Monthly Archives: June 2016

UNITY AND STRUGGLE WITH PRESIDENT ELECT RODRIGO DUTERTE

KOMUNIDAD
June 22, 2016

UNITY AND STRUGGLE WITH PRESIDENT ELECT RODRIGO DUTERTE

duterte-joma-sison

By Arturo Garcia

An avowed “Leftist” and self-proclaimed Socialist, Rodrigo Duterte is set to be the first president of the Philippine client-state who is not beholden to US imperialism less than a week from now on June 30, 2016.

His rise to the presidency is starkly significant. Very different from the six years of all-out puppetry by the outgoing Aquino III regime which allowed the US imperialists to fortify its military foothold in the country.

Aquino III allowed the US to expand its military presence on the pretext of defending against China encroachments and by re-establishing US military bases through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Aquino III brought back the “culture of impunity” by waging a war of counter-insurgency against the people, heightened human right violations, refused to talked peace with the NDF,jailed NDF consultants and activists and acted with partiality with the MILF.

As a President, Aquino III showed utmost insensitivities to people’s demands and insulated himself with his own PR-media campaign believing himself that “he, the emperor has his clothes on.”

Very different from his landlord-capitalist predecessor, Duterte has called for renewed peace talks, made the fight against crime and corruption as his center piece. In the process, many in the lethargic and corrupt law enforcement agencies are in a frenzy to hype up their “killing” and arrest scoreboard to ingratiate themselves to the new dispensation.

He also called for the rewriting the history of Mindanao from the point-of-view of the people’s resistance against their subjugators and colonizers. The Filipino people can support Duterte in such an endeavor in order to highlight the courage and heroism of the Moro people and Lumads of Mindanao in their resistance against Spanish and US colonizers.

The burgeoning alliance with the Duterte regime can also see cooperation in the field of promoting both economic and militant nationalism with a clear anti-imperialist content, not the shallow “national pride” being promoted by the corporate media. He stated this by saying he will not go to war with China on the matter of the Aquino declared “West Philippine Seas.”

The Filipino people must urge the Duterte regime to pursue the nationalist policy disallowing the presence and stationing of foreign military troops by calling for the abrogation of unequal military treaties such as the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the newly approved EDCA.

The objective conditions of worsening crisis brought about by imperialist neo-liberal policies are pushing the Filipino people to develop a deep sense of anti-imperialism.

For more than three decades now, the US imperialists have blunted the people’s anti-imperialism through control and manipulation of commercial media to project the US as a champion of “anti-terror” and “freedom” and justify US terrorism, acts of aggression, intervention, occupation and colonization.

The patriotic and revolutionary forces can further encourage the incoming Duterte regime to support efforts for a renaissance of nationalism through a rewriting of history with the help from the progressive cabinet members and the vigilance of the people’s movement. The the point-of-view of the Filipino people’s resistance against colonialism and imperialism must be promoted.

But the revolutionary and the people’s movement must use the principle of unity and struggle well for the next six years of the Duterte Presidency .

All unity without struggle will lay them movement to the wayside like what happened for the last six years and during the first years of the Cory Aquino regime.

Let the events for the next six years unravel who really Mr. Duterte is and what the opportunities are for the revolutionary movement.

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THREE VICTORIES FOR THE NIGHT

KOMUNIDAD
June 21, 2016

THREE VICTORIES FOR THE NIGHT

By Arturo P. Garcia

There were three victories for this night.

The two were in the TV Series “Game of Thrones” and the big one was the real one- the big win of the Cleveland Cavaliers over the hometown favorite, The Golden State Warriors. And the last one was for the books.

The first victory was of Daenrys Stromborn, the Dragon Queen over the Slavers fleet at the Battle of Mirein.

Using her three dragons, she destroyed the Slaver fleet and was ready to reclaim her kingdom – the Seven Kingdom of Westeros with the help of Tyrion and her new found allies.

The second victory was of the Starks led by the former Night Watch Commander Lord, John Snow over the pretender Lord of Winterfell, Ramsey Bolton, at the episode titled “The Battle of the Bastards.”outside of Winterfell.

The close quarter battle was akin to the Battle of Waterloo where Lord Wellington of the British Army and her allies defeated the master of Europe, Emperor Napoleon on the ground of his choosing.

