Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 15 August 2017

‘My Husband beat me.’ Now it is possible to apply for Asylum.

Question: My husband beat me and I was afraid for my life, so I escaped to the United States. Can I applyfor something so I do not have to go back to my home country?

Answer: Yes, it may be possible to apply for gender based asylum. This is not your normal ‘political’ asylum, but rather, one based on ‘gender based immigration.’ This would be considered a social group.

Question: What is a ‘social group’ and how to define it?

Answer: There are several grounds in which you can apply for asylum. One of the grounds is if you are being persecuted because you are in a ‘social group’. You have to define an immutability characteristic. This is where a person cannot change OR it is so fundamental that the person should not have to change. The social group can be argued differently depending on the particular situation in which you are finding yourself.

For example, in the small amount of information you have given here, the social group might be married persons who are beat by their spouses and cannot get any governmental help. It is not easy to define social group and certain case law actually makes it more difficult. However, do not despair as it can certainly be done.

Question: What if I know somebody in question is not married, but still being beaten by her husband and has escaped to the U.S. Can she apply for this kind of asylum?

Answer: In this case, there is actually an unpublished case that allows this to go forward. However, even without this case, it is possible. You will have to define the social group differently. In this case, I can see some group similarly referencing women that are being beaten, but are in ‘common law’ marriages and/or who have kids that have suffered, etc.

Question: What if my country has laws against domestic violence? Will I not be able to apply?

Answer: Even if country has laws against domestic violence, you can show they are unable or unwilling to enforce it. This is purely a factual endeavour and must be elaborated on and built up during trial.

Question: Are there other issues that I should be aware of when trying to prove my case?

Answer:Internal Relocation is an issue. It is important to clearly document and show if government is going after you that there is nowhere to hide. If it is an individual that is going after you, then you must show how they will follow you.

Also, assuming you had to just pick up and go to escape the beatings, try to show loss of property, loss of livelihood, and whatever you left behind. Try to show the persecutor has a broader reach than just the local place upon which you are living.

Question: Are there any other similar related issues whereby somebody can file for gender based asylum?

Answer:Yes. An example would be child abuse. You would look for the social group such as were children are sold as property, or unable to leave of abusive parents, or sold as sex slaves. Another example, might be forced relationships and/or forced marriages. Additionally, you can see if the particular persecution violates religious views, or race issues. Other issues might be female genital mutilation, homosexuals, homosexual marriages, transgenders. Thus, as you can see, there are many examples of gender based asylum cases.

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Tagalog third most spoken language in 3 US states

CA -- Results from a recent study by 2/7 Wall St. based on the 2015 American Consumer Survey showed that Tagalog is the most spoken language after English and Spanish in the states of California, Nevada and Washington.
In terms of numbers, third largest U.S. stateCalifornia has a 2.1% of total population or 832,024 residents speaking Tagalog at home, followed by the state of Nevada with 74,337 residents or 2.6% of its total population and Washington with 62,201 or almost 1% of the total population.
Interestingly, Tagalog may not be the most spoken language in Hawaii but Ilocano, another Philippine-based language, took the lead with 59,454 residents or 4.2% of the islanders speaking the language. Ilocano ancestors were believed to have migrated in the 16th century to neighboring islands of the Philippines and some even went as far as Hawaii.
Overall on the state level, the German language topped all other languages spoken after English and Spanish with 11 states followed by Vietnamese which is most spoken in seven states and Chinese in six states.
24/7 Wall St. used the data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 AmericanConsumer Survey on languages most spoken at home and also considered data on the ancestry of state residents to determine the most commonly spoken foreign language in each state.
Presented with these figures Filipino-American educators and Filipino language advocates were no longer surprised that Tagalog is the most commonly used language in California after English and Spanish considering that 45% Filipino immigrants live in Golden State.
Associate Professor James Sobredo, PhD of the Asian American Studies Program under Ethnic Studies Department of Sacramento State University was more surprised that is the “lack (shortage) ofTagalog language programs in our high schools, colleges and universities inCalifornia, an issue that should be addressed by community leaders and our policy makers.”
“Our school policies are numbers and enrollment driven. If students do not enroll in those Filipino American andFilipino language courses, they will not be in our schools and colleges,”reiterates Sobredo. “Furthermore, unless you are going to spend time in thePhilippines, conduct business in the Philippines or become a Filipino scholar. The reality is, it is more beneficial in California to learn to speak Spanish.”
City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Chair of Philippine StudiesDepartment Lily Ann B. Villaraza, PhD regards the findings significant because it demonstrates the need for Tagalog/Ilocano/Filipino to be recognized by local and state governments as a language that official government materials should or need to be translated into just like several cities and counties in California like San Francisco and San Diego already do.

