One of the reasons why we contend that the FFL should not use the CFC name is because of the confusion it will cause among its present members, potential members, and with non-members who we have to deal with in the course of our affairs.
How you may ask? It's just common sense really. The first and most important (and quite valid) question a potential member can ask is:
Bakit dalawa? (Why must there be two CFC's?)
Are we not a Catholic organization that extols the virtues of Christ? Why can't we settle our differences? That will be tough to answer eh? And what will they think of us?
Another very important aspect is in our dealing with other businesses or organizations. Since the Easter Group claim quite similar charisms, the same vatican decree, and the same name, it will obviously lead to an identity confusion, especially by those not familiar with either groups. There are already many examples of this happening, either maliciously through selective disinformation by certain parties, or by simply an innocent error in identifying either party clearly. I'm sure you all remember certain events and venues being diverted because of this confusion. It's happened, and it's still happening. Even holding similar events on the same date is enough to confuse. What more when you do it at the same venue? In hindsight, I should have done this a long time ago. Maybe if we had been actively keeping track of the occurrences, the FFL will be more judicious in their attempts to hijack CFC venues. It will certainly give concrete proof that the CFC name cannot be haphazardly allowed to be used just by any association, and at the very least, minimize the confusion caused, directly and indirectly, by such activities. So as a word of warning and maybe, as a deterrent, I will now attempt to track these occurrences. If you all have verifiable information on when and how a confusion was caused by either party, you know where to reach me.
Venue Confusion - Laguna Disciples Weekend May 2008
This chain of actions and reactions started with a simple text by Penny De Leon, the wife of Mon De Leon, CFC Provincial Area Head in Laguna.
gud am sis/bro. seeking prayers 4 our laguna disciples wkend 2day n tom. ffl got d venue we reservd since april n we had 2 luk 4 a new venue yest. God is good He gave us 1. Now we placed strmers n our former venue w/ d instructn 2 proceed 2 r new venue n ffl wnt dis streamers 2 b removed. some bros r now n d area 2 look after our streamers n flock. May GOD enlightn FFL as 2 d harm they r doing. Pls pass 2 those who can pray 4 us. sis pennyAt the conclusion of both CFC and FFL's events, an email sent by the FFL's Nonong Contreras was circulated, containing a short narrative written by Rene Evidente presenting his side.
CFC's Mon De Leon responds, and presents evidence:----- Original Message -----From: Easter GroupTo: Recipient list suppressedSent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 10:03 PMSubject: CLARIFICATIONThis morning, May 17, while attending the Laguna CFCFFL Joy Weekend in Calamba, I received the following text message: “FYI: Frm P. Deleon- pls pray 4 r Laguna Disc Wknd 2day n tom. FFL got the venue we reservd since April n we had 2 luk 4 new venue yest. God is gud n gave us 1. We put strmers n our former venu w/ instructn 2 procid 2 new venue but FFL want dis removd. Some bros r now n d area 2 look after our streamers n flock. May GOD ENLIGHTEN FFL as 2 d harm they r doing.”
The text message was forwarded to me by a brother from CFCFFL. And so I assume that the text message had gone the rounds – that is, to all of CFC Global members and may be to many of our own members. The text message implies that Laguna CFCFFL used force or some devious scheme to wrest control of the venue, the Lina, Lajara, Chipeco Hall in Calamba, from CFC Global. And that we have acted in an un-Christian fashion by removing their streamers which were right in our venue’s doorstep.
Now for the truth. On April 20, CFCFFL reserved the venue for its Joy Weekend scheduled for May 17. Later, in discussing and clarifying the scheduling conflict with the owners of the venue, it was established that CFC Global reserved two days later on April 22 for their Disciple Weekend on May 17-18. That there were two reservations for the same venue and same day can hardly be blamed on the Laguna CFCFFL.
Just one day before the event, May 16, we were requested by the venue owners to use another nearby venue instead. But given that we have reserved ahead of CFC Global, that we have already paid the fee the week prior (CFC Global have not paid up to that day), that we have already notified all our members, that preparations specifically tailored to the venue have been completed, and in the spirit of fairness, the owners had no choice but to give us the use of the venue. The owner gave the other nearby venue to CFC Global.
This morning, one of their big streamers was placed right on the street corner leading up to our venue down the road. They even had a person manning the corner, just in case. Though it could become confusing to our members, we let it be. But placing two big steamers on the left side and on the right side of the gate of our venue is something else. While it might help their attendees, it will certainly confuse our own members as they approach the gate. In the spirit of peace, we did not remove their streamers. We just posted our own brothers outside the gate to guide those arriving for the Joy Weekend. I honor my brothers and sisters who have exercised patience and self-control in dealing with such an aggravating situation.
I want to assure our brothers and sisters, that in keeping with the spirit and the good name of CFCFFL, we in Laguna cannot fall into the devious behavior and ill-will attributed to us by this texter.
By the way, we had a spirit-filled, joy-filled and venue-filled weekend. Praise God.
