I received this Open Letter today and believe it should be reprinted here to add another point of view to the debate. If it is true, and it is certainly the closest to what I would take for a true account I have read so far, somebody is throwing their weight around to cover their own bad behaviour and in the process hundreds of people are suffering. I have to say while the L.A. Cafe has always to my knowledge been a haunt for freelance prostitutes, I have never once witnessed any of the staff pimping or being pimped or facilitating the activities of the freelance girls. If any of them ever did get a little too forward it was always an easy matter to ask one of the waitresses to tell teh lady to leave you alone. And they did for fear of being turfed out. I see there being no difference between the L.A. Cafe and bars and casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere. They will always be the haunts of women offering the only thing of value they have in exchange for an income. Sad, tragic but a fact of life.
OPEN LETTER TO
Honorable Harry K. Thomas, Jr
Ambassador to the Philippines
United States Embassy
City of Manila
COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS PHILIPPINES
Ms. Elzadia Washington
Acting Mission Director
United Nations Avenue,
Ermita, City of Manila
Mr Roger Carlson
Acting Deputy Mission Director
United Nations Avenue,
Ermita, City of Manila
Dear Sirs / Madame,
The employees of LA Cafe would like to address the fabricated press releases and totally untrue allegations coming from an AMERICAN FUNDED group called International Justice Mission (IJM) under the leadership of a certain Atty Carmela Andal-Castro, IJM Field officer
IJM Philippines an American Funded group claim they donate large sums of money to Philippine Government organizations. Their money comes from donations from American tax payers via USAID and various American Agency’s.
LA Cafe has been operating as a restaurant, live band , billiards bar similar to an American Theme Restaurant/Bar in Makati called Hard Rock Cafe since 1999 without any problem’s
or issues affecting public morality or health. LA Cafe enjoys Worldwide renown and is a significant contributor to local Philippine employment and welfare.
LA Cafe is a member of the Manila Entertainment Music Lounge Association and has been accredited by the Department of Tourism Philippines (DOT) since 1999
In early 2007 the general manager of L A Cafe was attacked by an inebriated American National and as a direct consequence suffered a life threatening heart attack, resulting in a full heart by pass operation at the Philippine General Hospital
The General Manager of LA Cafe once released from hosiptal filed a case against the American National Mr. MARC EDWARD MC CABE / IS # 06-H-16862/ Address: 139 Blk 7 Sitio 3 Zone 7 Sto.Nino A. Bonifacio, Western Bicutan Taguig – who claims he works for USAID Philippines
McCabe, a US citizen claimed he was ”un-touchable” in the Philippines as he worked for USAID Philippines and would use his infuence, connections and position of authority to cause problems for LA Cafe if a case was taken against him.
This criminal case IS# 06-H-16862 can be verified by the Regional Trial Court of Manila – the criminal case is still being processed and continued.
Why did an American USAID supported group (IJM) start to harrass a legal Filipino business that EMPLOYS more than 190 FILIPINOS as waitresses , bar tenders, utility, chefs, live bands ,dj’s, security guards, and administrative and purchasing staff? Workers who support their families and now have NO EMPLOYMENT!! thanks to the unfounded and untrue accusations and cases issued by IJM an American funded group, just a week after the case involving the USA National McCabe was elevated to court?
To compound matters and to highlight the level of vindictive behavior thrust upon this FILIPINO company by the AMERICAN funded group, IJM, several honest and hard working L.A Café waitresses have been accused by IJM of being PROSTITUTES! These accusations were made nationally in our FILIPINO newspapers giving no thought to the humiliation felt by hard working FILIPINAS as the baseless lies are paraded in front of their families! These poor FILIPINA waitresses were even paraded like animals on Philippine national television (TV PATROL), accused and condemned as PROSTITUTES and CRIMINALS while wearing their work uniforms!!
The American sponsored group INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION are the entity that filed a complaint against LA Cafe with the Manila City Hall, as verified by the newspapers
The Manila Standard Newspaper even wrote in their article that Mayor Lim had previously closed LA Cafe which is un true and baseless.
