Tuesday, April 11, 2017

'The Mason Brothers', a film by Keith Sutliff, opens in Hollywood with a red carpet premiere.

Tickets for "The Mason Brothers" will go on sale Tuesday, Apr 25th at 7pm.

The Mason Brothers opened with a star studded red carpet premiere at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood on April 11, 2017 and will be followed by a limited, multi-theater theatrical release beginning April 14 from KS Pictures. Digital, VOD and DVD releases will follow though the dates haven’t been announced yet.

A group of outlaws attempt to reveal their brothers killer from a neighboring gang after being set up during a bank heist.

THE MASON BROTHERS (2017) opens at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood with a red carpet premiere on April 11, 2017.

The Mason Brothers is a 2017 American crime drama film written, directed by and starring Keith Sutliff. It also stars Brandon Sean PearsonMatthew WebbTim ParkJulien Cesario, and Carlotta Montanari.

Felix 'Ver' Penaranda, a Fil-am photojournalist is part of the film as first assistant camera, gaffer, key grip, and lighting technician.



Music byFederico Vaona
CinematographyErrol Webber Jr.
Edited byGio Arias
Distributed byAdler & Associates
Release date
  • April 14, 2017
Running time
118 minutes


Monday, February 27, 2017

Vote Straight 'Healthcare Justice Team'

Dory Machica
Running for Kaiser Ethics Officer
Kaiser Division Southern California

Candidate Statement
Dory Machica - Lead Lab Assistant II
Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center
SEIU-UHW Healthcare Justice Team

I have served our SEIU-UHW  members with pride for many years protecting our contract, winning Healthcare for all and quality services in our communities.

As Kaiser Ethics Officer, I will insure that we have transparency. My dedication and enthusiasm provides union leadership to grow our our union and exercise our voice. Our work is for the working people. It’s time to leave a great  Legacy to our children.

We must continue this momentum and elect effective leaders with experience !

Vote straight the Healthcare Justice 

Vote Straight 'Healthcare Justice Team'

Vote Straight 'Healthcare Justice Team' at Regional Operations

Janice Williams
Running For:
Executive Board
Kaiser Regional Operations South

Candidate Statement:
Janice Williams
Claims Adjuster
Kaiser Independence Park, Downey
SEIU-UHW Healthcare Justice Team

I’m Janice R Williams, a 35 year Kaiser Claims Adjuster, and Chief Steward for Regional Operations. I am a committed Organizer, LaboR Leader, Community, and Political Activist. During these times it was common to see me on the front lines in multiple communities’ precinct walking, phone banking, even lobbying for things like the fight for $15 Minimum Wage.  

I have eagerly serve our union’s interest to push union agenda. I have never wavered from being one hundred percent about the business of SEIU-UHW. Ans I am asking for your VOTE for my re-election as an Executive Board Member. I have worked hard over the years to earn the trust and respect of our members, fellow leaders and union staff.

I have been at the forefront of our political efforts for many years.  Mainly to stimulate change and to motivate individuals to get involved.  It is also important that I share what I have learned with The Committee on Political Education (COPE).  I’m proud that UHW steadily positions us to farther the flight for quality and justice for our members as well as our communities.

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

I’ve worked for Kaiser Permanente Regional for over 13 years. Currently I’m working in the Buy to Pay Department better known as Accounts Payable.  

In addition to the above, for the past eight (8) years, I’ve had the pleasure of being an SEIU-UHW Shop Steward representing our members ensuring what is right in the work the place. I’m committed to protecting our collective bargaining agreement and will continue to help develop plans that strengthen our Union building strong leadership while recruiting more qualified leaders.

Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to grow with our Union as the Kaiser Division Business Organizer Representative and as the Mobilizations Chair for our regional council.  I’m also a Labor Sponsor working closely and contributing to the success of the Unit Base Teams (UBT). I am confident that my knowledge and experience working in partnership will be beneficial for all.

