UC Hastings Pilipino American Law Society (PALS)


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! HOMECARE COMMUNITY FORUM & TRAINING by Paul Rivera
July 31, 2008, 5:39 am
Filed under: Community Outreach

[via Filipinos for Affirmative Action]

Alagaan natin ang mga nag aalaga saatin – caring for those who care for us

A Know Your Rights training, Q&A with Immigration Attorney, and discussion on building a Homecare Community network.

This is a FREE event for caregivers and employers.
Lunch will be served.

St. Anne’s Church (Cabello & Dyer Street)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
10 AM – 1 PM
Room 104

If you need transportation or have any questions, contact Katie Joaquin at 510-465-9876 x301.

Know Your Rights Brochure and Caring For Health Care Workers Brochure

Why was this project started?
Thousands of visas are issued every year to Filipinos planning to work as health workers in the United States. The Philippines has increasingly become a source of health care workers to fill the growing need for immigrant labor in U.S. homecare. Both the Overseas Filipino Workers and the U.S.-born Filipinos that take these jobs play a critical role in caring for elderly and special needs people, yet they report unhealthy work environments, harassment and unfair working conditions.
We started this project in the belief that all workers & immigrants have the right to respect & dignity at work, and can improve their working & living conditions!

What are the project’s goals?
To empower homecare workers to improve their working conditions by:
1. Helping workers develop safe workplace environments & advocate for long-term job stability;
2. Supporting workers in moving to more stable sectors of the health industry; and
3. Setting the stage for policy changes that strengthen homecare worker safety & rights.
Through these goals, we will strive for just, healthy and permanent work for homecare workers and their families; and, more stable services for patients.

Program Activities & Resources
magpalakas ka, palakasin ang komunidad natin

Support group
– Spaces for merienda, support & discussion with other Filipino homecare workers

Survival resources

-Immigration assistance
-Legal service referrals
-Healthcare referrals

Support for moving into better jobs
-Mapping your path to a CNA, LVN, or more stable position in health industry
-Financial Planning

Understanding health & safety risk factors
-Mapping out Health & Safety risks
-Violence prevention

Leadership development
-Knowing and advocating for your rights
-Immigrants rights
-Negotiating a contract

How to Get Involved…
We invite you to be active in leading the work of this project! The program work will be shaped by homecare worker participation, feedback and leadership.

To get involved, fill out the contact information form & return it to one of the Filipinos for Affirmative Action offices.

You can email Katie or also call Katie or Ed at 510.465.9876 for the next meeting or training date or for more info.

…strengthen yourself, strengthen your community!

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Meet Tamina Alon, Student by Paul Rivera
July 30, 2008, 11:06 pm
Filed under: PALS Updates

One our members, and 2008 graduate Tamina Alon was recently featured on the U.C. Hastings website.  Good luck on the Bar exam Tamina, and the rest of our 2008 class!

[via UC Hastings]

Tamina is not your typical law student. To begin with, she comes from a long line of doctors and engineers. Her decision to pursue the law only came after she had explored a variety of other fields at different universities across the United States, including UC Berkeley. “Most universities just really don’t know how to deal with non-traditional students, especially parents,” observes Tamina, a mother of two sons, ages seven and eight. “But at Hastings, they go out of their way to help you succeed. I immediately felt at home here.”

Like any law school worth going to, UC Hastings is packed with brilliant minds that enjoy healthy competition. Unlike the image of a stereotypical law school, there’s an incredible sense of camaraderie here. I was out sick one day and I had six of my classmates email me their notes. And the faculty are completely approachable. I’ve had professors invite my entire section home for dinner and invite my kids over to bake cookies together. I’m a parent with two kids, yet at UC Hastings I’ve enjoyed an amazing full law school experience. I’ve been the secretary of the Filipino American Law Society and president of Parents at UC Hastings. I’ve co-authored a published paper with Professor Joan Williams at the Center for WorkLife Law. I’ve worked as a law clerk for the Berkeley City Attorney. I just landed an externship with a judge at the Superior Court. Before applying here, I spent several years trying to find an institution, a community, I was comfortable with.



Immigrant Rights Rally & Press Conference: Tomorrow! by Paul Rivera
July 29, 2008, 6:12 am
Filed under: Community Outreach

Please join us for a press conference/rally that a large coalition of organizations – immigrant rights, youth advocate, faith based leaders, members of the board of supervisors, and a police commissioner – is holding tomorrow at City Hall (Polk Street Side) at 11:45AM/12:00PM to support immigrant youth and families in response to the recent media attacks against undocumented youth and immigrants.  We need a good turnout to show the public, the media, and city hall how much support we have for immigrant families and youth in the city.

