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Home Columns Unsolicited Advice It Is Time for Filipino Americans to Stop Playing “Mr. Nice Guy”
It Is Time for Filipino Americans to Stop Playing “Mr. Nice Guy” PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 01:06



Y es, it is high time for Filipino Americans to stop acting like “Mr. Nice Guy (or Ms. Nice Gal). Too often, American citizens of Filipino descent receive warmly visiting Filipino dignitaries, even if the officials from the Philippines have been accused of corrupt practices and/or human-rights violations. No matter the reputation of the visiting Filipino dignitary, Filipino Americans will shell out their hard-earned money for tickets at multi-star-rated venues and share Kodak moments with the visitor(s). This has to stop if Filipino Americans – and for that matter Overseas Filipinos – want their homeland to have changes for the better.


A case in point is the reported designation of retired Philippine general, Eduardo Ermita, as the next Philippine tenant in the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC. Perhaps if General Ermita is indeed appointed as the Philippine envoy to the United States, people and the Filipino-American media may like to ask him the following questions when he starts to host visiting Filipino Americans at the Embassy:


1.0             The human-rights violations perpetrated by rogue elements of the Philippine military. Hundreds of Filipino activists and even social workers have disappeared after being taken into custody by Filipino soldiers and the victims have not been heard again. And worse, the ethnic minorities in the Island of Mindanao have suffered from genocide-like abuses committed by certain elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Please read again the column of Ms. Amina Rasul to know more of these human-rights abuses and the comments therein of Mon Ramirez. The link to Ms. Rasul’s column, People-power Demonstrations (in Metro Manila) Do Not Address Human-rights Violations in Rural Areas


2.0             The reported abuses in the handling of American military and/or economic aid by top Philippine civilian officials and military officers. It is public knowledge that American military equipment and even ammunition have been sold in the black market (euphemism for warlords and communist and/or Muslim rebels) and which diversion would not have been possible without the knowledge and/or connivance of certain top military officers.


3.0             The rampant corruption in the Philippine military where certain officers have been documented to have amassed ill-gotten wealth and where even the combat boots of enlisted men have been found to be of inferior quality as a major portion of their acquisition cost had been pocketed by certain procurement officers. In fact, the two latest coup attempts in the Philippines mentioned this issue as one of the reasons for some enlisted men to have wanted to take the law into their own hands.


4.0             The participation of certain politicized Filipino military officers in election scandals where the men in uniform became tools of politicians in subverting the electoral process and which had been documented by the Philippine press.


5.0             The participation of certain Filipino military and/or police officers in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs in the Philippines and in allegedly providing support for the transshipment in Manila ports of the said drugs to the United States from certain Asian points of origin.


6.0             The participation of certain Filipino military and police officers in illegal gambling and other gaming rackets such as the now-infamous “Jueteng” scandals.


There are other abuses committed allegedly by top Philippine military officers – all the expense of the average Filipino soldier who is one of the worst-paid military personnel in the world. And slowly these abuses are being documented by Filipino journalists and activists.


We in the Fil-Am Fourth Estate must stop being the Filipino version of “Mr. Nice Guy” and continue the search for the truth, no matter who gets hurt.

If indeed General Ermita is nominated as the Philippine ambassador to the United States, he should be prepared to provide answers to the above-stated questions, as may be asked by members of the Committee on Appointments. If his nomination is confirmed, then Ambassador Ermita has to tell not only the Filipino-American community but also to the American policy and decision makers his answers to the above questions. (Editor's Note: Then-President Arroyo did not proceed with her plan of nominating former General Ermita as the Filipino envoy to the United States probably because of the growing protest among Filipino Americans.)


We will lobby the corridors of power in Washington, DC, so that General Ermita could be forced to provide answers to our queries, especially the issues of American military aid to the Philippines and the shipment of illegal drugs to the United States. Erring Philippine civilian officials and military officers who converted to their personal gain part of the military and economic aid of the United States can even be prosecuted under the provisions of the “Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt-Organizations (RICO) Act,” a federal law.


Perhaps, the Filipino military officers who facilitated the transshipment of illegal drugs to the United States may eventually be extradited to this country, prosecuted under American federal laws and if found guilty, jailed like General Noriega of Panama and other South-American drug lords who are now serving time in American federal prisons.


Yes, some of us in the Filipino-American Fourth Estate have ceased to be the Filipino version of “Mr. Nice Guy” as we continue on our search for the truth, no matter who gets hurt. # # #


Editor's Notes: To view the other parts of this occasional series, please go to:

 

It Is Time for Filipino Americans to Stop Playing “Mr. Nice Guy”  

 

Filipino Americans Are No Longer “Misters Nice Guys” (Part II)


Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens (Part III)

 

Many ABER Filipinos Don't Trust First-generation Filipino Americans (Part IV) # # #

 



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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:58
 

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