Ateneo and La Salle withdraw from PCC-NSW

Two premier university alumni associations in New South Wales have withdrawn their respective memberships from the Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC-NSW). It seems that the decision to disassociate from PCC stemmed from the recent hullabaloo that took place within PCC during the recent months leading to the celebration of the Philippine National Day Ball.

DLSA decision was unanimous

In a letter signed by Mr. Eduardo Davila, president of the De La Salle Alumni Association, he said that DLSA’s decision was unanimously approved by the general membership during its Annual General Meeting (AGM). The letter was dated 24 June 2013.

Heated debate during the Ateneo AGM

In contrast, two stalwarts of the Ateneo Alumni Association of Australia (AAAA) engaged in a fierce debate over the motion to withdraw its membership in PCC. Ateneo’s Immediate Past President Dino Crescini made the motion during the AGM that was held on July 28. It was duly seconded by Jaime Pimentel and Nic Celino, both alumni of Ateneo de Manila University. Pimentel was a past president of AAAA during its formative years in NSW.

However, Crescini’s motion was opposed by Kate Andres, who was also a past president of PCC and AAAA. Andres is an alumna of Ateneo Law School but obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

Sensing that her opposition was weak, the lady solicitor made use of every lawyer’s tactic to delay the voting on the motion at hand. She said that the general membership need more time to deliberate on the issue. Andres further questioned the eligibility of new members to vote. She said that only financial members should be allowed to cast his/her ballot. Whereupon, several old and new members proceeded to the treasurer to pay or update their dues making them financial members. There appears to be no such provision in the AAAA constitution that gives voting rights only to financial members. A graduate of any of the seven Ateneo universities in the Philippines makes him/her automatically an alumnus/alumna of the university.

Crescini countered that the next AGM would happen only after another 12 months but the issue at hand requires immediate action. The presiding officer Elaine Aviola ruled in favor of  immediate balloting.

Tabulated results

Fourteen YES votes were counted versus only 6 NO votes. Thus, the motion to withdraw membership of Ateneo from PCC prevailed. Board Secretary Jomark Sto. Domingo agreed to make the announcement and send the letter of withdrawal to PCC immediately after the Ateneo Dinner Dance scheduled on August 31. Unlike La Salle, Ateneo’s withdrawal from PCC takes immediate effect.

Consequently, the continued representation of Ateneo in PCC by Alric Bulseco becomes hanging up in the air. Bulseco is an alumnus of Ateneo de Davao and is currently the Vice President External of PCC. There are speculations that he might opt to represent the Vizmin region for his continued membership in the board of PCC. His term as VP External of PCC expires with the next PCC AGM on February 2014.

Obviously disappointed with the results, Kate Andres made a verbal announcement that she was resigning from the AAAA.