Justice for Filipino Trafficked Teachers! National Day of Action is March 17


MARCH 17, 2014


On the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion (a Filipino domestic worker who was unjustly executed in Singapore), GABRIELA USA will be taking action across the United States and launching the JUSTICE for Filipino Trafficked Teachers campaign.

Since 2003, batches of teachers have been illegally recruited and trafficked to the U.S. by Philippines-based recruitment agency owner Isidro Rodriguez. Case complaints have been reported to Philippine Embassy officials in the past as well as to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). However, the response from the Philippine government has been inadequate and unsatisfactory.

We call upon Filipinos, friends, and allies across the nation to join the teachers in their struggle for justice!

New York
6:00PM Rally & Speak Out
Philippine Consulate
556 5th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Campaign Demands:

Prosecute Isidro Rodriguez and Investigate Philippine Government Institutions NOW!
Just reparations for trafficked victims! Cancel teachers’ high interest loans NOW!
Hold accountable loan sharks in cahoots with Isidro Rodriguez!
Immigration Relief for trafficked victims in the U.S.!

We are Women Workers, We are NOT Slaves!
Stop Imperialist Exploitation & End Modern Day Slavery of Migrant Workers!
STOP Forced Migration of Our People! End the Labor Export Policy!
Justice for Filipino Teachers and their families!


Filipina Women in U.S. Fight for the Rights of Migrant Women Workers


March 5, 2014

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA-USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

Filipina Women Resist and Fight for the Rights and Welfare of Migrant Women Workers

On the 104th Anniversary of the International Working Women’s Day on March 8th, GABRIELA USA, a Filipino women’s alliance that consists of member organizations in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, will be joining working class and im/migrant women across the United States to demand livable wage jobs, an end to labor trafficking, and justice for Super Typhoon Yolanda victims amidst the global economic crisis caused by imperialist globalization.

Almost four months since Typhoon Yolanda, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s administration continues to neglect the needs of the victims, failing to deliver relief goods and basic social needs to women and their families such as adequate housing, comprehensive health services, potable water, and electricity. The government is also using the disaster as an excuse to further intensify militarization of Eastern Visayas deploying thousands of military troops all over the region. “We are outraged and demand President Noynoy to give immediate attention to rebuild and rehabilitate communities. We say NO to another pork barrel scandal keeping relief funds from reaching the people and NO to land grabbing and militarization!” says Tina Shauf, Campaigns Officer of GABRIELA USA.

With the help of puppet governments, imperialist policies like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership allow multi-national corporations to extract and exploit natural resources in an unregulated manner, causing environmental pollution and degradation, and leaving the people unable to survive in their home countries. “There is nothing free about about these ‘free’ trade agreements. Migrants are paying the cost by being forced out of their homeland, separated from their families and subjected to abuse and exploitation,” says Irma Bajar, International Relations Officer of GABRIELA USA.

GABRIELA Washington DC consists mostly of members who are survivors of human trafficking. These trafficked teachers are victims of fraud, and have experienced exploitation and abuse. They were deployed to the US by a Philippines-based recruitment agency only to find that the teaching jobs they were promised were non-existent. Many of the teachers are now filing a human trafficking case against their recruiter, who has been serving time in jail since November 2013 for his crimes against several hundreds of teachers. “It is painful to think that I’m a victim of human trafficking because I lost my self-esteem and dignity. I joined GABRIELA, Washington DC, because of the need to educate people about trafficking and to unite with other survivors to fight for our rights and for justice,” states Fen Ecleo, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA DC.

Migrants from Latin America, Asia and throughout the world regularly remit money back to their families in their home countries and yet experience unfair wages and wage theft, while the cost of living is only increasing. The majority of domestic workers in the United States are foreign-born and about half of workers are paid an hourly wage below the level needed to adequately support a family. Labor laws throughout the United States still do not include requirements for employers to treat migrant workers with dignity and respect, including rights to fair and overtime pay for hours worked.

In celebrating 5 years of Filipino women’s militancy in advancing the rights and welfare of women and children in the United States, as an international chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, join GABRIELA USA in launching a national campaign on March 17 to expose the realities of human trafficking and demand justice for trafficked teachers.

We are Women Workers, We are NOT Slaves!

Stop Imperialist Exploitation & Modern Day Slavery of Migrant Workers!

STOP Forced Migration of Our People! End the Labor Export Policy!

