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Pro-Duterte pitch leads to ‘snubbing’ issue between Global Alliance, PCG

07 March 2016

By Daisy CL Mandap

In a “message” sent through The SUN on Feb. 23, Global Alliance chairman Leo Selomenio accused the Consulate of favoring Philippine Alliance, the group from where they had broken away from early this year.

The protest stemmed from the no-show of Consulate officials at Global’s event, where Consul General Bernardita Catalla was named as one of the “honored guests” along with actor Robin Padilla and Sebastian Duterte, son of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

Robin Padilla attracts big crowd Newly formed organization Global Alliance has decried what it perceived as unfair treatment by officers of the Consulate during its induction ceremony held on Feb. 21 on Chater Road.
Before the boycott, Congen reportedly opted to send Deputy Consul General Christian de Jesus in her stead, as it was he who presided over PhilAlliance’s induction earlier this year.
“We believe that PCG should treat their people fairly and not just support Philippine Alliance and exclude Global Alliance,” Selomenio’s letter said.

But in a rebuttal, Congen Catalla said the decision to stay away was due to reports indicating the event was co-organized with a group supporting Duterte’s presidential bid.
Congen cited the Omnibus Election Code prohibiting public officials from engaging in any election activity, directly or indirectly, or taking part in any partisan activity.

She said: “The sudden withdrawal of participation of PCG-HK officers in last Sunday’s activity of Global Alliance and Duterte Alliance was an act to uphold the law...Malice has no place in the decision and action of PCG-HK.”

Selomenio, however, insisted that the event was organized by her other group, Kabisig Society. The program billed it as an “Induction and Oathtaking Ceremony” by Global’s affiliate organizations and as a “Search for Hot Mama” contest. 

Padilla was supposed to just say hi and sing three songs, and not endorse Duterte.
“Ang binigay ko nga sa kanila was 30 minutes lang pero umabot sila ng 1 hour and half
Kahit singko wala akong hiningi sa kanila kasi ang usapan kakanta lang sya (Padilla) ng 3 songs,” said Selomenio in a message.

Speaking before a crowd of thousands, the actor not only talked at length about why he was supporting Duterte, he was also accompanied on stage by the candidate’s son who naturally also made a campaign pitch for his father.

Reacting to the allegation that it favored PhilAlliance, Congen said: “The PCG treats all Filcom organizations accredited to it fairly and equally”.

She said Global’s induction coincided with the Peace and Cooperation Awards Ceremonies, where the PCG was invited to award the certificates to members of the winning team from Quirino High School in Quezon City.

Thus, she decided that DCG de Jesus would go to Chater, taking note that he was also the one who presided over the induction of PhilAlliance officers. However, as he was about to leave for Chater, de Jesus was reportedly alerted by reports that the event was being co-organized by the Duterte Alliance, which made him decide against going,

An offer was made for the Global leaders to go to PCG instead for their induction, but they turned it down.

Selomenio confirmed this, saying the group’s officers decided they should not leave Chater in the middle of the celebration so they could go to the Consulate to take their oath.

Apart from Global Alliance, the other organizations slated to have their induction ceremony that day were Kabisig, Panay Overseas Workers Association (POWA), Abante Burgos La Union Association HK, Sudipen Society Hong Kong, Delfin Albano Foreign Workers Association and The United City of San Fernando Organization – all breakaway factions of Philippine Alliance.

Despite the snub, Selomenio said the event made history because more than 5,000 people came to Chater Road. However, most came in the afternoon, when Padilla showed up to campaign for his “idol” Duterte.

The induction of Global Alliance officers took place in the afternoon, with barrister Dee Crebbin who also acts as the group’s legal adviser stepping into the shoes of Congen Catalla as inducting officer.

In a brief speech, Crebbin, a former senior prosecutor, vowed to ensure justice is always served to migrant workers.

POWA’s officers took their oath before The SUN’s publisher Leo A. Deocadiz, who also serves as one of their advisers, while the other affiliate organizations were inducted into office by La Union budget officer Catherine Franco.

The new officers of Global Alliance are: Leo Selomenio, chairman; Aziz Tuano, president; Marites Nuval, vice president for administration; Virgie Buen, vp for program; Zeny Navarro, general secretary; Vice Tabarnero, secretary; Mel Guerrero, finance director; Nida Balcita, treasurer; Lindy Paclibar, general auditor; Bonnie Madelar, auditor; Gie Tacadao, PR director; Mila Agtarap, Tess Domdom, Francis Ita-as, founding advisers; Fr. Jay Flandez, spiritual adviser; and Dee Crebbin, legal adviser.

POWA is headed by Lindy Paclibar as president, with the other officers: Diana Estrellan, vp-internal; Thelma Frondoza, vp-external; Angeli Marie Maboot, secretary; Mayflor Pirote, assistant secretary; Sheryl Joy Jornadal, treasurer; Lyn Lorca, assistant treasurer; Analisa Bretana, auditor; Marites Genoguin, asst auditor; Armiets Roann, Lovely Jordan, Elisa Duran, Marilou Redulla Jimenez, PRO; Ronalyn Bayo-ang, Christian Je-ann Jallorina and Renaly Barrios, business managers; and Francis Ita-as, Merlinda Mercado, Katherine de Guzman, Rosabelle Woolf and Leo Deocadiz, advisers.

Robin Padilla attracts big crowd to Global Alliance’s event. Note Duterte’s face on the lower right corner of the backdrop.
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