He picked the reverse slopes of Waterloo, a town near Brussels, Belgium in 1815.He concealed his army well. Sir Davos of the House Seaworth, helped John Snow picked his battle ground, preferred by Lord Stannis Baratheon outside Winterfell.

Although chastised by Lady Sansha for picking up a battle with outnumbered forces, John Snow was a typical brave commander. He told Lady Sansha,” We have to fight with what forces we have. We have begged for forces but that’s what we have.” And he fought bravely for what he have despite all the odds.

Like Lord Wellington he was saved by the timely arrival of The Prussian Army led by Field Marshal Blucher. That turned the tide of the battle in favor of the British Army. Thus Napoleon was defeated.

Like any good General as Mao said, ” There is no ever victorious general. A good general will have to overcome the limitations he had to win.”

Thus, when John Snow and his forces were almost surrounded by the army of Ramsey Bolton from all sides and were fighting for their lives, Lady Sansha Stark and her cousin’s army of the Knights the Vale led by Little Finger,Peter Baelysh ,arrived on time .

They in turn encircled the army of the Boltons, relieved the encircled forces of John Snow and led them to victory.

In the end, they were able to take Winterfell and gave poetic justice to the barbaric Lord Bolton who killed their brother Ricon Stark. Sasha feed him to his own dogs who he starved for seven days.

Truly, I can write about the ”Game of Thrones” because I watched in instead of the seventh game. I had this weird feeling that the Cavaliers will win the Game 7 and they really did.

As my friend Doc Orly posted in his Facebook page: “ Cleveland’s championship drought is over. LeBron James had a triple-double, Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer with 53 seconds left put Cleveland ahead to stay.

And the Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night. “

It’s the first major championship for the city of Cleveland since the Browns in 1964. It was a period of 52 years. Cavalier Lebron James feel on his knees on the floor, cried and thanked the lord for this grace.

Boying Pimentel summed up the Cavs victory: “Here’s a way of looking at it: Cleveland needed and wanted this more…”

Looking back, I did not regret watching the “Game of Thrones” and missed the NBA Games. I sensed something was wrong with the two successive wins of the Cavaliers and the successive loss of the Warriors.

It was a case of snatching the defeat from the jaws of victory.

It was a sad reality. Sometimes victory is sweeter in the virtual reality like in the GOT.

John Snow still lives!

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SCFDS CELEBRATES THEIR GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY AT THE REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, JUNE 18, 2016

EPCC  NEWS
June 22, 2016

SCFDS CELEBRATES THEIR GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY AT THE REAGAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, JUNE 18, 2016

By Arturo P.Garcia

13434745_10206884894226202_811854845269529001_nLos Angeles—It was a golden anniversary, 50 years worthy of celerating and remembering.

As dentists and guests from all over California and from the Philippines, came to celebrate their 5o years anniversary at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, their guest speaker Dr. Ralph Del Brunner summed it up;

“This event proved the power of organized dentistry California Dental Association and the Southern California Filipino Dental Society (SCFDS), for we can work together.”

The Development and Growth of the SCFDS13450907_10206885225954495_1846135689788037040_n

Dr.Bunner waxed romantic and traced the growth and development of organized dentisty from the 1960’s to the present.

“ The Governor of California was Ronald Reagan, the President was LBJ and the issue then was the Vietnam War. Gasoline is $ 32 cents per gallon and we used silver to fill the cavities then,” to the delight of the crowd.

Dr.Harley Orzame, the SCFDS treasurer gave the welcome address He said, “ organized dentistry and advocacy is the trademark of the SCFDS.

We did not only passed the law, we organized to make a curriculum for foreign dentist, help them pass the exams, and gave scholarship and help to train them to be good dentists.

Not only that, we advocated for community service to the Philippines and help a lot of community. An example is during the Thypoon Haiyan in Central Philippines. ” Dr.Orzame told the crowd.

SCFDS’s 50 Years Of Advocacy and Community Service13450031_10206884897306279_3838331221989410821_n (1)

SCFDS President Rene Calugcugan meanwhile paid tribute to all past president and officers of the SCFDS for running the organization for 50 years. “ For that we are forever grateful.”

Sponsors and the SCFD officers were awarded and recognized for their community service and exemplary contributions to the SCFDS.

The plaques and certifications of recognition came from the City of Los Angeles District 13 Council member Mitch O’ Farrell , the California Assembly District 51 Jimmy Gomez and the Office of the City Mayor Eric Garcetti.

