THE public reception area of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles was filled to the brim on Wednesday night (August 17) as Filipino-American business and community leaders and members of the media welcomed incoming Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz.
Cruz, who is embarking on a four-year term, will be serving areas in the US with the biggest concentrations of Filipino-Americans. He replaced Leo Herrera-Lim.
In a simple, “standing room” only reception, Cruz assured Filipino-American community leaders that the Philippine Consulate General will keep on working to provide quality services to its constituency.
The Consul General also called on the Filipino-American communities to help the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte achieve the goals that it has set forth. He mentioned the success of the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign, citing the estimated 500,000 drug users who supposedly surrendered in only three months since Duterte assumed office.
But Cruz said the government has to do more to keep the country marching into progress.
“The President (Duterte) cannot do it alone. Each of us, needs to do our part. In other words, we have to walk the talk,” Cruz told the crowd.
The event started promptly at 6 p.m. and because the building air-conditioning system has been turned off at the close of the office hours, the temperature at the reception area rose up and caused many of the guests, some of them even wearing suits, to perspire and comment about the room temperature.
Later on, during a brief huddle with the media, Cruz said the friendship between the United States and Philippines will remain strong despite what he called “challenges” that have transpired between the two countries — one of them happened just recently.
“Honestly, I don’t think it will have a negative impact on our bilateral relations (with the US),” Cruz added.
The Philippine consul general was pressed to comment on the spat between President Duterte and former US Ambassador Philip Goldberg which caused the US State Department to summon Philippine charge d’affaires Patrick Chuasoto last week.
Elizabeth Trudeau, director of the State Department press office, said Chuasoto was called to explain Duterte’s “inappropriate comments.”
Duterte has openly called Goldberg “gay” and “a son of a bitch.”
The Philippine president got mad at Goldberg when the diplomat, together with other members of the diplomatic community, called him out for making a joke about the rape and murder of an Australian missionary during a 1989 Davao City prison riot.
Among those who called out Duterte was Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely who posted on Twitter that rape and murder should never be trivialized.
Meanwhile, going back to Cruz’s qualification as consul general, the Philippine Consulate General website said Cruz is a “career officer of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.”
“He served as Vice Consul then Consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago from 1997 to 2003; in the United Arab Emirates as First Secretary and Consul from March 2007 to December 2009; First Secretary and Consul General from December 2009 to November 2010; Minister and Consul General from December 2010 to April 2011 at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi; in the People’s Republic of China as Consul General from April 2011 to November 2013 at the Philippine Consulate General, Xiamen; and, as Charge d’ Affaires, e.p. from June 2014 to June 2016 at the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli, Libya.
Consul General Cruz holds a B.A. in Political Science degree from the University of the Philippines and units in law from the Ateneo de Manila.”
“He has strategic vision and extensive experience in Crisis Management.”
“In the Philippines, he previously served in the Department of Foreign Affairs in various capacities, such as Acting Director in the Office of Protocol and State Visits; Acting Director in the Office of American Affairs, and Executive Director of the Office of Protocol and State Visits.”
The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles serves Southern California covering the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, and San Luis Obispo; Southern Nevada covering the counties of Clark, Lincoln and Nye; State of Arizona (covering all counties); State of New Mexico (covering all counties); and State of Texas (covering all counties).
This report was published in the August 20, 2016 issue of Weekend Balita, a Filipino-American newspaper based in Los Angeles, California.