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Dec 07th
Home Sections NaFFAAgate The Barbarians at the NaFFAAgate
The Barbarians at the NaFFAAgate PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 06 November 2007 16:59

The "barbarians at the gate" became an idiom after great cities like Rome and Jerusalem were sacked and looted by invaders in medieval times. The idiom became the title of a TV movie that recounted the true-life story of a corporate takeover in the greed-driven 1980s.

Editor's Note: James Garner is F. Ross Johnson, CEO of RJR-Nabisco. Having just been burned by an expensive failure of a smokeless-cigarette product, Johnson doesn't wish to incur the wrath of the stockholders. He begins drawing up plans to buy RJR-Nabisco outright so he'll have no one to answer to but himself. Unfortunately for Johnson, his company is also being coveted by sharkish ‘buyout king’ Henry Kravis (Jonathan Pryce), who turns out to have $25-billion at his beck and call. ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ was adapted by Larry Gelbart from the book by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. Advertised as a "docucomedy", the film premiered March 20, 1993, over the HBO cable service." (excerpts from a review by Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide).

Ernesto (Apo Ernie) Gange is a much-respected Filipino-American community leader in Philadelphia. He is the former chairman for Pennsylvania of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA). Apo Ernie used to be a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation. He is known for his honesty and dedication to public service.

On Nov. 2, 2007, Apo Ernie posted in the his commentary about the discrimination case of Dr. Emelita (De Guzman) Bryer. (To read Dr. Bryer’s case, please click on this link

Mr. Gange’s posting is reproduced in its entirety at the end of this report. In his posting, Mr. Gange wants Filipino Americans to stop being kicked around. He wants also the NaFFAA to take up the cudgels for Filipino Americans who have experienced discrimination.

With due respect to the many honest and sincere state-chapter officers of the NaFFAA like Mr. Gange, the problem with the national federation is that the “barbarians” are actually inside the walled city, i.e., the Washington, DC, headquarters of the NaFFAA. These NaFFAA "barbarians" (AKA NEOs) are the ones sacking and looting the federation.

As documented by this writer, many of its previous and present national executive officers (NEOs) have been accused of corruption. In fact one of the NEOs is currently facing civil and criminal cases for diverting city funds to bankroll the NaFFAA convention in San Jose, California, in August 2002. To date, the NaFFAA NEOs refuse to release the financial records of the said August 2002 convention. Nor have the NEOs presented financial statements such as the profit-and-loss statements of its Global Networking Conferences in Manila (2003), Cebu (2004), Chicago (2005), Hawaii (2006) and recently in Sydney, Australia (2007).

The NaFFAA will not be able to generate support from the community for as long as the crooks remain some of its NEOs. We have telling the good-and-honest state-chapter leaders of the federation (with the exceptions of its chapters in Northern California, San Diego and Las Vegas) to get back the federation for our people.

The well-meaning NaFFAA state leaders have to put a stop to their NEOs’ greed, otherwise they would likely sink with them. That is, if they do nothing and just maintain the status quo.

When this writer began in May 2000 the crusade for reforms in the NaFFAA, it was like laying siege to a city such as ancient Jerusalem. My supporters and I have more or less surrounded the NaFFAA gate, oops, citadel. Time is on our side, as we are younger and healthier than many of the NaFFAA founders and NEOs. But we are not the modern-day equivalent of the “barbarians.” We are more like the White Knights out to rescue the good people in the federation and our community.

Our siege can literally be like forever until victory is complete. And we do not take prisoners.

And finally, perhaps the creation of a NaFFAA Legal Department—that Apo Ernie has recommended—should really be done the soonest. Yes, the NaFFAA NEOs have to have good lawyers, especially criminal-law practitioners, to defend them from lots of lawsuits and ultimately class suits that may be filed by the federation members.

Here is the reproduction of Apo Ernie’s posting:


In a message dated 11/2/2007 2:47:54 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:


Fellow NaFFAANS:

Nony (Abrajano) is correct, but, before the case is elevated to the U.S. EEOC, Professor Byer should FIRST file a complaint with her State Human Relations Commission. The Intake Department will evaluate her case and will elevate it to the Federal Court, she will need a lawyer at this time. In some cases, the Employer will immediately settle with the Employee, like in the case of Broadcaster ROSE TIBAYAN vs. ABC NEWS, WPVI TV of Philadelphia. A support from her peers had a favorable impact, and in the case of Rose, the ASIAN JOURNALIST ASSOCIATION of AMERICA.


I use the case of Rose, because it was a multimillion dollar settlement from the same ABC that has maligned our Filipino Doctors.

It will be very easy to get a lawyer on a contingency fee agreement once it is certified by the State Human Relations Commission. Most lawyers will agree either on a 65/35 or 60/40 fee agreement. Lawyers who specialize on discrimination cases are easy to get.

We do not know the status of the case of Professor Byer is at right now, however, once it was determined by the State Human Relations Commission that a Federal Law has been violated, she can shop around for the best lawyer with a good track record on DISCRIMINATION CASES.

My observation was based on an actual case that I helped facilitate during my tenure as a member of the Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs Commission (PHAC) in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

NaFFAA is perceived as the VOICE OF 3-MILLION FILIPINO AMERICANS. It is about time that we behave as we are perceived. Most cases that will be referred to NaFFAA are discrimination cases, why, because many Americans are IGNORANT. No matter how we behave, FILIPINOS will ALWAYS be judged by the COLOR OF THEIR SKIN.

NaFFAA should seek the support of the Filipino-American Lawyers. It will help if a STRONG LEGAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT is created. The Lawyers will be benefited once the case is settled in favor of the Filipino Plaintiff. In most discrimination cases, the employers agree to correct a discriminatory action against them. If NaFFAA has a strong LEGAL DEPARTMENT who has a good track record, then we will get the RESPECT that we deserve.

If (the) NaFFAA has the prestige of LA RAZA, of the Latinos, (the) OCA, of the Chinese, (the) ADL of the Jews or NAACP, of the Negroes, then, we will not be kicked around anymore. Corporations or Individuals will avoid a lawsuit to protect their image and the high cost of litigation. It is common sense, Corporations want to be perceived as good corporate citizens.

Our NaFFAA Board of Directors, most especially, the National Chairman of the BOD, Madame ALMA Q. KERN, "Filipinos had been kicked around for a long time now," starting with our FILIPINO SACADAS in HAWAII, FILIPINO FARM WORKERS in CALIFORNIA and FILIPINO SHIP WORKERS (in) PHILADELPHIA.
Now our Filipino Doctors and University Professors are being kicked around too?



Ernie Gange


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Last Updated on Thursday, 08 November 2007 09:14

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