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Mar 27th
Home Columns Dissenting Opinion PGMA Asked to Give “State of the Nation’s Corruption Address” (SONCA) During Her USA Trip
PGMA Asked to Give “State of the Nation’s Corruption Address” (SONCA) During Her USA Trip PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Dissenting Opinion
Sunday, 07 September 2008 21:59

B obby Reyes has requested President Gloria M. Arroyo to deliver a “State of the Nation’s Corruption Address” (SONCA) during her appearance at the United Nations on Nov. 12-13, 2008. She failed to deliver the SONCA during her visit to the UN on Sept. 23, 2008. If she could not do it in New York, then perhaps President Arroyo may choose to deliver the SONCA at a community forum at the Sheraton hotel near the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) on Nov. 21, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. The Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles is arranging the community forum.


Mr. Reyes says that the Filipino-American community will continue to give token support to President Arroyo if it continues to believe that her Administration is mired in corruption. In particular, he wants the Philippine President to explain the purchase by the Philippine Ports Authority of 10 cargo-screening equipments. He claims that the purchase was overpriced by $70-million, aside from the 20% “regular commission” given by the Chinese manufacturer on the equipment’s regular price of $30-million. Details of the scandal that involved allegedly the First Gentleman are found in this earlier article that Mr. Reyes wrote:

The Arroyo Administration’s “Incredible Bulk”


Mr. Reyes has also asked Greg Macabenta, the new NaFFAA national chairperson, to deliver his own version of the SONCA, the “State of the NaFFAA’s Corruption Address.” He has written numerous articles about the corruption in the NaFFAA and which reports are found in this website’ NaFFAAgate and the FilVets' Lobby sections.


Mr. Macabenta and his predecessors, Alma Q, Kern and Loida Nicolas-Lewis, have refused to release the financial statements about the NaFFAA national conventions, particularly the 2002 event in San Jose, California. Details of the Reyes exposé are found in this article, The “Embezzlement” Issues in the Menorgate/NaFFAAgate Scandals of San Jose


Jimmy D. Bautista called Mr. Reyes the “conscience of the community” for the latter’s fight against corruption in the Philippine government and in the NaFFAA. Mr. Bautista is the now-blind founding chairman of the Ninoy Aquino Memorial (NAMSERVE), Los Angeles chapter.


Mr. Reyes says that “SONCA” rhymes with “Sungka," the traditional Filipino game played by two participants. The objective of the Sungka game is to amass stones or sea shells in the player’s home base by continuously distributing the shells around smaller holes until the player runs out of shells to distribute. The person who collects the most shells in his or her Sungka board wins. He says that President Arroyo and Chairwoman Kern must fill in the holes in the figurative Sungka board by releasing actual facts and figures and answering questions that Filipino-American and mainstream media practitioners will ask during the NaFFAA’s Seattle convention.


Here is the official NaFFAA announcement of the supposed participation of President Arroyo in the coming NaFFAA convention, which Mr. Reyes has dubbed the “Slapstick in Seattle” . . .

Philippine President to Attend Grand U.S. Filipino Fiesta in Seattle: "Forging a New Filipino American Agenda for the 21st Century"

Seattle, WA - In just a few weeks, hundreds of community leaders, members and advocates throughout the United States and other countries will gather in Seattle to discuss how to "Forge a New Filipino American Agenda for the 21st Century" and promote the welfare and well-being of Filipinos and Filipino Americans by fostering unity and empowerment.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), will hold its 8th National Empowerment Conference, a three-day event on September 26-28, 2008, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle.  Since its founding in 1997, leaders from across the nation and around the world convene every two years to discuss how Filipinos can help each other improve their quality of life.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the keynote during the Gala event on Friday, September 26, 2008.  Over 1,000 attendees are expected. (Editor's Note: President Arroyo did not attend the said NaFFAA convention in Seattle, Washington.)

"We are really looking forward to hearing what President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has to say to us.  We are a diverse community, some of us are third, fourth-generation Filipino Americans, but regardless of how far back we can trace our Filipino ancestry, we remain attached to the culture. We would also like her to hear how we are very much part of day to day struggle to have the quality of life we hope for, as Filipino Americans.  NaFFAA is a young national organization, only 11 years old, yet has had major successful projects such as dual citizenship for global Filipinos.   But we are still and will continue to fight in the United States for Equity for Filipino WWII Veterans, for voter education, civil rights advocacy, better educational and business opportunities.  It is good for President Arroyo to hear all that." states Alma Q. Kern, the federation national chair.

Other expected dignitaries visiting with the President are: Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry Peter Favila, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo  and Press Secretary Jesus Dureza.

"The youth sector will have our own workshop offerings that specifically focus on issues such as leadership development, identity and culture, and how we can be part of the 21st Century dynamic and strong Filipino bloc now, not 10 years from now", asserts Ian Purganan, Region 7 Youth Chair.  He adds, "field trip is planned to visit various Filipino-American and Asian-American sites of historical significance such as the Carlos Bulosan Exhibit, Rizal Park and RIzal Bridge."

"We planned the workshops so that there is something for everyone. General Aglipay of the Philippine Retirement Authority will discuss how you can enjoy your retirement pension in style. We have workshops from Alternative Medicine to Education, Domestic Violence Prevention and Human Trafficking and so much more.  This conference is rich with intellectual stimulation and networking with esteemed leaders. You can be up close and personal with activists and trailblazers like Dolores Sibonga, Bob Santos and Dorothy Cordova, Pio De Cano", reiterates Mariela Fletcher, overall conference chair.

NaFFAA Conference would not be complete without an educational forum on political empowerment.  Discussion of platforms will be led by both spokespersons from Republican and Democrat Campaign, respectively.

"As a national Filipino American organization, it is important for our community to know what each presidential candidate have to say about the issues affecting us.  We need to vote intelligently", said Mrs. Kern.

NaFFAA invites not only Filipinos and Filipino Americans but everyone interested in enriching their knowledge of who and what Filipinos are about.

NaFFAA's purpose is to monitor legislation and public policy issues affecting Filipino Americans and work in coalition with other national groups around common issues and concerns. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and recognized by policy-makers, private industry and national advocacy groups as the voice of Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the nation. It is a non-partisan, non-profit national affiliation of more than five hundred Filipino-American institutions and umbrella organizations. Its twelve regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Marianas.

A Catholic mass will be celebrated at the St. Edwards Parish on Saturday Sept 28, at 10:00 AM.  President Arroyo will address the Filipino-American community afterwards.  The Filipino Community of Seattle, a member organization is co- sponsoring this event for NaFFAA.

The Filipino Chamber of Commerce in the Pacific Northwest offers workshops designed to help new and existing businesses to make their millions.  Topics such as Access to Capital, IT Infrastructure for Small Business and Supplier Diversity are among the many topics being offered.

The registration fee is $195, which includes all workshops, materials, meals, and a gala dinner; and $125. For business tract.

To attend the conference, be an exhibitor or for more information, contact Mariela Fletcher, Overall Conference Chair at
marielfletch@, Tel. 206-892-0075. You may also visit www.naffaa-pacnw. org.

Ning Rogge, Media Relations Manager, NaFFAA 8th Empowerment Conference, Tel. 206 949 9676; # # #



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Last Updated on Saturday, 15 November 2008 01:31

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