September 26, 2007
Reference: Rico Foz, Executive Vice President, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, email: nafconusa @ yahoo.com
JUDGE UNDECIDED, SENTOSA 27 FIGHT NOT OVER
Fil-Am Groups Strengthen Support for Sentosa 27 Amidst Paid-PR Maneuvers of Illegal Recruitment Agency
New York— The 10 criminally-charged Filipino nurses from the Sentosa 27++ campaign withstood paid protestors at a Long Island courthouse this morning for their indictment trial. SentosaCare owner Bent Philipson charged the 10, and their lawyer Felix Vinluan, with patient abandonment and endangerment despite a rebuttal that none of the patients were endangered or harmed. This morning, the Long Island judge came to no decision whether to proceed with the criminal trial or dismiss the charges on lack of evidence.
The 10 were accompanied by strong support from the New York State Nurses Association.
"SentosaCare is pulling out the big guns with its glossy and fake PR machinery to taint our image and distort the truth," states former Sentosa nurse Harriet Avila. "But with all that money, they can pay protesters to hold placards, but they do not have the truth on their side. The truth and facts stand clear, and that cannot be bought or overturned. Sentosa has artificial support."
"We are glad that despite strong and shameless counter-propaganda from the Philipson camp, the judge was able to withstand their glossy PR machinery and not rule in favor of a criminal proceeding. The Filipino-American, labor, and nursing community vows to strengthen our show of support for our victimized nurses," states NAFCON spokesperson Rico Foz.
Foz also appealed to the Suffolk County court to dismiss the false criminal charges, stating that the prolongation of the trial has cost the nurses financial hardship.
"It is no secret that the main reason these nurses are here are to support their families back home, as is the case of all migrant contract workers," Foz added.
NAFCON spearheaded a Justice for the Sentosa 27++ Campaign earlier this year that garnered thousands of support signatures in favor of the nurses. Worldwide endorsers include the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA), the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the American Nurses Association, the Philippine Nurses Association, Migrante International, the Alliance of Health Workers in the Philippines, and the Gabriela Women's PartyList in the Philippines. A campaign website is accessible at www.justiceforsentosa27.blogspot.com . ###
Tuesday, September 25, 2007