Knight ‘disturbed’ by one-sidedness of KOR findings: Where is the leadership?

Author calls the decision a ‘slap on the wrist.’ Photos by Boyet Loverita

Author calls the decision a ‘slap on the wrist.’ Photos by Boyet Loverita

By Roland David

A well-respected member of the Knights of Rizal advised me that involvement of the media is not the right approach to solve the problem. However, because one of the personalities involved in the complaints first publicized the decision, but deliberately omitted a page showing a penalty imposed on him, I feel that I must make my response and make it public also. He even bragged saying “justice is served.”

Three things I find very disturbing. First, the decision “criminalized” the act of complaining about affairs of the Knights of Rizal (KOR). It is a suppression of our freedom to express our views and how we express them, the very same conduct that Rizal opposed till his death. My complaints were primarily about the handling of funds during the KOR USA Regional Assembly and the remittances of money to the International Headquarters in Manila. To me, these matters are very important. I only asked about detailed accounting, which until now has not been given to me. I am an accountant by profession and I know exactly what I requested. Instead of ordering the concerned KOR officials to give me a true accounting following the established rules on accounting, the tribunal of three suspended me.

Second, the penalty imposed is disproportionate to the alleged acts committed. Sir Eddie Limon has been a distinguished member of the KOR for about 28 years. He rose from the ranks to become USA Regional Commander and awarded with the highest rank in the KOR. For bringing to the attention of all concerned, the acts of the incumbent USA Regional Commander Sir Francis Sison that he considered unacceptable, he was ordered expelled. Expelled, just like that. I am a newer member of the KOR, but I have been the primary mover in the formation of more than 10 chapters in the United States and in the Philippines. Sir Paul Verzosa was a chapter commander of the same KOR chapter that the incumbent Sir Francis is. Sir Paul Verzosa and I were ordered suspended for one year each.

With life partner Fe Martinez, three-term president of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc.

With life partner Fe Martinez, three-term president of the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc.

In imposing the expulsion and suspension of one year, the tribunal of three did not even consider the worthy contributions of Sirs Eddie, Paul, and myself. And for causing all the complaints that led to this expulsion and one-year suspensions, the tribunal of three imposed a slap in the wrist by ordering that Sir Francis Sison “be strictly admonished and seriously reprimanded.” The tribunal of three did not even mention the acts of Sir Francis that merited that admonition and reprimand. Are there established guidelines that they have to follow in imposing penalties?

Third, I consider it disturbing that a decision as important as expelling and suspending KOR (members) is communicated by an “Acting Administrative Officer,” whose actions were also the subject of the complaints. As a show of courtesy, which I believe the KOR must always observe, such decision must be communicated by a more responsible officer, like the Supreme Pursuivant.

I do not want to make further comments because I want this case to be addressed by the KOR leadership itself. Despite the decision, I know the object of the complaints know what actually happened that resulted to the complaints. The KOR leadership will have to introduce reforms on how situations like ours should be dealt with.

© The FilAm 2018

Roland David is an accountant and financial advisor. His company, R. David & Associates, PA, LLC, has offices in New York City and Morris Plains, New Jersey.

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