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From a Fil-Am friend

  • Written by Manuel L. Morato
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 320

A Filipino friend in Los Angeles reported to me something worth mentioning. He is now an American citizen. At that time, over fifty years ago when I was a college student at Loyola University of Los Angeles, California (now coed named Loyola Marymount University), I was told that Aquino the 3rd received an award from Loyola Marymount University about 3 years ago. I do not know if the Jesuits of Loyola gave him the award; or the nuns of Marymount for girls. During my time, Loyola
was strictly a university for boys, and not coed.

This Fil-Am now I knew very well, married another Filipina also a Fil-Am now. Of course, all their children were born in the U.S. I used to frequent their home for dinners on weekends for that’s the only time I could be allowed to go off-campus as I was “interno” at Loyola University. With the permission of the Prefect, a Jesuit priest in-charged of the dormitory on campus I lived in for all my entire college years. We could only go out with my co-interns to watch a movie, eat out, attend a concert; or visit family friends.
    
But my friend has a point. He said that he is sick and tired of the Fil-Am communities in America who make money in every American elections and Philippine elections as well. They get involved, recruited by “leaders” of naturalized Filipinos in America and made to contribute money for Filipino candidates for President, Vice President and Senators. These campaign “leaders” make tremendous amount of money in the process. Aside from the campaign funds given to them by our presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidates, these “leaders” of Filipino descent would still ask for donations from the Filipino community.
    
My friend specifically mentioned a woman of Filipino descent who is an American citizen by marriage who runs a national movement in every Philippine and U.S. elections. The woman is the one who chooses the candidates to support with the promise of helping the Fil-Americans with regards to their citizenship problems, if and when they have some conflict with the law. That’s what she claims!
    
What particularly bothers my friend, and others as well, is the never ending donations that this woman leader asks from them because the donations are made to be deposited in her personal bank account. They find that very questionable. The woman, they say, enriches herself through campaign donations to her to organize the Filipino community to vote for whoever gave the campaign funds to her. And so with the U.S. national candidates. It’s a double-barrel “kabig” of cold cash deposited in her personal account, tax-free. And she has enriched herself in this business with her sister.
    
The question is: why are Fil-Ams allowed to vote in the Philippines in every election? My old friend is a lawyer and he told me that Filipino-Americans must not be allowed to vote for Philippine national candidates for they have completely renounced their being Filipinos. The U.S. does not, nor accept dual citizenship; and as such, the Filipinos who are now U.S. citizens have renounced their being Filipinos. They must not be allowed to get involved in Philippine elections every 3 years; and national elections every 6 years. Our Filipinos in other countries abroad are accorded dual citizenship. But the U.S. prohibits it totally. Once a Filipino takes oath to become a U.S. citizen, he or she is solely American citizen and the only thing left in him or her is the Filipino blood. Nothing more. He or she becomes totally American once he or she takes the oath of allegiance. He or she is stripped of any loyalty to the Philippines. There are however countries in Europe that allow Filipinos to keep their Filipino citizenship and passports as well as that of the country they have chosen to be part of.
    
Filipinos who have chosen to be Americans should not be allowed to vote in Philippine elections. They are Americans. Period.
    
This is the only way we can solve our problems in this country among ourselves without foreign interference. And as my family friend said: “All these anti Duterte fake Filipinos in America can end in a jeepy; and that old woman’s alleged “fortune” will collapse as well. It’s “highway robbery,” he said.

Come to think of it, my old lawyer friend (now retired) is right.
    
May I ask how this law came about? Why was America included? It does not accept dual citizenship. Only Filipinos abroad in countries where dual citizenship is accepted may chose to vote in Philippine elections. Who was the author of this law?
    
I remember way back when I was at Loyola University as a college student, I had to renew my student visa every so often. I will never forget the head of the immigration in Los Angeles in the 50s and 60s. She offered me American citizenship, but I turned it down. It was something they could then grant right away. She knew that I also graduated from high school in Georgetown Prep School in Maryland. She also knew that Mr. Conrad Hilton was my guardian and Reverend Father Tom Sullivan, S.J., related to President Kennedy.
    
I honestly told her: “Maam, I will never give up my Filipino citizenship. The Philippines is my land of birth and I will return to my country after my studies at Loyola University.” Her name was Mrs. Hansen. I forgot her first name for I always called her Mrs. Hansen.
    
Bless your soul, Mrs. Hansen. What a noble and good person you were to me. May the Lord reward you in heaven. Your kind gesture was very much appreciated. I want you to know that. I will never forget you.

***
    
I wish to read the opinions of Ambassador Tiglao, Jojo Robles, Yen Makabenta, Ninez Cacho Olivares, Alex Magno, Charlie Manalo, Emil Jurado, Larry Henares and all our opinion-makers who think right. As for the other so-called “writers,” please spare me the agony.
    
Mukhang valid ang opinion ng aking kaibigan na walang reciprocity sa atin ang America when it comes to citizenship. Kaya galit si masungit na old woman kasi hindi daw nagbigay si then presidential candidate Duterte ng pera sa kanya to campaign in America. Talo naman lahat ng
sinuportahan niya. She made a lot of money sa “contributions” deposited in her personal bank account.
    
If I were President Duterte, I’d declare those wicked people who ruined his reputation in America as persona non grata. Send them back to America where they belong in the ghettos. Require them to get visas as other Americans do to come to the Philippines, just like what their Embassy do to us. We have to be careful because America (US) is flooded with different races and the danger of an “American” terrorist sneaking in is not remote.
    
It’s a given that there are more good Fil-Ams than bad ones in America. For them, let us extend the Balikbayan status to them – only for the good ones, not the rebellious ones. Let the bad ones go to the North Pole instead.
    
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