U.S. Congressman Commends Work Of Philippine National Hero

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – United States Congressman Mike Quigley paid tribute last Saturday, Sept. 10,  to Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal for bringing circumstances that led to Philippine Independence and by “doing it in a non-violent” way during the re-dedication ceremony of a block between 1300 and 1400 west along West Irving Park Road in the north side of Chicago, Illinois.

“What you need to appreciate of what the doctor did for the Philippines wasn’t just for the Philippines,” Rep. Quigley said in brief remarks prior to the re-unveiling of the honorary street sign. “What you need to appreciate is he was a free person. He blazed the path to justice involving fairness and independence that is a right for all countries in the world. … He did blaze the way for millions of people throughout the world.”

Aside from Rep. Quigley, the other guest at the re-dedication was Chicago’s 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar, who encouraged the Filipino American community to be active in the affairs of the city. Mr. Pawar is the first Asian American to be elected to the Chicago council.

The re-dedication ceremony was part of the year-round celebration around the City of Chicago to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, acknowledged as one of the greatest Malays in history.

It was during Rizal’s death centennial in 1996, when the same block was named in Dr. Rizal’s honor.

For his part, Philippine Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim thanked everybody “for praying that this event today would have a wonderful weather. For Rene Abella (president of the Filipino American Center of Greater Chicago), and the Knights of Rizal, you made yourself proud for having this re-dedication of this event near the home of the Rizal Center, home of many Filipinos, who cherish the memory of their homeland.”

Abella thanked the community members, who turned up at the re-dedication, inviting the community to visit the Rizal Center, the first home center of Filipinos in the U.S.

Dr. Ramon G. Lopez, the great grandnephew of Dr. Rizal, thanked those, who attended the re-dedication.

At the open forum that followed the re-dedication in the Rizal Center, Consul General Herrera-Lim appealed to community members to write letters to their two senators in Illinois and their respective U.S. congressmen to support “Save our Industries Act of 2011” bill or H.R. 2387 introduced by Rep. MacDermont [D-WA]. The bill would “provide duty-free treatment to a limited selection of goods (textile products) so that Philippine-based manufacturers would have the ability to offer a more complete product line to American brands and retailers.”

McDermott introduced the measure in the previous Congress – this year’s version which is co-sponsored by 12 Congressmen — includes changes to ensure integrity of where materials come from, also known as “sourcing.”

H.R. 2387 has been referred to Ways and Means Committee in the House.  The Senate companion bill, S. 105, introduced by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) is currently under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.

Alderman Pawar told the community members that with the city of Chicago suffering from a $700-million deficit, response by city hall personnel to some public services like grafittee removal and tree trimming would have to wait for 18 months before the city could act on such service requests.
Consul General Herrera-Lim encouraged Filipino Americans to apply for dual citizens, “for practical convenience and removal of hassle when they return to the Philippines. There is no taxation if income is not earned in the Philippines. They can become immigrant and can return to practice their profession and can buy real estate properties.”

Abella, on the other hand, encouraged Filipino immigrants to become U.S. citizens so they can exercise their right to vote in U.S. elections.(lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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