“For the Philippine StudiesDepartment at CCSF, the Pilipino language classes are often the first courses that expose students (Filipino and non-Filipino) to Philippine culture, history, etc. In all of the courses that I teach, language is part of that teaching and learning. I use words in Tagalog/Filipino in my lectures - and are explained as necessary - in all of my classes,” Villaraza disclosed.

Magdalena de Guzman, a FilipinoBilingual and Bicultural teacher and advocate at San Francisco Unified SchoolDistrict for 24 years, sees the significance of this study as an opportunity to use the data to get more funding from the federal, state and local levels to strengthen the Filipino as a primary, heritage, and global language in the political, economic, and educational realms.

“In the U.S., we can advocate for teaching Filipino in schools just as the new California state law strengthens bilingual and multilingual education giving us opportunity to get more funding for opening programs, hiring and training Filipino bilingual teachers, creating curriculum materials, purchasing books, etc.” de Guzman appraises. “In our effort to strengthen the use of our Filipino/Tagalog, we should discourage the use of Taglish, for its use would weaken our resolve to have a genuine language.”
San Francisco Philippine ConsulGeneral Henry Bensurto, Jr.wished that the 24/7 Wall St. study also indicated whether or not the 2nd generation of Filipino Americans speak the language and that it is not just first generation parents who are conversing inFilipino/Tagalog..
“Ifthe 2nd and 3rd and so forth generation of Filipinos do not speak the language, then we should be concerned, if not alarmed. This would mean that the language could potentially disappear or dissipate in the future. With it, the culture and the love for anything that is Filipino,” bothered Bensurto. “It is therefore imperative for all of us who love the culture of what is Filipino, to exert effort to reach out to these generations of Filipinos, and connect them to their beginnings, their culture, their heritage.”
Labor organizer Vivian Zalvidea-Araullo contends that the outcome of the study clearly signify that we are the fastest-growing immigrant Asia Pacific Islander population in the U.S. and a force to reckon with, politically and economically that those who wish to serve the public must listen to us and that those who want our valuable consumer dollars, as one of the biggest populations, must learn to speak to our community, in our language.

