By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Sept. 26, 2014
LOS ANGELES – President Benigno Aquino III is back home after his Europe and US working visits. But some Filipinos are not happy he chose to stop by a gun shop and a hamburger joint in San Francisco, instead of meeting the Fil-Am community.
“He was already there and he have time to visit a gun store to satisfy his hobby. He’s able to satisfy his stomach by going into In-N-Out but the community was never given any sense to be with the president,” Dr. Orlando Cagampan of Los Angeles said.
Aquino’s failure to meet with Fil-Ams has been met with criticism, especially in Los Angeles, home to the largest Filipino American population which was never part of his itinerary.
“At least, if there is one group that should complain about being snubbed, it’s Los Angeles,” Arturo Garcia of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) said.
While a few have had a chance to see Aquino in Los Angeles during a 2012 visit, FACLA has been trying to invite the President to visit the FACLA Hall, which is believed to be one of his father, Ninoy Aquino’s last public stops before his assassination.
“Inisip natin ng pangalan ito AMA na papalanganan itong FACLA Ninoy Aquino central ng Kalayaan or Ninoy Aquino freedom center Hindi na sagot ng email ko. Kung para dumaan sya sa lugar to,” Austin Baul, president of FACLA, said.
But with the President touting a productive trip, securing billions worth in pledges, some say it’s understandable if he wasn’t able to meet with the community during the five day working trip.
“The most important thing here is you have completed your mission. After your mission you should have time for your own personal thing also. Maybe go for a tour go visit a friend, relatives,” Dr. Veronico Agatep of FACLA said.
With President Aquino scheduled to term out in 2016, there is still some optimism that the president will find time to visit US-based Filipinos before he leaves office.