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Home Sections NaFFAAgate NaFFAA Chair Admits Making Money from Professional Deals with Wells Fargo Bank
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Friday, 21 August 2009 10:51

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Friday, August 21, 2009 

 

T he smoke of battle seems to have cleared after more than a week of heated and harsh exchanges between officials of NaFFAA and the inquiring minds of the media. A top official of Wells Fargo stepped in to confirm it had given $.3-million to a co-founder of the organization, essentially clearing the incumbent chair, and giving a denial to some published reports. In the meantime, three former NaFFAA regional officers appealed for sobriety and civility on the part of the protagonists; another sought a "truce" while demanding transparency from the organization; and still another, vouched for the integrity of incumbent officials. The media appear ready to silence their guns, if only temporarily, to give NaFFAA and its officials a chance to show sincerity and accountability to the community it wishes to represent and speak for.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

 

A POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Greg Macabenta Admits He Made Money from Wells Fargo Bank While Sitting as a Ranking NaFFAA Official 

 

 

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

 

The author is a member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA)

 

S AN DIEGO – Under extreme pressure to reveal his relationships with a top donor, the besieged chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has admitted making money from professional deals with Wells Fargo Bank while he sat as a national executive officer in the organization.

 

The admission came as NaFFAA regional officials appealed for sobriety in the wake of charges and counter-charges between the top leadership and some members of the media who had been demanding a complete accounting of NaFFAA expenses with regard to a $300,000 money grant from the bank.

 

NaFFAA chair Greg B. Macabenta at the same time denied any transaction with the bank outside of two marketing  projects he did through his own advertising agency, Minority Media Services Inc.

 

Nobody in NaFFAA has raised the possibility of a conflict of interest between MMSI, through Macabenta, contracting private jobs with Wells Fargo Bank while he was discharging his role as one of the ranking NaFFAA officers.

 

The Wells Fargo Bank gave NaFFAA $100,000 for its annual conference in 2002. Another $200,000 was given by Wells Fargo Foundation to support NaFFAA's general operating fund. The monies were paid upon the request of NaFFAA co-founder Alex Esclamado to whom the two checks were directly sent, according to Tim Hanlon, president of Wells Fargo Foundation.

 

"I have never received a single cent from Wells Fargo for or on behalf of NaFFAA," he declared in an email to Dr Joy Bruce, a former NaFFAA official in Florida, who circulated the email contents to a list of recipients that included the Philippine Village Voice.

 

On the other hand, Macabenta confessed that he did receive "professional fees for professional work" the amount of which he did not disclose. He even boasted to Dr. Bruce: "Did I make money x x x? You bet I did".

 

Macabenta, who already had MMSI before becoming NaFFAA chair last year, now also owns Filipinas magazine and Ang Panahon newspaper in Northern California's Daly City.

 

Some critics voiced suspicion on his acquisition of Filipinas magazine, especially after his advertising solicitor named Lorna Dietz, who also moonlights as "NaFFAA online coordinator", tied its financial situation with the $300,000 grant from Wells Fargo.

 

Dietz had said that Filipinas magazine would not have financial problems if allegations are true that Macabenta had indeed received the $300,000 money grant plus commission. The implication was that Macabenta was already poised to use money donated to NaFFAA for his private enterprise.

 

Both Macabenta and Dietz did not respond to questions.

 

Wells Fargo Bank gave NaFFAA $100,000 for its annual conference in 2002. Another $200,000 was given by Wells Fargo Foundation to support NaFFAA's general operating fund.

 

The monies were paid upon the request of NaFFAA co-founder Alex Esclamado to whom the two checks were directly sent, according to Tim Hanlon, president of Wells Fargo Foundation.

 

He said both the bank and the foundation did not require accounting.

 

"If either was made for a specific project with quantifiable results, we would want a report on how funds were spent but in this case, neither grant had specific accountabilities so reporting wasn't necessary," Hanlon told the Philippine Village Voice.

