Trump does not publicly rebuke Duterte for drug war killings

MANILA— ( Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sanctioned a bloody drug war that features extrajudicial killing. He called Barack Obama a “son of a whore.” In October, he boasted that he murdered a man with his own hands.

All that went unmentioned in public by President Donald Trump when the leaders held talks on Nov. 13 in the Philippines.

Reporters saw the beginning of the leaders’ bilateral meeting in during which Trump praised Duterte’s hospitality, the organization of the summit he was hosting and even Manila’s weather. Trump said nothing about human rights and both leaders ignored shouted questions about the violent drug crackdown. The two men also shared a laugh in the meeting when Duterte called reporters “spies.”

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the 40-minute meeting focused on ISIS, illegal drugs, and trade. Human rights, she added, briefly came up in the context of the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs. She did not say if Trump was critical of the violence.

That appeared to conflict with the Philippines’ version of the meeting. Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said “there was no mention of human rights. There was no mention of extralegal killings.”

Duterte’s war on drugs has alarmed human rights advocates around the world. Government officials estimate that well over 3,000 people, mostly drug users and dealers, have died in the ongoing war on drugs crackdown by Duterte. Duterte has strenuously defended the violence and boasted of participating himself.

“When I was a teenager, I had been in and out of jail, rumble here and there,” Duterte said during a speech in Danang, where he briefly crossed paths with Trump on the sidelines of an international summit. “At the age of 16, I already killed someone.”

(Read more "Trump does not publiclyrebuke Duterte for drug war killings"...)

100,000 Filipinos in path of California wildfires — DFA

By Pathricia Ann V. Roxas

The Department of Foreign Affairs has warned the more than 100,000 Filipinos along the path of three fast-moving wildfires in southern California to “take the necessary precautions and evacuate their homes if ordered to by local authorities.”

In a statement released on Nov. 6, the DFA said it was closely monitoring the raging fires in Ventura County and another two in Los Angeles County, which, according to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, could affect as many as 115,000 members of the Filipino community.

“We join our kababayans in the Philippines and in the U.S. in praying for the members of the Filipino Community and their neighbors in Ventura and Los Angeles counties that they will be spared from the raging infernos that are threatening their lives and their homes,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

While expressing concern over the outbreak, Cayetano urged Filipinos in the affected areas to closely monitor developments, listen to instructions from authorities, and be ready to evacuate if necessary.

“Kababayans affected by the fires should not hesitate to get in touch with the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles if they need assistance,” Cayetano said.

“Filipinos affected by the fires can contact the Philippine Consulate General at (213) 268-9990 or (213) 587-0758 for assistance,” Consul General Adel Angelito Cruz said.

Cruz said there were around 25,800 and 89,400 Filipinos in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley, respectively.

She added that they were monitoring the Creek Fire and the Rye Fire in Los Angeles County for wildfires, which have already consumed more than 11,500 acres and have remained out of control.(


Northbrook, IL.Police: Murder suspect may have fled to PH via Mexico

NORTHBROOK, IL.—Police of this upscale suburbs on the north of Chicago revealed November 8 that the Filipino American suspect for the murder of a real estate lawyer in this village last December 7 might have fled to the Philippines by way of Mexico.

Police had issued an international red alert for the arrest and extradition of John G. Panaligan, 51, formerly of Aurora, Illinois. The suspect is considered to be extremely dangerous.

Northbrook police chief, Charles Warwick announced in a press conference last March 6, that Panaligan had left the Chicago area right after the strangulation death of 36-year-old Jigar Patel at his law office in the business district of this village.

right pic: john g. pangilinan

But in a stunning development, the Chicago Tribune in its November 11, 2017 edition, reported that the Northbrook police had actually met with Panaligan late last year relating to the murder but did not arrest him for lack of evidence.

The Tribune reported that two days after the death of Patel, Canadian authorities arrested Panaligan at the town of Emerson near the border of North Dakota where he attempted to leave the United States. Panaligan, who was carrying a .40 Caliber handgun, was charged with smuggling of a firearm and was detained until December 22.

Panaligan pleaded guilty in Winnipeg Provincial Court and was fined $9,000, ordered to forfeit the gun and was released with time served, the Tribune reported. Shortly after he got back to Illinois, he was interviewed by the Northbrook police. Panaligan went on the lam again in mid-January, the police said.

(Read more "Northbrook, IL Police: Murder suspect may have fled to PH via Mexico")


AFIRE Chicago Citizenship Application Workshop in March 2018

The Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) Chicago is holding a Citizenship Application Workshop in February 2018. Licensed attorneys and trained volunteers are available to help. Registration is first-come, first serve- There is no guarantee everyone will be seen if capacity is reached. For more information, call 773-580-1025.

New PH envoy Romualdez leaves for US

The Philippines has sent off an ambassador to the United States, a post that has been vacant for the past year and a half since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office.

Newspaper columnist Jose Manuel Romualdez left on Nov. 20 for Washington DC to take up his post, almost four months since Malacañang announced his appointment last July.

He has to formally present his diplomatic credentials to the US government before he can officially start his tour of duty.

