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Apr 06th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings The 'MPs' of San Diego's Filipino Community
The 'MPs' of San Diego's Filipino Community PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Friday, 14 September 2007 02:20

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Friday, 14 September 2007

~ The controversy is not about to die down, especially now that individuals and organizations with serious issues about them try to portray themselves as models of virtue and correctness. This is the height of hypocrisy that must be exposed to the community. The honest-to-goodness leader of MCPS versus the humbugs in COPAO and Mabuhay Alliance?


The 'MPs' of San Diego's Filipino Community


"I don't think we should be in the business of putting lipstick on pigs, trying to create perceptions that are not well-founded." - General David Petraeus, commander US forces in Iraq, in Esquire magazine, Sept. 2007

SAN DIEGO - The above quotation comes to mind in the wake of this furor over a recognition that the Maria Clara de Pilipinas Sorority (MCPS) has bestowed for an article -- the least controversial of all -- that I wrote last year.

As most everybody now knows, some officials and members of the Council of Philippine American Organizations and Mabuhay Alliance have combined their extraordinary talent for raising money and re-channeled it to get support to put a squeeze on MCPS.

It's hard to believe that COPAO's Rita Andrews and Aurora Cudal, and Mabuhay Alliance's Faith Bautista, could still find the time to engage in such frivolous pursuits when their own backyards are teeming with problems.

COPAO is on the brink of dying and Andrews must have thought it needed a dose of "buhay" from Mabuhay Alliance to keep it afloat.

If COPAO and Mabuhay Alliance could team up like that against MCPS, why can't they join forces in the search for the greedy culprits within COPAO who are responsible for the 50 check forgeries and the disappearance of $27,000?

They could start from the grudging admission by Cudal that her name was signed in 43 of the 50 checks. They could also take a cue from police investigators who asked her to provide signature specimen, which she gave a hundred times.

They could further look into why Andrews and Cudal broke open the sealed boxes of documents. They could explore the reasons why COPAO rushed to censure its vice president for finance and the treasurer but not Cudal, the COPAO president when the scandals occurred.

I mean the many questionable activities in COPAO should be enough to make them busy the whole year round. Some of those in Mabuhay Alliance should also start inquiring about intimations of hanky-panky in the networking agency although for now I can't say that with complete certainty.

The Board of Supervisors had cut down its money grant to COPAO, from a high of $18,000 to an all-time low of $5,000. That to me is an indication of COPAO's eroding government support. It isn't a coincidence that the cutback would come when $27,000 had vanished.

COPAO's recent history is replete with disgraceful conduct. Remember when it falsified the name of an officer to enable her to collect salary from a grant project for two years? Remember the unauthorized money transfers from one pocket to another? The housekeeping chores are endless.

There are also strange coincidences that had happened in 2004 when a COPAO official went on a cruise in the Bahamas. Then there's this trip to Manila soon after the COPAO official had made a substantial monetary donation to an obscure college that guaranteed a honorary degree. That was the year $27,000 disappeared into thin air!

But because these issues cause a lot of headaches and heartaches within the seemingly happy COPAO family, they had to look for something to pin the blame on for their misfortune.

Wait, COPAO also had to enlist a disgruntled Mabuhay Alliance employee who's been consistently missed out for an award. She covets the award like she lusts for . . . whatever.

So the ABC team (Andrews, Bautista and Cudal) and their cohorts took a crack on MCPS, hoping it would cave in and grant their sanctimonious wish to reconsider and withdraw its recognition.

"The opinion," wrote Andrews and Bautista, "is that MCPS's recognizing him (Romy Marquez) . . . will make many community members uncomfortable because he is unpopular for publishing articles that many have disagreed with or found offensive."

The letter dated Aug. 17, 2007, was sent to Mrs. Gonzales together with another letter dated July 19, 2007, showing the names and signatures of 48 others, including Cudal, Fred Gallardo, Daughlet Ordinario, Jimmie Sober, Denny Milligan, Jay Ruiz, Rudy Liporada, Priscilla Garrovillas, Normita Atangan and Josie Robles.

Well, as I said before, I am not in journalism to be popular. It's a job I've been into all my life. Surely, the shenanigans I have exposed would feel uneasy to find their names publicized in my stories for consciously committing wrongs against the community.

As a journalist, I don't engage in "putting lipsticks on pigs" as General Petraeus puts it.

