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PCC-NSW election

Resolving confusion in peak body PCC-NSW election

Confusion and looming controversy on recent election of officials of the peak community organisation Philippines Community Council of NSW (PCC-NSW) in Sydney are being slowly brokered  toward orderly resolution, possibly appeasement of aggrieved sentiments, thanks to veteran Philippine community leaders.

PHOTO – Election returning official Rey Manoto and members of the PCC-NSW election committee

Retired accountant  and  one time president of the peak body PCC-NSW Manny Diel joins other “elder statesmen” of PCC-NSW called the PCC-NSW Advisory Council to help  resolve questions regarding protests filed recently on several converging issues such as election accreditation, legality of erred dates on documents and others pertaining to the recent election.

With  long history of advocacy for the Philippine community, PCC-NSW relies on its reservoir of wisdom from past presidents of the peak body who served the community  almost one personality every year except for two instances and possibly the third time in 2020.

Himself a sustained observer and on several occasions a PCC-NSW election returning official, Manny Diel is waiting for results of a public hearing requested by the affected affiliate body Bicol Inc whose two of its candidates were allegedly unfairly affected by the election confusion.

Mr Diel reported that Bicol Inc has raised the following questions: 1) Is the revocation reportedly filed by Bicol Inc chairman Ben Bongat genuine, 2) Can Bongat as head of Bicol Inc revoke an appointment issued for someone appointed to vote at PCC-NSW election. 3) Did election returning officer Mr Rey Manoto made a mistake in disenfranchising Bicol Inc. representation by Mr Bobby Lastica who admitted altering the date of document filed.

Mr Diel said Bicol Inc had requested the public hearing to summon the attendance of Bicol Inc head Ben Bongat, PCC-NSW officials Alric Bulseco and Rod Dingle, and complainants Bobby Lastica, Zena Samar, Demi Robinson and Penny Pefecto, the last three being candidates for positions in the last PCC-NSW election as well as Ms Neria Soliman, another past PCC-NSW president.

Mr Diel reported that returning officer Manoto did not allow Mr Lastica to vote due to alleged revocation letter from Bicol Inc head Ben Bongat and an alteration in the date on the a filed form appointing Lastica as authorised Bicol Inc. representative.

In a separate letter  addressed to election returning officer Manoto, the PCC-NSW Board and the PCC-NSW election committee,  Mr Bobby Lastica signing as Bicol Inc secretary raised a number of issues and requested the following 1) that Bicol Inc be allowed to vote and its vote counted for all positions 2) in case of a tie resulting from the votes cast by Bicol Inc, a second balloting be conducted to break the tie and 3) candidate Zena Samar be declared unopposed candidate.

Candidate Zena Samar issued earlier a petition to declare null and void the election of Alice Tayaban as treasurer and to declare Ms Samar as the unopposed candidate for treasurer.

Candidate Francia Perfecto of affiliate Sonata Singers also issued a separate election protest declaring the result for Vice President Internal as null and void and requesting a balloting to break a tie for the position of Vice President Internal.

On another issue, PCC-NSW failed to tackle during the special general meeting several amendments to its constitutions regarding the conduct of its election during its last special general meeting some of which had been issues of disagreements.

It should be recalled that many years ago, a schism among peak body community leaders occurred resulting in the establishment of another group called Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations (APCO) due to disagreement on election issues.

Another split in the peak body would be hard to swallow on the part of previous PCC-NSW presidents and certainly not good example for the overall Philippine community.