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Home Sections NaFFAAgate President Noynoy Aquino Visits the City Where One of the Biggest Fil-Am Scams Happened in August 2002
President Noynoy Aquino Visits the City Where One of the Biggest Fil-Am Scams Happened in August 2002 PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Thursday, 23 September 2010 09:50

 

Yes, the City of San Jose Knows the Modus Operandi Used by Some Filipino-American Scam Artists

from the NaFFAA that Made their Way

to the City’s Dustbin of History

 

By this time Saturday, Philippine President Benigno S. Cojuangco-Aquino, III, would be in the City of Jose, Northern California, where hopefully his visit would lead to a renaissance of the Filipino image.

 

The Filipino image has been battered down by the acts of a few Filipino-American criminal minds that orchestrated one of the biggest scams in the history of the City of San Jose. And the scam artists berated Filipino Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., for not letting them, the NaFFAA NEOs, take charge of the Host Committee for the presidential visit to Northern California.

 

To read the dispute between Consul General Paynor and NaFFAA NEO Rodel Rodis, please click on this link, NaFFAA NEOs in Collision Course with Consul General Paynor Over President Aquino’s Visit to Northern California

 

In August of 2002, several national executive officers (NEOs) of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) committed what this writer eventually dubbed the “Menorgate” episode of the NaFFAAgate. To read the documented scams of the NaFFAA NEOs, please go to this section, http://www.mabuhayradio.com/naffaagate/

 

T his article touches also on the column last Friday of Jose Ma. “Boy” Montelibano, whose wife, Maria, handles actually the media-presidential relations of Mr. Aquino. Aptly, Mr. Montelibano had “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” as the title of his column. At the end of this article, the commentary of Nestor Duldulao, CPA, is also reprinted.

 

But regrettably, both Boy Montelibano and Apo Nestor failed to mention even the Menorgate and/or the NaFFAAgate in their commentaries. It seems that only Bobby Reyes, ahem, has the guts to remind President Noynoy that some of his most-ardent supporters are some of the biggest scam artists in the Filipino-American community. And tomorrow, the NaFFAA scam artists will want to grab the President’s attention, hug the limelight with him and rub elbows with the Filipino Chief Executive. Perhaps if only the President will listen to Consul General Paynor, the NaFFAA’s criminal minds should be banned from entering the City of San Jose tomorrow. Perhaps the NaFFAA NEOs should be brought to the island of Alcatraz on an excursion and be made to stay there until President Aquino leaves for the Philippines. Or locked up permanently on Alcatraz.

 

Why the same NaFFAA scam artists orchestrated the grand fundraising campaign for then-presidential Noynoy Aquino and they continue to hide the financial records of the contributors and the contributions that were made. To read Part One of the “Butanding Brouhaha” series (now in six installments and counting), please go to this link,

Loida Lewis, the NaFFAA NEOs, Et Al, Must Account Properly for the Fil-Am Contributions to Noynoy Aquino’s Political Campaign

 

In Part Two of this “San Jose” series of articles, this writer will summarize the Menorgate portion of the NaFFAAgate, so that readers may be able to understand the implications of the Philippine presidential visit to San Jose.

 

H ere is Mr. Montelibano’s article:

Do You Know The Way To San Jose

GLIMPSES

Jose Ma. Montelibano

 

T he Internet and Facebook are really fantastic. I had always been skeptical about the virtual dimension. I found it too complicated and daunting for a senior citizen like me. But circumstances forced me to be more appreciative, especially because my favorite advocacy requires instant and constant communication. 

 

In trying to understand the state of life that Filipinos have in the United States, I found it necessary to be personally observing and relating with many of them. My quarterly trips to the US these last three years have been in support of Gawad Kalinga and its mission of building a nation from the ground up. America and Filipino-Americans are great sources for funds; beyond that, however, they are a great source of influence. 

