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Jun 10th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Rep. Filner and Other State Officials Refuse to Endorse a Fil-Am Aspirant for Council Seat
Rep. Filner and Other State Officials Refuse to Endorse a Fil-Am Aspirant for Council Seat PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Sunday, 21 December 2008 01:24

D itas Yamane once railed against Filipinos who don't walk the talk. In meetings with officials of National City this past week, the vociferous members of a voters' coalition that unanimously voted to lobby for her were nowhere to be found. The very few who came ranted against another Filipino instead of strongly and unequivocally articulating their support for her. One councilman advised them to get their acts together behind a sole candidate. Another said she was happy to know Filipinos are trying to create political awareness for the community.


Another Contest in National City

Filipino Coalition Begins Lobby for Council Seat; 

Filner, Other State Officials Dip Fingers in Local Politics


By Romeo P. Marquez


I ntense lobbying has begun to fill up an expected vacancy in the city council of National City with no less than Congressman Bob Filner (D-51st) dipping his fingers into what is emerging as one of the most hotly-contested seats in municipal politics.


The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

With Filipinos comprising 18 percent of the city's population, National City has become the favorite arena for Filipinos seeking public office, the Navy town also being the hub of business for most Filipino-owned establishments.


The vacancy will occur on January 5, 2009, yet when incumbent Councilman Luis Natividad relinquishes his elective post he has held in the last two years. Another two years remain of the office but Mr. Natividad said he has accepted a high-paying job in the federal government.


Congressman Filner's surprise endorsement of a daughter of his Hispanic aide, one of the seven potential aspirants for the soon-to-be vacant post, elicited an immediate response from Ditas Delos Santos Yamane, a Filipino businesswoman who lost in her third bid for the office in the Nov. 4 election.


By his acts, Ms. Yamane stated, Congressman Filner has "shown his disregard to our community many times already and we should not take this sitting down".


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Volume 2, Issue No. 28 / News Without Fear or Favor / A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice
Congressman Filner spoke briefly last week (Tuesday, Dec. 16) at the National City Council meeting urging Mayor Ron Morrison and Councilmembers Frank Parra, Rosalie Zarate and Alejandra Sotelo-Solis "to do the right thing" and appoint Mona Rios to the seat.


A spokesperson for Congressman Filner, Alexis Gelperin, also announced that "State Senator Denise Ducheny and State Assemblywoman Mary Salas are also supporting Rios' appointment to the vacant seat".


Ms. Rios, daughter of Al Alvarado who is Mr. Filner's liaison to the Hispanic community, was third-placer in the Nov. 4 polls. Ms. Yamane landed fourth, trailing Ms. Rios by several votes. Another Filipino, the then incumbent Fidelis Ungab, took sixth place in the seven-way contest.


Ms. Yamane is endorsed by the newly-formed Filipino Voters' Coalition whose members unanimously voted to support her. Led by retired university professor Rizalino Oades, PhD, the coalition is the latest attempt to unify Filipino voters and create a potentially-strong voting bloc.


Professor Oades has stated earlier that his group will lobby for Yamane to be appointed councilwoman of National City. "I have no qualms Ditas Yamane is the best candidate for now," he declared before the jubilant members of the coalition.


However, during courtesy calls to the mayor and members of the city council last week, no more than five individuals showed up to lobby city officials. At one point during a meeting with Councilman Frank Parra, the latter advised his Filipino visitors to come together and work for one candidate.


Dr. Oades and his group railed against appointing a Filipino from the "old boys network:" -- which was a reference to Fidelis Ungab who held the office for four years by being appointed twice in a row --  rather than advocate strongly for Ms. Yamane.


In another meeting with Vice Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Professor Oades said he felt embarrassed that Filipinos could not win elections in National City with their numbers.


"National City is almost a Filipino town and the feeling we have is to have proper representation," Dr. Oades told Solis without mentioning that he was lobbying specifically for Ms. Yamane.


"Our concern is, if there are other qualified Filipinos, why re-appoint an old one," Oades stressed, highlighting his displeasure with Mr. Ungab who he did not mention by name.


The unprecedented display of support by high officials for Ms. Rios might just be the spur to rouse Filipino voters to rally behind Yamane. # # #


(This Breaking News comes from Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038. Volume 2, Issue no. 28, December 21, 2008. A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public.)



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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 December 2008 04:19

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