The largest alliance of Filipino migrants' organization slammed the latest decision of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) ruling in favor of the Sentosa Recruitment Agency (SRA) and dismissing the charges of the 31 health workers who accused Sentosa of contract substitution.
"The latest decision of the NLRC comes as a no surprise, as it only further proves what has been clear to us since the start of this case: that the Philippine government's consistency in defending a labor/migrants' rights violator rather than protecting the rights and welfare of migrant workers," declared Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.
In 2006, 26 nurses and 1 physical therapist, known as the Sentosa 27++, quit their jobs in various nursing care facilities in protest of the various contract violations Sentosa has committed against them. They filed illegal recruitment charges and other labor complaints against Sentosa in the Philippines and a class action suit in New York against their employer, Sentosa Care Group, for breach of contract. In retaliation, Sentosa filed administrative and criminal charges such as patient endangerment against the healthworkers. US courts ruled in favor of the nurses. Meanwhile, with the NLRC decision, all the cases filed against SRA in the Philippines at the DOJ, at the POEA and at the DOLE have been decided in favor of SRA.
"It was clear the nurses will not get any justice from this government when no less than former POEA Administrator Rosalinda Baldoz told the families of the nurses that the POEA 'could not sacrifice the thousands of jobs in the pipeline'," disclosed Martinez. "The bias for SRA was patently clear, even from the start."
"Nakakapanlumo na sa sarili nating bayan ay walang makamit na katarungan ang mga nabiktima ng SRA," continued Martinez. "Mga dayuhan pa ang nagbigay depensa sa sarili nating mga kababayan laban sa pagsasamantala sa kanila ng Sentosa. Mukhang ang hangganan ng kagarapalan ng gobiyernong ito ay walang katapusan!"
Martinez also related the NLRC decision to the plight of workers in the Philippines who will not get any pay wage hikes on this year's commemoration of Labor Day.
"For us –this is GMA's legacy—paparaming nabibiktima na OFWs na di nakakakuha ng katarungan, paparaming mga kababayan na kumakapit sa patalim sa ibang bansa dahil hindi na makaya ang napakatinding kahirapan sa ating bayan."###