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May 31st
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Romy Marquez Disputes the NaFFAA Statement on the San Diego Wildfires
Romy Marquez Disputes the NaFFAA Statement on the San Diego Wildfires PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Thursday, 25 October 2007 15:15

Romy Marquez Disputes the NaFFAA Statement on the San Diego Wildfires


NAFFAA Statement on the Wildfires in San Diego County

by Alma Q. Kern, National Chair
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)

          We are keeping in our thoughts and prayers the 250,000 displaced San Diego County residents who are affected by raging wildfires throughout the county. Over 1,000 acres of land have burned. We have been informed that many Filipino American families may be in harm's way and, like the many others, are in need of immediate assistance and relief.


Saying that a specific number ("250,000 displaced San Diego County residents") of people had been affected by the wildfires was like a wild guess by and from the NaFFAA. I was thinking the figure was the estimated number of Filipinos in San Diego County.

Moreover, stating that "many Filipino American families may be in harm's way" and "are in need of immediate assistance and relief" opens the way for what may already be a plan, i.e., to conduct a fund-raising for alleged fire victims.

In the last four days, I've seen only three Filipino brothers who live and work in the town of Ramona and who are now temporarily relocated in one of the shelters. Most Filipino families whose homes were threatened sought the help of their extended families - relatives, friends, friends of friends, etc.

The truth right now is that the authorities have politely declined any more donations of food, clothing, etcetera, etc. because there's been an outpouring of community and corporate support.

I wonder how NaFFAA came up with 250,000. A small fraction of it may be correct but to say "many Filipino American families" is quite an exaggeration.

Capt. Cesar Solis, no doubt, is one of the first responders. But high up the ladder are the very responsible officials who are in the position to provide information and keep us abreast of the developments. Same with Councilman Fidelis Ungab.

Contrary to NaFFAA's claims that "The city has also opened their doors to house residents in surrounding neighborhoods", I have yet to see which door is being opened.

NaFFAA may be trying to put Capt. Solis and Councilman Ungab in the limelight and certainly this is not the way to do it.

The fact is that in National City, "the largest Filipino community" as NaFFAA called them, was never in danger since the start of the fire on Sunday. There's time for grandstanding and certainly this one isn't. 

Editor’s Note: Romy Marquez is the editor of the Philippine Village Voice. He writes for the He can be reached at 619.265.0611 or at or at

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Last Updated on Thursday, 25 October 2007 16:42

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