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Tuesday
Jan 25th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS OFWs Cannot Run But Can Raise Funds
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 08:27

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)

 

Overseas-Filipino Workers and Overseas Filipinos Cannot Run But Can Raise Funds

 

W HEELING, Illinois (JGLi) – Overseas Filipinos may not be able to run for office in the Philippines. But they are going to compensate for the loss of this civil right by having the last word.

 

In what is one of the first fund-raisings of its kind in these parts to prop up the campaign of a political party in the Philippines, Filipino-American leader Loida Nicolas Lewis appealed before a sparse crowd of Filipino Americans to stop endemic corruption in their native land by opening their wallets.

 

Taking a page out of the campaign of President Barack Obama, the group that aligns itself with Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, III and Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party presidential and vice-presidential tandem, collected at least $25 non-tax deductibles in cash, checks and from credit cards from donors, some came for curiosity, in exchange of a yellow T-shirt.

 

While the Obama campaign did not decline big donors, it also welcomed small donations as low as $25 that gained a wide grassroots-voter participation that catapulted him to win the primary to the general elections.

 

Launching the fund-raising two days before the Jan. 25th birthday of the late President Cory Aquino, the “U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar” held a candlelight prayer led by community leader Thelma Fuentes, a registered nurse, at the Westin Hotel – Chicago Northshore, 601 N. Milwaukee Avenue at Chicago’s suburban Wheeling, Illinois.

 

Telling them not to waste their resources by running for office in the Philippines that they will never win, Mrs. Lewis, the guest speaker, instead told them that “when your relatives ask you for money, tell them to vote for Noynoy-Mar ticket.

“We may not be in position to hold elective posts in the Philippines. But we should make sure whom our relatives and friends should vote,” Mrs. Lewis explained.

 

She paid tribute to organizers of the “U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar” in Chicago, Illinois, for collecting $1,825, the highest amount so far during the first-day launching of fund-raising in any U.S. city. The event was spearheaded by the Fil-Am Weekly Megascene publishers Bart and Yoly Tubalinal and community organizers Marlon L. Pecson and Ting Joven.

 

Among the big donors to the event were Doctors Nunilo and Elenita Rubio, who gave $500, and Mrs. Maria Smith, a registered nurse, of Indiana, $250, and Jun Delfin of Unlimited Agency, $150.

 

Last Friday, the U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar in Detroit, Michigan, hosted by Fuji Japanese Buffet restaurant and community leader Willie Dechavez collected $1,063.

 

An earlier fund-raising by the U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar in New York collected $1,600 while those in Los Angeles, California, raised $1,500 and San Francisco is yet to turn in their collection.

 

Mrs. Lewis said the initial goal of the fund-raising is $2-million. She said there are an estimated three-million Filipino Americans. If 100,000 Fil Ams will donate at least $25, it will generate $2-million, less the $5-service fee by Pay-Pal, an online remittance company.

 

Last Sunday, Jan. 24, Mrs. Lewis presided over another fund-raising event in Connecticut.

 

Those who attended the fund-raising but did not carry with them cash, check or credit card may log in to www.NOYMAR2010.COM and send their donations via “PayPal.”

 

The groundbreaking campaign was made possible by registering the “U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy Mar under “Section 501 (c) (6)” at the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, where donors cannot claim deduction. This was crafted by the organizers composed of Attorneys Rodel Rodis, Loida Nicolas Lewis and Vickie Garchitorena, president of Ayala Foundation.

 

This reporter and Bart Tubalinal shared their memories over their encounters with Ninoy and Cory Aquino. This reporter recalled his meeting with the martyred senator and his housewife in their Times Street home in Quezon City in the 80’s when Ninoy Aquino was given a furlough from his detention.

 

Mr. Tubalinal recalled that he had a talk with Ninoy Aquino, who was then, the governor of Tarlac, where he (Tubalinal) was a high-school student.

 

By warming up to young students, like him, Bart Tubalinal said, Governor Aquino impressed on him that he was a good leader, which he could have handed down to his son, a chip off the old block.

When asked if she was doing the sacrifice of campaigning overseas, using her own money and resources, to get a Cabinet position, Mrs. Lewis answered “no and yes.”

 

She said she will not accept a Cabinet position from the Noynoy-Mar administration. But she would consider the appointment of chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government without salary.

 

Mrs. Lewis said her first order of business is to fire all the members of the PCCG board who are receiving millions in salary even if they failed to go after the hidden wealth of President Marcos during the last 20 years. She said she is going to replace all of them with volunteers.

 

The PCGG board should be disbanded and be run privately and should sell confiscated assets to reduce debts.

 

Mrs. Lewis said the Noynoy-Mar administration needs the help of the dedicated people to rid the Philippine government of corrupt bureaucrats.

 

She said the Noynoy-Mar team will “curb corruptions that sap the spirit of the nation; appoint people with integrity; will be competitive by improving economy and providing the poor with jobs and be compassionate to people.”

 

Funds raised during the campaign will be used to spend for the meals of the volunteers, who will watch the voting and canvassing of votes, in areas in the Philippines, where the money is needed by the Noynoy-Mar Liberal Party. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 

 

© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.

 

(Editor’s Note: Watch out for the upcoming outlet-oriented, subscription-based website of Journal Group Link International that guarantees originally sourced stories, features, photos, audios and videos and multi-media contents.)

 

 



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