For more information on the recent media coverage of undocumented youth, please see: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/19/BAKO11RO8C.DTL, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/01/MNR211HGVL.DTL, and http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/04/MN2I11JNUE.DTL.

press_advisory_press-conference-and-rally-at-city-hall-tuesday-july-29th



8 Things Young Filipinos can do to Help the Philippines by Paul Rivera
July 28, 2008, 7:44 am
Filed under: Community Outreach

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Bulletin, July 20,2008 (Sunday)

Is the Filipino youth apathetic and indifferent to the plight of our country? That is a question that I am often asked by my friends who seem to be frustrated with the seeming lack of concern and action from the Filipino youth. My answer to this question is simple, I don’t agree that young Filipinos don’t care anymore about our country, they want and can do something but they just don’t know how they can contribute positively in our society. In this regard, I’d like to share my own views of how young Filipinos can get involved in creating a better Philippines.

1.) Register and Vote in the upcoming 2010 National Elections. One of the major problems in our country today is our lack of effective and ethical leaders who will set aside their self-interest for the sake of the common good. In 2010, a great majority of Filipino voters will be aged between 18-35 years old thus, this is a perfect opportunity for young Filipinos to shape our country’s future by choosing the right leaders who will lead our country out of poverty. You can help encourage young Filipinos to register and vote by joining IamChange 2010, send an email to the organizers at kai.pastores@yahoo.com or you can contact them at (02) 426-5657.

2.) Keep yourself informed about what’s happening in our country. In a talk that I gave last summer to a group of college students, I asked them if they knew the different between the roles of a congressman and a mayor. 95% of them said no. This was disheartening since they were already college students studying at a prestigious university. If we really care about our country, we should make a conscious effort to know what is happening around us by reading the newspaper, watching the news or simply taking time to visit websites that contain news about the Philippines.

3.) Harness the power of the Internet to share your sentiments about issues in our country. With the rapid growth of social networking sites and blogs, young Filipinos are now able to easily share their opinions and views with the rest of the world. This can be an effective means of sharing with your friends your views about different issues in our country and by doing so you can help generate more awareness and concern about particular issues and advocacies that need to be pushed for the betterment of our society. If you have time, visit my blog at http://filipinochangemaker.blogspot.com .

4.) Share your books with public school students. The state of Education in our country is in a crisis. We have students who reach high school without even learning how to comprehend a Grade 3 textbook. This problem is compounded by the fact that less than 15% of our public elementary schools have adequate and functional libraries. How can we teach students to read if they don’t have books that they can read? If you want to donate books or start a book drive for our public schools, you can get in touch with AHON Foundation by sending an email to ahonfoundation@gmail.com or calling (02) 683-0262 local 109.

5.) When you go abroad or meet foreigners, share nice things about the Philippines. If you watch CNN or BBC, there are advertisements wherein countries showcase their beautiful places and encourage tourists to come and visit. This is being done since tourism can be a major driver in the economy and development of a country since it not only brings in dollars to the country but it also provides livelihood opportunities for the local communities. Given the meager budget we have to promote our country abroad, we can help by sharing nice things about the Philippines when we meet foreigners and through this we are able to encourage them to take time to visit our country’s most beautiful places and enjoy the world famous Filipino hospitality.

6.) If you can, don’t leave the country. Many of our best minds like our teachers are leaving the country in search of better opportunities and the effects are already showing in our public schools where there is a lack of highly skilled English, Math and Science Teachers. I totally understand and don’t blame those who come from very poor families which decide to work abroad to provide a better quality of life for their families, some of them may have no other choice than to leave. But for those that have a choice and live a relatively comfortable life here, then I hope you can consider staying and working here to contribute towards moving our country forward. For those who decide to leave, I hope you don’t forget to give back to the Philippines by helping send a poor but deserving student to school or sending books that our public school students can still use.

7.) Volunteer your time and Share your skills for causes that are bigger than yourself. According to studies on what makes people genuinely happy, being able to help and take part in causes that are bigger than yourself is one of the most fulfilling and happiest experiences. There are so many non-profit organizations and foundations that are currently doing their own share in helping change the Philippines but for them to reach more people and do more good work, they often need volunteers who can commit time to help in their activities. For example, Pathways to Higher Education-Philippines needs volunteer tutors who can commit 2-3 hours a week to help poor but deserving public high school students gain access to quality higher education. Another example is Museo Pambata which looks for volunteer tour guides and storytellers who can help in entertaining and educating children who visit the Museum. You can visit the Pathways website at http://www.pathwaysphilippines.org or call them at (02) 4266001 local 4048.

