JULY 2015












Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACC) President Rufino Crisostomo (R) shows where the stolen bust situated while Rizal kin Dr. Ramon Lopez (L) looks on.

Theft of Rizal’s bust in Chicago mars hero’s 154th birthday fete

CHICAGO--The commemoration of the 154th birthday of the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, June 19, at the Jose Rizal Heritage Center, the headquarters of the Filipino American Council of Chicago (FACC), was marred by the theft of Rizal’s bust located at the center’s entrance.

FACC president, Dr. Rufino Crisostomo said that the center maintenance man reported the bust missing from its pedestal on June 16, morning after an evening of revelries celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup Victory over Tampa’s hockey team, Lightning, on June 15.

The Rizal Center is a walking distance from Wrigley Field, one of the venues where thousands of sports fans gathered and celebrated into the early hours of the following day. Some tipsters informed Dr. Crisostomo that six intoxicated revelers yanked out Rizal’s bust and carted it away in a car.



U.S. House body hears charges of HR violations by PH authorities

By Jon Melegrito

WASHINGTON, D.C. — “If a bishop is not safe in the Philippines, who is going to be safe in his country?”
This was the question posed by T. Kumar, International Advocacy Director for Amnesty International, USA during a two-hour briefing sponsored by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) July 15.
The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (formerly known as the Congressional Human Rights Caucus) aims “to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights norms in a nonpartisan manner, both within and outside of Congress, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments.” As an investigative body, it makes recommendations to policy makers and legislators.

Kumar was referring to the alleged recent harassment of the familyof Bishop Solito Toquero, former Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church Manila Episcopal Area.

Testifying at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission are, from left, Marietta Corpuz, Amaryllis Hilao-Enriquez, Brian Campbell, Bishop Solito Toquero and T. Kumar. (PINOY PHOTO BY JON MELEGRITO)


USCIS Recalling and Replacing Some Three-Year DACA Permits

 CHICAGO - - Earlier this year, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) incorrectly issued a few thousand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permits that were valid for three years instead of two. These incorrect permits were sent to grantees after February 16, 2015 - the date of the court order blocking President Obama’s recent attempt to expand DACA. USCIS is now trying to recall these incorrect work permits and will begin visits in Chicago, Los Angeles and possibly Dallas and Houston as part of their recall effort.
These actions impact approximately 150 - 200 DACA grantees in the Chicago area. Grantees who received inaccurate three-year permits after February 16, 2015, must turn in the permit at a local USCIS field office. The USCIS office in Chicago is located at 101 W. Congress. USCIS will then issue a correct two-year permit to each of these grantees if the agency has not done so already. The recall has no impact on a grantees’ job, their Social Security Number, their driver’s license, or anything else arising from their permits.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which began in 2012, has already benefited more than 664,000 immigrant youths, protecting them from deportation and allowing them to work, study, and move forward with their lives in the United States. The court order blocking expanded DACA does not impact youth who qualify for the original DACA program created in 2012. Youth who qualify should still apply, and youth whose DACA approval is expiring should apply for renewal.

If grantees do not return the invalid work permits, USCIS plans to contact grantees through visits to their last known home addresses, which may cause unnecessarily concern and confusion for immigrant families. USCIS may also cancel the DACA grant and work permits of those who do not comply. The best way to avoid these measures is by returning the incorrect work permit to a USCIS office.

For more information call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (press option 8), or ICIRR’s information line, 855-435-7693 (855-HELP-MY-FAMILY).


JULY 2015 


Inside PINOY

MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle shown with Pope Francis (in an Inquirer’s file photo) urged Filipino Catholics to “study, enrich, discuss and meditate” on the various points of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si” (Praised Be to You) on right photo).

(Read more Inside PINOY...)


JULY 2015


Praised Be: “On care for our common home”

Guest Editorial
Public Lives
By Randy David
Inquirer News Service

Early reports on Pope Francis’ much-anticipated encyclical on the environment have tended to frame its message in an old question: Can religion add anything significant to the understanding of complex issues that belong to the province of modern science? More specifically, can a pope’s pronouncements on the contentious issues of climate change carry any weight at all?

Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, “Laudato Si,” (Praised Be) subtitled “On care for our common home,” the initial media accounts laud his “masterful grasp of the science behind climate.” They resonate the hope that a voice like his, coming from one of the most trusted figures in the world, could shape the current debate on climate change. Still, as the Washington Post reminds us, “the encyclical comes at a time when institutional religion’s influence is waning in many parts of the world.”

Having had a chance to read most of the 192-page final document, I think it would be misleading to take Francis’ intervention as an attempt to “weigh in” on the scientific issues. He knows that is not the role of religion.

Indeed, he concedes to the complexity of environmental issues. “Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.”


(Read more Praised Be: “On care for our common home”...)


JULY 2015

Sharing a National Story


By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington



June was a busy month in the nation’s capital, bursting all over with momentous events.

There were three press conferences, two gala balls, a book launch, an art exhibit, a Philippine Embassy reception at the prestigious Reagan Trade Center, a community forum on undocumented immigrants and a showcase of Philippine Design, Textiles and Fashion.

In a way, they were all connected to the June 12 celebration of Philippine Independence.

But what highlighted for me the recurring theme of “No Filipino Left Behind” were two major issues of critical importance to the Filipino American community: the Filipino World War II Veterans’ long wait for US recognition, and the low enrollment of undocumented Filipinos in the Obama administration’s immigration relief programs.

On the veterans, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret) used the occasion of a June 12 Gala Ball “to reflect and perhaps be more introspective why we assembled here tonight.” Excerpts of his keynote speech are worth reprinting here:


(Read more Sharing a National Story...)



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