Category Archives: Filipino

Emil Guillermo: L’Amande bakery owners flee country, say to lawyers they won’t defend suit, then say to me they will.

anamoitinho_edited

If you’ve been following my reporting on the  civil lawsuit alleging trafficking and labor violations against the L’Amande bakeries, owned by the scion of one of the Philippines elite families, then you’ll want to see the new twists in the case.
The lawyers of bakery owner Ana Moitinho de Almeida have told the lawyers for the 11 former workers suing Almeida, that the owners have fled the country and would no longer be defending the suit.

But this is inconsistent with what Ms.Almeida communicated to me.

Is it just a ploy?   This comes after the plaintiffs failed to attach the Almeidas’ assets, which have been re-positioned to seemingly be out of reach of the court.  The first court date had been set for late September.

See my story in the Philippine Inquirer here.

Emil Guillermo: Owner of closed Filipino bakeries in LA speaks about the shutdown, and on the lawsuit that has rocked her business and family life.

anamoitinhodealmeida

In a direct communication with Emil Guillermo Media, Ana Moitinho de Almeida,the daughter of Juan B. Santos, and the co-owner with her husband Gonzalo Moitinho de Almeida of two recently closed California bakeries, admitted that millions of their joint assets were sold recently—not to protect or hide assets—but to fund their expensive legal battle against 11 former employees.

The Almeidas were socked this spring with a $1 million dollar civil suit alleging labor trafficking, labor rules violations, and immigration violations at their L’Amande bakeries in Beverly Hills and Torrance.

But in the last few months, the Almeidas have been liquidating and re-positioning assets, including their bakeries,real estate investments, and Los Angeles area home.

“We needed to find funding somewhere,” Almeida answered in response to my questions via e-mail. “Closure of the bakeries? How can a business survive when …charges, augmented by aggressive press, has descended without mercy, or fair investigation?”

It is the first time the Almeidas have made direct public comments on their asset situation.

Almeida insisted it wasn’t to hide or keep money from the suit, but an attempt to fight what she calls are unfair charges being made by E-2 visa workers whom she sponsored in an “investor visa program.”

Almeida has been posting pictures of her former employees showing that the workers’ allegations are trumped up charges and don’t reflect how they were being treated while working for the Almeida bakeries.

When I asked her why she has been quiet on the matter, she said: “How could I not have declined at that time when the mother load of a lawsuit just hit us? We are a small bakery. We did not have lawyers standing by to help us.”

I’ll have more from Almeida. In the meantime, here’s my  piece on the Almeida’s sale of assets, as I first reported  in the Philippine Inquirer, Manila’s top daily.

See my latest columns on the AALDEF blog.

Emil Guillermo: Back from a short respite–Here’s my interview with ABT’s Stella Abrera

stellaabreraportraitThe first American Filipino to be named principal dancer at ABT, Stella Abrera’s story is more than one of a great artist. It’s a story  of dedication and courage.

When I interviewed her recently, she spoke of how a bad back and calf injury nearly ended her career.

But she never gave up.

Read it here on the NBCNews.com website

And check out my latest on the AALDEF blog. 

.

 

 

Linceblog: Lincecum has shortest start in his career as Dodgers chase him out early.

It started strange and ended quickly for Tim Lincecum tonight.

The first inning looked auspicious initially as Lincecum got a fly out from Puig, and struck out Joc Pederson. Two out, and then things went south.

Lincecum walked Justin Turner, gave up a single to Adrian Gonzales, then threw a wild pitch to Howie Kendrick which scored Turner.

Kendrick ended up singling to left. But the Lincecum recovered, striking out Guerrero to end a strange first. 2 swinging  Ks, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 run.

You can fool people some of the hitters some of the   time, but not all the time apparently.

And the 2nd inning sealed it.  Grandal and Rollins started with  back to back singles, followed by an  Anderson sacrificed bunt. Then came the Puig at bat that did in Lincecum.

Our guy battled, but Puig did too, extending his 3-2 at bat so that Lincecum was into 40 plus pitches. On pitch 42, there was some question if Puig actually fouled a ball or missed it entirely.

That could have bailed out Lincecum a bit.

But they played on, and the next pitch, Puig softly lined a single to center and 2 runs scored.

Dodgers, 3.

Puig-haters, 0.

Pederson, who struck out early against Lincecum, adjusted and doubled in Puig. Turner singled in Pederson.

And that’s it for our guy and a horrid looking Lincecum line:

1.1 inning, 7 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 Ks, 3.85 ERA.

Lincecum really looked uncomfortable from the start.

But it’s too bad it happens under the glare of the ESPN national spotlight.

He’s been so much better this year.