Homosexuals right to remain in the UK

Homosexuals right to remain in the UK

I represented a client at the Upper Tribunal in London, UK  where a same-sex couple was previously represented by a solicitor then by a barrister but lost against the draconian laws imposed by the UK Immigration Home Office.

What makes it difficult is the fact that my client is scared to return home because of the societal prejudice she will suffer in the Philippines. Same-sex marriage is not allowed under the Philippine law. But the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) responded that being a homosexual in the Philippines is not a crime and not unlawful and therefore my client can go back home with the partner who is a British citizen. And also, my client is a homosexual before anyway so there is no need to be afraid now.

The representation of the previous solicitor and another barrister failed for some reason that a Judge of the Court did not believe that client will suffer severe discrimination in the Philippines.

The client came to my law office and asked if I could take over the case and the appeal matter.

At the Court, I spoke to the Senior Home Office Presenting Officer and said that my client has no chance of winning because there are other grounds that he seems will persuade the Upper Tribunal Judge in favor of the UKVI.

Respectfully, I said that I was instructed to advance our line of argument that there are too much hate crimes against LGBT (lesbian, gays, bi, trans) in the Philippines. I showed him all articles by the US and Human Rights charities and advocates how humiliating to be an LGBT in the Philippines.

The Upper Tribunal Judge asked me: “Mr. Magsino what is your response to the Home Office allegation that your client can return to the Philippines and apply again to return to the UK…”

I responded: “Ma’am under the recent Supreme Court case of Agyarko which says at paragraph 48:

” If the applicant or his or her partner would face very significant difficulties in continuing their family life together outside the UK, which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship, then the “insurmountable obstacles” test will be met, and leave will be granted under the Rules.

At [51] it stated:

“If, on the other hand, an applicant – even if residing in the UK unlawfully – was otherwise certain to be granted leave to enter, at least if an application were made from outside the UK, then there might be no public interest in his or her removal. The point is illustrated by the decision in Chikwamba v Secretary of State for the Home Department.”

Madam Judge, the Agyarko principle revisited the case of Chikwamba where the House of Lords held that there is no need for someone to return to his home country to apply for a visa if it can potentially succeed in the UK.

In theory, Madam Judge, since my client can potentially meet the immigration law in the UK, under the Agyarko and Chikwamba, there is no need for my client to return to the Philippines. She cannot live openly without being hated and disliked by the people around, the community and by the society as a whole. This is against the decision held by the UK Supreme Court in the case HJ Iran and HT Cameroon where homosexuals are members of a particular social group being defined by the immutable characteristic of their sexuality. ”

After two weeks, the Judge agreed in my representation, allowed my appeal and my client was granted 10 years leave to remain in the UK.

Homosexuals right to stay in the UK

Homosexuals right to stay in the UK

I represented a client at the Upper Tribunal in London, UK  where a same-sex couple was previously represented by a solicitor then by a barrister but lost against the draconian laws imposed by the UK Immigration Home Office.

What makes it difficult is the fact that my client is scared to return home because of the societal prejudice she will suffer in the Philippines. Same-sex marriage is not allowed under the Philippine law. But the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) responded that being a homosexual in the Philippines is not a crime and not unlawful and therefore my client can go back home with the partner who is a British citizen. And also, my client is a homosexual before anyway so there is no need to be afraid now.

The representation of the previous solicitor and another barrister failed for some reason that a Judge of the Court did not believe that client will suffer severe discrimination in the Philippines.

The client came to my law office and asked if I could take over the case and the appeal matter.

At the Court, I spoke to the Senior Home Office Presenting Officer and said that my client has no chance of winning because there are other grounds that he seems will persuade the Upper Tribunal Judge in favor of the UKVI.

Respectfully, I said that I was instructed to advance our line of argument that there are too much hate crimes against LGBT (lesbian, gays, bi, trans) in the Philippines. I showed him all articles by the US and Human Rights charities and advocates how humiliating to be an LGBT in the Philippines.

