November 12, 2014
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA,

On November 12, 2013, Isidro Rodriguez, chief recruiter for Renaissance Staffing Support Center formerly Great Provider Service Exporters Inc. and World Goal Corp, Inc., was arrested on charges of illegal recruitment and violating the protection of migrant workers and their families. Today we mark the first anniversary of this trafficker’s arrest. According to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), only 146 cases of human trafficking have been investigated since 2010, which is far from the average 1500 cases received by Migrante International. Resolution of these cases is next to zero, as perpetrators and recruitment agencies are back in business again with no genuine consequences.

The trafficked teachers have filed charges of violations of RA 9208, the Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2003, but was turned down by the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) as the prosecutor concluded that there was no probable cause on grounds for human trafficking. Members of Gurong Umuusig kay Rodriguez (GURO), teachers victimized by Isidro on illegal recruitment practices, GABRIELA and Migrante International will lead a protest action in front of the Philippine DOJ to call for Isidro’s search and re-arrest and deliver a motion to re-consider the case on grounds of human trafficking, given there are at least over 300 Filipino teachers who have been trafficked to the U.S. by Rodriguez.

This calls for a directional change to expedite for a resolution of the trafficking cases and highlight the problem itself with “Teach Them A Lesson: Justice for Trafficked Teachers” campaign, a year-long campaign launched in the Philippines on November 12. The campaign is led by Migrante International together with GABRIELA and GURO which represents over 200 teachers and their families who were victimized by Rodriguez.

GABRIELA USA will officially launch the campaign on December 12 in honor of International Day Against Trafficking in the Philippines and the U.S. Aside from the quick resolution of these trafficking cases, the campaign aims to make the perpetrators, like Isidro Rodriguez, accountable and expose the Philippine government’s lack of support to the victims of human trafficking. There are reports of immigration and police officers who are coddlers of trafficking syndicates but, so far, no public or government officials in any level have been prosecuted.

We will not let the DOJ resolution deter us from calling for a full investigation on the trafficked teacher’s case. It is clear that all legal avenues to seek justice for the teachers are leading us nowhere. We must continue to expose the rottenness of the system that continues to exploit our people and teach President Aquino a lesson in human trafficking as the #1 trafficker of the Filipino people as he continues to ignore the plight of the people both within and outside the Philippines.