~ The crack within the normally tight-lipped organization established by Tobias Enverga is finally showing. One official of his Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation has repudiated the inclusion of her name in an underground movement to sabotage Balita, the city’s largest Filipino newspaper, further reinforcing the widespread suspicion that Balita Boycott (or BaBoy) is contrived. The revelation came as a surprise as it happened, of all places, during the birthday celebration of Balita’s travel writer.
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UNRAVELLING THE CLANDESTINE BABOY
Official in Tobias Enverga’s PCCF Repudiates Boycott Move
By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ
Editor, The Filipino Web Channel
“The final act of an unraveling society isn’t immoral behavior; it’s canonizing immoral behavior as a ‘new normal’ and celebrating it as a ‘moral victory’.” – Jeff Jorg
TORONTO – A local resident who claims to be apolitical and who, a friend says, is deeply religious said she was taken aback to learn her name was being used to push the petition to blackball Balita, the city’s largest Filipino newspaper.
The name of Marita Enriquez is one of several appearing on a list as having endorsed a petition by a clandestine group calling itself Balita Boycott (BaBoy for brevity), which has sought to sanction Balita for its investigative reportage.
At a birthday celebration on Saturday night (July 15), Marita Enriquez the person completely denied any knowledge or participation in the effort, explaining that she doesn’t read the papers nor is she active in social media and online groupings.
Published reports coming from the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) indicated that Enriquez belongs to PCCF as a community liaison and, at one time, one of the so-called foundation leaders.
PCCF is founded by Tobias Enverga, a member of the Senate, and is practically run by his wife, Rosemer Albovias Enverga, as executive vice president. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFNAMLr-qgc).
Its top money-maker is the Pinoy Fiesta and its component beauty pageants, namely, Miss Philippines, Miss Teen Philippines, Mrs. Philippines, Little Miss Philippines and Little Mr. Philippines. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxrBm995Cwg).
Enriquez’s disavowal is the latest – and the fourth – repudiation of BaBoy. When asked who she thought was responsible for including her name, she retorted: “Sino kaya? Patawarin sila ng Diyos!”
Two weeks earlier, Rodel Meier, an official of Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre, debunked BaBoy’s attempt to involve her in its stealthy undertaking. She explained that she did not realize that her name was there until her attention was called to it by a news story and did not know anything about it.
Previously, two individuals with professional linkages to Balita – Mercy Maliglig and Joe Damasco – denounced BaBoy, saying they never consented to join its underground sabotage mission against Balita. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCAEhedA_hY).
“It was a shock to learn that my signature was in that devious plot to boycott the Balita,” she stated in an email. “I just want to inform people who did this that at that time this was happening, I was having my hip procedure . . . cared for by nurses and caregivers 24 hours a day . . . not knowing if I can walk again or not”.
BaBoy’s petition has been practically consigned to the trash bin. When submitted in December 2012 to the Philippine Press Club-Ontario, an ineffectual but back-biting social club, it carried the names of 60 individuals. But whether the names were genuine, or the persons behind the names truly agreed to endorse, remain the big question.
There are a few couples in BaBoy’s list, namely, Oswald Magno and Mila Alvarez Magno; Guy Camacho and Livvy Camacho; Lita Leano and Tony Leano; Gloria Rafanan and Phillip Rafanan; Sheila Canizares and Alain Canizares; Popoy Cana and Ligaya Cana and their daughter Lilac Cana.
Two with surnames Simbulan were also on the list – Annette Simbulan and Ed Simbulan. Likewise, another set with last names Haab – Karl Haab and Tessie Haab. Then there’s two surnamed Gutierrez – Ricardo Gutierrez and Teresita Gutierrez.
Of those listed, 10 were identified with Tobias Enverga’s PCCF either by themselves or through their spouses: Romeo Rafael, Sena Flores, Marita Enriquez, Lita Leano and Tony Leano, Gloria Rafanan and Phillip Rafanan, Sheila Canizares and Alain Canizares, and Dario Guiao.
There are also a few belonging to the Knights of Rizal of which Enverga is a member, namely, George Poblete, Clem Cabillan, Delfin Palileo and Popoy Cana. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HmHY6XqLbQ).
Past and current officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce of Toronto – Oswald Tugadi and Steve Pagao – were there too. The PCCT figured in a scandal (reported extensively by Balita) in 2014 when it failed to pay winning contestants in the entertainment segment of its PhilExpo. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrJzopc93TE).
Two signatories, Oswald Magno and Lilac Cana – have outstanding issues with Balita. Magno’s defamation lawsuit against the paper is still under litigation.
On the other hand, Cana took umbrage after Balita reported her tussle with Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) over a $3,000 fee she asked PIDC to pay for volunteering with the organization.
The coming out of Enriquez and Meier reinforces Balita’s position that BaBoy is a sham. It has reached that conclusion as early as when Maliglig and Damasco separately repudiated BaBoy.
But it’s the disclaimer of Enriquez, who is essentially a PCCF insider, that now calls attention to a possible role of PCCF in agitating against Balita. Enriquez appears to be the least politically-involved in controversies involving PCCF and the Enverga couple so that her denunciation carries more weight. Is the crack within PCCF now showing?
I’m now reminded of the fictitious Tony Tarungan, the joint concoction of Tobias Enverga and Ace Alvarez who, by the way, is related to Magno’s wife, Mila Alvarez Magno, also a signatory. Tarungan was the online saboteur created to undermine PIDC. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNhl-SRW–0).
The video I took of Enriquez’s conversation with Tess Cusipag, Ores Ting and Mercy Maliglig during the latter’s birthday celebration on Saturday, July 15 belies any hostility against the Balita editor and publisher as both were affectionate to each other.
The creators of BaBoy remain unknown, although some individuals are suspect.
Joe Rivera, a retired Toronto lawyer who felt alluded to in earlier stories, has pointed to Oswald Magno whom he asked to own up BaBoy. “Stop hiding now,” Rivera told Magno in an email. “Hiding under the cloak of anonymity takes away your group’s credibility,” he said.
An interesting insight happened in the courtroom during Tess Cusipag’s June 12 sentencing for contempt of court. Some of the signatories to BaBoy were present, namely, Oswald Magno, Guy Camacho, Rose Tijam, Ace Alvarez, Jojo Taduran, Rosemer Enverga, Fe Taduran and Mario Alpuerto. Are they, or some of them, what Joe Rivera referred to as “Os (Oswald Magno) and his group” behind BaBoy?
(This Currents & Breaking News may be posted online, broadcast or reprinted upon request by interested parties. Permission by the author or the editor must be obtained before any re-posting online or re-publication in print or re-broadcast. Copyright by Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village Voice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Volume 11, Issue no. 30, July 17, 2017. Email at:TheFilipinoWebChannel@gmail.com, or PhilVoiceNews@aol.com. Website: http://web.photodex.com/create/?watch-m4gw2bm4
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