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Reaching the breaking point

The latest round of UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea are the toughest yet, and may finally force the political and military leadership of the Hermit Kingdom to take drastic steps which they have refused to take before. What those steps are will be entirely up to them.
They can take the worst possible step of declaring war on the US and its allies, notablyJapan and South Korea. Like Japan bombing Pearl Harbor, North Korea may not even formally declare war, but simply take action that will invite instant and immediate retaliation.
Again and again, Kim Jong Un has threatened that his country now has the capability to launch a nuclear attack on the US mainland. Whether he is actually fool enough to commit such an act, which is tantamount to suicide for himself and his country, will be known soon enough.
The whole world knows what will happen should Kim begin a nuclear war. His country may be able to kill millions of people, but the retaliation guarantees that what is now North Korea will be a nuclear wasteland that will be uninhabitable for decades, perhaps centuries to come.
It’s all a matter of simple mathematics. North Korea may have a handful of nuclear weapons, but the United States has tens of thousands. Granted that a large number of the US nuclear arsenal has been neutralized following the various nuclear non-proliferation treaties signed in the past, but there are still more than 10,000 active warheads that can be launched at a moment’s notice.
This may or may not be clear to the North Korean leader. He appears to believe that his army and weapons are at par with the US. There is just no comparison, yet he continues to talk as if his country can actually win a nuclear war.
One other step that the NoKors can take is to continue with their bluster, but silently work to end the sanctions. In other words, they will still talk tough, but not act.
They will not want to lose face so they will seek actions from the UN that can be represented as a victory on their part.
The latest round of sanctions will result in billions of dollars of NoKor exports lost, as even their largest trading partner China has vowed to fully accept the UN resolution calling for the hard sanctions. An economic crisis will force Kim to look at all the possibilities. Unless he is willing to see millions of his countrymen starve, then he must take the diplomatic option.
North Korea insists that their nuclear program is non-negotiable, as it is necessary for their survival.
If they finally realize that it is that very program that has become a threat to their survival, then Kim and his generals should take a hard look at where they are today. They are a pariah in the world stage and their ties to their only ally China are showing signs of unraveling.
They have crossed line after line in the past, and the world didn’t do enough. This time, the UN has taken what is hoped will be the last step needed to force NorthKorea to dismantle their nuclear program.

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Maranaoin Australia helps bring MSU students back to school

Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Elin Anisha Guro may be more than 5,500 kilometers away, but she is doing her part to bring back normalcy to the besieged city of Marawi.


A PhD student at the University of Melbourne, Anisha started Balik MSU to encourage students displaced by conflict to go back to school and finish their education.
"Balik MSU (Mindanao State University) was initiated by MSU-ans all over the world toencourage MSU students to go back to Marawi City. Together with alumni fromAustralia, Marawi, Manila, and Singapore, we all came together and tried tohelp MSU in encouraging our students not to transfer but to return,"Anisha told Rappler.
Thecampaign started when Anisha posted in an online group about ways to help MSU students. People expressed their interest to pitch in, and the funds from alumni and friends slowly started coming.

With the funds they have raised so far, Balik MSU plans to ferry 300 students back to Marawi City from nearby Iligan City, and give T-shirts to the students once classes resume.
"When we posted a callout, the answer was overwhelming. Initially, we were just planning 100 students, but when we sent out the survey, in just a few hours, registration reached 600. So you can see, students are really determined to goback to Marawi City no matter what," Anisha said.
MSU is the 2nd largest state university in the Philippines. MSU Marawi alone has a population of around 18,000 students. Despite the ongoing armed conflict between the military and ISIS-inspired terrorists, MSU Marawi president Habib Macaayongearlier expressed the school administration's determination to resume classes this month.
The crisis in Marawi City entered its 3rd month in August. According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the conflict has displaced around 359,680 individuals or 78,466 families as of Friday, August 4.
Ground reports
Anative of Marawi, Anisha said she is very much affected by the conflict, especially because her family is still in the city.
"I learned about the clash directly from my daughter. When it happened, my sister just finished visiting the jail in Marawi City as part of her job. That's where the fighting took place. So she was right there when the first fire erupted," Anisha said.
She added: "My daughter was telling me that my sister and my niece were trapped. I was really so concerned and shocked because I couldn't believe that it's really happening."
Anisha,the former vice chancellor for research and extension of MSU Marawi, noted that there have been reports of abuses but it is difficult to get evidence because of martial law in Mindanao.
She also lamented the destruction of the city, which is known for its history.
"The city survived periods of colonization from the Spanish to the Japanese. The city withstood. There was a time people evacuated but it never got so destroyed as it is now," she said.
"As Marawi residents, we also think that the air strikes are unnecessary or could have been avoided, especially to preserve our buildings. These are houses containing cultural heritage that could never be recovered," she added.
How to help
As of now, Balik MSU is waiting for the go-signal of the university administration and the military before they start ferrying students. But Anisha is hopeful that the second semester classes will resume as scheduled.
There is much work to be done. A lot of students have expressed interest to go back to MSU Marawi but don't have resources for the travel back to the city. This is where the public can help.
Citing the case of Paramisuli Aming, the 2017 Social Workers Licensure Exam top notcher, Anisha said:"We believe that even though there's war, education cannot stop. Even inwar, MSU-ans excel."
She added: "This isn't the first time that the university has experienced martial law. This is actually the second time. It happened before and MSU-ans survived. I [know] we will survive this again." – Rappler.com
Those interested to help the Balik MSU project can donate through the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN),a partner non-governmental organization.
David Lozada is an Australia Awards scholar taking up a Master of Development Studies degree at the University of Melbourne. Prior to his scholarship, he was a reporter covering development and a community manager for Rappler's MovePH for4 years.

