Dr. Aland Mizell Met with Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Maria Lourdes Aranal Sereno is the 24th and current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. At age 52, she became the second youngest person and the first woman to head the judiciary.Lawyer-academician Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno was appointed on August 16, 2010 as the 169th Justice and on August 24, 2012 as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Born on July 2, 1960, she is the youngest to be so appointed to the SC in the Philippines

 

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Israel Prepares To Go To War With Hezbollah

If war breaks out again soon between Israel and Hezbollah, I would not be surprised. Iran has become the winner of the current Greater Middle East project, although the strategy was intended to redraw the map in favor of the West and Israel. Because Iran is entrenching itself in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the Gulf countries, and Lebanon, Israel will not sit by idly while Iran roots itself into these neighboring nations. Basically, Israel is preparing for a proxy war with Tehran on its northern border of neighboring Lebanon, an area backed by Hezbollah.Today Hezbollah has become stronger and has the military might to destroy the Israeli army. This scenario is not too dissimilar from what is happening today in Syria. Turkey saw as an opportunity to fill the vacuum and to flex its muscles on the world stage, justifying its ongoing war against the Kurds by giving the excuse that it is clearing terror from its border. Now Israel is going to use Turkey’s rationale to purge Hezbollah from its border. Turkey, Russia, and Iran view America’s retreat from the Middle East as an opening to redesign the Middle East the way they want. Because of America‘s failed leadership under the Obama and now the Trump administrations, few world leaders take America seriously anymore, so that Washington has lost its influence there. Continue reading

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President Trump Should Move US Embassy from Iraq to Erbil As Capital of Kurdistan

The United States has a track record of fighting its wars in the Middle East by generally recruiting local forces as proxies but then casting them off when regional politics intercede. Particularly evident in the Middle East, this pattern of abandoning allies is one of America’s least appealing characteristics. This failure to stick by those who take risks on its behalf in the region has led to mistrust in both the Middle East and in some other areas of the world. Currently, this syndrome is happening again in Kurdistan, as a Kurdish militia group known as the Peshmerge, proved to be the United States’ best ally against the Islamic State, only to be jettisoned in its time of need.On December 6th, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated the process of moving America‘s embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city.  The move sparked global condemnation from world leaders especially Arab and European ones. After World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Great Britain took control of Palestine including Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. In 1948, however, Israel’s independence gave the newly reconstituted nation East Jerusalem and Jordan the West portion, but at the end of the 1967 Six –Day War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan, Israel seized control of the entire city. America should have sanctioned Jerusalem as the capital at Israel’s independence rather than today. Continue reading

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Commission on Higher Education Department and Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Sign a Memorandum of Understanding on College Education Behind Bars (CEBB) Nationwide Expansion

 

More than 68 inmates are getting another chance at leading a productive life once they get out of prison with an earned college degree obtained from the University Southeastern Philippines through the College Education Behind Bars initiative. The program, the first in the Philippines and possibly in all of Asia, in collaboration with the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), through a Memorandum of Agreement with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Institute (SETBI), has successfully launched the College Education Behind Bars (CEBB). Inmate students enrolled in USEP and will complete college courses taught by USEP faculty. Before students enrolled in the program, SETBI interviewed them about their motivation, length of sentence, and background. USEP administered the admissions exam and screened detainees for basic literacy and readiness for college, using such assessment tools as the Test of Adult Basic Education to determine their grade level and vocational assessment needs. Out of the three hundred assessed, seventy passed the entrance exam with forty-five males and twenty-five females qualifying. SETBI is offering the first batch of students two courses on the degree plan for a Bachelor of Information Technology (IT) and a Bachelor of Agri Business and intends to teach Social Entrepreneurship and Hotel and Restaurant Management courses for a Bachelor of Science. In collaboration with USEP, SETBI determines the college degree plan, develops the curriculum, and governs the management structure of the partnership between the prison and the university. What makes the College Education Behind Bars unique is that it incorporates the college education program with a recovery program. Inmate students also take a recovery class as well recovery program classes, the prerequisites for inmates to enroll in the program. CHED Commissioner, Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, praised USEP’s President Dr. Lourdes C. Generalao, Dr. Aland Mizell, Attorney Susan Cariaga, BJMP RO-XI Regional Director, J/Ssupt. Amelia Abarriao Rayandayan, Jail Warden JSupt. Grace S. Taclun and Assistant Warden JSInsP Robertto C. Gotico for this noble project designed for inmates not to waste their lives but to experience productive years while in prison. CHED Commissioner Dr. Prospero would like to support jointly and for the Philippines Commission of Higher Education to recognize officially the Education Behind Bars program, so that CHED will adopt the initiative as a nationwide educational mode. Continue reading

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Davao City Councilor Pilar C. Braga Privilege Speech on College Education Behind Bars

Councilor Braga Privilege Speech

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Dr. Aland Mizell Receives Commendation

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Dr. Aland Mizell, President of Minority Care International, at the Philippines Councilor’s League’s 3rd Quarterly National Executive Officers and National Board Meeting, Davao City, September 18, 2017

 

