The Stain on Gawad Kalinga Stays Unless Tony Olaes Comes Clean on Missing 1 Million Pesos
On July 28, 2012, Darna Umayam stood with Tony Olaes in front of almost 1000 people at her controversial “100 Outstanding Fil Ams of USA” awards dinner with a large poster size check that one million pesos was being donated to Gawad Kalinga USA through its Director.
At the same time Tony Olaes, Director of Gawad Kalinga USA, allegedly accepted that check and made a pledge to contribute of $25,000 to the Bantay Bata charity in the name of the other 99 awardees that had been previously refused by the ABS CBN Foundation because of Umayam’s bigoted remarks and support of thievery of PinoyWatchDog.com that had criticized her. (That same conduct caused ABS CBS Foundation officials Tina Monsoon Palma, Gina Lopez and Robbie Fabian, along with the Philippine Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon to not even send a representative to the dinner.)
However, PinoyWatchDog.com has learned and reported that Olaes has never even attempted to make that contribution to Bantay Bata and has never attempted to dispel the public of that verified report.
PinoyWatchDog.com has constantly called for transparency in these transactions in its past issues. We are demanding that Olaes show the cancelled checks so the public can know the TRUTH and this unfortunate saga can come to a rest.
Since we know as an accepted truth that Olaes never even attempted to tender a check to Bantay Bata as publicly promised the only remaining issue is the missing one million pesos Umayam claims she gave Olaes on July 28, 2012.
Why wouldn’t Umayam and/or Olaes at least show the cancelled donation check and end this sordid affair? Consider that Gawad Kalinga USA never received the check at all. The hard truth is that Olaes was totally played by the devilish Umayam. Umayam knows in this scenario that if Olaes, as a victim, never receives the money, it is more embarrassing for him to admit publicly that he was used as a frantic, last minute public relations ploy than to stay quiet and hope the issue goes away.
But the issue of transparency will not leave the Fil-Am community or the pages of PinoyWatchDog.com. Our community cannot endorse the deceit of this farcically, contemptuous staged non-contribution. The awardees have a right to know where their supposedly charitable contribution is going, or went. Indeed, Umayam had promised the awardees an accounting, but the date for alleged disclosure is constantly being moved back.
And considering reports that she has not paid commissions for advertising sales or contracted fees to photographers, along with her long time representations of obtaining a cum laude degree from UST, it is fair to conclude that Tony Olaes and Gawad Kalinga USA have also been used.
Gawad Kalinga is stained because it has not only allowed itself to be used by the corrupt Umayam, but essentially acted to protect her, and themselves, by its stony silence. Even the normally verbose Umayam has her mouth zipped shut.
The entire Gawad Kalinga organization is stained when its top American official seeks to protect Umayam’s apparent thievery of charitable funds by silence and cover- up instead of transparency and openness. The actual beneficiaries of the charity programs are harmed, as well as the awardees and attendees, having only a limited amount of donation dollars squandered by an odd conspiracy that Tony Olaes can easily expose by coming forward, admitting he was used by Umayam, and have the community appeal to her to turn over these funds as promised.
And then maybe Olaes will actually make his promised contribution to Bantay Bata.
Until then, Gawad Kalinga will remain a stained charity in the eyes of all Fil-Ams seeking transparency in charitable giving.