“America First is a fallacy” – Mexico’s president responds to Trump tariff threat

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2019   •   3522

“America First is a fallacy,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter on Thursday (May 30), responding to a White House announcement it was imposing a blanket 5% tariff on all goods from Mexico from June 10.

Lopez Obrador said he wanted to avoid confrontation with the United States and that ideals such as justice and universal brotherhood were more important than borders.

“President Trump: social problems are not resolved with taxes or coercive measures. How can you turn, from one day to the next, the country of fraternity with immigrants of the world into a ghetto, a closed space, where they are stigmatized, mistreated, persecuted, expelled, and cancel the right to justice of those who look to live free of misery through effort and work? The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol,” the letter read.

“With all respect, even though you have the sovereign right to say it, the slogan “America First” is a fallacy because even until the end of time, justice and universal fraternity will prevail above national borders,” Obrador said.

The Mexican president also ordered his foreign minister to travel to Washington on Friday (May 31).

Residents of Mexico City, meanwhile, expressed doubt that President Trump’s tariff threat would do anything to stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants through Mexico.

“It’s not going to work… it’s more of a social issue than an economic issue,” said Paula Sousa.

“I think it’s dangerous for both countries because there is definitely a very strong commercial relationship between them. And I don’t think it’s something that’s convenient for either nation since Mexico needs U.S. industry, just like U.S. industry needs Mexican labor,” said Miguel Angel Sanchez.

Earlier the same day, Mexico’s foreign ministry delivered the text of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to Mexico’s Senate for ratification. The President of Mexico’s Senate said the body would make the pact “a priority.” (REUTERS)

Afghanistan Crisis: OFWs escape to Dubai, Qatar with help from employers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Relatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Afghanistan confirmed with UNTV that their family members have reached Dubai safely after narrowly escaping the unrest in the Taliban-controlled country.

From Dubai, they are expected to return home to the Philippines soon.

On Tuesday (August 18), 35 Filipinos arrived in the Philippines from Afghanistan.

Based on records of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are around 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Joseph Glenn Gumpal, who acts as president of the Samahang Pilipino in Afghanistan, said 11 more Filipinos have already made it to Qatar with the help of their employers.

UNTV was able to get in touch with other stranded Filipinos in Afghanistan whose fates remain uncertain after a series of flight cancellations.

Among them is Rio Adrias, who confirmed that they are in constant communication with the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan which has jurisdiction over Filipinos in the Afghan country.

The only problem, Rio said, was that the chartered flight that they were supposed to board on Tuesday was canceled and they were told that they would need to take a commercial flight.

“Hindi pa rin po namin malaman kung kailan makakalapag ang eroplano dito sa Kabul kasi puno pa rin po ng tao ang Kabul airport. Hindi pa rin po lumilikas nasa 10,000 Afghan po ang naghihintay [na] doon na po natutulog,” she said.

Rio is one of the 24 Filipinos currently staying in a shelter some distance away from Kabul airport.

As for their personal needs, Rio said they still have enough supply for several days.

They also worry, however, for the safety of other Filipinos stranded in areas with no access to food and proper lodging.

“Sa pamilya ko, huwag kayong mag-alala ako’y nakakangiti pa pero ako’y naiiyak. Pero doon po sa gobyerno po natin sana po talaga una, matulungan nyo kaming mailikas talaga dito kaming lahat na gustong umuwi kasi talagang ang hirap,” Rio said asking for government support.

“Hindi safe. Hindi kami okay. Hindi namin ma-explain yung pakiramdam namin dito,” she added.

Rio said if she makes it back to the Philippines, she would never go back to Afghanistan.

All she asks for is a livelihood support from the Philippine government in recognition for their contribution to the country’s economy. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Mexico wins Miss Universe 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Andrea Meza of Mexico has been crowned as the 69th Miss Universe, besting 74 other contestants in the Miss Universe 2020 pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA on Monday, Philippine time.

The first runner-up is Brazil’s Julia Gama followed by Peru’s Janick Maceta as second runner-up.  India’s Adline Castelino and Dominican Republic’s Kimberly Perez became third runner-up and fourth runner-up respectively.

During the question and answer, Miss Mexico focused on changing beauty standards.

“We live in a society that more and more is more than advanced, and as we advance as a society, we’ve also advanced with stereotypes,” she said. “Nowadays beauty isn’t only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirit, but in our hearts and the way that we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you’re not valuable.”

Andrea Meza has a degree in software engineering. She is also an activist, focused on women’s rights and inclusion. She has also been part of a global charity association raising funds in India, Indonesia and China for the downtrodden. Aside from being an activists she also practices crossfit and extreme sports. AAC

MCGI brings hope in a time of pandemic; gives away free food, goods to the poor

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of the life and legacy of Brother Eli Soriano, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) set up a week-long public service to Filipinos and foreign beneficiaries in its various chapters in the Philippines and abroad.