This is my first time running for a seat on the executive board committee.  I look forward to being a part of the Health Care Justice Team so I would like to ask for your consideration and vote for me.  I’m confident that I will make a difference.

Respectfully Yours,
Johanna M. Guzman

Adriana Barragan
Patient Financial Services
Collector II
Candidate for Executive Board
Kaiser Regional Operations South

My name is Adriana Barragan. I am a Medi-Cal Collector and have been a Kaiser Employee for 18 years and a union leader for the majority of that time. I am part of the Healthcare Justice Team and running for Executive Board.

This is the first time I run for E-Board. I have hesitated in the past, but our newly elected president and his threats to demolish the Affordable Healthcare Act gave me that push to move into action.

It’s now or never! As a member of the Healthcare Justice Team I will continue to fight for healthcare coverage, for all. We are all touched directly by this. We all have family members and/or friends that are now able to receive medical treatment and we want to keep it that way.

I had the privilege of participating in bargaining in 2015, thanks to your votes. Bargaining was a great experience. The newly elected president is a danger to our contract, too. I will fight for our right to bargain.

I know this will be a long and hard fight, but anyone who knows me can tell you, I don’t give up! I will always work for you, my fellow brothers and sisters.

Vote straight 'Healthcare Justice Team ' at LAMC


Darren Tree Wallace
Running For :
Executive Board  Member
Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center

Darren Tree Wallace
Environmental Service 
Lead Evs Attendant 
Kaiser LAMC
SEIU -UHW Healthcare JusticeTeam 

Hi my name is Darren Wallace aka (Tree) I've been working at Kaiser LAMC for 35 year.  I've gladly served our membership, as Chief Steward,  Mobilization Chair, Political action and I've served on the bargaining team negotiating and protecting UHW contract.  I'm  proud to be an Executive Board Member of SEIU - UHW,  and I'm running for a second term, so we can protext our good contract, benefits and wages. My strength is representing members when  management violates our contract, I'm there for the members!  I am  committed to the work of SEIU - UHW and I am seeking your vote!  The movement continues that is why we need your vote for Healthcare Justice!  We will deliver

Healthcare Justice!     


Elissa Underwood
Lab Assistant II
Kaiser LAMC

My name is Elissa Underwood. I want to continue taking an active role in the ongoing improvement of our Union. SEIU-UHW is a strong union with a mission to protect our 
contract, our members, and our community. I'm excited to offer my experience and talents 
to help adequately plan for the challenges that lies ahead. I have held many leadership roles 
over the years. I served on the SEIU-UHW Executive Board for the past three years. I also 
served as Contract Specialist for  two years. Then I served as an alternate on our bargaining
team, and currently I serve on the workforce committee. I would appreciate your vote for me, Elissa Underwood, to serve on the SEIU-UHW Executive Board.


Mustafaa Tyehimba
Optical Dispenser
SEAT: Executive Board
Kaiser LAMC
Healthcare Justice Team

Ghandi said "be the change that you would wish to see in the world"I am a firm believer and I am trying to embody this in my role of representing Employees at LAMC. I will keep trying to make a change for better contracts, better wages, better benefits and better working  conditions for all Kaiser employees. Continually educating others AboUt Contractual language and rights will help bring about this change. 

If you would like to see change vote for Me, Mustafaa Tyehimba and all the candidates of the Healthcare Justice Team. (No photo available)


Ju'Anna Isaiah
Ward Clerk Transcriber
Running for: Executive Board
Kaiser LAMC
Healthcare Justice Team

I believe in fairness and equality. Members need someone who will enforce the contract and make sure their rights are honored. I am "That Girl", I will continue to educate members of their contractual and legal rights. I will continue to fight against disparity and bullying tactics. 

Unions are strong when members unite and stand together. United we stand and divided we fall. I will continue to unite members to stand together and fight for their rights. I am committed to our members and ensure I will continue to uphold the contract and workers right. 

Vote for Ju'Anna Isaiah for LAMC Executive Board and the whole Healthcare Justice Team.

