Items filtered by date: Saturday, 17 June 2017

Dom Martin's vestments: Indigenized robes for worship

 

MANILA -- A collection of 60 liturgical vestments from 20 ethno-linguistic groups is currently on display at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.
The exhibit, entitled “Vested for Worship, Wrapped in Identity”, showcases the designs of Benedictine monk, Dom Martin Hizon Gomez, OSB from the Abbey of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Dom Martin studied at the SLIMS Fashion and Arts School from 1967-1968 and had a 22-year career as a fashion designer before entering the monastery.
The Catholic Church has quite recently adopted the concept of “enculturation”, which means that songs -- and now vestments -- can be indigenized. Vestments can make use of fabrics belonging to the cultural identity of each parish.
Amazed by the country’s rich cultural heritage, Dom Martin was prompted to ask, “We have all these beautiful materials. How come we never use them for the Church?”
Dom Martin however had to make certain that fabrics and other ornaments from the various ethno-linguistic groups in the country remain available. “If I am going to promote the use of indigenous materials, I should be assured of the supply. I know they are beautiful but do people still weave them? I might be creating a market but then all of a sudden, there might be no supply,” he said.
Acting as his own researcher and anthropologist, Dom Martin set out on a journey that would take him from his native Mindanao to the northernmost parts of Luzon in search of the best materials that would represent the ethno-linguistic groups of the Philippines.
It was a project that would take him four-and-a-half years to complete. Dom Martin traveled and studied 20 ethno-linguistic groups to make sure they are still weaving and can weave for the Church.
The monk sought the help of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA), and the Katutubong Pilipino Foundation, whose chairperson Margie Macasaet encouraged him to create a whole collection in time for the Philippine Centennial Celebrations in 1998.
He also checked with his embroiderers in Parañaque and Las Piñas to see if they were still around and working. They were only too glad to help with his project.
“I was very blessed that all the people I approached believed in what I wanted to do — to enculturate liturgical vestments and make them Filipino,” Dom Martin said.
In the field while doing research, Dom Martin realized how remote and inaccessible some of these indigenous groups were, for instance, the “Itneg” in Abra, which he reached after a long trek that included crossing a hanging bridge over a raging river.
“Two days later when I came home, I talked to my brother and I said, please get me an insurance policy. I did not realize this research was going to entail some danger,” he quipped.
The resulting pieces were nothing short of breathtaking. The vestments were done in a variety of fabrics, including abaca and “pinya”, and incorporated the colors of the Itneg, Gaddang, Ifugaos and many other indigenous peoples.
Each piece is totally rendered by hand. The ornaments and embroidery work are intricate and exquisite, fusing in such liturgical symbols as the cross, vines and branches.
According to Dom Martin, the simplicity of the vestments in the early days signified that the Church closely identified itself with the poor. This explains why he left out symbols on the stole --“stola” in Greek -- which means “towel”.
“You do not put symbols on top of symbols. In the early ages, all of these vestments were ordinary clothing. The stola was just a towel that the men used to wipe their faces and hands,” he explained.
”Later on, they had to put emblems and different symbols for catechetical instruction. It served its purpose in those years but at this point in time, they are not strictly necessary, which is why my stoles do not have any additional symbols.”
We have to take pride in our heritage and culture and bring this pride and culture in our liturgical celebrations, he said.
”Only then can we say that our worship has become truly Filipino. Enculturating vestments is very important because when a priest celebrates the Holy Eucharist wearing a vestment using indigenous materials, he is not only clothed for worship, he is wrapped in the Filipino identity,” Dom Martin.
The exhibit runs at the Ayala Museum until September 5. -- PNA

 
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‘A more inclusive National Day for Filipinos’

