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


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