‘The paradox’  

The word “resurrection” is often used or spoken when a person refers to or talks about the risen lord Jesus Christ. The risen lord is the reason why Christians celebrate Easter.
Christians also relate resurrection with redemption.
In the context of the passion of Christ, it refers to his mission as the Son of Man who came to offer himself in obedience to God's redemptive plan. God’s redemptive plan is said to be the deliverance of humankind from sin and evil.
“Insurrection” may sound the same as resurrection but definitely has a totally different meaning.
Insurrection is the act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against a established civil authority or government. It is an uprising led by an organization, a group of individuals, or some collective formations.
I thought of writing about resurrection and insurrection in connection with the present leaders of the two countries that are dear to the hearts of many Filipino-Americans. I am referring to the United States under the leadership of President Donald Trump and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.
Many supporters who voted for these two presidents, not to mention the fiery speeches of both when they were still campaigning for their respective positions, zero in on their campaign line about being “tired of the status quo and the existing political establishment” and that drastic change is needed and necessary to bring things in order for both the U.S. and the Philippines.
Both Trump and Duterte were viewed and accepted as “outsiders” and “anti-establishment” candidates who were not extensions or representatives of the status quo.
There was “massive craving for change” despite the fact that both the outgoing presidents that Trump and Duterte succeeded, President Barack Obama and President Benigno C. Aquino Jr., were enjoying immense support and popularity as they headed out of office. The people in the U.S. and in the Philippines looked and opted for “alternative leaders” who can “shake” the political establishment and both Trump and Duterte were seen as the best fits judging by the number of votes that they received (although in Trump’s case he lost the popularity vote count to Democrat Hillary Clinto but still got enough votes to gain the electoral college’s nod).
Trump and Duterte from their own pronouncements, words, and propaganda strongly believe that they are the saviors who can effect “fast change” and “get things done” by effectively bypassing the bureaucracy and the opposition.
Both also manifested the so-called “messianic complex.”
But the issue that many have with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is the fact that immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBTQs, refugees, and liberal democrats are again being bashed and blamed for the so-called maladies affecting the U.S. at present.
For Duterte, he talks about the failure of the past Philippine administrations in eradicating society’s problems associated and related to the use of illegal and dangerous drugs. His campaign line was mainly eradicating the “drug problem” in the country as he claims that the country has been “infested” with drug addicts and drug pushers for many years now and that there is a need to “save the future generations of Filipinos.”
For Duterte, he claims that his war on drugs is meant to prevent the Philippines from becoming a “narco-state” which he claims was the destination where the country was headed before he took office.
He even claims that he is “willing to die” just to accomplish his task of saving and preventing the country from being a narco-state.
The so-called messianic complex is so strong on Trump and Duterte that their supporters belief in their so-called “calling” and “mission” as presidents of their respective countries lead many to ignore their more serious flaws and faults as leaders. This is what I will refer to as the paradox of our time.

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.

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Spouses of Certain H-1B Visa Holders at Risk of Losing Work Authorization

By Attorneys Brittany M. Milliasseau and Nancy E. Miller

 

