Iowa official apologizes to Filipinos

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau

Posted at Aug 22 2013 11:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 23 2013 11:32 PM

WASHINGTON, DC – After learning about Iowa Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London’s alleged inappropriate remarks about Filipinos, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. personally called the Commissioner to seek his explanation.

London allegedly said that “It was difficult to conduct polygraph examinations to Filipinos” during a meeting with polygraph examiners of the State of Iowa last year.

The Ambassador told London that the Filipino community found that sweeping statement about Filipinos to be inappropriate and unacceptable.

The commissioner explained that his statement was taken out of context and it was meant to underscore the difficulty examiners could encounter in handling subjects who speak different languages or who are of different cultures.

London said that he just happened to have cited a polygraph examination conducted with a Filipino subject back in 1986 to illustrate his point.

“I hope hope that your explanation is sufficient to calm the Filipino Community because I know that a number of them have expressed anger at the remarks which have come out in both US and Philippine papers," Cuisia said.

London responded, “As the ambassador for the Filipino Community, if you could on my behalf express my sincere apologies, there certainly was never any intention, this was purely a technical conversation.

“It’s so ironic because I was really trying to make sure the folks didn’t offend anybody and in result somebody sent you what I said, twisting it and now I am in the position of trying to defend what I was trying to tell them," said London.

Cuisia told the commissioner that he would convey his apologies to the Filipino community and suggested that he reach out to the more than 3,500 Filipinos in Iowa.

“It would be good for you to dialogue with the Filipino Community to allow you to better understand us as a people,” Cuisia told London.