Category Archives: Uncategorized

GABRIELA Seattle Stand in Solidarity with #Not1More Hunger Strikers Demanding an End to the Deportations and Detentions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2013

Reference: Jill Mangaliman, GABRIELA Seattle, pinayinfo@gmail.com

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GABRIELA Seattle stands with the 1,200 detainees taking part in the hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center, and urge the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Corporation to release those being held in solitary confinement, as well as stop any forms of retaliation, such as verbal abuse and force-feeding.

On April 5th, GABRIELA Seattle members joined hundreds of supporters in the rain at the protest outside the Northwest Detention Center organized by the #Not1More campaign. Stories were shared by relatives of those detained and those who were formerly detained.  People also wrote letters to those participating in the hunger strike since March 6th, due to exploitative and inhumane conditions within the detention center. Since the S-Comm program began, more than 2,500 Washington state residents have been deported and separated from their families. Under Obama’s administration, 2 million people have been deported, more than any other U.S. presidency.

“People not having papers or trying to better their lives and their families lives are not the problem, it’s this unjust, corrupt system,” said Jill Mangaliman of GABRIELA Seattle, “We demand that ICE and GEO corporation stop profiting from people’s lives. We demand that Obama stop all deportations and close the detention centers.”

Members of GABRIELA Washington DC are also experiencing vulnerable immigration situations due to being trafficked to the United States by Isidro Rodriguez, a recruitment agency owner and recruiter. In mid- March, one of the trafficked teachers, Ethelwolda Paat, was picked up by ICE and taken to Montana for questioning and is now pending a court hearing.

Meanwhile, GABRIELA Seattle members were able to meet with Paat in Spokane: “Isidro Rodriguez promised me a lucrative job in the public schools with a pay of $27 per hour in 2009, only to find out upon my arrival that (it) was an unbelievable fraud. I landed working in daycare centers as a nanny, a babysitter, and a caregiver. Until this date I am suffering from Isidro’s manipulation, deception and injustice.”

Sign the petition on behalf of #Not1More Hunger Strikers and latest releases available at: www.notonemoredeportation.com/2014/03/10/detention-hunger-strike/

 

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GABRIELA USA Condemns the Illegal Arrest of NDFP Consultants Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 25, 2014

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

GABRIELA USA, a Filipino women’s alliance that consists of member organizations in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles condemns in the strongest terms the illegal arrest of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria by the Aquino regime’s security forces.

Tiamzon and Austria were investigating the conditions of the people in the Visayas region hit by super typhoon Yolanda. Both were arrested on trumped up charges while serving in the communities that are still struggling in rehabilitation. The people continue to suffer from President  Benigno Aquino III regime’s anti-people, corrupt and grossly inefficient response to the calamity. “Wilma Austria has advocated for the rights of women, unlike Noy Noy Aquino who has done nothing to alleviate the suffering of women due to his ineptitude. His administration has collaborated with US Imperialism to enrich itself at the expense and oppression of its own people,”  says Irma Bajar, Vice Chair of International Relations of GABRIELA USA.

Tiamzon and Austria are National Democratice Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Consultants who have fulfilled and are fulfilling highly significant tasks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.  Both are holders of the NDFP Document of Identification under Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which protects them from surveillance, harassment and arrest. “The arrests in Cebu on March 22nd of the peace consultants clearly violate the JASIG, signed by the government and the NDFP and threatens the ability of the peace talks to move forward. This shows that Aquino is not genuine in his efforts to uphold JASIG and a true peace process,” says Valerie Francisco, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

The arrest of the NDFP consultants is illegal and clearly violates the rights of Tiamzon and Austria. GABRIELA USA strongly demands that Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria be immediately released and unconditionally.

Release Wilma Austria And Benito Tiamzon!

Resume the peace talks with the NDFP Now!

Free all Political Prisoners Now!

Long Live The People’s Struggle!

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Filipino Trafficked Teachers and Supporters Rallied for Justice on Death Anniversary of Flor Contemplacion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 19, 2014

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

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“STOP! STOP TRAFFICKING OUR PEOPLE!” echoed across the United States last Monday, on the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino domestic worker who was unjustly executed in Singapore. GABRIELA USA led actions that launched a national campaign to demand Justice for Filipino Trafficked Teachers. Rally contingents in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York City chanted and spoke out in front of the Philippine Embassies and Consulates. Teachers courageously shared with consulate representatives their traumatic experiences as victims of human trafficking.

Since 2003, an estimated 300 teachers have been illegally recruited and trafficked to the U.S. by Philippines-based recruitment agency owner Isidro Rodriguez. They experienced fraud and abuse in the hands of Rodriguez, and were often abandoned and left to survive on their own, jobless and without proper documentation. Case complaints have been reported to Philippine Embassy officials in the past as well as to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). Even after several cases of human trafficking brought to the attention of the Philippine Consulate over the course of several years, including cases like the Grand Isle Shipyard oil rig workers, Sentosa nurses, the Florida 15 and now Filipino teachers, the response of the Philippine government to the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) has consistently been inadequate and unsatisfactory.

The Labor Export Policy and unequal U.S.-imperialist trade policies put people into extreme poverty and force them to separate from their families and migrate instead of investing in the genuine development of the country. “There will be more Isidro Rodriguezes out there unless we address the corrupt practices of the Philippine government, which work hand-in-hand with recruiters and loan sharks to take advantage of people’s desperation,” says Tina Shauf, Campaigns Officer of GABRIELA USA. Addressing the human trafficking issue is not just about prosecuting unscrupulous recruiters, but also holding accountable government institutions that enable for this practice to happen all too often. “On the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, we publicly condemned President Noynoy Aquino’s administration’s neglect and lack of responsibility to its people, and we demand a STOP to this abuse and exploitation!” concludes Shauf.

#Justice4FilipinoTeachers

#gabrielausa

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