During the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enacted a rule that allows the spouses of certain H-1B specialty occupation workers to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs). Prior to the enactment of the rule, the H-4 spouse of an H-1B visa holder could live in the United States, but was not authorized to work. Thus, numerous highly-skilled and advanced degree individuals, who chose to accompany their spouses to the U.S. were unable to pursue employment opportunities in the U.S. The H-4 EAD rule which went into effect in May 2015, changed the long-standing regulation and allowed H-4 nonimmigrant spouses of H-1B workers to apply for work authorization if their H-1B spouse is in process of becoming a lawful permanent resident. Specifically, the H-1B holder must be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigration Petition for Alien Worker, or have been granted H-1B status pursuant to certain sections of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, often referred to as “AC21.”
The H-4 EAD rule was initially aimed at reducing “personal and economic burdens faced by H-1B nonimmigrants and eligible H-4 dependent spouses during the transition from nonimmigrant to LPR status,” as well as “attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B nonimmigrants who choose not to remain in the United States and pursue LPR status.”
While the H-4 EAD program has provided a much-needed pathway for H-4 visa holders to earn an income, it has also been challenged by certain groups claiming that the rule threatens the jobs of U.S. workers. Shortly after the H-4 EAD rule was announced, an organization of technology workers filed a lawsuit against the federal government arguing that DHS lacked the statutory authority to allow H-4 visa holders to work in the U.S. Further, the plaintiffs argued that the new rule injured its members as they would be forced to compete with both H-1B and H-4 workers for jobs. The case was initially dismissed but plaintiffs appealed the ruling. In February 2017, DHS was granted an additional 60 days to assess the rule and “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.” Earlier this week, after the 60-day abeyance which ended on April 3, DHS then asked the Circuit Court for additional time. This time, the request for was an additional 180 days to allow DHS time to “reconsider the H-4 Rule and whether issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking relating to it is appropriate.” In its filing, DHS also offered to “update the court every 60 days concerning the Department’s review” and to “inform the Court promptly should it determine new rulemaking is or is not appropriate before 180 days elapse.”
Many H-4 spouses and their family members are now concerned about the future of their work authorization and their ability to earn an income. If the current administration revokes employment authorization for H-4 spouses, numerous families could be in economic jeopardy. Families may lose a household income and financial situations could be dramatically changed resulting in economic hardship for many, especially families that have become accustomed to dual family incomes. As of right now, there have been no changes to the H-4 EAD rule, but there is a possibility that DHS could amend the existing rule, publish a new rule, or even terminate the rule.
The challenge to the H-4 EAD rule is a stark reminder of the uncertainty that is present in the immigration system – uncertainty that has recently been heightened due to the new presidential administration.
If you believe that you may be eligible for work authorization under the H-4 EAD program, it is best that you speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss eligibility. Additionally, if you think that you may be eligible for another type of immigration benefit, you should consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney who may review your immigration case history and determine whether you are currently eligible for any immigration benefits, particularly a benefit that may no longer be available in the near future.

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It’s time to ask the tough questions  

During the observance of the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March, President Donald Trump launched a missile attack on Shayrat Air Base in Syria. I started to worry and say “Not Again!” after I learned about the missile attack.
Not again was a knee-jerk reaction because I was reminded of the war on terror that President George W. Bush started in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
The war on terror did not only impact and affect the lives of many Americans but also the lives of many people and countries around the world. Accepted policies and procedures related to international and domestic travels were also affected due to national security issues and concerns that were expressed by many countries after the 9/11 attacks. In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security was established immediately as well to beef-up intelligence gathering and border control.
Not again was also a disappointed reaction to the military action related to the U.S. missile strikes which was made and decided without the consent of Congress and agreement from the United Nations.
It is still very fresh from memory when mainstream America out of and because of fear just accepted the Bush Administration’s line that there were weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq and that Saddam Hussein must be overthrown by military intervention and force because he is a threat to global peace and security not only in the Middle East but around the world. This line was then the main justification for the invasion of Iraq and U.S. intervention in the region.
For the recent missile launch against Syria, President Trump explained that the U.S. had to make the move because of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against the rebel forces and their supporters in the Syrian territory.
Some doubters state that the U.S. action might just be to divert the attention of the public from the ongoing investigation of the alleged Russian connection with the Trump campaign during the last presidential election in November 2016--- a sort of “wag the dog” propaganda by the present administration.
But just like in the past, there are lessons to be learned. I hope that the American public will ask tough questions this time around and not let fear and bias rule against their better judgment. What good did the missile attack do? Definitely, the response to this question must not be an emphatic “Nothing” because wars and missile attacks mean destruction, the loss of innocent lives, and a thousand and one tears to lost hope, dreams, and opportunities.
As we all know, President Trump has been criticized for lacking “coherent policies” and the American people have all the right to ask if the president weighed cost versus benefits, both in the long and short term before the missile attack. If not, I hope that he’ll do it the next time he considers U.S. military involvement and action for that matter in Syria and other parts of the world. Does the military action achieve a true and lasting positive purpose? Does the act make America great and more secure again?
The civil war in Syria is not very easy to understand. It is complicated and there are many foreign forces involved--- including the U.S., Russia, Iran, the Kurds, ISIS, the Syrian Armed Forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces, and many others.
The American people must be well-informed. The consequences of wrong military actions are very costly. Our history tells us this and the bitter lessons of the past must not be forgotten and erased from our memories. I believe that the members of Congress should have a say the next time (and perhaps the U.N. and the U.S. allies too).
War? For what reason? Let us start asking tough questions before getting into another costly war.