The Upper Tribunal Judge asked me: “Mr. Magsino what is your response to the Home Office allegation that your client can return to the Philippines and apply again to return to the UK…”

I responded: “Ma’am under the recent Supreme Court case of Agyarko which says at paragraph 48:

” If the applicant or his or her partner would face very significant difficulties in continuing their family life together outside the UK, which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship, then the “insurmountable obstacles” test will be met, and leave will be granted under the Rules.

At [51] it stated:

“If, on the other hand, an applicant – even if residing in the UK unlawfully – was otherwise certain to be granted leave to enter, at least if an application were made from outside the UK, then there might be no public interest in his or her removal. The point is illustrated by the decision in Chikwamba v Secretary of State for the Home Department.”

Madam Judge, the Agyarko principle revisited the case of Chikwamba where the House of Lords held that there is no need for someone to return to his home country to apply for a visa if it can potentially succeed in the UK.

In theory, Madam Judge, since my client can potentially meet the immigration law in the UK, under the Agyarko and Chikwamba, there is no need for my client to return to the Philippines. She cannot live openly without being hated and disliked by the people around, the community and by the society as a whole. This is against the decision held by the UK Supreme Court in the case HJ Iran and HT Cameroon where homosexuals are members of a particular social group being defined by the immutable characteristic of their sexuality. ”

After two weeks, the Judge agreed in my representation, allowed my appeal and my client was granted 10 years leave to remain in the UK.

Thank God For Enemies

The Bible says this:

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and celebrate, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you. -Matthew 5

But what if their persecution and their negativity is NOT about our Christianity but are too personal and ‘below the belt’.

How do we handle those betrayals, those who walked away and left you, those negative thinkers and have the negative perception about you or those people who don’t simply like you?

Or what about poverty? what about your spouse very irresponsible and not doing his or her best?

You may not like that you may not be able to reach your destination without them. It is all part of God’s plan to get you to where you suppose to be. David would only be known as a shepherd boy if it was not for Goliath.

Goliath was strategically placed in David’s path not to defeat him but to promote him. Without Goliath, David would not be able to be the king.

Don’t complain about your enemies because what you think is a failure is really a blessing in disguise for you to become the next King David.

In the Bible, it was clear that David knew King Saul who could have promoted him. And sometimes we have friends to inspire us a and lift our spirits but you have to thank the enemies, those people who don’t believe in you, those who belittle you, because out of them you will have a true sense of determination to succeed and prove them wrong.

God did not use King Saul to bless David but instead used Goliath.

That’s why we do not have to please everyone and play like a pony just be in their group. You are who you are. It’s either they like you or they don’t.

When David defeated Goliath, we never heard of Goliath again. Because God only used him to push David up. The same way in our lives, we will suffer through the fire, but if we pass the test, we will be victorious. We shall be happier than ever.

God will connect you with the right people who will be there for you but also God will align people who will stop you, make you feel and look bad and look little and discourage you. There will be Goliaths that will be in your way. But take courage, this Goliath will not be there to defeat you and humiliate you, but the world will see that the favor of God is in your life you will succeed.

In 2012, I was a level 1 immigration adviser where I was allowed to fill up forms on immigration matters. A friend at Oxford University College of Law told me that I don’t have a chance now because there are many immigration advisers. And since I am just a level 1 I don’t have many clients because my capacity and license is limited. He was an established attorney at law and I looked up to him because he is very intellectual. He tried to discourage me from going forward. But I went ahead anyway. That is the job I want to do. I love helping people.

In 1992, when I was in Lyceum of the Philippines, I joined a debating society who subsequently rejected me because my reasoning was not on par with a lawyer-material.

In 1996, I was told by my first employer that because of my speech defect, I would not be able to communicate properly and I will remain a messenger for the rest of my life.

These negativities kept playing in my ear.

