PCC Update – No Way Out!

September 15th, 2020 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

After the PCC-NSW Special General Meeting (SGM) of August 30, 2020, the Affiliates slapped a VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE on Alric Bulseco, the incumbent PCC President.  As expected, Bulseco received the news with obdurate determination to hold on to his post. He was unremorseful, defiant and was not stepping down without a fight! He returned the SGM verdict notice on September 8 with the final statement: “The Board has decided to find Jun Relunia’s SGM report to be irrevocably inadmissible and invalid.”  One can only wonder if the Board really voted on it.

Bulseco cited five (5) irregularities which Jun Relunia, the SGM’s Lead Convenor was quick to refute Bulseco’s flawed arguments on September 12, 2020. Relunia concluded with the statement: “it would be an honourable thing for you to do is to step down immediately as President of Philippine Community Council of NSW, and let the Board adopt the succession rule in selecting the new President for the unexpired term.” 

The issues of contention:

  1. The Ateneo Representation at the SGM

       According to Ateneo Alumni Acting President, Leo Ceniza, Maureen Santiago was authorized to attend but not vote out of respect for a fellow Atenean who was in the hot seat. Obviously, respect for a fellow Atenean does not hold true for Bulseco. The Ateneo Alumni Association has since issued a statement correcting Bulseco’s statement.  Maybe it’s our turn to say, “fakery”, fakery”!

  • The Numbers Game

Two thirds, three fourths and spitting out sections of the constitution that he could muster, Bulseco was all out to prove he knew the constitution. Bulseco argues that the SGM did not have the right attendance numbers nor the required number of votes. This is once again, a case of subjective interpretation of the constitution.

  • Attendance at the SGM was majority of the 53 affiliates = 28.
  • Two thirds votes is required only if the SGM is convened less than 21 days.  The SGM was convened more than the 21 days required and therefore met the criteria.
  • Voting  was as per constitution, i.e. three fourths votes required of those present =  22.

If Mr. Bulseco, and his secret allies had cared to check the Constitution then, it is correct! Perhaps, they should have also followed Ms. Ladia’s suggestion to be “more resourceful” and check the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Rules too.  As per Relunia’s letter, the SGM strictly adhered to as per the PCC constitution and the OFT rules. Therefore, it was legally binding.

Other Mind-boggling, double standard issues:

  1. Financial Statements.  While most of us know that financials are usually handled by the Treasurer of an organization, Ms. Ethel Singzon’s request for bank statements and financials for the last three years has been passed on by the Treasurer, Alice Tayaban to the Public Officer, Serna Ladia.  According to the OFT, the Public Officer is the main contact for government offices and is the keeper of documents and records.  But how can she obtain bank statements when she is not the authorized bank contact.  They probably have their own version of officers’ responsibilities. Obviously, this is another delaying tactic and giving the person requesting the run around.

Furthermore, the annual financial statement presented at the 2020 AGM was not signed by the external auditor, Leo Ceniza.  Mr. Ceniza confirms that he did not sign the report because he did not have time to check prior to his departure for the Philippines.  How then, did the report presented to the affiliates include Mr. Ceniza’s covering letterhead marked “Independent Auditor’s Report”  with the basic audit notes?  Pray tell?  Submitting it to the affiliates was false and misleading to say the least.  

  • Who really is allowed to raise questions to the Board?  According to Bulseco’s latest trick, only Presidents of affiliates are allowed to ask questions.  As an added gesture of goodwill, Bulseco claims that only Presidents can write to the Board to question.  Last year, I was asked to help in two committees and write the PCC profile.  As a pioneer and a lifelong member (as per the constitution), I am allowed to participate.  But this year, it’s a different story.  But he’ll ask everyone to attend if he needs bums on seats.  No title – no question – no say!   
  • Let us remember that from the very start of this shemozzle, the nine (9) concerned former presidents were reaching out to Bulseco and his Board for a dialogue but were totally ignored. Instead, the sin of omission, facts were twisted more than Chubby Checker could, and definitely, ostructions were thrown in every step of the way.   

He refused to have the former presidents meet with the Board. He ignored the request for an SGM until the month deadline lapsed.  Then, when the second SGM notice by Jun Relunia was released, Bulseco issued three (3) notices to affiliates advising them that the SGM was not sanctioned by the Board. Allegedly, he went a-knocking on Presidents’ doors asking them to sign a petition for him to stay on but did not provide them with copies of what they signed; and he allegedly phoned around telling Presidents that the SGM was not an authorized event of the Consulate (which really it isn’t).  His campaign of disinformation was his defense and not all the Board members were even informed of his underhanded moves.

Furthermore, Bulseco is always quick to quote the constitution and demands exact adherence to it.  The PCC constitution does not allow for electronic meetings and correspondence so why is he having them? Ask and he’ll pull the answer from the OFT rule book and yet, other times, when it suits him, not even the OFT rules apply?

If Bulseco previously said that the SGM was not sanctioned by the PCC Board, why then did he respond to the letter? Why do they want to use the resolutions passed on the day?  After all, Rey Manoto says, “Only the Constitutional Amendments committee is mandated to make changes to the constitution.? 

 If Bulseco demands that letters coming from the former presidents/convenors have complete signatories, then his letter should also have full signatures of the Board.  That way we know that the Board has read, agreed and accepted the document prior to it being sent.  And most importantly, if Bulseco claims his reply was a PCC Board decision, why then did all the Board members not sign?  Shouldn’t the same rule apply for all?  Fair enough, don’t you think?  

Amusingly, in all the email shuffle, Bulseco did not refute or argue the breach of the constitution (having two people representing AusMindanao on the Board), the conduct unbecoming, nor the final decision of Vote of No Confidence.  So, if we’re confused, so must everyone else.  And he’s definitely slipping!  You’ve got to give him credit him for his tenacity and his antics that never cease to frustrate. But lately, it’s becoming a joke!  Rather than attempt to unify, Bulseco has once again sowed the seeds of mistrust and continues to alienate everyone.

All PCC documents, letters, notices should now carry a disclaimer: “Read and accept at your own risk! No questions will be entertained. Subject to Bulseco’s personal interpretation which may change without prior notice.”

In an attempt to salvage any bit of dignity left, the Board should step it up and get him to step down. No way out!

(Note:  Actual letters/documents and OFT rules may be forwarded upon request.)


14 September 2020

Tags: Lead Story · News