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It’s wrong to admire Freddie Mercury’s promiscuous life

“You know, women are as promiscuous as men and yet, of course, people are inhibited from having an affair or a relationship because the real-world consequences are a drag.”

–Lee Child

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — Fans of the Queen and its late lead vocalist Freddie Mercury can count on this writer when it comes to admiring their songs, mostly recorded in the 70’s and early 80’s when I was starting to fall in love with music.
But when it comes to how Mercury lived his life and the messages it imparted to those who lionized him all over the world, I am one of those who don’t agree that the great rock star was a role model.
Most of Mercury’s music were great, there’s no doubt about it; but he didn’t live an exemplary life, or a lifestyle that’s something for the youth to emulate and use as inspiration.
The height of veneration heaped upon Mercury by fans, including Filipinos, was no excuse to parade his promiscuous life in public, much less “justify” its exoticism to the degree that it almost smeared our discernment on what is right and wrong, and slurred the line of decency and indecency.

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A culturally determined concept, promiscuity is formally defined, according to Webster, as including not only frequent but “indiscriminate” sexual behavior.
When Mercury died of AIDS in London on November 24, 1991, The Sun reported the following day: “He lavished expensive gifts on his lovers–diamonds, Mercedes cars and money.”
Mercury’s former personal manager Paul Prenter, who died from AIDS two months before Mercury’s death, revealed his one-time boss slept with hundreds of men, partly because he was terrified of sleeping alone.
The Sun quoted Prenter: “It was more likely that I would see him walk on water than go with a woman. Freddie told me his first homosexual relationship happened when he was at boarding school in India when he was 14. While we were touring there would be a different man every night, He would probably go to bed by 6am or 7am–but rarely alone.”
“He has a fear of sleeping alone, or even being alone for long stretches.” Prenter said Freddie phoned him after airline steward John Murphy, a one-night-stand died of AIDS in 1987 and admitted. “I’m afraid I could die of AIDS.

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The manager claimed AIDS also killed another one of Mercury’s lovers– courier Tony Bastin.
Despite his hundreds of male lovers, Mercury was expected to leave his fortune to a woman–his one time girlfriend Mary Austin.
He once said: “The only friend I’ve had is Mary. She will inherit the bulk of my fortune. No one else will get a penny, except for my cats Oscar and Tiffany.”
Mercury and Mary lived together for seven years until 1980 when the relationship broke up due to his increasing gay urges and the pressure of his fame.
But he kept in touch with her because she was the only person he really trusted.
He said: “I don’t want anybody else. Over the years I have become bitter and I don’t trust anybody else because I have been let down so many times.”
Mercury showered gifts on Mary including a £600,000 house just around the corner from his own.
When she gave birth to a son in February 1990 he was the automatic choice as godfather.
Mercury said: “Our love affair ended in tears. My life is extremely volatile and someone like Mary couldn’t cope with it. Success has brought me millions and world idolization, but not the thing we all need–a loving relationship.

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That’s why I am alarmed by the growing reverence of some members of today’s young generation on Mercury starting when the film, Bohemian Rhapsody, was released in the US on November 2, 2018.
Many Filipino fans have already watched the film, a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and Mercury’s extraordinary talent.
The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was originally written by Mercury for the British rock band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera.
A six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda, it is called “Bohemian Rhapsody” because it depicts the life of a ‘bohemian’, whose original meaning is ‘artist’ while ‘Rhapsody’ is a fantasy (literally, it could play in his head) or a vision; within this song Mercury foresaw his life in a symbolic way.
(According to Dr. Stephen A. Diamond of Psychology Today, “Preference for frequent sexual contacts is not necessarily the same as being sexually indiscriminating. The latter, in women, indicates a possible compulsive, and therefore, pathological quality to the excessive sexual behavior, referred to traditionally as nymphomania. (In men, it is called satyriasis.) Such indiscriminating or sometimes even random sexual behaviors can be commonly seen in various mental disorders such as psychosis, manic episodes, substance abuse and dependence, dissociative identity disorder, as well as borderline, narcissistic and antisocial personalities, and can, in fact, often be partially diagnostic of such pathological conditions.”)

