Is this callousness a result of enjoying too much unaccounted monies for a one-day parade? Getting rid of those who want to institute changes is an act of a bully. Expelling them would lead one to think that indeed, leaders have so much to hide, instead of going full blast cooperation with the community.
Expelling community leaders who are critical of its processes is an act of a bully
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – With the expulsion of the organizations of Ronie Mataquel, Juliet Payabyab, Fernando Mendez, and Nieva Quezon Burdick and their subsequent denial from running for PIDCI posts, where is PIDCI going these days?
Only Ner Martinez seeks reelection as president. He will likely run unopposed. There is no list of approved new members. Will PIDCI still enforce the shady proxy system in the upcoming October 6 elections?
Is PIDCI being privatized now, only in the hands of a clique that control it? The community has no say at all? Will it just be a spectator or participant of the parade and contributor of funds? No room for critical thinking and questioning of its processes? No right to question and demand for transparency and accountability?
These organizations/leaders led in trying to bring PIDCI to a decent status of accountable leadership. There are still many Filipinos in New York who want straight forward honesty. Why were they expelled? Hundreds of thousands of dollars are contributed by the FilAms here! The community should have a say.
And all these because the Philippine Consulate is timid to do the higher moral ground of temporarily leading the parade while organizational matters of PIDCI are being addressed. Community organizations have been pressing for this. The Consulate is the only morally-bound institution that could revert the ownership of PIDCI back to the community being its organizer, in the first place. I hope that the Consulate would not allow a few private hands to act as if they were PIDCI owners without public accountability.
The Consulate has successfully been organizing heritage events with active community participation such as the Simbang Gabi, Homecoming sa Konsulado, Sinehan sa Summer, and other events. Time for PIDCI to be community-owned and community-led again. Celebrations of Philippine independence outside the Philippines must be a shared responsibility of community organizations, like it used to be, and not just of private individuals.
(Featured photo: Ronie Mataquel, director for Membership committee, being carried on a chair outside the election premises of PIDCI upon the orders of Comelec following his compliance with PIDCI Pres. Prospero Lim’s order to check the proxy list of voters in the 2017 elections.)