Fil-Am college students hope for progressive change from Duterte administration

CUPERTINO, Calif. – For a number of young Filipino-American college students, the recent forum on Rodrigo Duterte was their first opportunity to deepen their knowledge about the newly elected president of the Philippines.

Like many of their generation, they only knew of Duterte through the videos and articles found on their social media timelines.

With a month into the administration, these students found it necessary to learn about the new Philippine president because they say it is important to stay connected to their homeland.

Ian Carlo Macato of the Pilipino American Student Union at Stanford University said, “Everybody is watching the Philippines right now and seeing what ability he has for hope and change and I think what the duties are for young Filipino-Americans is to sort of rally together for interests as overseas Filipino-Americans because we are directly connected with the Philippines both economically and culturally.”

Aaron Orpilla of the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor at San Francisco State University added, “It’s really hard for me to find myself as a Filipino-American. To know what is happening in the Philippines and to relate it back to what’s happening here I feel it helps you find a sense of self and also with your community and the Philippines as well.”

With Duterte’s war on drugs, these young Fil-Ams say that it is a good sign that he is following through on his campaign promises.

They also plan to hold him accountable for his commitment to overseas Filipinos.

Michael Tayag of PAWIS said, “For overseas Filipinos I think it’s really important again to end contractualizations, to address and reduce poverty in the Philippines, to really address the conditions that force to move abroad in the first place.”

While they may currently approve of Duterte, they say they will continue to monitor the president and push him to pass pro-people policies.

Macato said, “It’s necessary that Filipino-Americans show him support but to also keep a critical eye on the tactics and policies he’s instituting to ensure that human rights are upheld

Orpilla adds, “I definitely think there’s hope. To have a president to have dialogue with the people and for our people to hold him accountable for what he’s saying and to have that conclusive dialogue is really important.”

The students who attended this forum took notes and intend to share it with their Fil-Am organizations at their respective universities.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • h
    4 September 2016 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    This comment is for the Fil-Am college students, if you all feel that you should keep directly connected with the Philippines both economically and culturally, why you all should go back to the Philippines where you all belong, not here in America. Go back to Philippines and help the new president run his country. As true Americans we don’t need you all here in America. Go back where you all belong in Philippines.

  • Amboy
    20 September 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    How could you ecpect Duterte for a progressive change when he said he does not need help from US ? But he said he is willing to have bilateral talks with china and ready to buy arms from Russia and China.. That only means that he loves communist country than the west now….