 

Asked about Macabenta, Hanlon said he didn't know him until he was queried about the former's role in the money grant.

 

"I would not know if NaFFAA paid Mr Macabenta from our funds; nothing in either grant request mentioned any solicitor at all," Hanlon stressed.

 

The clarification seems to bolster the claim of Dr. Bruce that Macabenta was innocent of the transactions with Wells Fargo.

 

"Greg Macabenta had nothing to do with getting any of the donated money from Wells Fargo, and neither he nor his company received any commission from such contributions," she vouched.

 

L ast Wednesday (Aug. 12), it was a doubtful Dr. Bruce who asked Macabenta: "I need to know if NaFFAA really got money from Wells Fargo, and if so, when was it given, how much did Wells Fargo give, who got that money for NaFFAA and did anybody get paid commission?"

 

Dr. Bruce also defended Esclamado's wife, Lourdes M. Esclamado, NaFFAA's assistant national treasurer, who had earlier denied the existence of $300,000 from Wells Fargo.

 

"Luly was also not lying when she said that NaFFAA did not receive $300,000 as one-time donation from Wells Fargo for the 2002 convention, because money was given in 2 different amounts and was not restricted just for San Jose, but  was also intended for use in other programs," Dr. Bruce stated.

 

Wells Fargo's official explanation has made a denial of journalist Bobby Reyes' assertions that the grant money was solicited by Macabenta.

 

Reyes wrote: "x x x the Wells Fargo Foundation gave the NaFFAA $300,000 in 2002. The grant was secured by Greg Macabenta, then a NaFFAA national executive officer, whose company, the Minority Media, was paid commissions that were not reflected in the NaFFAA financial statement for 2002."

 

Texas community leader Gus Mercado, a former NaFFAA regional chair, appealed to the protagonists for sobriety and civility and to put an end to what he called "mudfight".

 

"This online insanity must stop now," he implored.

 

Another former NaFFAA regional chair in Florida, Ernie Ramos, suggested a "truce from all sides concerned" and demanded that NaFFAA release financial statements detailing expenditures and revenues of NaFFAA events.

 

"I contend that the only way to resolve this matter that has put NaFFAA in such a bad light nationwide x x x is to issue such an official fiscal report x x x to once and for all make manifest and/or reconcile the financial status of NaFFAA. # # #

 

This “Breaking News” was sent by Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038.

 

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive

Volume 3, Issue No. 17 / News Without Fear or Favor

 

. . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public . . .

 

 

 

Newer news items:
Older news items:

Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 10:59
 
Comments (15)
1 Friday, 21 August 2009 11:11
Here is what Greg Macabenta e-mailed to Dr. Joy Bruce and two other recipients, Apo Ernie Gange and Dr. Ernie Ramos:

QUOTE.
8/12/2009 6:23:42 PM, Eastern Daylight Time MMSI13 writes: (Ernie Ramos and Ernesto Gange were given copies).

Hi Joy,

Thank you for offering to ask Reyes and Marquez where they picked up that canard about me and my company receiving $300,000 from Wells Fargo Bank and getting the commissions from that. If they fail to support their serious accusations, are you willing to tell them to their face that they lied? Or at least demand an apology and as retraction?

Asking for proof on the matter of funds alleged given to me and my company, which involved my personal integrity, is one thing Asking about funds earned by NaFFAA from Wells or other sources is another thing altogether. Please do not confuse one with the other. That is the refuge of tabloid writers.

You should be asking Alex, Loida, Alma, Doy, and of course Ludy Corrales. You should also ask me about any sums I may have received from Wells Fargo, but not in a general sense - only with respect to me and my company. That serves to isolate the issue and doesn't get it mixed up with past controversies.