The ABC team and their followers must be expecting me to write the way some individuals within their folds write. But they are not journalists; rather, they are graduates of schools of cosmetology and had trained in beauty parlors, the reason they always beautify or fabricate their stories.

I am not like that, no sir!

My journalism is to inform, to explain, to enlighten, to give light . . . to enable the community to know developments, official decisions, activities, how officials perform, etc. that impact them. So whether or not the stories are painful, distressing, unpalatable, disgusting, annoying -- so long as they are truthful -- I have no choice but to report them.

COPAO is particularly piqued because I would not let them off the hook. They want me to cease writing about the check forgeries and the missing $27,000. They want me to stop exposing the crooks and scam artists among them. So they would do it again and again and not be held responsible?

Mabuhay Alliance must also be feeling the heat. And who else would be so troubled except its most traveled employee who crisscross our paths in her dizzying climb up high society?

Right now, I believe COPAO is desperately trying to look relevant. Nothing wrong with that so long as the organization gets rid of another coPAo - the crooks and opportunists of Philippine American organizations - that breeds faster than rabbits and spreads just as fast.

Because of the MCPS recognition, the community has witnessed the birth of the "morals police" with the ABC team leading them. That's so ironic! Just take a look at who's leading the charge.

I believe the MPs underestimated Mrs. Gonzales. They probably thought she would not see through their real motive, which was to rebuke me and my work, and consequently, perpetuate moronism and retardation in the community.

The MPs also raised another issue they vaguely referred to as "sexual escapades". To quote them: "Some of his writings are, in the words of today's youth, so 'gross' and detestable that even adults would be shocked and would shudder with disgust about what he has portrayed".

Indeed, if they are, in the words of Mrs. Gonzales: "Why are they reading it if it's gross?"

As I earlier stated, I am not in the business of "putting lipsticks on pigs". I write as honestly and truthfully as I can.

I agree with the MPs that most of my articles are "explicit and graphic" . . . specially in telling how 50 checks could be forged over two years without anybody noticing, how a bible-preaching liar could make an excuse of not knowing what the right hand signs and the left hand pockets, how $27,000 could evaporate without a trace. True, my stories were "explicit and graphic" in that respect.

Did it ever occur to the MPs that one of them had her "sexual escapades" and is actually embarrassing to men as well? What's good for the goose is also good for the gander, is it not?

And who are you, Ms. Andrews, Mrs. Cudal, Ms. Bautista to make a judgment? Are you all full vestal virgins?

None in COPAO has the moral superiority to impose a moral standard on people and on the community without compromising their own personal interests and conflicts. Please take a look at the mirror and while there, look seriously at what you're doing.

The ABC team, perhaps blindly, is taking the cudgels for somebody whose "sexual escapades" would make them cringe: She who invites sex in empty rooms while potential home buyers walk around appraising model homes; she who never quibbles about sex in a car parked at hamburger joints; she who indulges in sex in a store and office; she who shares half the cost of a room in a cheap motel so the sex would go on; she who lies to her family so she could get of town for a whole day of sex?

The new MPs should take a serious look at what they're advocating for, and on whose behalf. One perfidious, inconsequential woman to be made an example of all women is

not only corrupt, it is, as they said, not "worthy of emulation by our youth".

But does she typify some of those in COPAO and Mabuhay Alliance? Just asking.

If the MPs could muster the courage to ask and confirm all the "sexual escapades" and get candid answers, then I would perhaps reconsider my position. Until then, they are no more than sulking hypocrites and voyeurs.

Philippine Village Voice - Redefining Community News

BREAKING NEWS - Commentary

Issue No. 67 / 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 Wednesday, 31 October 2007 06:38
Comments (1)
1 Monday, 29 June 2009 07:52
My name is Christopher Legaspi from 212 S. Andres St. San Jose, Navotas

city,Manila,Philippines. My sister, Alma Theresa Legaspi ,36 yrs old gave birth to a pre mature

baby girl on April 26,2009. Sheis now suffering from kidney failure, she needs a kidney

transplant because only 11 percent of her kidney is functioning. We spent almost everything we

have for her medical expenses like dialysis every week. I hope you can help in any way you

can. I will send the medical records/abstract of my sister from the UST Hospital within this

week. pls help. god bless.

very truly yours,
christopher legaspi
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