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Apr 05th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Cudal Asks Reyes to Investigate, as a COPAO Director Offers to Provide Documents (As Updated)
Cudal Asks Reyes to Investigate, as a COPAO Director Offers to Provide Documents (As Updated) PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Sunday, 02 December 2007 02:33

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY)

The news in San Diego took an unexpected twist when Aurora Cudal of the Filipino Press, Kalusugan Community Services, COPAO, NaFFAA, FADI, etc., asked online news editor Bobby Reyes to investigate the check and money scandals in COPAO. Not one to disappoint her, Reyes agreed on the condition that COPAO authorize him to look into the files of returned checks.



Please Come, Investigate COPAO



The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

SAN DIEGO - A former chair of the local chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has asked a popular online news editor to investigate the reported financial improprieties in the Filipino community's umbrella organization which she also headed.

The invitation by Mrs. Aurora Cudal to Los Angeles-based Bobby Reyes, editor of, came on the eve of the scheduled trial on Monday, Dec. 3 in San Jose of another NaFFAA official facing charges of misallocating city government funds to a NaFFAA event in that Northern California city.

"Please come to San Diego and conduct an impartial investigation," Cudal wrote in an email to Reyes, sounding like she was imploring Reyes and hurling a challenge at the same time to mock local agencies which already had concluded their probe.

Reyes said he was willing to investigate so long as the Council of Philippine American Organizations (COPAO) would clothe him with the authority to get copies of checks from COPAO's depository bank, among others.

News Flash: COPAO Director Vina Phelps offers to provide the records for her 2004 request for an external audit, follow-ups and some other records pertinent to that audit request. See Users’ Comments for details.

Cudal was the COPAO president when $27,000 disappeared from its coffers. At the same time, 50 checks were reported to have been forged, 43 of which carried the signature of Cudal who said it was not hers. During the same period, Cudal had refused an external audit of the organization.

Why Cudal chose Reyes to re-investigate COPAO was not explained. An official at the San Diego District Attorney's office has recently indicated it might take a second look at the unresolved scandals in COPAO.

"I will wait for the written authorization from the COPAO before I proceed to San Diego to begin the investigation," Reyes said in response to Cudal.

A number of Reyes' online readers said they thought Cudal was just taunting Reyes. She probably believed he would not accept. But Reyes took the dare and now it backfired on Cudal and COPAO, it was explained.

Reyes also asked Cudal to answer questions raised in several stories in the Philippine Village Voice detailing the seeming link between the check forgeries and the missing $27,000.

Despite the avalanche of stories citing the confluence of events when she was COPAO president -- such as the disappearance of $27,000, her refusal to be audited, her Bahamas cruise, her trip to the Philippines, the alleged creation of a foundation in her name, the appearance of her signature in 43 of the "forged" checks -- Cudal has meekly fended them off as "innuendoes" without offering any factual explanation.

A number of Reyes' online readers thought Cudal was just taunting Reyes. She probably believed he would not accept. But Reyes took the dare and now it backfired on Cudal and COPAO

In his response to Cudal, Reyes listed the salient and current issues that Cudal should answer, among which are:

1. That immediately after discovering the supposed "theft" of the COPAO checks, you advised your depositary bank, which could identify as to who cashed (or deposited) the COPAO check.

Banks would have refunded the COPAO checking account had you notified it that the checks in question were missing, presumed stolen and cashed illegally (by cashing it at the teller's window or depositing the checks with your forged signature in another bank account).

But apparently, you and the COPAO treasurer never advised the bank that "stolen" checks with your forged signatures were being cashed time and time again until $27,000 was lost.

2. Had you reported that the COPAO checks were stolen and cashed illegally, then the bank's Security Department would have conducted a swift investigation and reported the matter to the police authorities for immediate action. Banks normally microfilm all the checks cashed and it has a foolproof system of determining as to who cashed any check issued by its depositors.

3.  Apparently, you and your treasurer (your counter signatory of the said COPAO bank account) did not inform the bank and you just allowed the COPAO checks (with your alleged forged signature) to be cashed illegally.

This meant also that you and your treasurer never bothered to reconcile the bank statement that the depositary bank sent to the COPAO at least on a monthly basis with your deposit-and-withdrawal records.

4.  It would be hard to believe your contention that you were not aware of what happened to the COPAO bank account and that your signature were forged in all the said COPAO checks.

Reyes explained that  "Even if the COPAO new officers refused to conduct their own investigation of the said alleged missing checks and the disappearance of $27,000 in its bank account, it would be hard to persuade the Court of  Public Opinion that you had nothing to do with the alleged 'missing' checks of the COPAO, which 'missing' (sic) checks were cashed with your 'forged' (sic) signature.

Please visit for the complete story and the unexpurgated email exchanges and comments from online readers. # # #

PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Issue No. 93 / News Without Fear or Favor /

. . . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . . . . .

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Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2007 03:56

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