Be sure to read our other interesting columns and news. Hawaii voters must remember that ballots (signed) must be received at your county office by 7 p.m. on Sat, August 13 (primary election day). For in-person voting, Voter Service Centers are already open. Please remember to vote. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!
Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.
Publisher & Managing Editor
Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo
Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.
Photography Tim Llena
Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad
Editorial & Production Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga
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.
Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro
Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia
Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors
Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko
Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
to shadow the top executive and could be ready “one day” (not necessarily immediately) to be a governor. Voters – perhaps more so in the distant past – believe in this stepping stone precedent and have elected Governors who first served as Lieutenant Governor: George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, and in this 2022 election potentially Josh Green or Duke Aiona. Within the Democratic party, some actually still believe in this (continue on page 3)
Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 3
Vote for Bolstering Democracy this Midterm Election
t’s been said inflation is on the ballot. Roe is on the ballot. The midterm has healthcare, student loan forgiveness, affordable housing, climate change on the ballot. How about this one, Trump is on the ballot vis-à-vis his anointed candidates who are still pushing the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. And each time should any one of these “fact deniers” win – how can this not be interpreted as a loss for democracy and a victory for resurrecting Trump, the autocrat for 2024.
Saving Democracy, that is on the ballot, too In the mix of voters top reasons to go to the polls in 2022, along with the economy, business, social services and other weighty issues, Americans must also consider this election saving democracy from further decline. Here are just a few of the troubling trends concerning the weakening of democracy in the U.S. -- some that preceded Trump, and others directly caused by Trump. • Anti-democratic crusaders are still out there. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) said, “The forces Donald Trump ignited that day have not gone away. The militant,
intolerant ideologies, the militias, the alienation and the disaffection, the weird fantasies and disinformation — they’re all still out there, ready to go. That’s the elephant in the room.” partisan gerrymandering voter suppression, partisan attempts and success to adopt state laws that make it more difficult to vote excessive influence of special interest groups in politics via lobbying and campaign donations politicians who undermine democracy by the spread of disinformation put out by right-wing media and disreputable social media sources threats against office holders from governors to state legislators to elections workers the non-prosecution of public office holders who were involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection that could encourage future collaborative attempts at threatening government’s stability politicization of key positions in state and federal offices from the judiciary (as high as SCOTUS) to the new drive of Stop the Steal believers running for election posts that oversee elections and its certification. laws that undermine free-
dom of assembly, the right to protest. • laws that attempt to restrict teachers from teaching topics on race and other controversial subjects, as well as laws that limit students access to certain books. • a new development has promoters of the big lie claiming that county sheriffs can access voting machines and intervene in how elections are run, which would basically give unchecked power to counties in elections. Wherever freedoms are being stripped or weakened -- from civil rights to voting rights to long-held precedent rights such as abortion – these are all signs of democracy slipping in our country. And as American voters, we must assess who is working and willing to undermine freedom and democracy for partisan gain, and vote against these anti-democratic crusaders.
not, ideally voters shouldn’t be picking the next Lieutenant Governor based on who could potentially be the next Governor, who is almost ready, but not there yet. There are simply too many urgent issues that must be taken care of right now. Instead, voters should be electing the candidate who is most ready to step in as the top executive of the state at this very moment.
could appear to many voters as too niche, appealing to mostly our business sector. We see the same situation playing out in the governor’s race with candidate Vicky Cayetano. But unlike Menor-McNamara, Cayetano has name recognition, but is seen by many as a niche candidate. But both their candidacies, however the race ends up, are critical to the Democratic party as one of diversity and inclusion. As Rick Blangiardi was able to accomplish at the county level, there should always be a possibility (not necessarily a recommendation) that a non-career politician could lead the state. This keeps career politicians on their heels and makes for the most competitive environment to find the best candidate. The LGs race is turning out to be the most competitive and exciting race this year. We encourage our community to participate in the elections process and vote. It’s imperative that our votes count and our voice be heard!
Two startling polls related to democracy at risk Besides policies and fringe groups that threaten democracy’s vitality, we see public opinion on democracy is also changing. Two recent independent surveys were recently released that show alarming signs of U.S. democracy at risk. The first survey conducted
(The LG Race ....from page 2)
hush understanding that this is the actual protocol, to “wait” for your turn and, pay your dues, become LG and the party will be behind you in full force to run as governor after serving as LG. This appears to be the case and playing out right now in Green’s candidacy with him having the lion’s share of support financially and most of the endorsements. The last three governors – Linda Lingle, Neil Abercrombie, David Ige – have broken this tradition and were not LGs. In Neil Abercrombie’s case, the immediate prior LG was a Republican in Aiona so this pattern of serving first as LG was an impossibility. It was actually David Ige who was the first and only Democrat in modern history who did not serve first as LG before becoming governor and the first (successful attempt, there were others who tried) to break this “wait-for-your-turn” precedent. Whether or not the stepping stone concept still holds true or
On candidates diversity and the possibility of an outsider governor Hawaii voters are fortunate to have several strong and diverse candidates running for Lieutenant Governor this election cycle. The latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll showing three of the top candidates – Amemiya, Anderson, Luke – in a virtual tie reflects the quality of candidates . The last place candidate – Menor-McNamara – arguably is top tier as well, but does not have the name recognition as the others, and
by researchers at UC Davis of 9,000 people representing a cross section of Americans across the nation found: 67.2% said they believe there is a serious threat to our democracy, while 50.1% said they believed there would be a civil war in the United States over the next several years. The study also found that 42.4% of people said that having a strong leader for America was more important than having a democracy. 18.7% of those polled agreed strongly or very strongly that violence or force is needed to protect American democracy when elected leaders will not. 20.5% think that political violence is at least sometimes justifiable in general, and 12.2% were willing to commit political violence to threaten or intimidate a person. In another survey conducted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. It found over half of its respondents agreeing that the government is “corrupt and rigged against me.” The survey of 1,000 registered voters between May 19-23 found that right-leaning respondents were more likely to agree the government is corrupt and rigged. Seventy-three percent of respondents who described themselves a “strong Republican” and 71% who identified as “very conservative” agreed with the statement. Roughly twothirds of both Republicans and independents along with 68% of rural voters thought the govern-
ment is corrupt and rigged. Both of these surveys, again both conducted independently by academic institutions, raise real concerns for the level of diminishing support for democracy as well as distrust of government in the U.S. A stronger democracy must be restored Voters must not forget the brazen intimidation by armed militia at the foot of a few state capitol buildings just a few years ago. That was clearly attempts at mob rule. The Jan. 6 riot must not be forgotten, again an attempt at mob rule. Nor the authoritarian power grab by Trump who attempted to stay in power against the will of the majority of voters. Or that martial law and seizing election machines were all in discussion by Trump enablers – two grossly and dangerously anti-democratic actions. While there certainly are many pressing issues to consider this election, we must ask ourselves what would any of those issues be like without a stable democracy. Recent history gives us a clue. Americans must reverse the erosion to democracy which has quickly accelerated since 2016. We must restore public trust in our government, institutions and democratic principles. We must restore the elections process and integrity. We must vote for democracy and those who will uphold the rule of law.