A Special Achivement Award was given to Dr.Orlando Cagatao , one of the founders and President of the SCFDS. He was awarded by SCFDS President Dr.Rene Calugcugan and R.Virginia Castelo, SCFDS Executive Director.

SCFDS Highlights Filipino Cultural Tradition13483052_624597574363961_5484678428626764723_o

While the dinner was being served, the guests and the dentists were regaled by the Igorot Dancers from the St.Benedict and Holy Trinity Youth Group and a Folk Dance Group Of the St.Peter Catholic Community who presented the rich Filipino cultural heritage.

It’s the SCFDS way to highlight the rich Filipino cultural tradition by presenting the dances of the north and the southern Philippines. They were also given a special number from the father and daughter duo of Dr. Ephraim Dela Cruz and Dr. Nina De la Cruz-Tamares.

The closing remarks was given by Dra. Maria “Charade” Moran. The evening went on with dancing and picture taking.

A golden anniversary indeed to remember.

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THE NORTHERNERS

CULTURAL NOTES
June 21, 2016

THE NORTHERNERS

By Arturo P. Garcia

One an activist from Manila said about the comrades from the North,” If you see the highway from Manila, when you go the left, that’s the way to the north.”

Well, the connotation of what he was saying or joking about is that comrades from North Luzon are die-hard leftists. And that was the meaning “ the road to the north is the left way.”

But what he failed to mention is that the roads in the north most of all are zigzag roads. Not only zigzag but also steep, narrow and dangerous. So many have paid for their lives traversing these roads especially up and the down the mountains.

I remember one comrade in 1981 from Manila who asked me, “Can you tell me some of the stories of our comrades from the north. I really wanted to understand your situation. . Some comrades say you from the north are warm-hearted. But you are also grim and determined. I really want to know why.”

I just smiled and said, “Whenever you are ready, I am ready to tell you some stories.”

And after maybe two hours of story telling, I left her dumbfounded, shocked and crying. Honestly, I did not enjoy our session. But I know I had to do it.

That is one of the reason why it was very hard for me to write and tell stories about my time with the comrades from the north, It is a struggle for me. A very great struggle for me.

Thus, watching “Game of Thrones” or GOT is very therapeutic for me. It brings back sad and happy memories because it tells the story of people in real life. A case of art imitating life. Just in a very melodramatic fashion.

How they, the characters in GOT were affected by their experiences. How they became bad, scheming and filled with intrigues., cynical because of betrayals and hopeful in the face od adversities.

How they became and bring out the best and the worst in people. May they be Kings, Queens. Lords, Military leaders, Knights, servants, priests or counselors or just simple people.

How they perform their duties, their line of work, in their battles. And of course, how they lost and won it despite all odds.

I loved the term “ The North Remembers” I still remember when people came to us after the EDSA Revolution of 1986 and told us frankly:

“Comrades, if you have plans to lay down your arms and surrender, please leave your firearms to us. We remind you that your comrades and our people paid those firearms in blood. It was the fruit of countless years of our struggle. We will continue the fight if you decide to leave.”

Definitely, I felt insulted by those words but listening to the masses, it strengthens our resolve and reaffirms our faith that we are on the right track.

Thus we opposed the ceasefire of 1986-1987 but as loyal soldiers we followed democratic centralism. And after the Mendiola Massacre and the breakdown of the 60-day ceasefire we were proven right in opposing the peace talks.

And that’s the reason they called, the North Luzon as “the way to the left.” People don’t know that the north suffered like the fate of the House of Stark and their allies in GOT.

The AFP for the last 30 years crushed the guerilla bases in Marag Valley, Paco Valley, Zinandungan Valley, Ifugao, Eastern Abra, Eastern Isabela and Cagayan.Killed tens of thousands in series of massacres, torched their houses, and deprived them of their life, liberties, properties, rights and dignities as a people.

Thus, I just smiled and shake my head over the the revolutionary movement bubbly optimism about the peace negotiations, ceasefire and so-called reforms under the Duterte regime.

They should remember that they too negotiated with the Aquino Regime in 1986. They musts study and lear the lessons paid in blood more than 30 years ago.

Let this be their warning; THE NORTH REMEMBERS. The epople never forget and always remembers.

We hope that they have learned their lesson by now.