May 17, 2008
Mon de Leon <> wrote:
Hi Bro. Nonong - Thanks for forwarding the email of Rene Evidente to me. I have also received the same forwarded message from other brothers. Unfortunately I have not received this directly from Rene himself. Hereinbelow is my reply and explanation of our side regarding the 'truth' that Rene outrightly circulated to his 'supressed recepient list'. This email is addressed to Rene (I am not sure of his email address, but then kindly forward this to him):
Dear Brother Rene (Evidente),
Here is my reply to your May 17 email forwarded by Brother Nonong Contreras. For your clarification and mine, I gathered facts and documents so that what I will state in answer to you are all factual and with documentary proof.
Fact 1. The text of Penny requesting for prayers is true but with some correction compared to what you have quoted in your email. The last line of her text is missing that says "Pls. pass to those who can pray 4 us." Penny's text for prayers was sent to just 8 brothers and sisters in in Metro Manila. An original text was received by Penny at 7:10AM coming from CFC Sister Lani Velasco, wife of our PFO on the morning of May 17, the first day of the CFC Disciples Weekend in Laguna. We were on our way to Laguna to oversee the event as we are the assigned Provincial Area Head of that province. Penny edited her text and forwarded it as I mentioned above.
Fact 2: During the April Provincial Council meeting of Laguna, the matter of the Disciples weekend was discussed. By that time, CFC already was told that the Joaquin Chipeco Hall, our usual venue, will not be available for May 17-18 for it will be used by the DepEd. Thus, Laguna CFC instead wrote to reserve Lina Lajara Hall.
About a month later, 11AM, Friday, May 16, we were told of the problem with the venue which appeared to have been reserved by FFL at an earlier date, and I was told on the cellphone that FFL has paid for it; and that CFC was being offered another another venue (Joaquin Chipeco Hall). Even though Laguna CFC felt it had the right to claim for that reservation, Laguna CFC decided to accept the Chipeco venue offered by the DepEd staff in the spirit of humility and for peace and brotherhood in Christ. Having no more time to inform the members aside from texting and as suggested by Danny of DepEd, CFC Laguna prepared streamers to re-direct the members to the new venue. The streamers were placed 200 Mtrs away onto a tree at the street corner turning towards the Lina Lajara Hall to the right and to Chipeco Hall towards the left. Streamers were also placed at the entrance gate of the school compound where the Lina Lajara Hall is located but NOT at the Lajara Hall entrance itself and definitely NOT in the doorstep of Lajara Hall as you claim in your email. On the morning of May 17, two of our brothers assigned to redirect CFC members were approached by an FFL leader asking them to remove our directional signs. Our CFC brother said "cfc already gave way to this venue by backing down and you still want our directional streamers removed?". What could be more unChristian than adding insult to injury: CFC already lost its original venue, FFL Laguna still wanted to remove our directional streamers! Brother Rene, this is the essence of the text of Penny requesting for prayers which she has forwarded to some close brothers and sisters: that our directional streamers not be removed lest the CFC members lose their way. Had the directional signs been removed, it will surely HARM the Disciples' Weekend and those members who will miss God's message.
WHO REALLY WAS THE FIRST TO RESERVE THE VENUE IN QUESTION?
Fact 3: CFC's reservation letter is dated 18 April 2008 and faxed on the same day to the DepEd office in-charge of the reservations. In that letter, CFC requested for 4 dates to be reserved (see our letter attached). The DepEd Logbook clearly shows the dates requested by CFC: May 11, 17,18, while the May 24 request was not recorded because CFC was told it was already booked for another party. The original copy of the letter which was faxed on the same day (April 18) was delivered/stamped received on April 22 (see stamped received on CFC letter in the attachment).
Fact 4: It was on April 22 that CFC was informed that our request for the use of Lina Lajara hall for May 24 could not be accommodated, May 11, 17 and 18 were OK. Granting, without admitting, your claim that FFL reserved the Lajara Hall on April 20 (refer to Par #3 of your email and the text messages from the FFL leaders) is true, how come the DepEd staff didn’t outright reject our request for May 17-18 also on April 22? How come we were not advised/informed of the existence of FFL's letter request allegedly submitted and received on April 20? THE DepED logbook (see attachment) CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE THREE DAYS (May 11,17,18) OUT OF THE 4 DAYS WE REQUESTED WERE RECORDED. FFL's letter did not ask for 4 days, only for one day May 17. Where else could the DepEd staff base the entries in the logbook? - Where else but from the CFC letter: either from the faxed copy on even date i.e., April 18 or, from the duly stamped original letter of CFC received on April 22.
4.1. Without doubt, the DepEd staff used the CFC letter as the basis for recording in the logbook. If she had used the April 18 letter that was faxed to their office, then, CFC was FIRST to reserve. On the other hand, if DepEd has used the one received/stamped April 22 as the basis to log our requested dates, where then was FFL's letter, which you claim have been received and stamped April 20? I SUSPECT THAT THE FFL LETTER HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED BY THE DepED as of April 22.
