Olaes would have found the truth about Lecaros and Umayam, if only……….
By Joel Bander, Senior Columnist
When I first saw the accompanying photograph of GK USA President Tony Olaes with Darna Umayam main functionary Adrian Lecaros at the controversial “100 Outstanding” dinner event I wondered how a successful businessman could have allowed himself to become involved with these two event organizers. While PinoyWatchDog.com has focused heavily on Mrs. Umayam Lecaros appears to have been the main conduit of initial communication and promotion of the rapid fire events of Thursday, July 26, 2012.
PWD does know that Olaes was contacted on very short notice and did not perform any form of ‘due diligence’ to determine the integrity of the “100 Outstanding” dinner event organizers or examine the events that led up to his instant selection as beneficiary. In a confidential email obtained by PinoyWatchDog.com, Olaes calls the thousands of words of articles about Umayam ‘rumors’ without bothering to investigate past the words of Umayam and Lecaros.
Mr. Oleas could have easily determined that Mr. Lecaros received a mere 2.4 percent of the electoral vote in his failed assembly bid, a fair indication of a fringe personality or candidate. Quick reference would have found that Mr. Lecaros had never created an official campaign website besides a single page postcard that still states ‘coming soon’, and a must for any serious candidate for office not only to state their policy positions, but unfortunately more importantly, to raise money.
If Mr. Olaes would have simply gone to Lecaros’ campaign Facebook page that is still up he could still read about an auto caravan campaign launch celebrating his candidacy. Certainly this sophisticated businessman can appreciate that the concept of an unknown, first time candidate not only announcing a district caravan, but believing it would have any positive impact should have led to some serious questions. This was not a high school or college football pep rally. Lecaros was running for the state legislature of the most populated state in the country. At least call around.
If Olaes had spoken to any political players in the community he could have learned that Lecaros never discussed issues in the campaign. Housing, education, crime, jobs, nada. Constant with these facts I called and emailed Lecaros a number of times during his candidacy before any ‘Darna Umayam’ issues arose or were considered, and he never returned any of those calls or emails. This could have easily been found out by a few phone calls.
A simple internet search by Olaes would have found the PinoyWatchDog.com article that Lecaros was out front at a Vote for Jessica Sanchez for American Idol rally, hardly appropriate activity for a candidate for the state legislature. And while certainly helping rally troops for fundraisers or anti-China protests, an internet search does not find a single commentary or article about this candidacy, which would have led Olaes to wonder why did Lecaros run, and why am I scrambling to obtain this donation from this group?
An online search would have found that Lecaros’ submission to the State of California Election Guide listed his profession as ‘independent businessman.’ However, Lecaros testified in open court under penalty of perjury in November 2011 that he was the “supervising paralegal and office manager for three years” prior to that testimony for Attorney Norberto Reyes without a mention of being an ‘independent businessman.’ “Seems he did not want to put paralegal in the official election booklet” one Lecaros adherent chuckled when hearing of this anomaly.
However, other sources have told me that Lecaros is just supported by his wife, BSN – “Buhay Sa Nurse” translated as ‘being kept alive by a nurse.’ Admittedly, it would have taken the seemingly well connected Olaes a few more calls to find out this information.
Or Olaes could have read prior PinoyWatchDog.com articles of mine online that I personally found a stack of Lecaros Assembly postcard advertisements at the Philippine Consulate in mid-Wilshire along with the newspapers and free handouts, obviously essentially visited almost exclusively by non-citizens far away from the 46th Assembly district which he was seeking to represent.
A simple internet search would have found Fil-Am community activist Joe Arciaga’s ire about Lecaros’ blatant appeal to Filipino nationalism as the only reason to vote for him. Since the district is less than ten percent Filipino, this could not be a realistic winning strategy, and Olaes could have easily found this out.
Arciaga created a Facebook page of do not ‘vote for me because I am Filipino campaign’ and opened an interesting public discussion that PinoyWatchDog.com had articles in two consecutive issues. Indeed, PWD also had an article about Lecaros’ dubious claim of the Fil-Am Chamber’s endorsement of his campaign.
A simple call to any member of the Fil Am Chamber would have informed Olaes that Lecaros did not follow that protocol, was a troublesome personality seeking to dominate the small community business organization, considering it as his own fiefdom and taking numerous actions in the chamber’s name without prior approval. The board members would have simply told Olaes about Lecaros creating multiple Chamber Facebook pages and bringing an elected official to the board meeting without the necessary express and prior approval — in essence of roughshod style of dealing with others.
Olaes could have easily found out about an August 13, 2011, email where he falsely stated that “I too am an original founder of the chamber! The fact remains that when we started almost ten years ago I was the first secretary!!!” which raised further tumult among an executive board trying desperately to prevent infighting that racks many Fil-Am organizations. Noel Omega, President Emeritus of the Chamber, told many officials that Lecaros’ was not the first Chamber secretary. Certainly, Mr. Omega would have imparted the pertinent information to Mr. Olaes.
However, Mr. Olaes made no due diligence before dealing with Lecaros, and Umayam, and now finds himself in the position of having to remain silent instead of making any public accounting of the funds involved.