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Attacking Premarital Agreements

There are several ways a prenuptial agreement can be attacked and found invalid. A premarital agreement is unenforceable if a party against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following: (1) consent was involuntary; (2) the agreement was unconscionable.

I have a client that was not represented by an attorney at the time she signed the agreement and needed an Italian translator. She is conversational in English but due to the legal terms used in the agreement should have had a translator provided. In fact, she did request that the documents be provided to her in Italian too—but was never provided to her.

The court will strongly scrutinize the facts on a case-by-case basis factors that the judge will review are if a party is not provided a fair, reasonable, and full disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party. That the party did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations and could not have reasonably obtained adequate knowledge of that information.

The issue of whether an agreement is unconscionable is a decided as a matter of law by the court. The court must find on the record and or in writing all of the following: (1) party was represented by an independent legal counsel at the time of signing the agreement or after being advised to seek an attorney, expressly waived, in writing, representation. (2) party had less than 7 calendar days between the time that the party was first presented with the agreement and advised to seek representation and the time it was signed (3) if unrepresented, the party was fully informed of the terms of the agreement (4) agreement not executed under duress, fraud, or undue influence, and the parties did not lack capacity to enter into an agreement (5) and any other factors the court deems relevant.

Independent legal counsel are recommended by the court in drafting a prenuptial agreement since the parties’ interests are often adverse. Due to the nature of the relations, there may be certain situations in which it is critical. For example, when one of the future spouses is considerably wealthier than the other, or when only spouse waives his or her rights to an elective share.

An agreement is unenforceable if not voluntary or the result of duress (Uniform Premarital And Marital Agreements Act, Section (9)(a)(1). Evidence of lack of capacity, duress, fraud, and undue influence as demonstrated by a number of factors are probative in proving involuntariness (In re Marriage of Bonds, 24 Cal.4th 1 (2000) Adequate legal representation will often be the best evidence that a spouse signed a premarital agreement knowledgeably and voluntarily.

A court may refuse to enforce a term of a premarital agreement if in the context of the agreement taken as a whole (1) a term was unconscionable at the time of signing; (2) enforcement of the term would result in substantial hardship for a party because of a material change in circumstances arising after the agreement was signed (Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, Section 9 (f))

The hearing requesting invaliding a prenuptial agreement is a complex matter and highly contested. Be prepared, this hearing will require a great deal of legal work. Any comments, feel free to call my office 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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Pala Casino Spa & Resort announces plans for $170m expansion, renovation

Pala, CA – Officials of Pala Casino Spa & Resort this week announced plans for an expansion and complete renovation of its AAA FourDiamond award winning property. Construction of the $170 million project will begin in October 2017 and be completed in May 2019.

The renovation and expansion will include: the addition of a new 349 room hotel tower; the conversion of the existing resort pool into a multi-pool and entertainment resort complex; the construction of an inventory of unique hotel suites that will overlook the Starlight Theater event lawn and the new pool and entertainment complex; expanded gaming and casino bar space; a parking garage expansion; a completely remodeled restaurant promenade; a complete refresh of the entire casino interior; a complete refresh of the entire existing hotel tower.

