On sex allegations vs Mayor Bob Filner, community ‘shocked and saddened’

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a friend of the FilAm community

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, a friend of the FilAm community

By Maricar CP Hampton

Before he became the embattled San Diego mayor who is at the center of sexual harassment charges, Bob Filner was a congressman from California’s 51st district who was a staunch supporter of Filipino war veterans. Filner was among the congressional leaders who shepherded the passage of the veterans equity law, which provided compensation for Filipinos veterans in the U.S. and the Philippines, his Joker-like rubbery grin a regular at press release photos he shares with elderly Filipinos.

With allegations hounding Filner that he made “unwanted sexual advances” toward seven women, including his communications director, the Democratic mayor is weighing his options: to resign or to stay on after undergoing therapy. Irene McCormack Jackson, his former publicist, said in court documents that Filner “asked her to work without panties, demanded kisses, told her he wanted to see her naked.”

Filner said he plans to enter a behavior-counseling clinic for two weeks of therapy, but that he will be back at work.

The Filipino American community weighs in.

Eric Lachica
Executive director, American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, Inc.

We are sad and disappointed that Filner is facing all these accusations. We worked with him since 1996. So we were shocked when we learned about it and we were hoping that the accusations are not true. It might be easier for him to bow out gracefully and solve his emotional and metal situation. We are hoping that he makes the right decision whether he can still serve, whether he has enough moral authority and political support to be able to run one of the biggest cities in the U.S.

Jon Melegrito
Communications director, National Federation of Filipino American Associations

While Mayor Filner’s behavior is inexcusable, he will always be remembered for his hard work and commitment to the cause of Filipino World War II veterans. We wish him well as he seeks treatment and we pray that he will recover and continue his excellent record of public service.

Bing Branigin
Community leader

We are saddened by the fact he did not conduct himself to the moral high ground as a public official. It’s an inexcusable violation against women, but we should also remember his kind dedication and hard work in helping the Filipino veterans get their benefits.

Nanette Carreon
Community leader, Philippine American Foundations for Charities Inc.

His behavior is not acceptable. Mayor Filner should resign immediately. I feel that the allegations against him will not help him accomplish anything and he is not in the position to lead San Diego at this time or not at all. He should undergo treatment for his personal well-being.

Filner with Filipino veterans. Photo by Bing Branigin

Filner with Filipino veterans. Photo by Bing Branigin

One Comment

  1. m.matthews wrote:

    I was quite shocked and sadden when I read in The New York Times about the allegation of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against former Congressman Bob Filner (current mayor of San Diego). Mayor Bob Filner has been one of the most avid supporter of the Filipino and Filipino-American veterans of World War Two-era in the USA House of Representative.

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