4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
It’s Anyone’s Race to Win; Top Democratic Lt. Gov. Candidates Appeal to Hawaii’s Filipino Voters for Razor-thin Victory by Edwin Quinabo
ompetitive. Unpredictable. Hawaii’s Democratic party’s Lieutenant Governor race is the one to watch this election cycle. Early this year State House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke received the lion’s share of the early buzz for LG, taking out filing papers the earliest among the top candidates and appeared poised as the clear frontrunner, at least to government insiders and politicos. But a recent Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hawaii poll shows the top three candidates are in a dead heat. Luke led the poll with 21%, followed by former mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya (19%) and former Honolulu City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson (18%). Thirty-eight percent are undecided which still leaves a statistical Hail Mary for Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO and president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, who trailed with 4%. The poll has 5.6% margin of error. The crowded field of candidates actually slimmed out as former state senator Jill Tokuda (took out papers, but did not file) and former state senator and Honolulu City Council member Ron Menor (reportedly interested in the race) have both decided to run for other public office. A plus for voters, this field has a solid diversity: two career politicians (both with experience as true power brokers) in Luke and Anderson, a private-sector and public-sector executive (but never held public office) in Amemiya, and a powerful lobbyist for Hawaii’s small business sector in Menor-McNamara. Voters will have the option to vote for more of the same type of leadership in government (since both Luke and Anderson actually held leadership roles) or voters can go with one of the two newcomers hammering the mantra for new leadership, but at the same time, who have been semi-peripheral influencers for quite a while in Hawaii’s tight-knit, networked elite. Amemiya and Menor-McNamara are not exactly outsiders as they are impressing upon the voting public, which actually could be beneficial to not be completely green to politics, voters might think. Traditionally the lieutenant governor’s of-
fice has been a stepping stone office. The obvious trends have been set by George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Mazie Hirono, Ben Cayetano, Brian Schatz and what could be the state’s next governor Josh Green or Duke Aiona. There also have been dead ends in the LG post –the most recent example is Shan Tsutsui who had a rocky relationship with Gov. David Ige which led to the former’s ultimate resignation. More recently the LG Office’s has had successful alumnus – in what could typically be characterized as an assistant-executive-type position – in Shatz and Green, particularly for Green whose medical background as a physician made his expertise particularly useful during the pandemic’s high point. Likewise in theory, during this phase of economic recovery from the pandemic, Amemiya and more so, Menor-McNamara, arguably more than other candidates could offer a specialized skill set in business most suited to aid the next governor. But economic recovery and renewed calls for diversifying the state’s economy is but one among other crisis-level issues high among voters wish-list of priorities. The other is the need for more affordable housing. In a 2022 CNBC’s exclusive America’s Top States for Business study, Hawaii came in at number one in the nation as the most expensive state to live. It lists the average home price (Honolulu) at $1,399.439. According to another study by Finder, Hawaii is the most expensive state in terms of energy bills. The average monthly energy bill for the Aloha State is $321 which equals to $3,856 a year. But housing (in mortgage and rent) requires the vast bulk of Hawaii residents’ monthly expenses, which could explain both Amemiya and Anderson’s high placement in the Star-Advertiser poll with the two making the issue as the centerpiece of their candidacy. Amemiya is pushing his Housing for All Plan (assessing zoning regulations, providing funds to subsidize infrastructure development, looking at green taxes) and Anderson repeatedly talks about building workforce housing on state-owned land and kauhale (tiny homes) villages to shelter the homeless populations across the state. While Luke also prioritizes housing, her plan is harder to sell as a long-time office
holder at the highest echelon of policy-making. In fairness to Luke, the average voters aren’t aware of all the state’s accomplishments (of which Luke is largely responsible for) in housing. And their belief that considerably more needs to get done would actually entail rigid government intervention into market forces. Luke is calling for more housing innovative approaches to defray construction costs of homes and providing loans to developers. Menor-McNamara, on housing, supports a rent-to-own program, repurposing existing and underutilized commercial and state buildings, controlling constructions costs, and establishing a self-sufficiency program to help those in public housing to transition to affordable housing. On diversifying the economy, all the top Democratic party candidates are emphasizing the viability and need to bolster the state’s agriculture industry. Amemiya points to the urgency (as shown by the pandemic) for Hawaii to become more self-reliant in food production. Luke mentions creating food hubs to act as distribution networks on behalf of farmers. For Menor-McNamara, strengthening agriculture is one part of her overall sustainable economic recovery plan. Anderson says the state should make agriculture a CORE service and to treat it as such. Find out more on the candidates plans in our cover story. There are many candidates in the Democratic party primary election for Lieutenant Governor. But for the following Q&A, the HFC editorial board narrowed our coverage to the top four: Amemiya, Anderson, Luke and Menor-McNamara. The Q&A has been edited for space and clarity.
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 5
COVER STORY (It’s Anyone’s....from page 4)
CANDIDATES Q&A KEITH AMEMIYA
BACKGROUND/REASON FOR RUNNING
AMEMIYA: In listening to communities across Hawaiʻi, we all deserve someone we can trust and who will fight for our families and our future. I want to change the status quo by putting our local families first. Growing up, although life was not always easy for my family, I had a lot of opportunities, and I believe I owe it to my community to give others the same opportunities I had. As a business leader, I worked to bridge gaps with communities. I worked to address long-standing problems, increased funding and access for rural communities, and partnered with Marcus Mariota and Carissa Moore to keep our families fed during the pandemic. I’m running because our families work hard for their kids to have a better life, and we need leaders in government that will do the same. I believe with my passion and experience, I can be that leader for Hawaiʻi. HFC: Many believe the role of Lt. Governor can be more impactful. We’ve seen this recently in the working relationship between Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green with regard to addressing the pandemic. Lt. Gov. was given major responsibilities in public health’s response to COVID-19. As Lt. Governor, what role do you see yourself having? Is there a specific area you would want the governor to have you spearhead on his or her behalf? AMEMIYA: We have to get the cost of living under control - too many of our families are having to leave every year. First: we need to tackle our affordable housing crisis. The Lieutenant Governor’s office is an office of opportunity. I will work with the Governor to empower our office around affordable housing and dedicate staff and resources to work with statewide initiatives, partner with counties to streamline processes, and make land and infrastructure available. Former Lieutenant Governor Schatz developed a team to pursue federal funding, something we should reconstitute to secure the billions needed for our state. HFC: We’ve been hearing from voters, our communities, and politicians themselves of the need to work on the housing crisis that include unaffordable real estate, super high rentals, as well as inventory shortage. How would you improve our housing crisis? AMEMIYA: Without a doubt, this will be the major challenge of the incoming administration. If elected, I am committed to bringing together public and private networks to commit true time and resources. The challenges in addressing affordable housing over the past few decades has not been one of a lack of innovative ideas or necessary resources - it has been a failure of political will to dedicate the needed time and funding to execute. One important responsibility will be to plan for and execute the $600 million that was allocated in 2022 to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. This is not just about long-standing commitments to the Hawaiian community - every single home that is built
by DHHL is one that is affordable and used to house a local family. This is not only good for our Hawaiian community but for all of Hawaiʻi. My Housing for All Plan takes a comprehensive look while identifying key next steps that can quickly move us in the direction of building homes. For example, the state needs to work with the counties to ensure zoning regulations help support development for residential housing. We need to dedicate significant funds to subsidize the cost of infrastructure development for affordable housing developers. We need to identify state lands that make sense for housing our communities. We need to contemplate innovative revenue generation opportunities, including potential green taxes, to create more funding. Most importantly, we need to be pau with the reasons why “no can” and start getting it done. HFC: The pandemic has showed us that tourism must be supported by other industries. This election in particular the buzz word is diversification. Candidates have mentioned areas to build on such as high tech, agriculture, alternative energy, healthcare, etc. In New York State, we see finance as a top industry. In California, it’s high tech. Both states have a large tourism industry. Instead of mentioning all the other areas of diversification, what can Hawaii be known as to the world as an industry core besides tourism (name one, how can we build it)? AMEMIYA: There are many inspirational things happening that can each help to build exciting opportunities for Hawaiʻi’s future. The work that Hawaiʻi has done to advance its digital economy is critical in establishing new economic opportunities. Each will require the state to lean in on its digital literacy and planning to ensure a fully digitally literate workforce, bringing public and private sector partners together. Hawaiʻi can be known as a place for culture and innovation. Both film and media production as well as technology and innovation work together and have demonstrated potential that has not been fully realized. Beyond using our islands as a site for filming, there are creative tax credits that would incentivize the development of brick-and-mortar studios locally that could generate significant funds. Other cities have pivoted to make themselves attractive to production companies and have reaped the benefits. We have talented local producers and compelling stories to tell that can be part of a regenerative economy. The same can be said for using the state’s commercial and industrial holdings as potential sites for technology companies in the biotechnology and innovative technology sectors.
Utilizing creative tax credits to incentivize companies to relocate to Hawaiʻi, we can generate much needed revenue. It would also create a diverse field of new local jobs that pay competitively in industries to help keep our young people in Hawaiʻi and create more remote working opportunities so workers can spend more time with their families rather than on the road. HFC: One area that is a national trend since the pandemic is an increase in violent crimes and crimes (previously unique but have become more common) such as home invasions, street robberies and assault. Rising crime (and the fear of it) is changing our sense of Aloha in our state. What will you do to address crime? AMEMIYA: Our families thrive when our communities are safe. Much of the direct work in addressing crime is done at the County level. However, the State can support funding, including attracting federal resources, and support training, community outreach, and other proven strategies. Large vacancies in our first responders make it harder for them to do their job. The State can also help to fund social services adequately so that our Police Officers are focused on addressing crimes and not having to wear the hat of social services and healthcare providers. The State also plays an important role in ensuring that our prisons are providing adequate services, education, and support to those being released so they have housing and employment opportunities, dramatically decreasing recidivism rates. Ultimately, we have to work together across the community and government to collaborate on solutions that address root causes for our communities. (continue on page 6)
6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022 (It’s Anyone’s....from page 5)
HFC: There are so many other areas to address not mentioned above. Please use this space to address just one or two of the following issues: homelessness, bolstering small business, taxes, social services support. Or any area of your choice. AMEMIYA: Being able to house our families is at the heart of our responsibility to ensure a basic quality of life for our communities. My experience with Kahauiki Village, a public-private partnership to create housing for over 600 people who were previously houseless, including over 300 children, has made it clear to me that we can and must do more to help families exit homelessness. In addition to creating long-term housing that our families can actually afford, the state has neglected supporting the mental health needs of our community. In supporting my mother and her challenges with mental health, I have seen firsthand the lack of resources needed for individuals and families. The additional space at the Hawai’i State Hospital is a start, but we need long-term treatment facilities for our communities that don’t require someone to hurt another person before they receive care. HFC: Which gubernatorial candidate would you like to work with as his or her Lt. Governor? If you cannot commit to an answer, please tell us what is your previous working relationship with any one or all of the top Democratic candidates (since you are running as a Democrat). AMEMIYA: I have had the opportunity to work with all three Democratic candidates for Governor and believe I can be an effective complement to each. One of the things that distinguishes me from my opponents is my experience in working as an executive in both the public and private sector. My time with the UH Regents and as the head of High School Sports gave me the opportunity to understand how to move complex and important issues through government, something I believe will serve any Governor well and make me ready to tackle affordable housing challenges head on. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? AMEMIYA: I have learned from my relationships in the Filipino community the incredible importance of taking care of our families. My vision for Hawaiʻi is based upon the idea that by putting our families and our keiki first, together we will build a stronger, more just, and more sustainable Hawaiʻi.
BACKGROUND/REASONS FOR RUNNING
ANDERSON: As a former City Council member and former Chair and Presiding Officer of the Honolulu City Council, my experience as an elected executive will be invaluable in complimenting the governor to lead our state. As Council Chair, I established policies and procedures that kept Honolulu’s legislative branch of 155+ employees safe through the COVID pandemic, and excelled in making prompt decisions with available information. As an elected executive, I am ready to serve the people of Hawaii at a moment’s notice. I
COVER STORY am also running for Lt. Governor to build more workforce housing for our residents and to build more kauhale (tiny home) villages for our houseless population. HFC: Many believe the role of Lt. Governor can be more impactful. We’ve seen this recently in the working relationship between Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green with regard to addressing the pandemic. Lt. Gov. was given major responsibilities in public health’s response to COVID-19. As Lt. Governor, what role do you see yourself having? Is there a specific area you would want the governor to have you spearhead on his or her behalf? ANDERSON: My main priority as Lieutenant Governor will be to focus on the development of affordable housing for our residents. This includes building workforce housing on state-owned land and kauhale (tiny homes) villages to shelter our homeless populations across the state. HFC: We’ve been hearing from voters, our communities, and politicians themselves of the need to work on the housing crisis that include unaffordable real estate, super high rentals, as well as inventory shortage. How would you improve our housing crisis? ANDERSON: To facilitate an increased inventory of affordable housing for residents, the State should: • Review and update the definitions for affordable housing so that they are not rooted in market-based applications, which tend to work against individuals and families in the rental market whose earnings are at 60% Area Median Income (AMI) and below. • Review the existing inventory of underutilized State and county properties for potential use as sites for affordable rental housing, particularly on Oahu. • Consider alternative means of funding and building affordable housing units such as through non-profit development corporations. We must explore and consider all opportunities to offset or lower development costs. • Encourage DHHL to diversify its own mission beyond the traditional homestead model through the development of affordable rentals for Native Hawaiian beneficiaries, many of whom cannot presently afford to build and own a home. HFC: The pandemic has showed us that tourism must be supported by other industries. This election in particular the buzz word is diversification. Candidates have mentioned areas to build on such as high tech, agriculture, alternative energy, healthcare, etc. In New York State, we see finance as a top industry. In California, it’s high tech. Both states have a large tourism industry. Instead of mentioning all the other areas of diversification, what can Hawaii be known as to the world as an industry core besides tourism (name one, how can we build it)? ANDERSON: The State of Hawaii should pursue sound 21st-century agricultural policies that enhance our food security and mitigate our present overreliance on imports from the continental United States and foreign points of origin. Also, the state should consider making agriculture a CORE service and treat it as such. I have heard from farmers across the state how difficult it is to get their products to market, and we must provide the infrastructure to allow them to do so efficiently and cost effectively. It is imperative that we recommit ourselves to the support of sustainable and diversified agriculture, and to the further safeguarding of Hawaii’s most produc-
tive agricultural lands. (I would note that we presently import up to 90% of the food consumed by residents and visitors, which is potentially problematic should anything happen to disrupt our islands’ shipping lifelines. According to DBEDT, a reduction of that percentage by just ten points would redirect about $313 million per year back into the local economy.) The University of Hawaii holds great potential as an economic engine and driver for our islands. As lieutenant governor, I would urge the State to encourage this partnership with the University of Hawaii and to further consider other prospects for collaborative efforts. HFC: One area that is a national trend since the pandemic is an increase in violent crimes and crimes (previously unique but have become more common) such as home invasions, street robberies and assault. Rising crime (and the fear of it) is changing our sense of Aloha in our state. What will you do to address crime? ANDERSON: I support reforming the cash bail system here in Hawai‘i. And starting this year, with House Bill 1567, those discussions on how to reform the system were done by the legislature. That bill did pass, but was vetoed by the governor as it was not the right legislation to address this issue. I look forward as Lt. Governor to being a part of a team of leaders in Hawai‘i to look once again at reforming the cash bail system and coming up with common-sense, good legislation that will be effective for all vested parties involved with this issue. We must support our Police Department and make sure they have the resources and tools to combat crime. HFC: There are so many other areas to address not mentioned above. Please use this space to address just one or two of the following issues: homelessness, bolstering small business, taxes, social services support. Or any area of your choice. ANDERSON: While serving as Chair of the Honolulu City Council, my office partnered with Lieutenant Governor Josh Green’s office and members of the Waimanalo community to establish Hui Mahi‘ai ‘Aina, a communal village modeled on the Kauhale (tiny village) concept, which offers shelter and corresponding wrap-around services to our local homeless population. We should expand this concept across the state. As Lieutenant Governor, my office will identify stateowned lands across Hawaii where additional Kauhale are feasible, and work with the governor and local communities to establish more of these villages to service our homeless ‘ohana. HFC: Which gubernatorial candidate would you like to work with as his or her Lt. Governor? If you cannot commit to an answer, please tell us what is your previous working relationship with any one or all of the top Democratic candidates (since you are running as a Democrat). ANDERSON: I would complement all three Governor candidates as I bring experience as an elected executive to the job. As stated in the previous answer, I worked with Josh Green to build the first Kahuale (tiny homes) to the local homeless population in Waimanalo. Professionally, I know Kai Kahele through my work at the Honolulu City Council and personally know ”Kai the Fisherman” from Milolii. My grandpa and uncle worked with Governor Cayetano in the State Legislature and we have nothing but aloha for the Cayetano family.
(continue on page 8)
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 7
WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?
When Was the Last Time You Had Sex?
By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon
is a consummation, devoutly to be wished.” Shakespeare. In at least three cases, immigration officers have asked for adjustment of status applicants: “When was the last time you had sex?”
la kayo, ken caano (Did you have sexual intercourse, and when?),” the lawyer whispered. “Oh yes, we consummated last night, we consummate every night,” exclaimed the man, raising and shaking his two arms as if he was Manny Pacquiao who had just won the fight by a knockout. “Sir, you consummate a marriage only once,” retorted the female immigration officer. “I don’t know about you ma’am, but we consummate our marriage many times,” replied the man gleefully. The lawyer kicked the man’s leg, turned to him, and told him to keep quiet. The lawyer apologized to the officer for the man’s exuberance. Was the adjustment of status approved? Of course. The lawyer always wins adjustment of status applications.
How Many Times Can a Marriage Be Consummated An Ilocano attorney was assisting an applicant for adjustment of status in California. During the interview the officer asked the male citizen petitioner if their marriage was consummated and if so when. The man turned to the A Widow and a Young Man lawyer and asked in Ilocano: A widow, over 60, and a “Ania ti cayat na nga saoen U.S. citizen knew a 20-someti “consummated”?” “Nagyathing young man. He was vir-
ile and single and had done household chores for the woman in the Philippines whenever she went home. She petitioned the young man as a fiancé. It was approved. He filed a petition for adjustment of status to convert his nonimmigrant fiance visa to that of an immigrant. The woman interviewing officer immediately separated them, sending the woman back to the waiting room and proceeded to interview the man. That’s a bad sign when the interviewer separates a couple to be interviewed. That means that the officer is suspicious of the genuineness of their marriage. The officer asked the man towards the end of the interview: “When was the last time you had sex?” “I don’t remember,” the man replied. The Officer sent the man back to the waiting room and called the wife. The officer asked right away: “When was the last time you had sex?”
The woman replied: “Yesterday.” “How come your husband said he did not remember if it is true that you had sex only yesterday?” the officer said.“One of you must be lying. Or both of you are lying.” After a few more questions, the officer terminated the interview. The result? Application denied. We asked to reopen and reconsider the decision. We argued that to a man sex is not that important and many cannot recall when they had sex, but to a woman, it is her whole existence. We quoted Lord Byron: “Man’s love is of man’s life a part; it is a woman’s whole existence.” We further argued that the issue, in this case, was whether or not the marriage was consummated. There was no dispute that it was. The only question was when? We pointed out that it was immaterial. The couple had answered every question correctly except the sex question.
We also argued that marriage is bona fide if at the time of their marriage the parties had intended and “undertaken to establish a life together and assume certain duties and obligations” as husband and wife. (Lutwak v. United States, 344 U.S. 604 (1953); Stokes v. United States, 393 F. Supp. 24 (1975)) We pointed out that in Bark vs. INS, 511 F.2d 1200 (9th Cir. 1975), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that: “Petitioner’s marriage was a sham if the bride and groom did not intend to establish a life together at the time they were married. The concept of establishing a life as marital partners contains no federal dictate about the kind of life that the partners may choose to lead.” In other words, it is the intent of the parties at the time of celebration of the marriage that is determinative of the bona fides of a marriage. There is no law or rule requir(continue on page 19)
8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
COVER STORY (It’s Anyone’s....from page 6)
HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? ANDERSON: I was raised by my grandparents and am a single father to four children. Family is important to me and through the lens of family I will always protect Hawaii with my heart and soul to ensure we can provide a better tomorrow for our children and our future generations.
BACKGROUND/REASONS FOR RUNNING
LUKE: I was recently endorsed by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser because I am the “most experienced, strategic and battle-tested candidate.” My years of public service gives me a unique understanding of state laws, procedures and the people who make the decisions. The editorial noted I am the “best equipped to deal with some of the looming problems the state faces over the next four years, including the housing crisis, education budget and staffing shortfalls plus the need to shore up Hawaii’s infrastructure and economy against the effects of climate change.” I believe Hawaii needs a Lieutenant Governor who can help create change and be a channel for our communities to make sure voices from across our state are heard. Together, let’s make preschool available to all, build housing that’s affordable and take care of our `aina and its people. I will work hard to help make Hawaii better for all of us.
