After the brouhaha over the voting out of Deanna Ongpin-Recto as board member and president at Alliance Française de Manille (see “Coup d’etat at Alliance Française,” Inquirer Lifestyle, June 9), and the perceived bullying of the board’s Filipino members, which had several Filipino artists (including National Artist BenCab) canceling their scheduled exhibits with the French cultural organization, sources say another Filipino board member is set to quit.
This will leave only two Filipinos on the board, including newly elected president Bernard Sim. “How can AFM continue to pretend to be a Filipino association now, given this anomalous situation?” said a PDI source, in the wake of outrage over the ouster of Ongpin-Recto, who was the moving force behind the organization’s prestigious and acclaimed Philippine Artist Residency Program (PARP).
The AFM has not released any statement in reaction to the aforementioned Inquirer article, with officials reportedly saying it was simply “a misinterpretation by the PDI.” Employees were reportedly ordered to “just remain silent, make no comments, because it will all die down soon.”
Ironically, France celebrated its National Day yesterday, and word has reached Inquirer that the ousted and resigned AFM Board members planned to attend the reception to show that “our fight is not against the France we love, but against some villainous and power-mad French people on the AFM Board who are trying to usurp the PARP artists’ fund and the AFM retirement plan, and use it for their overambitious building expansion plan.”