Allegedly trafficked teachers call for arrest of Pinoy recruiter

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News Bureau

May 19, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Representatives from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, GABRIELA-USA, and Migrante Northern California met with Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco last Friday to demand justice for hundreds of trafficked teachers from the Philippines.

More than 200 teachers were allegedly duped by recruiter Isidro Rodriguez who reportedly promised them good paying teaching jobs in America in exchange for more than $10,000 each in recruitment fees.

But these jobs reportedly did not exist.

These alleged victims of human trafficking are now furious that Rodriguez has been released from detention after being arrested last November.

They asked why the Philippine government isn’t taking a more active role in helping the Filipinos who have been victimized.

Ambassador Cuisia assured them that the Philippine government is doing what it can to prevent human trafficking and it needs the help of the community to do so.

“I would like to eliminate trafficking 100 percent but it might be impossible. I don’t know but we will do what we can,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

Two of those allegedly trafficked attended the meeting to tell the ambassador first-hand about their struggle.

They argue that the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency endorsed Rodriguez and his agency which made it more credible for teachers to join the program.

“It was actually the agency that was fixing my POEA requirements,” one of Rodriguez’ alleged victims told Balitang America on condition of anonymity. “They did everything for me. That’s why I trusted them very much when I arrived here. I didn’t know I would end up doing house cleaning just to pay the interest of my loans. Until now I’m still paying my loan.”

The representatives presented the ambassador with a specific list of requests to ensure justice for the teachers.

They are requesting that the Philippine government prosecute Rodriguez, cancel their loans, and to shut down the recruitment agency.

The ambassador says that he wants to see Rodriguez in jail and that he will try to work with their organizations in fulfilling their requests.

“They came to me, many of them crying. Yes, we want to help them and we want to help you too. We have to see how we can help but I cannot tell you tomorrow the loan will be paid. We have to see what can be done,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

After their meeting with Cuisia, the teachers and their advocates staged a silent protest outside of the consulate.

Representatives hope to maintain communication with the ambassador regarding their requests.

“We definitely believe as a part of GABRIELA-USA that this is a much bigger problem, systemic, that’s actually facilitated by labor export programs and these agencies like the POEA. Over 60 percent of the Philippine economy is held up by our overseas Filipino workers and yet they are the ones that not being protected by the government,” Tina Shauf, member of GABRIELA-USA, said.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • Kikay Pang0
    19 May 2014 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Take a closer look on Ambassador Cuisia jr. he may have some involvement about the trafficking and the early released of Rodriguez.

  • john
    19 May 2014 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    The philippine government will do anything for remitances knowing that these teachers didnt pass the united states teacher certification. the philippines still think the usa still lacks teachers but americans are going back to college because of bad economy

  • PAWS
    20 May 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply

    ngek! kay Cuisia pa kayo nagpunta…goodluck sa inyo

  • alberto f. reyes
    21 May 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    i myself is a victim of placewell manpower svcs hey have an employer also in miami florida Danilo rubias aka as DAR, same scheme, pagdating sa america inendorso lang kami ng DARsa american crook partners sa south carolina, myrtle beach resort, inapi lang kami ng mga american crook partners dun niloko sa pay at ninakawan lang, when we reach america wala ng gabay ang placewel it is a long story etc,

    just to share with you also what ihave experienced with rennaissance manpower svcs bac in 2005 kay allen mojica ito dba, naloko din ako dito but was able to withdraw my money of around 2, 800, usd, pero dinaan kupa sa poea pahirapan matagal na yan scheme ng rennaissance na yan, bakit hnayaan ng poea maulit pa ulit ang panloloko ako 2005 p nabiktima actually marami kaming mga hotel workers na h2b hotel workers na niloko, may naka alis pero pagdating dun inapi, same sceme with placewell yan etc,, sobrang gulo talaga bottomline dapat ikulong yan si rodriguez ng rennaisance at itong danilo rubias, please investigate poea crook and corrupt officials sila lahat ang promoter nito,

    • allen mojica
      20 May 2015 at 2:06 am - Reply

      You have to be careful and sure of your facts Mr. Reyes. Renaissance was a victim of ISidro Rodriguez and we have documents to prove from the DOJ. Also, get your facts straight. Renaissance was not in existence in 2005. It was only licensed by the POEA in 2007 so how could you have received any favorable decision from the POEA? We don’t even know you and unless you have proof that Renaissance fooled you, then we suggest you refrain from smearing the the name of our company. You are like Rodriguez who illegally used the name and good standing of our company and placed our company in a bad light. It is easy to accuse and tarnish names and reputation online without basis. We are sure that the more than 4000 Filipino workers we helped get good jobs will attest to the professionalism of our staff. Even officials of foreign embassies have sought our help in stopping illegal collection of fees. We have proof of this communication with the foreign consulates. Do you?

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