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.

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Contempt of Court

The primary purpose of the contempt power is to preserve the effectiveness and sustain the power of the courts. The secondary purpose is to protect and enforce the parties’ rights by compelling obedience to court orders and judgments. Examples of this would be failure to appear when subpoenaed, screaming profanities in court, and failure to obey a court order.
The judge may impose sanctions such as fines or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court. For criminal cases, sanctions typically are a jail term and fines that are intended to punish. Probationary terms may also be imposed. As for civil contempt, sanctions may include a fine or a jail term that ends when the offending behavior ends and money damages may be awarded to the injured party.
To prove contempt the prosecutor or complainant must prove four elements: existence of a lawful order, knowledge of the order, ability to comply and the failure to comply. As referenced, my client had attorneys and an accountant to insure that effective and full compliance with court proceedings would be effectuated.
I have a case now in which the opposing party in a divorce case is facing numerous contempt charges for failing to provide financial information as ordered by the Court. The crux of the case generally falls on the factors of the “Respondent/Defendant’s” ability and willingness to comply with a court order. Another relief that could be requested is attorney fees incurred in filing an affidavit of contempt in the family court case scenario.
I have defended several clients in numerous counts of family law contempt cause of actions pertaining to financial obligations such as child support, spousal support and attorney fees (financial issues). Another area where contempt is brought forth is in violations of a visitation order or restraining orders. My most recent case is about noncompliance and overt disobedience of a court order requiring the other party to provide financial documents for “discovery.”
The four factors to be proven: valid court order, knowledge of the order, ability to comply with the order, and willfulness of conduct must all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in both the civil and criminal arena. Since the court can impose up to five days per count of jail, a maximum of 180 days of jail would trigger the right of the Respondent/Defendant to request a jury trial.
The power to punish for contempt is broad and carries with it great responsibility to apply it judiciously and only when contempt is clearly and unequivocally shown. Defendants in criminal matters should be given every opportunity to exonerate themselves. Criminal contempt sanctions should be only utilized after the judge has determined that civil contempt remedies are inappropriate.
It is incumbent and prudent if you are the party that is attempting to get a contempt action initiated and successful that you hire an attorney that have both the experiences and expertise in both the criminal and civil arena. While in family law (civil) court is not the criminal arena, the constitutional rights afforded a criminal defendant will be required, including but not limited to, a right to an attorney, right to a speedy trial, and a right to remain silent.
It is a complex matter that will require you to get an attorney not only to decipher the pleading requirements but also to effectively win the case in trial.
Any questions, call me at 310-601-7144 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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What if Hillary had won and issued a travel ban?

“Must a government be too strong for the liberties of its people or too weak to maintain its own existence?” – Abraham Lincoln

What if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency and had issued a travel ban against citizens of certain Muslim majority nations, what would the Democrats and their allies in the liberal, biased, pro-Democratic Party, media have said? Instead of jeers as their reaction to President Trump’s travel ban, they would be saying “cheers”. “She is strong on defense, strict on immigration.” It was the Obama administration that had identified the particular nations as potential sources of terrorists. Nobody would have sued her to stop the ban. It is the states where Hillary won that sued Trump – like Hawaii and Washington.
It is unfortunate that the protection of the American people, which President Trump promised during his campaign, has become politicized. Anything that President Trump does has been attacked. If he were to give a thousand dollars to everybody in the United States, he would be criticized: “Why not give a hundred thousand dollars.” And if he were to give a hundred thousand dollars, he would still be criticized: “Why not give a million dollars?”

