Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Gov. Marcos due to
meet with Lingle

» Agenda includes Oahu and Maui

The son of the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was expected to arrive today to sign an agreement with Gov. Linda Lingle to strengthen ties between Ilocos Norte province and Hawaii.

Ferdinand "Bong Bong" Marcos Jr., who is serving a second term as governor of Ilocos Norte, will sign a sister state-province agreement to promote trade, agriculture, tourism and health.

"Both governors stressed they don't want this to be a paper agreement. They are looking for action where there is mutual sharing and exchange for economic and social purposes," said Bob Awana, Lingle's chief of staff and part of a 34-member delegation from Hawaii that visited the province last month. Others included Reps. Felipe "Jun" Abinsay, Michael Magaoay and Dennis Arakaki.

Marcos will also meet with Mayor Mufi Hannemann and members of the Filipino community on Oahu and Maui during his visit.

His trip to Hawaii includes a court-ordered appearance before U.S. District Judge Manual Real on Monday relating to human-rights litigation targeting his father's estate.

Real is presiding over a class-action lawsuit filed by 9,539 Filipinos who won a $2 billion judgment against the Marcos estate in 1995. In a court order filed last week, Marcos was directed to "make no public statements, appearances or press conferences" regarding the litigation.

In December the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a previous ruling by Real freezing assets of the late Philippine president that are being held in the Philippines and in banks around the world.

The Marcos family was exiled to Hawaii in 1986 after Ferdinand Marcos was toppled in a "people power" revolt.

The Marcoses' presence divided the Filipino community and spurred protests against him from supporters of Corazon Aquino, who became president of the Philippines after Marcos.

Most Filipinos in the state are from the Ilocos region, Marcos' home.

In 1989, Marcos died in Hawaii at age 72.

After nearly two decades, some community leaders say the anti-Marcos sentiment and division in the Filipino community have died down.

"It's been 20 years," said Belinda Aquino, political science professor and director of the Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. "It sort of waned."

Though the anti-Marcos sentiment has become less prominent over the years, Aquino, a supporter of Corazon Aquino (no relation), noted that complete healing has yet to take place. "Nothing has been given to the families of the human-rights victims. That's our lingering issue," she said.

Longtime Marcos supporter Jose "Joe" Lazo contends that a majority of the Filipino community continues to support the Marcos family. "As far as I'm concerned, the support for the Marcos family is still solid as it has been. ... The U.S. government has not proven anything against the Marcos family."

Dean Alegado, chairman of the UH Ethnic Studies Department, noted the dissent caused by the Marcoses has all but disappeared because the Filipino community members are now more focused on politics in Hawaii than in their native country.

"The Filipino people in Hawaii have really developed politically and socially," he added. "There is a lot more unity."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Agenda includes events
on Oahu and Maui

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. plans several public appearances:

>> Marcos and Gov. Linda Lingle will sign a sister state-province agreement at 1:30 p.m. today in the governor's fifth-floor office at the state Capitol.

>> He will meet with the community at the Filipino Community Center at 94-428 Mokuola St. in Waipahu from 5 to 10 p.m. tomorrow.

>> He will meet with the Filipino community at the "Filipino-American Day" event to be held at Kapiolani Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Lingle will welcome Marcos at the bandstand between 1 and 2 p.m.

>> Marcos will attend a 9:30 a.m. service Sunday at Iglesia ni Cristo at 94-60-A Kinney Place in Waipahu. Later that day, he is expected to travel to Maui to meet with Mayor Alan Arakawa and the Filipino community at the War Memorial Gymnasium at 1580 Kaahumanu Ave. in Wailuku from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

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