“Our ability to exponentially expand and refresh Pala Casino Spa & Resort is a true testament to, not only the growth of Pala but also to the thriving economy and the continued strength of the gaming industry in California,” said RobertSmith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. “This is a significant milestone for our Tribe and we look forward to continuing to exceed the expectations of our loyal patrons.”

Once completed, Pala’s hotel will offer 854 deluxe rooms and suites, beautifully appointed with the finest amenities. The hotel suites that will be added will overlook the new multi-pool and entertainment complex and the Starlight Theater, Pala’s custom built outdoor entertainment venue, which offers outstanding headliner acts and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

The project will increase Pala’s casino from its current 90,000 square feet to over 102,000square feet of gaming space. The expansion will allow Pala Casino to increase its offering of the slot and video machines to 2,500 and its offering of table games to 88.

“We are very excited to engage in our third major expansion since our introduction to the SouthernCalifornia gaming and hospitality market more than 16 years ago. As in the past, we expect elements of this expansion and upgrade to be unique to our property and to set new resort standards,” said Bill Bembenek, Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Pala Casino Spa & Resort. “This significant expansion project will complement our already luxurious resort offerings while providing our patrons with new world-class amenities.”

Pala’s renovation and expansion project will create 400 construction jobs and, once complete, add over 200 new employment opportunities to Pala’s current team of 2,000 team members.

The construction company selected for the renovation and expansion is Level 10 Construction with headquarters in San Francisco, CA, and offices in Sunnyvale and San Diego, CA. The architect is Klai Juba Wald of Las Vegas, NV. The contributing architect is Marks Architects of San Diego, CA.

For more information onPala Casino Spa & Resort,
visit: www.palacasino.com.

The Pala Band of MissionIndians is a federally recognized tribe whose reservation is located along the Palomar Mountain range approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego. The majority of the over 900tribal members live on the 12,000-acre reservation, established for Cupeño and Luiseño Indians, who consider themselves to be one proud people - Pala.

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Filipino Superstar Jessa Zaragoza Brings “I Am Me” Tour to Morongo

Zaragoza, currently starring in GMA network’s top-rated sitcom, ‘Pepito Manaloto,’ will be joined on stage by her husband, Dingdong Avanzado, and daughter, Jayda Avanzado.
Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa – Legendary singer and actress Jessa Zaragoza will bring her acclaimed ‘I Am Me’ tour to the at the Grand Ballroom of the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa on Sunday, August 13.
The show, which received rave reviews in Manila and Oahu, Hawaii, coincides with Zaragoza’s 20th year in the music industry. She will be joined onstage by her husband, Dingdong Avanzado, and her daughter, Jayda Avanzado.
“The concert at Morongo offers a rare opportunity to see the astounding Jessa Zaragoza perform in the U.S. as she celebrates 20 years in entertainment with her fans,” said Simon Farmer, Morongo’s executive director of marketing. “Ms. Zaragoza is an enduring talent as a singer and actress, and we are thrilled to be hosting her and her family.”
“I Am Me: Jessa Zaragoza” earned nominations from the 29th Annual Aliw Awards, which recognizes achievements in live entertainment. Zaragoza was nominated for Best Female Performance in a Concert while her daughter, Jayda Avanzado, was nominated for the Best New Female Artist. Her husband, Dingdong Avanzado, was nominated for the Best Concert Stage Direction.
In 2014, Zaragoza was chosen as an interpreter in ABS-CBN’s Himig Handog songwriting contest and won the Star Music Listener’s Choice award for the SJ Gandia’s song “Bumabalik ang Nagdaan.” She currently stars in GMA network’s top-rating sitcom Pepito Manaloto.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and the Morongo Box Office for $35 and $55. Doors open at 4 PM. Showtime starts at 5 PM.
About the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa
The 4-Diamond Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa is located along the 10 Freeway near Palm Springs, Calif. Owned and operated by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa offers the hottest slots and an array of table and high-limit gaming at one of the largest tribal gaming centers in the United States. The towering 27-story resort features five top-rated restaurants, a stunning swimming pool with private cabanas, a world-class spa, popular nightclub, legendary live entertainment and, nearby, the 36-hole championship Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon. For more information, visit morongocasinoresort.com.

