Daily Archives: April 23, 2016

The Racism of Filipinos or FilAm Bashing

Article
April 22,2016

The Racism of Filipinos or FilAm Bashing

By Arturo P. Garcia

KmB at IWD MArch, March 06, 2016The PH Supreme Court, by issuing a temporary restraining order against portions of the laws on overseas absentee voting and a Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution banning the practice of partisan political activity abroad during the overseas voting period, was widely welcomed in the US.

The Supreme Court decision dealt a big blow to the racism of some Filipinos who treat their fellow Filipinos as second-class Filipinos whose rights they can trample on.

Thus, Filipinos in the United States were extremely elated over the decision of the PH Supreme Court, in its last summer session for the year, partially granted a petition from Filipino-American Loida Nicolas-Lewis

FilAm Bashing or Filipino Racism

JFAV National Coordinator Arturo P.Garcia said, “this ruling affirms that the COMELEC is partial and is biased towards Filams and OFW abroad by stifling their basic freedoms.

This kind of FilAm bashing was practiced by the COMELEC on Senator Grace Poe.

Filams remember that the COMELEC acting in abuse of its discretion, disqualified Senator Grace Poe from running saying “she lied by saying she is a natural born citizen” and she was a American citizen and not a Filipino.

Luckily the Supreme Court intervened and stopped the COMELEC in their track and saved the day for Seantor Poe and for all Flipino-Americans.

Line of Attack

Grace Poe

The target of attack was focused on Senator Grace Poe. Her political detractors branded her as an “American Girl” and in the most unkind manner chided her “ for abjuring her citizenship” and “she was not a Filipino.”

The harshest attack came for Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. He made this a reason why he ran for President. He said,” I ran because I do not want An American to be the President of the Philippines.” A clear case of racism and FilAm bashing.

After the PH Supreme Court Decision, Duterte kept quiet. But this does not mean he will not use this issue. on the last Presidential debate in Cebu, Vice President Binay attacked Senator Poe with this diatribe.

Other candidates political operators kept harping on this issue like Senator Poe’s “fake social security number” and her husband’s and children’s American citizenship.

They are still appealing to the twisted notion of Filipino patriotism which can be best ascribed as racism. Treating Filipinos abroad as second class citizens is against real Filipino values.”

The Supreme Court Decision 

Through the TRO, the SC “enjoined the Comelec, its deputies and other related instrumentalities from implementing the following: (i) Section 36.8 of Republic Act No. 9189, as amended by RA 10590; and (ii) Section 74 (II) (8) and other related provisions of Comelec resolution No. 10035.”

The high court, however, clarified that,” overseas Filipinos are prohibited from campaigning and conducting partisan political activities within Philippine Embassies, Consulates, and other posts where overseas voters may exercise their right to vote pursuant to the Overseas Absentee Voting System..”

In her petition, Lewis said while the contested provisions reflected the spirit behind the Omnibus Election Code, “the manner by which this is to be carried out fails to consider the unique context of overseas absentee voting, thereby resulting in the undue curtailment of the most cherished rights of freedom of speech and expression, and of information.”

The petitioner said,” the contested provisions prejudiced not only her right to freedom of expression, but also of others in future cases involving the information and education of the electorate. ”

Nicolas-Lewis said,” the contested provisions particularly violated Articles 1 and 4 of the Philippine Constitution, on due process and equal protection of laws, and freedom of speech, expression and assembly. She also stressed that there is no criminal jurisdiction over Filipinos abroad.

The petitioner said rules on campaigning abroad should be more relaxed than that in the Philippines.”

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From the Margins to the Margin of VIctory

Article
April 23,2016

From the Margins to the Margin of VIctory

By Arturo P. Garcia

13012639_10206509702766650_4250695187210728420_nThe Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) have given their Ambassadors and Head of Mission a dressing down this week.

It was because less than 9,000 overseas Filipinos have voted for the May 9 elections. This despite the fact that the overseas voting started last April 9, 2016

There are more than 1.3 million overseas voters around the world. At least 276,000 of them are in the United States.

Global Filipino Votes

Looking at this number, the Filipino global votes can be compared to a vote rich region in the Philippines or at least a vote rich province like Cebu or Pangasinan.

That is why the intervention of Lewis on behalf of the FilAm community and the recent PH Supreme Court decision that favor the Filipinos overseas cut the COMELEC into size is very timely.

Garcia added, “The Grace Poe For President Movement (GPPM) in North America and USA is elated that overseas Filipinos all over the world for now can continue campaigning for their preferred national candidates in the May 2016 elections despite the ongoing overseas absentee voting.”

From Being Marginalized to the Margin of Victory

For a long time since the overseas absentee voting was introduced to give Filipinos abroad a chance to vote in Philippine Presidential Elections, the number of voters dramatically increase to today’s number of 1.3 million voters.

From being marginalized, the Filipinos abroad now is a force to reckon with and can provide the margin of victory for a presidential candidate.

It can also make or break, a senatorial candidate and can give him or her a margin in the Magic 12. 600,000 votes out of 1.3 million overseas voters is enough margin to win a seat in the Senate.

With the multi-party system in the Philippines, political analysts, and everybody is expecting a very close fight.

With five candidates, the margin of victory is projected to only 600, 000 votes or 25% to 30% of the vote.

It started with the 1986 elections during Marcos time when Marcos won the elections over Cory Aquino with less than 600,000 votes. It was repeated when General Fidel Ramos won in 1992. It was repeated when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won over Fernando Poe
Jr. with less than 800,000 votes has become a trend.

Now the Filipinos abroad can now exercise not only their economic power but also their political power by the power of the ballot and voting power.

Thus, Filipino dual citizens and green card holders must come out in force and vote. Practice your rights and provide the margin of victory to your choice candidate.

Let every vote counts!

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