For the record, during my entire involvement with NaFFAA I have not had any dealings with Wells Fargo with respect to NaFFAA. In the same breathe, I have never received a single cent from Wells Fargo for or on behalf of NaFFAA. I have received checks from Seafood City (where I sit on the management committee) payable to NaFFAA. These are all accounted for. Ludy Corrales ask all the records. In San Diego, I have arranged for Seafood City to donate to COPAO and Kalusugan Health Services. All the checks were in the name of the organizations.

But I did have professional dealings with wells Fargo.

I dealt with Wells Fargo Bank, as associate agency of Dae Advertising, in connection with a marketing campaign in the US.

A few years earlier I also dealt indirectly with Wells Fargo when I created the Gintong Kasaysayan" campaign for the bank, which won the Best TV and Best Print trophies in the awards presentation of the Asian American Advertising & PR Alliance.

Did I make money from both projects? You bet I did. I got paid professional fees for professional work. If Reyes and Marquez want to find out how much I earned, they should go to the IRS.

Now, about your doubts concerning the audits and the financial records of NaFFAA, allow me to share my email response to Ernie Ramos. I make the same appeal to you to already spend your own time, money and efforts to get at the facts instead of asking questions from the gallery. Otherwise, in heaven's name, let the ghost rest. Speculation and doubts, that is a virtual kiss of death. It therefore becomes incumbent upon you to either be wry with your language or to see your doubts through to confirmation. Leaving the situation hanging is like hanging the target of the doubts. Grossly unfair and unkind.

Here is the excerpts from my email to Ernie:

"Concerning the need for transparency in NaFFAA, going back to the days of Alex Esclamado, Loida Lewis and Alma Kern, and up to my watch, I fully subscribe to that. Apparently, the official audits that have been conducted over the years have not served to satisfy those who have questions or doubts. Considerable sums have been spent on these audits and NaFFAA can hardly afford one that is designed to 'root out anomalies.'

"I would therefore, ask those who are truly concerned to stop heckling or commenting or cheering from the galleries and spend their own money, time and efforts to dig into theses financial issue once and for all - at their expense. I address this appeal to Joy, as well, since she continues to have doubts.

'I myself have no taste for raking up past mistakes because that only leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I have taken the audits at face value but agree that it is the right of anyone to question their veracity. The burden should rest on them, if they are truly 'investigative,' to support their contentions or doubts. Speculations is cheap and any tabloid hack can throw mud at even the Pope."

I know that you are trying to keep the peace Joy - with no proof whatsoever and spread all over the world? Would you respond passively?

Thank you.

Greg B. Macabenta
National Chair, NaFFAA
UNQUOTE.
2 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:22
Dear Romy,

Please allow me to make some corrections on your latest BREAKING NEWS:

1) The Title Itself ("Greg Macabenta Admits He Made Money from Wells Fargo Bank While Sitting as a Ranking NaFFAA Official") was wrong

Greg DID NOT make money from Wells Fargo Bank while sitting as a ranking NaFFAA Official, and he has never received a single cent from Wells Fargo for or on behalf of Naffaa.

He had professional dealings with Wells Fargo Bank as associate agency of Dae Advertising, in connection with a marketing campaign that his ad agency, Minority Media Services, created for them. This was in 1995 – well before the founding of NaFFAA. The campaign, incidentally, won the 1996 Gold Effie for the Most Effective Non-English campaign in the US.

Before that, he also dealt indirectly with Wells Fargo when he created the “Gintong Kasaysayan” campaign for the bank, which won the Best TV and Best Print trophies in the awards presentation of the Asian American Advertising & PR Alliance.

2) "Nobody in NaFFAA has raised the possibility of a conflict of interest between MMSI, through Macabenta, contracting private jobs with Wells Fargo Bank while he was discharging his role as one of the ranking NaFFAA officers"

There was NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST,as his two private contracts with Wells Fargo Bank were made way before his involvement with NaFFAA (please see my explanation above)

3) "I have never received a single cent from Wells Fargo for or on behalf of NaFFAA," he declared in an email to Dr Joy Bruce, a former NaFFAA official in Florida, who circulated the email contents to a list of recipients that included the Philippine Village Voice.