  • not much money
  • not much clients
  • not much hope
  • I’m not good enough
  • I have a speech defect

I strived harder in doing my best to my clients and eventually, my client base grew. In 2015 I did open my own immigration practice in Central London. You know my first ever employee was that friend in Oxford who told me I could not make it.

In 2015, there was a Filipino immigration adviser who was a bit, I think envious of my success. He talked to people about lies and wrongful stories. He was not happy about me passing my level 3 exams without going to law school. I passed the national test that gave me the opportunity to have the right of audience and to represent a client in court. He has been an immigration adviser only for the last 20 years and he kept in Level 2 only. I surpassed him within 2 years I got the highest level of Immigration Advisory. Of course, he is not going to be happy.

He started to be angry at me and despiteful against me. He never liked me. He is vocal about it. He is a journalist and he even threatened to put my name in the newspaper for blah blah blah. I said go ahead. But I kept praying to God to bless me.

I prayed the prayer of Jabez:

“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” – 1 Chronicles 4:10

I always remember what Peter wrote:

“Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 1 Peter 3:14

That negativity pushed me to take up Post-Graduate Degree at Oxford Brookes University and now I am in my final year at the London’s University of Law and will be taking Masters of Law.

The next time I see those people who discouraged me, I will ask them to buy a meal.

Those negativities in my life, I became determined and had a new fire to be better. Sometimes God will allow discouragers, doubters, and even some haters, you will keep pressing forward but you don’t want to show your enemies the joy of seeing you defeated.

In Matthew 13:

24 Jesus then told them this story:

The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.

26 When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer’s servants could see the weeds. 27 The servants came and asked, “Sir, didn’t you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”

28 “An enemy did this,” he replied.

His servants then asked, “Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?”

29 “No!” he answered. “You might also pull up the wheat. 3Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I’ll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I’ll have them store the wheat in my barn.”

God used our enemies to our advantage. If it is not for our enemies we will not press harder. If I was not told I could not do it and does have what it takes, I could have been complacent and settled for less where I was. It was the opposition that pushes me forward.

David said:

“God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies” -Psalms 23:5

When God bless you, He will bless you where everybody will see. Despite of the haters, wrong-sayers, God blessed me indeed.

I have been a representing my clients with a very high rate of success about 95% winnings. I have had clients who come from afar Scotland, Blackpool, Birmingham, Wales and England. People will tell me how they heard my name. Of course, I am saying this not to brag, but to thank God that because of my enemies, the name of the Lord is blessed and glorified.

Jesus could have said to His father: “Dad, can you use someone else…not my disciple Judas. What will people say about me as your Son if my disciple will betray me?”

But we know that Jesus said,

“Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do.”  – John 13:27

 

 

Do Good

It is said that na kung ano itinanim yan ang aanihin natin. But sometimes I cannot help but to ask myself that there were times na gumawa ako ng mabuti pero I ended up to be accused na masama. There was this couple who became a friend of mine. I allowed them to stay in my room and paid a menial amount per week. They paid so little na parang wala na nga dahil para na lang sa tubig at kuryente sa pagligo nila at paglalaba ang katumbas. But few months after I felt na nagiging malayo na sila, mailap hanggang bigla na lang nag move out ng walang pasabi. I was surprised. Hindi ko alam ano ang nangyari. Then eventually they said bad things about me and my wife na kesyo ganito daw or ganyan.

You will harvest what you plant – Galatians 6:7

Hindi mo na rin masisi ang mga tao na maging matigas ang puso sa pagtulong sa iba dahil na rin sa mga nangyari marahil noon na sa pagtulong nila, sila pa ang naging masama…dating matamis na samahan at pagkakaibigan, ngayon ay maasim na relasyon na.

In my experience, only those who plant seeds of evil harvest trouble – Job 4:8

But I learn to realize this:

I give not because I have much but because I know exactly how it feels like to have nothing.

I learned how to give because before I have nothing and needed God to move and work in my favor. Dati ako ay walang baon at I learned to drink toilet’s water kase kulang na baon ko. Dati I walked for at least 3 hours journey from the town to my home because I didn’t have money to pay for the public transport – but some stopped for me. Someone asked me to get on gasoline tanker and took me home.

