A UFCABC founding director fights association president’s endorsement to oust her

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An association claiming to stand as an umbrella organization for uniting the Filipino community in BC seems to be having trouble keeping their own members united.

United Filipino Canadian Association of BC (UFCABC) secretary Janice Lozano attacked UFCABC founding member Treenee Lopez on social media and filed a grievance letter looking to oust her – a move that left Treene Lopez “disturbed and stunned” and wondering what UFCABC really stands for and what they are truly about.

Problems with UFCABC arose after Treenee Lopez organized a successful going away party for the outgoing Philippine Consul General Neil Ferrer and his family on May 26th, 2018. The next day, UFCABC secretary Janice Lozano, who did not attend the event, started attacking Treenee Lopez accusing her of giving a platform for community members, whom Lozano calls “losers and detractors”, to talk bad about her family and UFCABC at the farewell event.

In a May 28th, 2018 letter to the Grievance Committee Chair Amado Mercado, Janice writes Treenee “allowed certain undesireable members of the Filipino community to openly speak in front of the crowd for no reason but to further humiliate” members of UFCABC and moved to immediately revoke Treenee’s membership. Without an attempt to communicate with Treenee to discuss the situation, UFCABC President Joel Castillo formally endorsed Lozano’s letter.

“Isn’t it your job as president of the UFCABC to keep the UFCABC united?”

– Treenee Lopez to UFCABC President Joel Castillo

Puzzled by the actions of Janice Lozano and Joel Castillo, Treenee wrote letters to both of them questioning them and asking them to provide proof of any wrongdoings that she did to warrant their moves to oust her from UFCABC. She asked Joel “Of over 300 people that attended the successful event, why is it only you and Janice Lozano that have a completely different view of what happened?” Treenee adds, “Since Janice was not there I wonder WHERE AND HOW SHE GOT ALL of the inaccurate information…”

Issues started between Treenee and Joel prior to the farewell gala.

May 26th Farewell Gala for ConGen Neil Ferrer organized by Treenee Lopez. Photo by George Bencze.

In a letter to UFCABC President Joel Castillo, Treenee Lopez details how she asked Joel if he was doing anything to honour the farewell of the ConGen. Joel said there were no plans nor was there any mention in their UFCABC chat group. After it was clear UFCABC had no plans for a farewell gala for the ConGen, Treenee took it upon herself to organize an event. Then suddenly, two days before the event, Joel wanted Treenee to change the event title and put UFCABC as a co-organizer. Treenee writes “we argued, and I refused”.

Treenee writes to Joel Castillo “Lozano put forward a lot of accusations and your endorsement of her letter confirms you agree with what she said. As the president of UFCABC please answer all my questions since you were actually there at the event.”

Treenee asked Joel numerous questions in her letter such as:

  • “Isn’t it your job as president of the UFCABC to keep the UFCABC united?”
  • “How could you possibly unite the community if you can’t even communicate professionally internally to keep your own members united?”
  • “Who spoke about Janice and her family or anyone at UFCABC publicly at this event and what was said?”
  • “What was said that humiliated anyone at UFCABC?”
  • “What was the spectacle caused that Lozano is referring to?”
  • etc…

As of writing this article, UFCABC President Joel Castillo still has not responded to Treenee’s questions.

In 2013, Joel Castillo lost to Carlito Pradas in a bid to be president of the Filipino Association of BC (FABC). 2 years after that, Joel became president in a newly formed association at the time called UFCABC.


UFCABC. Photo by Diones Lago

UFCABC. Photo by Diones Lago

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UFCABC Secretary Janice Lozano, her husband Roque Juatco Jr. and his parents Roque and Erlinda Juatco are no strangers to the Filipino community. The elder Juatcos have been in the newspaper business for over 20 years and currently operate Philippine Asian Chronicle. Roque Juatco Jr. is an executive producer of Pinoy Buzz while Janice Lozano is a talent scout for the World Championship of Performing Arts, TV host of Pinoy Buzz and works at Elements Cremation, as a Pre-Planning Consultant.

Lozano and the Juatco family are also no strangers to the mainstream community. In 2013, prominent local Vancouver newspaper The Province featured a front page story of Nellie Vandt along with a group of Filipino community members who have shared their unfortunate experiences and business dealings with Lozano and the Juatco family.

The Province front page October 2013 featuring nellievandt.com.

The Province reported that they “interviewed 10 people who have gone on the record to say they lost money through their business and personal dealings with the Juatco family during the past 20 years, and they allege they know of dozens of others with similar stories.” Alleged victims of the Juatco family also shared copies of bounced cheques, court documents and email conversations they had with the Juatcos. Filipino community members took to nellievandt.com to share their personal stories. 

“Guess its true birds of a feather flock together.”

– UFCABC Secretary Janice Lozano writes to Treenee Lopez

The Province also reported that “A common theme among their allegations is they say the Juatcos used their position of prominence and influence in the community to exert control over others and gain their trust. The Filipino community is tight-knit, generous, and often religious the alleged victims said. They felt the Juatcos used all of these to their advantage.”

