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Items filtered by date: Saturday, 18 March 2017

Austrian bishops slam human rights abuses in PH

This is the first non-Filipino Catholic bishops' conference to speak out against human rights abuses in Duterte-led Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Austrian Catholic Bishops' Conference joined their Filipino counterparts in slamming the human rights abuses in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a declaration on Friday, March 17, the Austrian bishops also condemned the proposals to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines, and to lower the age of criminal responsibility to 9. (READ: CBCP on death penalty vote: We shall not be silenced)

This is the first non-Filipino Catholic bishops' conference to speak out against human rights abuses in Duterte-led Philippines.

The General Assembly of the Austrian Catholic Bishops' Conference said their group "shares the fundamental concerns" of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and "supports their firm advocacy for justice."

The CBCP earlier issued a statement against the "reign of terror" in poor Filipino communities as Duterte's war on drugs kills at least 7,000 people in the Philippines.

"This is why the bishops of Austria call upon political decision-makers in Austria to commit themselves to the respect of human rights in the Philippines," the Austrian bishops said.

"The Austrian government and European institutions are asked to use all political power and diplomatic channels to bring public attention to these human rights violations and help mitigate them," they added.

Heinz Hödl, a director at the Austrian Catholic Bishops' Conference, relayed this declaration to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the CBCP, in a letter on Friday. Villegas in turn sent Hödl's letter to Filipino reporters.

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Know your rights against pushy ICE Agents

Question: I’m so afraid to open my door now. I’ve heard ICE agents are doing round-ups and just deporting people left and right. What can I do?

Answer: All people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain US Constitutional rights. If you are undocumented and immigration (ICE) agents knock on your door, know that you have the following rights:
• You do not have to open the door. You do not have to open the door or let the officers into your home unless they have a valid search warrant signed by a judge.
o An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If this is the only document they have, they cannot legally come inside unless you verbally agree to let them in.
o If the officers say they have a search warrant signed by a judge, ask them to slide it under the door or hold it up to a window so you can see it.
o If the warrant does not have your correct name and address on it and is not signed by a judge you do not have to open the door or let them inside.
o If at any point you decide to speak with the officers, you do not need to open the door to do so. You can speak to them through the door or step outside and close the door.
• You have the right to remain silent. You do not need to speak to the immigration officers or answer any questions.
o If you are asked where you were born or how you entered the United States, you may refuse to answer or remain silent.
o If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud.

o You may show a know-your-rights card to the officer that explains that you will remain silent and wish to speak to a lawyer.
o You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from.
o Do not show any false documents and do not lie.
• You have the right to speak to a lawyer. If you are detained or taken into custody, you have the right to immediately contact a lawyer.
o Even if you do not have a lawyer, you may tell the immigration officers that you want to speak to one.
o If you have a lawyer, you have the right to talk to them. If you have a signed Form G-28, which shows you have a lawyer, give it to an officer.
o If you do not have a lawyer, ask an immigration officer for a list of pro bono lawyers.
o You also have the right to contact your consulate. The consulate may be able to assist you in locating a lawyer.
o You can refuse to sign any/all paperwork until you have had the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.
o If you choose to sign something without speaking to a lawyer, be sure you understand exactly what the document says and means before you sign it.

In fact, your immigration attorney should give you a ‘know your rights card’ which you can show the officer.

Brian D. Lerner is a certified specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law as approved by the California Bar, Board of Legal Specialization. He has been a certified specialist for over 15 years and has been practicing law for over 25 years. The Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner will give you a free consultation and has offices in Long Beach and Carson, California and Quezon City, Philippines. You can e-mail Brian Lerner directly at blerner@californiaimmigrati on.us or make an appointment by calling 562-495-0554 or self-scheduling an appointment at blerner.checkappointments.c om. Either way, he will try to help you and your family.

