October 29, 2007
Reference: Rico Foz, Executive Vice President, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, email: nafconusa @ yahoo.com
SENTOSA, PHILIPSON ARE THE REAL CRIMINALS! DROP THE CHARGES ON THE AVALON 11!
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, a national alliance of Filipino-American organizations spanning 23 cities across the United States, fully supports the 10 criminally-charged nurses and their attorney known as the Avalon 11. In fact, we support all the Sentosa 27 nurses who have been disgustingly victimized by Sentosa Care LLC, its owner Bent Philipson, and its scheme of illegal recruitment from third world countries such as the Philippines to staff its facilities with cheap labor in New York City.
Today, the Avalon 11 are being charged with patient endangerment from the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. But these charges are trumped up and politically-motivated by Sentosa and Philipson in retaliation to the 10 nurses standing up for their rights after working under gravely violated contracts for months.
The 10 have documented proof that they did not abandon their shifts midway. They each finished their shifts completely and made sure there were nurses to take over. This does not constitute patient abandonment or endangerment. In fact, it is SentosaCare and Philipson that are guilty of endangering patients. By understaffing their nursing facilities, coupled with withholding wages from their nurses, patient-to-nurse ratios in Avalon Gardens reached as high as 60:1. Under these dangerous conditions, the child patients of Avalon Gardens are in more peak danger than if the nurses had actually walked out midshift.
Sentosa and Philipson are the real criminals because they are in the business of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and indentured servitude. We demand a full investigation of Sentosa's criminal operations by the State of New York.
Under this context, we support the demand for a Special Prosecutor from Suffolk County to take the case as we believe the strong anti-immigrant sentiment and Sentosa's big political connections make impossible a fair and impartial criminal trial for the Avalon 11.
We salute the bravery of the Avalon 11 and the rest of the Sentosa 27 for standing up against immigrant discrimination, workplace abuse, illegal recruitment, indentured servitude, and Philipson using his political connections to Senator Charles Schumer and then-Philippine Cabinet Secretary Mike Defensor to stall the Sentosa 27 civil charges filed against Sentosa through the Department of Justice in Washington DC and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) in Manila.
The Filipino immigrant community is the 2nd largest immigrant community in US, while the Philippines is the #1 healthcare professional exporting country in the world. Our community will not let up until justice is served.
DROP THE CHARGES IN THE AVALON 11!
JUSTICE FOR THE SENTOSA 27 & ALL MIGRANT CONTRACT WORKERS!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007