Pyra Lucas (seated, 3rd from left) is surrounded by her supporters from VACC as she answers questions from the media during a press conference on Thursday. Photo by Ashley Manabat
ANGELES CITY – The national president and chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) are now facing 10 counts of cyber libel and two counts of libel.
The cases were filed Wednesday morning at the Prosecutors Office of the Angeles City Hall of Justice by VACC Central Luzon head coordinator Pyra Lucas against Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista and Cory Quirino, who were allegedly illegally holding the positions of national president and chairman of the group.
Lucas said that Evangelista and Quirino allegedly publicly claimed that she was removed from her position as regional coordinator due to alleged irregularities.
Newspaper and social media reports in April 2019 said Evangelista claimed that Lucas was removed from VACC as regional head coordinator because of complaints claiming that latter was demanding P2.2 million from a couple so that they could expedite and have a favorable decision on their petition for review on a rape case filed at the Department of Justice.
Evangelista allegedly showed to media men a VACC board resolution forbidding Lucas to represent the group and at the same time a resolution claiming that she is no longer a member of the group.
Lucas denied the allegations of Evangelista and claimed that the VACC hierarchy has not released until now a copy of the said board resolution.
Lucas explained that the said decision is a clear violation of the VACC by-laws because in case of expulsion it must be voted by the majority of the members and not by mere votes of the Board of Trustees (BOT).
In fact, the BOT was shocked because they were not aware that Evangelista would conduct a press conference regarding that matter, Lucas exclaimed.
And since then, there has been no any copy of the said board resolution or complaint while Evangelista and Quirino have yet to file a single case against her in contrast to news reports that came out at that time, Lucas pointed out.
The said news reports were merely accusations out to discredit her because of the illegal activities that she has discovered against some officials who were using VACC in exchange of payola, Lucas noted.
She cited a dispute against alleged illegal quarry operation in Porac, Pampanga and the claimants were the indigenous peoples in the said town that they helped but to their dismay, the alleged illegal quarry operators were represented by a lawyer of the national VACC.
Because of the anomalous transactions that they claimed to have discovered, Lucas is urging her colleagues at the VACC to immediately call for a general assembly and ask Evangelista and Quirino to step down so that their advocacy against crime and corruptions may once again move forward “unstained.”
Lucas urged the two to vacate their positions that they allegedly illegally have held since 2018.
She pointed out that the two have no legal basis to occupy the said positions as she explained that no election of officers were conducted during their general assembly in October 2018 and the “self-appointed” officials merely locked themselves in a conference room and when they came out of the room announced the set of officials for the national positions.
These actions are against the VACC bylaws, Lucas stressed ,and raised the need to have an election for the national positions of the VACC using the right process so as to prevent the growing number of demoralization among its ranks.