 

Since I have been monitoring, and often engaged in, email activity with Filipino-Americans, or Fil-Ams, for the past 15 years, I have discovered that some of my previous assumptions were more myth than fact. The most untrue was my belief in a long-standing rumor that Filipinos in America are wracked with divisiveness, which means they have a habit of quarreling with one another and cannot stay working together for long. Proof of this, I was told, was the crazy number of competing associations and organizations when only a very few were necessary.  

 

Indeed, those unusually many competing Filipino groups were real in most places where I have been in the United States. What was not so obvious to me in the beginning was that the leaders of these organizations were more self-proclaimed rather than representative of the Filipino community. In fact, the organizations themselves could hardly be called representative because only an insignificant percentage of Filipinos have been active in community activities. In a survey commissioned by a friend from San Diego, it came out that only 5% of about 300,000 Fil-Ams were participating in community affairs.

 

It then dawned on me that Filipinos in the United States had carried with them many of the same weaknesses that they tried to leave behind. When the image of Filipinos in the motherland is projected to the rest of the world, there is an aura of confusion and dissonance, of constant bickering and politicking. Aggravating it is the reputation of corruption and poverty that deeply colors the face of our government and people. But the truth is, if truth refers to the majority in a diverse and often contrasting culture, the Filipino, and the Filipino-American, is not the divisive and quarrelsome person he is painted to be. 

 

Yet, the myth persists because Filipinos have long been subservient and obedient to their leaders, to the point that they do quarrel when their leaders quarrel. Though there is hardly an instance when conflict arises from the people themselves, Filipinos did have that pattern of almost blindly following the footsteps of their leaders - mostly inept or bad if we are to go by the results of their leaderships.

 

What is really encouraging is that Filipino-Americans have been trying, and succeeding, to break away from that subservience and bind obedience to less-than-inspiring leadership. As a result, they withdrew from activities of their communities, leaving leaders with embarrassingly few followers. Instead, the vast majority of Filipino-Americans simply worked hard and became too tired to be actively engaged in community affairs, especially when they would only be drawn to the petty conflicts of egotistic personalities. 95% or more of Filipino-Americans simply went below the radar, became invisible, and did earn that description of "invisible minority" from Wikipedia.

 

But invisibility did not mean a lack of performance. Results from hard work cannot remain invisible if that hard work is well done – and it has been. Filipinos have taken a leadership position among minorities in family income, beating even their Caucasian counterparts. But most of all, they remitted $8 billion to their relatives in 2009 and will most probably do more this year. Hard work is paying off in dollars that cannot remain invisible.

 

There is, though, an even greater achievement that Filipino-Americans have done which has gone unnoticed so far but will not remain so for long. As much ass they have worked hard to build a different future for their family, they have also regarded the land of their birth, the home of their people, with quiet but passionate love. They have remained patriots in their invisibility.

 

Proof of this enduring love for country is now emerging in their children, and grandchildren for the earlier immigrants. I call them the “tip of the iceberg,” this new generation of Filipino-Americans who are as American as anyone can be yet are discovering that they are Filipino, too, and finding acceptance and pride in their discovery. They have little or no direct relationship with the motherland and their people who remain in the Philippines as most have never even stepped on our shores. Yet, almost without basis, they are honoring their being Filipino.

 

The fact is, though, these new generation of Filipino-Americans do have the best of basis to love the land of their ancestors and the people of their race. Their basis is the love of country and the Filipino by their own parents who kept the connection alive – though invisibly, quietly, until the fruits of their love could not be hidden anymore. Year after year, they continued to help their relatives but only in recent times have their remittances been tracked and publicized. $8 billion of remittances has become impossible to hide.

 

Their children, too, are starting to come out of a shell and the first among them are being recognized, not because they are seeking the limelight, but because thee limelight will embrace passion and dynamism. They are too young to be known by especially political or economic leaders of both the Fil-Am community and Filipino politicians and bureaucrats here at home.

 

The visit of President P-Noy to the United States has triggered a movement to be born in the flesh, and the new generation will introduce themselves to him and to the rest of the Filipino people. The first to be awakened are sounding a call to gather in San Jose, California, in front of the hotel where P-Noy will be brought by those who are traditional allies of political and economic hierarchy. They want P-Noy to hear them, to see them, to slowly understand that he is looking at the future, a future full of hope.