Fact 5: Brother Rene, in your third paragraph "NOW for the TRUTH....." where your leader in Laguna claimed that the FFL letter was received by the DepEd on April 20, 2008-- that day is a SUNDAY. THE DepED IS CLOSED AND HAS NO OFFICE ON THAT DAY. WE IN LAGUNA CFC CONTINUE TO WONDER HOW FFL's RESERVATION LETTER WAS DELIVERED AND RECEIVED, EVEN ON A SUNDAY.
FACT 6. DepEd is used to receiving payment for the use of their auditorium a few days before but most of the time after the CFC event. FFL members who were former CFC know this. The logged reservation and permit form was for May 17-18. On the day FFL paid ahead (FFL paid on May 12), obviously paying ahead will be the clincher. It is highly improbable that the FFL person is not aware or innocent of the logged dates May 17-18. How could the DepEd receive payment for one day only--what about the 18th? Is FFL claiming now that as of May 12 (the day of FFL's payment) they are NOT AWARE OF CFC's May 17-18 Disciples weekend? Obviously paying ahead will be the clincher. We continue to pray and would like to believe that this advance payment of the venue by FFL is without any devious intent or ill-will and that the person/s involved had no prior knowledge of the reservation dates CFC requested. What bothers me Brother Rene is that the act of your FFL leaders in Laguna mirrors the accusations you have made on my wife Penny (where you stated "the devious and ill-will attributed to FFL by this texter...."). Since when did "requesting for prayers" become devious? Penny and I were not even the organizers of the event to say the least! The text for prayers of Penny is about our directional streamers being asked by your FFL leaders to be removed and which you might have missed quoting the last sentence of the Penny's text when you quoted and it says "pls pass to those who can pray 4 us". I also pray the it is not deliberate. Nevertheless, where is the lie here? Later, some of our CFC leaders in Laguna started to recieve ugly texts from FFL leaders/members pointing to Penny. Here are some:
Text message from identified FFL texter:"
leader penny kept on sending txt of lies even in manila kalat na. Dapat magverify muna sya bago mag accuse. Im sending dis 2 u kc alam ko broad minded ka. Dis r the facts: ffl booked lajara april 20 and paid in full may 12 whereas global booked only on april 22 and as of noon yesterday has not made any payment. This can be verified from the records tnku" Ur
Another Text message from identified FFL texter:"Our response to the text sent by
Sis P deLeon...Records would clearly show that we reserved and paid ahead of you. We never knew till yesterday that you intended to use the same place............" ur
Fact 7: On May 16, The DepEd staff realizing herself a victim of the confusion and that CFC was really the first to reserve the place, tried her best to talk to and convince FFL by calling them after finding out about the "mistake" in reservations but FFL stuck to their argument "bayad na kami". It was too late. It was then that the Chipeco Hall was offerred to CFC (As a matter of fact, in early April we were already told that Chipeco Hall will not be available. The DepEd staff could only remark "akala ko pareho lang yung CFC, dalawa pala" (I thought it was the same CFC, I did not know there's two groups). Still, instead of arguing and debating, CFC backed down and gave way to FFL. It was then that a certain Danny of DepEd who suggested that CFC place the directional signs/streamers.
Brother Rene, you have been in my CFC Household for a number of years and your Elder and Chapter Head then. For a time, we were together in the St James Parish Council. We recall the many times we have brought into our household the sharings, love of Christ and His Word. Wala tayong pinagsamahang masama, only our pure love for the Lord and the service that we enjoyed giving as our bond of brotherhood and friendship. How could you do this to Penny whose only role in this entire story is to ask for prayers? Brother you could have easily conferred with me, both of us living just a few streets apart within the same village and same parish. You could have verified first, especially those claims and circumstances presented to you by your FFL leaders in Laguna and that you, my brother in Christ, broadcasting the matter in the internet without regard to the reputation of the person, whom you know personally, the wife of your former household leader in CFC. You could have "considered others as more worthy than thyself". This could have been easily resolved without your sending out this reputation-damaging conclusion. And you, Rene, a brother I love will conclude in your email pointing to your Sister Penny as"...the devious behavior and ill-will... of this texter" (Ref: Matt 7:1-5)
Brother, you stated in your email "in the spirit of peace, we did not remove their streamers." Yes, Brod Rene, you did not remove the streamers because your FFL brother/s were not able to. They specifically asked our guides to have it brought down. By asking CFC to have its directional sign is already the added insult in addition to the injury CFC Laguna suffered by losing its venue.
I shall await for your response before I move on to my next action. I also have other documents but the two attachments,I pray, will be enough in the meantime for this CLARIFICATION.
Yours in Christ,
Bro. Ramon "Mon" de Leon
Couples For Christ
Download Rene Evidente's letter HERE.
Download Mon De Leon's letter HERE.
Download all documents pertaining to this issue as of 5-22-08 HERE.