Pinoys seek EU Parliament seat

Posted at 04/17/09 11:29 AM

Two Filipinos have confirmed their intentions to seek nomination to stand in the forthcoming European elections in June.

If elected, they will make history as the first Filipinos to become members of the EU Parliament and represent ethic minority groups in Europe.

Young Filipino-Chinese achiever Steven Dominique Cheung has been soliciting the support of Chinese and Filipino communities in London to gain enough mandate to run in the forthcoming EU election on June 4.

At just 19, Cheung who is Filipino-Chinese could become the youngest ever member of the European Parliament to represent various ethnic minority groups in Europe.

“I can tell you I am 100 percent sure I want to go into politics to represent the people in this country. What I can do in the European Parliament is to speak out the voices of our community to Europe,” said Cheung.

The Princess Diana Awardee and 2012 Olympics Ambassador vows to take up issues concerning immigrants if elected.

“No one seems to care about our problem because some of us don't come out and vote,” he said.

Meanwhile, Filipino community organizer Gene Alcantara also signified his intention to run for the EU parliament.

Alcantara is an immigration adviser and a veteran community leader in London. He ran for office for the Labour Party in Westminster Council in the 1990s.

He is now an independent candidate like Cheung.

“Sabihin na nating Britsh ako, European ako pero yung kabuan ko ay medyo nakukulayan ng pagka-Pinoy ko. Siyempre ang ire-represent ko dyan mga tao pero at the end of the day nasa balikat ko ang mga Pinoy,” Alcantara said.

Alcantara believes now is the time for ethnic minorities especially Filipinos to have a voice in the EU.

“Ang di ko nagugustuhan ang mga migrante tulad natin ang siyang pinagbabagsakan ng sisi ng gobyerno dito. Ang gusto kong mangyari dyan pantay-pantay lang ang treatment kahit na ba may kulay ako, Brtitish ako at European ako,” he said.

Alcantara and Cheung are appealing for everyone to register for the biggest transnational election in history where more than 500 million European residents in 27 countries will pick their representatives.