Hector Vega
Lab Assistant II
Kaiser LAMC
Running for Executive Board

Hector Vega running for executive board member Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center lamc.... Hector Vega Sterile Processing lead 
Kaiser permanente...SEIU-UHW Healthcare Justice team.
I've been working for Kaiser for 31 years at LAMC. I'm a Union steward and represent members with concerns in their departments and help with any contract violation ... Healthcare Justice team trains me  for skills in representing and informing members for updates.

Vote Straight 'Healthcare Justice Team' at Baldwin Park

Baldwin Park Executive Board ~ VOTE Straight HEALTHCARE JUSTICE TEAM

Candace McBride
Running for:
 Executive Board
Kaiser Division Baldwin Park

I welcome the opportunity to serve as a leader for our executive Board.
I have worked for Kaiser for over 10 years, as the Lead Dispensing Optician In the Vision Essentials Dept.  I am committed to protecting our collective bargaining agreement and representing our members so that they will have the opportunity for a successful career with Kaiser. I am committed to working with our Health Care Justice Team to promote solidarity and protect our benefits. My experience has been as a Union Steward, Cope Ninja, part of the COOL team, and now as contract specialist for 2017 term. I am also a delegate for Kaiser Division Steward Council. I will continue to fight for fair working conditions and to protect, what we have collectively as a strong health care union fought for. It has been a great experience to serve our members and I hope I can continue this experience as long as you will have me fight for you.
Thanks for your support

Candace McBride


Desiree Pedroza

Running For:

Executive Board

Kaiser Baldwin Park

Candidate Statement:
Desiree Pedroza

Lead Licensed Vocational Nurse II

SEIU-UHW Healthcare Justice Team

I am an experienced Union Steward of 10 years. 

I served on the SEIU-UHW Executive Board from 2014-2017.


My experience as a Contract Specialist and UHW Chief Steward gave me the effective leadership and great experience of protecting our members, improving their lives by negotiating superior wages and benefits as member of the Contract Bargaining Team.


Together we will uplift not only Kaiser workers but also improve the lives of people in the communities we live and serve !


In the upcoming union officers election, Vote straight the Healthcare Justice Team !! Together We Win !!


Mark A Matthews RT

Lead Radiologic Technologist Kaiser Baldwin Park Representative Chair Steward Council
Running for Executive Board Kaiser Division BPK.

Candidate Statement:
Mark A Matthews RT, Seiu-UHW Kaiser member for more than 35 years of service in good standing. I am running for a second term for the Executive Board, Kaiser division Baldwin Park, Ca. Healthcare Justice Team. Over my years of service I have served on many leadership positions as a union leader and advocate for our members. I currently hold the position as the Representative Chair at KP Baldwin Park. I have also participated on many Bargaining sessions, locally and national bargaining teams for SEIU-UHW. A coalition leader in our Labor management Partnership since year 2000. I also hold the position as the Labor Co-Lead on Baldwin Park’s LMP council. I am a Master trainer and facilitator for most of our Partnership programs.

I believe as a Labor leader we must be advocates for our members, I do that. I believe in developing a foundation of positive relationships between our members and the Union leadership to establish how we get the work done. Organize the un organizied and building a just society for a stronger Health care labor workforce. I believe and support getting to our retirement and keeping our stuff.

Helping a new generation ( Millennium generation), of union workers understand what they have, and how important it is for them to carry on the mission for healthcare workers in America.

If you can support some of these core values of mine and you believe in the importance of having good people, a team of leaders, Health care leaders, that will fight our fight, then we’re the team for you!

Thank you for your support

Mark A Matthews RT
Representative Chair February 4, 2017

 Running for Executive Board


Kaiser Division Baldwin Park


    I welcome the opportunity to be a leader in the Executive Board Team:


I’ve had the pleasure of working at Kaiser Permanente for over 18 years as a Surgical technician in Labor and Delivery. I’m committed to unifying, listening and problem solving issues of the employees. I aim to empower others to stand up for our rights on the job.  I strive to work in solidarity and to be accountable. My experience has been as a Chief steward and Mobilization Chair. I’ve served 2 years in the Executive Board for SEIU-UHW. I’ve also served 1 year in the financial budget team. By which I am able to explain to the members how our dues are allocated and the goals of our union. Most importantly I want to continue to fight to keep our benefits and provide job security. I will continue to grow by getting the tools and training for bargaining our contract. It has been a rewarding experience and I hope to continue.