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3AF Hosts Only National Conference Focusing on Asian American Consumers – June 1-2 in Los Angeles, CA

LOS ANGELES, CA. – March 14, 2017 – Registration is now open for the Asian American Advertising Federation’s (3AF) Asian Marketing Summit, the largest national conference focusing on the importance of Asian American advertising, marketing and the Asian consumer. The 3AF Summit will be held in Los Angeles, California on June 1 and 2.
The 3AF Summit is a unique forum for industry leaders, content creators, media
companies, corporate marketers and other partners to converge in an in-depth
discussion of the Asian consumer opportunity. This year, industry experts will discuss
the multiple dimensions of Asian American consumers from civic participation and
entrepreneurship to building a successful case for diversity and inclusion and various
approaches and channels to reaching this consumer. Speakers include executives from

Buzzfeed, McDonald’s Corporation, Nielsen, Tufts University, the National Asian
American Survey, Sparkle Insights, Selffii Intelligence, Inc. and others. Prior to the
Summit, the 3AF will host the 3AF Asian Marketing Boot Camp, designed especially for
those new to Asian marketing or those who want a refresher course on the critical
Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) 6230 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite #1216 Los Angeles, California 90048 www.3af.org

basics. The 3AF Boot Camp will be held on May 31 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and requires separate registration.
3AF President, Jay Kim, said, “Asian American is the fastest growing segment, yielding not only economic but also political power. At the same time, due to rising Asian economic powers and technology advances, lessons in Asian American marketing have implications in global marketing. Our Summit not only brings together experts in Asian marketing in the U.S., but also from Asia to share and create new ideas."
Sponsors of the 3AF 2017 Asian Marketing Summit include Nielsen, Comcast, CMPG, Saavn, Inquirer.net and others. To register for the 3AF Summit, visit the 3AF’s event website at: https://www.picatic.com/3AFSummit2017
The Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) is a national trade organization comprised of Asian American advertising agencies, Asian market advertisers, Asian media companies and other industry specialists. Its mission is to grow the Asian American advertising and marketing industry, raise public awareness of the importance of the Asian American community and further professionalism in the industry. The 3AF’s Asian Marketing Summit is held annually. More information about the 3AF is available at www.3af.org.

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What’s Up Attorney? Was Secretary Yasay telling the truth about U.S. citizenship? Or how to lose U.S. citizenship without really trying

“Less talk, less mistake; No talk, no mistake,” Genaro Magsaysay reportedly said when asked to talk about the issues while he was running for a Philippine Senate seat. He won.

The Commission on Appointments on March 8, rejected the ad interim appointment of Attorney Perfecto R. Yasay, Jr as Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs after he refused to answer a Commission member’s question to “categorically answer 'yes or no,' whether at one point in time in your life, were you ever an American citizen? Just a yes or no.” Yasay had replied: "I wish I could answer that question with a yes or no, but as directly as I could in answering that question, I have always admitted that I was granted US citizenship. That is my answer." "I was granted US citizenship on November 26, 1986, but it is my position that that grant of US citizenship at that time was void ab initio on the basis of the explanation I have stated in my affidavit.”
http://www.rappler.com/nation/163666-duterte-appoints-enrique-manalo-acting-foreign-secretary
Yasay reportedly said in a prior interview: “But at that time I was granted US citizenship, I had a “preconceived intent” of returning back to the Philippines.” He reportedly said that taking the oath of citizenship “does not make me a US citizen if precisely the basis upon which the grant of American citizenship is flawed and is defective." "I would not have and I did not acquire legally American citizenship. It is precisely for that reason that three months after, in January 1987, I returned back to the Philippines." "And this consolidated the position that I did not legally acquire US citizenship and I returned all of my papers, executed an affidavit, telling the American authorities that I did not qualify." He said that under American law, one is "disqualified for being an American citizenship" if at the time of application or granting, one had the "preconceived intent of abandoning your US residency and in fact you abandon your US residency within two years after obtaining that U.S. citizenship."
http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/06/17/yasay-i-did-not-acquire-us-citizenship-legally

The question remains - Was Mr. Yasay ever an American citizen from an objective, not subjective (or from his own), point of view? If he was, when did he cease to be one?
On November 24, 1986, Yasay took his oath as a United States citizen. On January 8, 1987, Yasay returned to the Philippines and “abandoned” his U.S. residency. On February 23, 1993, Yasay signed an affidavit that he had abandoned his residency in the United States in 1987, thereby becoming "ineligible" for U.S. citizenship. In March 1993, Yasay was appointed as an associate commissioner of the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On June 28, 2016, Yasay renounced his American citizenship before an American consular official in Manila. On February 22, 2017, Yasay told the Commission on Appointments that his 1993 affidavit stating that he had abandoned his U.S. residency "nullified" his oath of allegiance to the U.S., thus he "did not acquire legal status as a U.S. citizen."
The question has arisen: why did Mr. Yasay have to formally renounce his U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular official in Manila on June 28, 2016 if the grant of U.S. citizenship to him on November 24, 1986 was “void ab initio” because he had a “preconceived intent” of returning back to the Philippines?

