Initial victory for Filipino trafficked teachers! Recruiter Rodriguez found guilty of large-scale illegal recruitment, syndicated estafa

wanted isidroGlobal alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International welcomes the resolution of the Department of Justice (DOJ) finding trafficker Isidro Rodriguez guilty of large-scale illegal recruitment and syndicated estafa.

The resolution, dated April 30, 2015, was in response to the consolidated complaint filed by Batch 6 of at least 300 Filipino teachers victimized by Rodriguez.

Rodriguez duped some 500 Filipino teachers here and in the United States through his agency, Renaissance Staffing and Support, Inc., formerly Great Provider Service Exporters, Inc., with its US partner Green Life Care International, LLC. The PH Embassy in the US said that Rodriguez tops its list of most notorious illegal recruiters and traffickers.

Rodriguez’ victims are all licensed and professional teachers. They were all promised teaching positions in different schools in the US, only later to learn that the said jobs were fictitious and all part of a grand trafficking scheme.

Rodriguez was able to collect a staggering average of Php500,000 from each of them as payments for their “processing, service, pick-up, housing and interview fees”. Most of the payments came from their hard-earned savings, while majority of them resorted to borrowing money from relatives and friends, banks and loan institutions with high interest rates.

Last November, a Manila regional trial court sentenced Rodriguez to 11 years in prison for victimizing a Filipina teacher. The victims bewailed the decision because Rodriguez was convicted for just one crime when he has numerous other pending cases of large-scale and syndicated illegal recruitment and estafa lodged against him. Three batches of teachers have also filed cases of trafficking-in-persons against him at the DOJ.

Since then, Rodriguez has been at large and had since been sighted by witnesses in Spain. He has reportedly continued to victimize Filipino whilst in Madrid. He has two existing warrants of arrest against him for illegal recruitment and estafa. He also has pending complaints against him in US courts by his US-based victims.

“This is an initial victory for our trafficked teachers. Tuloy-tuloy ang tagumpay ng sama-samang pagkilos at paglaban! We await and continue to demand positive resolutions on the motion for reconsideration we filed on their trafficking cases,” said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

In November 2014, the trafficking in persons filed by the first batch of teachers against him was dismissed and referred to illegal recruitment courts, while batches upon batches of large-scale illegal recruitment and syndicated estafa cases against him remain unresolved to this day. They have consequently filed a motion for reconsideration for the TIP case and a motion for speedy trial for the IR cases, decisions for which the teachers await up to this day.

“We call on the DOJ and concerned government agencies to take urgent action. We will continue to be vigilant until justice for all victims is served. Arrest Isidro Rodriguez now!” ###