The late Bert Pelayo with his wife Dr. Linda Pelayo.

SAN DIEGO — This week is the 45th Anniversary of the Filipino Reporter.

We remember and we honor the late Bert Pelayo, FR Founder and Publisher and, of course, his wife Dr. Linda Pelayo, Associate Publisher, who supported Bert and FR all the way.

As an FR Editor, we are always guided by Bert’s journalistic spirit of being “Fair, Fearless and Factual.”

This is the spirit that has brought FR to where it is now.

We have no space for alternative facts.


Obama on Kennedy

I’d like to share excerpts from ex-President Barack Obama’s speech in May when he received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

“That very Kennedyesque idea that America is not the project of any one person and that each of us can make a difference and all of us ought to try. That quiet sturdy citizenship that I see all across the country and that I especially see in young people...

“I know that the values and the progress that we cherish are not inevitable, that they are fragile, in need of constant renewal.

“If the vitality of our democracy, if the gains of our long journey to freedom were assured, none of us would ever have to be courageous. None of us would have to risk anything to protect them. But it’s in its very precariousness that courage becomes possible and absolutely necessary.

“John F. Kennedy knew that our best hope and our most powerful answer to our doubts and to our fears lies inside each of us, in our willingness to joyfully embrace our responsibility as citizens, to stay true to our allegiance, to our highest and best ideals, to maintain our regard and concern for the poor and the aging and the marginalized, to put our personal or party interest aside when duty to our country calls or when conscience demands.

“That’s the spirit that has brought America so far and that’s the spirit that will always carry us to better days.”

Time to change nuclear arsenal rules

In light of North Korea’s recent missile tests and careless pronouncements about nuclear weapons, the issue of who could launch the catastrophic weapon in the U.S. has again surfaced.

The aim of nuclear weaponry is not to be fired first, but only in defense or survival of a nation.

It is a mutually assured destruction (MAD) weapon.

It is for defensive purposes.

It is more of a deterrent so the enemy will not attack the country that possesses it like the U.S.

In the U.S., the president alone has the power to order the firing of nuclear bombs in the event it is attacked.

Former Vice President Richard Cheney in a Dec. 21, 2008 interview with Chris Wallace stated:

“The President of the United States now for fifty years is followed at all times, twenty-four hours a day, by a military aid carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use, and be authorized to use, in an event of a nuclear attack on the United States. He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen. He doesn’t have to check with anybody, he doesn’t have to call Congress, he doesn’t have to check with the courts.”

One American columnist wrote recently, “As shocking as it sounds, President Trump alone has the power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons — enough to end life on Earth as we know it. He does not have to consult anyone. He does not need the consent of military commanders, his Cabinet or Congress. He can pick up the phone and within 4 minutes send nuclear missiles flying across the world.”

Since questions are raised on qualities of current presidential leadership, two members of U.S. Congress, Rep. Ted Lieu and Sen. Ed Markey, have proposed urgent legislation to prevent the President from starting a nuclear war.

The New York Times endorsed the legislation in an editorial, writing that it “sends a clear message to Mr. Trump that he should not be the first since World War II to use nuclear weapons.”

The goal of the proposed measure is to ensure that no single person, acting on his or her sole authority, should be able to launch nuclear weapons except in retaliation to an attack against the U.S. or its allies.

Part of the proposed solution is that there is at least one person with the power to veto a launch who is not within the president’s inner circle and not subject to his pressure nor influence.

Presidents are supposed to grasp the power of the nuclear arsenal at their disposal and show utmost restraint in using it.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama wanted to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Unless all other nations with nuclear arsenals do away with nuclear weapons, we feel the United States should continue to possess them with adequate safeguards as weapon of deterrence.

Political conditions around the globe call for the Philippines to have a steady, concrete and decisive foreign policy and alliances with countries with proven historical ties to the Philippines.

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