Both mainstream and social media were quick to point out President Rodrigo Duterte’s absence during the event that he was supposed to lead at the Rizal Park--- the celebration and commemoration of the 119th Independence Day of the Philippines.
President Duterte’s reason for not attending the most important event of the year for the nation is that he was “exhausted,” according to his foreign affairs secretary, Alan Cayetano. Secretary Cayetano stated that the president was exhausted and tired from his numerous visits to the military camps in different parts of the country.
News coming from the Philippines before this year’s Independence Day celebration focused on the Marawi siege. The siege was perpetrated by the extremist Maute Group which is reported to have links with the notorious ISIS. This led President Duterte to declare Martial Law in the entire Mindanao and Sulu area.
There was also the tragic event at the Resorts World Manila Casino that was initially reported as an ISIS-initiated attack but authorities were quick to counter the report by stating that a lone gunman, a former government employee with huge gambling debts was responsible for the attack.
It would have been very meaningful to see the president of the Philippines at the Rizal Park while the nation’s flag was being raised during the Independence Day celebration, especially after the tragic events of the last few weeks in the Philippines.
A national day celebration is foremost in the list of every nation’s holidays. It is a designated date wherein the nation takes time to remember and value the events and the heroes that led to their nationhood and sovereignty. This designated date of nationhood is often symbolized by the date of a nation’s independence, of becoming a republic, or it can also be a significant date for a patron saint or a leader who became the “father of the nation or country.”
Right after World War II, July 4 was the day marked as the national day in Philippine calendars. This date was in observance of the granting of Philippine Independence by the United States in 1946. The date was then changed to June 12 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal to commemorate the declaration of independence and the raising of the Philippine flag (June 12, 1898) in Kawit, Cavite by General Emilio Aguinaldo who became the first president of the Philippine Republic.
Many Philippine historians question the validity of the June 12, 1898 date as a national day based on the reason that the Philippines continued to be a colony by the United States after Aguinaldo’s declaration (as Spain ceded the country to the U.S.).
It is also interesting to note that there is another Philippine Day celebration date that some Filipinos observed before 1946. Believe it or not, a good number of Filipinos in the Philippines (and also in the U.S.) observed their annual “National Day” celebration on Rizal Day (December 30).
Rizal Day commemorates the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal in Bagumbayan (Luneta) where he was executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896.
Since June 12 is only a week from Dr. Rizal’s birthday June 19 (1861), I believe we should revisit the issue regarding the date of the celebration of Philippine Independence Day. June 12 is focused mainly on the historic Kawit flag-raising event in 1898. The Philippines needs to pick a date that is guided by and based from historic events that more people can identify with--- to make it more inclusive. The discussion of this issue is timely.
We can for example focus on the message of and lessons from historic events such as Rizal’s work in Dapitan so that Mindanao is also included, Lapu-lapu and the people of Mactan’s heroics in fighting the first Spanish attempt to colonize the Philippines, the founding of the La Liga Filipina, the Noli and Fili and the lessons that we should learn to eradicate our “social cancer,” the lessons learned by Rizal in his travels abroad, and other lessons that more Filipinos can identify with--- which will also help in developing a deeper understanding of “who we are as a people.”
The Philippines and the Filipino people need a common rallying spirit to move forward. And one way to have one is to have a National Day that many Filipinos can identify with.
Until next week.

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336. You can also visit Jojo Liangco’s website at www.liangcolaw.com.

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SC justice Leonen warns martial law could be playing into hands of terrorists