Thank you for your support


Trinna Ibarra

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bato: A hard rock to crack


July 15, 2016

By Perry Diaz 

(File photo)


It must have been fate that brought President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa together 30 years ago in the aftermath of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.  Duterte was appointed acting vice-mayor of Davao City by then President Cory Aquino.   Dela Rosa, then a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986, was commissioned Lieutenant and assigned to the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) in Davao City.   Their paths crossed and their lives have since been intertwined.   Their personal relationship was also enhanced when Duterte stood as a principal sponsor at Dela Rosa’s wedding.   


Over the years, they remained loyal to one another.  In his Facebook account, Dela Rosa posted greeting on Duterte’s birthday: “I never feared to enforce the law and prevent crimes because you are always there watching my back. To the greatest leader on Earth, Mayor RRD, happy birthday Sir!”  Indeed, “Bato” – Dela Rosa’s moniker, which means “stone” – had nothing but warm words for hismentor and ninong.  And when Rody ran for president, Bato posted“Those who will cheat and will manipulate this May 9 elections, be warned! We will crush you!”


Born on January 21, 1962 in Barangay Bato, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Ronald Marapon dela Rosa earned his moniker “Bato” not because of where he was born but because of his rock-like persona.  It’s a reputation that he lived by.  And when Duterte won the presidency last May 9, he picked his loyal friend Bato to become Chief of the 160,000-strong PNP, bypassing more senior police officers who were Bato’s upperclassmen at the PMA.  Traditionally, they are the ones on the “short list” for promotion to the top police job.  Yep, one-star police general Dela Rosa’s promotion earned him the four stars reserved for PNP Chiefs; thus, bypassing several two-star and three-star police generals on the PNP hierarchy. 




He took over the top PNP job on July 1, 2016, a day after his boss, “The Punisher” – Duterte’s street moniker – was sworn in as president of the country.   On his first day on the job, Bato warned the policemen involved in illegal drugs that “they have 48 hours to surrender to him.”  He didn’t waste any time going after them.  Calling him “Bato” would be kinder than what I’d call him – a pit bull… on the loose.


On the second day, it was rumored that 20 imprisoned drug lords have put a P1-billion contract on his and Duterte’s heads. But instead of cowering in fear from the jailed drug lords’ threat to assassinate them, Duterte and Dela Rosa went on the offensive.  

To put an end to the corrupt culture inside the New Bilibid Prison, where the drug lords are given VIP privileges, Duterte ordered the replacement of the correctional officers with commandos from the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF), the equivalent of the SWAT teams in the U.S.

Face the music


A few days later, during his speech at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Duterte named and relieved five high-ranking police generals from their posts whom he said were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.   


The following day, three of the five named police generals,who are still in active duty, reported to Dela Rosa in his office at Camp Crame.  They professed innocence and sought due process. “They were very sad. I want to cry with them,” Dela Rosa said of the three officers. “My advice to them is face the music,” he said.  


While it might take some time to investigate and prosecute the erring generals, one immediate result of exposing their alleged illegal activity is that it will serve as a warning to all police officers that coddling with drug lords will not be tolerated under the Duterte administration and Dela Rosa will see to it that nobody – regardless of rank – is spared.


Drug pushers surrender  


In Camp Tolentino in Limay, Bataan, Dela Rosa was on hand to witness about 600 drug pushers who surrendered to the PNP.  In a press conference that followed, he said that the PNP was ready to wage war against politicians involved in the illegal drug trade.  In particular, he mentioned “local chief executives” with links to drug lords. He said they’re part of the Duterte administration’s goal, which is to stop – or suppress – corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs within six months.  According to Dela Rosa, there are at least 23 local chief executives on the list that Duterte provided him.  However, he said that it’s up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “handle” the erring mayors. 