I don't remember circulating my response to Greg's email to Philippine Village Voice. It must have been forwarded to you by one of the few people who received that private email -- and I don't know if it was sent to you as a full message or in bits and pieces (which could account for the misinterpretation)

4) "Last Wednesday (Aug. 12), it was a doubtful Dr. Bruce who asked Macabenta: "I need to know if NaFFAA really got money from Wells Fargo, and if so, when was it given, how much did Wells Fargo give, who got that money for NaFFAA and did anybody get paid commission?"

I never really doubted Greg, because I didn't see his name in the records that I had. I only said it because I wanted to investigate further and confirm the information that I had on hand first, before issuing any public statement. Otherwise, I would be engaging in irresponsible journalism. It is easy to mislead people if bits and pieces of "evidence" are presented in the wrong context.

5) I do however appreciate your publishing the statement of Tim Hanlon, President of Wells Fargo Foundation, who confirmed:
a) That Wells Fargo Bank gave NaFFAA $100,000 for its annual conference in 2002, and another $200,000 was given by Wells Fargo Foundation to support NaFFAA's general operating fund;
b) That the monies were paid upon the request of NaFFAA co-founder Alex Esclamado to whom the two checks were directly sent;
c) That neither grant was made for specific projects that required quantifiable results so that financial reporting or accountability to the bank wasn't necessary
d) That neither grant request mentioned any solicitor
e) That he didn't know Greg until he was queried about the latter's role in the money grant.

These basically confirm Greg's innocence beyond any reasonable doubt, and negates all allegations or insinuations by you or Bobby, with respect to Greg's involvement in the $300,000 Wells Fargo grants.

I really believe that you would lose credibility if you continue to force this issue, directly or tangentially. I think it is time to end this discussion, and let the public know the real truth.

There are other more important community issues, such as the 2010 Census, that you can write about.

Thanks, and take care

Joy
3 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:24
Dear Dr. Joy,

I thank you so much for your clarifications. My story (Breaking News, Vol. 3, No. 17) stands by itself. Your explanations are basically in the story already. I had sought comments from the parties (Greg Macabenta and his partner Lorna Dietz) before I wrote the story and they opted to stay mum. Well, that's a chance they forfeited.

While I appreciate your explanations (e.g. Macabenta's professional dealings with Wells Fargo), they amount to no more than hearsay . . . unless of course you have become his spokesperson authorized by him personally and by NaFFAA officially.

If you notice, I didn't rely much on what you wrote because my primary and unimpeachable source for that story was the president himself of Wells Fargo Foundation. I quoted you extensively on your own personal comments which was perhaps based on your experience with NaFFAA.

But if Macabenta and his partner Dietz will speak out on behalf of themselves then I would probably do another story to put more clarity on the issues. It's their choice again to stay silent.

I also want to get their explanation on why the $300,000 money grant was being tied u p by Dietz with the money problems of Filipinas magazine. What's the connection? Is Dietz privy to critical information that you and I and the rest of NaFFAA didn't know but spoken only in private, intimate settings?

I agree with you, "let the public know the real truth". Towards that goal, this discussion should continue. It'll take some time to flush out the truth specially if the subjects of the story have already stonewalled.

Thanks again and best regards,

Romy Marquez
4 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:30
Marilyn Doromal writes: (Snipped) do not waste your talent to
uninteresting news that will send a message of disrespect and
distrust to our young people. (snipped)


Good morning Ms. Marilyn Doromal,

I welcome your opinion but I don't need your advice. How could it be "uninteresting news" to know there are scam artists and crooks in our midst? That's instructive, isn't it? Rumor-mongering has no place here, that I agree with you.

It's your problem if you feel "such dishonor and shame" in knowing the most important news in our community. You should at least be thankful that you're being informed that there are other stories more rewarding than "praise" stories you probably have been used to reading.