****

BREXIT OR NOT

KOMUNIDAD
June 21, 2016

BREXIT OR NOT

By Arturo Garcia

Two days from now,on June 23, the British people will vote on a referendum on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, often shortened to combining the words “Britain” and “exit, following the ‘Grexit’ or Greece Exit that did not prosper as an example.

Brexit is a political goal that has been pursued by various individuals , advocacy groups, and political parties since United Kingdom
(UK) joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973.

The turn of event turned for the worst when a pro-Brexit patriot shot and killed an anti Brexit parliament member Jo Cox in broad daylight, shouting: “Britain First.” Now the pro and anti Brexit advocates are in a stalemate.

There is a big implication for immigrants in UK and in EU on this referendum. There are a lot of Filipinos in Britain. There are more than 218,000 FilBrits in the United Kingdom. The second largest after Italy ( 271,000). For our brothers and sisters in England and those living in the EU countries, this will have a very great effect on their lives especially if the Cameroon capitalist reforms takes effect years from now.

For some progressive British political analysts, this is a ploy by the ruling class led by Prime Minister David Cameron who sought an agreement with other European Union leaders to change the terms of Britain’s membership. The deal is very one sided, in favor of the ruling class and against the working people especially the immigrants in England.

The UK wanted to get out of the burden of subsidizing the rest of the 15 members of the EU like what Germany. The Netherlands and France do. But this is for the benefit of the whole Europe. And yet the UK wanted to keep its capitalist freedom for itself.

He says the deal, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, gives Britain “special” status within the 28 nation club, and will help sort out some of the things British people say they don’t like about the EU, such as high levels of immigration and giving up the ability to run our own affairs.

The main points of the deal are: on Child benefits – Migrant workers will still be able to send child benefit payments back to their home country –

Mr Cameron had wanted to end this practice – but the payments will be set at a level reflecting the cost of living in their home country rather than the full UK rate. A very clear British capitalist accumulation on the backs of the working people.

On Migrant welfare payments – Mr Cameron says cutting the amount of benefits low paid workers from other EU nations can claim when they take a job in the UK will remove one of the reasons people come to Britain in such large numbers (critics say it will make little difference).

He did not get the blanket ban he wanted. New arrivals will not be able to claim tax credits and other welfare payments straight away – but will gradually gain the right to more benefits the longer they stay, at a rate yet to be decided.

Keeping the pound – Mr Cameron has said Britain will never join the euro. He secured assurances that the eurozone countries will not discriminate against Britain for having a different currency. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations that get into trouble will also be reimbursed.

Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it

Running its own affairs – For the first time, there will be a clear commitment that Britain is not part of a move towards “ever closer union” with other EU member states – one of the core principles of the EU.

This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change. Mr Cameron also secured a “red card” system for national parliaments making it easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation.

If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought. Critics say it is not clear if this would ever be used in practice.

In summary, this is British autonomy under the EU’s centralized system. Well, Britain is an island and wanted protection for itself.

They want to have their cake, the EU cake and eat it too.

Let us see how the BREXIT referendum on June 23 goes.

***

BREXIT

KOMUNIDAD
June 20, 2016

BREXIT

By Arturo Garcia

Two days from now, the British people will vote on a referendum on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, often shortened to combining the words “Britain” and “exit, following the ‘Grexit’ or Greece Exit that did not prosper as an example.

Brexit is a political goal that has been pursued by various individuals , advocacy groups, and political parties since United Kingdom (UK) joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973.

Withdrawal from the European Union is a right of EU member states under the Treaty on European Union (Article 50): “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

In 1975, a referendum was held on the country’s membership of the European Economic Community(EEC), later known as the EU. The outcome of the vote was in favor of the country continuing to be a member of the EEC.

The UK electorate will address the question again on 23 June 2016 in a referendum on the country’s membership. This referendum was arranged by parliament when it passed the European Union Referendum Act 2015.

The UK was not a signatory to the Treaty of Rome which created the EEC in 1957. The country subsequently applied to join the organization in 1963 and again in 1967, but both applications were vetoed by the then President of France, Charles de Gaulle, ostensibly because “a number of aspects of Britain’s economy, from working practices to agriculture” [had] “made Britain incompatible with Europe.’

Once de Gaulle had relinquished the French presidency, the UK made a third application for membership, which was successful. On 1 January 1973 the United Kingdom joined the EEC, then commonly referred to in the UK as the Common Market.

This was done under the Conservative government of Edward Heath. The opposition Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, contested the October 1974 general election with a commitment to renegotiate Britain’s terms of membership of the EEC and then hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EEC on the new terms.