Back in 2013, court records showed more than 20 civil cases against the Juatco family. According to court records they owe former business partner Connie Mananquil over $25,000.

The Juatco family claim they have done nothing wrong. They said that if they have to, they will take legal action against those making allegations on www.nellievandt.com. Erlinda Juatco told The Province that she contacted a lawyer to discuss filing a suit for libel and slander. But, as of writing, the Juatco family have taken no legal action against those making allegations against them on the blog. However there are court cases against the Juatco family documented by MetroVan Independent News which stretch from 1990 to 2017.


Left photo: Erly and Bodeng Juatco. Right photo: Pinoy Buzz TV host, Janice Lozano with husband Roque Juatco Jr.

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In 2015, A provincial small claims court in British Columbia had granted a default order to CC Cornerstone Credit Ltd. after a defendant in the case, Janice Lozano-Juatco, failed to make a court appearance to dispute the money claim. A year later, Philippine Asian Chronicle (a newspaper operated by the Juatco family itself) reported that Lozano “… is clean as far as these loans are concerned”. But in 2017 both her and husband Roque Juatco Jr got hit with 2 summons each to a payment hearing for the same cases.

“The Province has interviewed 10 people who have gone on the record to say they lost money through their business and personal dealings with the Juatco family during the past 20 years, and they allege they know of dozens of others with similar stories.”

The Province newspaper

UFCABC officers and directors in 2017

In Janice Lozano’s messages and motion to revoke the UFCABC membership of Treenee Lopez she drags popular Filipino-Canadian artist, MetroVan Independent Publisher and Simply the Best TV Show host and producer, Luisa Marshall’s name into her rants. Janice calls Luisa a “self appointed community watch dog” and “loser”. Janice writes “As a result of the spectacle caused at the farewell event, Luisa Marshall, a known disruptor in the Filipino community is now hounding our organization for financial statements.”

Luisa Marshall was at a show performing in the US during the farewell gala so was not in attendance. She is confused by Janice’s rants including her and denies “hounding” the UFCABC for financial statements. “What “spectacle” is Janice even talking about?” Luisa asks. “I have not “hounded” or asked UFCABC for financial statements.” Luisa says, “But even if I did, what’s wrong with that? What are they trying to hide?”

“We (UFCABC) need to be transparent so why would it be an issue if anyone asks for the financial statements since non-profit organizations ask the public to pay money?”

– Treenee Lopez asks UFCABC President Joel Castillo.

Luisa Marshall and husband Steve Marshall state that they have had numerous members of the community reach out to them to share their unfortunate stories and bad experiences with Janice Lozano and the Juatco family. Steve says “it is well known that we have been standing up and speaking out for many years against the alleged wrongdoings of Lozano and her in-laws.” He adds “we didn’t make anything up. We only report issues started and created by Lozano and her family and we back it up with facts.”

In her letter to UFCABC President Joel Castillo, Treenee asks Joel:

  • “On what basis could Luisa Marshall one of the most successful worldly members in the Filipino community be called a loser?”
  • “Why is Luisa Marshall a known disruptor? Who does Luisa disrupt? What did she disrupt?”
  • “When and to who did Luisa Marshall ask for copies of the UFCABC financial statements? Janice stated Luisa is hounding you for the statements so there must be lots of evidence of this.”

Joel Castillo has not responded to Treenee’s questions nor has he provided any proof of Luisa “hounding” the UFCABC for financial statements.

“We (UFCABC) need to be transparent so why would it be an issue if anyone asks for the financial statements since non-profit organizations ask the public to pay money?” Treenee asks Joel.

UFCABC President Joel Castillo and UFCABC Secretary Janice Lozano.

On May 27th, 2018, in a group chat including members of UFCABC and her family, Janice Lozano writes about Treenee Lopez stating, “This lady is not ur friend. This is the second time she has given those losers and detractors a platform to yet again talk bad about us and our family and their old past issues at ConGen Ferrers going away party.”

“This is the second time she has given those losers and detractors a platform to yet again talk bad about us and our family…”

– UFCABC Secretary Janice Lozano

Janice Lozano writes to Treenee “ …from now on I’ll look at u and brand u the same as them. Youre just like Luisa Marshall, Maeven Hauser, Narima De La Cruz and all.” She adds, “Guess its true birds of a feather flock together.”

In a June 22nd letter, Treenee writes to Janice that she doesn’t mind being grouped together with the likes of those people. “I don’t mind standing beside them for I know Luisa and Narima where they stand or their principles. I haven’t heard of them doing anything wrong in this community.” Treenee asks Janice, “What have they done wrong in the community?” and adds “What kind of credentials do you have that YOU think YOU are above all these people…?”