I believe you should address the part where you said "Filipino-Americans or Filipinos never learned from civility and character assasination" to Greg Macabenta and his partner Lorna Dietz. They started the character assassination and they so happily engaged in it . . . like conjugal partners?

There's no shame in reporting the truth. Thanks and best regards,

Romy Marquez

-----Original Message-----
From: KMTLC2000
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sent: Sat, Aug 22, 2009 7:56 am
Subject: Re: Romy's Reply Re: Corrections to your BREAKING NEWS: NaFFAA Chair Admits M...


ENOUGH already ...

It is so pathetic and embarrasing that we Filipino-Americans or
Filipinos never learned from civility and character assasination.
This metastisizing syndrome we inherited is a disgrace and must
stop. I personally felt I am a victim of this rumor mongering habit.
If you nothing else positive to publish, do not waste your talent to
uninteresting news that will send a message of disrespect and
distrust to our young people.

Sorry, but I am really sick and tired opening my mail with such
dishonor and shame. I never applied to be a member of this
PhilVoice News. Please take me off the list. I hate to see my
grandchildren giving me a look that "we" are all thieves!
I thought Mr. Marquez did this irresponsibly. You need to
apologize to fellow Filipinos victimized by these arrogance.

Shamefully,
Marilyn Doromal
5 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:40
My dear Romy

Please let me assure you that I was authorized by Greg to be his spokesperson, and that he has asked me to respond to you officially on his behalf. I am quoting his personal statement regarding his dealings with Wells Fargo. The reason why he is not responding to you directly is because I asked him not to. I have a cooler head than him, and probably more diplomatic in my response.

An innocent man can become emotionally distraught and behave like a rabid dog if unfairly accused and if his personal integrity is viciously attacked. I did not want this communication to deteriorate into another mud-slinging and harsh exchange of words. I hope you understand.

I cannot (and I don't) speak for or on behalf of or quote anybody unless I have permission to do so, or unless I heard it directly from the person himself (or herself) It becomes hearsay when one quotes from a second or third party, and I am not a rumor-mongerer.

I can assure you that Greg is responding to your questi ons through me. I would like to reiterate that I was the one who advised him not to answer or deal directly with you, in order to avoid further verbal confrontations. I take the blame and full responsibility if you don't hear from him. I just want to keep the peace. I know that he would prefer not to hear from you, either.

I cannot speak for Lorna, for Ben or for others with whom I have no direct communication.

I hope I have made myself clear. If you still do not believe in what I say, you are of course welcome to ask for official records from more veritable sources (like the library?), regarding when the ads were done by MMSI on behalf of the Wells Fargo.

Please... Let's keep the peace and move on.

Take care

Joy
6 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:42
Dr. Bruce writes: "The reason why he is not responding to you directly is because I asked him not to. I have a cooler head than him, and probably more diplomatic in my response . . ."

Dear Dr. Joy,

I thank you again for your pacification effort; that's very laudable. Lest you forget, I am a reporter of events, a recorder of circumstances. I am a detached observer. I don't make the news; it's people like you, Greg Macabenta, Lorna Dietz, etc. who create the news by their actions or inactions.

Now it doesn't concern me much if Macabenta suddenly turns into a rabid dog and his partner an equally raging bitch while reading a news account of what they did or are doing. I certainly have the ability to defend myself under any circumstances.

Macabenta can bring the discussion to a higher level, if he so wills it. It went down the gutter, or was already in the gutter to begin with, because he started the mud-throwing. I can't -- never will -- be passive in that situation.

For a moment Macabenta thought he was seeing his arch-enemy, Bobby Reyes, in me, and in my legitimate queries. Bobby is a respected and responsible journalist of a different shape and hue. All we share is a passion to report the truth to our community.

If Macabenta values his integrity, so do I, (and so does Bobby) as a person and as a professional journalist. If he can not accept me like that, then that is his problem. But I can not be influenced by what his emotions tell him. For sure, Macabenta can not claim to have a monopoly of honesty.