HFC: Many believe the role of Lt. Governor can be more impactful. We’ve seen this recently in the working relationship between Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green with regard to addressing the pandemic. Lt. Gov. was given major responsibilities in public health’s response to COVID-19. As Lt. Governor, what role do you see yourself having? Is there a specific area you would want the governor to have you spearhead on his or her behalf? LUKE: Using my state experience and knowledge, I’d be a Lieutenant Governor that helps the Governor with the Legislature and collaborates with state departments and the community for change. While affordable housing is a critical issue that’s covered later, my other priority is early learning. Our current preschool capacity only serves half of Hawaii’s 3- to 4 year-olds. Childcare is one of the largest household expenses, so offering free early learning alleviates a significant strain on our working families. I will secure more funding to build preschools and work to see that these classrooms get built. HFC: We’ve been hearing from voters, our communities, and politicians themselves of the need to work on the housing crisis that include unaffordable real estate, super high rentals, as well as inventory shortage. How would you improve our housing crisis? LUKE: Hawaii needs more affordable housing for our working families and young professionals. Experts say we need for 36,155 units by 2030. My son Logan is currently attending college in the mainland, and I am really concerned whether he will be
able to come home after graduation. Not just because of opportunities up there, but because I don’t know if he sees himself being able to return and make Hawaii his home. It’s sad that a place he grew up all his life, he has trouble seeing a future here. Median prices are over $1M now, and it outprices young professional and working families from buying a home. Our state needs to get serious about providing more affordable housing opportunities if we want to see our kamaaina stay and live here. As Finance Chair, I helped create more supply of affordable housing using federal money and extending tax credits to increase the supply of low-income rentals. I also helped provide $500 million so that the state can help develop approximately 3000 new units. We also need to try different innovative approaches to defray the construction costs of homes, like providing loans to developers to assist with infrastructure when they agree to keeping home prices affordable. If elected as LG, I will work with both the State and the Counties to fast track some of these projects so that units get built quickly. HFC: The pandemic has showed us that tourism must be supported by other industries. This election in particular the buzz word is diversification. Candidates have mentioned areas to build on such as high tech, agriculture, alternative energy, healthcare, etc. In New York State, we see finance as a top industry. In California, it’s high tech. Both states have a large tourism industry. Instead of mentioning all the other areas of diversification, what can Hawaii be known as to the world as an industry core besides tourism (name one, how can we build it)? LUKE: Economic diversification is critical because wages in service related jobs remains limited. I am a strong supporter of agriculture and want to see it as a stronger pilar of our economy. The lesson from the last two years is that the State must be more self-reliant in food production. The State can provide more suitable agriculture lots for use by farmers, support farm hubs and provide incentives to encourage people to enter farming as a profession. There are several recent initiatives I supported as a legislator like a state tax exemption for income derived from taro, taro products and land used to produce taro, supporting the University of Hawaii’s Statewide Farmer Training courses that include beginner courses, pro level, and even agricultural business courses, and creating food hubs to act as distribution networks on behalf of small farmers. If elected as LG, I plan to continue to support measures and programs that encourage the people of Hawaii to buy and eat local, increase locally grown food production by supporting farmers and improving agricultural infrastructure and engage with government, non-profit, and private sector stakeholders to identify and collaborate towards positive and innovative solutions to boost food productions towards Hawaii’s self-sufficiency. HFC: One area that is a national trend since the pandemic is an increase in violent crimes and crimes (previously unique but have become more common) such as home invasions, street robberies and assault. Rising crime (and the fear of it) is changing our sense of Aloha in our state. What will you do to address crime?
LUKE: Unfortunately, many of the current crimes are conducted by repeat offenders with many prior arrests and convictions. And while our laws are generally strong on sentencing and punishment, our prisons are overcrowded, our courts are overwhelmed as we our law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep perpetrators off the streets. I have strongly supported the need for more prison space, for our courts to more quickly bring arrested and charged defendants to trial and sentencing, and we need more programs to divert non-violent and non-repeat offenders. This will require more collaboration between our police, our prosecutors, our courts and judges and our public safety department who manages our prison and prisoners. As Lt. Governor, I am prepared to convene these key stakeholders and work on a cooperative plan so that we can keep repeat offenders and violent perpetrators in our prisons. HFC: There are so many other areas to address not mentioned above. Please use this space to address just one or two of the following issues: homelessness, bolstering small business, taxes, social services support. Or any area of your choice. LUKE: Homelessness is an issue that has plagued our communities for years and only seems to be getting worse. But, there is no easy solutions or single set of factors leading to homelessness. The 2022 “Point In Time Count” found 54% could be categorized as “chronically homeless” and most, 65% suffered from disabling conditions, while 35% were physically or developmentally disabled preventing them from being able to work. Many were mentally ill (38%) and many suffering from substance abuse (33%). But, 11% were employed and 12% were veterans. This snapshot demonstrates the wide range of issues that many of these homeless individuals face. While there is obviously overlap, it simply demonstrates that there is no one or small causes, and no one or mere handful of solutions. More importantly, this means government – federal, state and county – to be working in coordination, along with the multiple state agencies – human services, veterans services, health, judiciary, public safety – all working on the same plan , and most critically, in cooperation with our community and nonprofit partners. HFC: Which gubernatorial candidate would you like to work with as his or her Lt. Governor? If you cannot commit to an answer, please tell us what is your previous working relationship with any one or all of the top Democratic candidates (since you are running as a Democrat). LUKE: I can work with any of the top 3 Democratic Governor candidates. I have served with Lt. Governor Green and Congressman Kahele in the legislature and I have worked with Ms. Cayetano on nonprofit projects. My experience in a diverse body like the legislature where I’ve worked with 4 different Governors over the years has provided me with the skills to collaborate with many types of leaders. I will be the Governor’s effective partner to create change in our community and I will use these skills to help find solutions on critical and complex public policy issues. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? (continue on page 9)
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 9
COVER STORY (It’s Anyone’s....from page 8)
LUKE: I have a strong record supporting issues close to the Filipino community such as funding the Filipino Community Center, strengthening the state Office of Language Access so residents can have equal access to necessary state services, and supporting the caregiver industry such as residential, long term and nursing care homes.
BACKGROUND/REASONS FOR RUNNING MENOR-MCNAMARA: I come from a family of immigrants. My grandparents, Angelo and Paulino Menor, came to Hawaii from the village of Calayab in the Philippines and started a farm in Pahoa on Hawaii Island. My mother, Naomi, moved from her home in Japan with no money in search of a better life. My father, Barney Menor served in the House of Representatives before eventually becoming the Managing Director of the Hawaii County. They raised me with the values of hard work, respect and community. We are at a defining moment where the costs of living and doing business continue to get worse. Currently, I serve as the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii where I’ve spent my career fighting for our local small businesses, creating opportunities, and finding solutions. Now, I’m running for Lieutenant Governor to get things done and deliver results for all the people of Hawaii.
I will also recommend common-sense solutions like a rent-to-own program, repurposing existing and underutilized commercial and state buildings, and making sure our public housing inventory is available to low-income families are included in the governor’s proposals sent to the legislature. In addition, I will use my business expertise and acumen to bring together government agencies, labor unions, developers, builders, and community organizations to see what can be done immediately to increase inventory, control constructions costs, and reduce regulations and red-tape that is standing in the way of building new units. We also must continue to invest in our workforce by partnering with the construction industry to offer more vocational training programs so that our next generation of workers have the skillsets needed to fill future construction jobs. I will also convene stakeholders and service providers to develop, invest in, and implement a Self-Sufficiency program to help those in public housing to transition to affordable housing.
HFC: Many believe the role of Lt. Governor can be more impactful. We’ve seen this recently in the working relationship between Gov. David Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green with regard to addressing the pandemic. Lt. Gov. was given major responsibilities in public health’s response to COVID-19. As Lt. Governor, what role do you see yourself having? Is there a specific area you would want the governor to have you spearhead on his or her behalf? MENOR-MCNAMARA: As we continue to navigate out of the pandemic, my number one priority will be to guide a strong and sustainable economic recovery that will help our local workers and their families, as well as support our struggling small businesses. I will work to create a comprehensive and innovative economic recovery plan that will lower the costs of living and doing business in Hawaii, diversify our economy, remove burdensome regulations, reduce government red-tape, create more workforce development and vocational training opportunities so people can get good paying jobs, and maximize the use of federal funds available to the State.
HFC: The pandemic has showed us that tourism must be supported by other industries. This election in particular the buzz word is diversification. Candidates have mentioned areas to build on such as high tech, agriculture, alternative energy, healthcare, etc. In New York State, we see finance as a top industry. In California, it’s high tech. Both states have a large tourism industry. Instead of mentioning all the other areas of diversification, what can Hawaii be known as to the world as an industry core besides tourism (name one, how can we build it)? MENOR-MCNAMARA: Tourism will always be the state’s number one economic driver and provider of jobs. However, there is no reason why we are not ranked in the top 10 states for renewable energy. In order for us to be a leader in this field, state government must do more to support the renewable energy sector by removing unnecessary and outdated regulations that are road blocks standing in the way of large-scale projects moving forward. We must also ensure that our energy policies adapt as quickly as new renewable energy technology develops. Finally, we must work with the Public Utilities Commission to invest more into our energy distributions infrastructure so that our storage and distribution systems can handle the changes in how energy is delivered to our homes and businesses. In addition to serving as model to the rest of the nation, and to the world, these types of investments will also protect our environment, decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, help the state meet its renewable energy goals, address climate change issues such as rising sea levels and erosion of beaches, and protect our other natural resources like our watersheds.