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Posted by on November 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

I ‘worked’ with Salvador Panelo for Mrs. Marcos

“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”

–William Gibson

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — I was privileged to be one of the few journalists from outside Metro Manila allowed to enter the Westin-Philippine Plaza hotel where former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos was billeted several days after arriving on November 4, 1991 from a six-year exile in Hawaii.
It was Sol Vanzi, Mrs. Marcos’ former press aide, who welcomed and brought us to a room where we interviewed the late Dean Antonio Coronel, Mrs. Marcos’ mercurial lawyer.
Claiming she was “penniless”, Mrs. Marcos refused to pay her hotel bills (a $2,000-a-day suite) forcing the hotel management to evict the once most powerful woman in the Philippines.
She moved into a two-story, three-bedroom modest house in suburban Pasay city at the time when the Cory government filed the last of 80 criminal charges against her.
The following year when Mrs. Marcos ran for president in 1992, Vanzi helped arrange for our meeting with Mrs. Marcos at Hotel del Rio in Iloilo City.
Mrs. Marcos introduced us to some of her senatorial candidates under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) who were present, namely: Chiquito, Amay Bisaya, Rod Navarro, Salvador Panelo, Johnny Wilson, Rommel Corro, Vicente Piccio, Rafael Recto.

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When KBL barnstormed Antique, Capiz, Aklan, Sol Vanzi requested us to cover the event.
In Antique, I was with Atty. Panelo, now spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte, when our service vehicle was stranded and left behind somewhere in the mountainous area with no electricity in Brgy. Hamtic at past 8 o’clock in the evening.
I told Atty. Panelo we were near the area where the late Iloilo provincial police commander, Col. Teodolfo Lao, and his men were killed in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army (NPA) in 1989.
Also in our team was a “Susan Herrera”, manager of ChinaBank Iloilo. There were about eight of us in the group.
Panelo asked me to negotiate with those living in the area to facilitate our return to Iloilo City because it was getting late at night and was very dark.
We approached a male resident, who was hesitant to help.
I talked to him in Kinaray-a, the dialect in Antique. He didn’t respond.
Then I heard Atty. Panelo tell the unidentified male resident in English, “My name is Atty. Salvador Panelo. We are stranded. Please help us. Invest with me.”
“Invest with me” was the line that refused to leave my memory for 26 years now.
The male resident did “invest” with Atty. Panelo who gave the man his business card.
To make the long story short, the man who “invested” with Atty. Panelo helped secure a passenger jeep for the group and we made it back to Iloilo City before midnight.

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Without offense meant, of the 164 senatorial candidates, Panelo wound up 125th.
He was ahead, however, of the 11 other KBL bets.
Former Iloilo fourth district Rep. Narciso Monfort, running under LDP party, beat Chiquito, a comedian who ran as Augusto Pangan, for the 39th spot.
Monfort garnered 2,483,459 votes while Chiquito, who landed 40th, got 2,408,185 votes.
Actor Tito Sotto, now the Senate president, topped the senatorial contest with 11,792,121 votes. He was followed by another action star Ramon Revilla Sr. with 8,321,278 votes.
Twenty four fresh senators were elected in that year. They were: Sotto, Revilla Sr., Edgardo Angara, Ernesto Herrera, Alberto Romulo, Ernesto Maceda, Orly Mercado, Neptali Gonzales, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Heherson Alvarez, Blas Ople, Freddie Webb, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Teofisto Guingona Jr., Nina Rasul, Joey Lina, Nikki Coseteng, Arturo Tolentino, Raul Roco, Rodolfo Biazon, Wigberto Tañada, Francisco Tatad, John Henry Osmeña, Agapito Aquino.