President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao amid atrocities committed against soldiers and civilians might be seen as playing into the hands of terrorists, a Supreme Court magistrate said on Tuesday.
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen made the remark during his interpellation of lawyer Marlon Manuel as the high tribunal heard oral arguments on martial law.
Manuel represented a group of four female residents of Marawi City, the center of ongoing skirmishes between government troops and the Maute local terror group.
“Therefore, just because we see gory details on television, just because we know that atrocities can be committed by barbaric individuals, [it] does not necessarily mean that we should impose the hardest, harshest solution possible,” Leonen said.
“There are requirements in the law and there are requirements brought about by pragmatism. Because if we do that, we are playing in the hands of modern-day terrorists that use social media and want to elevate themselves to stature that the world can see through social media and the media,” he added.
Leonen said the “sacrifices” and “heroism” of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the fight against the Maute group, as well as civilians who have helped in evacuating and assisting the residents after they fled their homes.
He said the “efforts of an entire people of Mindanao,” as well as the “atrocities,” including the sights and news of fatalities, “can touch the emotions.”
He noted the danger of letting emotions rule over in such situations.
“And when emotions run roughshod over logic, reason, and law, then we can make wrong decisions. And therefore, it is the function of statespersons to be able to look at emotions, with the luxury of our reason and logic, to examine the situation carefully because it is possible that the cure can be worse than the disease,” he said.
‘I don’t know why we’re so worried’
For his part, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo said he didn't know “why we’re so worried” about the martial law declaration in Mindanao, given the safeguards provided by the 1987 Constitution.
Del Castillo raised this during his interpellation of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who leads the group of opposition lawmakers questioning the President’s proclamation.
“The military casualty as of Sunday is already 58 soldiers, Congressman, dead soldiers of ours. And there are 35,000 evacuees that are now in Iligan city. So for you, the situation is still not serious for martial law to [be declared]?” he said.
“I mean, martial law will only be with us for 60 days, assuming that he won’t lift the proclamation earlier. With all the safeguards… I don’t know why we’re so worried, eh,” he added.

‘Constitution stands amid emergencies’
Meanwhile, Leonen also underscored that “all officials of this government” are bound by the Constitution.
In his interpellation, the Supreme Court justice said the Constitution “is one of the factors that keep our country cohesive and coherent.”
“[T]he Constitution is supposed to operate not only at the time it was drafted, in 1987, but also it has to operate and become relevant in situations that have emerged since then, and therefore it has to apply in the present,” Leonen said.
He added, to which Manuel agreed, that the Constitution “is a law that we should recognize” in cases of emergency in the country.

“Therefore, if we do not agree with any of its provisions because of an interpretation, which may not be the interpretation of the court, it cannot simply be thrown or torn… torn or thrown away,” he said.
“And therefore, definitely, for all officials of this government, they have to consider that the members of this Court are reasonable individuals that know what is at stake whenever there is a case that is brought to them … And it is dangerous to predict what this court will do simply because, I don’t know, there may be indicators or speculation as to how we will decide,” he added. —GMA News

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A PWD reacts to DoT’s ‘Experience the Philippines’ ad

The ad, as we all know by now, features a blind retiree living in the Philippines, and able to, ehem, experience the warmth and wonder of the Philippines.
On GMA News-to-Go Tuesday, anchors Howie Severino and Kara David asked Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre if he thought the Philippines was PWD-friendly, especially to the elderly.
His reply was: “We know how much we care for our elderly. I’d like to see the day that we totally give all the benefits to the disabled.”
When grilled about our facilities and infrastructure, ASec Alegre said it was “something we can bring up to a higher level.”
Which sounded a little funny for persons with disability. “The country has non-existent public infrastructure for PWDs,” Ed Geronia, a writer who has had polio since he was a year old, told GMA News Online.
“Inviting over PWD tourists, especially those who are vision-impaired and who are used to navigating themselves in a first-world country may find the Philippines to be a dangerous and hostile place.”
He then lists a number of things that PWDs need, that are lacking in our country:
· There are mostly no tactile paving on the streets for visually-impaired individuals
· There are no accessible pedestrian signals that give out an audio warning when it’s safe to cross the street
· There are hardly Braille markings on public signs, pedestrian crossings, and elevator buttons.
Some existing accessible structures are just made for minimum compliance and are not constructed in accordance with international standards.
Before we start inviting PWDs—and elderly PWDs for that matter—to experience the Philippines, perhaps we first better make sure they'll be safe in our shores.
'It's retirees we're referring to,' DoT ASec Alegre defends the 'Experience the Philippines' ad—GMA News

Caption:
Plagiarism aside, many people are questioning the Experience the Philippines ad: Just how PWD-friendly is the Philippines?