 

My dad used to sleep in Luneta park para lang makapag apply sa abroad but a relative opened the door for him and he managed to work in Saudi, earned good money and fed us. Imagine if my no one helped my father? Imagine if no one asked me to ride on gasoline tanker?

People always pray that God bless them and answer their ‘own’ prayers. But have we ever prayed that God used you to become the answer to someone else’s prayer?

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Galatians 6:3

Minsan ang daling magmalaki at maging mayabang na hindi natin kelangan ang iba. But life has it’s way of humiliating us. One day we will see ourselves, in need of someone’s help. Then in that time, the seeds of friendship, good works na nagawa mo sa iba noon, babalik sya ngayon.

Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Minsan wag na lagi tayo ang tulungan. Minsan let us learn how to help and carry another’s burden.

It feels better to give, than to receive.

Maganda na ikaw na ang nagbibigay kesa ikaw ang binibigyan palagi at tinutulungan. Masarap ang pakiramdam ng mga nagbubukas ng palad sa pagtulong, pagkalinga sa iba…babalik yan sa iyo. Nakikita ng Diyos sa langit, nakadungaw at nagmamasid sa mga magagandang bagay na iyong ginagawa sa kapwa. Ano pa ang sabi ng Bibliya:

…in this way, you will fulfill the Law of Christ.

 

Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

Hwag daw tayong magsawa sa paggawa ng mabuti, dahil sa takdang panahon, aanihin natin ang lahat ng ito.

Maaring hindi ngayon agad, pero someday somehow someone will return the favour unto us. Natutulog ba ang Diyos para hindi ka Niya pagpapalain sa mga kabutihan na iyong ginagawa.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you in public. Matthew 6:4

There was a quote I read: “Give privately, let the return of blessing make its noise.”

Keep doing good because we know God sees it and in due course, we shall harvest what we sow.

Anong gagawin sa mga kaaway? Ang sabi ng Lord, “love your enemies” and when you do, eto sagot…

For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you – Proverbs 25:22

Pagka sa kasamaan mo ay gumawa ka ng mabuti, yung kaaway, magkakaroon sya ng kahihiyan sa kanyang sarili….matututo yan at baka magbago yan, dahil ginawan mo ng kabutihan ang kanyang kasaamaan.

A deep true shame is among the first elements of repentance – 2 Cor 2:7

If we return good for evil, God will reward us. -Matt 10:42

 

“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. – Jeremiah 17:10

We do good not to be arrogant but let us bless others without waiting for anything in return – magmahal kahit walang kapalit.

Psalms 41:1-6 Blessings on those who care for the poor
Blessings follow those ‘who have regard for the weak’ (v.1) – those who care, for example, about the poor, the hungry, the sick, the addicts and those in prison.

 

 

 

 

Magtanim ay di biro

Magtanim ay di biro

Marami sa mga OFWs puro trabaho na lang ang inaasikaso, na halos lahat ng part-time, overtime, sideline ay ginagawa na parang ang dami-daming pangangailangan sa buhay. Dati naman sa Pilipinas, ang P5,000 per month napapagkasya, pero ngayon kahit P50,000 na ang padala kulang pa. Hindi kelan man magiging sapat ang pera dahil marami ang nakanganga at naghihintay ng padala. Kaya pag nawala na si OFW, grabe ang iyak ng mga ‘beneficiaries’ kase wala na silang sustento buwan-buwan. At ang mas malungkot, wala silang naipon at naipundar kase most of the time napunta lang sa pagmamagara at pagbili ng mga bagay na walang saysay.

