Saturday, September 24, 2016

R-III CO-OP EXPELS MEMBERS AFTER G.A.





    This embattled cooperative in Region III has started expulsion proceedings against a number of its notable members.



    And for what reasons?  For, among others things, speaking their minds, and for commenting on the official actions of the cooperative's officers during the year in review, during its General Assembly (G.A.), last April 2016.



    How can I say that?  I have seen copies of these expulsion letters.  They all begin with the following preface/introduction (as in the first paragraphs), or variations thereof, to wit:


    "During the (cooperative's name)'s __th General Assembly, you were seen and heard in an unedited video, as saying.., etc.."


    And what is are the "violations" cited in the pro-forma allegations in said expulsion letters?  Here is one:  



    "..Due to your damaging actions against the cooperative, the next days after the _th General Assembly, there were mass withdrawals; mass resignations; and non-payment of loan obligations..."



    (Yes, I was told that in the anticipation of the negative comments expected from concerned members, the cooperative hired a videographer to capture the whole G.A. proceedings.  Sneaky, is it not?)  In fairness to its members, the cooperative should have warned the G.A. participants that they are being videographed/taped, and that anything they say may be used against them later on.  



    CDA Region III or Main should have a copy of this video, to verify the reported irregularities committed by the cooperative management during the said G.A., against the complaints filed by the cooperative members being expelled. Right?)



    I ask myself, was there a bank run after the G.A.?  How much must constitute "mass withdrawal", of savings deposits?  Aren't these deposits withdrawable anytime upon demand, no questions or reasons asked.  How many must request to voluntary terminate their membership with the cooperative, to be called a "mass resignation"?  The cooperative did not mention the exact figures.



    If these were not pigments of the imagination, or of hasty generalization by the members of the cooperative's Board of Directors (BoD, yes the expulsion letters were purportedly signed by them) they should present the members being charged, of the copies of letters of voluntary membership withdrawals (these are required to be in the written form, citing the reason thereof).  Let's see what caused the membership withdrawals.



    These officers, who signed the expulsion letters,  must also present the accused member of the cooperative's Cash Flow Statement for the period alleged, for the reported mass withdrawals of deposits.  You must prove your allegations, right?



    As to the reported non-payment of loan obligations, I was told, that prior to the General Assembly, the cooperative's delinquency rate (PAR) is above 50% of all assets (loan receivables).  I do not believe it to be that worse, but the cooperative must show the proof to the contrary.  



    These are part of the cooperative's official records that should be accessible to members.  This high delinquency rate, reportedly is "normal" among many cooperatives not only in Region III, but nationwide.  If that were so, and the cooperative's annual reports should bear this out, no more harm could be done there, I suppose.



    By way of context, records with CDA Region III and Main Office, show that this cooperative is subject of a number of complaints from members relating to the reported "poor governance practices" of this cooperative's recent set of management, and elected/appointed officers.



    One complaint, I was told, questions the legitimacy of the election of the 2016-2017 set of officers and the immediate prior years.  Before  to the 2016 General Assembly of the cooperative, a number of its members wrote CDA Region III to clarify a number of issues pertaining to official actions of this set of management/officers.  



    CDA Main wrote the clarification, signed no less than by CDA's Deputy Executive Director, citing among other things, that if the cooperative's By-Laws provide that no candidate for officers, who are related to each other within the 3rd degree of consanguinity may be qualified to run during the elections, this must be respected.  This is regardless of whether R.A. 9520  allows this now.  



    The cooperative's present officers defied this.  They formulated new election rules, while not yet presented nor approved prior by the General Assembly, these nonetheless were implemented during the April 2016 General Assembly, which was met by opposition during the General Assembly.  The new election rules reportedly are so restrictive, and tailor-fit, so that only the present set of officers and their cabal may qualify as candidates.



    Going back to the expulsion, after the General Assembly, the BoD of this cooperative submitted to CDA Region III for registration the proposed amendments to its Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.  As this was also subject of the complaint that the said amendments allegedly were not actually approved during the said G.A., CDA Region III, per reports,  made verifications on the ground, and ruled that the said amendments were "not properly presented" to the G.A.  I will leave it to you to interpret that CDA ruling.



    Recently, I heard that for these alleged violations, among which is reportedly submitting to CDA annual compliance documents, including proposed AIBL amendments (as in making it appear that the AIBL amendments were approved, if in fact it was not), CDA Region III is giving the officers of this cooperative a tap on the wrist, a mere warning, as penalty.



    Theoretically speaking, the academic question may be asked, if some people (not the officers of the cooperative being talked about above) could officially do that to the regulator and get away with a mere tap on wrist, God help the members of such an organization. Could they also be as less than truthful to their members?



    There are more complaints of violations officially submitted to CDA.



    What has a chilling effect on the cooperative members is that these reported infractions allegedly committed by the members, now being expelled, arose from discussions of the agenda, and of official actions of the cooperative's officers, DURING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.



    Is not the General Assembly the most powerful body enshrined in the cooperative organization?



    Imagine, as a member of the cooperative, you were invited, nay, commanded (under pain of some penalties for failure to attend) to be part of the General Assembly.  And you are NOT an ordinary member.  You are a member in good standing.  You have the capacity to vote.  And you, along with other members, were called upon to constitute the G.A., the cooperative's highest governing/ruling body, to discharge your solemn duty to the cooperative and its members.



    If one recalls, such duty and privilege include participating in the Open Forum, in the free and unfettered discussion of the G.A. agenda; issues related thereto; including on the actions of the cooperative's officers (appointed, or elected), as these pertain to their discharge of their official functions for which they were put to office.



    And for doing their duty, these members, concerned enough about the state and future of their cooperative to risk reprisals, as is now happening, as to express themselves in this General Assembly, they are now being told to explain why they should not be "involuntarily terminated".



    What will the cooperative regulator, whose mission is to protect the safety of cooperatives, do about this. Hmmm..



    If you ask me, it this is the way the officers of this cooperative treat the members of their highest governing body, maybe it is to the best interest of the cooperative members to give these officers their satisfaction, and accept their "involuntary termination", or voluntarily resign.  What do you think?  (END).

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