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Oct 21st
Home Sections NaFFAAgate Desperate NaFFAA NEOs Use "Desperate Housewives" Brouhaha to Grandstand and Avoid the ATIC Issue
Desperate NaFFAA NEOs Use "Desperate Housewives" Brouhaha to Grandstand and Avoid the ATIC Issue PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Tuesday, 09 October 2007 03:24

Several national executive officers (NEOs) of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) have taken advantage of the current brouhaha over the supposed humorous slur in the "Desperate Housewives" TV series. The NaFFAA NEOs now want to coordinate the various responses of Filipino-American groups and be in the limelight again. (Many Filipino-American community leaders refuse to work with the NaFFAA for fear of being identified as part of the NaFFAA gang of crooked NEOs.)

How convenient is it for the NaFFAA NEOs the "Desperate Housewives" brouhaha? Critics of the NaFFAA have demanded the production of financial reports for its national conventions, beginning with its event in San Jose, CA, in August 2002 and ending with its convention in Honolulu, HI, in September 2006. The NaFFAA national headquarters and its NEOs have refused to produce any financial statement. One of its NaFFAA NEOs is facing civil and criminal charges for diverting city funds to fund the 2002 NaFFAA convention in San Jose, CA. For details of these indictments, please go to

Several more NaFFAA NEOs are to be charged as accomplices in the criminal cases.

The Menorgate is part of the so-called NaFFAAgate, which is now a section in this online magazine. To view the articles in the NaFFAAgate Section, please go to

Yes, the NaFFAA is using the "Desperate Housewives" brouhaha as a diversionary tactic to avoid complying with the ATIC slogan, as coined by Bobby Reyes. ATIC means accountability, transparency, integrity and credibility.

Yes, the NaFFAA Headquarters can issue so many press releases about so many topics but the NaFFAA NEOs refuse to talk about the financial reports regarding their national conventions and annual Global Pickpocketing, oops, Networking Conventions. They refuse to produce the "missing" financial statements.

The Filipino-American soap opera, called, "NaFFAA-ka-sakit Talaga, Kuya Eddie," continues . . .

Here is the latest NaFFAA "praise release:"

Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2007 13:31:44 -0400
Subject: ‘Desperate Housewives’ Controversy Spur Joint Action; NaFFAA Coordinates FilAm Groups’ Response

'Desperate Housewives' Controversy Spur Joint Action; NaFFAA Coordinates FilAm Groups'Response
NaFFAA Press Release
October 8, 2007
Contact: Jon Melegrito, 202.361.0296

d.C. - After rejecting ABC's apology as inadequate, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) welcomes ABC's willingness to take additional steps in addressing the community's concerns.

            Following the apology, which was issued on October 3 to the press by ABC's publicity department, ABC assured NaFFAA that immediate steps were being taken to delete the offensive scene from DVD sets, future airings and rebroadcasts of the September 30 episode of 'Desperate Housewives.'

            "This is a necessary first step to back up ABC's apology," says NaFFAA National Chair Alma Kern. "In light of our community's outrage over the racial slur, we are determined to pursue reasonable measures to stop this kind of racial profiling in popular media." 

            In a telephone call to NaFFAA Communications Director Jon Melegrito on October 3, ABC Senior Vice President Robert Mendez said that ABC will "wipe out the offensive material from all Disney-ABC platforms as a good-faith effort to engage the Filipino American community in addressing your concerns." Mendez, who is the director of diversity strategies covering the Disney-ABC Television Group, also assured NaFFAA that he will look into the community's other demands, which include an on-air apology by the program's cast and crew and an explanation of how the offensive scene maligning Philippine-trained medical professionals got past the review process. "We also want to know what concrete steps ABC is taking to ensure that similar incidents don't happen again," Melegrito told Mendez.

            In the same phone call, Mendez also noted a major concern - as expressed strongly in on-line petitions, statements from various organizations and e-mail exchanges - that ABC's programming does not accurately reflect the large number of Filipino doctors and nurses in the nation's hospitals. "Many of them are chief surgeons and head nurses," Melegrito told Mendez. "They should be portrayed for the kind of professionals that they are." Mendez replied that "this may be difficult to do because we can't dictate to the creative people what to write."

            To formally discuss these concerns and other issues, Mendez met with Filipino American community leaders in his New York office on October 5. Led by NaFFAA Exec. Director Armando Heredia, the delegation included representatives from the Association of Philippine Physicians in America (APPA), Migrant Heritage Commission, the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and the Philippine Forum. A follow-up meeting with NaFFAA is slated this week in Washington,
d.C. Leaders from the Philippine Medical Association, who staged a protest rally in front of ABC's affiliate station in Rosslyn, VA. will also attend.

            At the New York meeting, Mendez reiterated ABC's commitment to delete the offensive scene from all Disney-ABC media. "This undertaking is very expensive, but we will wipe it clean because it is offensive to Filipinos and it undermines our commitment to diversity," Mendez said. "It pains us to the core that something like this escaped scrutiny because we have built-in controls. This slip was an anomaly, given the volume of programming that we do."

            Prior to the New York meeting, NaFFAA facilitated a nationwide conference call with Filipino American community leaders from Los Angeles, Nevada and Washington,
d.C.  Among the participants were leaders from the Filipino American Services Group (FASGI), Philippine American Bar Association, Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Kababayan LA.

            In addition to issues already raised with ABC, the participating groups also listed as an added demand a meeting with top ABC executives to secure appropriate apologies from the actual persons responsible and to get ABC's commitment that such racial slurs are not repeated in the future. To give ABC a chance to respond, the group agreed to hold off on any massive protest actions. "We were all unanimous in believing that this incident presents an opportunity for the Filipino American community to become more visible and exercise power which we almost never do," said Melvin N.A. Avanzado of PABA.

            NaFFAA National Chair Alma Kern commends all the Filipinos and Filipino Americans for choosing to engage ABC, as demonstrated by the over 100,000 who signed the on-line petition and the hundreds of statements, phone calls and letters. "We have an opportunity to educate the major networks and the American public about who we are and the vital role we play in this country," she says. "I believe we can achieve significant short term and long term goals by pursuing a dialogue with ABC in a constructive manner."

NaFFAA-ABC Meeting in New York City 5 October 2007: (l-r) Disney-ABC Television Group Senior Vice President Robert Mendez, NaFFAA Executive Director Armando 'Doy' Heredia, Cristy Talangbayan, APPA Incoming President and past NaFFAA Pennsylvania State Chair Francis Talangbayan, APPA and NaFFAA General Counsel Reuben Seguritan. (NaFFAA file photo)
 National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)

phone: 202.986.1153

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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 October 2007 04:56

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