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Sep 25th
Home Sections Filipino-Veterans' Lobby MabuhayRadio Backs Up Romy Marquez's Version of the Filner Interview
MabuhayRadio Backs Up Romy Marquez's Version of the Filner Interview PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Filipino-Veterans' Lobby
Sunday, 22 July 2007 03:09

The has published the interview of the Hon. Congressman Bob Filner by Romeo P. Marquez about the Filipino Veterans' (FilVets') Lobby. During the interview, Congressman Filner talked about how Eric Lachica and his American Coalition for Filipino Veterans (ACFV) hindered the FilVets' Lobby. We fully back up the version of Mr. Marquez and we will not issue any retraction of any fact mentioned in the said Marquez article.

We are reproducing hereunder the e-mail that we sent to Sonny Sampayan of New York City wherein he requested that Mr. Marquez issue a retraction about his interview of Congressman Filner.

QUOTE. Dear Sonny:

Our online publication, the, published Mr. Marquez's article about Eric Lachica. Our publication will not, repeat, NOT issue any retraction because Col. Romy Monteyro (Ret.), one of the people present during the interview, confirmed that he heard what Mr. Marquez wrote in the article. Unless the Hon. Congressman Bob Filner will issue a written denial of what Mr. Marquez wrote, then we do not want to make Colonel Monteyro and Mr. Marquez as liars.

The problem with Mr. Lachica, as per the information that I relayed to Mr. Marquez and which information was quoted in his article, is that his coalition has been raising (and continues to raise) money from Filipino-American veterans and the public and never made public any accounting of the proceeds. I myself was a victim, as per my statement to Mr. Marquez. What Mr. Lachica did was to follow-in the footsteps of some NaFFAA NEOs like Atty. Rodel Rodis, who refused up to now to issue a financial report about the 2002 NaFFAA convention in San Jose, CA, in August 2002, which he co-chaired with Ben Menor, and other NaFFAA events. The NaFFAA NEOs and Mr. Lachica and Company have the same modus operandi: Collect money from the public and refuse demands to make an accounting of the collections. This was why I called Atty. Rodis, Mr. Menor and some of their fellow NaFFAA NEOs as crooks (C-R-O-O-K-S) and up to now they could not sue me for libel. Why? It is not only because truth is a defense against libel and the NaFFAA NEOs fear that their tax returns, bank accounts and other financial documents would be subpoenaed but also because they are a bunch of mice, as they are not men enough to tell the truth.

So, in this light, our publication and I join Mr. Marquez in reporting that Mr. Lachica is a crook (C-R-O-O-K) and let him sue us for libel in the Superior Court if he objects to our using the term. Because if he is not a crook, then he would immediately make public the accounting records of his coalition. To date, nobody has been able to see any financial report of Mr. Lachica's American Coalition for Filipino Veterans. For instance, Mr. Lachica should tell what happened to the $100 membership fee that I paid his coalition in South San Francisco, CA, during a plenary session for the veterans at the convention of the Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce and which was done in full view of the convention delegates. To date I have not received any receipt or anything from Mr. Lachica's coalition.


Bobby M. Reyes, editor,

In a message dated 7/21/2007 11:03:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time, RSampayan writes:

Hello Sir

An e-mail was sent to me regarding an article that you may have written. I can't help but ask, have you ever seen any documents or proof that Lachica was ever banned by Philippine DOJ? A request to Philippine DOJ banning Lachica is not the same as being banned, right?

Such false insertion of facts, coupled with your article's defamation of Lachica's character are serious matters, especially now that Cong Filner have clarified the facts. (On Tuesday before the hearing, Filner told reporters, "I did not say all those things." Although he acknowledged that "I have disagreed with Mr. Lachica" on strategy and the amounts regarding the equity pension bill, he stressed, "I do not know where the words came from–they weren't mine.")

Do you plan to retract your article since its the right thing to do Sir?

Best regards,

R Sonny sends!

Quesada also claimed that Lachica "has been banned by the Department of Justice from interfering with veteran’s affairs here and in the Philippines".


SAN DIEGO - Congressman Bob Filner (D-51st District) assailed the practice of a Filipino American lobbyist of collecting fees from Filipino veterans for a service his office gives for free, saying it was "a scam" that bilks them of government monetary assistance.

"It's terrible, what he's doing," said the San Diego lawmaker, pointing to the highly-visible Eric Lachica, executive director of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans (ACFV)based in Arlington, Virginia, which boasts of having 4,000 members.

In a rare display of contempt, Filner said Lachica was "the one who sold us out" in congressional deliberations by pruning down veterans' demand for full equity to the detriment of the great majority of veterans in the United States and the Philippines.

"He (Lachica) lives off these vulnerable people," Filner said on Thursday (July 5) during a meeting in his office with Col. Romy Monteyro, adviser of the Filipino World War II Veterans Foundation of San Diego, and Commander Manuel B. Braga, who heads the group.

Filner took the occasion to acknowledge Monteyro, chair of the recently-formed congressional lobby group NAFVE (National Alliance for Veterans Equity), as his "dancing partner" -- his metaphor to describe the significant role he plays in the ongoing campaign to secure full benefits for all Filipino veterans currently in the United States and those in the Philippines.

"Lachica is in some scams," Filner stressed. "He's doing what I do for free; what the Department of Veterans Affairs do for free. It's ridiculous," he added.

Contacted for comment, Lachica said he had been sick and pointed to the ACFV vice president for membership, Franco Arcebal, in Los Angeles to answer the interview questions.

This reporter has held on to the story for almost a week to afford him the chance to clarify the issues. On the deadline set for him to reply, which was Tuesday, July 10, Lachica said: "been down w/ allergies & bronchitis for a few days".

Lachica had been expected in San Diego on Saturday, July 7 for a meeting with his supporters. Those who went to the meeting said Lachica didn't show up.

Nonetheless, the attendees raised some money, as they were apparently told by Lachica, for air fare to Washington, DC supposedly for the signing of the bill approved by the Senate committee.

"Pipirmahan na daw ni President Bush (the president will sign the bill)," one of the veterans said, quoting what they had been told would happen on July 27. But the legislation is not up for signing until the Senate and House versions were reconciled into one.

Lachica's known contacts in San Diego, notably Joann Fields of the local chapter of National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), did not reply to queries. Fields recently led a group of Filipino veterans in a candlelight vigil apparently to seek divine help for the veterans benefits.

Monteyro said he has told Filipino veterans: "Don't pay him (Lachica). The service (he's doing) is free, absolutely free."

Information from veterans who declined to be identified said they were asked to pay $100 for membership plus the occasional costs of his travels and lobbying. They also disclosed that as executive director of ACFV, Lachica receives a salary.

Bobby Reyes, a son of a veteran who lives in Los Angeles, said he was a "victim" of what he calls the "ACFV scam". He recalled an event in San Francisco in March 2002 when he and several others gave $100 each as life-time membership fee in the ACFV.

After that, he said he never heard again from Lachica and his ACFV.

Reyes said he has "personally interviewed some Filipino-American veterans in Los Angeles and they claimed that they had been contributing $10 to $20 per month per head to Mr. Lachica to fund his so-called lobbying activities in the District of Columbia".

"So far," he continued, "Mr. Lachica has produced not even a single financial report about his and the ACFV fundraising activities". <<Snipped>> UNQUOTE.

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