FEDERAL JUDGES DIVIDED ON TRAVEL BAN
You might not read or hear about this in the liberal, biased, pro-Democratic Party, media, but federal judges are divided on the issue of the validity of the travel ban, which would suspend for 90 days the entry of nationals from six countries, which were pinpointed by the Obama administration, to enable consulates abroad to conduct extensive background checks.
On March 15, 2017, a federal judge in Hawaii, Derrick Watson, issued an order granting a motion for temporary restraining order enjoining President Trump and officers of the United States from enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of Executive Order across the Nation. The judge posed the issue thus: National security is unquestionably important to the public at large, but the plaintiffs and the public have a vested interest in the “free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination.” The question is: do the nationals of these 6 countries (and for that matter any country) have freedom to travel to America? Who gave them that right? If so, can citizens of the Philippines living abroad have freedom to travel to America? If their visa applications are denied, will the State of Hawaii sue on their behalf because they have “a vested interest in the free flow of travel”? Many Filipinos have been separated from their families living in the United States. Will the State of Hawaii also sue on their behalf to avoid separation of families?
On the other hand, on March 24, 2017, a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, Judge Anthony Trenga, refused to block President Trump’s revised executive order. Judge Trenga pointed out that the issue was not whether the order “is wise, necessary, under- or over-inclusive, or even fair” but whether the order “falls within the bounds of the President’s statutory authority or whether the President has exercised that authority in violation of constitutional restraints.” He noted that there is no “facially discriminatory order coupled with contemporaneous statements suggesting discriminatory intent.” The judge indicated that the court cannot conclude for the purposes of the motion that these statements, together with the President's past statements, have effectively disqualified him from exercising his lawful presidential authority." See https://www.docdroid.net/zXkmJ4O/sarsour-opinion.pdf.html
Judge Trenga said that “Congress has the exclusive constitutional authority to create immigration policies.” In exercising that authority, Congress has enacted Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which provides:
“(f) Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
Congress has already spoken in clear and certain terms. It vested upon the President the power and duty to “suspend” the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as “he may deem to be appropriate”. The law does not say, as “he may deem to be appropriate with the approval of the courts.” The President is the sole judge of when to “suspend” the entry of aliens. The law does not give the courts any say on this matter, otherwise Congress would have said so. Expresio unius, est exclusio alterius. (The express mention of one thing excludes all others). Judge Trenga said that “the President has unqualified authority to bar the physical entry to the United States at the border”.
Five U.S. Court of Appeals judges of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who supported a rehearing en banc (by the full court) of the travel ban case (after a 3-judge panel refused to lift the injunction against the first travel ban) led by Judge Jay Bybee said that President Trump’s Executive Order of January 27, 2017, suspending the entry of certain aliens, “was authorized by statute, and presidents have frequently exercised that authority through executive orders and presidential proclamations. Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the President or the Executive Order, the President’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency,” and “[t]he wisdom of the policy choices made by [the President] is not a matter for our consideration.” Judge Bybee emphasized that “The exclusion of aliens is a fundamental act of sovereignty.” Judge Bybee pointed out that: "We are judges, not Platonic guardians. It is our duty to say what the law is, and the meta-source of our law, the U.S. Constitution, commits the power to make foreign policy, including the decision to permit or forbid entry into the United States, to the President and Congress."
http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2017/03/15/17-35105%20en%20banc.pdf?platform=hootsuite

