Month: February 2017

Senator Enverga cites Cusipag for contempt

Toronto, Ontario Balita’s Cusipag violates condition, senator alleges By Ted Alcuitas Less than a year after winning a $340,000 libel case against Balita publisher Tess Cusipag, Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. is claiming damages and wants Cusipag cited for contempt of court. Balita is the leading and oldest Filipino newspaper among Toronto’s more than 15 print media. It was founded by the late activist Ruben Cusipag more than four decades ago and is now run by his widow, Tess Cusipag. In a motion filed on February 13, 2017, Enverga is seeking among others, damages for  $25,000 or alternatively, a prison term for Cusipag if she fails to comply with court orders. The hearing is set for March 8, 2016 at 10 AM at 393 University Avenue. Enverga alleges that Cusipag knowingly published articles damaging to Senator Enverga in clear violation of the permanent injunction in the libel case he won in September 2016. In addition to Cusipag, Romeo P. Marquez and Carlos Padilla (now deceased) are also included as defendants in the contempt case. Enverga cited evidence that emails were sent Cusipag to Senator Enverga’s colleagues – Senators Salma Ataullahjan, Ngo and the Speaker of the Senate. An article by Philippine Canadian on July 26, 2016 was included in the citation. Cusipag  is appealing the libel conviction. A hearing is set for April 6, 2017. (    ...

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Immigrants unite against changes to Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program

Winnipeg, Manitoba New Head Tax for Manitoba By Ted Alcuitas A  coalition has  formed in reaction to changes to the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). Save MPNP Coalition is spearheaded by the Friends of Filipino Immigrants in Manitoba and Migrante. It aims to stop changes to the program announced by Premier Brian Pallister in November last year. Effective April 2017, nominated “skilled worker” applicants must pay a $500 fee. Critics argue the fee is reminiscent of the Chinese Head Tax that was imposed on the Chinese in the early 1900s. Organizers denounced the changes as ‘anti-immigrant and racist. Although the government has stated that the $500 fee will be re-invested into language support programs, the MPNP already requires nominees to enter Canada with a high level of English skill, critics claim. According to Statistics Canada, the rate of employment in 2011 for Manitoba immigrants was the highest (82.5%) of all provinces, and their unemployment rate (6.0%) was the second lowest. The MPNP is moving away from family sponsorship and community connection to employer-driven nominations. The coalition will hold a vigil and march on February 28 in front of the Legislative Building and a rally the following day.  ...

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“It’s an honor to be jailed for what I’m fighting for,” : Senator de Lima

Duterte silences his loudest critic By Ted Alcuitas In a dramatic end to a long standing opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ and its resulting extrajudicial killings , Senator Leila de Lima surrendered  herself to police on Friday, February 24. “It’s an honor to be jailed for what I’m fighting for,” Senator Leila de Lima said of her arrest for  alleged involvement on illegal drugs when she was Justice Secretary. “Katulad po ng palagi kong sinasabi at inuulit ko po ngayon, inosente po ako. Wala pong katotohanan, pawang kasinungalingan ang mga pinaparatang po nila sa akin na ako diumano ay nakinabang sa droga, diumano tumanggap ng drug money, diumano ay nag coddle o nag-protect ng mga drug suspects. pawang ho kasinungalinan yan. Lalabas ho ang katotohanan sa tamang panahon,” De Lima said. “Kung sa tingin po nila ay mapapatahimik po nila ako, kung sa tingin po nila ay hindi na po ako lalaban doon sa mga ipinaglalaban ko lalo na sa katotohanan, sa katarungan laban sa mga araw araw na pagpatay at mga iba pa na mga panggigipit, paniniil nitong rehimeng Duterte, karangalan ko po na ako’y makulong dahi sa mga ipinaglalaban ko po. Ipadasal nyo lang po ako,” she added. (Like what I’ve always said, and I repeat, I am innocent. There is no truth to the accusations that I benefited from drugs, that I allegedly received...

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Pinay is Toronto’s new Medical Officer of Health

  Toronto, Ontario Top medical post for Dr. Eileen de Villa By Ted Alcuitas Filipina doctor Eileen de Villa has been appointed as Toronto’s new Medical Officer of Health. Her appointment was announced by the City on January 30, 2016. Dr. de Villa will begin her position on March 27. “I’m very pleased with the appointment of Dr. de Villa,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release. “Public health matters are critical to the people of Toronto and I am extremely confident that Dr. de Villa is well-prepared to take on the top leadership role for Toronto Public Health in its service to our residents.” Dr. de Villa’s career in the public health field spans over a dozen years, during which she served as Medical Officer of Health and Associate Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel and professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto where her primary responsibility is the supervision of Public Health and Preventive Medicine residents. She received her medical and public health training at the University of Toronto. She is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in public health and preventative medicine. She also holds a Master’s degree in Health Science, a Master’s in Business Administration with a specialization in not-for-profit management/leadership...

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Winnipeg’s Magdaragat Philippines Inc. performs in Chile

Winnipeg, Manitoba Famed dance company represented the Philippines in international folkdance festival By Ted Alcuitas   Winnipeg’s Magdaragat Philippines Inc. represented the Philippines at the 5th Encuentro International de Folklore held in Chile from January 31 to February 2. Magdaragat was one of two dance troupes from Canada. Summer Bear Dance Troupe, a First Nation dance troupe , was the other participant. The 40-year old Magdaragat founded by the late Dante Buenaventura runs one of two Philippine pavilions – Pearl of the Orient during, Winnipeg’s annual Folklorama. Seven countries were represented in the international Folk festival showcasing folkdancers from all over the...

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