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Kate Andres

Veteran community leader leads “requisition” for PCC-NSW special meeting on election matters

Legal interpretations are playing  on a number of issues as  the result of the election of the presidency of the peak organisation Philippine Community Council of NSW.

A group of community leaders led by Chair of an affiliate organisation Filipino Cooperative Atty. Kate Andres who was three times former president of PCC-NSW has announced a “requisition” for the holding of a Special General Meeting (SGM) ” on matters concerning the last election of officers of PCC-NSW last February 2020..

Wikipedia defines requisition as a legal term referring to “an act demanding a thing as a matter of right.” Atty Andres in her release to the press demands the holding of the SGM at 1:00 pm on 16 August 2020 at Marayong Community Centre.

Atty Andres said the requisition is being filed in behalf of affiliate members Bicol Inc., Philippine Association of Senior Citizens Inc, and Samar Association of Australia. She said “The purposes of the meeting are to introduce important reforms as a result of the issues and concerns raised relating to the 2020 PCC-NSW AGM and Elections, the disenfranchisement of Bicol Inc and Philippine Nurses Association, invalid nominations of candidates, violations of one-representation rule and election rules, non-compliance with AGM financial reporting requirements.”

Earlier Bayanihan News reported a statement from PCC-NSW President Alric Bulseco saying PCC-NSW has ruled against the quo warranto claim against PCC-NSW President Bulseco and Immediate President Serna Ladia centering on alleged disqualifications for their respective positions in the PCC-NSW Board.

Quo warranto is a special form of legal action used to resolve a dispute over whether a specific person has the legal right to hold the public office that he or she occupies. It is an action which infamously questioned and ousted  Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno from the Philippine Supreme Court.

In a letter to affiliate associations, Mr Bulseco conveyed the decision of the PCC-NSW Board  following a comprehensive deliberations of the Board, with Bulseco himself and Mrs Ladia did not attend.

Bulseco’s letter stated further that the Board voted 10 votes that there was no breach of the constitution, nil vote that there was a breach and two abstentions. Bulseco said the Chair Mr Cesar Bartolome inhibited himself from the voting procedure.

Atty Andres in her open letter said Jun Relunia, PCC-NSW past president and incumbent president of PASSCI speaking for the Requisitioners said “the PCC-NSW Board has not responded to the Requisition to convene SGM filed on 7 June 2020. The Board is mandated under the Constitution to hold the SGM but no action was taken by Alric Bulseco or the Board, not even the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of the Requisition.”  Rule 24(2) of the PCC-NSW Constitution provides  “The Board must, on the requisition of 5% of the total members (affiliates) convene a special general meeting of the Council” and Rule 24(5) provides “If the Board fails to convene a special general meeting within 1 month after that date on which a requisition of members (affiliates) for the meeting is lodged with the secretary, any one or more of the members (affiliates) who made the requisition may convene a special general meeting to be held not later than 3 months after that date”.  3 affiliates comprise 5% of the current 52 affiliates and the Requisition to call SGM complied with the formal requirements. “We are entitled to convene the SGM because the Board refused to call”, Relunia added.

Atty Andres said, Bulseco, who is reported to be acting Secretary of PCC-NSW, was requested by the Requisitioners to send the SGM Notice to Affiliates pursuant to the Constitution. In the absence of a reply from Bulseco, the Requisitioners took the initiative to send the SGM notices to the 52 registered Affiliates.

Aty Andres added, “The SGM is an offshoot of the February 16 AGM and election issues raised by Affiliate members which most PCC-NSW past presidents took on board. On 19 March 2020 concerned Past Presidents *(CPP) Manny Diel, Malyn Andres-Chun, Jimmy Lopez, Ronaldo Villaver, Atoy Sayas, Evelyn Beed, Neria Soliman Jun Relunia and Kate Andres wrote to Bulseco about his re-election bid representing the Australian Mindanao Multicultural Communities Inc (AusMin)  which violates Rule 13(4) of the PCC-NSW Constitution and asked him to consider standing down as president.

According to Atty Andres, “Rule 13(4) provides “Only one representative from each association is allowed to sit in the Board” The CPP stated Bulseco and Ms Serna Ladia who are sitting in the Board are both representing AusMin 10 members of the Board who are identified with Bulseco’s  Masigasig Team,  maintained Bulseco has not breached Rule 13(4).  An independent legal advice however found there is a breach of Rule 13(4). Relunia announced the legal advice shall be made available to the Affiliates at the SGM or prior to the SGM.”

She added, “The CPP followed up on 29 May 2020 with a request to the Board to hold urgent SGM for affiliates to meet and discuss but no response was received from Bulseco or the Board which prompted the 3 Affiliates to file a Requisition to hold SGM relying on Rule 24 of the PCC-NSW Constitution.  Among the breaches of rules, unprofessional and unbecoming conduct alleged in complaints filed with the Board, apart from Bulseco’s violation of Rule 13(4) are: Bulseco’s acceptance and validation of nominations filed by email which is not allowed under the election rules, Bulseco as 2019 president and candidate for re-election and Returning Officer Rey Manoto’s actuations and rulings not allowing Bicol Inc and Philippine Nurses Association’s representatives to vote at the elections, submission of unaudited financial statements at the AGM, lack of openness and transparency, taking undue advantage of position.

Atty Andres said,”Among the proposed special resolutions for consideration by the Affiliates at the August 16  SGM are: the creation of an independent Committee on Elections nominated and appointed by the Affiliates, prohibition of parties during elections, recognition of Board-appointed representatives to vote, Board members standing for re-election and with conflict of interests to inhibit themselves from involvement in election and decision-making processes, strict review of affiliates status and activities to avail of voting rights; appropriate resolutions on the complained Rule 13(4) and election rules breaches, Bicol Inc Protest and Appeal.  The Requisitioners and the CPP are keeping their fingers crossed the Covid19 restrictions will ease up and they are appealing for all Affiliates to turn up at the SGM to consider reforms for the good of PCC-NSW .”