News and Blogs

FALDEF Offers Legal Assistance to Filipinos exploited by 7-Eleven

Submitted by on Thu, 20.06.2013 - 06:16

 

As reported in the Inquirer, GlobalNation, Several 7-Eleven convenience stores in Long Island, New York and Virginia are under investigation for allegedly exploiting Filipino immigrants under a scheme similar to that of a "modern-day plantation system" where their wages are withheld and their employment concealed under stolen identities.

 

In line with FALDEF's mission to provide pro bono  legal services to Filipinos who are victims of legal injustice and, in conjunction with your office's mandate to help "disadvantaged" Filipinos,  FALDEF would like to offer its legal services to any and all Filipinos - as well as to Non-Filipinos-   who have been or are currently employed by any of these 7-Eleven establishments located in the states of New York and Virginia.

 

FALDEF is most willing to work  with both the New York Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Embassy in rendering legal assistance to all Filipino 7-Eleven  victims  (former or current employees) in both the states of New York and Virginia.

 

If you know anyone who's a victim of this labor trafficking, please contact FALDEF President, Atty. JT Mallonga at (646) 399-6463 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defend.Serve.Educate May 2013 Newsletter

Submitted by on Tue, 07.05.2013 - 01:06

 

May 2013

 

Dear Mga Kababayan and Kaibigan (Fellowmen and Friends),

 

Many thanks for your support during our first charity reception dinner, A Night of Hope. The night was a success for all who were present, and most especially for the community we serve. We could not have done this without your help. The powerful documentary, Tayo Ay May Mga Karapatan (We have rights), is now featured on our website www.faldef.org. Following the dinner, we have continued to work with virtuous community leaders and organizations to continue the important mission of empowering the Filipino-American community. With that, we are pleased to present to you the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s first newsletter. We sincerely hope you take the time to read about all the work your generous support helped to make possible.

 

Sincerely,

 

FALDEF

 

FALDEF in review: a message from Pres. J.T. Mallonga

Submitted by on Sat, 22.12.2012 - 14:20

FALDEF 2012 in Review

December 2012

 

Dear Friends:

 

Former Philippine Senator and activist the late Benigno ‘Ninoy’ S. Aquino Jr., while imprisoned, wrote this powerful statement, “In this age of darkness, there are two ways of spreading light. You may either be a candle, or the mirror that reflects its light.”

 

We are choosing to be both.

 

This has been a banner year for FALDEF. A few weeks ago we were able to successfully close a deportation case for Texas DREAMer, John Quidilla. He was picked up by ICE on his way to classes and detained just a few months shy of his college graduation. His mother found FALDEF by chance and contacted us immediately. We are proud to say that we made every effort to help this young man whose “American Dream” was to graduate from college and support his family-a dream that has successfully been fulfilled.

 

When we founded FALDEF, three years ago, we provided timely access to pro-bono legal services to the immigrant sector. We sought to empower them so that they could achieve their full potential as productive contributors to their families and communities. Bound by a common desire to help one of the currently most vulnerable groups in our society, volunteers from both legal and non-legal professions have devoted their time and efforts to extend relevant assistance where they are most needed.

 

Last month, we were able to obtain an approval for permanent residency, under the Violence Against Women Act, for Carina Barsotti. She is now able to fight for custody of her child without the threat of being deported. This is just one of the many cases we have successfully taken on this past year.

 

In August, immediately following the release of the Deferred Action for early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) form, we created a joint initiative with all the Philippine Consulates in the United States called PATH for Dreams. We hosted our first event at the Philippine Consulate here in New York, which was open to ALL eligible applicants. Since then we have successfully held 6 events (including one at Temple University and one with the NYIC) and there are more being planned in the next few months. In addition, we held educational training programs and workshops concerning DACA.

 

During this past election, we partnered with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) in poll monitoring for voter protection rights. The importance of educating immigrants about their civic rights and duties is one of our fundamental beliefs.

 

Though we have been successful, we are painfully aware that the fight is far from over. We know there are many more immigrants who are suffering injustices all over this country. We know we can make a real difference.

 

“It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” -Robert F. Kennedy

 

Since the birth of FALDEF, we have always set out to DEFEND, SERVE, and EDUCATE. It was primarily established because we personally experienced and saw the unique and urgent need for creating an organization such as ours to serve the community. Our decision and insight to take this upon ourselves was guided and motivated by none other than late John Payton, former President of the NAACP-LDF- a legend in his own right.

 

We are made up of dedicated volunteers from attorneys to financial experts-amongst others. We are a diverse group. We come from all walks of life but we are bound by our passion, strong belief and dedication in giving a voice and empowering the most vulnerable members of our community. It is what keeps us going. As our aforementioned successes come to fruition, it has meant a greater need for our services has been growing.  Certainly we are excited and committed to making every effort to maintain and further expand our services to all those who reach out to us. This, dear friends, is where we need your help.

 

A donation from you will help us not only continue our services but to expand them to more pressing needs.

 

It is a known fact that Human Trafficking is fast becoming one of the largest criminal industries in the world. Over 11 million Filipinos work overseas (an estimated 10 percent of the country’s population). By population, the Philippines exports more overseas foreign workers than any other country. Sadly in 2011, the United States in Persons Report on the Philippines indicated that the country is a prime source for men, women, and children who are subjected to human trafficking. Many fall victim to forced labor in harsh working conditions. Their desperation, poverty and ignorance of their rights and privileges make them all nothing less than slaves of the 21st century. It is no surprise that a significant number of women and children continue to face being raped and physically abused in numbers too shocking and difficult to comprehend. 

 

"There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves." - Jose Rizal, National Hero of the Philippines

 

FALDEF has every intention, and has in fact begun making efforts, of doing all that we are capable of to fight this tyranny and address this long overdue issue. First and foremost, we must educate the people so we can ensure that they do not fall victim to these heinous crimes. We can do that with your help.

 

At the start of the New Year we will release our three year strategic plan. Our goals include:

 

        Creating a safe and capable environment for all Filipino Immigrants, and other immigrants, who suffer injustices due to their origin and status and are unable to afford legal representation.

        Opening up our offices on a daily basis by hiring and offering a modest salary to a staff that is dedicated to our mission.

        Partnering with other non-profit organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.

        Sending representatives to our clients nationally and internationally.

        Holding “know your rights” educational programs and forums (via Public Service Announcements and also videos to be posted on-line for all to have access to).

 

We have the attention and the support of the community, of long-standing organizations, and of civic leaders. This ranges anywhere from the Philippine Consulates in the United States to Senators and also to DREAMers like  Jose Antonio Vargas.

 

We have the dedication of our volunteers and our team.

 

We have our mission, our vision and our goals.

 

We have YOU. And you have the opportunity to be a part of our successes and, most    importantly, to help us forge the fight against one of the most marginalized members of the world, overseas foreign workers who live far from loved ones, toiling tirelessly and without voices. We need to keep our momentum going. Now would be a great opportunity for you to get involved in assisting us with our dreams, so that we can continue to help people like John Quidilla. We can be instrumental in creating a world where people like the Gulfins and the Tonogs can find hope when injustices arise.

 

Please support us in this valiant and worthwhile effort. We invite you to join us in making this happen and know you will find it fulfilling as you see the results of your contribution to our cause. Help us be both the candle that lights the way and the mirror that reflects that light for those to follow. DONATE.

 

                                                                                                Sincerely,

 JTS Mallonga, Esq - President