HFC: We’ve been hearing from voters, our communities, and politicians themselves of the need to work on the housing crisis that include unaffordable real estate, super high rentals, as well as inventory shortage. How would you improve our housing crisis? MENOR-MCNAMARA: This is a crisis that has been decades in the making. As Lieutenant Governor, I will work shoulder-to-shoulder with our new Governor to finally address this crisis. We will need to implement an affordable housing agenda quickly with the types of investments needed to make it successful.
HFC: One area that is a national trend since the pandemic is an increase in violent crimes and crimes (previously unique but have become more common) such as home invasions, street robberies and assault. Rising crime (and the fear of it) is changing our sense of Aloha in our state. What will you do to address crime? MENOR-MCNAMARA: The health and safety of our people is of utmost importance. While this area is largely controlled on the county level, the State also has a role in ensuring that our people and our commu-
nities are safe. We should be investing more into substance abuse and mental health services to get people the help they need before they resort to crime. The State also needs to step up and invest in a new Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) in Halawa. The conditions of the current facility are deplorable, provide neither a safe environment for the staff to work or humane conditions for the incarcerated to live. The new facility should incorporate more treatment, job training, and rehabilitation services to the inmates so that they can become productive members of society once they are released. Kicking the can down the road any further will only increase the costs to taxpayers. HFC: There are so many other areas to address not mentioned above. Please use this space to address just one or two of the following issues: homelessness, bolstering small business, taxes, social services support. Or any area of your choice. MENOR-MCNAMARA: I want to restore trust and faith in government. One of the ways of doing this is to make sure that the whole of government works better, costs less, and delivers real results for our people. I will ask the governor to empower me with a bold initiative to reform and reinvent our state government by: • Identifying wasteful spending. • Removing roadblocks to progress such as outdated rules and regulations. • Reducing burdensome red tape. • Form new partnerships with the private sector to fill gaps in services, particularly in the areas of providing access to quality healthcare in our rural communities and neighbor island, as well as more vocational training and workforce development opportunities for our young people • Move more government services online. • Reform policies for state departments and agencies with direct contact with the public to deliver better customer service. HFC: Which gubernatorial candidate would you like to work with as his or her Lt. Governor? If you cannot commit to an answer, please tell us what is your previous working relationship with any one or all of the top Democratic candidates (since you are running as a Democrat). MENOR-MCNAMARA: That is a choice for the people of Hawaii to make. I’ve worked, and have good relationships, with all three of the leading gubernatorial candidates. For Josh Green and Kai Kahele, I worked with them both during their service in the Legislature as well as in their current roles of Lieutenant Governor and Congressman, respectively. For Vicky Cayetano, I worked with her when she was the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. I believe I bring the background, skills, business perspective, and real-world experiences that will best complement our new governor and bring balance to our administration. HFC: Why should Hawaii’s Filipino community vote for you? MENOR-MCNAMARA: Representation matters. The fact that I will be the first Filipina to be elected Lieutenant Governor in the history of the United States is not lost on me. I will work hard every day to make our community proud and make sure our voices are always heard and never forgotten.
10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
AS I SEE IT
What Lesson Did We Learn From The Uvalde Massacre? By Elpidio R. Estioko
he Uvalde massacre served as a litmus test for public and private schools. School administrators should learn from it to prevent future killings. It should serve as a model for school safety and improved communication in dealing with emergencies. What have we learned? First, we need to modernize and maintain classroom facilities. Uvalde massacre reports showed that the locks and doors of the classrooms are defective, needed repairs, were poorly maintained, and had inferior locks. Schools need to modernize the buildings, especially the classrooms, to avoid trespassers and provide safety
for the students and staff. Second, school personnel should be trained on safety and responsible building maintenance. We also need to emphasize their important roles in school and emphasize responsibility areas. The Uvalde report said the staff was not sure whether he locked the rooms or didn’t do it at all. There was also a report that the doors needed to be fixed but never attended to. Responsibility should be emphasized in the training and preparedness of staff in case of emergencies, so we can safeguard the safety of staff and students. Third, school administrators also need to come out with training for staff to avert the situation, deal with an active shooter, when to engage, and how to engage the shooter. In the Uvalde report, there was a 73-minute-gap before a response was made to engage the shooter which observers
said if something were done within that period, it should have reduced the number of casualties… not 19 students and 2 teachers. Fourth, there should be joint training on how to put up a temporary responsibility structure, especially when the school is not capable of taking the lead in the situation. This could be accomplished at a joint training with other agencies that usually respond to crises like this. It should be precise and needs quick decisions to address the situation on
time. School staff and people responding to the event need to know their roles and need to know when and how to establish the temporary command structure. Emphasize situations when and how to assert responsibility. Again, had this been complied with, observers believe it should have minimized the number of victims. Fifth, improve communication procedures to get the exact situation and location of the shooter. Radios should be working and wifi connections should be ensured to maintain proper and responsible communications needed. Personnel can act well and come up with strategies when communication is working systematically. Lastly, training on bullying should be conducted, both for parents and staff, including students, to be able to avoid students from being bullied that could resort to violence.
The Uvalde report showed that the shooter had been bullied in the past and must have accumulated rancor and hate which prompted him to be violent. Had he been advised, talked to, or his bullying issue addressed, he might not have resorted to violence. Parents also need to know how to deal with their children who are being bullied in school. Had these happened, we could have prevented more deaths on campus. A lot of things are still hazy, so the police must continue to investigate the incident and find out what happened and come out with realistic solutions to the problem that will serve as a model for schools. With the Uvalde incident, we hope that we can prevent similar incidents in the future! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 11
12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
By Emil Guillermo
s there a powerful, united “Filipino vote”? In my last column, I think it’s inconclusive. At least, there didn’t seem to be one when it comes to Vicki Cayetano for governor. Is it a harsher judgment that her business acumen and having once lived in the governor’s residence don’t make her competitive with the current lieutenant governor? While there doesn’t appear to be a bloc “Filipino vote” one can rely on in Hawaii, there’s new national data on Filipino Voters that shows what influences our vote. The Asian American Voter Survey comes out every two years, and unlike most polls, it samples 1,601 registered Asian American voters by cellphone, landline and online, in English and Asian languages, but not Tagalog/Ilocano. An imperfection? Perhaps. But the survey is credible enough to have an overall margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent for Asian Americans. There’s a large enough sample size for every ethnic group, including 257 Filipinos that makes for a
What U.S. Filipino Voters Think; And if the Walis Tambo Man Goes Down, Why Not Trump? margin of error of +/- 6. Few polls ever drill down that deep. The survey says of Asian American Voters who intend to vote in November for House of Representatives races, 52% of Filipinos say they will vote Democrat and 23% say Republican. In Senate races, it’s 50% Democrat and 32% Republican. In terms of favorability, Filipinos were the most proBiden among Asian American voters with 53% choosing “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable,” while 43% said they were “somewhat unfavorable” to “very unfavorable.” As for Trump, Filipinos were just 35% “very favorable” to “somewhat favorable.” More than 60% of Filipinos were “somewhat unfavorable” to “very unfavorable.” As for the issues that influenced Filipino voters, Filipinos surpassed the general Asian American trend by saying healthcare was extremely to very important (66%); Then came jobs and the economy (65%); inflation (65%); and education (62%). Once again, it’s rare to find a survey with a decent
sampling that allows you to say anything about Filipinos. That’s the value of the Asian American Voter Survey (AAVS). It’s data that gives us a little better sense of an American Filipino vote. The Walis Tambo Guy is Guilty, But Not Donald Trump? The AAVS didn’t ask about January 6. But when it comes to that fateful day, I’m thinking of all of us. Especially American Filipinos like Kene Lazo of Norfolk, Virginia. On that day, he carried a boi-boi, or “Walis Tambo” into the Capitol rotunda to, in his own insurrectionist way, sweep out Washington. Lazo pleaded guilty last March, as did more than 320 people of the nearly 900 people charged in connection to the riot. But shouldn’t the man who led Lazo and the rest of the rioters be held accountable? On the eighth hearing of the Jan. 6. Select Committee, we learned a few more details of what former President Trump was doing while the Capitol was under siege. Basically, nothing. Trump was like the arsonist admiring his reflection in the fire he set. He told people to come to the Capitol and indeed, they came. High-level White House aides and true-blue Republicans like White House counsel Pat Cipollone, once again testified under oath that Trump was watching it all unfold on television for 187 minutes. That number will forever be associated with our democ-
racy – 187 minutes, the threshold for almost losing what we gained in 1776. Fans of antiquity will instantly turn to Nero, who is said to have fiddled as Rome burned in the summer of 64 CE (AD). Trump was fiddling too. But not with calls to the National Guard or to others who could quell the crowd. Trump called senators to help him continue to thwart the certification vote scheduled for that day, as well as his main henchman, Rudy Giuliani. But Trump mostly watched Fox News and liked what he saw, especially when the mob provided the lyrics to the mayhem of his making. Who can forget the memorable “Hang Mike Pence”? They could have been saying all our names. There was another chant in the crowd too. “Kill him with his own gun!” That was what people were saying of Officer Michael Fanone, the DC Metropolitan Police Officer who was punched and kicked and dragged face-down some Capitol steps. And that’s when Fanone brought up his secret weapon, his three Asian American children. “I have kids,” pleaded Fanone, now divorced from his Chinese American wife. On the day Fanone put his life on the line for his country, he was living with his mom, working a second job to save for a down payment on a house for him and his daughters – Piper, 9; Mei-Mei, 7; and Hensley, 5. They were the most important people in his life. That his kids are multiracial is significant. Fanone’s kids are the democracy we’re all fighting for, the new America.
