LIKE other Filipinos, we doff our hats to Filipino-Americans (Fil-Ams), particularly those serving under the administration of hard-hitting United States President Donald Trump.
Records at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC show that an estimated 3.4 million Filipinos and Filipino-Americans work and live in the United States, including Hawaii.
A force to reckon with during US presidential elections, Fil-Ams also play a stellar role in strengthening relations between the Philippines and the world’s most powerful country.
No less than Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano, a former member of the Senate, paid a glowing tribute to these men and women for bringing pride to this Asian nation.
“We are thankful to the thousands of Filipino-Americans for keeping our people-to-people ties with the US strong,” Cayetano said after meeting with US Solicitor General Noel Francisco in Washington, DC.
Cayetano said “we are proud to see Solicitor General Francisco and other Americans with Filipino heritage holding very important positions in President Trump’s administration.”
The highest-ranking Fil-Am in the Trump government, Francisco is a son of Dr. Nemesio Francisco, a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), who migrated to New York years ago.
The other Fil-Ams in the Duterte administration are lawyer George Conway III, head of the civil division of the Department of Justice, and Ninio Joseph Fetalino, White House assistant press secretary.
Early in his term, President Duterte had shown an acerbic stance towards the country’s long-time ally over criticism against his anti-drug campaign.
But the Chief Executive from Mindanao has softened his tone of late, even praising Washington for providing technical assistance to government troops battling terrorists in Marawi City.
Doubtless, the influence of Fil-Ams cannot be underestimated at a time when the two countries are trying to iron out their differences.