How would AMERICANS react if we FILIPINOS marched into a Hard Rock Café in New York, or TGI Fridays in Los Angeles, a HOOTERS BAR in Las Vegas or any AMERICAN owned restaurant and accused AMERICAN waitresses of being sex workers, PIMPS and PROSTITUTES writing un founded allegations to your beloved Mayor!!
Would this ever happen to the American Franchise Chain’s in the Philippines such as HOOTERS MANILA, HARD ROCK CAFE, TGI FRIDAYS, OUTBACK, CAFE HAVANA, CALIFORNIA PIZZA OVEN, MCDONALDS or the American Hotel Chains such as the MARRIOT PARANAQUE, HOLIDAY INN CLARK or the RENAISSANCE MAKATI where they have restaurants, bars and discos
These Filipina waitresses, supervisors and management all come from respectable Philippine famalies and are now branded as PROSTITUTES, PIMPS and CRIMINALS in their own Country the Philippines by this AMERICAN funded organization IJM
There are many similar Filipino establishments within walking distance from LA Cafe such as HOOTERS Manila Bay, Hard Rock Cafe, Hobbit House, Cafe Havana, TGI Friday’s, Cowboy Grill, which have never been a target of the American funded IJM and their vindictive operations against Filipino’s
How can this American supported mission IJM ask for donation’s from the American taxpayer for EVANGELICAL work here in our beloved Philippines whilst fabricating evidence and issuing affidavits against hard working Filipinos in our own Country, the Philippines?! All because the AMERICAN, McCABE got drunk and was sued correctly within OUR LEGAL SYSTEM???
Which legal Filipino establishment will this American Funded Group (IJM) target next and fabricate evidence against the management and have inocent Filipinos forced into jail while using American Tax Payers Money in our Country the Philippines
There are now four (4) FILIPINA’S who work for L. A. Cafe Restaurant/Bar as managers/supervisors facing LIFE IMPRISONMENT due to the total and baseless fabrication of evidence and sworn affidavits that they were pimping PROSTITUTES and are themselves PROSTITUTES
Their names have been published in all the National Newspapers by the American funded IJM using American Tax Payers money
Amazingly there are two (2) Filipina customers of LA Cafe who the American funded IJM
claim worked in L. A. Cafe, the management of LA Cafe has no record of there persons nor knowledge who they are.
The final detainee does not work for LA Cafe but is the manager of LA Cafe Annex in the adjacent building which is a small billiard hall employing 14 Filipino waitresses, utility and security. This small billiard hall is also closed due to fabricated allegations depriving its Filipino employees their constitutional right to work and support their families thanks to IJM.
All the employees of LA Cafe have valid work/health permits issued by Manila City Hall
Does the RAID on LA Cafe during a 2010 World Cup Soccer game and live performing Live Bands at 10.30pm at night have anything to do with the vendeta of the American National who claims to be a USAID employee who was a REGULAR CUSTOMER of LA Cafe until his drunken fit of rage with his Filipina girlfriend against the General Manager of LA Cafe??
L. A. Cafe has a very clear Policy with our 12 security guards managed by an honorable decorated retiried Filipino Colonel that NO MINORS are to enter the premises as ordered by Manila City Hall even though we are just a public restaurant and bar. The NO MINORS policy is clearly shown at the entrance and throughout the premises with prominent signs. Any minor who is out after 10 pm is a violation of Manila City Ordinance 8046 and responsibility of the parents, barangay officials and police.
No Philippine National is forced to work at L. A. Cafe as claimed by the American IJM Group. This idea is RIDICULOUS, BASELESS and is a TOTAL FABRICATION!! The AMERICANS have their own history of SLAVERY, we proud FILIPINOS DO NOT !!!
How interesting is that many United States of America DIPLOMATS frequent LA Cafe (since its opening) and know personally the employees now held in jail, due to the fabricated affidavits of an agency that they support, The IJM!
How ironic that the United States of America Philippines Embassy held a going away party for an American DIPLOMAT at LA Cafe recently, the Embassy department even more ironically was NCIS (Strategic Investigations) of the United States of America in the Philippines
This is NOT A FABRICATION unlike the baseless claims of IJM the LA Cafe has 16 CCTV Cameras constantly monitoring the premises for the protection of us the staff and its customers. CCTV footage can SUPPORT ANY counter claims made by LA Café against IJM and their hypocritical American supporters.