8.) Join advocacy groups that promote good governance in our country. According to a study made by the World Bank, the Philippines is one of the most corrupt countries in Asia wherein billions of pesos are lost every year due to rampant graft and corruption in our government. These billions of pesos could’ve been used to build homes for the poor, provide quality healthcare to the sick and build enough public school classrooms for the Filipino youth but instead they money just goes to the pockets of a few elite families which govern our country. It is no wonder why the poor remain poor in the country while those in power continue to drive around our streets in their brand new luxury vehicles. In order for us to achieve genuine and lasting reforms in our country, we need to work together to promote greater transparency and accountability in our government leaders. If you are interested to volunteer and join the fight against corruption, you can join TEAM RP by sending an email to team.rp.official@gmail.com .

Insights and comments are welcome at harveykeh@gmail.com. Please feel free to post this in your blogs or share it with your friends. Let us all work together for a Better Philippines!

http://twitter.com/harveykeh



FBANC Legal Clinic, July 29, 2008 by Paul Rivera
July 28, 2008, 7:31 am
Filed under: Community Outreach

FBANC and the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center (PBRC) are holding a free legal clinic on Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at the PBRC, 2121 Junipero Serra Blvd in Daly City. Please see the attached flyer for more details. If you are an attorney or law student and would like to volunteer, please contact Rhean Fajardo at rhean.fajardo@gmail.com.

fbanc-legal-clinic-flyer-july-29-20081



‘No immediate way’ Supreme Court tells Marcos ‘victims’ by Paul Rivera
July 23, 2008, 4:48 pm
Filed under: News

[via Philippine News]

Published: June 18, 2008 | Author: Emmanuel Tipon

There is “no immediate way to recover on its judgment against Marcos,” the U.S. Supreme Court told the alleged 9,539 “victims” of human rights abuses during the Marcos regime in a decision rendered on June 12, 2008. Republic of the Philippines v. Pimentel, No. 06-1204.In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos incorporated Arelma under Panamanian law. Arelma deposited $2 million with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, a stockbroker. As of 2000, the account had grown to about $35 million. After Marcos left the Philippines in 1986, many alleged victims of human rights abuses during his regime filed a class action (Pimentel class) against him in the U.S. District Court in Hawaii.

When we visited Marcos, we asked if he was going to fight the case. “Baybayamon (Never mind),” he replied. He did not sound like the Marcos we knew. He thought that their case was weak and it would take years for them to testify. He said that he did not even know these people, so why would he violate their rights. He indicated that there might be some people who could make a plausible case against him but were not among the complainants. We later learned that the lawyers who had approached him were asking for a large amount of money which he apparently did not have at his disposal.

The claimants obtained a judgment of nearly $2 billion. See Hilao v. Estate of Marcos, 103 F.3d 767 (CA9 1996).The Estate of Roger Roxas and Golden Buddha Corp. also filed an action against Marcos’ widow, Imelda, and obtained a judgment against her. See Roxas v. Marcos, 89 Haw. 91, 969 P.2d 1209.

These claimants sought to enforce their judgments by attaching the Arelma assets held by Merrill Lynch. In order to determine the rightful owner of the assets, Merrill Lynch filed an interpleader action in the U.S. District Court in Hawaii. Named defendants were, among others, the alleged “victims,” Arelma, the Republic of the Philippines, the Philippine Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG), and the PNB which held some of the assets in escrow.The Republic and the PCGG claimed a right to the assets based on a 1955 Philippine law, R.A. 1379, “An Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Any Property Found to Have Been Unlawfully Acquired by Any Public Officer or Employee and Providing for the Proceedings Therefor.”

The Republic and the PCGG moved to dismiss the action or transfer it to a proper venue, and asked that the Judge recuse himself. The Judge denied their motions. They filed another motion to dismiss raising sovereign immunity. The Judge granted the motion but allowed the action against the “victims” to proceed, over the objection of the Republic and the PCGG. They appealed to the Court of Appeals. It affirmed the District Court, holding that the action could proceed without the Republic and the PCGG, and furthermore they would not prevail on their claims anyway.

Reversing the Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court held that it erred by giving insufficient weight to the foreign sovereign status of the Republic and the PCGG, and in discounting the merits of their claim. The Supreme Court told the appellate court to order the District Court to dismiss the interpleader action. Thus, the assets remain in the possession of Merrill Lynch, with its rightful ownership undetermined.

