Umayam supports PWD thefts; She’s guilty of anti-Semitism
Strange Twist – Publicity Stunt Using Tony Olaes and Gawad Kalinga as a Front; Umayam Refuses to Announce Awardees as Promised
By Rene Villaroman, Managing Editor
with additional reporting by Joel Bander, Senior Columnist, and PWD Investigative Team
Fourth of a series
PinoyWatchDog.com readers learned that embattled event organizer Darna Umayam first hit our Expose pages on June 23, 2012 that the “100 Outstanding Fil-Ams in the U.S.” was a ‘pay to play’ event, whereby the awardees were paying $1000 to receive the award, with many honorees being kept secret and a large amount of Umayam’s friends and relatives as recipients.
On July 7, 2012, PWD wrote how the alleged criteria for awardees were their philanthropic activities, and confirmed the $1000 amount. That same issue revealed that Umayam had long been claiming she graduated Cum Laude from University Santo Tomas in the Philippines, which could not be certified by the university.
On July 7, 2012, PinoyWatchDog.com started disappearing from the newspaper racks beyond the papers popularity; they were being stolen. The next day, July 8, 2012, PWD Senior Columnist Joel Bander wrote that he was concerned about this thievery, to which Ms. Umyam responded, “maybe people sympathize with me for what you are doing. They are putting your newspaper in the trash to where it belongs.”
The next PinoyWatchDog.com issue came out on July 21, 2012, revealing that Umayam hijacked the very charity that was the basis for Saturday’s dinner from the 2009 Independence Day Organizing Committee, as well as many other questionable transactions from that event. PWD also revealed that only $7500 from over $100,000 in revenue was actually going to the designated charity, and that Umayam was secretly planning to pay other charities that contributors had no idea about. That evening, more reports of newspapers being stolen again came in.
The next day, July 22, 2012, Bander again wrote Umayam stating that the she should be a responsible community leader and make the clarion call that her ‘supporters’ should stop stealing newspapers.
In response Ms. Umayam stated:
“Why don’t you show them you are supporting me and write something nice about me and the event in your newspaper , maybe the community will be very thankful to you, and we will all be happy in the end. . Then, that is the time I will make an appeal to the community to stop them from getting your newspaper, If ever they really are getting it. I have no idea. I have received hundreds of calls and emails from all places everywhere comforting me and telling me they don’t believe in all your accusations. They have also told me whatever steps and decision I will make regarding this matter, they will be supporting me all the way. I will not make an appeal to the community to stop stealing your Pinoywatchdog. I was about to do it to put a stop on all this. But you still continue to hit me below the belt. I will just do what I think is right.”
However, Umayam’s undoing, behind her implied endorsement of theft of newspapers (which also contained stories about young Filipino achievers) was this email statement to Bander:
“Your writers must be ashamed of themselves. They are the talk of the town why???
They must remember that Jew or Hudyo killed Jesus Christ???
Judas Iscariot the apostle who betrayed Jesus is a JEW like you!!!!!!!”
ABS-CBN’s Tina Palma and Gina Lopez cancel their attendance.
Upon hearing of Umayam’s anti-Semitic slur against Bander and her support of thievery of newspapers ABS CBN anchor Tina Munoz-Palma decided not t fly to Los Angeles from the Philippines to attend the controversial “100 Outstanding Fil-Ams in the U.S.” awards dinner. PinoyWatchDog.com has learned that Umayam’s statements directed at Bander, who is Jewish, was the ‘last straw’ for Palma following a string of revelations of highly improper conduct by Umayam.
PinoyWatchDog.com also learned that Gina Lopez, Managing Director of ABS-CBN Foundation, was also planning to attend but has decided not to attend even before Umayam’s bigoted attack. Lopez has long managed the Lopez families’ philanthropic division.
PinoyWatchDog.com interviewed St. Dominic Catholic Church’s Father Carey a few blocks from the Umayam residence in Eagle Rock. Carey said that Umayam’s statements were “way off base and not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Father Carey added that Umayam has a “lot to repent for.” Carey added that Umayam did not attend her local Catholic Church.
ABS CBN Withdraws All Together — Umayam Calls Fabian’s Decision “Shallow”
On Thursday, July 26, 2012, just two days before the “100 Outstanding” event, Robbie Fabian, has announced the ABS CBN Foundation was pulling out of the event totally. The foundation also declined the donation.
Fabian stated that “the board of directors of the Foundation has concluded today that recent statements made by Ms. Umayam will make it untenable for ABS CBN Foundation International to be part of this initiative. The Foundation regrettably also has decided to decline the planned donation to Bantay Bata.”