Justice for Migrant Women Workers and their families!


Join us on March 8th, International Working Women’s Day in the city near you!


Los Angeles

March 6, 2014, 5-8PM

People’s State of the City 2014

One Billion Rising performance during program

Church One

E. 70th Street, Long Beach, CA 90805


March 8, 2014, 2pm

Women Against Repression & Occupation

Rock, Rap & Speakout vs Poverty, Prisons & War

MacArthur Park at Wilshire Blvd (between Alvarado & Parkview) Los Angeles, CA 90057


New York City

March 8, 2014, 12-5pm

12 Noon Speak Out/Rally at Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Factory Memorial

23-29 Washington Place (Between Greene St. & Washington Square East)

1 PM March to 147 West 24th St. New York, NY

2PM-5PM Celebration and Speak Out with Food and Refreshments


San Francisco

March 8, 2014 (12-3pm)

National Domestic Workers Alliance presents

Dignity in Action: International Women’s Day Celebration

GABRIELA SF Bangon flashmob @ 1pm

Yerba Buena Ally Way @ Minna & 5th Street (beneath SF Chronicle building)

San Francisco, CA


March 19, 2014 (6-9pm)

Commemoration of Flor Contemplacion Day

Migrante Northern California’s Dinner and Film Night

Location TBA



March 8, 2014 11AM

International Women’s Day Brigade

Gather at Prat Park (20th Ave. S & Yesler)

March to Hing Hay Park (Maynard & King St)


Washington, D.C.

March 17th

Justice for Trafficked Teachers Campaign Washington DC Launch

Press Conference to Expose Trafficked Teachers Case Against Recruiter

Location TBA



Filipino Women, Survivors, and Allies to Rise, Release, and Dance to Fight Violence Against Women and Demand Justice


February 12, 2014

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA-USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

Filipino Women, Survivors, and Allies to Rise, Release, and Dance to

Fight Violence Against Women and Demand Justice

On February 14th, 2014 GABRIELA-USA will join One Billion Rising (OBR), a global call for women survivors of violence and those who love them, to gather safely in public spaces to demand justice. We recognize that we cannot end the various forms of violence against women, including gender violence, poverty, racism, war, the plunder of the environment, without addressing that they are rooted in a global imperialist and patriarchal system. GABRIELA-USA, along with partner organizations and individuals, will be rising for justice on V-DAY in cities across the U.S. including Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, Portland and Washington DC, and are calling on all Filipinos and solidarity allies to join in our actions.

 In its second year of participation in OBR, GABRIELA-USA is highlighting survivors of human and labor trafficking, as well as migrant workers. Its newest chapter, launched in Washington D.C. this past October 2013, majority of the 50+ members are survivors of human trafficking. These trafficked teachers were recruited by an agency that promised high-salaried jobs with benefits, housing and transportation. Upon arriving to the U.S., the teachers were regularly threatened with deportation, kept under constant surveillance, control, and manipulation. It is under these slave-like conditions, that these women worked in order to survive.

“The Aquino Administration praises Overseas Filipino Workers as the modern heroes of today, but does not want to be accountable to them when abused, exploited, or taken advantage of abroad,” said Jo Quiambao, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA D.C. “We will educate, organize, and mobilize our women to fight for their rights and demand that this type of violence stops in our community. The GABRIELA chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area is also working closely with teachers recruited by the same agency, and the GABRIELA chapter in New York continues to work with the women of the Florida 15, who have already filed human trafficking cases with the Department of Justice, and still in search for their trafficker, Jojo Villanueva.

 Tina Shauf, National Campaigns Officer, says “The Aquino Administration is actually the biggest human trafficker of Filipinos abroad, with its Labor Export Program. We demand an end to the trafficking and exploitation of our people! We call on the Filipino community and our allies to support all trafficking survivors engaged in legal cases, both in the Philippines and the U.S.”

On February 14th GABRIELA-USA calls on the Philippine government to respond to the issues of trafficking of all Filipino people, and to address the root causes of migration, poverty and underdevelopment in the Philippines. The fight to end violence against women is the fight against an imperialist system that inherently imposes violence on women. Join us in major activities across the country, in a global dance-protest to demand justice for all survivors and victims of human and labor trafficking, and forced migration!