The president of the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, Dr. Aland Mizell, told several thousand councilors attending the Philippines 3rd Quarterly National Executive Officers-National Board (NEO-NB) Meeting and 2nd Series of Continuing Local Legislative Education Program (CLLEP) of the Philippine Councilors League that it is an undeniable fact that we live in a society where people do bad things, sometimes so bad that being to sent to prison is the only option. The event was held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City on Monday, September 18, 2017. Dr. Mizell added that it is also an undeniable fact that most of the inmates inside the jail today will not be in forever, and sooner or later they will be free to go back into society. The question is will their re-entry be a one-way trip? Will each of them leave the jail never to return? To follow that route, inmates must know how to succeed when they re-enter society. Statistics are stacked against them. When prisoners get out, eventually, most of them find themselves back in. There are many reasons for the recidivism, but studies consistently show that the primary cause is unemployment. On the outside they need a job to eat, a place to live, skills to support their family, and the ability to hold their head high and know they can handle the freedom. But jobs are hard to find when they carry a prison record with them. Still, they cannot use that as an excuse. With solid training and a recovery program to transform lives, released prisoners can overcome a prison record and the stigma. Dr. Mizell concluded that we still have more work to do. We need to initiate College Education Behind Bars in every jail in the Philippines. The more this programs is reproduced in other jails, the less money the jails have to spend. In the future, we need to prepare as many inmates as possible to return to society as productive, law abiding citizens. Some city councilors indicated an interest in replicating the program in their cities as well.   Continue reading

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Dr. Aland Mizell, President of Minority Care International, Receives Prison Education Award

The president of the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, Dr. Aland Mizell, receivee in founding this innovative program for the incarcerated, and for his effort to show that learning has the power to change lives. The award was presented during the BJMP’s 26th Anniversary Gala, which was held in Davao City on August 24, 2017.  Dr. Mizell’s being selected to receive this award highlights MCI‘s strong commitment to community service and to providing bright and motivated students with opportunities to experience the transformational power of higher education. During the ceremony the Mayor thanked Dr. Mizell for his noble work on behalf of the Davao City community and the Philippines.Mayor Duterte said that the rehabilitation programs of the BJMP lead to the reformation of the detainees and help them to become law-abiding and productive members of society once again. The BJMP–Davao regional director, Senior Superintendent Amelia Rayandayan, thanked Dr. Mizell for implementing this model rehabilitation program. She said that increased educational opportunity is key to providing economic stability for both ex-offenders and their families, to reducing recidivism, and to securing long-term success after their release. Dr. Mizell acknowledged that a college degree tears down barriers that block gainful employment and also keeps men and women from returning to prison, although many outsiders fail to recognize this potential. Continue reading

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Radicalization of Prisons

In recent years many homegrown terrorists have launched attacks in European cities like Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, London, for example, the 2015 January assaults at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket. Several of the terrorists who killed more than 160 people that year had common criminal backgrounds but had become radicalized in congested prisons. Most Philippine prisons are overcrowded too having been built in ad hoc style buildings and now contain overcrowded cells. When inmates who represent a certain ideology are housed in the heart of a prison, surrounded by more than 3,000 inmates, there is a huge risk that they will contaminate the thinking of others.Prison is not a nice place; inmates can only survive if they are a part of a certain group or ideology. It is easier to be recruited inside a jail than outside one because conditions in the interior favor radical recruitment of newcomers. Since most of the inmates are desperate and hopeless, radicals with an ideology can easily befriend new detainees and give them what they need. It is easy for radicals to convince inmates that society has rejected them, that it is their destiny, and that God or a charismatic leader has a mission for them, little by little brainwashing them, especially if inmates belong to certain minority groups such as Muslims or IPs. By persuading the detainees that society has scorned them, that they cannot get a job, particularly because of their religious background or ethnicity, that no good school in their neighborhood will accept them, the indoctrinator opens the inmates up to his or her ideology.  Continue reading

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 Racism is a Two-Way Street

The US has come a long way since the days of slavery, and huge steps were made towards granting equal rights on the basis of race in the 1960s. But still it is not enough. Racism is not only a big problem in the US but around the world. I wish other countries could have done what America did toward minority rights. It is always easy to pity a minority, but what if one minority does not want to obey the rules and instead provokes the government to take strong measure against its members? When comparing America to other countries in terms of treatment of minorities, America treats theirs better. When we look at Europe’s treatment of its minorities, China’s treatment of its minorities, Myanmar’s treatment of its minorities, or how the Middle Eastern countries treat their own minorities, we see their lack of progress. Friday evening in Charlottesville, Virginia, a group of white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus holding torches, shouting “White lives matter,” and setting the stage for the 2017 United the Right rally, which protested the removal of Confederate monuments and sculptures within the city, and caused white racists from different groups and leaders of all right movements to congregate. Despite President Donald Trump’s condemnation of all forms of racism, still the leftist mainstream media blames Donald Trump for the rise of racism in the USA. Many even claim that Donald Trump won the election because white supremacists voted for him. The same liberal left media blamed President Bush for the rise of terrorism. Yet, we saw what their favorite candidate, President Obama, did for eight years that fermented hate and gave rise to ISIS and other forms of violence. Continue reading

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