The question is: Why did Dela Rosa say it’s up to the DILG to “handle” the mayors involved in the illegal drug trade?  Is it not a police matter?  Or is it best handled politically by the DILG, which is a “political” body?  


But going after the local chief executives would be like fishing in small ponds.  More than likely all you’d be catching are the butete -- tadpoles.  Why not go fishing in larger bodies of water where bigger fish abound?  And who are these “bigger fish” in the illegal drug trade?  And who is the “biggest fish” among them?   Could it be that there exist powerful politicians or political dynasties that condone – nay, protect – the drug lords in their political turfs, which makes one wonder:  Are they untouchable?  Is someone protecting the “protectors” of the drug lords?   


Biggest challenge


This would certainly be Duterte’s – and Bato’s – biggest challenge.  And this could be the root of corruption that Duterte detested so much.  Surmise it to say, the bigger the amount of “dirty money” generated in illegal activities, the larger corruption becomes.  And what could generate more “dirty money” than the illegal drug trade?


Needless to say, Duterte and Dela Rosa, working in tandem, are off to a good start.  They have a goal and a timeframe… six months.  All they need now is a plan that works.   And this is where they can fail miserably or succeed modestly.  I said “modestly” because I don’t think they can achieve their goal within six months. But it would definitely be a great start because the alternative is unthinkable. 


We all know what Duterte wants.  But what we don’t know is if he has the political will to go after the corrupt politicians who are involved in the illegal drug trade, some of whom might be his friends and political allies.   It would clearly be a test of his leadership.


We also know that Dela Rosa has the ability to fight the illegal drug lords.  He’s proven it when he was with the Davao City police force under the guidance of his mentor and ninong.  But what we don’t know is if he has the gumption to fight them in a much larger arena where there are no rules of engagement, and where only those who are tempered with fire and hard as the Rock of Gibraltar survive.   If there is one such crime-fighter that fits the mold, Bato is the man.  He is a hard rock to crack, indeed.



Monday, May 30, 2016

Duterte’s honeymoon with China begins

Like all relationships and marriages, both parties will try to work, or live, harmoniously and reconcile their differences, if any.  This is called the “honeymoon” period and it could last for a long time or it can be abbreviated depending on how they relate to each other.  It may sound simplistic, but they hope that by the time the honeymoon is over, they’d remain married, partners, allies or friends.  Nobody could predict the denouement of their relationships, but as someone once said, “There are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.”

It did not then come as a surprise that America’s enemies during World War II – Germany, Japan, Italy – became her allies, and her allies USSR and China became her enemies during the Cold War that followed World War II.  And these alliances – North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and U.S.-Japan Security Treaty – have endured for more than 65 years.  And today, NATO has become the bulwark in the defense the 28 NATO countries against enemy invasion, which is crucial to the U.S. national interests.

And in Asia-Pacific, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty has become a formidable deterrence against Chinese expansionism.  Other treaty allies of the U.S. in Asia-Pacific are South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines.   These alliances form a line of defense along the First Island Chain – linking Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, and Borneo -- which would deter China from breaking out into the Western Pacific.

Choke points

To prevent China from breaking out, the U.S. has to have a strong military presence in Japan and the Philippines, where she can control two major choke points to the Western Pacific.  These are the Miyako Strait between Okinawa (Japan) and Taiwan, and the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Batanes Islands (Philippines).  With several air force bases, a naval base, and 50,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan, the U.S. maintains strategic dominance over the Miiyako Strait.  But it is a different situation in the Bashi Channel, which is wide open and defenseless.  However, the U.S. had shown interest in deploying her forces to the Batanes Island and the Laoag City airport in northern Luzon.  If the Philippines agrees to this proposal, it would shut off the Bashi Channel from Chinese intrusion… and effectively makes the First Island Chain impenetrable.