Race rants and apologies You’ll recall the recent 2020 Census. The two or more races population sometimes called multiracial, has gone from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020, a 276% increase. America is changing. It’s
becoming a little browner like Hawaii. Whites are still the largest group at 204.3 million, but that number has decreased by 8.6% since 2010. That fact has led to growing resentment among the Right. And Jan. 6, despite the boi boi guy, was really an expression of White Rage. Note the audio rant by former Trump aide Garret Ziegler, who testified before the January 6 committee recently. Ziegler said he invoked his right to remain silent through the Fifth Amendment or executive privilege in most of his answers before the committee. But he did not stay silent on social media. Online, Ziegler called the committee an “anti-white campaign, and if you can’t see that your eyes are freaking closed.” This is our polarized America now. While Ziegler chooses to dig in and insist that he is not a racist, we have seen other rioters repentant for what they’ve done. Rioter Stephen Ayres testified to the committee at the seventh hearing and then tried to apologize to Officer Fanone. Fanone was asked about the apology and told CNN (where he now works as an analyst) that he was caught off guard and didn’t remember Ayres’ exact words. But he said apologies are deeply personal and private moments. “Save the apologies,” Fanone said. “And that goes for anyone involved on January 6. The way [the apology] was carried out I found disingenuous, and you know, in regards to January 6, I’m sorry, I am not anyone’s rest stop on the road to redemption.” His phrasing stopped me cold. In 2012, I interviewed by phone Vincent Chin’s killer, and Ronald Ebens apologized. I heard it. But it wasn’t up to me to either accept it or to judge him. I was an opinion journalist. If anything, I wanted to know why Ebens has continued to avoid the judgment against him that he owes to the Chin estate. (continue on page 18)
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 13
Obiena Earns First-Ever WCH Medal for the Philippines By Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand
appy, but not satisfied,” Ernest John “EJ” Obiena answered when stopped as he worked his way around Eugene City’s Hayward Field track to allow spectators to congratulate him. He said so with a big smile, clearly proud of the moment with the Filipino flag draped over his shoulder. He just won the bronze medal in the pole vault on a sensational last day of the World Athletics Championship 2022 (WCH2022). His winning performance was among the most stellar records in the entire 2022 world championship competition. He recorded a personal best when he cleared 5.94 me-
ters (19 feet 5 ¾ inches) and produced the first-ever world championship medal in Philippine sports history. The silver medal was captured by United States’ Chris Nilsen, who also cleared 5.94 meters in one attempt only. The gold medal went to Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, who delivered a thrilling world record performance by clearing 6.21 meters. Duplantis and Nilsen were ranked number 1 and 2, respectively, before the most prestigious track and field competition. They were also the gold and silver medalists at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Hence, they were expected to win. Meanwhile, Obiena was ranked number six in the world when he arrived in Eugene but bested nine oth-
on his shirt made it very clear that he was at the Hayward Stadium to cheer for Obiena, who is the only Filipino athlete who qualified to compete at the WCH22. The best of the world’s pole vaulters, Obiena included, were Ernest John “EJ” Obiena cheered on by er qualifiers and was on the the thousands of spectators. world championship medal As other sources would podium on July 24 evening. point out, the 26-year-old For those who keenly fol- Obiena competed for Chang lowed his road to the World Kai Shek School and then the Championship games, it was University of Santo Tomas clear that he had an excellent (UST). He was initially in chance to medal. men’s hurdles before he shift“We are doing well today ed to pole vaulting. so far. Today, our guy broke He hails from Tondo in the Philippine record. As a Manila, and his parents were Filipino, we are so proud of also athletes in their days. him,” said Jeffrey Chua, who His father coached him until identified himself as the leader he was 18 years old, but that of the Philippine delegation. all changed in 2014 when the The Filipino flag image legendary Sergey Bubka visit-
ed the Philippines. Obiena learned of an opportunity to train in Italy, and the rest, as they say, is history. He is coached no less by Vitaly Petrov, who has previously coached Bubka. Obiena has been breaking records and has become the best in all of Asia. Pole vault as a modern sport can be traced back to Germany in the 1850s. Interestingly, bamboo poles were first used in 1857. Today, poles are usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber. As spectators who watched Obiena’s attempts in Eugene, we saw him change poles when he attempted 6 meters. He bailed out in all his three allowed attempts, which is perhaps his reason for saying that he was not satisfied. For spectators like me, we could not ask for anything more. Congratulations to EJ Obiena! It was a thrill to witness such a high-level competition where athletes were delivering their best!
14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
The Myth of The Yamashita and Tallano Gold By Perry Diaz
ight after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted from power and sent to exile in Hawaii, he began plotting his return. And he almost succeeded. In 1987, Marcos planned to travel by boat and land in his home province of Ilocos Norte where he’ll be met by 10,000 of his Ilocano supporters. But two Americans, business consultant Robert Chastain and lawyer Richard Hirschfield blew the whistle on Marcos’ plans when they testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. They played a recording in which Marcos revealed the plot to invade the Philippines. “I am going to land there, I don’t care who opposes me,”
Marcos said on the tapes. “And if they oppose the landing, that is when we start the battle.” When asked what would happen to then-President Corazon Aquino, who was installed after the revolution, Marcos gave this reply: “What I would like to see happen is that we take her hostage. Not to hurt her. If necessary, forcibly take her.” They testified that they were able to gain Marcos’ trust through their association with a Saudi businessman named Mohamed al-Fassi. The Americans pretended that they were arms dealers who were willing to help Marcos get weapons and the money to buy them, as well as pay mercenaries who would carry out the invasion. The Saudi business connection Hirschfield first met Marcos during a party at his home in Hawaii in September 1986. Marcos was intrigued when Hirschfield brought up the Saudi business connection. A few weeks later,
come from money set aside to pay Philippine veterans after World War II and some of it may have come from the Philippines’ central bank.”
Marcos asked for help in obtaining a passport from another country so he could travel free from the restrictions imposed by the U.S. and Philippine governments. Marcos also asked Hirschfield to arrange a $10 million loan from al-Fassi. Then, during a meeting on January 12, 1987, Marcos asked for an additional $5 million “in order to pay 10,000 soldiers $500 each as a form of ‘combat life insurance.’” Hirschfield was taken aback. He asked Marcos if he was talking about an invasion of the Philippines. Marcos flatly answered, “Yes.” According to Hirschfield, Marcos had also been negotiating with several arms dealers to procure anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft missiles, rifles, mortars, and “enough ammunition for a threemonth fight.” The two Americans were able to record their conversations with Marcos by placing microphones and tape recorders inside their briefcase and in their suits. Marcos also told Hirschfield that he owned 1,000 tons of gold worth about $14 billion, which he had hidden somewhere, possibly in the Philippines. Hirschfield said that Marcos was vague about where the gold was hidden. Marcos reportedly alluded that “some of it may have
In 1970, Roger Roxas, a treasure hunter, discovered a Golden Buddha when he and a friend, Albert Fuchigami, excavated a site shown on a map that was given by Albert’s father, who was an officer in the Japanese army during World War II. The map pinpointed the location of a secret tunnel system where the Japanese had left a treasure of gold bars. To make the story short, Roxas and Fuchigami excavated the site and they uncovered a large solid gold statue of Buddha. They ventured further inside the tunnel until they found boxes of solid gold bars. They decided to dynamite the tunnel to hide the treasure. They planned to sell the Buddha to buy trucks and equipment so they could come back and get the gold out of the tunnel. Roxas took the Buddha home. A potential buyer confirmed that the Buddha was solid gold. Roxas then found out that the Buddha’s head was removable. Inside were handfuls of diamonds. Roxas hid the diamonds in a closet. News of the discovery spread until it reached President Marcos. Two months later, soldiers invaded his house. Then out of nowhere, the potential buyer appeared. Roxas realized then that he’d been double-crossed. Roxas later found out that Marcos had put a price on his head. He and his family went into hiding. They never heard of the Golden Buddha again. To this day, the gold bars remain hidden in the tunnel.
“Island arrest” After the tapes were made public, the U.S. government
under then-President Ronald Reagan put Marcos under tight restrictions. He was placed under “island arrest” and couldn’t go anywhere without approval from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Save the world In 2013, Imelda Marcos said her family was willing to share the gold bars of her late
husband not just with Filipinos but also with the rest of humanity, as “this will save the world.” Eight years since Imelda’s words, supporters of the Marcoses are betting on the dictator’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to win the presidency in 2022 and thus end the guessing game on the lost Yamashita treasure, which has long been linked to their family. In 2017, when asked about the fabled treasure, Bongbong told reporters, “Kung mayroon kayong mahanap, inyo na.” (If you find it, you can keep it). But then-president Rodrigo Duterte claimed that an emissary for the Marcoses had reached out to say that the family was willing to return “a few gold bars” that they had hidden away. Today, Imelda has yet to make good on her promise to return “a few gold bars.”