Narima Dela Cruz and Luisa Marshall were both voted by the public, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, as Royal Bank of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awardees alongside the likes of 2 time NBA MVP superstar Steve Nash and Olympic gold medal wrestler Daniel Igali. Narima De La Cruz is a realtor and founder of SPIDS (Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society), while Luisa Marshall is a mainstream award winning performing artist who has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and the Ellen Degeneres show.

On www.nellievandt.com, Maeven Hauser shared his unfortunate experience with Janice Lozano and Roque Juatco Jr. which involved more than $15,000. He reported the bullying and threats against him to the Surrey RCMP in late 2012.


Photo from Ellen’s website.

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Treenee Lopez was recognized and given a Certificate of Appreciation from the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver on June 12, 2018.

In her June 22nd response letter to Janice Lozano, Treenee writes that she has been hearing nothing but positive messages and comments from community members regarding her successful farewell dinner for the Consul General. She asks Janice, “why is it just you who wasn’t even there and Joel Castillo that seem to be attempting to wanting to stir the pot and make a different narrative…?” Treenee adds, “If you were upset you were not in the program, did I not ask you if you want to perform for ConGen?”

Treenee asks Janice numerous questions in her letter for Janice to backup her ranting accusations against her such as:

  • “What was the spectacle you say was caused?”
  • “Who spoke about you, your family or anyone at UFCABC publicly at this event?”
  • “What was said that humiliated anyone at UFCABC?”

The following day, in a June 23rd message, Janice responds to Treenee “Im sorry Im sure it took you awhile to write this letter cuz I glanced at it and its quite long so I can imagine how much effort it took for you to consult with your group and write all of this down. But Ive moved on from this and you should as well. Busy day today have to run.”

Ignoring to back up her claims or provide actual facts behind her accusations supporting her grievance letter to oust Treenee from UFCABC, Janice Lozano ignores all but one question to Treenee. To Treenee’s question of “Who are you?” Janice responds “I think you’re asking the wrong person that question it should be you and your group that should be asking YOURSELVES that question since you all like to talk about me so much and cant get my name out of your mouths.” Janice ends her message to Treenee stating “I am merely a COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER who is a slave to a community she loves.“

“…Ive moved on from this and you should as well. Busy day today have to run.”

– UFCABC Secretary Janice Lozano response to Treenee Lopez and provides no proof to backup her accusations against her.

Janice Lozano told Treenee that she had a chance to sit down with her and the Grievance Committee the Friday before June 23rd UFCABC but opted not to do so. According to other members of UFCABC, Janice removed Treenee from the UFCABC chat group on May 28, 2018 – before any scheduled sit down meeting with the Grievance Chair and Lozano. Treenee adds that she was also not invited to a May 31st dinner that was hosted by UFCABC. She writes “I’m not interested to go to an open one-sided meeting without things clear and answered beforehand.”

Treenee responds to Janice’s June 23rd message the same day and says “You made unexplained allegations against me and others so why shouldn’t you be able to answer the questions to back up what you said and wrote? When you allege something you should include the facts for your allegations, but you didn’t.” Treenee writes “I suspect you don’t have any answers that make any sense so moving on is your only convenient way out now that I confronted you.”

“Don’t forget YOU started this not me so please answer my questions so we can show the community the real truth. Treenee writes to Janice.

Later, Janice Lozano posted on social media “Looks like all the haters are out and in full swing again!!!” … “”TRUTH” will always reveal itself no matter how many times u twist a story. For now u can only laugh, dust it off and keep movin’. #illprayforyou”

Janice Lozano’s social media post on Facebook after the event and prior to July 5th.

In response to Janice Lozano’s social media post Steve Marshall states “Isn’t this amazingly crazy? Janice Lozano, can attack out of the blue, not offer any explanation at all, show no evidence, then play the victim card, call everyone “haters”, act like she did nothing wrong, and then want to move on when challenged because she has no answers.”

Other members of UFCABC have also chosen not to answer any questions.

Treenee is left baffled and wondering how the baseless accusations of Janice Lozano could lead to her UFCABC ousting without any answers to her questions nor proof to Janice’s issues.

“Don’t forget YOU started this not me so please answer my questions so we can show the community the real truth.

– Treenee Lopez writes to Janice Lozano.

In her letter to UFCABC President Joel Castillo, Treenee asks Joel, “How do you expect to UNITE the UFCABC with all other organizations if you can’t even effectively manage your own association internally?”

Treenee asks Joel, “You called the organization UNITED Filipino Canadian Association in BC, but how are you planning to unite the members???? UNITE YOUR MEMBERS against one person to BULLY???”

MetroVan Independent News has reached out and asked questions to 8 different members of UFCABC and none have responded as of writing.


**Disclaimer: Steve and Luisa Marshall are both publishers of MetroVan Independent News.**

 

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MetroVan Independent News Team

The MetroVan Independent News team is a group of talented individuals uniting to serve their community through the power of words. They strive for accuracy, fairness, transparency and accountability aiming to engage, inform and entertain their readers. The team's secret weapon is courage and integrity... with a hint of adobo.

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