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Mrs. Marcos, who is now in the news worldwide after being convicted for graft and corruption by the Sandiganbayan at age 89, finished in the 1992 presidential elections fifth behind Fidel Ramos, who edged the late Miriam Defensor Santiago; Danding Cojuangco, and Ramon Mitra Jr.
Mrs. Marcos, now representative of Ilocos Norte, garnered more votes than the late illustrious former Senate President Jovito Salonga and former Vice President Doy Laurel.
Every time I remember that roller coaster 1992 presidential campaign, I remember Rep. Imelda R. Marcos and Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

I worry on attempts to intimidate critical journalists

“Never do today what you can do tomorrow. Something may occur to make you regret your premature action.”
–Aaron Burr

Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — It’s too early for opponents of Panay Electric Company (PECO) to celebrate even if the Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Senator Grace Poe has already given the MORE Power and Electric Company the green signal to be the new power distributor in Iloilo City.
PECO isn’t dead yet.
It is only fighting for its life in the surgery room surrounded by the best doctors who can still revive and prolong the life, or even save it from permanent disability and restore its main faculties.
PECO is still hoping to get a favorable ruling in the Lower House, where its application for renewal of its franchise is pending, before the expiration of its franchise on January 19, 2019.
While it has a myriad of available options and resources to wage a protracted legislative and legal battle to protect its interest and survival, PECO isn’t yet in the mood to raise the white flag.

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This could be the reason why PECO has refused to participate in the technical working group (TWG) meeting that would have commenced the transition works between MORE Power and Electric Company and PECO on November 8, 2018.
PECO has already made a stand not to sell its assets to a competitor.
It remains to be seen if MORE Power and Electric Company can efficiently serve the thousands of Ilonggo consumers without sufficient and time-tested ground technical resources and manpower in the territory that has been steamrolled and dominated by PECO for several eras.
The impasse is expected to prolong especially that PECO has disclosed its willingness to slug it out with the MORE Power and Electric Company all the way to the Supreme Court.
Ilonggo power consumers will be spared from inconvenience and stray bullets if Congress will expedite its verdict on PECO’s application for extension of its franchise and if the court will act with dispatch and alacrity once the imbroglio has been tossed there for litigation.

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As a Filipino journalist, I worry a lot that potential tax evasion charges are being readied and might be used to intimidate Philippine government critic Maria Ressa as well as other critics of the Duterte administration.
The threat against the lady journalist has prompted an outpouring of support on social media.
Colleagues from around the world have praised the founder and editor of investigative news site Rappler, voicing our fears about the state of press freedom in the Southeast Asian nation.
Philippines prosecutors have revealed that “they have grounds to indict Ressa and Rappler for failing to pay taxes on 2015 bond sales.”
The penalties, under the Philippine law, could include a fine and a 10-year imprisonment.
Ressa is a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte. She has rejected the “ridiculous charges” as a thinly veiled attempt to silence critical coverage saying such indictments are meant to “intimidate and harass” journalists.
We fear other enemies of the press might take advantage of the government’s aggressive reactions against critical reporters.
I have also written critically and voiced my opinion heavily against some of the Philippine Government’s bad policies especially against the extra-judicial killings (EJK) which has killed thousands of suspected drug addicts and traffickers not yet convicted in any court.
The media landscape in the Philippines, which ranks 133rd on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, has come under extreme pressure since Duterte rose to power in 2016.
Founded in 2012 by Ressa and three other journalists, Rappler has cast a spotlight on Duterte’s brutal war on illegal drugs and street crimes.
Rappler has faced a barrage of online trolls and a series of government-backed lawsuits aimed at shutting the site as a result.
Let’s hope that harassment and intimidation against crusading journalists will not end up in assassinations just like what happened to hundreds of our colleagues since democracy was restored in the 1986 EDSA People Power. God forbid.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Democracy is pro-God

“You need a strong family because at the end, they will love you and support you unconditionally. Luckily, I have my dad, mom and sister.”
— Esha Gupta

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — The state should be at war only against external forces that threaten to undermine or subvert its sovereignty and hurt the political and economic well-being of its people.
Democracy is pro-God, pro-people, pro-freedom, pro-unity and progress.
The purpose of government is to serve, preserve, and protect the people and their primordial interests, not to trample on their basic rights, freedom and dignity.
The purpose of the armed forces and police is to ensure peace and order, safety and protection of the citizens regardless of geographical locations, civic, political and spiritual affiliations.
If government resources, authority and power are marshaled to suppress and silence individuals with dissenting and radical opinions, it’s not a government of the people; it’s not a government for the people.
That “government” is the enemy of the people.

