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Home Columns Unsolicited Advice Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens
Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Unsolicited Advice
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 12 September 2009 09:33


Part
III of the series, "It Is Time for Filipino Americans to Stop Playing 'Mr. Nice Guys'”


 

T he nearly decade-old campaign for reforms in the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) that this writer began in May 2000 highlights the fact that many first-generation Americans of Filipino descent are failing badly as citizens of the United States. Like many first-generation Filipino Americans (FilAms), many of the NaFFAA’s national executive officers (NEOs) are behaving as if they have never left the Filipino homeland.

 

All American entities, especially public-benefit corporations and foundations, are required by state and/or federal laws to observe strictly the ATIC tenets. ATIC, as I coined in 2000, is the acronym for “accountability, transparency, integrity and credibility.” The NaFFAA has refused to make public nearly all the profit-and-loss (P&L) statements of its national conventions and networking conferences.

 

To read a series of reports on the so-called NaFFAAgate and Menorgate Scandals in the NaFFAA, please click on this hyperlink, http://www.mabuhayradio.com/sections/naffaagate.html

 

In fact, it seems that many of the NaFFAA NEOs – like many of the first-generation Filipino Americans – have brought with them to the United States a culture of corruption that they experienced and perhaps learned in the Filipino homeland.

 

Talking of politics, many first-generation Filipino Americans still subscribe to the old corrupt practice as done in the homeland. For Filipino candidates have to give money and favors to the voters, instead of the other way around. In the United States, people donate money to, and volunteer time for, the candidate’s political-action committee.

 

Perhaps the best proofs for the contention that first-generation FilAms are failing badly as American citizens can be highlighted by the politics in the NaFFAA.


 

“Lutong Macao” Elections

 

M ore-often than not, cheating happens even in the elections in Filipino-American associations. Take the case of the NaFFAA’s election in 2000 held at the Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. (After that election, which is now known as the Ballygate Scandal, the NaFFAA NEOs changed the Bylaws to permit the  appointment of regional officers, instead of letting the members choose them in a real election.) Thus, the NaFFAA NEOs continued with the Filipino practice of fixing elections, known in the homeland as “Lutong Macao” contests.

 

The Ballygate of an election scandal was done by the NaFFAA ruling clique on Oct. 1, 2000, at the Bally Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The clique did all the dirty tricks in the books and more – like the Committee on Elections (COMELEC) amending the NaFFAA Bylaws then and there – to steal the election and deny this writer the chairmanship of the NaFFAA’s Region IX (Southern California and Southern Nevada). The NaFFAA COMELEC was composed of Atty. Rodel Rodis, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ron Quidachay and Atty. Loida Nicolas-Lewis.

 

Yes, the NaFFAA COMELEC at the Ballygate permitted non-delegates and registered delegates who did not pay the required $25 voter’s fee – as stated in the federation’s Bylaws – to cast ballots. I was able to produce a copy of the Host Committee’s computerized list, which did not show any of the 40 or more college students from San Diego, California, as registered delegates. A Deep Throat provided me with a copy of the said computerized delegates’ list but again the NaFFAA NEOs did not even entertain the election protest.

 

Had the COMELEC followed to the letter the NaFFAA Bylaws, the 35 delegates (who each prepaid their $200 registration and voter’s fees) that our Los Angeles-based coalition fielded at the NaFFAA 2000 convention would have won the election. Not only did four adult delegates from San Diego cast their ballots for me but also my opponent, Mark Pulido, was able to register less-than 10 delegates and the Host Committee had less-than 20 members, many of whom did not even pay the required $25 voter’s fee, which was mandated to be paid on or before the deadline of Sept. 29, 2000.

 

Mark Pulido Resigns

 

In December 2001, then NaFFAA Region IX chapter chair, Mark Pulido, resigned. According to the NaFFAA Bylaws, the runner up in any election for chairman would automatically become the vice chairman. Since only Mr. Pulido and I were the only candidates in the Oct. 1, 2000, election, I ipso facto became the regional vice chair.

 

The NaFFAA Region One officers (based in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the New England states) immediately recognized my chairmanship when Mr. Pulido resigned. This was the way the Region-One officers tried to patch up a compromise deal. But then the NaFFAA ruling clique said that the NaFFAA Bylaws was already amended that permitted the appointment of regional officers by the national chair. The NaFFAA national chair, Alex Esclamado, promptly appointed one of his robots to become the acting chairman of Region IX.

 

If only the NaFFAA National Board voted to approve the motion of the Region-One state chairpersons, then I would have been seated in the Board. And I would have led the group of “fiscalizers,” which would have prevented the happening of the Menorgate Scandal during the next NaFFAA national convention in San Jose, CA, in August 2002.

 

This writer would have been also instrumental in stopping the 2001-2002 raid on the NaFFAA national treasury by some of its NEOs, as journalist Romeo P. Marquez documented in his investigative report, Is NaFFAA a Spent “Milking Cow” and/or the “Fil-Am Version of the SS Titanic?”


 

NaFFAA Members Must Stop Being “Mr. Nice Guy” or “Ms. Nice Girl”

 

M any NaFFAA regional officers continue to be like the Three Monkeys that depict the adage, “Talk No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil.” The NaFFAA National Board members have practically given absolution to the NaFFAA NEOs without investigating allegations of corruption in the federation, without asking for even the equivalent of the Catholic penance and Christian restitution, as a condition precedent to forgiveness.

 

Many of the NaFFAA regional officers – including many of its good people – are lukewarm to the idea of joining me in filing complaints against the alleged crooks in the federations with the Criminal Prosecution Division of the IRS (for tax evasion, mail fraud, criminal fraud and perjury). Many do not want also this writer to file another complaint with the Department of Justice for possible violation of the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Why? They say that it is not good to display dirty Filipino linen in public. But I tell these NaFFAA people, most of them American citizens, that they are no longer Filipino citizens (like I am) and that as Americans they ought to report financial scams to the authorities.

 

(To be continued . . . )

 

To view the other parts of this occasional series, please go to:

 

It Is Time for Filipino Americans to Stop Playing “Mr. Nice Guy”  

 

Filipino Americans Are No Longer “Misters Nice Guys” (Part II)


 

Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens (Part III)

 

Many ABER Filipinos Don't Trust First-generation Filipino Americans (Part IV) # # #

 



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Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 19:15
 

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