By the way, now that it's clear that you're speaking for Macabenta, can you please answer my questions about Filipinas magazine? What is the exact reason Lorna Dietz linked the publication with the $300,000 grant from Wells Fargo? How high or low is Dietz in the order of things in the magazine and in NaFFAA? Is she an "attack dog" on the loose?

Best regards,

Romy Marquez
7 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:45
Dear Joy:

You continue to amaze me. With criticisms hurled against you, you have persisted to
to clarify to Romy and Bobby the facts. It would have been just easy for you to quit the first time you were criticized but you have dugged in there and have pushed for the truth. I have all the admiration that I can express for your fortitude, courage and gutsiness to tell it the way it was regardless who get offended. Again, I thank you for helping NaFFAA on this latest messy episode. Your loyalties to our NaFFAA and the truth exceed your loyalties to so-called friends and acquiantances. God be with you, my friend.

Gumagalang,
Martin
8 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:47
Dear Sir Martin and Romy:

We at the Media Breakfast Club (MBC) of Los Angeles and the Order of the Knights of Rizal (Los Angeles chapter) join you in praising to high heavens the humility, public service and passion for the truth of Dr. Joy Bruce.

I believe that a NaFFAA regional officer has called her "the Filipino-American version of Mother Teresa." In that case, we at the MBC will join a universal effort to make Dr. Joy the third Filipino saint -- after she goes to heaven (after a long, long period of further service yet to mankind).

But in the meantime, we will drop off the "S" and call her tentatively as "Aint Dr. Joy" for (also) we ain't seen nothin' yet from her, to paraphrase President Reagan. Yes, there will be more good news coming from the NaFFAA, the NANAY and more success stories from and about Dr. Joy in the years to come.

Yes, Dr. Bruce is one of the few joys in the NaFFAA, as we know it (pun intended).

Very sincerely,

Sir Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
(Possibly the second most-loyal supporter of the NaFFAA after Saint, oops, Aint Dr. Joy) Chancellor,
Order of the Knights of Rizal (Los Angeles chapter)
9 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:50
Dear Bobby, Romy and Martin

Thank you for your kind words. There's no need to "elevate" me because I'd lke to keep my feet on the ground so we can all be at peace and work harmoniously towards our common goal of serving our community with pride.

What will make me really pleased and truly happy is to see some semblance of success in my (and others') efforts to establish peace and stop (or at least curtail) any more harsh exchange of words. We can be more accepting of others.

We all have good qualities that we can harness for the sake of our community. We want to be seen as a positive force by others. We can contribute to each other's strengths. That is how we become empowered. That is what NaFFAA is all about.
I look forward to reading more positive things and empowering messages about our community. We are, after all, proud to be Filipinos.

Please take care

Joy
10 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:51
Dr. Bruce writes: "We can be more accepting of others."

Dear Dr. Joy,

That is the sanest thing we can do . . . more accepting, and if I may add, more tolerant, more respectful of others who we differ with. Your peace would be hard to ignore if those happen here. Further Bobby's suggestion -- if a community equivalent of a peace prize exists, you're a shoo-in! And then there's Misters Gus Mercado and Ernie Ramos. Blessed are the peacemakers.

Romy Marquez
11 Saturday, 22 August 2009 17:56
Dear Dr. Joy, Sir Martin, Romy and Comrades:

1.0 Yes, we at the Media Breakfast Club and the hundred or so Filipino-American associations that work with us, join you, Dr. Joy and the good people of the NaFFAA, the NANAY and other similar public-benefit entities in seeking a common ground.

1.1 Before I started writing the nasty articles about the perceived financial scandals in the NaFFAA, I tried to be diplomatic. I wrote even in the style of the Redeemer and published A Parable of the Golden Pond in the now-defunct www.yimby.com and in the www.bobby.reyes.com. We then reprinted it in the www.mabuhayradio.com where it is published. You would be familiar with the characters in the parable, Spencer and Mac.

