April 26, 2007
Reference: Rico Foz, National Alliance for Filipino
Concerns, NAFCON, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children Fly to NY to Take Fely Garcia's Body Home
Community Wake Set for Sunday, April 29th
New York—On Sunday April 29, 2007, Felisa "Fely" Garcia, 58, a Filipina domestic worker found dead in her Bronx home last March 14th will be received by her sons, Garry and Gliff who are flying into New York city to retrieve their mother’s body. After weeks of campaigning for a second investigation, full financial support for the Garcia’s repatriation, the Queens-based community based organization Philippine Forum through their domestic workers support network program, KABALIKAT were able to secure their visas to attend the Garcia’s wake.
From the breaking news of Garcia’s death, Philippine Forum/KABALIKAT have been in contact with the Batangas-based family, consulting Garcia’s children on the steps they wanted to take during the campaign. The presence of Garcia’s family at the funeral service this upcoming Sunday, April 29 was a major priority for the community members, the funds raised from the Justice For Fely campaign covering Garry and Gliff’s airfare from the Philippines to New York.
“We are honored to have Garry and Gliff come to New York City to pay their respects to their mother and bring her home for a proper burial,” states Rico Foz, the Vice Chair of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, an alliance that has connected Garcia’s family with legal counsel, Atty. Arnedo Valera.
After a townhall meeting with community members, Atty. Leandro Lachica, Vice Consul, and Philippine Forum/KABALIKAT, demands for full financial support for complete repatriation and a re-investigation with alternative angles, a second round of autopsy still remain.
Although the Philippine Consulate has offered $4900 in repatriation fees through the work and pressure from the community, Philippine Forum/KABALIKAT found that this amount will only cover her trip back to Manila. These concession from the Philippine Consulate is inadequate and inappropriate for the treatment of a migrant worker, a “national hero” as the Department of Foreign Affairs ironically refers to thousands of Filipinos aborad .
The overwhelming demand in the community maintains that coverage should include proper burial costs in addition to the complete repatriation of Garcia to her family’s home. The Consulate’s inconsideration for Garcia’s travel home only adds insult to the injuries afflicted by the clandestine conduct of the Philippine government during this hard time.
Members of Garcia's family in the Philippines continue to doubt the New York Police Department’s conclusion that Garcia committed suicide. The family’s concerns are echoed by the voices in the community insisting on a thorough investigation of all parties involved with Garcia’s death.
“Despite the consulate's inconsideration for the family’s loss, failing to contact the family until 2 weeks after Garcia’s death, and lack of commitment to shoulder her transportation to her hometown, we will unite as a community and continue to fight for the justice she did not meet in her lifetime,” Foz added.
Garcia's viewing will be on Sunday, April 29, 2007 from 4 - 8pm at Greenwich Village Funeral Home (199 Bleecker Street between 6th Ave and McDougal, 212-674-8055). Take A, C, E, F, V to West 4th St Walk South on 6th Ave, left on Bleecker or on bus take M4 to West 4th St.
Philippine Forum/KABALIKAT has also been raising community funds to help alleviate the family's financial burden. To make a donation to the Justice for Fely Campaign, make checks to Philippine Forum, write Justice for Fely on the memo, and mail to Philippine Forum at 54-05 Seabury Street, Elmhurst, New York 11373.
To sign the Justice for Fely Garcia online petition, visit http://www.petitiononline.com
For more information on the Justice for Fely Campaign, contact the Philippine Forum/KABALIKAT via NAFCON by emailing email@example.com. ###
Wednesday, April 25, 2007