He said one of his priorities was to touch base with US officials since the Philippines had had no ambassador to its strongest defense ally since the last ambassador, Jose Cuisia Jr. ended his tour of duty in June 2016.

Since assuming office in June 2016, Mr. Duterte has pursued closer ties with US rivals China and Russia.

Duterte has several times badmouthed the US under the Obama administration for criticizing the human rights abuses under his “war on drugs.”
Romualdez believed that Philippine-US relations had “greatly improved” especially since US

President Donald Trump’s visit, and said he would convince Mr. Duterte to accept Trump’s “open invitation” to make a visit. (

(More stories on COMMUNITY NEWS PAGE)




Rejection of Cardinal Cupich is like ‘giving the Pope the middle finger’

By Mariano "Anong" Santos

PINOY Publisher/Editor


EXACTLY a year after the surprise election of Donald Trump on Nov. 7, I joined a dozen Filipino Americans in a luncheon forum at the University Club in the Loop with Blasé Cardinal Cupich as main speaker.

This is courtesy of Jan Paul Ferrer of Morgan Stanley who generously picked up the tab for thirty of his clientele and colleagues. JP is a fellow advocate in Gawad Kalinga where he heads a silk worm farm--social entrepreneur company-- that will help create jobs for the poorest of the poor back home.

Chicago Archbishop Blaise Cardinal Cupich shares his thoughts on pro-life issue Nov. 7 at the University Club in Chicago with PINOY publisher/editor, Mariano A. Santos (PINOY PHOTO)

During the Q & A after a stirring speech of Cardinal Cupich, I was able to ask him on how the leaders of the Catholic Church can reach out to the many Catholic voters who helped elect Trump based on the single issue of abortion despite the allegations that Trump had sexually disrespected many women. Meaning, Trump could hardly be the person one can call a pro-lifer.

Cardinal Cupich is forthright and thorough in responding to my query. While he conceded that abortion is important in the realm of pro-life issue, he was, however, emphatic in saying that pro-life means an array of issues involving human dignity--not only defending the unborn. The foundational work of the Church, he said, means also protecting the most vulnerable in our society in more than one way.

These include the assurance that mothers get proper health care and that they get a fair chance to a full and prosperous life. Being pro-life, he also emphasized, involves helping the handicap, the poor elderly and the victims of violence in the cities—people who can easily fall in the cracks of society.

He mentioned that he espouses Cardinal Bernardin’s “consistent ethic of solidarity” and development of the “consistent ethic of life.” The approach to opposing abortion as part and parcel of fighting against capital punishment, euthanasia, unjust wars and supporting the health of mothers after giving birth.

(Read more “Rejection of Cardinal Cupich is like ‘giving the Pope the middle finger’"...)




The Trump-Duterte drug war tango

By Aryeh Neier
Inquirer News Service

Editorial Cartoon by Jym Andalis

NEW YORK — When US President Donald Trump visited the Philippines on the last stop of his marathon trip to Asia, he paid respects to President Rodrigo Duterte. Since Duterte’s inauguration last year, police and affiliated death squads have summarily executed more than 8,000 suspected drug users. Duterte himself has bragged of his role in launching and overseeing these extrajudicial killings.

Trump has boasted of his close ties to Duterte, and the two men have developed a fast affinity at their meeting. What they were not expected to do is talk seriously about human rights. On Nov. 8, Duterte told reporters what he would say if Trump broached the topic: “Lay off.”
The major question then is how explicitly Trump will endorse Duterte’s policy and practice of mass murder. Trump’s mere presence was interpreted as a signal to law enforcement there, in the United States, and elsewhere that corruption and criminal violence in the service of a policy goal are acceptable.

The two men have much in common. Both take pride in denigrating political opponents and international figures, such as former president Barack Obama and Pope Francis. Both enjoy using crude language in public statements. Both boast of their prowess as womanizers. Both express warm feelings for Russian President Vladimir Putin. And both repeatedly claim widespread popular support, contrary to data (although Duterte does seem to have the edge in actual popular backing).

Of course, Trump has not embarked on a campaign of murder in America. He has never even hinted at having any intention of doing so, and he could not do it even if he wanted to, given checks and balances on the power of any US government official. Nonetheless, that has not stopped him from expressing disdain for his own justice department, or from seeking to use the judicial process as a means of retaliating against political opponents. Duterte’s apparent contempt for legal formalities seems to elicit Trump’s admiration. But if Trump expresses support for Duterte’s campaign of mass murder—either directly or by omission—he will also be condoning police corruption.

(Read more "The Trump-Duterte drug war tango"...)



By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington


Filipino veterans and their families gather at the National World War II Memorial in Washington on October 26 to honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in battle. (JON MELEGRITO)

Righting a wrong

A year ago this month President Obama signed into law the “Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015,” which finally granted recognition to the 260,000 Filipino soldiers who served under the American flag from July 1941 to December 1946.

On October 25, U.S. Congress, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, honored these veterans by formally presenting the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony attended by 21 living veterans and more than 300 family members of deceased veterans.