URL: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/columns/parables/192-a-parable-of-the-golden-pond.html#yvComment192

But then the true-to-life Spencer and Mac probably just laughed at my efforts and so I just followed the Tagalog dictum, "Kung hindi mo makuha sa santong dasalan, di (kunin mo) sa santong paspasan." And the rest is history.

2.0 But you all must understand the role of the Filipino-American Fourth Estate. We, trained journalists, are not meant to write mere praise releases. We go to great extent in seeking the truth and writing about it -- no matter who gets hurt. The alleged financial improprieties in the NaFFAA are not just the only subject or topics of our investigative reports.

2.1 Romy Marquez has been writing about the missing $27,000 funds of the COPAO of San Diego, CA, which incidentally happened under the watch of Mrs. Aurora Cudal, who was at the same time the regional chairperson of the NaFFAA chapter in San Diego. He has written about Filipino-American scam artists in the healthcare industry (as more-than a hundred Fil-Am healthcare workers have gone to jail for Medicare fraud in Southern CA alone during the last 10 years). You can read about Mr. Marquez's writings in his column, http://www.mabuhayradio.com/columns/san-diego-happenings.html

2.2 If you visit the www.mabuhayradio.com, you will see our reports not only about the corruption in the Gloria Arroyo Dispensation but also in our communities in the United States. Among the stories that we have published:

Two Filipino Americans Accused of Real-Estate Investment Scam

http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/real-estate/3616-two-filipino-americans-accused-of-real-estate-investment-scam.html

Filipino-American Educator Arrested for Sex Crimes

http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/miscellanews/4092-filipino-american-educator-arrested-on-sex-crimes.html

2.2.1 Whether we like it or not, the mainstream press will write about scams and scalawags and scoundrels -- whether they be Filipino or of whatever color, creed or nationality. The claim that Romy Marquez and Company and our publication often display dirty Filipino and Filipino-American linen in public is fallacious.

2.2.2 For whether Mr. Marquez or for that matter any Filipino-American writer likes it or not, often the mainstream media beat the Filipino-American press in reporting the "dirty linen" of our people. In fact, it would be better for our image if our own people will report to the authorities the alleged scams or crimes committed by our fellow Filipinos, as this will prove that Filipinos did not bring to them a "culture of corruption" when they migrated to the United States.

A.) In fact, the mainstream Mercury News of San Jose has been regularly publishing developments in the Ben Menor cases. But to our credit, we sometimes beat the Mercury News in reporting about the Menorgate, such as this report:

"Today, Ben Menor pleaded guilty (no contest) to one count of felony (False Statement of Operations- Fraud) and accepted to pay restitution of $32,000 for using City of San Jose funds to pay a full-time worker to take care of his mom and dad at his home. He also agreed to pay another restitution of $16,000 for using agency funds to bankroll the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) convention in San Jose, California, in August 2002. (Editor's Note: The MabuhayRadio.com beats the San Jose Mercury News by one hour and 23 minutes in reporting the Menor 'no-contest' plea.)"

To read Tito A. Cortez's report, please go to this hyperlink: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/naffaagate/2853-ben-menor-pleads-guilty-no-contest-to-one-count-of-felony.html

So, it is up to the NaFFAA national and regional leaders to choose between "santong dasalan" or "santong paspasan." We, working journalists, can react and/or address either strategy.

Mabuhay,

Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
Editor
www.mabuhayradio.com
12 Saturday, 22 August 2009 18:06
Dr. Bruce writes: "I appreciate that you respect mine."

Dear Dr. Joy,

I sure do. Without trying to be condescending I believe you're the only one here who can really talk sense. You're honest, reasonable, candid and very open-minded. I regret to say those traits are missing among NaFFAA officials. With my utmost respect,

Romy Marquez
13 Saturday, 22 August 2009 18:34
Thank you, Romy.