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Wells Fargo’s tips to finding the right home

While viewing a house in Oregon wine country, potential buyers mentioned to real estate agent BethCaster that the sellers really should have set a higher price. Bad move. The sellers had a video surveillance system, heard the conversation, and slammed the door on any negotiations.

The moral: House hunting is not exactly what it used to be. Finances aside, how can you land the house that’s right for you in today’s market? Much of it is common sense, but hereare seven tips that may not always be apparent:

1. Don’t buy without an agent.

In today’s technology-driven world, it’s easier than ever to go it alone, relying on sites like Trulia (www.trulia.com), Realtor.com (www.realtor.com) and even social media. However, while you’re likely to get a lot of data, without representation you risk missing out on analysis and negotiating skills. Brian Carothers, of RE/MAX Advanced Realtors in westernPennsylvania, says, “If your realtor represents only you and not the seller, the agent can convey the reality of a house to help you make the right decision. I let clients fall in love with the bath, but I look for anything structural.” Carothers will warn clients, “This house is going to make you spend money where you don’t want to spend it.”

2. Consider the neighborhood too.
For many people, what’s most important in a neighborhood is “safety and proximity to work, good schools, family and friends,” says Steven Long, of Long Realty, aBerkshire-Hathaway subsidiary in Tucson, Arizona. While those things are critical to your long-term happiness, there should be other considerations too.

“Get out of the car and walk around. Are the neighbors friendly? Do they offer information?” saysCaster. Carothers urges clients to revisit the area without him. “Go at different times of the day. Does it feel different in the evening? And drive to work from the neighborhood, especially during rush hour.” If there’s a home owners association, be careful, but don’t jump to the automatic conclusion that it’s a negative.

3. Know what suits you, and be honest.
Beyond the obvious (like the number of rooms), you have to determine what floor plan suits you. “Open floor plans have become the new standard,” says Carothers, but they’re not for everyone. An open floor plan can be great for entertaining or keeping track of children. “If, on the other hand, your family members want more privacy or you want to contain or manage clutter, then a traditional house with more walls is better.” It may be better for zoned heating and air-conditioning too.

Remember, your agent is on your side. “Give honest feedback to your realtor,” says Castor. “These aren’t my homes, you won’t hurt my feelings by telling me exactly what you feel.”

4. Know the trends, but think twice.
McMansions and three-car garages were once the rage, but they have since lost some of their allure — as many trends do. “I see buyers more interested in energy efficiency, solid construction, and safety of the neighborhood. They want smaller lots with less grass and upkeep,” says Caster. Carothers says personal preference should take precedence over trends or even resale value. What matters most, he says, is this: “Do you like the space? Can you live with the space?”

5. Delve further into the house.
When it’s time for a house inspection, Long encourages buyers to accompany the inspector. “The inspector will not only reveal issues with the home but will tell you how the home operates. Meet with the sellers prior to close of escrow, too, so they can explain how things work.” This could range from tips on the heating and cooling systems to making sure you know where the owners’ manuals are for appliances.

6. Investigate homeowners associations (HOAs) and condos.
Talk with the other owners in the neighborhood or complex and ask them how well the complex is managed. “HOAs can be a pain,”admits Long, “but they maintain the integrity of a subdivision, and hence property values.”
Understanding condo regulations is even more important: “How many parking spots are there? What about pets? Some condos will not even allow Christmas wreaths on doors,”cautions Caster. “And make sure the association or condo is financially able to make needed repairs.”