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Robredo hits Aguirre over claims based on ‘lies’

Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday scored Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for making false claims against critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, the latest of which was an alleged meeting of opposition lawmakers in Marawi City over a supposed destabilization plot against the government.
Robredo said the Justice secretary's actions were “scary” because they lessened the public’s trust not only on Aguirre, but on the Justice department itself.
“Meron tayong Department of Justice na ‘yung head, may mga sinasabing hindi totoo. Tingin ko nakakatakot ‘yon kasi ‘yung Department of Justice, dapat siya ‘yung nangunguna, sinisiguro na ‘yung... parang ‘yung justice will prevail over all of us,” the Vice President said in an interview in Taysan, Batangas, which she visited with partners of her office’s “Angat Buhay” program.
“‘Pag ‘yung sinasabi niya hindi totoo, parang nawawala ‘yung tiwala ng tao sa institusyon mismo. Hindi lang naman sa kaniya, pero sa institusyon,” she added.
Last week, Aguirre alleged that opposition lawmakers, including Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, met with local officials and former presidential adviser on political affairs Ronald Llamas in Marawi City ahead of the attacks there of the Maute local terror group.
Aquino is a member of the former ruling Liberal Party, where Robredo — now its highest elected official — currently sits as chair.
Aguirre claimed that the meeting, which he said was held last May 2, could have “sparked the terroristic acts” in the city.
All three lawmakers have denied his allegation. Official records showed that they were present during that day’s session in the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively.
Aguirre has since backtracked in this claim, saying he was misquoted by the media. He specifically only cleared Aquino from the said allegation, but said he had “nothing to apologize for.” The lawmakers, meanwhile, are considering the possibility of filing charges against him.

Institutions ‘challenging’ each other
Meanwhile, the Vice President also raised concerns over the seeming struggle among institutions in the country.
Robredo issued the said comment when asked to elaborate on a speech she made at a democracy forum held on Independence Day, when she called on Filipinos to help defend democracy by uniting to save institutions that are “being eroded.”
Asked which institutions these are, she said: “Lahat,” and linked it to how institutions seem to be “challenging” each other recently.
“‘[Y]ung Constitution natin has enough provisions on separation of powers, and vis-a-vis, ‘yung checks and balances. Nandu’n ‘yun sa Konstitusyon, pero lately kasi, maraming parang pag-challenge—pag-challenge ng powers ng bawat isa. Marami tayong naririnig na, ‘Hindi ko susundin ‘yung gagawin nito,’” she said.
“Tingin ko nakakatakot ‘yon. Nakakatakot ‘yon kasi ‘pag mga government agencies na, or government instrumentalities na, ‘yung hindi naniniwala sa nakalagay sa Konstitusyon, ‘yung nacha-challenge na sa atin ‘yung democracy na mismo,” she added.
The Vice President’s remarks come amid the ongoing disagreement over President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao, with several groups questioning the constitutionality of the said proclamation before the Supreme Court.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has warned of a constitutional crisis if the high court interferes with Congress’ decision not to hold a joint session on the declaration.
He said he would “rip” a directive for a joint session, if ever the high court issues one to Congress. — GMA News

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Is there a Trump Doctrine?