Recently, the Philippines and the U.S. agreed on the locations for four American air force units and one army base under the U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA), which was signed in April 2014.  In addition, the former U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base is a frequent destination for U.S. warships while the former Clark Air Base is used to host American surveillance planes that keep an eye over the South China Sea.

It’s interesting to note that EDCA was signed as an executive order under the Aquino administration.  As such, it can be terminated by the incoming administration of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte, who considers himself as a left-of-center politician.  However, he admits that he had been on friendly terms with the communist New People’s Army (NPA), which makes one wonder: How is he going to deal with China in regard to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea?

Bilateral talks

It is no wonder then that a week after Duterte’s landslide victory last May 9, China’s ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua paid him a courtesy call in Davao City. Zhao congratulated him on his victory and expressed his country’s expectation of working with his administration to “properly deal with the differences, deepen traditional friendship, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to bring the ‘bilateral ties’ forward.” 

Obviously, Zhao was referring to “differences” on the South China Sea territorial disputes, which the Philippines under the Aquino administration had submitted to the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration.  It challenged the legality of China’s “nine-dash line” claim over the South China Sea under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  However, China refused to recognize the authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and indicated that she will reject its decision on the matter.                                    

As Duterte’s “honeymoon” with China begins, there would be a lot of posturing by both sides.  But the crux of the dispute is China’s iron-clad claim to her indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea demarcated by the “nine-dash line,” which has no fixed coordinates simply because it was arbitrarily drawn on a map in 1947 by China’s Nationalist government under Chiang Kai Shek.  China considers the South China Sea as one of her national core values, which are “non-negotiable.”

If Duterte were to initiate bilateral talks with China, he’d be faced with a dilemma. China had in the past offered joint development in the Spratlys.  However, she has one pre-condition: That the Philippines concedes to China indisputable sovereignty over the Spratlys.  If China sticks to this pre-condition and Duterte accepts it, the Philippines must vacate all the islands she occupies in the Spratlys including the populated Kalayan Island Group (KIG), which is part of Philippine national territory as defined in the Philippine Baselines Law (R.A. No. 3046, as amended by R.A. No. 5446 and R.A. No. 9522) and in Article I of the 1987 Constitution.  This would be a violation of the Constitution, which is an impeachable act.  Either way, the honeymoon would be over before it started, which begs the question: What would be Duterte’s next step?

Junk EDCA?

Faced with pressures from militants to scrap EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), and Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Duterte will be confronted with the problem of national security.  While he had said during the campaign that he was willing to junk EDCA, he is now saying that his administration will continue EDCA since the external defense of the country is weak.  Indeed, with no warships and no warplanes to defend her territory, the Philippines would be at the mercy of China.     

And once American forces are out of the Philippines – again – what do you expect China would do next?  One needs to remember that when the Philippine Senate removed the American bases from Philippine soil in 1992, China took possession of the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef within two years, without firing a shot.   With the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal completely controlled by China, the province of Palawan -- which is less than 100 miles from the Spratlys -- would be an easy target. China could then claim that the Chinese had been in Palawan since ancient times.  And like what she did with the Spratlys, Scarborough Shoal, Paracel Islands (claimed by Vietnam), and Senkaku Islands (claimed by Japan), she would probably come up with another “ancient map” showing Palawan as part of her territories.   And pretty soon, the Philippines could become a vassal or client state of China, which would effectively deprive the Filipinos of their sovereignty.


Bully vs. bully


Duterte, street smart – or “kanto boy” -- as he is, should know that it takes a bully to fight a bully.  He should also be aware that size matters.  In other words, a little boy cannot fight a big bully.  So what the little boy would do is to call his big brother.  In the case of the Philippines, Duterte would turn to big brother America, a bully bigger that China, for help.  And this is where EDCA, MDT, VFA, and LSA would level the playing field.  


At the end of the day, one might say that Duterte’s honeymoon with China would just be an exercise in futility.  But the lesson learned would provide him with a clear direction of how – and where -- he should lead the country in the next six years.