~ A left-leaning tabloid publisher might have initially succeeded in sowing discord among three old friends and their families as he pursued his self-serving agenda to promote his propaganda sheet. The truth has finally come out months later as one of the supposed antagonists personally admitted the unintentional wrongdoing and apologized for whatever it caused the other party. The culprit was a photo taken, published, and re-published by the perpetrator himself to shame his perceived competitor, without those in the picture knowing his real agenda. Before the situation could get out of hand, a peacemaker stepped in and brokered an end to the hostility.”Blessed are the peacemakers . . . ” – Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers . . . ” – Matthew 5:9
TORONTO – He oozes with malice, and on occasions, that malice finds strong expression in his wife.
I remember the time he was trying to agitate my expulsion from the roster of members of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada but the president, Thomas Saras, rejected his overtures on grounds that removing me because of how I write is essentially an affront to the freedoms of the press and expression.
In another instance, she was bad-mouthing me for no apparent reason other than to discredit me before the organizers of a Toronto forum featuring a Filipina who was conscripted by the Japanese as a sex slave in the Philippines during the Second World War.
Those two instances provide a bird’s eye view of their underground activities, the very same kind of subversion that landed them in prison, the kind that called for the overthrow of the Philippine government and its replacement with a communist system still being espoused by Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
He is Hermie Garcia, she is Mila A. Garcia, – the couple that relives a defunct ideology and breathes life to a left-leaning propaganda sheet called Philippine Reporter. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4vVh6sZsPc)
Because that paper hardly finds relevance in Toronto, it tries to stay afloat with its limited circulation by combining fake news and fantasies and weaving them into tales many do not understand. That way, it’s safe from scrutiny by non-caring Chinese stores that advertise their products.
I hope these advertisers would not find out the grim truth – the newspaper they advertise in is quite popular as seafood wrapper, doormat or carton box liner. Such a situation defeats their advertising intent, which is to attract readers to their stores.
Even as it spreads filth and venom, the paper has defenders in the underground, notably the angels of trash hiding under the pseudonym BaBoy, the acronym that attaches well to an undertaking to undermine Balita, Toronto’s largest Filipino newspaper, and the envy of the Garcias.
From the pictures the Philippine Reporter published in its July 14-27, 2017 issue, it is clear Hermie Garcia covered Pinoy Fiesta, the money-making spectacle that was, in the paper’s secondary headline, “organized by Philippine Canadian Charity (sic) Foundation” founded by Tobias Enverga Jr., a member of the Senate. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFNAMLr-qgc).
One out of seven pictures on page 6 is an image of a smiling Dr. Solon Guzman and an unidentified woman both holding up a copy of Philippine Reporter’s June 23-July 13, 2017 issue which carried the headline “Balita publisher jailed”.
It does not require much thinking to understand the message in that publication. It was an attack on Balita, an attempt to further humiliate Balita editor Tess Cusipag whose picture appeared on that issue.
Contrary to what Philippine Reporter had stated, Ms. Cusipag served 13 days – not 21 as published – in a women’s facility for contempt of court. She didn’t steal money or computer, she didn’t scam people, she was simply found to have breached a judge’s injunction.
The publication and republication of the offending picture prompted me to write a commentary and create a video to show the despicable lengths Hermie Garcia would go to score points against Balita. That’s shameful. He is as good as the people behind BaBoy.
At Seafood City’s “community night” in Mississauga on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, Dr. Solon Guzman sought me out, introduced himself, and apologized, repeatedly, for what had happened. (Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LNNve5nM34)
He told me that he had personally apologized earlier to Ms. Cusipag for a wrong he had unintentionally committed, that is, by posing for a picture Hermie Garcia had asked to be taken to help promote his tabloid.
The publication of the offending picture had unintended consequences . . . almost. Ms. Cusipag said she nearly ended her long friendship with Dr. Guzman, and with Pidoy and Ting Pacis of Saladmaster and Max’s Restaurant.
Hermie Garcia choreographed and directed the photo shoot, telling them to raise the paper up to the chest, clicked, and once done, he hurriedly left Dr. Guzman and the young woman in the picture.
The two innocently complied with his instructions, not knowing that the paper’s front page had the “Balita publisher jailed” headline and an accompanying picture of Ms. Cusipag, it was explained.
Soon after my video came out, Kim Christian Pacis, son of the business couple Pidoy and Ting Pacis, requested me to remove it, saying the unidentified young woman in Hermie Garcia’s picture with Dr. Guzman was his fiancee, and Dr. Guzman, their “ninong”.
Pacis also explained that his fiancee had no idea of what Hermie Garcia’s photo shoot was trying to impart. She didn’t know that the picture would be used as some kind of weapon against Balita and Ms. Cusipag. She also didn’t mean to disparage her.
I can feel Dr. Guzman’s sincerity in admitting a mistake and apologizing for it. I told him that even if the offended party is not my boss and is just any woman, I would still fight tooth and nail to defend her from any and all ignominious attacks such as that launched by Hermie Garcia with the unwitting cooperation of Dr. Guzman and the young lady. That Ms. Cusipag is my boss makes it doubly impetuous.
Shortly before Dr. Guzman and I met at the Seafood City event, Mrs. Norma Carpio, president of Philippine Independence Day Council, had been trying to persuade me to come with her and talk to Dr. Guzman. She wanted to settle the issue right there and then.
She was practically dragging me, and while I followed her every step, I was slowly being disarmed by her determination to end the belligerence.
So I told her candidly: if we overcome this problem tonight and if I cause to honour your request, let it be known by all that it is you who moved me. #