San Francisco, California

February 14th at 4-6pm

Official SF One Billion Rising Event

San Francisco City Hall

GABRIELA flash mob performance at 5pm

Seattle, Washington

February 14 at 6:30pm-7:00pm

Flash mob at Seafood City

Seafood City, Southcenter Mall

2800 Southcenter Mall, Seattle, WA

Washington D.C.

Friday, February 14th  at 12:00pm

One Billion Rising Rally at Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington, DC, US 20543

Rally at Philippine Embassy
Sunday, February 16th at 4:00pm

Isang Bilyong Dance at Cleveland

Park Library, NW DC

Portland, Oregon

February 15 at 12:00pm

One Billion Rising Dance at the Annual Filipino Olympics

Portland State University

1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR

New York

February 14, 8pm-Midnight, Performance @ 8:45pm

V-Day’s Rise NYC Party

Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th St, NYC

RSVP at: http://www.onebillionrising.org/risenyc/

D.C. Teachers Victims of Human Trafficking Scheme


Dec. 18, 2013

Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com
Nicole Cunanan, Vice Chair of Propaganda & Cultural Affairs, GABRIELA Washington, D.C., Nicole@gabrieladc.org

GABRIELA USA Exposes Human Trafficking Scheme at the Nation’s Capital on International Migrants Day

WASHINGTON—On Dec. 18, 2013, International Migrants Day, GABRIELA USA, an alliance of Filipina women’s organizations across the United States, stands with the GABRIELA Washington, D.C. chapter to expose the trafficking of teachers from the Philippines to the U.S.

Since 2003, the Philippine-based labor recruitment agency, Renaissance Staffing Support Center (formerly known as Great Provider Service Exporters, Inc. and World Goal Corporation) represented by its president, Isidro Rodriguez and its U.S. partner Green Life Care International, LLC have been trafficking teachers to the U.S. The agency promised applicants high salaried jobs with benefits in public schools in North Carolina and Washington, D.C. It also promised them housing and transportation. Applicants were required to attend various expensive seminars and pay excessive fees to successfully secure H1B visas. Teachers paid between $18,000 to over $20,000 for the entire process. In many cases, their passports were held until they submitted the entire fee amount and were not returned until their departure for the U.S.

When teachers arrived to the U.S., their promised jobs did not exist, leaving them to fend for themselves.

 Some teachers have even reported that recruitment-agency owner Rodriguez also committed various acts of sexual harassment against female teachers and asked for sexual favors in exchange for papers. If victims voiced concerns or went against the recruiter, they were threatened to be deported or told that their families will be harmed.

“This illegal recruitment and trafficking scheme made us suffer in slave-like conditions and in debt bondage. We sacrificed so much just to try to support our families back home and we are still trying to survive day-to-day,” stated Ma. Fen Ecleo, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA Washington, D.C. and one of the trafficking victims.

 “This situation with the teachers is not an isolated case, and is an example of a larger systemic problem in the Philippines,” says Tina Shauf, Vice Chair of Campaigns of GABRIELA USA. GABRIELA USA demands that the Philippine government ensure that true justice is delivered to the the teachers as they pursue legal cases against Rodriguez and Renaissance Staffing Support Center. Rodriguez should be jailed for the crimes he has committed and the teachers should get full compensation for debts. GABRIELA USA also demands that the teachers get T visas, as human trafficking victims, so they can continue to work and live in the US without fear of deportation. We call on the Filipino community and our allies to support the teachers’ ongoing legal cases in both the Philippines and the U.S.

 “The Philippine government hails the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as “Modern Heroes” and yet in their time of need, the OFWs are treated with apathy,” said Jo Quiambao, Co-Chairperson of GABRIELA DC. “Workers’ remittances to the country keep the economy afloat but the government fails to address the concerns and well-being of distressed OFWs.”

 On the occasion of International Migrants Day, aside from recognizing the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide, GABRIELA USA calls on the Philippine government not only to respond to the problems of migrant workers in the host countries, but to also address the root causes of migration which is poverty and underdevelopment in the Philippines.


GABRIELA USA is a grassroots-based alliance of progressive Filipino women’s organizations in the United States seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipino women and the rest of our people.

While we vigorously campaign on women-specific issues such as women’s rights, gender discrimination, violence against women and women’s health and reproductive rights, GABRIELA USA also addresses national and international economic and political issues that affects Filipino women.
GABRIELA USA is an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, and is a member organization of BAYAN USA and the International Women’s Alliance.