editorial.issue.26

New York Fil-Am journalists in Pearl Farm Beach Resort in Samal Island, Philippines. At extreme right is L.P. Pelayo of the Filipino Reporter.


WE have been noticing that many Filipino-Americans, of late, have been traveling to Europe and elsewhere for vacation instead of the Philippines.

The common destinations, among others, are England, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Belgium and Dubai.

The same appears to be true with many Filipinos living and working in countries other than the U.S., like Greece, Australia and England.

Why is this happening?

The quiet reason is they are scared to visit their native country due to reported stories of killings by no less than its policemen.

This is not to mention the dreaded traffic problem in Metro Manila, which, is now referred to as the worst traffic problem in the world.

This development is most unfortunate because, otherwise, “there is more fun in the Philippines.”

In a recent PH survey, it was revealed that even Filipinos were apprehensive they, or relatives and friends, might become victims of police cruelty and brutality.

President Duterte is again talking of reverting his anti-drug campaign back to the Philippine National Police (PNP) after it was turned over to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which, slowed down the killings of suspected drug people.

Two months ago, the following was reported in a major newspaper in Manila and, in effect, around the world.

“Thirty-nine countries, including the United States, have expressed alarm over what they described as a rising “climate of impunity” in the Philippines as drug-related killings continue to increase.

“In a joint statement delivered by Iceland through representative Högni S. Kristjánsson last Thursday, the countries noted that the human rights situation in the Philippines continues to be of serious concern, particularly in the light of killings associated with the Duterte Administration’s war on drugs.”

The recent trip of 11 Filipino reporters from the greater New York area, sponsored and funded by the Philippine Consulate in New York, Department of Trade, Trade Promotions Board and Philippine Airlines, could not have been more timely.

Those reporters are now expected by their sponsors to write positive stories about the places they were shown by the private company that handled their eight-day stay and travel in the Philippines.

We are confident they will weigh in the things that could not be seen by the eyes.

That they will differentiate between “is” and “ought to be.”

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, no less, seemed to have implicitly acknowledged the need to address the present problem of negative image of the Philippines around the globe as he remarked last week when Ernesto Abella was named undersecretary of foreign affairs to handle strategic communications: “There is much work to be done in the international community.”

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