Back to Manhattan Criminal Court

By Alex P. Vidal

“When fake news is repeated, it becomes difficult for the public to discern what’s real.”— Jimmy Gomez

WE’LL be back outside the Manhattan Criminal Court in the Lower Manhattan on March 27, the day the grand jury was reported to be meeting anew for possible criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump for the $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

I want to interview controversial characters and witness first-hand how New York supporters of the former president will react and handle the tense situation just in case the grand jury decides to indict the flamboyant real estate developer from Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

My presence will also enable me to dissect the pros and cons of the case and present the issue to my readers in a more transparent, detailed and objective manner sans the influence from both the conservative and liberal American media.

Fake news, extremism, conspiracy theories, fanaticism, are some of the negative factors that interrupt our search for truth and justice.

Fake news will have no room once we begin to chronicle the historic event, where a former US president is facing the possibility of being handcuffed, the first in American history.


Mr. Trump’s reported “imminent” arrest has been delayed for a week now, although Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg never confirmed Mr. Trump’s possible arrest was on March 21, contrary to the claim of Mr. Trump himself.

The hush money payment to Daniels was reportedly made by Michael, Cohen, Mr. Trump’s then lawyer and fixer, and discovered only in 2018. Cohen, another interesting character that I want to interview, went to jail, in part over the payment, and turned on his former boss.

Bragg’s investigation of what members of his own team came to call a “zombie case” has never run smoothly as Republicans in congress have accused Bragg of politicking while neglecting crime in New York City.

The same sentiments were echoed by Mr. Trump’s supporters who were outnumbered by journalists in a small rally outside Bragg’s office on March 20, the event that I also attended.


WANTED PINOYS WITH EXCEPTIONAL TALENT. According to the Filipinos of New York, the O-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa category for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

To be eligible for an O-1 visa, the applicant must have a job offer from a US employer or agent and must be able to demonstrate that they have extraordinary ability or achievement in their field of endeavor.

Filipino citizens who meet the criteria for an O-1 visa may apply for the visa. Some examples of extraordinary ability or achievement that may qualify a Filipino citizen for an O-1 visa include:

A renowned Filipino scientist who has made significant contributions to their field of study, and has been recognized internationally for their work.

A Filipino artist or musician who has won numerous awards and accolades for their talent, and has achieved international recognition for their work.

A Filipino athlete who has competed at the highest levels of their sport, and has been recognized as one of the best in their field.

A Filipino business executive who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and has achieved significant success in their industry, such as growing a successful startup or leading a major corporation.

A Filipino actor or director who has achieved critical acclaim and international recognition for their work in the motion picture or television industry, such as winning major awards or working on high-profile projects.

A Filipino academic who has made significant contributions to their field of study, such as publishing groundbreaking research or developing innovative theories.

A Filipino designer who has created highly acclaimed works of art or fashion, and has been recognized internationally for their creativity and originality.

A Filipino chef who has won major culinary awards and has achieved international recognition for their culinary expertise and innovation.

A Filipino journalist who has produced groundbreaking investigative reporting or has been recognized for exceptional reporting skills.

In addition to demonstrating extraordinary ability or achievement in their field, O-1 visa applicants must also have a job offer from a US employer or agent and must meet other eligibility requirements for the visa category. It is important to note that the O-1 visa application process can be complex and requires careful preparation and documentation, so it is advisable to work with an experienced immigration attorney when applying for the visa.


How to Apply for O-1 Visa? The applicant must submit a petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-129, along with supporting documentation that demonstrates their extraordinary ability or achievement. The supporting documentation may include:

Documentation of the applicant’s awards, prizes, or other recognition in their field, such as certificates, letters of commendation, or news articles.

Published materials about the applicant’s work in their field, such as articles, reviews, or interviews.

Evidence of the applicant’s membership in professional associations or organizations related to their field.

Letters of recommendation from experts in the applicant’s field, attest to their extraordinary ability or achievement.

Evidence of the applicant’s participation as a judge of the work of others in their field, such as serving on a panel of experts or as a juror for a competition.

The O-1 visa is typically issued for an initial period of up to three years, with the possibility of extensions for up to one year at a time. Spouses and children of O-1 visa holders may be eligible for O-3 visas, which allow them to accompany the O-1 visa holder to the US but do not allow them to work in the US.

After the USCIS approves the O-1 petition, the applicant can apply for an O-1 visa at a US consulate or embassy in their home country. The visa application process typically includes an interview with a consular officer, where the applicant must provide additional documentation and answer questions about their qualifications and intentions in the US.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)