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Home Sections NaFFAAgate NaFFAA Co-Founder Disowns Threats; More Grant-Money 'Secrets' Turning Up
NaFFAA Co-Founder Disowns Threats; More Grant-Money 'Secrets' Turning Up PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 14:37

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Wednesday, September 9, 2009 
 

W hen they come, they come in trickles. And so the tightly-guarded secrets of NaFFAA are being spilled one after another by no less than the officials themselves, the "insiders" who are privy to the intimate happenings within its closed chamber. One group is reportedly fighting over $50,000. Public and private donations, specifically by two large banks, are being kept hidden. In the meantime, a well-respected NaFFAA co-founder had the good sense to make the assurance on his behalf that the threats coming from two NaFFAA fanatics were the individual's own. Officially, NaFFAA is silent on what could be a life or death issue. That could imply the threats are sanctioned by its top officials. The Filipino community's "perfect storm" has fully developed and is now gushing at incredible speeds.

 

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THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY'S 'PERFECT STORM?'

NaFFAA Co-Founder Disowns Threats;

More Grant-Money 'Secrets' Turning Up

 

 

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

 

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

 

 

 


S AN DIEGO – A co-founder of the troubled National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has sought to distance the organization from two of its sympathizers who have made threatening remarks against this reporter to the point of seeking help from a right-wing militia.

 

As long-held secrets of NaFFAA slowly come to the fore, its top officials are trying to put out an image of quiet and stability, at least publicly, by not saying a word which could further inflame the already-worsening situation that had begun last month.

 

Unofficial reports indicated, however, that a rift has developed among NaFFAA regional officials in the East Coast over a $50,000 grant donated last year by a corporate sponsor. An audit is being demanded even as the money has yet to be reported out, informed sources said.

 

Contacted for comment, regional chair J. T. Mallonga did not respond.

 

Mallonga was reportedly bitter after his proposal to create a board of inquiry that will investigate NaFFAA and all its officers was unceremoniously voted down.

 

Rather than subject NaFFAA to the humiliation of being probed, officials came up with a manifesto expressing their confidence and full support, in effect torpedoing Mallonga's suggestion.

 

On Tuesday, journalist Bobbv Reyes of Los Angeles raised another issue that has been under wraps for a decade now -- the allegedly unreported donations from Bank of America, Union Bank and other corporations, and proceeds from fund-raisings from the FIlipino community.

 

The monies reportedly solicited by NaFFAA co-founder Alex Esclamado had been intended to restore a section at the Philippine Embassy chancery in Washington, DC for a NaFFAA office.

 

Because of objections by Philippine government officials, the project did not materialize, according to Reyes, quoting what he called "impeccable sources" within NaFFAA.

 

"It appears now that the donations for the 'restoration funds' have not been turned over to the NaFFAA general fund and/or returned to the donors,"  he explained. 

 

Esclamado and his wife, Lourdes M. Esclamado, are the recipients of a total of $103,500 given by NaFFAA in the form of stipends, reimbursements, allowances and commissions. That fact had been kept secret for seven years and surfaced only last month.

 

Another secret was that current NaFFAA chair Greg Macabenta also made some money -- at least $1,000 -- from NaFFAA through his own advertising agency Minority Media Services Inc. based in Daly City.

 

Macabenta has not explained if his publication, Filipinas magazine, has benefitted from the $300,000 money grant from Wells Fargo as has been intimated by his advertising solicitor, Lorna Dietz, who is also a NaFFAA officer.

 

Last week's warnings to this reporter seem to be a direct offshoot of the revelations by Reyes and another whistleblower, Ernesto Gange of Philadelphia. Apparently the duo who had issued them wanted a halt to the flow of stories.

 

Acting on his own behalf, Gange, however, sought to calm down fears. "I want to tell you," he said in an email to the Philippine Village Voice on Tuesday (Sept. 8), " that we neither condone nor approve the behavior of two individuals who have threatened you."

 

NaFFAA has not made an official declaration similar to Gange's, which could imply that the acts of Ben Menor of San Jose and Perry Diaz aka Porfirio Diaz of Sacramento are fully sanctioned by its officials.

 

Editor’s Notes: Ben Menor is the former chairman of the NaFFAA chapter in San Jose, California, and a national executive officer (NEO) of the NaFFAA. He chaired what is now the infamous NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, CA, in August 2002. For details of the so-called Menorgate, please click on this hyperlink, http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/naffaagate.html

 

  

M enor had been indicted for grand theft and later pleaded no-contest to other charges. Diaz, a news distributor and a friend of Macabenta, is a suspected plagiarist.

 

Menor has called this reporter a "divisive 'terrorist' person" and urged his colleagues in NaFFAA to seek the assistance of Minutemen, the right-wing militia known for bashing illegal immigrants, to get him removed from the United States.

 

"Let us ask the help of our illegal alien watchdog organization (Minute Men) get this divisive 'terrorist' person out of our community and country," he appealed.

 

Diaz, on the other hand, is inciting people to "clean up" the Filipino American community by getting rid of this reporter for his continuous reportage of NaFFAA which Diaz described as "giving our community a bad name".

 

A real estate agent and care-giver with no known experience or educational training in writing, Diaz has been widely proclaiming himself as a journalist to the great consternation of legitimate members of the media.

 

Editor’s Notes: Here are the other articles where Perry Diaz is mentioned for his uncouth and amateurish writing:

 

How the “Filipino Press” Newspaper Fabricated Lies Against Romeo Marquez

 

Perry Diaz Arrested for Being a Troll, CNN Says

 

The Cyber Death of Perry Diaz

 

Fil-Am "Republican" Leader Commits (Again) Political Suicide

 

 Romy Marquez Teaches Perry Diaz the Fine Points of Writing

 

Almageddon Begins: Diaz Proves His Bigotry by Posting "Fake" Comments in MabuhayRadio

 

 

He has been repeatedly criticized for posting wrong and inaccurate articles and for lifting information without authorization or acknowledgement of the original authors.

 

Reyes, this reporter and many others have exposed him for his deceptions -- a fact he has deeply resented. His latest rant was a reaction to that growing disgust.

 

"It's incumbent then that Filipino-Americans should clean up our community of Romy Marquez and other scumbags who are giving our community a bad name. Let's get Romy on board CON-AIR soon", Diaz, a chronic whiner, declared. # # #

 

This “Breaking News” was sent by Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village VoiceSan 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. 24 / 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 . . .


 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 14:43
 
Comments (2)
1 Saturday, 12 September 2009 06:09
Why don't we just let Romy and Bobby continue with their investigative reporting? Just like what Charlie Catala said sometime ago. I don't think it would give the Filipino a bad name if that's what some of us are afraid of. Maybe, one organization, yes, but not the whole Filipino community. NaFFAA should be cleared of all charges and suspicions. And that can be done with the hiring of an independent law firm to do the investigation.

Likewise, until proven guilty, certain officers of NaFFAA should be considered innocent.

Ernie Turla
As posted also in This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2 Saturday, 12 September 2009 06:10
The despicable behavior of both Menor and Diaz are typical of cowards who would use other people to do what they themselves do not have the guts to handle! I wonder if those two clones of Ted Kennedy ever heard of the old saying, "People who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones" or something like that.

But being what they are, hypocrites, these two clowns will never agree with anyone who wants to expose the truth. Their kind cannot handle the truth!

Poor J.T. Mallonga was sidestepped with COPAOism or to be more precise sweeping the dirt under the rug. When one cannot explain the why of things, create a diversion like a resolution not to discuss the matter again, or one that praises the culprits—perform a song and dance, Pinoy style!

Romy Monteyro

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