The project entitled, “The Legacy Continues” is a tribute to Brother Eli’s unrelenting service to the poor and those in need during his lifetime.

The week-long celebration ran from April 4 to 10 and served thousands of beneficiaries here and abroad.

First among its public services is the MCGI Free Store where recipients can get their basic needs for free.

“Minsan kapag tinitignan mo parang imposible na mayroong ganun na manlilibre. Lahat nga tayo natamaan ng pandemya pero despite of that, itong MCGI ay gumawa pa rin ng paraan para at least kahit papaano makatulong sa mga nangangailangan,” said beneficiary Jerry Lingaling.

Among the beneficiaries are persons with disability (PWDs), persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) and people of all ages, from all walks of life across the globe.

“I am actually surprised that there is such an organization.. It’s such a better world if everyone is willing to cooperate together,” said Aaron Quay, a Malaysian location/event planner in Kuala Lumpur who helped MCGI Malaysia chapter in organizing the event.

The project set the social media abuzz with images, videos and testimonies of recipients sharing their heartwarming experiences inside the MCGI Free Store.

One of them is Ederlinda Clariza who said it was her first time to experience shopping. Her image was captured by netizen Heidee Baderamos.

Pasensya na hindi ako Marunong mag grocery
First time ko kasi ito

Simula maliit anak ko yung gatas nya sa tindahan…

Posted by Heidee R Balderamos on Friday, April 9, 2021

Netizen Josie Carl Le Blanc posted on his social media page that he left his house with only a P20-bill in his wallet but was grateful to go home with a bag full of free items from the MCGI Free Store.

Bente lang laman ng wallet ko, pero binigyan ako ni Lord ng libreng grocery 🥰

Thankyou
Dating Daan
#FREESTORE
Thankyou 😘😘
Mark Kabigting Cenizal
Lea Lizli-an Libaste Amper

Posted by Josiecarl Leblanc on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Meanwhile, frontline medical workers of the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City also took part in the initiative.

Instead of keeping the food packs from MCGI for themselves, they chose to give them to their patients.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa MCGI Feeding Program kasi napakasarap ang tumulong lalo sa mga maliliit, sa mga less fortunate na katulad ng mga in-patient natin,” said Esther dela Cruz, the Center’s assistant chief dietician.

An Unexpected Reunion

Sa mga taong nag ppm po sakin, pasensya na at di ko po kayo maisa-isa. salamat sa Dios kasama na ni Kuya Frederick ang…

Posted by Kath C. Calibayan on Saturday, April 10, 2021

Netizen Kath Calibayan posted the heartwarming story of a homeless beneficiary who was able to reunite with his loved ones after his photo at the feeding program led to a way back home.

Kath received a text message from the man’s relatives after she posted his picture receiving a food pack from MCGI.

Kath’s posts showed the man’s new look after he was reunited with his family.

 

In Service to Humanity

From April 4 to 10, the MCGI was able to render the following services in the Philippines and abroad (as of April 11, 2021):

MCGI FREE STORE
(Recipients may shop for free items they need from the store.)

Beneficiaries – 77,558
Locations – 2,030

MCGI FEEDING PROGRAM
(Recipients receive free food packs prepared by MCGI Volunteers)

Number of Food Packs released – 634,063
Locations – 7,484

WISH GRANTING AND TABLET REQUESTS
(MCGI grants free tablets for online classes and small livelihood packages by request)

Beneficiaries – 1,200

MCGI FREE POTABLE WATER PROJECT
(MCGI installs free water pump in remote communities in the Philippines and abroad)

Beneficiaries

Philippines
Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Brgy. Daraitan Tanay, Rizal
Brgy. Tubuan, Pila, Laguna
Brgy. Aplaya, Pila, Laguna
Brgy. Gabong Pook, Pila, Laguna
Bato, Camarines Sur

Abroad

Cordon Ecologico, Sta. Cruz, Bolivia
Pueblo Viejo, Colombia
Profam sector 1 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Profam sector 2 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Profam sector 3 Yura, Arequipa-Perú
Talanga, Honduras

The week-long activity is just the start for Members, Church of God International (MCGI) as it is brewing more genuine charity works through its servant Brother Daniel Razon.

“Salamat po sa Dios, sa isang buong taon ng Kanyang pag iingat sa atin at sa pag gabay din sa atin dito sa ating Serbisyong Bayanihan. Pero hindi po dito nagtatapos ang ating paggawa dahil sa awa’t tulong po ng Panginoon, atin pong ipagpapatuloy ang pag abot sa ating mga kapwa tao may pandemya man o wala,” said Kuya Daniel.

“Gaya po ng aral na itinawid sa atin ni Bro. Eli Soriano na gumawa ng mabuti sa lahat with God’s help and mercy Bro. Eli’s legacy of hope, faith and most especially love will continue through the good works of the Members of the Church of God International,” he concluded.

MCGI’s week-long public service activity was aired over UNTV and on the Internet through its official social media accounts.

 

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