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The February 2019 priority dates

Each month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes, in the Visa Bulletin, the priority dates for that particular month, for the various family and employment based categories. A priority date is a person’s “place in line” for a visa, meaning immigrant visas (or green cards) would be available …

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Letters from readers

During the past holidays, I received letters from readers that I feel are worth sharing with everyone. Dr. Lita Quebengco was the first woman and lay person to become Chancellor Emeritus. Eddie Yap is a certified public accountant by training, businessman by vocation and a concert impressario by avocation. He …

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PPP: Perennial Passport Problem

Even before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, I have already been hearing about numerous problems that people encounter when they apply for passports. It was even worse for applicants in the provinces because they had to endure long lines – with many of them sleeping on pavements outside DFA …

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Gluten-free diets related to high levels of arsenic, mercury

Individuals who adopt a gluten-free diet are putting themselves at risk for uncommonly high levels of arsenic and mercury, according to the findings of a recent study published in Epidemiology. “Despite (less than) 1% of Americans having diagnosed celiac disease, an estimated 25% of American consumers reported consuming gluten-free food …

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Bam: ‘Fight when hit hard, don’t quit’

CLARK FREEPORT – “So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit – It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.” That rallying call floated back from the trying days of Marcosian martial rule when Senator Bam Aquino spoke Friday with Capampangan media in their “Bale Balita” (House …

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A case of illegal arrest and a trumped-up charge

Almost a year after their warrantless arrest, detention and prosecution for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives, on Jan. 15 Rafael Baylosis and Roque Guillermo were ordered freed by a Quezon City court. Baylosis is a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the …

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An exile that became an opportunity

There are exiles and exiles. But this one is special because it was so unexpected. I’ve heard of Jaime Florcruz. He was an activist when I was a housewife taking care of babies. He, like many other young men, could be bunched together as rebels with a cause. A few …

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Can we still trust America?

The surveys continue to conclude that we trust the United States but we don’t trust China. For all the good will most of us feel towards America, it is time we subject this conclusion to further scrutiny. For sure, the best test of America as a trusted ally was when …

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Unclosed

Maia Deguito has been found guilty of money laundering relating to the bizarre theft-by-hacking of the Bangladesh Bank in the amount of $81 million. But the case could not be considered closed. So many questions remain on the table. No doubt about Deguito’s offense. As manager of the RCBC’s Jupiter …

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EDITORIAL – The rights of persons with HIV

The new year offered new hope for a segment of the population that has suffered discrimination for decades. Malacañang announced that President Duterte signed last month Republic Act 11166 – a law that was widely welcomed by persons living with HIV / AIDS and support groups. To this day, many …

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