For some progressive British political analysts, this is a ploy by the ruling class led by Prime Minister David Cameron who sought an agreement with other European Union leaders to change the terms of Britain’s membership. The deal is very one sided, in favor of the ruling class and against the working people especially the immigrants in England.

The UK wanted to get out of the burden of subsidizing the rest of the 15 members of the EU like what Germany. The Netherlands and France do. But this is for the benefit of the whole Europe. And yet
the UK wanted to keep its capitalist freedom for itself.

He says the deal, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, gives Britain “special” status within the 28 nation club, and will help sort out some of the things British people say they don’t like about the EU, such as high levels of immigration and giving up the ability to run our own affairs.

The main points of the deal are: on Child benefits – Migrant workers will still be able to send child benefit payments back to their home country –

Mr Cameron had wanted to end this practice – but the payments will be set at a level reflecting the cost of living in their home country rather than the full UK rate. A very clear British capitalist accumulation on the backs of the working people.

There are a lot of Filipinos in Britain There are more than 218,000 FilBrits in the United Kingdom. The second largest after Italy ( 271,000) For our brothers and sisters in England and those living in the EU countries, this will have a very great effect on their lives especially if the Cameroon capitalist reforms takes effect years from now.

On Migrant welfare payments – Mr Cameron says cutting the amount of benefits low paid workers from other EU nations can claim when they take a job in the UK will remove one of the reasons people come to Britain in such large numbers (critics say it will make little difference).

He did not get the blanket ban he wanted. New arrivals will not be able to claim tax credits and other welfare payments straight away – but will gradually gain the right to more benefits the longer they stay, at a rate yet to be decided.

Keeping the pound – Mr Cameron has said Britain will never join the euro. He secured assurances that the eurozone countries will not discriminate against Britain for having a different currency. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations that get into trouble will also be reimbursed.

Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it

Running its own affairs – For the first time, there will be a clear commitment that Britain is not part of a move towards “ever closer union” with other EU member states – one of the core principles of the EU.

This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change. Mr Cameron also secured a “red card” system for national parliaments making it easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation.

If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought. Critics say it is not clear if this would ever be used in practice.

In summary, this is British autonomy under the EU’s centralized system. Well, Britain is an island and wanted protection for itself.

They want to have their cake, the EU cake and eat it too. Let us see how it goes.

***

IS THE CHINESE ECONOMY IN SHOCK?

KOMUNIDAD
June 16, 2916?

IS THE CHINESE ECONOMY IN SHOCK?

By Arturo P. Garcia

News reports from countless sources suggest that China’s in real trouble. But its troubles are now our troubles, This is because China’s pending market meltdown has been called “the scariest threat to capitalist world stocks since 2009.”

Yes, Virginia, since China is not a socialist economy anymore, it has been a part of the capitalist world since the 1990’s. IT’s masquerade is only for the Chinese people and for domestic consumption only and only in name- as “People’s Republic of China.”

Its annual GDP has dropped below 7% in the third quarter of 2015 for the first time since the dark days of the 2008-09 crisis…Slowed GDP growth coupled with trade woes due to stark decreases in demand — especially when it comes to oil and gas — have left the nation especially vulnerable to economic strife.

China, a former socialist economy slowly and then hurriedly transformed to capitalism during the stewardship of Deng Xiao Ping from the early 1980’s to the present.

Using the socialist engine and the huge Maoist saving during the 30-odd years of “iron bowl” of growth, it was easy to turn this state capital into “finance capital” to save the crumbling capitalist world in the 1990’s and beyond.

Consequently, other developing nations, reliant on China as a big customer for their resources, are struggling because of this sudden change from export economy to domestic consumption economy.

The Philippines is one of this nation that is affected by it’s neighbor “economy in shock.”

The Philippines is one nation in denial. It prides itself that it has a bigger GDP growth bigger than China and yet, it cannot deny that is is affected with the economic woes of its next door neighbor.

This is expressed it its problem in the South China Seas islands and shoals. Which the Philippines belatedly called “The West Philippine Seas.” A subject of a military confrontation with its other neighbors like Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei.

China’s combined exports and imports fell a staggering 8.1% in the first nine months of 2015 from the same period in 2014, well below the full-year official target of 6% growth. This is the result of the government stress on domestic consumption.

