Inquirer News Service
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton being introduced to the API crowd (mostly Filipinos) during the official launch of AAPI for Hillary campaign Jan. 8 in San Gabriel, California.PHOTO BY ELTON LUGAY
SAN GABRIEL, California—Next to the Chinese, Filipinos are the second largest Asian American group in the whole of United States. “But ever wonder why when it comes to benefits for cultural presentations, academic scholarships, meron ang mga Latino, meron ang mga Chinese, even Vietnamese but ang Filipino, wala [Latinos get a share, as do the Chinese and even the Vietnamese, but there is nothing for the Filipino]? Because we are not united?”
These were the words of Loida Nicolas Lewis, a zealous longtime supporter of U.S. presidential Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, as a busload of Filipino American voters rolled into the Hilton San Gabriel Jan. 8 for the official launch of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“I know how important family is to all of you,” Hillary Clinton said in her speech. “And that’s how I see our country. I see us, when we’re at our best, as lifting up families, helping families to be strong,helping families get the support they need to do the best they can fort heir children and for their parents."
Immigration reform is a top priority in Hillary Clinton’s policy agenda. She pledged to continue fighting for a path to full and equal citizenship for immigrants by defending President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action on Parents of Americans, expanding citizenship fee waivers, reducing the backlog for family visas, and increasing access to language programs to help people boost their English proficiency.
With the official launch of AAPI for Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign, community leaders have lined up fund raising and organizing activities through nationwide chapters especially in the battleground states where Filipino votes could swing the vote.
Lewis for her part has volunteered to form a committee to raise funds with a private reception in her Manhattan apartment. “With 40 people giving the maximum primary donation of $2700, the goal is to raise at least $100,000,” she said.
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By Mariano "Anong" Santos
PINOY NEWSMAGAZINE Publisher/Editor
Making a difference at Barangay Encanto in Bulacan
above PHOTO: Leading GK Advocates including Inquirer.Net columnist Jose “Boy” Montelibano (L), top local vitner Manny Osmena (4th fr. L), Tony Meloto, Dr. Zita B. Yorro, Dr. Boy Abay and Anong Santos (6th,7th,8th 9th fr. L) pose for a souvenir photo at the farm’s landmark/entrance fronting the bamboo auditorium donated by Hyuandai Auto Corp. (Photo by Francis M. de Guzman)
By Mariano "Anong" Santos
It’s clear now—it is not only about building houses for the poor. Gawad Kalinga (GK) is about empowering the poor to liberate them out of poverty. That GK has built more than 250,000 houses all over the Philippines is not something to sneeze about.
But with an estimated 32 million poor Filipinos still around, how does one meet the daunting task of eliminating poverty?
I attended the GK Social Business Summit Jan. 15 in Angat, Bulacan to witness the dedication of the dormitory that my wife and I had donated at the Enchanged Farm. To my surprise, I got more than I had bargained for.
To understand what I mean, I’m sharing with you the following story of a delegate that attended the same event.
The best investment you can make to create a
By Rob Aspin
We all have pivotal moments in our lives, where a new direction or realization is offered to us. Last Jan. 15-17 has been such a moment for me.
On those three days, I attended Gawad Kalinga’s ( GK) Social Business Summit at its Enchanted Farm , Barangay Encanto, Angat, Bulacan. Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. is a movement that aims to end poverty for five million families by restoring the dignity of the poor.
The Enchanted Farm (EF) is not an amusement park, it’s a damn sight better. Out of a waste piece of land, the GK team have been able to create a beautiful oasis where poor villagers can thrive, working with some of the most innovative and good-hearted entrepreneurs I could ever have come to meet.
It is a relatively new platform established by GK to raise social entrepreneurs to help the local farmers and create wealth in the countryside. What Tony Meloto and his team have done is simply stunning.
Will the U.S. defend PH against China?
EDITORIAL CARTOON BY JIM ANDALIS
By Steve Chapman
NOW THAT the Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), will the United States defend the Philippines if the islands and shoals the Philippines occupies in the West Philippine Sea are attacked by China?
This is the question that must have sprung in the minds of ordinary Filipinos after the high court dismissed the petitions questioning the validity of the agreement that was signed by the Philippines and the United States in 2014.
The Edca allows the stationing of more US military forces in the Philippines, which both U.S. and Filipino authorities claim will only be on a rotational basis during military training and exercises, and disaster relief operations.
Under the terms of the Edca, the US undertaking is to provide training and exercises for military purposes, as well as disaster relief assistance, by stationing American forces on a rotational basis in the Philippines. Toward these ends, the U.S. is given rent-free use of Philippine locations where it can bring equipment, vehicles, supplies, and weaponry, with the U.S. retaining ownership of these movable properties. The Philippines will have to pay for these movable properties if it wants to acquire them. The U.S. can also construct, renovate, and expand permanent structures that will be used for these activities. Ownership of the structures will be given to the Philippines if these are no longer used by the U.S., but the latter has the right to demand payment for its construction expenses.
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AAPI advocates urge Supreme Court to uphold Obama’s executive action
By Jon Melegrito
Letter from Washington
Immigrant rights activists in the Asian American Pacific Islander community are delighted. On January 18, the Supreme Court agreed to review President Obama’s Executive Order granting immigration relief to an estimated 5 million undocumented parents of American citizens. If the highest court upholds the president’s action, many Asian immigrants stand to gain a three-year reprieve from deportation – including approximately 45,000 Filipinos.
A decision is expected in June, a month before the national Republican and Democratic parties select their presidential nominees.
The issue of immigration has been a contentious one during the presidential campaign. The Democrats have overwhelmingly supported the President, while Republican candidates (notably Donald Trump) have called for mass deportation of all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
In November 2014, the President established the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program (DAPA) and expanded the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program (DACA+). He signed it after the Republican-controlled Congress failed to enact changes in the country's immigration policies.
But a Texas court challenged the constitutionality of President Obama’s Immigration Executive Action. Twenty-six states have since sued the government in federal court. Last November, the U.S. 5th Circuit of Appeals decided to block the implementation of the Expanded DACA and DAPA programs from taking effect, leaving millions of undocumented immigrants, including more than 400,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in limbo without administrative relief.