by Myrna Aquitania

Deputy DA Teresa Pineda Magno bids for LA Superior Court Seat 

Myrna Aquitana_LighthouseAt a recent “Night of Fine Food and Wine” at Rafi’s Village, in Burbank, this writer was among the guests at the campaign fundraiser for Fil-Am Deputy DA Teresa Pineda Magno in her bid for LA Superior Court’s seat no. 97 which will eventually be vacated by Judge David Milton. Event hosts were: Razmik Nazarian and Aileen Azadian of the Glendale Law Center.

The intimate crowd included Teresa Magno’s mother, Nina Estrada who currently works as a social worker for the Department of Public Social Services and her husband, Deputy District Attorney John Portillo, a 30-year veteran of the District Attorney’s office.

Fil-Am Deputy District Attorney Teresa Pineda Magno

Fil-Am Deputy District Attorney Teresa Pineda Magno

In her speech, Ms Magno thanked everyone of us who came to support her and proudly recalled how grateful she is of her single mom’s sacrifice in raising them (her along with three brothers). She’s also grateful to her mom for bringing them here in the US which enabled her to pursue a career in the legal profession in order to “make a difference.” Likewise, Nina Estrada (Teresa’s mom) said that she’s confident on her daughter’s bid to be a judge because she’s not only honest,; she also has a big heart and she’s my “friend and confidante.” Early on Teresa recalled, while applying at the community college, her councilor tried to convince her of a “Filipino stereotype” nursing career, but she was tenacious in pursuing her dream in the legal field, which was later on validated when she passed the Bar exams to the surprise of the college councilor.

According to an article published by this writer’s former employer, the Metropolitan News Enterprise, Teresa’s “inspiration for joining the District Attorney’s Office stemmed from her experience growing up in the Philippines and witnessing police corruption and government abuse.”

The evening’s guest speaker, Honorable Judge David Milton, who will be retiring from the LA Superior Court spoke, endorsing Teresa Pineda Magno with a lot of enthusiasm by saying, “there is no doubt in my mind and without reservation, I unequivocably endorse Teresa Pineda Magno as my successor to seat number 97 of the LA Superior Court. She has the drive to make a difference in the community and she is committed to serve as a public servant.”

Also included in Teresa Pineda Magno’s website is her mission statement which goes: “ I want to be a judge in order to continue making a difference, in the lives of many peope. As a judge, I will not demand respect. I will earn it. I will do so by devoting whatever time and effort is necessary to ensure that I am prepared for any legal rulings; by being objective in my legal rulings, and by treating every person, litigants, court staff, jurors, and the public – with courtesy and respect. Lastly, I will be a fair judge, who while always giving priority to public safety, will temper the harsh realities inherent in the law, with compassion and understanding, and who will take the time and effort required to treat each defendant or litigant as an individual.”

Currently, Teresa Pineda Magno is assigned to the Organized Crime Division/ Hate Crimes Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.She ‘recently completed a seven-year assignment as a gang homicide prosecutor, in the Hardcore Gang Division, where she completed 41 jury trials of gang-motivated murders and 83 felony trials. As a prosecutor with the L.A County District Attorney’s Office for the past 15 years, she has attained a 100 percent conviction rate  in the murder cases she has tried and a 97 percent conviction rate for all gang-related cases she was involved in.”

On her website, this well-respected Fil-Am,Teresa Pineda Magno is highly endorsed by her superiors as well as her colleagues. Here is a list of some of her endorsements: Appelate Justice Judith Ashmann-Gerst, LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Retired District Attorney Steve Cooley, City of Inglewood Chief of Police, Mark Fronterotta, City of Torrance Chief of Police, John J, Neu, City of Pasadena Chief of Police, Phillip Smiley, R.Rex Parris, Mayor, City of Lancaster, Pat Furrey, Councilman, City of Torrance, Quin J. Voltaire, Councilman, City of Torrance, 50 Superior Court Judges, various LA County Lawyer’s Groups, 11 Law Enforcement Agencies, 36 Individual Law Enforcement Officers of the LAPD/LASD (Sheriffs) and 8 Criminal Defense Lawyers

The list of endorsements above signifies that Teresa Pineda Magno deserves the Fil-Am community’s support in her bid for seat no. 97 In the LA Superior Court. To all our kababayans who may wish to help in her campaign, you may log on to her website at:

Celebrity beauty-maker, Neeko Abriol is proud to be Pinoy

Joseph “Neeko” Abriol

Joseph “Neeko” Abriol

Joseph “Neeko” Abriol was born here in Los Angeles, though his family (he has a brother and a sister) used to move wherever his dad, a career Navy man was stationed. Originally, his dad Jose Abriol and his mom, Thelma Manrique came from the City of Pines in Baguio, Philippines.

After graduating from Upland High School, Neeko knew he wanted to become a “beauty-maker” so he pursued a career in Cosmetology at Citrus College.

For the past ten years, Neeko is now one of the most sought-after hairstylists in the fashion and entertainment industry. He has used his outstanding styling talent on many of Hollywood’s most recognized personalities such as: Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Iman, Tyra Banks,  Jennifer Love Hewitt, Naomi Campbell, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vanessa WIlliams, Natasha Kinski and Viveca A. Fox. Some of the recording artists he has worked with are: Pink, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Carmen Elektra and countless other Hollywood stars.

As a celebrity stylist, he has become a favorite staff on popular shows such as: MTV, VH1  and E! Entertainment. He also works on various advertising commercials on print, video and TV. Added to his busy schedule are fashion shows in New York, Los Angeles and New Delhi, India.

Neeko’s television commercial credits include: Halle Berry’s Revlon Ads since 1998; Tyra Bank’s appearances on “America;s Top Model,” as well as most Victoria’s Secret and Cover Girl Ads. Neeko’s professional down-to-earth personal style may also be seen in various magazines such as: Allure, Bazaar, In-Style, Vive, Shape and many other print publications.

Neeko has also been commissioned to work with celebrity photographers on worldwide photo shoots with well-known fashion photographers such as: Anne Liebowitz, Andrew Macpherson, Nigel Barker Firoz, Zahedi, Daniella Federico nd Kate Gardner.

Most recently, through the invitation of Steve Moyer, we met Neeko as one of the judges at the BMA Beautymaker Awards held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel attended by around 200 professional stylidsts and salon participants all over the United States.

As a Filipino American, Neeko’s fame and fortune never ‘got to his head; he’s still the same young chap who’s proud to call himself ‘Pinoy” all the time. And of course, most of us here in LA are proud to see another Pinoy in the limelight! Congratulations, Neeko, you make us all proud of your achievements!