Paalis pa lang si Ate OFW, ang bilin agad: “ate tawag ka agad ha. Don’t forget, size 6 ang paa ko.” Minsan mauunawaan mo din naman talaga na maraming naghirap noon, at hindi masama na paminsan-minsan ay makatikim sila ng ginhawa sa buhay. Pero dapat minsan lang dahil kapag masyadong nagging reliant na ang mga tao, at biglang nawala ang sustento, yari ka ngayon. Ikaw pa ang may utang sa kanila! Kaya sabi ko nga sa kanila, dapat ang selfie hindi lang yung mga tourist spots, dapat pati yung pamamalantsa mo, paglilinis ng kubeta, paghuhugas ng pwet ng matatanda, paglalakad ng aso, dapat yan ang makita nila sa Pinas baka akala nila, nagpapasarap ka lang sa abroad eh, hindi nila na ‘fake’ at pakitang-tao lang ang mga nakikita nila sa social media. Pero ang totoo minsan, hindi nila alam may sakit ka, may problema ka at hirap na hirap na ang kalooban mo. Nagpe pretend na nakangiti pero umiiyak mag-isa at walang nakakaalam. Di ka man lang nila makumusta dahil ang tanong: “kelan ka magpapadala ng pera.”

To many talks na ginagawa ko, I always advise OFWs na maging “farmers”. Dapat marunong magtanim. Pero ang pagtatanim ay may purpose. Hindi yung katatanim mo lang kanina, agad titingnan mo kung may tubo na agad mamaya. Hindi ganoon. Ang pagtatanim ay dapat naghihintay ng tamang panahon ng pag-ani. May mga seasons kase yan sa agriculture. Dapat alam natin ang bawat seasons. Tapusin mo yong season na yon. Makikita mo sa Nueva Ecija, sabay-sabay nagtatanim ang buong bayan at sabay-sabay ding nag-aani. May panahon kase yan.

Kaya nga, sa mga banks kapag ikaw ay nag time-deposit also known as “TD”, sasabihin sa yo ng Accounts Manager, “Ma’am, 5 years po ito dapat nakalagak sa bangko. Di pwedeng mai pre-terminate otherwise yung kita po ay ibabawas pa sa principal amount ninyo.” Ganoon din dapat sa buhay natin, dapat marunong tayong magtanim. Oo, hindi biro ang pagtatanim pero ito lang ang alam kong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang atin halaga ng ating pera. Kung ang P1 noon ang dami na nabibili (kahit nga bentisingko noon, may icecandy na ako eh), pero subukan mong ibigay yan sa mga bata sa pasko, makikita mo baka ibato pa iyon sa iyo. I am trying to say that P1 noon, wala ng halaga ngayon.Ibig sabihin nawawala ang halaga ng pera due to inflation. At kung hindi mo itatanim ang pera mo ngayon, balang araw, wala kang aasahang tubo or ani kase wala ka naman itinanim.

I rather plant the seed now when I have something to plant, rather than maging kawawa ako later on.  I advise that you begin a habit of planting. The Bible is clear: “when you plant a seed, you expect for a harvest.” Totoo ang kasabihan: “ang nagtanim sa pag-iyak, ay mag-aani ng may galak.”

Planting for today, harvest for tomorrow.

Live Life Daring

Live Life Daring

Kung may pangarap, go ahead. Life is too short to live in mediocrity. Yes, you could lose but don’t forget you could also win. You never know the outcome until you try. Madali naman bumalik sa dati kung talagang failure ang mga endeavors natin e. In our deathbed, we will only regret those chances we did not take. At ayoko noon. When I die, I want to tell myself, “I was daring to challenge life itself.”  I wanted to go back to my Creator saying: “Lord, I have used all the gifts and the talents you have given me.” I wish to hear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant...”

Marami kase sa mga tao the reason why they do not achieve their full potential is that they remain inferior, palaging takot matalo, or mawalan. Successful people are never scared to take big risks; although they can lose big time, they also know that they can beyond their wildest imagination!

Subok-subok lang naman ang buhay e. Pag di ka sumubok, di mo malalaman. Mas maganda na yung nabuhay ka na: “oh wells…” rather than you’re asking yourself, “what if?”