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Now that there is an imminent threat against the interest of thousands of power consumers in Iloilo City in the Philippines in the ongoing power play between the Panay Electric Company (PECO) and the MORE Power and Electric Company, the government should prepare the precautionary measures to ensure that the consumers will not be in the losing end.
PECO has threatened to halt operations starting January 19, 2019, according to reports, apparently in “protest” of the “hasty” imprimatur by the Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Senator Grace Poe allowing More Power and Electric Company to be the new power distributor in Iloilo City even if PECO’s application for renewal of its franchise is still pending in the Lower House.

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When PECO “snubbed” the meeting of a technical working group (TWG) that will handle the transition works between PECO and MORE Power on November 8, 2018, it should be treated as a portent of things to come.
And now that PECO lawyer Inocencio Ferrer has let the cat out of the bag by saying in media interviews that the local power company will stop its operations on the day its franchise will expire (January 19, 2019), the Department of Energy (DoE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) should now be ahead of time and are expected to be on top of the situation.
The bottom line here is, the power consumers shouldn’t be caught flat-footed; they should be spared from the corporate wars and must not be involved whether there is a “blackmail” or an ultimatum whatsoever.

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The decision of the Garin family to allow former Health Secretary Janette-Loreto Garin to “substitute” for her husband, Rep. Oscar “Richard” Garin, Jr. in the next congressional term in Iloilo’s first district (granting that their rival, Gerardo Flores, will lose anew), is understandable.
Among the Garin clan members, it’s Dr. Loreto-Garin who is a facing a thunderstorm in public life.
If the Dengvaxia cases filed against her will prosper in court and she is back in Congress, she will have at least something to lean on as a matter of “defense and survival” when the war of attrition versus the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and other anti-Garin forces lingers.
It’s been tested and proven that in the Philippines, a public office could be an ideal “asylum” for those who are in dire straits legally; not to wiggle out from the trouble permanently, but, at least, for a temporary relief.
In crisis and in happiness, the Garins don’t abandon each other; they cling to each other for moral support and otherwise.
Everything will change, of course, if Flores, who has never won an electoral battle versus the Garins, will pull an upset in the May 2019 elections.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Was Supt. Rapiz ‘silenced?’

“If we believe that murder is wrong and not admissible in our society, then it has to be wrong for everyone, not just individuals but governments as well.”

–HELEN PREJEAN

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — For every lawyer murdered in the Philippines and the killers managed to slip away, justice bleeds.
If justice is denied, democracy wobbles.
More injustices, or more deadly attacks on unarmed civilians and officers of the court and the cases are unsolved, means imminent collapse of democracy.
If democracy is dead, lawlessness, abuses by those in power, and authoritarian rule reign.
If a crusading lawyer like Benjamin Tarug Ramos Jr. can be muzzled violently and no justice is given, what are the chances of ordinary laborers, farm workers, and the poor if they, too, will be eviscerated when they seek redress for their legitimate grievances?
As a defender of the oppressed and the voiceless in society, the state should have ensured the protection of Ramos and his ilk who are vulnerable to brutal attacks and violence.
And now that Ramos is dead, the state should utilize all its corpulent resources to hunt down the killers.
It’s chilling effects will be felt not only by Ramos’ colleagues in Negros, but also by all members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) all over the country.


