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A Duty To Protest

Manila Times

Filipinos in California are mounting a signature campaign against “Act of Valor” a movie purportedly featuring real-life US Navy SEALs.

It cast Filipinos as terrorists: the movie opens with an improvised explosive device blowing scores of innocent children to smithereens and ends, perhaps too predictably, with the killing of all the Filipino terrorists in a tunnel.

A US Marine publication, reporting on their impending deployment in the Philippines , referred to the “alcohol and scantily-clad women” in Angeles City and Olongapo, as if these two towns that hosted America’s largest air and naval facilities outside the US are representative of the Philippines or its women.

Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha” observed that “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

The Philippine’s reputation was built longer than that indeed, America had a big role in sculpting that image but many of the stereotypes are no longer valid. Filipinos are a law-abiding, peace-loving people. Despite the heat and humidity, most Filipino women are not “scantily clad” as the US Marines may be wont to believe.

Filipinos in America have a duty to protect the image and integrity of the Philippines . “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,” Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel wrote, “but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” (RJJ)

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