Wednesday, October 24, 2007


News Release
October 24, 2007

Reference: Rico Foz, Executive Vice President, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), email:


New York-- A community townhall meeting in Elmhurst is set for this Sunday, October 28 at 2pm one day before the criminal hearing of 10 out of the 27 nurses now known as the Sentosa 27 will take place in Suffolk County on Monday. The public meeting is being convened by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns or NAFCON, an alliance of Filipino-American organizations spanning over 23 cities in the United States.

The meeting will stress the nurses situation, deliver campaign updates and call for the need to gather more community support for the nurses, even making transportation arrangements for those who want to travel to the Suffolk County Court the following day to support those criminally-charged.

The Avalon 10, who resigned from the Sentosa-owned Avalon Gardens last year, face retaliatory charges of patient endangerment filed by SentosaCare LLC CEO Bent Philipson. Philipson also pressed charges against the nurses' lawyer, Felix Vinluan, who was approached by the nurses for advise since they had realized Sentosa had not made good on any of its work contracts with them, duping them into coming to the US to work as contract rather than staff nurses for various facilities.

The nurses also endured extreme lengths of time without pay, abuses in the workplace, and a steep patient-nurse ratio reached at high as 60:1.

"This facility charges them with patient endangerment, but it is really the inhumane patient to nurse ratios that endanger the patients," states NAFCON spokesperson Rico Foz.

The Avalon 10 maintain they fully finished their shifts before resigning, and made sure their were other nurses to take over their patients.

A motion to dismiss the criminal charges on insufficient evidence was earlier denied by the Suffolk County Court and the criminal hearing will proceed. Meanwhile NAFCON and the nurses have met with City Councilpeople such as John Liu and will continue to request for a special prosecutor, having little faith they will receive a fair and objective trial with strong anti-immigrant sentiment in Long Island.

Philipson, who is also a political contributor to Charles Schumer, is believed to have used his political connections with big politicians to reverse the previous suspension put on his company's recruitment license in the Philippines by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and stall civil charges for discrimination filed by the Sentosa 27 with the US Department of Justice in Washington DC.

NAFCON's campaign for the Sentosa 27 can be accessed online at and an online petition can be viewed at

The Sunday townhall will be held at the Philippine Forum office in Elmhurst, 54-05 Seabury Street. Take V/G/R trains to Grand Ave Newtown, exit on the front end of the platform, when you exit on the street turn left on 54th Street until you hit Seabury Street. The office is located on the back street end of the First Presbyterian Church. The townhall is open to the public. For more information call the Philippine Forum at 718-565-8862. ###