It was a historic moment. After 75 years, the story of Filipinos fighting and making the supreme sacrifice is now enshrined in U.S. history.

It was a sunny day at the Capitol. The wind was calm. Autumn leaves haven’t fallen yet.
The day belonged to twenty one men and women who came to the nation’s capital, the nation that once sent them to war, only to be forgotten. Of the 260,000 soldiers called to serve, 57,000 died in battle and another 9,000 perished marching from Bataan. Soon they will all fade away.

They came. Some in wheel chairs. Some with walking canes. And some held by the hand by a next of kin. Fragile, ailing and aging, the wounds of war have left their mark on their faces. But what scarred their souls is something deeper, more painful. A shameful act by Congress to deny them their rights, stripped them of their honor and dignity.

Slowly, they walked to Emancipation Hall.

(Read more "Righting a wrong"...)




By Fr. Tirso Villaverde

Filipino priests gather in Houston

Last month, I attended the Third National Assembly of Filipino Priests-USA (NAFP-USA) in Houston, TX. The first was held six years ago in Los Angeles. The second was three years ago in Orlando, Florida. Readers may remember reading previous articles regarding the NAFP-USA. It was started over six years ago under the leadership and guidance of Bishop Oscar Solis who was then an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is now Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah. Bishop Solis continues to be an integral leader in the NAFP-USA since he remains the only Filipino bishop in the entire United States of America. The assembly in Houston—like the others—was a great time for the Filipino priests throughout the nation to come together for camaraderie, prayer and formation.

Fellow “Kababayan priests” from Lucban, Quezon. (L to R): Fr. Jerry Paderon; Fr. Rodel Faller ; Fr. Mio Pavino; Fr. Jojo Unlayao of the Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord; Fr. Tirso Villaverde, and Fr. Alvin Cabungcal.

As nearest as we can estimate, there are about 900 (or even more) Filipino priests serving in various dioceses or capacities in the entire United States. This number includes those who were ordained for dioceses in the U.S., those who incardinated (transferred) into dioceses in the United States, and those who have been given the proper permission to work or study here. The number of priests includes those who belong to a diocese as well as members of religious orders. The Filipino immigrant population is one of the fastest growing immigrant population in the country. It is a fortunate occurrence that Filipino priests are among those who have been able to immigrate to this country as well. Without the presence of Filipino priests, not only would dioceses find it difficult to minister to our Filipino brothers and sisters but dioceses would also not be blessed with hard working priests to serve in various capacities.

Catholic contingency

During the assembly last month in Houston, there were some interesting statistics shared by a professor who may have been the first to do actual research into the Filipino immigrant population. The research was done by Dr. Stephen Cherry of the University of Houston. It is a research that may still need a great deal more research but, as it was presented, there were some interesting trends characteristic of the Filipino immigrant population.

(Read more "Filipino priests gather in Houston "...)


Simbang Gabi Schedule for Archdiocese of Chicago & Joliet Diocese

(click on above link)

December Protestant events

December 8 (Friday)

7:00 pm- Christmas Concert at Edison Park United Methodist Church, 6740 N. Oliphant, Chicago. Donation will benefit church youth to join the annual Christmas Institute Dec. 26-29 at Lake Wiliamson Christian Center, Carliville, Illinois. The institute helps develop skills for leadership and music. It strengthens spiritual commitment to serving God. For more info, call Rev. Victor Melad, Jr. 773-792-3030.

December 16-24

6:30 pm-"Simbang Gabi" Philippine American Ecumenical Church (PAEC), 3737 N. Albany Ave., Chicago. Different messages every evening. Light refreshment after the service. Call Bishop Eliezer Pascua for details 773-583-4448.

December 23 (Saturday)

5-10 pm- Joy Dance Holiday gathering, Devonshire Cultural Center, Skokie, Call Malou Tabo for tickets, 773-816-8439.



Life after entry without inspection (Part 5)

By Alberto Gonzales

Immigration Attorney

(708) 916-3077

Note: This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to constitute legal advice. This article provides a general overview only and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with an immigration attorney.

Twenty years ago, Maria, as an undocumented immigrant from the Philippines, crossed the border into the U.S. from Canada without presenting herself to a U.S. immigration officer. This entry is called “entry without inspection” (EWI). Then, on April 20, 2001, Maria’s U.S. citizen brother filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition for her. Now, Maria has recently married Jose, who is a U.S. lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder). Is there any immigration relief available to Maria?

Adjustment of status (AOS) is the process in which one applies for a green card without leaving the U.S. The alternative to AOS is to apply for an immigrant visa before a U.S. consulate abroad. However, if such person has been unlawfully present in the U.S. for over 180 days, departing the U.S. may cause that person to be barred from returning for many years. Thus, AOS is often the preferred way of obtaining green card status.

According to Section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), only a person who has been “inspected and admitted” or “paroled” or a Violence Against Women Act approved self-petitioner may apply for AOS. EWI is not considered being inspected and admitted or paroled. Fortunately, Section 245(i) of the INA allows certain undocumented immigrants, like Maria, to apply for AOS, despite being EWI.

(Read more "Life after entry without inspection, Part 5")



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