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Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Sr. (far left) aiding a 94-year-old Fil-Am veteran. Others in photo are (from left) Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr., Nelsie Parrado, Maricar Taino and unnamed Filipina. Seated in wheelchair in front is Flor Alcantara Medel.


By MANNY CABALLERO
Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter


JERSEY CITY — Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Sr., opposition senatorial candidate and Philippine Military Academy graduate, was one of the guest speakers in the observance of Veterans Day by Filipino-Americans at the Philippine Plaza here on Nov. 10, 2018.

Other guest was Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr.

He told his audience that he was inspired by the courage and determination of the Filipino veterans which made him enter the political process in his city.

In his talk, Alejano, a native of Negros Occidental, and married to Minerva Cojuangco of Tarlac (they have five children), deplored what he referred to as “low level” of nationalism by the Duterte Administration as demonstrated by its give-away handling of the West Philippine Sea issue.


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The youthful-looking congressman, who is a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial killings of thousands of suspected drug users, said the dictatorial practice of Mr. Duterte is insulting the Filipino veterans who fought with the Americans to preserve freedom and democracy in the Philippines.

Alejano told the Filipino Reporter he will reverse what Sen. Manny Pacquiao said in Oxford that “there are no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines” when he speaks in Cambridge, England next week.

It may be recalled that Mr. Duterte, no less, said last month that his only sin as president was extrajudicial killings.

Alejano is in the last leg of his U.S. trip.

He has met with Filipino-American groups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Next week, he will meet with Filipinos in England.


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The author (left) with Rep. Alejano (center) and Roger Santos, whose late father is also a veteran.

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