From left, Matthew Alonsozana, Ricky Rillera, FAPCNY President, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Philippine ambassador Mario L. de Leon, Jr., Jason Tengco and FAPCNY Carol Tanjutco at the Fil Am Press Club NY Presidential Debate earlier this week. Not in photo: Jeff Coleman.

A forum on the U.S. presidential elections

Contributed to the Filipino Reporter

The Fil Am Press Club of NY recently presented the U.S. Presidential Election: What’s In It For Me, featuring surrogates of the Democratic candidate and Republican National Committee at the Philippine Center in New York.

The forum featured Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chair of the Fil Ams for Hillary East Coast, and Jason Tengco, the Director of the Hillary for American AAPI Outreach.

Matthew Alonsozana, a former Republican National Committee Senior Research Advisor, and Jeff Coleman, former two-term GOP member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, were clear to state they represented the RNC and not necessarily the GOP candidate Donald Trump.

The Democratic representatives opened with a factual presentation of Hillary Clinton’s program on the Economy, Commander in Chief and Values, prepared to address any issues from the audience, including Education, Foreign Policy, Filipino Veterans, Health Care, Immigration, Small Business, Social Security and Medicare and the South China Seas.

The Republican speakers did not talk about specific issues of the Trump campaign — in fact they announced that they did not endorse Trump — but talked about Republican ideals likening them to Filipino family standards.  

While highlighting the health and well-being of the U.S., Lewis stressed that “this November 2016 Elections is crucial, so important, so vital to America’s future — to U.S. Filipino-Americans and to our people in the Philippines.”

She cautioned against America moving backwards under the questionable business management of Trump and projected American going forward under the experienced governmental leadership of Hillary.

She reminded the audience that Hillary was a longtime friend of the Filipino supporting legislation to benefit Filipino Veterans and having the distinction of being the one and only White House First Lady to speak at the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).

Jeff Coleman did not endorse a candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential elections but appealed to the audience to think about trustworthiness and reliability.

He stated that “no campaign is perfect — no candidate is perfect.”  

He talked rather disarmingly about his personal values and traditional Filipino tenets.

He offered a few suggestions to improve the political system and electoral process which he hoped would benefit future young candidates (including Filipinos) running for office.

Tengco spoke about how “Stronger Together” Hillary Clinton would build an economy that works for everyone, would ensure a safer world working with allies and the values of everyone playing a role in creating America’s future.

He reiterated, “We need someone who will work to build bridges of opportunity, not walls.”

He was adept in providing details and statistics to amplify and even counter significant issues raised from the e-mails saga are resolved and closed by Justice and the FBI to the Clinton Foundation’s contributions to the AIDS crisis and more.  

Alonsozana was fierce in his discourse about his loyalty to the principles of the Republican Party.

One can appreciate his academic devotion to the GOP.

He too did not endorse the Republican candidate but spent the evening providing rational challenges to the cracks and faults of the Democratic candidate.

It was an amiable and benign evening where the representatives of Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party used facts and figures, charm and charisma, sentiment and intellect to assure us what to expect from the U.S. presidential elections — a stronger nation moving forward to a political system in need of change.

Your choice — your vote!

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