British-Filipino takes another shot at UK parliament
- James Mananghaya () - May 7, 2010 - 12:00am

LONDON – A British-Filipino is one of the candidates for member of parliament of the United Kingdom in today’s general elections here.

Gene Alcantara, 50, who hails from San Pablo City in Laguna, is running as an independent to be a member of parliament for the northwest London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. 

“I want to show not only to my fellow Filipinos, but also to the rest of the world, that we are capable of holding public office,” he said in an interview with The STAR a day before the general elections in the United Kingdom.

Alcantara has three children, two with his first wife and one with Carmila Legarda, sister of renowned Filipino lawyer Katrina Legarda.

Alcantara, who became a British citizen in 1992, had twice run and lost in his bid to be a member of parliament.

He is a graduate of the University of Westminster with a degree in Russian Studies.

Alcantara had worked for the British Council in London for 21 years promoting British culture and education overseas, and was assigned to the Czech Republic and Poland.

He said at least 8,000 Filipinos become naturalized British citizens every year.

Alcantara decided to run in the elections here to empower British-Filipinos and other ethnic minorities and to promote equality.

There are 646 seats in parliament that would be contested in today’s polls. A candidate needs 15,000 votes to win a seat in parliament.

Alcantara said he is optimistic that the first automated elections in the Philippines on Monday would be a step closer to political maturity, although he admitted that he is a bit disappointed with the present system back home.

“We’re surely getting there. It’s a process that we have to undergo but I think we have nowhere to go but good governance,” he said.

A BRITISH-FILIPINO BRITISH COUNCIL CARMILA LEGARDA CZECH REPUBLIC AND POLAND GENE ALCANTARA HAMPSTEAD AND KILBURN KATRINA LEGARDA RUSSIAN STUDIES SAN PABLO CITY UNITED KINGDOM UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER
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