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Dec 02nd
Home Sections NaFFAAgate The NaFFAA in Turmoil: Cofounder Vows to Come Out in the Open and Fight for Reforms
The NaFFAA in Turmoil: Cofounder Vows to Come Out in the Open and Fight for Reforms PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:29

T he “conspiracy of silence” in the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) appears to be now in the dustbin of history. A NaFFAA cofounder, Ernesto Gange of Philadelphia, PA, has come out in the open and he vows to spearhead a clean-up of the federation’s finances and management style. He is a former NaFFAA state chair for Pennsylvania and the first Filipino-American member of the Board of Trustees of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation.


In an exclusive telephone interview with Mr. Gange, who is called fondly by his peers in Pennsylvania as “Apo Ernie,” declared that he is fed up with the obvious disregard by the NaFFAA national executive officers (NEOs) of the tenets of accountability and transparency. Apo Ernie has never been a member of the NaFFAA National Board, although the NaFFAA cofounders frequently sought him out in the past for assistance as a veteran unregistered lobbyist in the United States Congress. Mr. Gange headed the Pearl S. Buck Foundation’s task force in the 1990s that fought for the “Amerasian children,” the offspring of American servicemen in the Asia.


Apo Ernie revealed also to this writer that he will be interviewed today by the staff of the Filipino Reporter newspaper in New York City. He is expected to reveal to the newspaper what he knows about the NaFFAA founders’ perennial problems with accountability and transparency. The Filipino Reporter intends to publish Mr. Gange’s revelations in this week’s edition that comes out on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.


Mr. Gange also requested this writer to provide the Filipino Reporter with copies of Ben Menor’s Profit-and-Loss (P&L) Statement for the August 2002 NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, CA, and the 2001-2002 NaFFAA’s audited financial reports. One of this writer’s Deep Throats provided him with the so-called “Smoking Guns.”


The NaFFAA’s Turmoil in the Big Apple


P erhaps Mr. Gange will talk also about the present “NaFFAA Turmoil” in Region One (the NaFFAA region composed of its chapters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New England states). The “turmoil” started when Region-One overall chair, Atty. J. T. Mallonga, proposed the creation of a five-person fact-finding committee that would investigate the now so-called “NaFFAAgate.” This writer promised to appear before the “Mallonga Committee” and testify and present pieces of documents proving the theft of NaFFAA funds by some of its NEOs.


It appeared that the NaFFAA NEOs sabotaged the Mallonga proposal by causing  the passage of a so-called manifesto that “cleared” the administration of now-beleaguered national chair Gregorio Macabenta and the past administrations of any wrong doing. The manifesto made the Mallonga proposal moot and academic. The NaFFAA National Board cleared the NEOs of any hint or tint of financial impropriety by not even  discussing the Mallonga proposal for a fact-finding investigation.


Then at least two members of the NaFFAA ruling clique, Communications Director Jon Melegrito and New Jersey-based National Treasurer Lourdes Corrales (who belongs also to Region One), apparently fed investigative reporter Romeo P. Marquez dossiers of the so-called “Smartgate” Scandal. The “Smartgate” hinted that Atty. Malloga’s NaFFAA chapter illegally received $50,000 from Smart Communications. Of course, Mr. Marquez will never reveal his sources of information. But NaFFAA officials in the Big Apple and the Tri-state area are talking about the coming clash between the NaFFAA ruling clique and the group of Atty. Mallonga. They suspect that Mr. Melegrito and Ms. Corrales used Mr. Marquez in casting doubts on the integrity of Atty. Mallonga and his fellow officers in the NaFFAA’s Region-One chapter.


To read Mr. Marquez’s exclusive reports on the “Smartgate,” please click on these hyperlinks:


NaFFAA's $50K Deal with Philippine Firm Raises Questions About Money Laundering


NaFFAA Co-Founder Disowns Threats; More Grant-Money 'Secrets' Turning Up


To read 10 other articles written by Mr. Marquez about the NaFFAAgate, the Menorgate and now the Smartgate, please go to this section,


The Filipino-American soap opera, “NaFFAA-ka Lungkot, Kuya Eddie,” continues . . . # # #


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:34
Comments (3)
1 Tuesday, 15 September 2009 13:59
Hi Bobby,

You scooped me! You got a good story there.

I hope Apo Ernie opens everything up in the spirit of transparency. I believe that the only way NaFFAA can regain the trust and confidence of its public and corporate supporters is to let us know what's going on in NaFFAA's inner circle.

The "clash of the semi-titans" I would say this is. The "titans" are pretending to be unreachable up there, shaking in their perch watching how their proxies wage the war.

I personally don't know either Ludy Corrales or JTMallonga. I've met Jon Melegrito once or twice and that's not enough to say he is an acquaintance. But he's a good writer.

Well, the reason that I mention this is to illustrate the fact that we're not too close or familiar with each other as to allow one party to use the other. Even if we were, I would not permit myself to be utilized by any of them as a tool to advance their politics.

If my story has c ast doubts on the integrity of some people in NaFFAA, it is because there is a reason that's borne out by the facts. Only them can erase those doubts.

Not being a member of NaFFAA, my role is limited to reporting. I am not an active player in this drama but, certainly, I'm there to document the drama that's unfolding before our eyes. Even as I say all these, I am still being targeted by people with loose tongues and foul mouths, maybe for want of a better diversion.

Thanks and best regards,

Romy Marquez
2 Tuesday, 15 September 2009 14:13
Dear Romy:

I did not really outscoop you on the Smartgate. You were the one who brought it out in the open. It is your story to pursue to the end. Whether or not Jon Melegrito and/or Lourdes Corrales gave you some documents is part of our trade. I have not written anything about it, as I am leaving it up to you. I merely reported what some NaFFAA officers in Region One are saying about it and their educated guesses on your sources of information.

RE: Apo Ernie Gange's move. I merely reported what he told me that he is going to be interviewed by the Filipino Reporter staff.

Well, eventually we can come up with a book about the NaFFAAgate, the Menorgate (with additional coverage from Tito Cortez and his fellow CRABS officers), the Ballygate and now the Smartgate. This will be one book that future generations of Filipino Americans will treasure, as it will chronicle what Filipino Americans did at the end of the second millennium in the United States (that is, from 1997 to the present and counting).


Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
3 Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:02
Dear Mr. Reyes:

What initiatives NAFFAA has really supported? Check out their website, how many issues have they rallied about. What kind of community action have they done as an organization?

On the other hand I am truly grateful for the many NAFFAA members who had responded and encouraged me in my various community activities. I feel obligated "malaking utang na loob sa kanila". You are probably wondering, what is my agenda in posting these comments in your website? Nothing really, except to tell you, what others probably told you already, that is for you to continue what you are doing. We as a community need someone like you to ask the questions that needed to be asked and for that I truly thank you.


Maria Clara
(Just a Pen Name)

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