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Sep 30th
Home Sections NaFFAAgate New NaFFAA National Chair Presses for Benefits of Veterans’ Widows
New NaFFAA National Chair Presses for Benefits of Veterans’ Widows PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 15:06


(© 2010 Journal Group Link International)

C HICAGO (jGLi) – Eduardo “Ed” Navarra, the incoming national chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Association (NaFFAA), thanked Sen. Daniel Inouye, Sen. Daniel Akaka and Rep. Bob Filner for securing the passage of the benefits of Filipino World War II veterans.
But during his two-year term, Mr. Navarra also wants to see veterans’ “widows and their sons and daughters” get “a measure of justice.”
In his acceptance speech following his unanimous election as national chair of the “voice of the Filipinos and Filipino Americans” during the weekend, NaFFAA national communications Director Jon Melegrito, quoted Mr. Navarra as saying, “We are grateful to our champions in Congress, like Sen. Daniel Inouye, Sen. Daniel Akaka, and Rep. Bob Filner for securing the long-awaited official recognition and a one-time compensation for our veterans. But their widows, and their sons and daughters also deserve a measure of justice.”  
Navarra, 66, of Bloomfield Hills , Michigan, and incumbent NaFFAA region 3 chair, succeeds Greg Macabenta of San Francisco, California. Also elected were Atty. T.J. Mallonga, 56, of Bloomfield , NJ as national vice chair; and Brendan Flores, 25, of Las Vegas, NV, as national youth chair.
One highlight of the three-day ninth national empowerment conference held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco from Nov. 19-21 was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and NaFFAA. Imelda Nicolas, CFO Chair, penned the MOU representing the Philippine Government. “We resolve to work together to initiate and undertake the implementation of projects and programs that promote the welfare of Filipinos in the US,” Nicolas said.
In his speech, Mr. Navarra said, “We will undertake these initiatives not as an umbrella organization but as an equal partner with other national formations and local groups that have a stake in protecting and promoting the interests of Filipinos and Filipino Americans in this country.”
He said NaFFAA will get involved in such issues as comprehensive immigration reform, notably the DREAM Act, family reunification, “anchor babies,” unemployment, home foreclosures, health care and SAVE (Textile) Act.
Looking towards the 2012 U.S. presidential elections, Navarra wants “more eligible immigrants to be naturalized citizens, registered as voters and turning out in the polls.”
In one of his first official acts, Mr. Navarra appointed educator Willie DeChavez as national director for development. He tasked Mr. DeChavez to be in charge of the preparation of the NaFFAA’s 2012 national convention in Detroit, Michigan, according to semi-monthly Filipino Star News Michigan, where both (Navarra and DeChavez) write their columns.
There was no mention of the financial report of the organization, which could lose its tax exemption privileges by January 1, 2011, if NaFFAA could not pay off its auditor, who refused to release NaFFAA’s financial report. NaFFAA last filed its Form 990 in 2006 with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. If NaFFAA does not file its Form 990 before the year is over, it will be one of the 200,000 small nonprofits, which are like to lose their tax-exempt status.
L os Angeles, California-based community activist Bobby Reyes has been criticizing NaFFAA for alleged mishandling of its funds and had threatened to take NaFFAA and its leaders to the IRS.
Atty. Rodel Rodis, NaFFAA general counsel, however, calls Mr. Reyes as someone suffering from ‘kulang sa pansin” (attention deficit disorder) and a “sore loser” for launching cyber attacks every time there is a NaFFAA convention.
A former systems engineer of Ford Motor Company and former chair of the Filipino American Community Council of Michigan (FILAMCCO), an umbrella organization of 60 Filipino American groups in Michigan, Mr. Navarra said, “NaFFAA, by nature and rationale for its existence, is an advocacy organization with primary interest in speaking for issues of concern that impact Filipino Americans and Filipinos in the United States.”
Navarra said he wants NaFFAA to continue to get involved in events affecting the Philippines. (

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Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 15:25

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