Philippine House

Marithes Dumapias and Marlon De Leon, both claiming to be Presidents of the Filipino Community Council of Victoria (FCCVI) have organised two separate FCCVI events.

The Dumapias group will hold its Special General Meeting and Special/Early Election for an Interim FCCVI Executive committee on 31 March 2019 at Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road Sunshine, from 10am to 1pm.

Meanwhile, the De Leon group will hold its First Quarterly Meeting at their temporary office at 20A Droop Street Footscray, from 1pm to 4pm.

Dumapias: We will step down if voted out

Marithes Dumapias, in a recent open letter addressed to Perla Luetic, Ernie Demate, Marlon De Leon and their group, said they will accept whatever the outcome of the 31 March 2019 election.

“I and my Executive team give you our guarantee. We shall step down and give way if we were voted out by bona fide members of FCCVI in a clean and honest election.”

The election is to be held at the Philippine House which is currently being renovated. There are construction safety barriers on site and it is not clear in which part of the House will the election be conducted.

Dumapias said that the special election will be conducted independently by a Committee of three non-partisan leaders of the community. She also said that it is supported by the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Consulate of Victoria. 

It will be recalled that Marginson, former Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Walter Villagonzalo, incumbent Councillor of the Wyndham City Council, called a meeting on 17 March to discuss the FCCVI crisis.

The independent group will run the 31 March election and will further review the ongoing crisis.

To date, the Dumapias camp is not accepting the legality of the special election conducted by De Leon’s group last 10 March 2019 where he was elected as President.

“For the last time, I urge you all to participate in the 31st of March 2019 Interim Early Elections. Show your sincerity to serve the community and face the public and the entire members of FCCVI and prove you have the mandate to lead without any doubt,” Dumapias said to de Leon in the same open letter.

“What are you afraid of in participating in an Independently-run Early Election if you claim to have the majority support of the bona fide members?” Dumapias said.

“Until you face this squarely like a true community leader, your credibility as a leader and mandate will always be questionable,” Dumapias added.

De Leon: Not even the Prime Minister of Australia has the authority to call for an FCCVI election

Marlon De Leon and his group are not attending the 31 March election calling it unconstitutional.

“The Dumapias initiated special/early interim election on 31 March 2019 is null and void with no legal effects whatsoever.  The involvement and participation of Melba Marginson and Walter Villagonzalo cannot and will not cure the serious fatal constitutional defects of the scheduled election on 31 March 2019,” says De Leon in his recent letter to FCCVI member organisations.

In a separate statement dated 24 March 2019, De Leon clarifies that he never had any conversation or forum with Ms. Marginson, Hon. Consul Felix Pintado and the Philippine Embassy.

“If somehow Ms. Marginson has the best of her intentions, she should have picked up the phone and call me or any of our Executive Committee,” said De Leon.

The only person that I have phone or messenger conversation is Mr. Walter Villagonzalo. However, I have a serious concern that Mr. Villagonzalo is being partial on one side. Mr. Villagonzallo earlier involved himself in the hurtful division of one of the member organizations of FCCVI. I cannot see Mr. Villagonzalo as a credible agent for negotiations. He is clearly on the side of Marithes Dumapias, Fred Jover and cohorts. They are doing further division of FCCVI than sincerely unifying us,” he explains.

In bold letter, he writes, neither “Ms. Marginson and Mr. Villagonzalo nor the Prime Minister of Australia has any authority to call an election of and for FCCVI.”

De Leon further states that “Dumapias and (Nida) Schofield were not duly or legitimately elected on 12 November 2017 as they were ineligible for participation thereof due to their organisation FILAMSS being a de-registered organisation on 4 August 2017 or 3 months before the said elections and that it was not re-registered and re-admitted for FCCVI membership on 12 November 2017, the date of the elections.”

“Their invalid election participation and declaration as winners, which enabled them to surreptitiously sit as members of the Executive Committee, had given them no right to continue claiming as members of the Executive Committee, for under Rule 59 sub-Rule 2, they ceased to be Executive Committee members because their organisation FILAMSS ceased to be FCCVI members under Rule 16, which provides de-registration as a ground for automatic cessation of FCCVI membership,” De Leon added.

As the newly-elected FCCVI President, De Leon thank the 19 Presidents and legitimate proxies who support the 10 March 2019 election.

“I will be fighting to protect the trust that you have given me to lead the FCCVI! With your support and prayers, I am certain that with God’s will, we will win this battle,” he said.

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