DISTRICT JUDGE’S IMPARTIALITY QUESTIONED

Two Justices of the Supreme Court said that the Court of Appeals should order the case reassigned to a different District Judge to conduct further proceedings. They noted that the Republic and PCGG had advanced a factual basis for suspecting that the District Judge’s impartiality could be questioned. The Judge, with a Spanish surname, is permanently assigned in Los Angeles. Observers have wondered why a Judge from Los Angeles has to come to Hawaii to conduct the Marcos trial when there are 4 U.S. District Judges in Hawaii.

The two Justices found that the Judge summoned an attorney representing Merrill Lynch to a meeting in chambers in Los Angeles on September 11, 2000, after learning that the Republic and the PCGG sought to obtain the Arelma funds from Merrill Lynch. The Judge directed Merrill Lynch to file an interpleader action before him in Hawaii and to deposit the Arelma funds with the court, despite the attorney’s argument that New York would likely be the more appropriate forum. Merrill Lynch filed the interpleader on September 14, 2000. The Judge sealed the file, making it difficult for other parties to determine the status of the proceedings.

The Justices noted that the Judge had said that the Republic and the Commission were not “real parties in interest,” and when the Court of Appeals ordered him to stay the proceedings, he did so, but vacated the stay within months, thus increasing “concern about the possibility that the District Judge would not fairly consider the Republic’s position on the merits.”

The Justices concluded: “These actions bespeak a level of personal involvement and desire to control the Marcos proceedings that create at least a colorable basis for the Republic and the Commission’s concern about the District Judge’s impartiality.”

WHAT IS THE SANDIGANBAYAN DOING?

The Supreme Court noted that in 1991, the PCGG asked the Sandiganbayan, a Philippine court with special jurisdiction over corruption cases, to declare forfeited to the Republic any property Marcos had obtained through misuse of his office. That litigation is still pending.

The Supreme Court indicated that the Sandiganbayan’s decision – whether or not the Republic and the Commission have a right to the Marcos assets – would determine what course of action would be available to the alleged human rights “victims”.

WHO ARE THE 9,539 “VICTIMS”?

Will all these “victims” come out in the open and publish their names? If they can prove that Marcos victimized them, there is someone who can help them.



YFPA “First Wednesdays” Networking Mixer – Aug. 6 by Paul Rivera
July 23, 2008, 4:49 am
Filed under: Networking & Events

412 Emerson St
Palo Alto, California 94301

Want to increase your professional and social network?

Want to share your ideas, opinions and opportunities with other professionals?

Want to make a valuable difference in the Filipino professional community?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES, join us at the August 6th Young Filipino Professionals Association (YFPA) “First Wednesdays” Networking Mixer, from 6:00PM-8:30PM, where you can connect, educate and serve with other professionals like yourself in a social and casual atmosphere.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to:
* Meet YFPA’s friends from Hyphen Magazine and the Filipino Google Network…yes, that Google!
* Explore wonderful downtown Palo Alto, shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, bars, food, people and bars!
* Further promote YFPA and foster professional connections, ideas, and expertise to support and engage young Filipino professionals in the greater San Francisco Bay Area…including Palo Alto/Peninsula!

YFPA in partnership with Hyphen Magaznine and Filipino Google Network is the hosting the networking mixer in Palo Alto at Bistro 412. This groundbreaking partnership will build bridges between young professionals in the Filipino and Asian American community. Don’t miss it!

[PARKING]
Street Parking
Palo Alto Cal Train (The station is a 5-minute short walk from the venue)

[ONLINE NETWORKING MIXER]
Can’t make it to the venue? No problem. Visit http://www.yfpa.org/network/

[COST]
This event is FREE for currently registered YFPA members. For others, YFPA will be accepting a small cover charge of $5.00.

[RSVP]
http://www.amiando.com/yfpa_20080806

We look forward to meeting you and don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Young Filipino Professionals Association
We are a network of young Filipino professionals ranging from from all business backgrounds in the arenas of the arts, education, finance, health, law, media and technology–coming together to connect, educate and serve with fellow professionals.

Hyphen Magazine
Hyphen is a national magazine for urban, in-the-know Asian Americans. Covering arts, culture and politics in a provocative voice, Hyphen has become a media must for savvy Asian Americans. With an award-winning design and fresh perspectives that go beyond identity issues, Hyphen covers the artists and change-makers who are shaping what it means to be Asian American. http://www.hyphenmagazine.com

Filipino Google Network
The Filipino Google Network is an emerging network of cutting edge technologists and community activists. We bring connect employees at Google with variety of social and professional activities.