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Social life impacts health

You and I are social animals. Our two-legged and four-legged friends are also “social” creatures. They are usually in pairs or in herds. Like us, humans, these animals apparently also value, long for, and enjoy companionship. The loners among them usually do not survive long. Most obviously, social life, a sense of belonging, a comfortable feeling of security in number, a natural mental sense of community, is essential to health, mental and otherwise.

That social nature starts the day we are born, in the arms of our mother, nurtured in the crib, and developed into a complete positive mental state through interactions with both our parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. All this enables us to develop lasting relationships and a rewarding mental health, which affect and influence all other lives we touch.

Human beings’ capacity to live a stable and happy life and our survival as a species heavily depend on our social skills, attitude, and social behavior.

The history of man on earth shows that cavemen started forming small groups, literally for security and for survival against the harsh and unforgiving environment, and vicious attacks from animals preying on them. That dependency on each other is still very evident even today, in this modern, technologically advanced society of ours. Indeed, no man is an island, and a loner is, comparatively, at a much graver risk of ill-health and attrition.

Like our need for proper nutrition and shelter, humans also need that sense of belonging, within the family, among friends, in a community, in society, and in the world at large. This support-group structures and interactions, emotional, recreational, even informational, are vital to people’s health and life. The last one has led to the popularity and proliferation of social media. This modern-day phenomenon is a tangible testimony to the value of social behavior as a natural need of homo sapiens.

A lonely person, alone, without friends, is doomed to be more depressed and more likely to die of ill-health, or even kill himself/herself, compared to another lonely individual who has a ton of family and friends providing him/her love, friendship, inspiration, and moral support.

A sense of belonging keeps us, humans, connected with our fellowmen, within our own circle, our community, conferring upon our being the reward of acceptance, a gratifying inner satisfaction that we are “in,” and “one of them,” akin to being a member of a club or a fraternity/sorority or a party. This sense of belonging is fundamental for our emotional and physical well-being, a powerful prescription that effectively enables each of us to cope with the sometimes unfriendly and harsh environment and social order.

Attitude and social skills

Our social skills, which are vital to our acceptance as a member of a group or community, are developed or impeded by our attitude, which, like social prowess, also significantly impacts our life and our health. Both are pre-requisites to health, happiness and inner peace in each of us human beings.

Show me a man with an attitude and I will show you one abandoned by his friends and scorned by strangers he irritated and riled. A good attitude compliments and boosts our social skills and acceptability to “belong.”

Here are some quotes of wisdom I have come across which are inspiring philosophical parachutes in life for those who, like many of us, sometimes find themselves falling towards the pit of discouragement and despair. With the proper attitude, these sage proverbs lift our spirit by allowing us to view and accept the trials and tribulations in this world in their most positive and best light. Indeed, all of us need a psychological boost, an inspiration, every now and then. Here are some that inspire and guide me:

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Elected leaders who misunderstand their roles

It would seem that a number of our elected officials have no clear understanding of the roles they have to play under a democratic government.
Foremost of these are US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as US House Speaker Paul Ryan and Philippine Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez.
Messrs. Trump and Duterte both have issues with judges who disagree with their actions. For the American leader, his ill-fated Executive Order banning nationals from seven predominantly Islamic countries from traveling to the US was quickly shot down by federal judges last month. But he is so hell-bent on his anti-Muslim campaign that he has just released another EO that continues to limit nationals from six of the original seven countries from entering the US.
In the Philippines, meanwhile, Mr. Duterte has just said that local government officials such as mayors should not be subject to audit by the Commission on Audit, whose job is to make sure that public funds are spent legally. Speaking in the vernacular this week, Mr. Duterte said something to the effect that the men and women of the CA should just take over as mayors since they seem to know better.