Meanwhile though, something historic has happened. The International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) has accepted the Chinese yuan (or renminbi) as a main world reserve currency, marking a huge milestone in China’s goal to internationalize its currency and further its global dominance.

A basic tenet of Lenin’s “finance capitalism”, one main feature of Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism.

Many political and economist asks, so what’s it going to be? Is China going drag the capitalist world down with its economic woes in the year ahead OR is it in line to replace the U.S. as the globe’s superpower? Ironically enough, maybe, both…

A friend of mine have alarmed that the end of the US dollar is near. We also learn the significance of the I.M.F.’s renminbi decision and why many fear it’s the beginning of the end for the U.S. dollar… and how this will impact your investing decisions in 2016 and beyond.

Your guess is as good as mine.

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TALKING TO TALK

KOMUNIDAD
June 16, 2016

TALKING TO TALK

By Arturo P. Garcia

The last time the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH) talked or negotiated peace in the Philippines it was 29 years ago, in November 1986 to January 1987.

After the talk and the failed 60 days ceasefire that did not hold, it was mayhem. The Cory Aquino government and its army waved the sword of war and it caused so much suffering to the Filipino people.

From then on, after the bloody Mendiola Massacre of January 22, 1987 that ended the failed ceasefire and many lives lost and captured from their negotiators by the military, the NDFP became very cautious on the talks.

They become more extra vigilant in making it sure it will be well documented, more than 10 agreements were made and the compliance to these signed agreements were implemented.

Thus, despite the shrewd maneuvers and schemes that the government has tried to put over the NDFP for the last 29 years has been rebuffed.

Especially during the 6 years of the Aquino III Regime, that prioritized the MILF over the NDFP and almost succeeded in crafting the peace mechanism for Mindanao, if not for the Mamasapano Fiasco.

Aquino III made a wrong decision of not talking to the NDFP during the six years of his term. He essentially followed people who were die-hard anti-communists or personalities who harbor ill-will towards Prof. Jose Maria Sison like Deles, Llamas ,Rosales and now Senator Hontiveros and others.

He got what he deserved, in Tagalog saying, “Kapag hangin ang itinanim, bagyo ang aanihin.” He might have his shaky peace in central Mindanao, while the whole nation was burning with the communist insurgency.

The NDFP at least got their talks and hopes started up after the elections of May 2016. Duterte, while waiting for his inauguration, set the wheels of talks in motion. The two parties, the Duterte negotiators and the NDFP has their preliminary meetings in Oslo, Norway. A good start for a peace talks.

Duterte also started the good will gestures by appointing some NDFP recommendees to some cabinet positions. To the consternation of the usual anti communist, militarist crusaders in the Philippine society.

But for us political analyst, its still along way for a real honest to goodness peace talks. Especially with the NDFP with more than 29 years of off and on peace negotiations, more are expected from the two sides.

Besides, it takes two to tango.

Let see how they do it until July 31, 2016 when the Philippine Congress approves the General Amnesty proposed by Duterte to free all the political detainees as a goodwill measure for the peace talks.

As Prof Joma Sison told the outgoing US-Aquino III Regime; “ They have no right to demand anything if they have not signed anything.”

Just plain and simple.

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SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI RENEW CALL FOR FULL BENEFITS FOR FILIPINO WWII VETERANS

JFAV UPDATES

June 15, 2016

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2016

Contact:
Michael Inacay (Schatz), (202) 224-3123
Karina Petersen (Murkowski), (907) 276-3217

SCHATZ, MURKOWSKI RENEW CALL FOR FULL BENEFITS FOR FILIPINO WWII VETERANS

HONOLULU – U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, introduced the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2016. This legislation would ensure that surviving Filipino veterans are fully eligible for the benefits they earned while serving under the U.S. flag during the Second World War.

“We have failed Filipino World War II veterans,” said Senator Schatz.  “These veterans and their families have waited for decades to receive the compensation that they deserve, and it is simply wrong for our country to deny them the benefits they were promised.  Time is running out, and for some, it is already too late.  We must act quickly to pass this legislation and fully honor the men and women who served so bravely in a time of war.”


