Monthly Archives: February 2014


February 28, 2014


Los Angeles— Despite the heavy rains caused by the storm in California, scores of Filipino_American leaders in the Public Forum (Talakayan sa FACLA) last Friday, February 28 express utmost dismay at the recent PH Supreme Court decision that upheld the new cyber crime law “constitutional”

At the same time, the Fil-Am leaders lauded the Obama initiative called “My Brother’s Keepers” program that appropriated $ 350 million for African-American youths. This was the climax of the Black History Month.

The crux of the Supreme Court decision is to declare that a post can be deemed “libelous” and affirmed the draconian law punishment for on-line libel by 12 years imprisonment. What Fil-Am leaders decried was heavy penalty that is more than 6 years as per the Revised Penal Code. Warlord, corrupt politicians and political dynasties are happy with this anti-people and reactionary ruling.

Wrong Timing

The Fil-Am leaders decried thefact that the decision came at the most inappropriate time. When the Filipinos are ought to be celebrating the 28th anniversary of the ouster of dictator Ferdinand Marcos or the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People’s Revolution of 1986.

Austin Baul Jr , FACLA president explained, ” when the internet became popular since 1994, people at last had a medium denied to them by papers, media networks and pulpits owned by the ruling class.

We need to advocate for the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to counter act the cybercrime law as well as support the decriminalization efforts in the PH Congress,” Baul said.

Businessman Freddie Castaneda agued, “They resort to the internet to vent their feelings against corrupt, inept and powerful individuals and families that control the Philippine society. Libel or even on line libel must e decriminalized like here in the United States.

On the other hand, business woman Linda Nery and community leaders Dr.Marc Caratao and Benie Ganon expressed support for th Cybercrime Law in the Philippines.

They said, ” We believe that discipline and responsibility must go hand in hand. Impunity on line must be punished.”

“My Brother’s Keeper Program lauded.

Meanwhile, Austin Baul and Dr. Marc Caratao praised the Obama program on African American youth called “My Brother’s Keepers”.President Obama announced the $ 350 Million program to save African American youth.

Austin Baul said, “These is an appropriate time to give the African American youth what they deserved. As victims of systemic racism, the government owe them so much it’s the time to compensate given their long and bitter history of slavery and oppression.”

Dr. Caratao no the other hand decried the fact that Historic Filipinotown was not included in the Obama’s “Promise LA” program. Ms Bernie Ganon said, “again the Filipino Americans were marginalized and excluded from further city development.

On the other hand, Alliance leader, Arturo Garcia said, ” The Filipino-American community stands with the Filipino people who will defend their freedom and democratic rights against all kinds of tyrants in the Philippines and all over the world.

We are one with you to oppose such draconian laws, a throwback to the days of the US-Marcos dictatorship. We need systemic change, not just political change on the top like what happened in EDSA 1 and 2.”

Public Forum (Talakayan sa FACLA) is being held every week on Thursdays at 10;00 AM to 12;00 PM at FACLA at 1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

For more information about talakayan plese call [email protected](213)484-1527 or email us [email protected] or visit our website at


Press Release
Public Forum /Talakayan sa FACLA, 2014
February 06, 2014
Contact; Arturo P. Garcia
Phone; (213)484-1527


Los Angeles-- Filipino-American leaders in Southern California vehemently opposed the Manila Bay Reclamation Project in the Philippines and at the same time denounced the rampant smuggling that cripples the Philippine economy and divert basic public services from the Filipino people.

This was the gist of the discussions last Thursday, February 06, 2014 at the weekly Public Forum Talakayan sa FACLA.

The guest speaker was businesswoman and community leader Linda Nery who
reported on her coming project, the LNery Fashion Colleciones this coming July 2014.

Fil-Am veteran journalist Larry Pelayo and Dr, Marc Caratao , Talakayan moderators led the discussion about the smuggling in the Philippines, the Manila Bay Reclamation Project and its effects on the environment, the US-Philippines-China and Japan border conflicts in the Eastern Pacific and South China Seas,

Billions Lost Due to Smuggling

Regarding rampant smuggling in the Philippines, Alliance-Philippines leader Arturo Garcia reported that, “The Philippines lost 2 trillion dollars for the last 50 years due to unchecked smuggling.

The Filipino farmers and the agricultural sectors are losing out to foreigners because even basic products like rice, garlic and tomatoes are imported and are smuggled into the country unabated.”

Garcia also discussed the Manila Bay Reclamation Project that aims to make an island between the US Embassy and the Cultural Center. As a consensus the Talakayan opposed the anti-environment development project that will cause greater flooding and environmental degradation of Manila.

On the issue of President Aquino calling “China as becoming like Hitler” for expansionist attitudes especially on the West Philippine Seas, Dr Caratao sided with the president Aquino III in calling China leaders as “acting like Hitler.”

Another observer Rudy Ferran said “Aquino is only grandstanding and is calling out the US to defend the Philippines.” This elicited response from Tommy Jones, another observer who said, “China has no territorial ambitions, It has never occupied any country unlike the US and is only defending its territory.”

US-Philippine Issues

Alliance leader Arturo Garcia meanwhile warned that . “ the Vhong Navarro and Cedric Lee Scanda in essence a case of network wars between the ABS-CBN who defending Vhong Navarro and GMA7who supports Cornejo and Lee.

In the meantime Rudy Ferran called the people’s attention to the revelations about Cedric Lee involvement with the PNP bigwigs as a proof of corruption in the Philippines.

In addition, Steve Angeles of Balitang America joined the discussion saying. “ that with the Vhong Navarro-Janice Cornejo Scandal may issues are now subsumed like the Napoles, PDAF and even the China-Philippines row over the Spratley and the Scarborough Shoals.”

PH Economic Growth Lauded

Sid Balatan, another media man explained that despite all the talks of economic crisis the Philippines economic prospects is still bright. This drew comment from other people in the room that many of this are just press release from the Aquino Government.

The Talakayan consensus is that all is not lost and there are gains in the economy with the 7.7% projected growth second only to China.

The Talakayan sa FACLA hosts also thanked guest Linda Nery, Larry Pelayo and Dr, Marc Caratao for bringing the doughnuts and pandesal for the brunch affair

For more information please call Clarita Julian at (213)484-1527 or email at [email protected] or visit our website