It has been pointed out time and again that Mr. Trump’s lack of experience in governance is one of his biggest weaknesses. He simply does not understand that his heading the executive department does not mean he also heads the legislative and judicial branches of government, or that they are subordinate to him. He feels he is more empowered because he was elected, while everyone else in the two other branches of government are either appointed or promoted.
As for Mr. Duterte, he recently admitted – an apologized for – continuing to act like a city mayor, which he was for the longest time. As president of the Republic of the Philippines, he wields tremendous power and has appeared swamped by the responsibilities of office.
As SpiderMan was reminded by his Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
As President, Duterte still does not comprehend his great responsibility to the Filipino people. Consider that some of his appointees like Mocha Uson (essentially a former bold starlet) and Cesar Montano (a faded matinee star) have been committing acts that show their failure to follow the rules at the local board of censors and a marketing arm of the Tourism department, respectively.
It will get worse in the near future as Mr. Duterte has promised to give a job to publicity hound Sandra Cam (a self-styled whistleblower), who is already acting like a big shot by claiming to be close to the president.

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Free: Seton knee pain seminar

 

DALY CITY – Adults throughout the Bay Area are invited to join Dr. John H. Velyvis for a free seminar to learn about the causes and current treatments for knee pain. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel located at 625 El Camino Real in Palo Alto on March 30, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The talk will include a special introduction to robotic-assisted total knee replacement using the NAVIO™ Surgical System — currently only available in the Bay Area at Seton Medical Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Dr. Velyvis their own questions.
Dr. Velyvis is Seton Medical Center’s Medical Director of Robotic Orthopedic Surgery. One of the most experienced orthopedic surgeons on the West Coast and an expert in robotic- assisted knee surgery,

Dr. Velyvis studied biomedical engineering at Harvard University and received his medical degree from Columbia University in New York.
Seating is limited. Register today by calling 650-257-2997. Free valet parking, as well as snacks and light refreshments, will be available.
For more information, please visit https://setonkneereplacement.org/.
Founded in 1893, Seton Medical Center is a 357-bed hospital serving 1.5 million residents of San Francisco and northern San Mateo County with comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical specialties, as well as emergency and urgent care services. Its sister facility, Seton Coastside, is a 116-bed skilled nursing complex offering inpatient care and the only 24-hour standby Emergency Department on the Pacific Coast between Daly City and Santa Cruz.

  • Published in Health
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Police chief says all criminals are liars

MANILA – The chief of the Northern Police District (NPD) downplayed complaints filed against Caloocan policemen before the Ombudsman, pointing out that it's "normal" for criminals to deny and lie about their crimes.
"The operation happened a long time ago, in September. It's normal for criminals to deny, all of them deny. They're liars," said Chief Superintendent Robert Fajardo in a phone interview with Rappler on Wednesday, March 15.
On Tuesday, March 14, the family of Luis Bonifacio filed murder and administrative complaints against Superintendent Ali Jose Duterte, chief of the NPD's District Special Operations Unit, and several other cops for supposedly murdering Bonifacio and making it seem like it was a buy-bust operation gone wrong.
They face murder and administrative complaints – gross misconduct, grave abuse of authority, gross oppression, and conduct unbecoming of a public officer.
Fajardo, who has supervision over the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela, dismissed the complaint against his men, telling Rappler that what happened in September was a legitimate operation.
"We won't ask the Ombudsman to dismiss the case outright. We will answer the case then let the Ombudsman dismiss it," he said.

Mistaken identity?
Fajardo, appointed NPD chief in July, said Bonifacio had been on the police's "watchlist" of suspected drug users and pushers. The list is prepared by barangay officials and validated by police.
Police had supposedly mistaken Luis for Luisito, his brother. Luisito was supposedly number 6 on the Caloocan police's drug list.
"The data is complete. He is part of the watchlist. The allegation about the name being wrong, about a mistaken identify… that was really him. It's normal for the family to deny," said Fajardo.
Bonifacio's family insisted that the police's narrative – as documented in the police report – isn't true.
Eyewitnesses, including his family members, claimed that Bonifacio was already on his knees with hands held in the air when police barged into their home in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City. Police were searching for illegal drugs.
But he was supposedly shot dead by cops – unarmed and not dangerous – as his family went downstairs on the orders of police. Bonifacio's son, Gabriel Louis, was also killed because he did not leave his father's side. The incident happened at 1:30 am on September 15, 2016.
From July 1, 2016 to January 30, 2017, police tallied 7,080 deaths linked – directly or indirectly – to the bloody war on drugs. Police killed at least 2,555 in anti-drug operations.
Families of victims have accused the police of summarily killing their kin, but most of them have chosen not to file cases. The Bonifacio family's complaint is the first one filed with the Ombudsman in relation to the current war on drugs. – Rappler.com
Police chief says all criminals are liars

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