Trafficked Teachers, GABRIELA USA, Migrante and NAFCON Demand Answers from Ambassador Cuisia Regarding Recent Release of Isidro Rodriguez

Published by People Power Media on May 20, 2014

Representatives from Migrante, Gabriela-USA and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) met with the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. on 16 May 2014 regarding the case of Isidro Rodriguez who is responsible for over 200 counts of human trafficking.

Published by Balitang America on May 19, 2014

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.

Trafficking Survivors and Supporters Hold Summit on Human Trafficking and Demands for the Prosecution of Isidro Rodriguez


May 13, 2014


Irma Bajar, Vice-Chair of International Relations, GABRIELA USA,

Jo Quiambao, Co-Chair, GABRIELA Washington DC,

Queens, New York – On Saturday, May 10, 2014 over 100 people gathered together for the Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern Day Slavery organized by St. James Episcopal Church and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), with GABRIELA USA and ten other organizations co-sponsoring the summit. Participants included survivors of human trafficking, community and service organizations, church groups, and notable public figures such as former Philippine Miss Saigon and current Global Director for the One Billion Rising Campaign Monique Wilson, Reverend Ray Bonoan of Holy Spirit Church in Florida, DJ Arucan of Gabriela Women’s Partylist of the Philippines, and Public Advocate Letitia James.  The summit focused on Asia America, highlighting the experiences of trafficked survivors from home countries in the Asia-Pacific region who had been trafficked to cities in the United States.

The keynote speaker, Reverend Ray Bonoan of Holy Spirit Church in Safety Harbor, Florida shared examples of sex trafficking from Florida and discussed the rescue missions provided by the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, an international and domestic agency committed to raising awareness of the issue and rescuing survivors of human trafficking.

The highlight of the afternoon was a powerful panel of trafficked survivors who shared their life experiences in being a victim of human trafficking and how grassroots organizations like the Philippine Forum, GABRIELA DC, and NAFCON have helped them seek justice and struggle for their human rights. “All I want is for our recruiter to go back to jail and be prosecuted. The summit is just the beginning of more campaign work until both the Philippine government and U.S. government act as soon as possible and justice is served,” stated Janet Gardose, survivor and campaigns chairperson for GABRIELA DC.

Just days before the summit took place, an illegal recruiter and human trafficker named Isidro Rodriguez was released from prison in the Philippines. Isidro is the perpetrator who trafficked over 200 Filipino teachers to the U.S., many of whom are based in Washington DC and make up the membership of the GABRIELA chapter there. “For us, we are asking for support for the case of trafficked teachers who were victims of Isidro Rodriguez. It’s important that we continue to be united in order to continue our fight for justice and hold President BS Aquino accountable for continuing to exploit the Filipino people,” expressed Ma Filipina Ecleo, survivor and co-chairperson of GABRIELA DC.

​Summit attendees hold WANTED signs demanding to Prosecute Isidro Rodriguez for Human Trafficking! 


Obama’s TPPA: The Profit Over People Agreement

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2014

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA,

Obama’s TPPA: The Profit Over People Agreement

Filipino Women Resist the TPPA on May Day

Today, Filipino migrant and working women will flood the streets with their families for May 1st International Workers’ Day, to voice their disgust and condemnation for the deplorable state of the lives of poor and working class families in the U.S. Joining the ranks of other migrant and marginalized communities, members of GABRIELA USA have had enough with Obama’s blatant disregard for the needs of hard working families, and his obvious role in lining the pockets of big global corporations.

President Barack Obama recently returned from his tour around the Asia-Pacific to promote the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), a “free trade” agreement promising economic growth and development, and the creation of jobs. In reality, the TPPA would give one hundred percent ownership of land and businesses in countries like the Philippines, South Korea, China, Indonesia, and Latin America to the corporate “partners” behind the agreement. President Noynoy Aquino rolled out the red carpet and bent over backwards to welcome Obama to the Philippines during the TPPA tour, a predictable move for a puppet serving his master.

On April 28th, before President Obama’s arrival in the Philippines, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), circumventing the ban on foreign military bases and troops by the Philippine constitution, and allows the U.S. to increase presence of its troops and military bases in the Philippines. As the Aquino administration relinquishes ALL rights to Philippine land over to the U.S., chronic poverty and widespread unemployment will only increase and will continue to plague the Filipino people, forcing them to desperately find livelihood by migrating out of the country. Many fall victim to fraud, exploitation, and abuse, and an overwhelming number of them are women.

In the U.S., the TPPA negotiations were largely kept from the general public, although the rights of working class and migrant communities would be heavily impacted. With trade relations largely shifting in the Asia Pacific, criminalization of poor and immigrant communities continue to increase in the U.S., as ICE raids run rampant and the use of immigration detention centers increases. Migrants are denied basic labor rights and access to social services while forced to work long hours in exploitative conditions for low wages.

Speaking on behalf of the organization’s sixty members, most of whom are survivors of human trafficking, Jo Quiambao of GABRIELA Washington D.C. states “When presidents prioritize the interests of corporations over the human rights of their citizens, there is no bright future for any of us unless we fight for it! This is the reason why we must build solidarity across countries and communities with other workers and marginalized people!”

The TPPA and EDCA are a betrayal to people of the U.S., the Philippines and Asia Pacific. This May first, Filipino women will expose these presidents for what they truly are: enemies of the working class.

We are Women Workers, We are Not Slaves!

Justice for Filipino Trafficked Teachers!

Stop State Violence Against Immigrants!

Stop the Deportations! Legalization Now!

No to Obama’s TPPA = The Profit over People Agreement!  

US Troops out of the Philippines and Asia NOW! Junk EDCA!


GABRIELA USA May Day Mobilizations Throughout the U.S.

Los Angeles, CA

Southern California Immigration Coalition (SCIC)

BAYAN USA Mobilization @ 4pm

Meeting point: Broadway & Olympic

End point: Federal Building

New York, NY

May 1st Coalition Action

Rally in Union Square @ 12pm

Meet @ Southeast Corner of the Park

5:30pm March

Oakland, CA

Oakland Sin Fronteras Coalition

Fruitvale Plaza @ 3:30pm

International Blvd (at 35th Ave)

Oakland, CA

Seattle, WA

May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights

Meet at 20th Ave S. and Jackson St. in front of the old Hidmo @ 2:30PM