On September 21st, I was invited by the Asian American Law Students Association at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida to be one of their forum speakers. With me in the forum were Professor Dorothea Bean Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law specializing in International Court and Human Rights, and General Cresencio Maralit a retired general of the Philippine National Police who flew all the way from Maryland to be one of the forum panelist. I also learned that General Maralit was the grandfather of the 23 year old Filipino-American Mathew Ceriale, president of the Asian America Law Student Association who hosted the forum and our briefing dinner at Havana Cafe the night before. The forum was all about the Philippines attended by law students who wanted to know about the Philippines, it’s laws and of course Duterte. I was asked by the forum moderator to open the forum by telling the students all about the Phippines, it’s history, cultures and traditions. I also gave a short informative introduction on the statistics of Filipinos in Tampa and Florida and about the Philippine Cultural Foundation, Inc. (PCFI) whom I was representing in this forum. Then Professor Bean was given the floor by the moderator and spoke about how the international court operates and why Duterte and the Philippines has not been investigated for his Judicial killings and other abnormalities. But also explained how the International Court is watching what is happening in the Philippines very carefully. Then it was General Maralit’s turn to speak. The former general gave everyone an introduction on how the Philippine National Police (PNP) was formed and how it is related to military and how they operate under President Duterte. Then it was the students turn to ask questions to the panelists. Overall, the law students who attended the forum got to learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Philippines, and about the relation of the International Court to the Philippines and how the PNP and the Philippine Military operates and where President Duterte stands in the minds of the law students at Stetson University College of Law. After the forum Philippine food was served to everyone. Also in attendances was Mr. Ayondale Tan, President of the Student Bar Association of Stetson University College of Law who to my surprise is a Filipino who spoke Tagalog though born in the US.
Article by Joey Omila