MOTIVE OF LAWMAKER IS NOT A FACTOR IN JUDGING VALIDITY OF LAW
Judges against the travel ban claim that Trump was motivated by anti-Muslim sentiments in imposing the travel ban. They cite Trump’s campaign speeches. Trump clarified in his campaign speeches that what he meant was “extreme vetting” (background check).
The Hawaii judge in his order blocking President Trump’s Executive Order acknowledged that the Government appropriately cautioned that “courts should not look into the ‘veiled psyche’ and ‘secret motives’ of government decision makers and may not undertake a ‘judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts.’
The Virginia judge refused to psychoanalyze President Trump for his motives in issuing the travel ban.
If psychoanalyzing lawmakers was allowed, one could challenge the anti-dog eating laws of certain states as unconstitutionally motivated against ethnic origin and race by psychoanalyzing the legislators to unveil their “veiled psyche” and “secret motive” to discriminate against nationals of certain Asian countries.
OBSERVATION: In a letter to the editor of a Hawaii newspaper with Democratic leanings on 3/26/2016, the female writer said that Hawaii Judge Watson was a classmate of former President Obama and that Obama was coincidentally in Hawaii when the Judge issued his temporary restraining order (TRO). But in another letter to the editor of the same newspaper, the woman writer was quick to point out that there is no connection with the issuance of the TRO. As Hamlet’s mother remarked: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” Me says nobody is claiming that one plus one equals TRO.

(Atty. Tipon has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School where he specialized in Constitutional Law. He has also a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the Philippine Bar Examination in 1956. His current practice focuses on immigration law and criminal defense. He writes law books for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. He has a radio show in Honolulu, Hawaii with his son Noel, senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon law firm, where they discuss legal and political issues. Office: American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 2305, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. 96813. Tel. (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Website: www.bileckilawgroup.com. He was born in Laoag City, Philippines. He served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He is co-author with former Judge Artemio S. Tipon of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” and co-author of “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon has personally experienced the entire immigration cycle by entering the United States on a non-immigrant working visa to write law books, adjusting his status to that of a lawful permanent resident, and becoming a naturalized United States citizen.)

 

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The changing of the president  

The word “impeachment” has been used more often these days in the Philippines and in the United States as more and more critics of both President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte have taken to social media to denounce the actions and policies of the two leaders.
This talk about impeachment is not a new thing. Actually many people are very familiar with this constitutional procedure for removing a sitting president from office.
The usual route for changing an administration is through presidential elections, but for terms of four years in the U.S. and six years in the Philippines, many find these too long for presidents who in their first months have already done major missteps in their jobs as chief executives.
The Philippines and the United States have many things in common with regards to their political systems particularly their form of government with three branches.
In the United States Constitution it is stated that "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," while in the 1987 Philippine constitution the grounds for removal from office on impeachment are for “conviction of, . . . culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.”
Impeachment though does not imply “forceful removal.” Under the constitution of both the U.S. and the Philippines, impeachment takes place in the House of Representatives if a majority approves the submitted articles of impeachment. The impeachment proceeding then goes to the Senate where a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict the president which would then lead to his or her removal.
In the Philippines, no impeachment proceedings can be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.
President Rodrigo Duterte has not completed the first year of his six-year term of office and an impeachment complaint was already filed against him in the House of Representatives citing murder, crimes against humanity in connection with the extrajudicial deaths and his alleged involvement in the Davao Death Squad, and corruption, as grounds.
This impeachment complaint might not prosper since President Duterte has the support of the majority in the House of Representatives. But with the call from the international community to revoke Philippine trade privileges in a bid to hold President Duterte accountable for his alleged support of the killings in his war on drugs, and if the nation’s economy gets into a downward state, Duterte’s popularity can wane fast and realignment of political forces will surely take place.
President Duterte may also be violating the constitution in his handling of the territorial issues against China since he is mandated to defend the national territory.
Outside of elections, only two Philippine presidents were “booted out” of power. First, there was President Ferdinand Marcos who fled the Philippines during the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising and the second, President Joseph Estrada, left Malacanang Palace after another people’s uprising in 2001. In Estrada’s case, he was deposed in a “constitutional-coup” and replaced by his vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. President Estrada allegedly “resigned” or was “incapacitated” and this led to Macapagal-Arroyo being sworn as president.
In the U.S., articles of impeachment were passed against then President Richard Nixon by a congressional committee but Nixon resigned before the House of Representatives could vote on his impeachment.
President Bill Clinton was impeached by the lower house and tried in the senate but was acquitted and remained in office.
There are many issues surrounding the Trump presidency that are being collected and investigated that may potentially be impeachable offenses. However at this time, with Trump’s political party having control of both houses in congress, the possibility of his impeachment is still remote.
Remember Nixon and Clinton faced impeachment when their respective parties were not the majority in congress. For Trump to be impeached, members of his own party would have to turn against him.

