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PCCM clarifies Town Hall meeting absence

WINNIPEG – Lou Fernandez, President of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM), has responded to questions regarding the absence of PCCM board members at the recent town hall meeting held at the Filipino seniors facility on Euclid Avenue. (See related article, Filipino-Canadians gather for a town hall forum)

In an open-letter e-mail addressed to TFC correspondent, Rhia Alcantara, Fernandez said it was the PCCM board’s unanimous decision not to attend the meeting in order to avoid further confrontations with the three organizers of the event who, he said, “are the same people who appeared to have led the charge of publishing unverified information or false accusations about mishandling [the typhoon relief donations.]”

He continued, “We are of the opinion that unification was not the main topic of the Town Hall Meeting. If there was an effort to unify the Filipino community, the timing of their invitation was off and somewhat suspicious.”

Fernandez stated that the fundraising issue has been already addressed saying, “Tama na [Enough]. We have apologized publicly and we took full responsibility for the actions that we made.” (See related article, PCCM apologizes...)

“The absence of the PCCM Board of Directors,” said Fernandez, “should not be seen as a deliberate act to ignore [the town hall] invitation but rather as our way of avoiding confrontations that many members of the Filipino community may not appreciate.”

He further explained that continued public confrontations would only serve to damage the reputation of the Filipino community adding, “It was our way of avoiding further exposure of conflicts among Filipinos that non-Filipino media outlets would love to manipulate.”

Fernandez concluded saying, “If Filipino leaders and organizations are to resolve the issue of unification, all stakeholders need to be more prepared and specific agenda must be made transparent to all interested members of the Filipino community who want to engage in a dialogue. Better timing and organization is paramount if we are to address this issue with fair and reasonable resolve.”

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