Political analysts continue to deplore the infamous Trump decision in reference to America's departure from the Paris Climate Accord.
At this point in time, it will be remembered how, seven months ago, the United States led the international world in putting together the agreement to "reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to prevent the worst effects of human-caused climate change." That historical coming together of numerous nations happened before the 2016 presidential election.
Trump, the 45th president of America, on the 134th day of his presidency zeroed in on his rejection of the Paris Climate Accord, thus removing the nation from its stature as a global leader. Numerous voices were heard in opposition to the Trump decision as America joined the company of only two other nations.
His rejection of the Accord over and above the objections raised not just among global political leaders and Pope Francis, but even of Exxon Mobil, boiled down to this conclusion by the aforementioned analysts: "The United States will cease to be part of the solution to the problem."
Furthermore, scientific opinion has been distinctive: the United States will put itself squarely on the other side and clearly, it will be a signal that it will bolster the credibility of the climate-change deniers, the anti-science hucksters and the irresponsible corporate cynics.
Already, the near future seems to be foretold: it will strike a powerful blow "against the common good from the coast of California to the melting permafrost of northern Alaska to the flood-prone lowlands located along America's rivers to the hurricane-ravaged communities along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean."
What has been foreseen by the scientific world: "Globally, it could set the world on track to what climate scientists agree: will be intensified floods, famines and storms, rising seas and mass migrations fueling strife over water scarcity, declining food production and epidemics."
How it will affect America's role in the world has been foretold: the negative Trump decision causes enormous injury to this country's reputation and to its leadership role in the world.
The only two nations that didn't sign on to the Paris agreement are Nicaragua and Syria.
Nicaragua said "no" based on the opinion that the Accord is nonbinding, and the goal of capping emissions at 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels is too low. It didn't sign because the deal wasn't good enough, compared with Trump's claim that it's a "bad deal" for the US.
The other non-signer is war-torn and ravaged Syria. And now, with the Trump decision, the US has become a third country.
History has told the world how there's been a notable presence of anti-Americanism, but at the end of the day, most nations understood that an alliance with the US would enhance, not diminish their peace and prosperity.
What has been embraced by other nations: the secret of American success: "it is a relatively benign superpower that championed a vision of human dignity that appealed to ordinary people everywhere around the globe."
Deplorably, Trump has acted so oblivious to the above-established earned secret over the numerous decades that America has worked so hard to earn.
Trump sees each international treaty as a racket, and every alliance as a rip-off.
Yet, the truth stares at Trump "by destroying the unprecedented power and wealth America has accumulated by its own efforts and skills as it joined other nations."
Were the US to pursue a "me first" policy, then it won't be difficult to see why every country in the world will do the same -- the result would redound to international lawlessness.
More analysts predict predatory states such as Iran, Russia and China will do well in the resulting chaos, while the US allies (should there still be any left) will inevitably suffer.
If history's guidance is sought, America will not be able to stay aloof from the consequences of the new disorder. Trade and security that have been established by America will be imperiled.
The ultimate scene that will unfold: the United States will likely be drawn into conflicts that could have been avoided had it maintained its well-known position as Leader of the Free World, such a hard-won achievement that Trump has obviously been intent on throwing away with characteristic recklessness and thoughtlessness accompanied by obvious ignorance.
Three adjectives have been prominently aired in reference to the Trump withdrawal from the Paris accord: America will be sicker, poorer and less secure.
Trump has been surrounded by his choice of generals, along with business leaders, scientists and the like who have reiterated that the effects of climate change without strong efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will destabilize much of the world.
In his announcement to leave the Paris Accord, Trump said in strong terms how he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."
In all likelihood, Trump did not realize the truth, or perhaps he simply doesn't care.
Would the citizens of Pittsburgh suffer for the Trump mistake along with everyone else on the planet?

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The surreal presidencies of Duterte and Trump

