PIDCI releases official list of 2017 candidates; enjoins members to vote Oct. 7

by Ricky Rillera

NEW YORK – Nine days after the current board of directors met and considered the applications of all candidates, PIDCI has now released the official list.

For president: Olivia C. David, Antero “Ner” Martinez, and Isagani C. Puertollano.

For board of directors: Sofia Abad, Joycelyn Aligarbes, Archie Alvarez, Chris de Guzman, Steven Derodar, Liza Galon, Aida Gamolo, Carmeli Garcia, Laura Garcia, Thomas Ludena, Rely Manacay, Fernando Mendez, Juliet Payabyab, Leonidas Pulido, Mateo Reyes Jr. and Tambi Wycoco.

Out of 16 candidates for directors, 7 will have to be elected to fill the vacant posts.

In a media advisory, PIDCI said the elections will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity – Draesel Hall, 316 East 88th Street, New York, NY 10028. Less than 100 member organizations are expected to vote.

In a turn of events, Laura Garcia whose eligibility was “put on hold” Tuesday, Sept. 5, along with Margie Wisotsky, has now passed the “strict scrutiny of the Board”. Wisotsky, however, was disqualified. Missing also in the official list are Robert Aguirre, Albert Diala and Art Diongon who were also disqualified. Apparently, their applications, which were approved by the Board at its meeting, were later found to have some discrepancies in their applications.  PIDCI did not elaborate. All belonged to a list put together by Tambi Wycoco, who was supposed to run for president but instead, stepped down to run as board member.

The Philippine Daily Mirror has learned that a membership list was not made available to candidates or to anyone requesting for it “to protect the privacy of these organizations”. This list was used by the Comelec to verify the information provided by the candidates in their applications. According to a source, the members of the membership committee are Sirhan Ybanez and Ronie Mataquel, current members of the Board.

When Ybanez and Mataquel were contacted by Philippine Daily Mirror to clarify this issue on membership list, each one offered a different explanation. Ybanez said “he would only release it with the approval of the Board.” On the other hand, Mataquel said that “according to the [PIDCI] Constitution and By-laws, a written request has to be made to the president or the secretary and within 10 days, such request may or may not be granted.” He further said “you can see the list but you cannot have a copy of it for yourself.”

The Philippine Daily Mirror has also learned that Consul General Tess Dizon-de Vega wrote a letter to Dr. Prospero Lim, president of PIDCI,  congratulating PIDCI for another successful Philippine Independence Day Parade.  Apparently, Dizon-de Vega also suggested that PIDCI present a public report of PIDCI’s administrative and operational activities in the past year as a standard procedure for any outgoing administration. All board members received a copy of the letter but when some of them were asked a copy for this report, they declined. They said that approval by Lim to release a copy must first be sought.

The PIDCI plans, organizes, produces, executes, manages, directs and presents the annual commemoration of Philippine Independence in New York City. This includes the Independence Day Parade, Street Fair and Cultural Festival, the Mrs. Kalayaan and Diwa Ng Kalayaan Pageants, the PIDCI Grand Marshal Gala and the Philippine Independence Ball.

Meanwhile, the Fil-Am Press Club of New York is inviting all candidates to a townhall meeting on Sept. 26 to be held tentatively at St. Francis Assisi Church, San Damiano Hall, 130 W 25th Street, New York, NY 10001 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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