So finishes with victory but settles for tie for second


Bipartisan bill to recognize and pay Filipino World War II filed

U.S. Senator Dean Heller
By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – A U.S. senator from Nevada has joined forces with two other legislators and introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that will establish a process for all eligible Filipino veterans to be compensated for their services during World War II.
Dean Heller, a Republican, and Democrat Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York), filed the bipartisan legislation on Jan. 15 called the Filipino Promise Act.
It is intended to recognize Filipino veterans not included in official lists to be paid for their services to the United States during the war.
. “Since my first days in the Senate, I have fought for this legislation because of its importance to the Filipino community. That’s why I take great pride in this bill,” Heller said.

Heller and Hirono filed  the Filipino Veterans Promise Act for the first time in 2013 as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual federal law specifying the budget of the US Department of Defense

“The Act. would provide Filipino WWII veterans a process to prove that they indeed served and are eligible for the benefits they’ve been promised,” en. Hirono aid in a statement.

After World War II, the US Army created the Approved Revised Reconstructed Guerrilla Roster of 1948, also known as the “Missouri List,” based on those who sought an got health care benefits.

The list has been used by the military to verify the soldiers who fought alongside US troops in the Philippines.

Heller an other legislator believe that some Filipino veterans were not included in the list and therefore denied benefits.

In 2009, as one of the first acts of President Obama, the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC)—a $198-million fund was approved under the American Reinvestment Act.

A one-time lump sum payments of $15,000 were paid to each Filipino World War II veteran, who were US citizens or permanent residents.

Veterans living in the Philippines were given $9,000 each.

More than 41,000 claims were filed under the one-time payment program. Of those, le than half, or only 12,600 were found eligible for benefits.

“Filipino veterans made huge sacrifices for America during World War II. They fought side by side with US troops and put their lives on the line, to preserve and protect our democracy,”  Rep. Meng said.

“We must immediately right this wrong and provide Filipino veterans with the benefits that they have been owed for far too long.”


So crushes Croatian grandmaster, stays half-point behind Carlsen

So vaults to No. 6 in the world rankings

So grabs share of second place in Tata Steel

Bail denied for killer of Fil-Am employee

Jin Ackerman in court

Jin Ackerman in court

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS — Bail has been denied, at least for now, for a suspected robber who killed  a  Filipino- American worker of a local pharmacy a day after Christmas.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joseph Sciscento has set another bail hearing on Jan 21 on defense attorney Tom Pitaro’s petition to allow the suspect, Jin William Young Ackerman II, to be free pending trial..

Pitaro argued that the 25-year-old Ackerman is not a flight risk and should be set free. He added that his client has no criminal record and plans to plead not guilty to charges against him.

In the meantime, Sciscento ordered Ackerman to remain in county jail, pending the second bail hearing.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 3 to determine if there’s enough evidence for Ackerman to stand trial in state court for the death of 58-year-old Antonino Isnit.

He is charged with murder with a deadly weapon, four counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, four counts of kidnapping with a deadly weapon and two counts of burglary with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors say they may seek the death penalty.

A security video showed Ackerman at the store during the Dec. 26 robbery, police said.

Initial police investigation showed that Ackerman robbed the store, a Walgreens pharmacy on Cheyenne Avenue and Durango Drive during the early morning hours.

Isnit, who was working the graveyard shift, reportedly knew the robber, who worked at the store before.

Another employee, a female, was forced to open the store’s safe, but was not hurt. Ackerman shot Isnit, “because he knows me,” according to police reports.

Detectives who arrived at the scene found 11 9mm shell casings near Isnit’s body.

Ackerman, who reportedly was fired in another Walgreens store in 2013, took between $5,000 and $7,000 in cash, police reports said.


So performing well against best chess players in the world

Chess grandmaster Wesley So (left) plays against world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Chess grandmaster Wesley So (left) plays against world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – Wesley So was so tested – and he passed. With flying colors!

Against the top chess players in the world, the Bacoor-born So scored 2 points in the toughest stretch of the Tata Steel super-tournament in Wjk ann Zee, the Netherlands.

With Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world champion, So earned a draw. He then beat Levon Aronian, the tournament’s defending champion, and No. 5 in the world.

Against Fabiano Caruana of Italy, No. 2, in the world, he scored a draw. With the two points, the 21-year-old Filipino, now playing under the U.S. flag, maintained a tie for fourth to fifth places, but more importantly, he showed he belonged among the best in the world.

” I’m so happy. These are good results,” said So in an interview with Chessdom. com.

The three-round stretch, from the second to the fourth, was a tough one for So, who has decided to drop out of college and turn full-time chess professional.

In the second round against Carlsen, the No. 1 in the world, he had a fighting chance to win, which the Norwegian acknowledged.

“I was outplayed in the middle game,” Carlsen said. “He’s a good player.” He said he was happy to earn the draw after 34 moves of an English opening by repetition of moves.

” It was a comfortable game,” So said of his first-ever match against Carlsen. ” I’m happy he was not very ambitious in the opening.”

So said he appreciated the opportunity to play against the best in the world. “To become the best, you have to play against the best. But you have to be careful,” he said.

Against Aronian, So played a wild game by grandmasters standard, engaging in back-and-forth slugfest like boxers with little care for protection of their kings.

Wesley So shakes hand with Levon Aronian

Wesley So shakes hand with Levon Aronian

Aronian blundered a piece away, and So sustained the advantage to force the rmenian grandmaster to resign after 54 moves of a Scotch Opening.

Last year, Aronian badly beat So on the way to capturing the title, and this year’s third-round result was sweet revenge for the Filipino.

” Aronian was human after all,” said So.

It was the second major upset of the third round. Carlsen bowed to Radoslaw Wojtaszek, in another revenge of sorts. Wojtaszek acted as a second to Vishy Anand in his world championship match against Carlsen.

Playing black against Caruana, So played cautiously and simply waited for his opponents to make the bold moves.

But after only 31 moves, the two agreed to a draw, preserving their unbeaten records.

After a rest day Wednesday, So will play against Yifan Hou of China, the women’s world champion.

Wesley is realizing his strength now. It’s all mental,” said Susan Polgar, So’s former coach at Webster University, in a Facebook posting.
Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana.

Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana.