"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

New officers take over FACLA after court-mandated election

LOS ANGELES -- Greg "Meng" Gatus took his oath of office as president of the Filipino American Communities of Los Angeles (FACLA) on June 3 and pledged "to usher in a complete change in our approach to the future of the organization and maintain a transparency of accountability in every endeavor we set to undertake."

It may be recalled that Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant removed the 15 members of the board who had assumed office at the foremost Filipino American organization in this part by virtue of last year's election. The results of that election was invalidated in the aftermath of a case brought to court by FACLA members Cynthia Gatus and Erlinda Guerchoum, alleging that the previous officers of the organization "ignored the Bylaws and the FACLA Election Code, and conducted a fraudulent and improper 'election' on Nov.16, 2008."

Gatus was standard of Ideal Party whose candidates swept the new election ordered by the court last May 31. The other newly elected directors are Gabriel Arellano, Austin Baul, Andrea De Guzman, Toni Sheryll De Quiros, Venerando Digal, Purita Dinsay, Mandy Francisco, Erlinda Guerchoum, Marcelina Jensen, Apolonio Julian, Patricia Kegtey, Abelardo Lopez, Rosalinda Nery, and Eufemia Nieva.

On June 4 the following directors were also designated: Julian as vice president for administration and general services; Digal, vice president for financial affairs; Dinsay, vice president for community development and social services; Kegtey, secretary; Jensen, treasurer; Nieva, auditor; and Baul, executive director.

The board appointed Claire Julian as office manager; Romy Salazar, hall manager; and Oliver Sulit and Irbe Jamolod, sergeants-at-arms.

Those affected by Judge Chalfant's order were Rizalino Manuel, Adolfino Aguayon, Terry Herrera, Gloria Resureccion, Darlene Salvador, Cris Florendo, Romy Jaravate, Letty Reyes, Alice Parino, Luz Garcia, Arturo Garcia, Senen Dela Torre, Teresita Eligino, Perfecto Tobias, and Ricky Songalia.

The previous FACLA officers were Adolpino Aguayon, Jose Baldonado, Bienvenido L. Basilio, Basilisa Bigornia, Teresita Elegino, Sally Jamorabon, Francisco Rongavilla, Fender Santos, Enrique Songalia, Flor Cadiente, Senen dela Torre, Dick Digal, Bobby Reyes, Roy Padre, and Jesus Prado.

PHOTO CAPTION: A new set of officers take rein of the Filipino American Communities of Los Angeles (FACLA) after winning an election ordered by Superior Court Judge James Chalfant.

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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