7. Be realistic.
“No house is perfect, even when people build their own,” says Carothers. Compounding that, he adds, is a current lack of inventory in some markets. Therefore, buyers have to be realistic and keep asking themselves, “Does this work?”

Here's the paradox:“Buyers today must be patient and aggressive at the same time,” he explains.“They’re unlikely to find the exact house of their dreams, but when something close does come up, they must leap at it.” Carothers pauses, then adds, “It’s a delicate balance.”

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No hesitation from the Boy Scouts of America in giving their say to President Trump

It does appear that President Trump almost always uses all his speaking engagements to transform the latter into his well-publicized political rallies.
The recently-held Boys Scouts of America National Jamboree event became the backdrop of Trump's rants against all his presumed enemies, as he turned the celebration into a political rally. A great many among his viewers on television noted how he loudly bashed his rivals.
In the same address directed to a specific organization estimated at 40,000, a number of them identified as teenage boys, Trump drew the picture of Washington, calling it a "cesspool," using the occasion to announce his threat on firing one of hisCabinet secretaries if "Congress failed to repeal Obamacare."
"As the Scout law says: 'A Scout is trustworthy, loyal'-- we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that," as Trump read from a script.
Almost all news reports described the Trump address as "rant, not speech."
Many listeners in the audience decried the Trump speech.
Although a number of news commentators stated that it is not"unusual for a sitting president to appear before the Boy Scouts ofAmerica," they strongly invoked the role of past presidents who appeared before the same organization's usual traditional celebrations that commenced 80 years ago. The annals of history have recorded the same event when the nation's leaders were held in high regard as they were meant to be: the personification of leadership.
What was made emphatic was what the intent of the Scouts in inviting the country's chief executive stood for.
The invitation is meant to be "wholly nonpartisan and does not promote any one position...political candidate or philosophy."
"This 80-year old custom of inviting presidents to speak to Scouts is in no way an endorsement of any person, party, or politics," was heard from the Scouts.
"Rather, the speaking invitation is based on our 'Duty to God and Country' from the ScoutOath and out of respect to the Office of the President of the UnitedStates," a statement continued with the Scouts' reaction of the Trump speech.
The Trump address drew comments from those who, at certain stages in their youth, were Eagle Scouts.
Typically heard: "As an ex-Boy Scout, I was stunned. Was this a speech before the Boy Scouts of America or before an alt-right rally? Trump's attack on a constitutionally protected American institution, the press, as "dishonest people;" his calling our nation's capital "a cesspool;" and a sewer," and most of all, his attacks on a former president of theUnited States -- all were grievously out of line on an occasion intended to inspire Scouts to the highest values of Scouting andAmerica."
Another strong voice identified the speaker, an Eagle Scout.
"I believed, then and now, in the ideals of the Boy Scouts, so I find it appalling that President Trump used a major Boy Scouts of America event as a background for a partisan, rancorous political speech."
From the remarks of those who denounced Trump's speech, either the president was never a Scout or if he was, never learned the organization's values.
When will the 45th president of the U.S. start acting presidential?
This space's columnist has a grandson who earned his spurs as anEagle Scout. As a parent, he wishes to see his own son become a Scout like him.
Thus, I asked him to recite the Scout's pledge which he did.
"A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."
Isn't it therefore high time Trump could learn a few lessons from the Scouts?

