Villages of Morton Grove & Skokie proclaim 2016 as U.S.-PH Friendship Year
LEFT PHOTO: SKOKIE Mayor George Van Dusen takes time to pose of photo with his Filipino American constituents led by PINOY publisher Mariano A. Santos shown holding a framed copy of the proclamation June 20. Also in photo is Ferdinand Soco, Chair of the Skokie beautification commission and Jelly Carandang, former planning commissioner. (Photo by F. Soco)
By Mariano "Anong" Santos
CHICAGO—Two mayors in Illinois with a high concentration of Filipino American residents in their respective villages have recently issued a proclamation to declare 2016 as US-Philippine Friendship Year to commemorate the 70th year of the U.S. granting of independence to the Philippines on July 4, 1946.
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen and Morton Grove Mayor Daniel DiMaria issued separate proclamations early in June citing the historical relationship between the U.S. and its former colony, highlighting the American and Filipino alliance in fighting the Japanese invaders during World War II.
In my capacity as chairperson of the Committee to Commemorate the 70th Year of the U.S.-Philippine Friendship Year in Chicago, I’m happy to announce a series of activities this year beginning with the Filipino community participation in the July 4th parades in the two contiguous villages.
Participating in the July 4th parades is a timely and effective way for Filipino Americans to make mainstream America aware of the existence of a longstanding friendship between our two countries that impacts the mutual military and commercial interests involved in the on-going South China Sea conflict.
An open forum and discussions on the history and issues surrounding U.S. and Philippine relations are being planned in the coming months culminating during the celebration of Philippine American History Month in October.
The Philippines celebrated its Independence Day on July 4th until 1961 when then incumbent Philippine President Diosdado P. Macapagal led the move to change the day of commemoration to June 12, the day when the President of the First Philippine Republic, Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo, proclaimed Philippine Independence after the Filipinos successfully waged a war of liberation against Spain.
On February 4, 1899, the Filipino American War broke out. When Aguinaldo was captured on March 23, 1901, the American occupation of the Philippines formally started and would last until 1946. Filipinos started in 1992 to mark July 4th as U.S.-Philippine Friendship Day.
Philippine Consul General Generoso Calonge in his capacity as honorary chairman of the committee led members of local Filipino community in their participations in the July 4th parades. Members of the Knights of Rizal, Philippine Independence Week Committee, Fil-Am Club of St. Martha Church and Gawad Kalinga volunteers signed on to march in the parades.
The Skokie parade started at 11:30 a.m. at the Oakton Community College at Lincoln Avenue and Skokie Blvd. with Jelly Carandang, NaFFAA regional Chair acting as the coordinator. Morton Grove Trustee Ed Ramos coordinated the Fil-Am participation in the Morton Grove parade that started at 2 p.m.
Interested persons or groups, please call Jelly at 630-564-7949, Ed Ramos at 224-875-8359 or Anong Santos at 847 528-4991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist, Amando Doronilla on Duterte and the Media:
“The AP reported that Duterte, in an outburst at a late night news conference in Davao City, lambasted journalists, saying “Don’t threaten me. Boycott, boycott … go ahead, damn you!”
The outburst came after international and local news groups expressed outrage over Duterte’s remarks about the media killings.
Reporters Without Borders urged local media to boycott his news conferences until he issues a public apology.
Duterte replied that he would survive even if journalists boycotted him because he could ask state-run TV network to cover his activities.
“I’m telling the networks I do not need you,” he said. He threatened to order his Cabinet members not to speak to journalists who are not from the state-run network.
According to the International Federation of Journalists, the Philippines has been the second deadliest country for journalists since 1990, behind only war-torn Iraq.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Duterte’s remarks “apparently excusing extrajudicial killings threaten to make the Philippines into a killing field for journalists.”
It said the country ranks fourth on its impunity index, which spotlights the countries where the killers of journalists go unpunished.
Duterte’s crass pronouncements not only sully the memories of journalists who have been murdered since 1986, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.