In reply Umayam wrote Fabian, and others, stating, “I found it hard to believe you did not even explain to the board that when I made those statements, it was really not meant to hurt the Jewish people. The reason for denial is so shallow.” If this is the final straw, then I would appreciate you sending me the payment for the (1) table you confirmed. It was already paid for at Universal Hilton as part of the guarantee. I will really appreciate you sending the payment.”
In an additional slap at Umayam, the Philippine Consulate did not even send a representative to the event, even though Deputy Consul General Dan Espiritu was listed on the program as a speaker. The Consulate refused to comment on its non-attendance, which is obviously standard at these events.
Strange Twist – Publicity Stunt Using Tony Olaes and Gawad Kalinga as a Front
At the dinner event Umayam stunned the crowd in attendance with a daring foray and daring foray and daring. She would make a one million peso contribution to Bantay Bata even if ABS-CBN did not want the money. Umayam announced that she was using the little known Tony Olaes of Gawad Kalinga USA as a monetary conduit.
In a public message Olaes stated that “Upon deposit and clearance, I will then send my check on behalf of the other 99 honorees to the children of Bantay Bata. I know that it was shocking that Bantay Bata rejected the funds and for me to, in turn, send one right back to them. I chose to do this because I felt it was the right thing to do for the children who were meant to be served – there was no either or. At the end, everyone won except for the perpetrator.”
However, at press time, almost one week later, Bantay Bata reports that Olaes has not made any contribution whatsoever. PinoyWatchDog.com has sent numerous questions to Olaes and his assistants, requesting for any type of proof or documentation.
PinoyWatchDog.com Executive Editor Al Aquino said “until I see a cancelled check I do not believe Umayam has given money to anyone. Why wouldn’t this Olaes fellow come up with proof of fund right away if it were true?”
Numerous other unanswered questions posed to Olaes from PinoyWatchDog.com are in the accompanying box. “Hopefully, Mr. Olaes will be a bit more transparent than he has been to date,” Aquino said.
Umayam Refuses to Announce Awardees as Promised
For the last two months PinoyWatchDog.com and others questioned the validity of Umayam’s selection process for her awardees. She has long kept the list secret. And while PWD’s investigative team received constantly varying reports of which awardees were in or out Umayam has been steadfast in her position that the list will be announced after the completion of the event.
However, Diversity News Magazine reported on Thursday, August 2, 2012 that Umayam stated, “The awardees themselves and all of us decided we will not publish the names of the awardees to protect all of them. …. I told all newspapers we will release after the event. Things happen.”
Numerous well connected members of the Fil-Am community have reviewed the photographs of the awardees and many are unknown. “How can they be outstanding,” Aquino asked, “if nobody ever heard of them before?” PinoyWatchDog.com had been receiving reports of many awardees cancelling or declining their award, even though they paid $1000 to receive it, based on Umayam’s anti-Semitic remarks towards Bander and her support of newspaper thievery.
PWD has learned that two of Umayam’s daughters were also among the awardees.
In an odd editorial twist Diversity News stated it was “was honored to witness an overall success event organized by Ms. Darna B. Umayam, which she took so much controversy and heat from various people and mainly from “Uncensored media outlet PinoyWatchDog.com” who claims this event was Ms. Umayam friends event and that some of them have to “Pay for Play”. Our comment was that is up to Fil-Am decision and their own money on how they want to use it, which means in any way they want it, even if they have to buy an award!”
PinoyWatchDog.com’s investigative team has also learned that Diversity News was ready to provide air time to Umayam on its online radio show, but she required that the questions be provided in advance, and that there were no questions about the ‘100 Outstanding Fil Ams.’
“Unbelievable,” PWD’s Al Aquino stated, “first she takes $1000 per awardee and does not even announce them, and then announces a 1 million peso donation without any proof the donation has been made.” Aquino then paused and reflected “well, with Darna, maybe not unbelievable.”
On Facebook, Arnel Dino of Fullerton said “But isn’t that the whole point. As a “outstanding” member of the Filipino Community, why would any honoree not want their participation known to the public? Having observed this event and knowing many of the principals involved from the very beginning (and I fully support Bantay Bata’s decision to turndown the donation), it seems that organizers and participants are willing to pat themselves on the back for weathering the storm of the issues that PinoyWatchDog has raised, but are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions in creating this storm. Money does not equal success in this case, in fact its being used as a justification to not deal with the event management issues or transparency or her overall conduct.”
The Missing Money
Another report reaching PinoyWatchDog.com
‘s investigative teams was Darna’s son, daughter and her granddaughter were awardees. It was also learned that the 3 hostesses for the evening , the persons in charge of dance entertainment, the video outfit and the choreographer were also awardees as well.
PinoyWatchDog.com will continue to follow the story of the missing 1 million pesos. If any member of the community has information regarding these missing funds, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.