The Filipino American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (FALDEF) was formally organized on October 15, 2009 in New York as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. However, long before their formal organization, the men and women of FALDEF have commenced their task of helping the migrant community to promote their rights and secure full access to justice.

Sometime in 2008, lawyers of various backgrounds initially and informally bonded together in providing immediate legal reliefs to Filipino nationals in distress.  This common desire soon found its strength in the hearts of other volunteers who came from other professional and non-professional fields. They were further blessed with guidance and inspiration from the leaders of other civil rights groups based in New York.

(November 18, 2008. FALDEF founding officers with NAACP-LDF President, John Payton)

 

As an offshoot of linking up with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-Legal Defense Fund (NAACP-LDF) while addressing the concerns of a number of aggrieved Filipino migrant workers in New York, this group of Filipino and Filipino-American lawyers, community leaders and volunteers formed a core group to formally organize the first community-based legal defense and educational fund in the Northeast Region which eventually became FALDEF. The group aims to provide immediate legal assistance to Filipinos, Filipino-Americans and foreign nationals working or living abroad whose cases will have a significant impact to the welfare and interests of the migrant community in the United States, particularly in areas of employment, family, immigration and human trafficking laws.

 In 2009, FALDEF was officially registered with the following founding members:

      Robert “Bob” Rivas, Esq.

     Jose Teodoro “JT” Mallonga, Esq.

     Leandro “Lindy” B. Lachica, Esq.

     Emerito “Merit” Salud, Esq.

     Mr. Lito D. Pernia

     Ms. Nimfa Du-Tinana 

     Mr. Roger Alama, P.E.

     Dr. Angie Cruz

    Mr. Jose L. Ramos Jr.

    Mr. Buddy Deauna

    Ms. Nena Kaufmann

    Steven Siegel, Esq. (General Counsel)

 

 

The original FALDEF logo