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.

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‘Kodakan’ (Promoting Filipino Heritage in America)  

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said these words in 1943: "We have faith that future generations will know here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.” Fast forward to the year 2017 and what President Roosevelt said 74 years ago is still relevant.
We again witness ignorance and intolerance manifested by rising anti-immigrant sentiments and attacks in the U.S. The rise of bashing incidents, violence, and hate crimes against immigrants and people of color have been fanned by conservative and nativist rhetoric that depicts immigrants as a “baggage to American society” rather than the realistic picture of hard working people who contribute their talents and labor to make America a better country.
The Filipino community in America is not immune to the anti-immigrant trend.
The fact that Filipinos have settled in North America long before Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states, and even before the Philippines was granted independence by the United States, does not exempt our community from the immigrant bashing that is happening around. We need to continue educating mainstream America about who we are and the contributions that we have made as a people in American society.
Education is an important component but reality check tells us that there is not much written about our history and culture as a people in the U.S. Even in cities and places where there are many Filipinos, historical materials and studies about Filipinos are not always available and accessible in libraries, resource centers, schools and institutions of higher learning.
There are many immigrant stories that need to be told, many photos and multi-media materials that need to be gathered, stored, and shared so we can tell our own story about our community. There should be no more waiting. With the immigrant bashing going on around, the time to do this is now.
With the advancement of information and communication technology and the extensive use of internet and social media in our daily lives, we can now expect that our own narratives and Filipino heritage can be easily and properly documented. It is also much easier now to store information for future generations.
There are many activities and developments in connection with this undertaking to promote and preserve Filipino heritage in the U.S. particularly in San Francisco.
First was the recognition and adoption of the city’s South of Market area as the Filipino Cultural Heritage District (SoMa Pilipinas) on April 12, 2016. Last year, a number of our community members also shared their stories through the StoryCorps and the Center of Asian American Media.
This year the Filipino community in partnership and cooperation with the San Francisco Public Library came up with the project “Kodakan Photo Day: Shades of San Francisco: A Search for Visual Filipino History of San Francisco.”
“Shades of San Francisco” is embracing the mission to collect and copy photographs from the family albums and private collections of current and former San Francisco residents. These photos will then be exhibited and added to the San Francisco History Center’s photo archives to create a permanent record of the daily lives of San Franciscans as well as the historical, political, and cultural contributions of the many neighborhoods and ethnic communities that make up the City and County of San Francisco.
Shades of San Francisco (Kodakan) will take place for the Filipino community on May 13, 2017 from 10am to 4pm at the San Francisco Main Public Library (100 Larkin Street in San Francisco).
We should support this noble cause. On photo day, please bring copies of your photos from your photo albums, loose photographs, and digital photos, including old materials and literatures about Filipinos and the Filipino community in San Francisco so the library will have more archival collections about us and our contributions as a people to the San Francisco community as a whole.
Let us continue to promote and preserve Filipino social and cultural heritage in America.

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.

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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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Whereas