Picture this: the president of a country – one who DID NOT win a majority of the votes cast for president – sits at the head of a table, surrounded by the men and women he has appointed to his Cabinet despite some of them having questionable qualifications. Instead of a formal meeting to discuss the many problems besetting his nation, the president wants his Cabinet secretaries to say something, not necessarily related to matters of state.
The all end up singing praises to the man at the head of the table, the alpha male, the president and chief executive.
Question: Is this a scene from the Philippines or the US?
Answer: It’s both.
With every passing day, week, and month, it seems that the presidencies of Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte are following the same unconventional path. This could be for better or worse. Sad to say, in the case of both the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, their presidents are sailing through dangerous, uncharted territory with what appears to be the absence of a road map.
Both leaders do not like media, in general, and this has resulted in the persons they appointed to deal with journalists to spread what is now known as fake news, or as Kellyanne Conway calls it, “alternative facts.”
Messers. Trump and Duterte do not understand that as chief executive of their respective countries, they are only in charge of the executive department, not the legislative and not the judiciary.
In both cases, there is no problem with their lawmakers, as their parties are in full control of Congress. Because they control two out of the three pillars of any democratic state, they believe that they should get what they want, and to hell with the law.
Mr. Trump’s numerous faux pas can be blamed on his total lack of experience in government service. Not so with Mr. Duterte, who has been city mayor for the longest time. Being city mayor, however, is different from being president, just as being CEO of a conglomerate of varied businesses is different from being chief executive of the most powerful country in the world.
Now, there is growing talk of possible impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, while for Mr. Duterte, impeachment raps were already filed before Congress, but these went nowhere as expected.
They may breathe easy knowing that the majority of their party mates are solidly behind them. But they should also realize that the winds of change can switch directions in the blink of an eye. Today’s allies can be tomorrow’s mortal enemies who will stop at nothing until the former friend falls hard.
Being very senior citizens, Donald and Digong are figurative old dogs unable to learn new tricks. But if they are to survive until the end of their terms, they have to understand that they were elected not to be kings but to be public servants. Their massive egos should be stored in some safe place and their administrative abilities must be brought to the fore. Their people are counting on them.

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Is Digong Duterte losing it?

This is not to insult the fans and followers of President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte, -- I am sure there are still a handful of them out there – but we really have to now ask, Is he still of sound mind?
From his latest words and actions, it would seem that the country’s chief executive is losing it. Literally, losing it.
He appears almost clueless as to what is happening in Marawi now. Mr. Duterte must be reminded that he is also commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. His claim that he was not aware that US troops had joined the AFP in ending the crisis in Marawi is mind boggling.
He has also said in various occasions that the NPA and Nur Misuari’s MNLF should join the fray, then backtracked by saying that the underground Left should not have a part in the government’s efforts to wipe out the Maute group, which remains in control of some parts of Marawi as of this writing.
Recall that the president said the Marawi “incident” would be over by May 31 and that the Maute group was little more than a nuisance, a ragtag band that had been created by a group of drug dealers.
Not true, of course. The ISIS-linked Maute group has proven itself to be a major thorn on the side of the AFP, and driving them out of Marawi could take a few more weeks, perhaps months.
Yes, Mr. Duterte has paid tribute to the AFP’s men who have fallen in the ongoing battle for the city. He has attended their wakes and promised to help their families. This is all well and good, and is part of the job of the president. He must not only condole with the country’s fallen heroes, he must be seen by the people to be doing so.
Being commander in chief involves so much more than public perceptions though. To admit that he was not aware that foreign troops were actively engaged in the battle against homegrown terrorists means that he is no longer totally in charge of his mental facilities.
That the Marawi attack happened at all indicates that there was a failure of the intelligence community to keep tabs on what was already a known terrorist organization that was active in the area.
In the private sector, when a chief executive officer is no longer able to perform the task of running the company, the course of action to be taken is obvious. That CEO is asked to resign, or is relieved of his post if he fails to admit that he is no longer able to run the company.
Digong Duterte’s absence during this week’s Independence Day rites is yet another reason to believe that he is no longer fit for office. The poor excuse that he was “not feeling well” is lame, at best, and was an outright lie, at worst.
All he needed to do was to wake up early, head for Rizal Park, and give a short speech. He was not being asked to deliver a Gettysburg address. It was nothing more than a photo op to show the people that their president is alive and well and in control.
One day after he missed that very important event, Malacanang had the temerity to announce that the president was in excellent health and only needed some rest.
Already, there is talk that Mr. Duterte should simply be allowed to play the role of president by cutting ribbons and showing up at public events on a regular basis, while letting his Cabinet run the country as some kind of cabal whose only goal is to stay in power until the end of the president’s term.
This same cabal has already gotten used to disseminating false news and getting away with it.
As the latest proof, so-called Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre showed “evidence” that opposition senators were behind the Marawi attack by displaying an old picture of those lawmakers having lunch. After his falsehood was exposed, Aguirre was not even man enough to admit his mistake.
Meanwhile, the Palace’s spin doctors announced that the injustice sec was doing a terrific job and had the full confidence of the president.
For ordinary citizens, it can be downright scary to see a president losing control, all the while surrounded by yes men and sycophants telling him – and us – that all is well and good.
This is what it was like during dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s waning years of misrule. A sick man is the head of state and he is now lost.
Why we are back to this sorry state is difficult to fathom. But this is exactly where we are.