Then there is the myth about the Tallano gold. Believe it or not, the Tallano gold was a cache of 617,500 metric tons of gold that was purportedly deposited in the Central Bank of the Philippines to comply with the requirements of gold reserves. And this was where Marcos and a certain Fr. Jose Antonio Diaz came into the picture. According to some sources, the Tallano clan paid Diaz and Marcos a 30% commission in gold for a total of 192,000 metric tons of gold, which made them the richest men in the world at that time. Marcos withdrew his share of gold from the Central Bank and re-minted them “RP-CB.” Later on, Marcos and Diaz allegedly brought their gold to Switzerland at the Swiss Bank Corporation in Zurich, Switzerland. Accordingly, the remaining 400,000 metric tons of the Tallano gold were deposited in the third-floor basement of the Central Bank Minting Plant in East Avenue, Quezon City. The myth about the Tallano gold was propagated by Bongbong’s election supporters, who promised that they’ll all be given P5 million each upon Bongbong’s election as president. However, after Bongbong’s landslide victory, talks about the Tallano gold stopped. (continue on page 16)
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 15
16 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
NOT HOME, BUT HERE—Writing from the Filipino Diaspora By Rose Cruz Churma
he book was conceptualized to express a variety of positions on the question of what it meant to write in the diaspora and to represent a broad variety of perspectives. The writers were asked to reflect on the related themes such as “separation, exile, expatriate life, (im)migration, (re)location and/or travel abroad” and how these experiences affected their lives and works, and how it has defined the creative process, as well as their concepts of home, identity and allegiance. The thrust was more on the personal and meditative essay (less academic) that asks the writer to reflect on their experiences in the “space” represented by the motherland or the idea of being Filipino. Fifteen writers from different parts of the world responded to the challenge, and the result is what Marianne Villanueva describes as “A lovely and powerful book—a meditation on what it means to be the other. It’s about journeys; it’s about memory. It is about recovery and discovery. Ultimately healing and transformative, this is a book to savor.”
The first essay in the book is by Nick Carbo who has two published books of poetry and is the editor of an anthology on Filipina and Filipino-American writers. He calls himself part of the Martial Law Generation who grew up under the Marcos Dictatorship, and whose American journey began in 1984. He writes: “In America, I began to look at things clearly, pulling them off like leaves from a tree and putting them in a book,” noting that Native Americans called books “talking leaves” and he began to make beautiful books! Another interesting essay is by Bino A. Realuyo, author of Umbrella Country, whose mental monologue entitled “Life at McDonald’s (or, Life is not English)” concludes that sharing a common language gives strength to a community, but also can become exclusionary if others in that community do not understand that language. A strong proponent of learning English as a common language, he believes that this will allow communication at a rudimentary level—an epiphany he received while ordering breakfast at McDonald’s.
In “Fading Tattoos” the author Angel Velasco Shaw shares a script initially conceptualized as film. She believes, however, that this piece of writing “is meant to be read, projected on the back of readers’ eyelids, in their own home theater.” It is a difficult piece to decipher. A co-editor of Vestiges of War (NYU Press 2003), this book uses photographs, plays and poetry to address issues brought about by American colonialism in the Philippines. “Fading Tattoos” is meant to be viewed in your mind’s eye but with similar artistic juxtapositions used in her earlier
anthology on American colonialism. The longest of the essays (and one that resonated with me) was the piece by Melinda Bobis. She is a trilingual (Bikol, Pilipino and English) writer of poetry, fiction and performance text (material she uses for her performance art). She also is a lecturer on creative writing at the University of Wollongong in Australia. In this essay, she uses the human wishbone as a metaphor for the practice of art and likens it to crossing borders, thus the title she chose for her piece: “Border Lover.” Crossing borders come in many forms: it could be the conflict brought about by the choice of language to use in one’s art; or crossing borders between writing genres, which in this case is “Rita’s Lullaby.” This is her radio play that won the Prix Italia (an international competition with entries from 30 countries in 1998). She shares how it evolved from a poem to a stage play but
was eventually adopted into a radio play. The editor is Luisa A. Igloria who is the author of 14 books of poetry and four chapbooks. She is a tenured Professor of Creative Writing and English and was Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She was selected as the Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2020 and served as a keynote speaker at the Aloha & Mabuhay Conference in 2021. She was a Visiting Humanities Scholar in 1996 at the Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Originally from Baguio City, she has received awards from both the Philippines and the USA for her poetry. 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: The Myth ....from page 14)
According to history professor Francis Gealogo, former head of the Department of History of the Ateneo de Manila University, there are no historical accounts to prove these claims. “A narrative that is not factual is fiction,” he said. According to claims of Marcos supporters, the wealth of the Marcos family came from the gold bars that were payments from the Tallano-Tagean Royal Family, a supposedly Maharlikan Empire that ruled the country. This “royal family” purportedly owned the Philippines and was among the parties that signed the Treaty of Paris. However, it was revealed that there are no records of a Tallano-Tagean Royal Family; much less the latter’s representative signing the Treaty of Paris. Apparently, the story was a total fabrication by Marcos supporters who dreamed of a comeback to power.
Researchers also found no Fr. Jose Antonio Diaz. Instead, his purported photos were that of a certain Fr. Antonio Aglipay, but the latter was never listed as among the richest in the world. Historians also debunked the claim that the Marcoses returned the gold bars to the Philippine government after World War II. Gealogo also debunked the claim that Marcos Sr. withdrew and deposited gold in the Swiss Bank in Zurich, Switzerland and that the remaining 400,000 metric tons of the Tallano gold were deposited at the Central Bank office on East Ave, Quezon City. No such thing. But what was found out was that Marcos Sr. and his wife Imelda Marcos deposited $950,000 in Credit Suisse in 1968, under the aliases William Saunders and Jane Ryan, based on the findings of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). Histori-
ans said that the accounts show that what was deposited was not gold but stolen money from public coffers. Acc ording to the independent think-tank IBON Foundation, the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses is approximately pegged at P1.87 trillion ($36.4 billion), assuming that the family just had US$4 billion in 1989. This could have inflated to at least US$38.4 billion by 2021 from interest on deposits, earnings from investments, and appreciation in the value of real properties and assets. Now, the question is: Which would you believe: the existence of the Yamashita and Tallano gold treasure or the “ill-gotten wealth” of the Marcoses? PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 17
Coping With Climate Change By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
limate change, according to the United Nations, refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. I remember almost a decade ago when I was still a writer for Operation Blessing in the Philippines, we went to Davao Oriental to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo. It has claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands of families and destroyed billions of pesos worth of properties and infrastructure. During that time, the terms “climate change” and “global warming” were already becoming buzzwords. I interviewed several affected locals and I vividly recall what one of them said: “This was the first time a strong typhoon hit our province. We were just used to watching it on television and we never imagined it would happen to us.” And as I watch the recent news about what’s happening to the world – severe flooding in Australia, the drought, heatwave and wildfires across Europe, the US and many parts of the world, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what happened before. Things we never imagined we would experience are already happening. I stayed in London for a few years when I was younger. The summer temperature was moderate and tolerable. I don’t even remember using an air conditioner because a fan was sufficient. But now, Britons are advised not to go out because of the intense heat which poses real danger. Spain, France and Germany brace themselves for sweltering temperatures. Firefighters are risking their lives to extinguish the wildfires ravaging these countries.
Indeed, the earth is warming and extreme change in weather patterns will now be a frequent and natural occurrence. According to studies, the earth’s temperature has warmed by 1 degree Celsius. It seems small but is significant, causing major changes in weather patterns. It’s disheartening, uncomfortable, overwhelming, and uncertain. What awaits the next generation? What kind of world will our children look forward to? The world is in entropy.
The effects of climate change are irreversible and the world’s weather conditions will only worsen and intensify. The little things we did and continue to do as individuals and communities contribute to global warming. The greenhouse gases produced by human activities warm the climate. We are to blame.
We cannot completely prevent the harmful effects of this global phenomenon, but we can at least slow them down. Limit the use of plastic, especially single-use ones. Reduce emissions by walking or riding the bike instead of taking the car. Reduce energy use and cut waste generation. These are just some of the ways to help deal with climate change, but they will go a long way. I must admit, it’s easier said than done but we must act now before it’s too late. Watching the world experience destruction and witness
countless communities and individuals suffer can grip and cripple us with fear and anxiety. But every day, I encourage myself with this verse from Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roars and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” The Creator of the universe is still in control. There is only one earth our children and their children can inherit from us, we must do everything we can to save it.