Responsibility and hope
We Filipinos should not forget our values as people. Reading the news and social media postings of many, including the news that we hear from relatives, friends, and loved ones in the Philippines, it is undeniable that many have accepted the extrajudicial killings (“EJKs”) linked to Operation Tokhang and the government’s war on drugs as a “necessity” and a part of life in the Philippines.
Recently, majority of the members of the House of Representatives also voted to resurrect the death penalty.
The blame should not only be put against the incumbent president, Rodrigo R. Duterte, who during his campaign for the presidency and after he was sworn in as president vowed to “kill them”--- them referring to drug lords, drug pushers, and drug users. For almost nine months now, President Duterte continues to rally his supporters to support his drug war.
I am puzzled and perplexed by the way the Filipino people have accepted and tolerated the president’s iron-fist approach. I also wonder why many continue to believe that this approach will work and be effective in moving the nation forward. Countries like Thailand and Colombia tried the same approach before and came out unsuccessful despite the number of casualties that ended up six feet underground.
Have we forgotten the age-old Filipino proverbs “Kapag may buhay, may pag-asa” and “Hanggang buhay ang tao ay may pag-asa” which were handed to us by our ancestors many generations ago. Both of these proverbs tell us that while there is life, there will always be hope.
There is also the Filipino maxim that says “Kung buhay and inutang, buhay rin ang kabayaran” which implies that if a life was borrowed, the debt should also be paid with life.
This may sound like a good justification for the death penalty--- as in the law of retaliation during the ancient and barbaric times--- commonly referred to as “an eye for an eye.” However, if we analyze and reinterpret the maxim in this modern and civilized world, what we will see is a profound balance sheet and accountability approach.
The equivalent of accountability or responsibility in Pilipino is “pananagutan.”
Pananagutan goes deep into who we are because it is related to our “pakikipagkapwa-tao” (how we treat others).
Following the mantra of “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko,” that popular Philippine public service television show in the 1970s hosted by Rosal Rosal and Orly Mercado, Filipino service providers and community-based agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area have adopted “Kapwa Natin, Pananagutan Natin” as their service principle and purpose statement during the 1990s.
Pakikipagkapwa-tao is one of the more important core virtues of being a Filipino. The meaning of kapwa is shared identity which on a certain level leads to shared responsibility and solidarity.
Hence, kapwa natin, pananagutan natin may mean caring for one another and in the larger context this helps promote a community of caring and responsible people.
How do we reconcile the concept of community and responsibility if we tolerate and accept EJKs as part of life in the Philippines? The same goes to accepting the death penalty if the penal punishment makes a grand return in the Philippines. Remember, the Philippines made a pact with the community of nations years ago against the imposition of the death penalty?
Let us not forget that we Filipinos are also responsible for the more than seven thousand deaths attributed to the drug war (if the Philippine government is indeed responsible for those deaths)--- because we are responsible for the lives of our “kapwa” and the families that the departed have left behind.
The Philippines cannot move forward as a nation if there is no accountability as to the more than seven thousand lives lost and the continued killings going on in the name of the war on drugs.
As long as there is life, there will always be hope. And for hope to grow and hopefully reach others in the community--- including the nation’s leaders--- there must be pananagutan first to protect and care for the lives of our fellow human beings--- our kapwa.

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.

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Modification of child custody or visitation orders

I have a client that has a visitation order of a mere 5% due to a prior restraining order. He came to my office and wants to know what his options would be. Since the restraining order had expired, a modification is “necessary or proper” in the child’s best interests. Generally, a custody or visitation order may be modifiable during the child’s minority whenever the court finds a modification is “necessary or proper” and consistent with the child’s best interest.

I suggested reaching out to the opposing party’s attorney prior to filing any motion to see if a stipulation for more visitation time would be available. This not only curbs legal fees and court costs but is consistent with the duties required in family law of both parties’ to act in good faith.

If there is no agreement and court intervention is the only means to an end, I will always note in our motion that best efforts were made in order to prevent judicial intervention and increased costs. Depending on the acts or behaviors of both the attorney and opposing party, sanctions for legal fees and costs may be requested.

The standard governing custody adjudications requires the court to review and conclude what is the child’s best interest. However, if the custody order has been deemed “final”—usually a Judgment has been filed, then a showing of “significant change of circumstances will be needed. The policy behind this is that modifications to custody or visitation create instability and security is essential to the child’s welfare.

The paramount goal is to preserve the need for continuity and stability in custody arrangements, unless some significant change in circumstance reflects a different arrangement would be in the child’s best interest. As for my client, there is no final custody order so the best interest standard is the applicable law.

Unless the order is permanent or final, the court is only required to make an initial custody determination of what custody order is consistent with insuring continuity and stability for the child. The burden of proof must be on the party requesting the change –my client.

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