-o0o-Motorcycle-riding men gunned down Ramos, of Brgy. Biniculi, Kabankalan City around 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2018 at Rojas Street, Brgy. 5.
The 56-year-old Ramos, secretary-general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)-Negros Chapter, was taking a break after some paper works for his pro bono clients when shot.
Report said he suffered three gunshot wounds at the right backside and left upper chest of his body and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The lawyer was “maliciously and irresponsibly tagged in a public poster by the Philippine police as among the so-called personalities of the underground armed movement,” according to NUPL.
NUPL said Ramos was the 34th lawyer killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Excluding judges and prosecutors, he was the 24th member of the profession killed and 8th in the Visayas.
Violence should not be the answer if an establishment or a powerful and well-connected group is annoyed by the advocacy of crusading lawyers.
The use of force and treachery is the handiwork of cowards and psychos.
That’s how we best describe both the killers and the mastermind or masterminds of Ramos’ murder.
The recent wave of lawlessness that snuffed out the life of a brave lawyer should be condemned not because Ramos was a lawyer, but also because murder is a crime.

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I have declared this several times and I am declaring it again here: there will be no construction of the much-ballyhooed Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridge this year.
As long as politicians in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and other government agencies are the ones doing all the talking, no project will ever romp off.
Only the technical people, experts, and non-political personalities, especially in the business, private, and diplomatic sectors have the credibility when it comes to giving projections on certain multi-billion infrastructure projects like airports, domes, damns, highways, and bridges.
Politicians have zero credibility when it comes to implementation of mammoth projects.

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It’s mind-boggling that Police Superintendent Santiago Ylanan Rapiz, a trained and quick-witted police official, will trade shots with fellow cops who came to arrest him allegedly in a buy-bust operation in Dipolog City on Monday night, November 5.
Rapiz, assigned at the Logistics Branch of the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office, was killed in an anti-drug operation of the Philippine National Police-Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in front of Andres Bonifacio College Gymnasium, in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte.
Even a rookie cop knows that his chances of survival are nil if he opts to shoot it out when he is already cornered and overpowered.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Pinoy election losers should learn from Americans

“No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.”
–Winston ChurchillBy Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY

— Instead of making a concession speech, a loser in the Philippine elections has always been known to be aching and crying, “We wuz robbed.”
And instead of inspiring or helping minimize the sadness of his emotionally distraught supporters after results of the electoral exercises have been known, the Pinoy sore loser would instigate the crowd and give them false hopes: “We will win in the electoral protest. The truth will come out.”
Instead of moving on with his life after a failed bid for a public office, the Pinoy election loser extends his hurtful rivalry by going after his opponent tongs and hammer in a tumultuous election protest, wasting the taxpayers’ money and productive time when the protest reaches the Electoral Tribunal.
Since Marcos “defeated” Tita Cory in the 1986 Philippine snap elections (Tita Cory became president when the “People Power” toppled the Strongman in EDSA), there were only two losers in the Philippine presidential contests that I remember who gamely accepted defeat: Jose de Venecia (who lost to Erap in 1998) and Mar Roxas (who lost to Digong in 2018).-o0o-

From senatorial to congressional down to gubernatorial, mayoral, council and even barangay elections, there have been and will also be “victims of electoral fraud” in the Philippines.
Nobody is defeated in a plain and honest competition; every loser is a “victim of massive cheating and vote-buying.”
The noise and annoying grumble normally come from losing bets who badly need jobs in government because the industry that they come from no longer provide sufficient income to sustain their skyrocketing expenses.
Some of them are the discarded showbiz and entertainment actors and actresses, basketball stars, folk singers and rock stars who live lavish lifestyles.
To bellyache, complain and stir the hornet’s nest after the elections have become the Philippines’ national trademark.
Come May 2019, expect more nitpickers, whiners and crybabies to make a scene and engage in melodrama after they have been rejected in the elections.

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What the Filipino losers–and winners, as well–must learn from their counterparts in America?
Humility.
Gracefulness.
Statesmanship.
In my coverage of the 2018 US Midterm Elections on November 6, 2018 here, the concession speech of Democrat Texas senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke should be considered as one of the best in modern elections; it should stand up as the most emotional but down-to-earth and very sincere speech coming from a rising political heartthrob many progressives and Democrats thought would be the next Robert F. Kennedy.

