By Rene Villaroman
LOS ANGELES – In a last minute bid to save itself from a looming scandal, the ABS CBN Foundation, through its President, Robbie Fabian, has announced the foundation is pulling out from the ‘100 Outstanding Filipino American of the United States Awards, after Ms. Darna Umayam, President of the sponsoring Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc., made an anti Semitic slur against PinoyWatchDog.com’s Senior Columnist Joel Bander.
Mr. Fabian made the announcement today, July 26, in an e-mail blast to several Fil-Am community media outlets, including PinoyWatchDog.com. Mr. Fabian announced “ABS CBN Foundation International has decided to withdraw from its scheduled participation in ‘100 Outstanding Filipino American dinner sponsored by the Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. (PCCI) and its founder Ms. Darna Umayam.”
Mr. Fabian also added that “the board of directors of the Foundation has concluded today that recent statements made by Ms. Umayam will make it untenable for ABS CBN Foundation International to be part of this initiative. The Foundation regrettably also has decided to decline the planned donation to Bantay Bata.”
Ms. Umayam, in a scathing email to PWD’s senior columnist, Joel Bander, stated: “Your writers must be ashamed of themselves. They are the talk of the town why??? (sic). … They must remember that Jew or Hudyo killed Jesus Christ????? Judas Escariot (sic) the apostle who betrayed Jesus is a JEW like you!!!!!!!
Ms. Umayam’s anti Semitic statement came on the heels of a series of exposes in the last three issues of PWD, which documented various unethical fundraising practices, inconsistent Federal Income Tax returns of her PCCI non-profit organization, and misrepresentation of her resume, claiming that she graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, but the University’s alumni records manager could not certify that she graduated with that honor.
PWD first questioned Umayam’s cavalier attitude in its so-called national search for ‘100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the United States’ because majority of the honorees came from the Los Angeles area. This newspaper had also criticized the organizer’s policy of asking the prospective honorees to put up a non-refundable entry fee, plus the equivalent of $1000 in ticket and advertising sales as a prerequisite to receiving the award.
But the most glaring irregularity of all is that only $7500 of an expected $100,000 in gross income would be donated to the Foundation, even though in practice fundraisers like this one are mandated to donate at least from 30 to 50 per cent of the gross.
PWD’s crusade to unmask the real motive for this fundraiser as early as last month has incurred the ire of Ms. Umayam, who has held many similar fundraising events in the past, with monies raised still not properly and openly accounted. PinoyWatchDog.com also reported in its last issue that PCCI, which Umayam is utilizing as a “pass through” organization for her fundraising efforts, was hijacked from the Kalayaan Independence Day Committee, of which she was the chair in 2009. The non-profit corporation was created and paid for by the organizing committee, but up to the present time, the more than $1000 spent in its creation and incorporation has not been rebated to the organizing committee.
These events were followed by large scale theft of PinoyWatchDog.com’s in central Los Angeles, Eagle Rock, Glendale and the San Fernando Valley. When PWD’s Bander called on Umayam to make an announcement to her supporters to not steal newspapers, she responded with words of support for the thievery, and the caustic anti-Semitic remarks that has now brought about her downfall.
On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, ABS CBN’s Tina Palma announced she would not be attending the event based on the revelations of the last few weeks and finally the anti-Semitic remarks of Umayam. On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Umayam sent out an email blast that stated “want this to be clear: ABS CBN Foundation International is not pulling out of the event. Tina’s decision is a personal one. Gina Lopez is in the States right now attending a seminar and she did not come here for the event. If it is still not yet apparent let me point this out– the Foundation is “taking the heat and dealing with it,” more than we should.”
The PinoyWatchDog.com investigative team has determined that Lopez was indeed planning to come to the event, and the ‘seminar’ appears completely made up by Umayam.
PinoyWatchDog.com Executive Editor Al Aquino stated “it’s time for Darna to shut this down and give everyone back their money. I call on the Filipino community to just ask for a refund of this massive folly.”
When Bander was asked his reaction to the Fabian announcement he said “I just wrote back to Mr. Fabian ‘wow’.”
- UST cannot certify Darna Umayam graduated Cum Laude
- Documents show Umayam took money from 2009 Independence Day earnings
- Darna Umayam, do not invoke the name of God to make you look good and PinoyWatchDog bad
- The show will go on – Darna Umayam
- Darna Umayam bares some Fil-Am Awards rules
- ABS-CBN Foundation International President Robbie Fabian Says $7500 is All Umayam Required to Pay