Sabi nga nila: “Life is an adventure, not a package tour.” Try to live braver and unstoppable. Of course, people will always remind you of your weaknesses, your past and you cannot make it. But it reminds me what God told Adam and Eve: “Who told you…?” Sinong nagsabi sa inyo na hindi mo kaya? Is it others or yourself? Either way, if you allow that negativity, it will limit you to achieve life’s full potential. Life can only take you up to where you wanted to go. Just like that poor lady in the Bible who was commanded by a prophet to pour out oil into the bottles. Her oil never stopped until she had the bottle. But the moment she runs out of a bottle, the oil stopped pouring.

What’s stopping you from living a daring life? Hindi mo alam ang swerte ng buhay dahil naging close-minded ka.

 

This year, be brave and unstoppable.

This year, be brave and unstoppable.

 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:13

Napansin ko dito na nauuna ang “I can do…” ibig sabihin kelangan may gawin muna tayo para palakasin ka ng Diyos. Nakita mo na ba yung lalaki na gustong magkaroon ng muscle, at mag lose ng weight pero nakaupo sa treadmill at may mga juice at kain ng kain habang nakaupo at paa lang ang gumagalaw. How do you expect this man to be strengthen when he does not ‘do’ things he has to do.

Successful people are not just brave for the sake of being brave per se. Hindi sila nagtapang-tapangan lang ngunit inalam muna ang mga bagay bagay bago sila sumubok. Kaya nga sabi ni Warren Buffett: “Do not put all your eggs in one basket“. I will add, that even before you put the eggs in the basket, investigate if the basket has no hole in it. Being brave is necessary as one cannot take any risk. But without taking a risk, one will never achieve his dream. Being brave means you forget what you can lose, but focus on what you can gain.

I believe that one of the biggest risks in life is not the taking the risk at all. I believe it was Shakespeare who wrote the line: “It is better to love and lose than to never love at all.” Of course, in every endeavor, there is a chance of losing: negosyo man yan, pwede kang malugi; pag-ibig man yan, pwede kang maloko or maiwan; pagsakay man sa bus, pwede yan masiraan or mabangga. Lahat ng bagay ay may kaakibat na peligro at sakuna. Pwede ka naman maging trabahante forever, pwede ka naman maging single forever, pwede ka naman maglakad ng ilang kilometro, but even those, are risky anyway.

Even primitive sailors thought that there will always be a chance of dying in the big seas, but Christopher Columbus went on to pursue his vision and found the ‘New World’.

Maganda din sa pagiging brave ay kasama mo ang Diyos. Look at King David who inquired of the LORD, saying:

“Shall I pursue this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” 1 Samuel 30:8

Kahit malakas ang loob mo, maganda pa din kakampi mo ang langit lalo na sa malalaking desisyon ng iyong buhay. Mahirap magkamali at magsisi sa bandang huli. Mahirap ng kalagin ang mga bagay na nakatali na. Mahirap ng bawiin ang mga bagay naibigay na. Mahirap ng umahon dahil nakalubog ka na.

That woman in the Bible who was suffering from a discharge of blood, became brave because she knew she only had one chance to see and touch Jesus. She claimed: “If I only touch even the garment of Jesus, I shall be healed”. Brave but full of expectation that her plan will succeed. Lesson learned: you only enjoy the benefit of things you pursue. In your deathbed, the only thing you will regret are those chances you didn’t take. What if you succeed? What if you hit the jackpot? What if you become a millionaire? What if you made it?

Ask yourself, what’s stopping you? Fear? rejection? the shame of failing? E ano ngayon kung mag fail. Madali naman bumalik kung ano ka dati. But never ever stop dreaming to achieve great things in your life just because you are afraid. Ok lang na uod (worm) ka ngayon, but if you’re brave to keep moving, soon you can come out of your cocoon and become a beautiful butterfly. Stop hating to become a worm, and start dreaming to fly and touch lovely flowers. Thank God you now have wings of a butterfly.

This year, be brave, be unstoppable.