 

Do you know your way to San Jose?

 

H ere is the commentary of the much-respected Apo Nestor Duldulao, who retired as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Chevron Propane. He runs also the Duldulao Foundation, which has a good track record of helping the less-privileged people of Ilocos Norte and surrounding provinces.

 

D ear Mr. Montelibano:

 

I try to read all your GLIMPSES articles whenever I can and find them to be current, interesting if not thought provoking and, indeed, almost always a good read.  However, this would only be the second time that I venture to comment on your articles.

 

I believe that one of the true and undisputed gauges of whether or not leadership in a Fil-Am organization is in disarray, is the success or failure to attain its goals for which it is organized.

 

To help paint a picture of the kind of discord the Fil-Am community is in, contrary to some of your observations, one has only to read David C. Martinez's book, A Country of Our Own, page 9, Los Angeles, California:. . . . . "The bad news is that as of the same year, per our local Philippine Consulate records, our community "boasted" of 400-plus organizations, the vast majority formed and maintained along ethnolinguistic lines.  No other immigrant community in California, if not in all of America, approaches this staggering number. No other is as divided."  Mr. Martinez should know because he says Los Angeles became his home for much of his life abroad.  He went on to say, "our people are frightfully fragmented.

 

Dr. Isagani Sarmiento's observation, from his book, My Quest for the Pearl of Great Price, of the Filipino, if not people in general, is quite accurate, in that: " According to human imperfection, even those who are considered to be spiritual and noble disposition also miserably succumb to lust of power, fame and fortune which lead to graft and corruption."   How many Fil-Am organizations have been taken to court, more often than not, by their own members?  According to Martinez, FACLA - Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles, Inc., founded in 1945, "has been riven by more than a dozen lawsuits."  I believe Atty. Rodel Rodis' book, Telltale Signs, comes with a list of Filipino-American organizations in America, which is in the thousands!

 

I suggest one has to look closer at other Fil-Am organizations before making a general assumption which could grossly mislead readers by a sample of your statement that, "the Filipino and the Filipino-American, is not the divisive and quarrelsome person he is painted to be."  In fact, many believe that even if the Philippines' 7,100 islands become contiguous, the Filipino people will still be as fragmented as they are now.

 

Accepting the facts about the organizational frailties instead of treading ever so lightly in our evaluation of Fil-Am organizations, for whatever reason, will help us understand why some fail and some succeed. There have been so much dissertations written about our unity or disunity and yet, so far, not one has succeeded in making even a small dent towards any progress in this area.

 

On your way to San Jose, please check the Fil-Am organizations out, its vicinity, the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Clara County itself.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Nes Duldulao

San Francisco, California

 

(To be continued . . .)

 

Editor’s Note: Part Two will describe the modus operandi of the NaFFAA crooked clique of crooks as they scammed the 2002 NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, California.

 



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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 September 2010 18:08
 
Comments (9)
RE: Your Coverage of the Philippine Presidential Visit to San Jose

The Editor
San Jose Mercury News
San Jose, California
http://www.mercurynews.com/
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 .

Dear Editor:

Presumably your distinguished newspaper will cover the visit to the Great City of San Jose of Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Simeon Cojuangco-Aquino, III, which visit is slated for Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at the Fairmont Hotel.

Should you or your assigned reporter be able to interview His Excellency, President Noynoy Aquino, would you like to bring to his attention this article that we published today? The hyperlink is:

President Noynoy Aquino Visits the City Where One of the Biggest Fil-Am Scams Happened in August 2002

URL: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/naffaagate/president-noynoy-aquino-visits-the-city-where-one-of-the-biggest-fil-am-scams-happened-in-august-2002

As the biggest newspaper in San Jose and in the Silicon Valley, the Mercury News extensively reported on the looting of the Northside Community Center by Ben Menor, et al, in 2002. Your esteemed newspaper published also accounts of the civil and criminal cases brought against Mr. Menor by the City of San Jose and the Santa Clara County District Attorney.