Many foreign and Filipino executives are customers of LA Cafe both female and male personalities including famous actors, actresses and sportsmen. The LA Café is a tourist attraction and brings foreign money to our country and to our community, helping to support our local families.
LA Cafe proudly sponsors, as being the largest billiard venue in Manila (On and off) the following famous athletes and done since opening in 1999 with pride
Manny Pacquiao Pound for Pound greatest boxer in the World
Bobby Pacquiao Former Asia Pacific Boxing Champion
Efren ”Bata” Reyes Hall of Fame Billiard Player and many times over Wold Champion
Francisco Bustmante Former World Number 1 Billiard Player
Marlon Manalo World number 6 Billiard Player
Jeff De Luna Professional Pool Player
Alex Pagulayan World 2004 Billiard Champion
Roberto Gomes World 9 ball Runner up
Darren Appelton World number 1 English Pool player British
Karl Boyles UK World 8 Ball Champion
Rudolfo Luat Former world number 1 9 ball billiard player
Ronny Alcano World 9 and 10 ball champion
Steve Davis Number 1 paid UK athlete in 1988 and World Snooker Champion
Dennis Orcollo Current World Number 1 Billiard Player
LA Cafe is the proud Sponsor of MP Warriors General Santos Basketball Team.
LA Cafe arrange regular live exhibitions by these athletes, two weeks ago there was an exhibition billiard game featuring Efren ”Bata” Reyes a Filipino icon
Two live band’s perform daily on the second floor where the American funded IJM claim is located a sex den
The second floor has live bands, 4 billiard tables, eating area and an extensive wine cellar
There are NO PRIVATE VIP rooms anywhere in LA Cafe
LA Cafe bands are auditioned by both International and American Hotel chains from Guam, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.
The bands from LA Cafe then receive legal contracts to work throughout the world as a performing artists.Something we FILIPINO’s can be proud of. Does this constitute HUMAN TRAFFICKING as alleged by American funded IJM
The World famous Filipino Artists that have and until last week did perform in the LA Cafes second floor, claimed to be a SEX DEN by the AMERICAN IJM, include
Ramon ”RJ” Jacinto Rock and Roll Legend of the Philippines
Freddie ”Anak” Aguilar (For over 10 years) KA Freddie
Christoper De Leon
Air Supply International Band
And two (2) local bands daily who vary from day to day.
Manila Dogs Golf Club (500 Members) which was founded by LA Cafe and has been the home of the club since 2001, have their weekly prize giving at LA Cafe.
Players include both male and female diplomats from many Embassies including the United States of America
Palugaw Soup Kitchen for the Ermita Street Children
Every weekend LA Cafe sponsors Palugaw Soup Kitchen with the Barangay 668 to feed the street children of Ermita, this will now be cancelled due to the closure of LA Cafe thereby depriving Filipino Street Children the opportunity of a full meal once a week due to the American Funded IJM
Should IJM not use their American funded resources to feed and help these innocent street children in Ermita which LA Cafe has done for years instead of closing legitimate business for their own personal gain for more funding from America
We the employees of LA Cafe request that this American funded IJM be stopped from continuing to use American Tax payers money to make victims of innocent Filipinos! We are perfectly able in our own country to control our own affairs and do not need to be bullied by some HYPOCRITICAL American funded mission
The American funded IJM are wasting the time of the Philippine courts while making Millions of Peso’s for themselves from the donations given to them by American Agencies and the American “man in the street”. Most importantly we cannot work and support our loved ones and we don’t have their resources to repudiate these FALSE and BASELESS accusations against us
FINALLY WE THE EMPLOYEES OF LA CAFE HAVE LEGAL DOCUMENTS AND SIGNED AFFIDAVITS PROVING THAT IJM AN AMERICAN FUNDED MISSION ARE USING AMERICAN DOLLARS TO OBTAIN FALSE AFFIDAVITS FROM THIRD PARTIES TO CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE INNOCENT FILIPINOS SO THEY CAN JUSTIFY THEMSELVES TO THEIR AMERICAN HEAD QUARTERS TO RECEIVE MORE FUNDING FOR THEIR PERSONAL GAIN AT THE EXPENSE OF FILIPINOS
Employees Crisis Commitee of L A Cafe