“Filipino veterans put their lives on the line in the defense of US interests in the Pacific during World War II,”
said Senator Murkowski. “It’s about time we treat the Filipino veterans of World War II with the respect their sacrifice entitles and eliminate the arbitrary distinctions in our veterans benefits laws.”
More than 250,000 Filipinos served under the U.S. flag in the Pacific during the Second World War.  As citizens of a U.S. commonwealth during the war, they were promised full veterans benefits for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, because of the Rescission Act of 1946, most Filipino World War II veterans did not receive benefits they were promised.  Instead, these veterans have lived on quietly, often under-recognized and denied the basic veterans recognition they earned. The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2016 fulfills the moral obligation of the United States to take care of its veterans and their families.

The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2016 eliminates the distinction between the Regular or “Old” Philippine Scouts and the other three groups of veterans — Commonwealth Army of the Philippines, Recognized Guerrilla Forces, and New Philippine Scouts.  It also allows Filipino veterans’ spouses and children to qualify for the same Dependency and Indemnity Compensation that current U.S. veterans receive.  Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives with 37 co-sponsors and bipartisan support.

Today, there are an estimated 17,000 living Filipino veterans of World War II, now in their 80s and 90s.

END

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SOCAL FILAM DENTISTS DENTISTS CELEBRATES 50th ANNIVERSARY ON JUNE 18, 2016

EPCC NEWS

June 14 2016

SOCAL FILAM DENTISTS DENTISTS CELEBRATES 50th ANNIVERSARY ON JUNE 18, 2016

Los Angeles– It’s a go for the 5oth Anniversary celebrations of the Southern California Filipino Dental Society (SCFDS).

SCFDS2016

“They were the pioneers for change, The trailblazer for equality and against racism.”

With this tribute, the Southern California Filipino Dental Society (SCFDS) will honor their founders in their celebration of  their 50th Anniversary on June 18, 2016  at the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California to mark their 50 years milestone.

This was announced by the officers of the SCFDS during their TV appearance at KTLA lat Monday, June 13, 2016.

Victory Against RacismSCFDS

Filipino dentists recalled that they and other foreign-trained dentists first immigrated to the U.S., they were not allowed to practice dentistry, under the assumption that the education and experience of foreign-trained dentists were not to the level of U.S. standards. In California.

Dr. Rene  Calugcugan, SCFDS President narrated, ” When Filipino dentists and other foreign-trained dentists first immigrated to the U.S., they were not allowed to practice dentistry, under the assumption that the education and experience of foreign-trained dentists were not to the level of U.S. standards. In California.”

They organized and began strategizing how to go about change, thus establishing the California Filipino Dental Society. Filipino dentists from all over California joined in the effort and eventually grew so large that a Southern California chapter was born, let by the first president, Dr. Juan C. Bides.

Filipinos and other foreign dentists had tremendous difficulty legitimizing their education and skills and had to jump through hoops, re-entering dental school with limited opportunities to even take the California required board examinations.”

Glorious Past, Distinguished PresentTalakayan sa Kapihan with SCFDS

Dr Maria Moran said, ” Originally founded in 1966 as an affiliate chapter of the Philippine Dental Association, SCFDS started with the vision of helping foreign-trained dentists legitimately practice dentistry in America.”

Dr. Rene Calugcugan SCFDS President said,” Both Northern and Southern chapters joined forces and initiated legislation to allow foreign-trained dentists to practice in California.Basically, we rode on the shoulders of the pioneer FilAm dentist who paved the way for us

For that. we are forever grateful for their trailblazing work for our community.” Calugcuan declared.

Dra. Maria Moran said, ” They drew the attention of Assemblyman, Willie Brown, Jr., and Senator Milton Marks. Both legislators championed to push forth the new legislation despite stiff opposition. Eventually, the new legislation did pass with a 69-0 vote among the Assembly and a 32-0 vote in the Senate.

SCFDS Golden Anniversary, June 18, 20161SCFDS3

Then governor, Ronald Reagan, signed the new legislation into law on June 12, 1969, to coincide with Philippine Independence Day. More than 3,000 foreign-trained dentists have since benefited from the efforts of the SCFDS.

Thus,in honor of the California  Governor who passed the law that made the SCFDS what it is now, the 5oth anniversary celebration is aptly being held  at the Reagan Presidential Library  in Simi Valley on June 18, 2016.”

SCFDS President Dr.Calugcucan added, ” Today, SCFDS boasts 300 members dedicated to professional excellence and the development of future Filipino dentists.

Our goal is to secure SCFDS as the premier Filipino dental association in the region and support our members in their professional path.” Dr. Rene Calugcugan declared.

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