Would you believe that some of the national executive officers (NEOs) of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) wanted Ben Menor to head the Host Committee for the Philippine presidential visit to San Jose? The NaFFAA NEOs wanted to give Mr. Menor a chance for redemption. It was fortunate that the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco did not allow the NaFFAA NEOs to control the Host Committee. Nevertheless, Mr. Menor would again be the NaFFAA National Convention chairman on Nov. 19-21, 2010, in San Francisco, CA.

We are filing a complaint against the NaFFAA NEOs with the United States Attorney of the Department of Justice and with the Criminal Prosecution Division of the Internal Revenue Service for violations of the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act" and for tax evasion before the IRS. We will keep you posted on the developments, as perhaps the Department of Justice and/or the IRS may subpoena your office for some records about the Menorgate-NaFFAAgate scandals in your possession.

Thank you very much for the attention and assistance,

Very respectfully yours,

Bobby M. Reyes
Editor
www.mabuhayradio.com
(626) 825-0628

BCC: NaFFAA E-lists
Filipino Diplomats
Filipino-American Community Leaders
2 Thursday, 23 September 2010 11:44
In a message dated 9/23/2010 11:36:18 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it writes:

Thank you for submitting a letter to the editor. We receive hundreds of letters each day and are unable to answer each letter personally. Your letter will be considered for publication and we appreciate your opinion.

Thanks, again, for writing to us.

Some letters that do not appear in the newspaper are posted on our website. To view them, go to www.mercurynews.com/opinion.
3 Thursday, 23 September 2010 11:49
What's P-Noy doing here in the United States wanting to "hear" kuno the concerns -- the squabbles and bickerings mainly -- of Fil-Ams and Filipinos. He should hear first and address the concerns of Filipinos in the the Philippines. This trip is a waste of precious money that can be used in other things that the poor Motherland sorely needs. Kadami-dami ng problema ng Pilipinas na dapat asikasuhin, etong si P-Noy nandito na kagad at nakikigulo sa gulo ng mga Fil-Ams. What's up, 'Noy? Baka pagbalik mo doon sa Philippines, si B-Nay na ang presidente at hindi na si P-Noy, hindi kaya?

Jesse Jose
Seattle, WA
4 Thursday, 23 September 2010 12:28
Hi Tito Bob,

Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading your articles. Keep them coming.

All the best,
Abet Villanueva
New Jersey
5 Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:08
Lolo Bobby,

Hala, Bira!

Don
6 Thursday, 23 September 2010 14:09
Bobby,

Can you post this in PPP?

Salamat.

Cesar Torres
XXXXX
7 Thursday, 23 September 2010 21:03
hi lolo bobby:

Good reminder that there are sinners among the Fil-Am saints. keep going and
more power to you.

j barrera
Think this article is significantly related to having a correct perspective of situation of Fil-Ams there in the US:

Do You Know The Way To San Jose
GLIMPSES
by Jose Ma. Montelibano

The Internet and Facebook are really fantastic. I had always been skeptical about the virtual dimension. I found it too complicated and daunting for a senior citizen like me. But circumstances forced me to be more appreciative, especially because my favorite advocacy requires instant and constant communication. (Snipped)
9 Friday, 24 September 2010 06:25
Hi Bobby,

Very informative article re: Ben Menor. This is a two-bladed sword: if found guilty, your pre-mature condemnation is well newsworthy; in criminal setting however, accused is constitutionally & legally presumed INNOCENT until proven guilty.

In the corner of York Bl./Eagleroack Bl. a Baptist Church greets passerby with this maxim: "Your unforgiven enemy lives in your mind free rent 'til your death!"

May peace be with you! SHALOM!

Terry Herrera

Editor's Note: Ben Menor actually made a "No Contest" plea, which is equivalent to a guilty plea. Then to avoid jail time, he sought a plea-bargain deal with the District Attorney's Office. Then he paid a hefty fine of more-than $50,000 and the case was lowered to a misdemeanor case.

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