Yes, WE ALL NEED TO BE more accepting, more tolerant, and more respectful of others who we differ with. Understanding that we all have different personalities that may sometimes clash, we can still benefit from each other and achieve peace by agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable.

I will truly appreciate if we can move forward on a more positive note. Thanks for listening.

Please take care,

Joy
14 Sunday, 23 August 2009 08:14
From: gusmercado@net
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sent: Sat, Aug 22, 2009 8:45 pm
Subject: Re: BREAKING NEWS: "NaFFAA Chair Admits Making Money from Donor"; "Finding a Common Ground."

Romy,

Now that is refreshing! I would not mind circulating these last two pieces from you to our own media circles for widespread circulation, save for the headline of the "Breaking News" which still begs clarification.

Romy, I am fully aware of your long-standing and deep-seated rift with Greg which makes it doubly difficult for you to be 100% objective in your reporting. But this piece is as objective and impartial as I thought you could make it -- covering both sides and quoting all sides including the independent observers in the report, and most importantly, void of rancor and inflammatory characterization. That, is as close to responsible journalism as I have seen from you in this controversy so far.

Having said that, your headline is, not unexpectedly, still slanted against Greg as it could be misinterpreted by the reader to mean he indeed made money while serving as national chair (“while sitting as ranking NaFFAA official”) and begs clarification. Holding my own judgment until this issue is resolved one way or another about Greg allegedly profiting from the Wells Fargo Bank grant to NaFFAA (which per Bobby Reyes was a foregone conclusion), I told the other level-headed leaders in our midst that if this allegation is proven to be true, I would be the first to form a posse to drive the current sheriff out of town, friend or no friend. And gathering 1,000 signatures in a very short time is something I have done several times for good causes. So far, in all fairness to Greg, no one has shown any evidence that Greg is culpable.

I also had a problem with the second sentence of the following paragraph, because it is a non-sequitor, and an oblique dig at Greg was still quite apparent:
“Dietz had said that Filipinas magazine would not have financial problems if allegations are true that Macabenta had indeed received the $300,000 money grant plus commission. The implication was that Macabenta was already poised to use money donated to NaFFAA for his private enterprise.” With due respect, your interpretation of Dietz’ statement does not follow. The implication of Dietz’ statement is (a) that Filipinas is having financial problems; and (b) if indeed the allegation is true that Macabenta received the $300,00, Filipinas would not have financial problems. There is no direct or implied co nnection to his private enterprise.

But overall, what a comprehensive, informative and fairly impartial piece. You have just elevated yourself several notches in my eyes and in my book. I am confident that many responsible journalists covering this event, like JosephLariosa, Bart Tubalinal, and other responsible journalists
will take the same tact. The role of responsible media in the fair and far-reaching resolution of these issues and achieving lasting peace in our community is crucial.

I think your willingness to accept the facts and to find a common ground is what separates you from Bobby and why not many people take him and his style seriously.

Many thanks from me and many like me!

Gus Mercado
Dallas, Texas

PS: You have the first special invitation to the special Peace Summit that I am planning to host in Dallas. Details to follow. I hope you accept.
15 Sunday, 23 August 2009 08:16
r v (summa2020)
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Cc: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sent: Sun, Aug 23, 2009 8:09 am
Subject: [Fil-AmForum] "NaFFAA Chair Admits Making Money from Donor"



Hi guys,

I agree with these observations. This is good reporting, let us have more of this. I hope this case of misuse of funds be further investigated. It will eventually be exposed due to it's federal funding.

An immediate report should be submitted to various government agencies, to do otherwise is the height of injustice.

Don't forget that the term of the prescription period starts on date of discovery. They should be investigated by the Atty. General of California, ASAP! Anybody can report to this office.

If this proves to be true, it is a federal offense and punishable by at least 6 years imprisonment cause it also involves fraud.

Tnx,

RV

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