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Let me share here Berto O’Rourke’s dynamic and magnificent speech:
El Paso has produced some really great teams over the years. I am very lucky I got to be part of one that came out of this community. For the last 22 months, I have been traveling every county in Texas. I have been there to listen to and show up for every one of us. I was inspired and I am as hopeful as I have ever been in my life. Tonight’s loss does nothing to diminish the way I feel about Texas or this country.
Getting to see all of you tonight and be with you reminds me why we set out to do this in the first place. We’re not about being against anybody. We’re not going to define ourselves by who or what we’re scared of. We are great people. Ambitious. Defined by our aspirations and the hard work we are willing to commit in order to achieve them. Every single one of us from a big city to a small town, the people of Texas will do the great work of the country.
I have now had the opportunity to talk with Sen. Cruz and congratulate him on his victory and wish him well going forward. What I pledged on behalf of all of us is that in this time of division, with the country as polarized as I can remember it in my life, all of this bitterness, if there is anything we can do to help him in his position of public trust to ensure that Texas helps lead the country in a way that brings us back together around big things we want to achieve, whether that is making sure we face any threat against this country or that we are there for every single person who needs a helping hand so we can let your full potential, the ability to see a doctor and receive medication you need, I want to work with him.
I will work with anyone to make sure we lead on that. You amazing public school educators who work so hard and do so much for so many of us, I will work with him or with anyone, anytime, anywhere, to make sure that the same way you have been there for us, we will be there for you. Not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Texans and Americans. I want to make sure that this community that raised me and made me who I am, where Amy and I are fortunate enough to be raising our kids who are here with us tonight, that we offer our experience, perspective, courage on the issues we know best. We will form something powerful, magical.
I have nothing to apologize for. I want to make sure that this proud community offers, has to give to our country and to ensure our best days are still ahead and the policies and laws we craft and the way we treat each other comes not out of fear, but out of confidence and strength in the kind hearts I have always known El Paso to have.
El Paso, I love you so much. I am so proud of you in the city and community and what you mean to the rest of the country. And what you have achieved tonight, along with so many other amazing people across the state. The kindness, generosity you have shown to me and Amy and our family, and to our campaign, it’s amazing. That is why my faith in this state and country is not diminished. We will continue to work and come together to make sure that we live up to the promise of potential of the country. I know that because I met you and listened to you everywhere you live.
I want to thank my family, beginning with Amy, who has borne the toughest burden raising our kids, supporting me, loving me, giving me strength and encouragement at every step, making sure we could finish this as strong as we started. I want to thank our children and my mom and sisters and my family, all of whom are here tonight, for being such great examples to me. I love you.
I want to thank this amazing campaign of people. Not a dime from a single PAC. All of you showing the country how to do this. I am so fucking proud of you guys. David, Jody, Chris, Cynthia, everybody who worked on this campaign, every volunteer and ambassador, everyone who knocked on doors, everyone who made phone calls, everyone who allow themselves to hope and believe, to be inspired by one another and to turn it into action and into votes, and to do something that no one thought was possible, to build a campaign like this one solely comprised of people from all walks of life, coming together, deciding what unites us is far stronger than the color of our skin, how many generations we can count ourselves an American, or whether we just got here yesterday, who we love, we pray to, whether we pray at all, who we voted for last time, none of it matters.
It is the greatness to which we aspire and the work we are willing to put into it to achieve it by which we will be known going forward. This campaign holds a very special place in the history of this country. Every day going forward. You have made that possible.
This team of which we are all members in some way is going to stay together and continue to aspire to do great things. It may be in individual races and communities. It may not have anything to do with politics. But each of us, sometimes together finding ways to make life better for one another in our communities. There are so many great candidates who will come out of this campaign whose work I look forward to supporting and following and cheering on. Know this: I am forever changed in the most profoundly positive way. I am forever grateful to every single one of you for making this possible. I believe in you and I believe in Texas and in this country.
I love you more than words can express and that love will persist every day going forward, making sure whatever we have created and changed, and all of us will decide what that means and how far it goes, that it leads something far greater than what we have today and that everything one of us continues to believe and made possible the greatness of the United States of America.
I am honored to have been able to do this with you and grateful. We will see you down the road. Thank you, El Paso. Thank you, Texas.
Thank you, every single one of you, for making this possible. I am so grateful. Thank you. Thank you.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Pinoys obsessed with US Midterm elections

