First Lady Melania Trump.

WHILE in Israel last week, Mrs. Melania Trump was caught on television slapping away and refusing the hand of her husband while walking together from the presidential plane.

A video of the hand refusal gesture has been going viral in the Internet, and has started to become a big topic among social media people.

The incident prompted a naughty but seemingly keen Facebook user to ask: “What would last longer, the presidency or the third marriage?”

While President Trump was talking about peace in the Middle East, some political commentators in Washington, D.C. were talking of impeachment as the investigations on the possible collusion of the Trump campaign in 2016 with Russia, America’s bitterest rival in the world political arena, heat up.

I guess, the answer to the FB user’s question is, whichever comes first.

But, we are not hoping for either to happen.


Respect for Rule of Law

In order to clear the sensitive question whether the Donald Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in last year’s elections that could have aided Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton, a special counsel has been appointed to lead the investigation after the FBI Director who was investigating the issue was unceremoniously fired by President Trump.

The members of the legislative branch in Washington, D.C. from both political parties are anxious to find out if any laws were violated.

Indeed, America is enviable when it comes to respect for the law and the democratic dictum that nobody is above the law.

Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, said it all when he told reporters it does not matter what political party the one in the White House belongs to.

He added they will find out if any laws were violated by conducting fair and factual investigation.

How come in the Philippines, over 8,000 poor people have been killed without due process and, yet, Congress is not lifting a finger to find out who the criminals are?

The Senate conducted a virtual mock investigation and arrived at a conclusion that there were no extrajudicial killings.

To compare the two countries in terms of respect for the law is to compare apples and star apples.


Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

Election time again in Jersey City

It’s election time again on Nov. 7 in Jersey City, home to some 15,000 Filipinos.

The city’s popular and well-liked mayor, Steven Fulop, who entertained the thought of running for New Jersey governor last year, changed his mind and decided to seek re-election in what local political observers say would be an easy “sailing” for the incumbent city executive.

Fil-Am City Council President and Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro, Jr., who entertained the thought of running for mayor had Fulop decided to run for governor, is also running for re-election with Team Fulop 2017.

Jersey City Council President and Councilman-at-Large Rolando Lavarro, Jr.

The popularity of Mayor Fulop not only with Filipinos but with the cross section of the city’s population was emphasized by Balik Jersey City resident Flor Medel Reyes during a recent meeting when she aptly said, “I came back to Jersey City from Arizona because of the progress and development that happened and are happening under Mayor Fulop.”

In past Jersey City elections we have observed, since the time of former Mayor Bret Schundler, the candidate(s) who were supported by Filipinos emerged as winners.

By sheer number, a united Filipino vote in the city could make a candidate win.

There could be a couple of Filipinos who might not go along with their fellow Filipinos because of unfulfilled personal favors sought.

However, it is predicted that like in the 2013 elections, Fil-Ams will unite behind and support Lavarro and Team Fulop.

In a well-attended meeting of members and leaders of the Fil-Am community in a Jersey City Filipino restaurant on May 15, City Council President Lavarro, introduced some of the candidates of the formidable Team Fulop led by the mayoral bet.

The Democratic Party candidates in the June Primary elections for state assembly seats in the area spoke in the same political gathering.

Fil-Ams meet Team Fulop 2017.

Mayor Fulop asked for a continuing partnership with the large Filipino community in Jersey City.

He said that Filipinos are valued highly in the city.

He cited the following:

1. During the 2013 elections when he first ran for mayor, the first candidate listed in Team Fulop 2013 was a Filipino, Rolando Lavarro, Jr.

2. The first Filipino chief municipal judge appointed in Jersey City happened during the early days of his term as mayor in 2013.

3. In the City Council of Jersey City, Lavarro was elected twice as president by his peers with Mayor Fulop’s unwavering support.
Lavarro’s transparent and effective leadership in the city’s legislative branch of government and his being able to unite the Fil-Ams regained the city populace trust on Filipinos after unpleasant stories about a few Pinoys years prior to the 2013 elections.

We consider the above as the biggest achievement of Mr. Lavarro in relation to the Filipinos in Jersey City.

His honesty as public servant is admirable.


Justice Carpio on Duterte’s acquiescence

Either the Duterte Administration is deliberately giving up the patrimony of the Filipino people in the West Philippine Sea, or it is ignorant of the related provisions of Public International Law about the West Philippine Sea issues.

It took Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio (pictured above) to point out that “President Rodrigo Duterte should take China to the United Nations (UN) for threatening the Philippines with war if it drills for oil in an area in the West Philippine Sea that has already been declared within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”

Imagine, the supposed threat of war (if true) must have taken place in October 2016, the Duterte group kept it without saying anything to the Filipino people until last week when Justice Carpio spoke sternly about the acquiescence of the Duterte Administration and its obviously anti-Philippine interests taken on the issue, like during the last ASEAN meeting in Manila.


Role of national interest in foreign policy

If President Duterte thinks that by befriending China and Russia, those two countries would subordinate their national interests to the interest of the Philippines, he is grossly mistaken.

It is a policy of every nation to look after its national interest first before any other country.


Time to unite behind Philippine authorities and pray for members of the military organization fighting the terrorists in Marawi.

President Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao last Tuesday.

Vice President Robredo released this statement: “Huwag tayong matakot. Manindigan tayo. At magtiwala tayong mananaig ang kapayapaan.”

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