18 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE AUGUST 6, 2022
Fix Hawaii’s Problems The Right Way, Not Via Emergency Orders by Keli‘i Akina
awaii desperately needs to fix some of the problems that have been bedeviling us for so long, such as the housing crisis and shortage of healthcare personnel. But there is a right way to do so and a wrong way. The wrong way is for the governor to declare an emergency and unilaterally cut through all the regulations and legislative foot-dragging that sometimes make it seem virtually impossible to resolve a particular issue. That approach might be efficient in the short run, but it circumvents the legislative process, excludes public input and, because emergency orders are not permanent, is only a temporary fix. The right way requires the involvement of the Legislature. It might be slower, but it is constitutional, democratic and results in real, lasting change. Nevertheless, various candidates for governor have said they would invoke a state of
emergency to fix the state’s housing crisis. And earlier this week, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii asked Gov. David Ige to declare an emergency so he could waive the state’s licensing requirements for certified health professionals. HAH President Hilton Raethel told Hawaii News Now that the association requested the emergency proclamation “because our hospitals and other healthcare facilities are getting very stressed in terms of staffing.” This has been exacerbated by the fact that many people delayed care during the pandemic and are now having difficulty getting appointments, according to Community First Hawaii, an alliance of local healthcare providers. It seems extreme, but the idea of using an emergency proclamation to change licensing requirements for doctors, nurses and healthcare staff isn’t unheard of. In fact, during the COVID-19 emergency, the governor allowed medical professionals such as physicians, osteopaths,
nurses and physician assistants to work in Hawaii without a state license if they had been hired by a local medical facility. Under that order, all the facility had to do was verify that the medical professional in question had no pending disciplinary actions, lawsuits or insurance claims against them, indemnify the state and register with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Of all the governor’s emergency actions during the pandemic, his order on healthcare licensing was among the most logical and least controversial. The mystery is why the Legislature failed to follow his example and reform or ease the licensing burden during the two uninterrupted sessions since the pandemic began. It’s not as though we have just become aware of the the lack of sufficient healthcare professionals. For years, experts have warned about the state’s critical doctor shortage. Just this month, the Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project estimated that Hawaii currently has a short-
age of 1,008 full-time physicians, up from 820 in 2021. Addressing that shortage requires a multipronged approach that involves everything from taxation of medical services to regulation and the cost of living. At the very least, the Legislature could have acted promptly to adopt the streamlined licensing approach of the governor’s COVID-19 emergency orders and made it permanent. How? There are a couple of ways. Either create a pathway to expedite recognition of those who hold licenses in good standing from other states, or join the interstate compacts that make it easier for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals to practice across state lines. Unfortunately, too many lawmakers still believe that the key to solving Hawaii’s healthcare problems is to have more government involvement, not less. That’s why frustrated health advocates are now beseeching the governor to use his emergency powers. I certainly appreciate their concerns. We need to make it
cop,” Biden said. “You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-American.” But Trump thinks he can. The January 6 hearings show that after the Big Lie, America has more than a tolerance for Trump’s lies. American Filipino Republican lawyer and commentator George Conway called Thursday’s hearing “a devastating portrait, not just of dereliction, but depravity by the president, and derangement.” That makes Trump at the very least a triple-D threat. Cheney: Trump’s actions “indefensible” No matter where you are in the political spectrum, you have to admire January 6 committee co-chair Liz Cheney’s closing statement. The hearings are no witch hunt.
Cheney called it “a series of confessions” by Donald Trump’s own Republican appointees, friends, campaign officials, and even his own family. “They have come forward and they have told the American people the truth.” Then Cheney played a public comment of Steve Bannon, the Trump aide who was found guilty in contempt of Congress recently and faces jail time for ignoring a subpoena to testify. Bannon described how it was Trump’s strategy to “declare victory,” claim the election was stolen (without evidence) and do some “crazy sh-t.” And all because Trump knew he could convince millions of supporters to do his bidding. “He is preying on their sense of patriotism,” Cheney said. “He is preying on their sense of justice and on January 6, Donald Trump turned their love of country into a weapon against our Capitol and our Constitution.” That is a crime. Yet only Trump’s followers who rioted
easier for people to work in Hawaii, in the healthcare field as well as many other industries. The fact that Gov. Ige’s order on healthcare licensing proved to be safe and effective should be enough to allay concerns about the health and safety rationales behind licensing laws. What we should not do is shortcut the legislative process and encourage the governor to abuse his emergency powers. Even when we agree with his aims, the governor is not — and should not be — a super-legislator. Not only are emergency orders a temporary solution, but encouraging further expansion of the executive’s power comes with worrisome consequences for our state Constitution and traditional balance of powers. By all means, strip back regulations on healthcare, housing and any other activities where they have become a critical roadblock to improving our lives. But do it the right way, through the Legislature, with debate and public participation. KELI‘I AKINA is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.
(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: What U.S. Filipinos ....from page 12)
I wish I had Fanone’s line to respond to Ebens’ apology. “I am not anyone’s rest stop on the road to redemption.”
Road to justice I imagine many more will want to apologize for their actions on January 6, perhaps sooner than later. But don’t expect any apologies from Trump, who recently campaigned for an election denier in Arizona. He’s even made calls to a Wisconsin official to sway the certification of
the state’s 2020 vote. Recently, Trump was back in DC brandishing his harshest rhetoric at a First America Institute event where he called for more police funding, crackdowns on immigration, a return of “stop and frisk, and a generally more authoritarian America. Odd for a guy who wouldn’t protect the police on January 6. President Biden pointed out the hypocrisy. “You can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-
like Stephen Ayres and Kene Lazo have been charged. Why not Trump, the man who incited the riot? “Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office, to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement, to threaten our constitutional order,” Cheney said. “There is no way to excuse that behavior. It was indefensible. And every American must consider this: Can a president who was willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?” The answer is always a resounding, “NO,” if America is to remain a strong and vital democracy. 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.
AUGUST 6, 2022 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 19
COMMUNITY CALENDAR TASTE OF OAHU | Millwood Ohana Productions | First Friday of the month until December 2022, 4-10pm | Aloha Stadium | Enjoy a night with Hawaii’s best entertainments, family fun activities and over 50 food, craft and retails vendors. Tickets starts at $15 for ages 12 and older. For more information, contact (808) 533-9016. AARP SEMINARS GO “INSIDE THE MIND OF A CON ARTIST” | August 20 at 9 am at the Ala Moana Hotel; In-per-
son workshops: Aug. 18 at 9 am at the Maui Beach Hotel, Aug. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel | To register to come to the in-person events go to aarp.cvent.com/ HIFraud. HAWAII TRIENNIAL 2022 | Hawaii State Art Museum | Until December 3, 2022 | 250 South Hotel St Second Floor, Honolulu | Even though the HT22 even officially closed on May 8, Hawaii State Art Museum will be keeping their HT22 exhibit on
display until December 2022. View the unique exhibits showcasing the fluid concept of Pacific Century interweaving themes of history, place and identity. Entrance is free. BATTLE OF THE FOOD TRUCKS | Hawaii Tourism Authority | September 11, 2-6pm | 2974 Kress Street, Lihue, Kauai | Celebrate cultural traditions around food as Kauai Food Trucks showcase their culinary talents with live music entertaining tasting guests. Tickets start at $75. To purchase, visit bestkauaifoodtrucks.com.
(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: When Was ....from page 7)
ing consummation. The Director reconsidered the denial and granted the adjustment of status.
Kissing Cousins A 50-something female U.S. citizen filed a fiancee visa petition for her 20-something cousin in the Philippines. It was approved. They married immediately in Hawaii. They did not marry in the Philippines because first cousins are not legally allowed to get married under the Family Code which is heavily influenced by the Catholic Church and the Bible such as Leviticus 18:6-19. In Hawaii first cousins can marry. Do they live happily ever after? Hopefully. The husband filed an application for adjustment of status to convert the nonimmigrant fiancé visa status to lawful permanent resident status. At the elevator, I told them that the officer will ask when was the last time they had sex, so they better agree on when was the last time. “Si attorney naman,” commented the woman, “do they ask those things?” “They asked the last time I went to an interview,” I recalled. At the interview office, the female officer separated them. A very bad sign. I whispered to the woman “Don’t worry.” She escorted the wife to the waiting room. She proceeded to question the husband. I suggested that we call an interpreter. The officer asked the man if he spoke and understood English. The man said he spoke a little. The man had difficulty understanding and answering the questions. But the interview was passable. Then came the bombshell: “When was the last time you had sex with your wife?” The man replied: “Last night.” The interviewer terminated
the interview, escorted the man to the waiting room and called his wife. She asked many questions, including why she married her own first cousin and why she married a man half her age. She answered: “I love him,” with an air of sincerity. I have one last question, intoned the interviewer: “When was the last time you had sex with your husband?” She answered beaming with confidence: “This morning.” “But your husband said you had sex last night,” said the officer. “There is a contradiction here.” “Are you sure you had sex at all with your husband?” the officer persisted. “Yes,” the woman insisted. The officer said that they were not credible. She said she would make a recommendation and for them to just wait for the decision. The adjustment of status was denied. It capitalized on discrepancies in their declaration. I asked both of them if they really had sex. “Yes,” they both replied. “What time did you have sex this morning?” I asked the wife. “About 2 or 3 o’clock,” she said.
“What time did you have sex?” I then asked the man. “The same, about 2 or 3 o’clock,” he said. “Then why did you say that it was last night when it was already 2 or 3’clock in the morning?” The man replied: “It was still dark, so I said last night.” I filed a motion to reopen and reconsider the decision. I asked that they be interviewed again so that they can explain the discrepancy and that there was a misunderstanding on whether 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning is still night. I argued that it was not a material issue because the fact of the matter was the marriage was consummated. I also hurled a challenge to the USCIS to send an investigator to make a surprise visit to the couple’s home to check if they were really married. Sure enough, the USCIS sent two investigators to their address one morning just after the cock crowed. They knocked on the door several times. The woman answered the door. They asked who she
was. They asked where her husband was. She opened the door to their bedroom. The husband was curled up in bed with a blanket. They asked her to wake him, asked him who he was, and what was his relationship with the woman. The officers left. The couple was interviewed again. The Director reconsidered the denial of the adjustment of status and approved it. The woman said that they went through a lot of difficulties, but it was their destiny to be together. To recall singer Billy Eckstine’s ballad: “My destiny is to be in love with you. Makes no difference what you say or do. I must stay in love with you. That’s my destiny. It’s the thing you can’t control.” Ala ngarud!
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 w rites columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts 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: email@example.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.
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
* The information provided in this article is not legal advice. Publication of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
AUGUST 6, 2022