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Get Ready! Prosecutorial discretions are being revoked.

Question: I was in Immigration Court about 2 years ago and had no relief. However, I did not have any crimes either and my attorney made a motion for prosecutorial discretion. However, last week, I was arrested for DUI. I did not even have to plea as the case was dismissed. There was no evidence and I have no conviction. However, the arrest prompted ICE to revoke my Prosecutorial Discretion. What happens now?

Answer: Under U.S. immigration law, prosecutorial discretion (PD) refers to the power that ICE has to discontinue working on a deportation case. ICE can exercise its PD in many different ways. For example, ICE can join you in asking an immigration judge to close your case. Prosecutorial discretion used to be under Obama one of the most important aspects of Immigration Law. Immigration Prosecutors can choose not to prosecute a crime for which someone is arrested. They can decide to pursue less serious charges. They can basically decide not to issue the Notice to Appear and begin Removal Proceedings.

However, under Trump, this has changed. Prosecutorial Discretion is all but dead. It is very rarely being issued. There are, of course, situations where it is still merited, but nothing like before. Additionally, ICE is revoking grants of PD left and right. Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to know your rights.

1. You do not have to sign a voluntary deportation;
2. You can fight your case in front of the Immigration Judge; and
3. You can still get detained;
4. You can make a motion to get bonded out.

Therefore, you will note that ICE officials in many cases will not tell you the truth and will lie about what you can and cannot do. You MUST know that you can fight your case and the fact that the Prosecutorial Discretion was denied and/or revoked is no reason to give up. It just means you must fight your case now.

Question: But how can I fight? What should I do?

Answer: First, get a qualified Immigration Attorney. Each case is different. This means that depending on your situation, the particular forms of relief will be different. We might be able to apply for Cancellation of Removal or Adjustment of Status, or Waivers of a variety of different kinds, or Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Convention Against Torture or a number of other forms of relief. What is important is that you can fight your case. Simply because Trump has decided to issue orders revoking Prosecutorial Discretion does not mean your path has ended.

Immigration Attorneys across the country are fighting every order that Trump makes. He cannot simply make the Immigration and Nationality Act disappear, or the Code of Federal Regulations, or the Policy Memos or the Foreign Affairs Manual. We are a country of Laws and one man, even if President of the U.S., cannot simply dictate and make all of that disappear.

We are fighting one case at a time and ultimately, we will prevail and the tides will turn. Trump is already seeing through his Muslim Ban, that he cannot simply sign a paper and think it becomes law.

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Keeping Up-To-Date and Engaged in the Senior Living Field

Care Indeed was at the 2017 CALA Spring Conference & Trade Show which was held last June 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame. CALA stands for California Assisted Living Association. Photo shows Apryl Ryder, Client Services Manager, and Karen Simmons, Quality Assurance Supervisor-RCFE. Care Indeed sponsored the event's Tuesday Continental Breakfast. For more information about Care Indeed's home care services or job openings, please call (650) 328-1001 or go to www.careindeed.com.

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