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Oct 30th
Home Sections Canadian Happenings Tess Cusipag Urges Media Colleagues to Expel Press Club President
Tess Cusipag Urges Media Colleagues to Expel Press Club President PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 21 July 2013 15:33

C old and calculating. That's the least that could be said of the people who tried to score a hit by attacking Balita, Toronto's largest Filipino newspaper, while its founder, publisher and editor was being eulogized and then buried the following morning. It was "brutal", says the widow, Tess Cusipag. Now, she urges media colleagues to expel the left-leaning Hermie Garcia, president of Philippine Press Club Ontario, for multiple violations of its constitution and for what she implies as his lack of good moral character.

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Widow Urges Media Colleagues: Expel the Press Club President

Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) and Reporters Without Borders

T ORONTO - The widow of a veteran journalist who was one of the founders of the small press association here has formally asked that its incumbent president be sacked for allegedly flagrantly committing serious offenses.

Tess Cusipag, publisher and editor of Balita, Toronto's largest Filipino newspaper, has written officers and members of Philippine Press Club Ontario (PPCO) urging them to kick out Hermie Garcia, its president, who she said "has gone too far" in publishing an attack article in his paper while her husband Ruben Cusipag, a PPCO founder, was being eulogized.

"To publish something that is harming to the founder right after his burial is brutal," Ms. Cusipag says in an email, a copy of which was furnished this reporter. She stressed that the grieving family has not even gone past the traditional nine days of mourning.

The latest issue of the left-leaning Philippine Reporter, owned and published by Garcia and his wife, Mila A. Garcia, came out July 12, the very day that family and friends of Ruben Cusipag, who passed away July 9, were having necrological services at a funeral home in Markham, Ontario. He was buried the following morning.

That issue carried an article headlined "Ode to the Tarsier" by a certain Voltaire de Leon which, among others, claims that Balita "is now engaged in red-baiting" after a series of articles that exposed the questionable activities and political leanings of the Garcia couple.

The article likewise defended other couples - "the Camachos" Libby Camacho and husband Guy Camacho, and "the Magnos" Oswald Magno and wife Mila Alvarez Magno - who are all members of University of Philippines Alumni Association Toronto that had been used as stage for their earlier attacks. (Video at: " mce_href="/">).

Oswald Magno has been extensively written about in Balita for his attempts to blackmail, bully and threaten Ms. Cusipag. He's also one of the initiators of a fraudulent petition asking PPCO to sanction Balita for its numerous exposés involving him, the Garcias and the Camachos.

"Let us impeach Hermie Garcia . . . he does not deserve to lead all of us," Ms. Cusipag urges her PPCO colleagues. Garcia was elected in March by a vote of 17 out of 47. His rival scored 14 votes, meaning a third of the members did not cast their votes. (Video at: " mce_href="/" style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;" mce_style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">).

A former provincial journalist, Garcia and his wife Mila were suspected communists and thrown in jail in the early days of martial law in the Philippines in 1972. Their leftist sympathies are reflected in their paper's orientation, in effect, according to some readers, becoming the Left's propaganda mouthpiece.

Hermie Garcia "has violated and violated and violated our constitution and you (PPCO members) are just letting him get away with it," Ms. Cusipag states. (Full story:

This was not the first time Garcia has brazenly sidestepped PPCO bylaws and ethics to pander to friends. For example, he stayed the unofficial decision by a majority of PPCO board members to junk Magno's petition because Magno was not a PPCO member and his concerns were purely personal. 

Garcia has been sitting on it since he took over the club in March. PPCO members interviewed for this story on a non-attribution basis explained that Garcia was intent on using the petition as a leverage against Balita to prop up his crumbling Philippine Reporter, which recently has offered free classified advertising in print and online.

Upon his election, Ms. Cusipag promptly warned Garcia to not use PPCO to secure grants: "“Do not attempt to ask grants or anything monetary using the PPCO because I, as a member, will not tolerate it.” (Full story:

Balita has recently unearthed a case filed against the Garcias in the Ontario Court of Justice. After evading it, the court finally ordered them to pay creditors more than $20,000 for debts they owed.(Full story:

"There is a case that that were filed against them in court for non-payment of debt x x x You call that good moral character?" Ms. Cusipag asks. "Everything that he does, does not conform to our constitution and to be quiet this time is an absolute insult."

Attempts to get the Garcias to react proved futile. They've asked to be cut loose from selected e-groups, including the one involving PPCO members.

(This Currents & Breaking News may be posted online, broadcast or reprinted upon request by interested parties. Permission by the author or the editor must be obtained before any re-posting online or re-publication in print or re-broadcast. Copyright by Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village Voice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Volume 7, Issue no. 51, July 19, 2013. Email at: 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 July 2013 15:39

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