Friday, July 04, 2008

US Ambassador picks up Erwin's sad story

The amiable US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney paid a visit to the Negros Chronicle and DYEM-FM radio station in Dumuguete early this week.
She came from a speaking engagement in Sillman University and went straight to DYEM-FM studio for a chance to speak directly to the people of Dumaguete.
She was interviewed by station owner Ely P. Dejaresco.
It was an opporunity to bring up to the good ambassador,the sad fate that befell the late city prosecutor Erwin P. Cabanag.
Because of an initial denial of his US visa application, Cabanag, who was then diagnosed of having leukemia, wasn't able to participate in a protocol in a US hospital, that would have brought about positive developments in the continuing research about the adult leukemia.
The ambassador assured she will look into the matter.
But as I understand, those screening applications for US visas are given almost absolute discretion in deciding whether or not to grant an application.
I am not sure if their factual evaluation of applicants is subject to review or appeal.
Anyway, it just appears to many that it was an erroneous exercise of judgment in denying initially Erwin's application for US visa.
Erwin's case was far more meritorious than many other applications that are granted even if the purpose is merely to have a vacation.
What we hope from the US embassy is a more humane consideration of applications of similar nature in the future.
After all, the purpose of Erwin's trip to the United States was for the benefit not only of Filipinos, or Americans, but for the human race.
Erwin was just courageous to consent to what I would really describe as an experiment where he was to be a "guinea pig".
I knew of one (also having cancer) who had to give up being a "guinea pig" in a medical experiment because he just couldn't cope with the rigors of such an exercise.
We hope to hear a word from the good ambassador.

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