Month: February 2016

Franco Orr sentencing gets another delay

Vancouver, B.C. The man who was previously convicted of trafficking a Filipina caregiver from Hong Kong three years ago but won an appeal, is to appear in court on March 9 to set a date for his sentencing. The identity of the Filipina cannot be revealed due to a court publication ban. Franco Orr, whose first conviction in 2013 was overturned by the the B.C. Court of Appeals last year, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of employing a foreign national without authority, thereby forgoing a new trial. Orr was the first man to be convicted of human trafficking in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Act in 2013 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The Appeals Court overturned the conviction in March 2015 on the issue of credibility of the Crown expert witness and ordered a new trial. But instead of going to trial for the three charges, Orr, represented by his second lawyer, Terry La Liberte, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge which carries a penalty of $50,000 or two years in prison or both. At the hearing on Jan. 20, La Liberte informed the court that he was withdrawing from the case as there was an ‘impasse’ over details of the ‘agreed upon statement’ that was supposed to be submitted before sentencing. At yesterday’s (Feb. 24) hearing which Orr did not attend, his new...

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‘We are the World’

A daughter remembers the Negros Famine of 1985 
By Inday Espina-Varona Mas masarap daw ang buhay ng panahon ni Marcos? Our Nanay was head of pediatrics at the Neg. Occ. regional hospital during the sugar crisis caused by a) monopolies given to Marcos cronies b) the dissolute and unjust hacienda system in Sugarlandia (and in the Cojuangco-owned Hda Luisita). Nanay and other doctors worked very long hours as the first batch of severely malnourished children from the haciendas came… a trickle that soon became a flood of children, from a lush tropical island, looking like famine victims from sub-saharan Africa. Nanay would come home, in despair, furious at the plight of her patients; outraged that some of them were dying of preventable diseases. Doctors then — and now — would cover some of the costs of medicines. “It’s just the price of a lipstick,” Nanay said, wiping tears from her eyes. I was a very young journalist then, covering the rising civil unrest in Negros, infamously knows as “The Social Volcano” because of the obscene gap in lifestyles between the rich and poor. I covered Joel Abong and his peers. We saw him die. We were at his burial.
And I almost spat out food as some friends — good people, bright people, but ignorant of the lives the other half of Negros lived — bewailed foregoing trips to Europe...

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Remembering EDSA : The Canadian connection

ATOM rally,city hall Today, the 30th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, we take a look back at how Filipinos in Canada reacted to the Marcos dictatorship. While the tentacles of the dictatorship reached across the ocean to terrorize and intimidate overseas Filipinos, a few stood against it. ATOM (August Twenty One Movement) was formed in Winnipeg in 1986 and Jaime Cardinal Sin (with his secretary Fr. Soc Villegas) was invited and visited Winnipeg in 1988 through the efforts of the Winnipeg Filipino Project. The Cardinal was made an ‘honarary citizen’ of the city. Villegas is now the Archbishop of...

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Do you know ‘Sheila’?

Surrey, B.C. Do you know this woman? RCMP say she was found wandering around Surrey without any shoes on. (RCMP) RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance identifying an elderly woman found wandering the streets of Surrey, Monday at 4 p.m. PT, without any shoes on.  According to a CBC report, police say the woman was only able to provide them with her first name: Sheila. She wasn’t able to tell them where she lives or any other details regarding her identity.   Sheila was found near 180th Street and 66A Avenue in Surrey.  Police say she has been taken to a local hospital, and staff are attempting to determine her identity.  Anyone with more information is asked to contact Surrey RCMP...

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Artist to talk about his art and the Kamias Triennale

  Homecoming: A Talk by Patrick Cruz February 29, 6:30-8:30 PM Multipurpose Room Liu Institute for Global Issues University of British Columbia Open to all The UBC Philippine Studies Series and Centre A is pleased to present a talk by Filipino-Canadian artist Patrick Cruz, winner of the 2015 Annual RBC Painting Competition. Cruz will present a chronology of his works leading to his ongoing project Kamias Triennale, a tri-annual event that fosters dialogues between local and international artists. Dada Docot and Makiko Hara will respond to Cruz’s talk, relating his works to the artistic productions in the Philippines, in the Filipino diaspora, and in Canada. This event is held in conjunction with Cruz’s first solo show since winning the RBC prize that will be held at the Centre A, curated by Makiko Hara, and that will open on March 4, 2016. — Speakers: PATRICK CRUZ (b.1987) is a Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and is currently living and working in Guelph, Ontario where he is pursuing his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. Cruz’s experience migrating from the Philippines to Canada informs his studio practice, prompting him to question notions of diaspora, displacement and the adoption of a new cultural identity. Recognizing the importance of his endeavors, in 2015, Cruz was awarded first prize at the...

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