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Comelec chief: Wife 'motivated by greed'

MANILA – Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista on Monday, August 7, denied his wife's accusation that he has"unexplained wealth," saying she is "motivated by greed."
In a statement, Bautista expressed "extreme disappointment" over the claims made by his"estranged" wife, Patricia Paz "Tish" Bautista.
"Her allegations are all lies, and I categorically deny all of them," the Comelec chief said.
"Sa totoo lang po, ako po ay biktima rito, biktima ng pagtataksil... Ang aking pagkatao, para po akong nagahasa sa aking sariling pamamahay," he added in a press conference shortly before noon. (I am the victim here, a victim of betrayal. It feels like I've been "raped" in my own household.)
"Ipapakita po namin sa mga susunod na araw na ito po ay isang kaso ng pangingikil at panggigipit."(We will show in the following days that this is a case of extortion and harassment.)
In his statement, Bautista said he had hoped to fix their marital problem "in a civil and decent manner," but his wife's recent statements and actions "clearly manifest that she has no desire to save the marriage."
"It is now clear she is motivated by greed and that she will stop at nothing to besmirch my reputation and that of my family for the purpose of financial gain," he continued.
He also said he was disappointed that his wife "[allowed] herself to be used by certain people and groups to promote a political agenda designed to cast aspersions on me and the Comelec's work in the 2016 elections."
In a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mrs Bautista accused the poll chief of amassing nearly P1billion in unexplained wealth.
These supposedly came in the form of money in 4 bank accounts, two condominium units, real properties, and"interests in corporations and loan agreements" in 3 overseas or offshore companies.
Mrs Bautista added that these were not declared in her husband's Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and NetWorth (SALN). In his 2016 SALN, the Comelec chief declared a net worth ofP176.3 million.
The Department of Justice (DOJ)on Monday directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the claims of Bautista's wife.
Asked if he is ready to face an impeachment complaint, Bautista said, "We are ready to face anything and everything."

'Fabrications'
"It is unfortunate that my ex-wife's greed has resulted in irreparable damage to me, my family, her own family, and most importantly to our children," Bautista said.
He explained that it has been"10 months since she stole cash, [gift certificates], ATM cards, and other financial documents belonging to myself and my family."
Bautista then claimed that his wife's lawyers "embellished, doctored, or fabricated" many of these documents.
He added: "Throughout this time, she has repeatedly attempted to extort and blackmail me using her lawyers and media contacts. And when she realized that no windfall was forthcoming, she decided to file her affidavit based on fabrications and lies."
He then countered in his statement that Mrs Bautista has a "long-time lover," and both of them"concocted this extortion plan with guidance from ill-intentioned lawyers who thought they could threaten me into simply turning over hard-earned and legitimately-acquired assets belonging to me and my family."
Bautista did not name his wife's supposed lover.
"I will not give in to blackmail," he said.
In Monday's press conference,Bautista claimed that while he was in the United States to observe the elections, he got a call from his bank, saying his wife was "withdrawing$117,000 and P250,000" from their joint account and "transferring it to her personal account."
Bautista also explained that he has one offshore account, "but this one is shared with my family."
"Over the years, my family, including my parents who are heirs, and my brothers and sisters who live in theUS, have been regularly co-investing with me since the 1990s," he said."All of these are documented and we can show it."

Duterte as mediator
Bautista also said PresidentRodrigo Duterte "mediated" in their marital problem during a meeting in Malacañang on August 1. He was accompanied by his eldest sister, mother-in-law, and stepfather-in-law.
"The President was very kind. He was not only a mediator but a marriage counselor," the Comelec chief said. "He recounted his own experiences with his family. He was providing us good advice."
Bautista then recounted that his wife was in another room during his meeting with the President. The 3 of them met afterwards to discuss the issue.
Bautista also said Duterte didnot ask him to resign. "Ako naman, ang sabi ko sa kanya, 'Hindi po ako kapit-tuko sa kahit anong posisyon o panunungkulan. Kung ang palagay ko, ako ay nagiging pabigat na sa isang institusyon, wala namang problema sa aking magbitiw.' Pero ang sabi niya sa akin, 'I am not asking you to resign. That is really your call.'"
(I told the President, "I am not clinging to any position. If I think I am becoming a liability to an institution, resigning is not a problem for me." But he told me, "I am not asking you to resign. That is really your call.")
Bautista added in Monday's press conference that he is supported by his family as well as his wife's Cruz-Vasquez family. – Rappler.com

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