As Community Steps Up to Manage Parade thru the Philippine Consulate
By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Justice Barbara Jaffe of the New York Supreme Court denied the motion to reopen the 2017 election case sought by petitioners led by the United Mindoro International against the Philippine Independence Day Council Inc.
In a 5-page decision issued on February 8, 2019, Jaffe said, “a motion for leave to renew must contain new facts not offered on the prior motion that would change the prior determination and reasonable justification for failing to offer such facts earlier.”
Jaffe, citing CPLR 2221(e), said that the petitioners Juliet Payabyab and Nieva Quezon-Burdick, failed to explain why they were unable to include in their original petitions allegations related to their alleged exhaustion of internal remedies, regardless of whether petitioner Olivia David (who ran but lost to incumbent president Ner Martinez in 2017), was outside the US or why they were unable to obtain David’s affidavit before she left the US.
Atty. Lara Gregory, counsel for petitioners, said that “the decision was about technical rules that have nothing to do with transparency and accountability. It has nothing to do with why a supposed umbrella organization for the Philippine community is run like a private-for-profit company that removes members who press for accountability. That, is for the New York state and the federal agencies to investigate. My clients have successfully obtained the financial records which is what the case is all about.”
Over the weekend, community leaders here asked to create an ad hoc committee, composed of organizations through the interim management of the Philippine Consulate, to take over the reigns of the Independence Day parade and cultural events in June.
Presented on the floor by businesswoman and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis, Consul General Claro Cristobal in turn asked the decision of the General Assembly of it was okay for the Consulate to take charge of the parade in June. The response was on the positive.
As of this writing, PIDCI’s 501 c (3) status continues to be revoked by the IRS for lack of finance reports for at least 2013-2015.
Petitioner Juliet Payabyab said that the court’s dismissal of the case was related to the 2017 elections and maintained that their success was on the stipulation for PIDCI to produce financial documents for the case on transparency and accountability.
“That was an accomplishment. Now we can move on and wait for the NY state and federal agencies to investigate. Meantime, the Filipino community is getting ready to prepare for the parade while PIDCI does what it should do – produce financial records for the public.”
PIDCI president Ner Martinez, on the other hand said, that PIDCI welcomes the court decision “which will certainly boost current parade preparations.” He added that they still “have to hear officially on the Consul General’s so-called consultations on the ad how committee before making further comments.”