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Joshua Vila with mother Amy Vila.


caballero.photo


WE are featuring a riveting story written by a 15-year-old Filipino-American in his school newspaper about a former Stanford University student who raped a sleeping woman in campus.

Joshua Vila, author of the story, is a high school sophomore in a southern California school.

Last year, he finished his freshman year as No. 1 in his class of 612 first year students.

Joshua studied his primary, elementary and middle school years in Jersey City.

He moved to the West Coast with his mother at the start of high school last year.

We’d like to share an unedited version of Joshua’s story in “The Diablo Dispatch,” his school’s official organ.  
    
October 2, 2016 | Filed under: Sports | Posted by: The Diablo Dispatch

Written by: Joshua Vila

Rapist Brock Turner was set free after only three months in jail.

Brock Turner, 21, ex-Stanford swimmer and now convicted sex offender, was released early for “good behavior” from the Santa Clara County Jail after serving only 3 months.

He was charged with 3 counts of felony sexual assault for attacking an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a frat party.

He was sentenced on June 2, 2016 to 6 months in prison by Judge Aaron Persky.

On September 2, 2016 he was released and has returned to his parents’ home in Ohio, where he will serve a 3 year probation term.

As one of the consequences of being convicted, Turner has registered as a sexual offender in his hometown of Sugarcreek Township, Ohio.

Despite the national outrage over his lenient 6 month sentence and early release, some feel that his registration is harsh or even unnecessary.

This will release his picture, conviction information, and address to the public in addition to being labeled a criminal for the rest of his life.

Judge Persky, also a former Stanford athlete, received much criticism from jurors, and was even recalled and voted to be removed from a different sexual assault case.

He claimed that giving Turner long jail time “would have a severe impact on him.”

Turner’s sparing 6 month sentence infuriated many protesters, seeing that he faced up to 14 years and the prosecutors requested 6 years.

The jury was even more enraged, knowing that the minimum sentence for a rape case is 2 years.

Turner’s father, Dan Turner, wrote a letter asking for probation instead of jail time for his son.

He says “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”

He calls Brock’s actions at the fraternity party “not violent.”

His letter angered many and was seen as ignorant and oblivious for not acknowledging the rape victim but portraying his son as the real victim.

Turner’s conviction has drawn a lot of media attention and has caused thousands to protest.

When Turner returned to his parents’ home in Ohio, he was greeted by angry neighbors, some even armed, holding signs reading, “Shoot your local rapist” and “If I rape Brock Turner will I only get 3 months?”

Turner’s parents have even asked Ohio police to monitor the neighborhood protests.

The students at Stanford University are also planning on how to protest at their graduation ceremony this year.

The victim, 23, who remains anonymous, also wrote a letter.

She read her very powerful testimony in court, directly to Turner.

She starts her speech with, “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”

Then she goes on to describe the painful hospital experience, the excruciating grief it brought her family, her inability to eat or sleep after the incident, and the extent of the mental, emotional, and physical damage Turner had caused her.


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We’d like to thank Joshua Vila, writer of the above story for giving us permission to share his well-written story with our readers.

We wish him all the best in his studies.


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Welcome back lunch for ConGen de Vega: Consul General Tess Dizon de Vega (2nd from right) with (from left) Nelia Ferrette, Luz Sapin Micabalo and Dr. Linda Pelayo. Lunch was at Bryant Park Grill in New York on Nov. 3.


Consul General de Vega: Welcome back to New York

All of us in the Filipino Reporter, and on my own, welcome our new Consul General in New York and other Northeast States and New England States, Theresa Dizon de Vega.

ConGen de Vega is a product of UP College of Law.

Although, she also studied a graduate degree (Master’s in Literature) in a Canadian university.

She revealed in an interview with Cristina Dc Pastor while she was Deputy Consul General in New York in 2013, she never dreamed of being a diplomat.

She told Cristina she was “pushed” to taking the Foreign Service Career Exams by a retired Filipina diplomat who was a friend of her mother.

Bright that she is, she passed the exams.

We are now stuck with her for the next 6 years.

Lol.

I’m sure Fil-Ams here would love her in the same way they loved the previous ConGens.

I have heard and read good and nice things about her.

In the same 2013 interview with Ms. Pastor, then Deputy ConGen de Vega gave some profound observations of the local community.

Here are excerpts from that interview by Cristina:

Q: What’s the first thing that surprised you about the (Fil-Am) organizations in New York?

A: The sheer number of activities. You have a very engaged community here. Whatever their advocacies, there is engagement. It may not be engagement along the same line but it’s engagement which is important. It’s a community that feels the need to get involved. You have that here, it’s just a matter of maximizing it for a lot of issues and creating venues and platforms for them to explore how far you can go.

Q: What do you see is the challenge to Filipino-Americans?

A: It’s an exciting era for the Filipino-American community. We’re one of the fastest growing ethnic minority groups. The challenge is how to reflect that in the mainstream, in politics, in policy making, in other fields.

ConGen de Vega will find out that since 2013, there had been some marked changes in our community.

We have a group of young and bright people in the Fil-Am media.

She will meet some of them on Monday as they scheduled a press conference by way of welcoming the new Consul General.

We have involvement in mainstream politics.

We have two Fil-Am candidates in New Jersey, Jon Wong of Mahwah for Mayor and Buddy Deauna for Council of Bergenfield.

City Council President of Jersey City, Rolando Lavarro, Jr. is a Filipino-American.

Two more Filipinos in New Jersey, Atty. Arvin Amatorio of Bergenfield and Peter Mendonez, Jr. of West Windsor, are both Council members in their localities.

Amatorio runs again next year, while Mendonez will seek the presidency of his Council in January 2017.

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