“Voting is how we participate in a civic society – be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It’s the way we teach our children-in school elections-how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice.”

–Loretta Lynch

By Alex P. Vidal442fa-13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — Filipinos are very much involved in the US Midterm Elections for the reason that they, too, will march to the polling precincts six months from now to elect their senators, representatives, governors, mayors, and council members in May 2019.
Some of the those who cast their votes in the rainy and windy morning on November 6, 2018 were members of the Filipino community in the state of New York.
Carmen, 67, born in Davao City in the Philippines, said she voted for the Republicans “because I don’t want my benefits to be delayed if the Democrats will win and allow more illegal immigrants to come in.”
Victor, 60, of Nueva Ecija, said: “Of course, I voted for the Democrats because that will benefit a lot of my kababayans. Also I don’t want to lose my healthcare benefits.”
Healthcare is one of the key issues in the midterm polls.
A major Republican victory would likely lead to the final nail in the coffin of the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as “Obamacare”, the healthcare law introduced by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Republicans have so far failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, but Congress and Trump have made changes to it.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden declared in his final pitch a day before the US Midterm Elections: “The very character of our nation is on the ballot on Tuesday. The rest of the world is looking.”
By the time this article comes out, the United States will have a new set of 435 members in the House of Representatives and 35 members in the Senate as the Americans concluded the 2018 US Midterm Elections.
In New York City where I monitored and covered the polls, voters across the state decided on candidates for governor, senator, attorney general, state legislature and 27 seats in the U.S. House.
New York has more than 12 million registered voters with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by more than 2 to 1.
Polls opened at six o’clock in the morning and closed at nine o’clock in the evening.
Unlike in many other states where millions of votes have already been cast as of this writing, New York did not have early voting, though many have mailed in absentee ballots.
Some of the most watched races in today’s midterm elections involved incumbent Republican members of congress fighting an unusual number of Democratic challengers.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a very popular Democrat, was seeking a third term and Republicans and Democrats battled over the makeup of the state’s congressional delegation as the caustic election midterm election campaign reached its climax.

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The 2018 US Midterm Elections on November 6, 2018 was the second elections in the United States that I officially covered as a journalist.
I was also privileged to cover the 2016 US Presidential Elections and was assigned through the approval of the Board of Elections in the City of New York in Brooklyn.
Normally accredited journalists are not allowed to take photos within the poll sites, but with a written permission from the Board of Elections in the City of New York, we were able to observe the poll right inside the precincts, take some photos and interview the voters and poll officials.
The Board of Elections in the City of New York, headed as president by Maria R. Guastella, is equivalent to the Commission of Elections (Comelec) in the Philippines.
It is an administrative body of ten commissioners, two from each borough upon recommendation by both political parties and then appointed by the City Council for a term of four years.
The commissioners appoint a bipartisan staff to oversee the daily activities of its main and five borough offices.
The Board is responsible under New York State Election Law for the following: Voter registration, outreach and processing; Maintain and update voter records; Processing and verification of candidate petitions/documents; Campaign finance disclosures of candidates and campaign committees; Recruiting, training and assigning the various Election Day officers to conduct elections; Operate poll site locations; Maintain, repair, setup and deploy the Election Day operation equipment; Ensure each voter their right to vote at the polls or by absentee ballot; Canvassing and certification of the vote; Voter education, notification and dissemination of election information; and Preparation of maps of various political subdivisions.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2018 in Uncategorized