Umayam hijacked PCCI non-profit from Independence Day Committee
► By Joel Bander Senior Columnist and the PinoyWatchDog.com Investigative Team
LOS ANGELES – PinoyWatchDog.com has learned that Darna Umayam’s Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. (PCCI) was created and paid for by the 2009 Kalayaan organizing committee of which she was the Grand Chairman.
Umayam is the organizer and project director of the scandalridden ‘100 Outstanding Fil-AMs in the U.S.’ (100 OFAUS) scheduled for July 28, 2012, in Universal City Hilton Hotel. PinoyWatchDog.com has learned that Umayam took over that non-profit corporation as her own and uses it now as a ‘pass through’ nonprofit for the ‘100 OFAUS’ award dinner, although she has never reimbursed the Kalayaan organizing committee or the Philippine Consulate General for the more than $1000 that it cost to incorporate.
Umayam’s non-profit charitable entity came to the attention of PinoyWatchDog.com when ABS-CBN Foundation’s President Robbie Fabian told this writer that he found it ‘a little strange’ that a ‘pass through’ charity was being used, as he had not seen that before for any event regarding Bantay Bata 163. Mr. Fabian informed PWD that Ms. Umayam is required only to donate $7500 to Bantay Bata 163 out of an estimated gross income of over $100,000, going by the $1000 in advertising and ticket sales that each awardee is asked to raise in order to receive an award.
The PWD investigative team obtained the 2009 Profit and Loss statement of the 111th Philippine Independence Day gala, held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in mid-June 2009. That statement indicated that $1,045 was spent for creation of a non-profit corporation. PCCI’s 2010 and 2011 tax returns also showed that the corporation is still doing business as 111th Philippine Independence organizing committee. Since its creation, Umayam has continued to use PCCI for other fundraising activities, including ‘100 OFAUS.’
The $500 was paid for incorporation books, $300 for the filing with the U.S. government, $200 for attorney fees and $50 to the State of California. While this entity could be used by the Consulate or subsequent Independence Day committees, it appears from an email that Umayam sent that she had planned to take over this committee for herself. Additionally, from my own experience, the ‘incorporation books’ can be obtained as forms for free online.
Umayam has charged that PinoyWatchDog.com has not provided her side of the story, despite the fact that we have printed different parts of her emails in her stories in the last issue of PWD, when she was willing to respond.
Umayam wrote two emails I received in response to a prior story posted online at PinoyWatchDog.com, one a personal email, and another to the Fil-Am community media.
The latter one addressed to the media, stated: “We paid Westin Bonaventure Hotel $ 116,000.00++ for the entire event. We only sold $ 59.00/ticket so we can pull many people. Who are you to question why the left over money is only $9,000 ++ do you realize Philippine Independence is not a charity event. Whatever is left we gave to charity.”
The second email, to me only, stated:
“The Philippine Children’s Charities was created for Independence Day and other charitable projects so they have to pay all fees, and I think it’s fair I paid for the lawyer and accountant who did the documents. Since I want all checks to be paid to Philippine Independence we had a DBA. The Independence Day only paid for the IRS and Secretary of state legal fees that’s it. For (3) years. I never used this 501 C3 . And I diligently filed all reports. I am very careful to use it, not even for UST, who gave me written certificate authorizing me to fundraise for all their projects. I told them they have no 501 C 3 and it is soexpensive to put one, so I will just make them a beneficiary in all my future projects. I did not use this. I was even planning to close and terminate it in 2012. However, the accountant advised me not to do so., because it’s hard nowadays to get approved. When this project came 100 Outstanding, I asked a 501 C3 accountant if we can use it since PPP-USA has not received their 501 C 3 approval. It might take long. The accountant said yes. so now here we are.
I was advised not to answer any of your emails, most of the times what I say is always twisted, however I have to, especially when it is already defamation.
PCCI Inc., was for charity because the lawyer and accountant said it’s better in case in the future I changed my mind and do another project for charity. It’s good because PPP-USA is using it now in their project. I am helping the community. I don’t care if the community use this as long as the reports are filed. It is my passion to help since I am already retired I don’t want to put my talent and time to waste.”
In response I wrote Umayam:
You stated that the 2009 Independence Day was not for charity. But you set up a charitable organization. How do you reconcile these two facts?
You acknowledge that the charity was created with funds from the 2009 Independence Day. Once you were done as chairperson how come you did not provide the charity back to the committee?
They paid for it. You did not.
Now you are using that charity that was funded by a different organization as your own. Was this authorized in any way by the 2009 Independence Day Committee?
As of this writing, Umayam has not responded to these inquiries. I have found the pattern to be that she usually, but not always, will not respond directly to my written inquiries, which frankly only makes any inquirer more suspicious.
The Profit and Loss Statement that was prepared shows the lawyer fees were paid for by the Independence Day Committee (and certainly a lawyer would have volunteered for such a noble cause). It appears clear to this writer from Umayam’s own emails that she planned to walk off with this charity for future use, and once it was too expensive, or time consuming, to apply for one that was genuinely her own she decided to use the one funded by and created for the 2009 Independence Day Celebration.
However, the reader can take these facts, including the direct text of Umayam’s emails, and make their own conclusions.