Thursday, June 29, 2006

Justice for Filipino-Canadian killed by Canadian Police

From the Coalition of Concerned Filipino Organizations in Japan. Please sign if you support this initiative:

Mga kapatid,

Humihingi ng tulong ang mga taga Canada for solidarity support sa Filipino-Canadian na pinatay ng police sa Canada and below is the draft statement. The below listed names ay mga confirmed pipol against the political killings of fake president Arroyo that is proposed to be formed as Filipino coalitions in Japan. If you agree on the statement with your names with it just let it be. Otherwise, please let me know so it could not be mentioned.

There is also a proposal for all of us to meet on July 23 sa Maryknol center yotsuya at 3pm para natin pag-usapan ang proposed formation ng Filipino Coalition in Japan to Stop the aid to the fake, repressive, corrupt etc government of Arroyo. Please let us know the confirmation of your attendance.

Hopeful na may isang pinoy lawyer na tutulong sa atin to clear about the human rights conditions in the Philippines and on impeachment case na isinalang ngayon sa kongreso. Will let you know later if we able to confirm the pinoy lawyer availability.

Labs ko kayong lahat.


Message of Solidarity by the Filipino Community in Japan

to the Family of Jeffrey Reodica and the Justice for Jeffrey Coalition

July 30, 2006

The Filipino Community in Japan wishes the family of Jeffrey Reodica and all those involved in the Justice for Jeffrey Coalition in Canada the success in its continuing efforts to let the truth out and let justice prevail. The case of Jeffrey is a very important component of the struggle against police violence and racism in Canada.

We have been monitoring the results of the coroner’s inquest for the past days. As more information is revealed, the results of the original investigation two years ago by the Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.) become really suspect. It is truly mind-boggling to witness how the S.I.U would have exonerated these police officers while many of the witnesses have clearly testified that Jeffrey did not posses any threat to them and that contrary to procedure, these suspect police in plainclothes did not even identify themselves.

After two years of being denied justice, we may have the opportunity to finally let the truth out. In this regard, we are with you in pursuing the Coroner’s Inquest in the hope that it will aid the struggle for justice for Jeffrey and all those who have been victimized by police brutality and systemic racism.

As well, we are enraged by the fact that the Philippine Consulate has not seriously come to the aid of this case since Day One. The inutility of the Philippine government to protect its constituents overseas is definitely an additional injustice. We are one with you in demanding their immediate action to support the campaign or else face the ire not only of the Filipino community in Canada but also here in Japan.

Rest assured that we will continue to keep an eye on the developments of the justice campaign for Jeffrey because we believe that this is not only a case for our compatriots in Canada but is also a telling fact of the conditions of overseas Filipinos and immigrants in other countries, even here in Japan. Racism, state repression, police brutality, exploitation and violation of human rights and workers’ rights are universally experienced in varying forms and degrees by migrants and immigrants of various nationalities.

Your struggle is also our struggle. Let us continue to seek justice wherever we may be!

Signed by leaders of Filipino communities in Japan

Cesar V. Santoyo

Executive Director, Center for Japanese-Filipino Families

Yuko Takei

Chairperson, Philippine Women's League of Japan

Rossana Tapiru

Tokyo Chapter Chairperson, Migrante Sectoral Party

Agalyn Nagase

National Chairperson, Kalipunan ng mga Filipinong Nagkakaisa (KAFIN)

Chiquette Tanisaki

Coordinator, Philippine Center at Maryknoll

Anita Sazaki

President, Christian Association of Traditional Lay Evangelization

Teresita Vida Beltran

Saitama Chapter Chairperson, Kalipunan ng mga Filipinong Nagkakaisa (KAFIN)

Jocelyn Hasumi

Saitama Chapter President, Philippine Women's League

Alison Opaon

Yokohama Chapter President, Kalipunan ng mga Filipinong Nagkakaisa (KAFIN)

Cora Kasuga

Chairperson, Filipina Circle for Advancement and Progress

Virgie Ishihara

Executive Director, Filipino Migrants Center in Nagoya (FMC)

Nestor Puno

Teacher, Ecumenical Learning Center for Children (Nagoya)

Neddie Codog

Missionary, Urawa Catholic Open House International Center

Noemi Oba

President, Philippine Society in Japan

Lori Ligon

Chairperson, Campaign for the Confirmation of Nationality of Japanese-Filipino Children

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Focus on the Process of Smuggling Filipina to Korea

This is an article that appeared in a website of an NGO monitoring the trafficking of Filipino women, et al around the world.

Last year, Japan passed a new Immigration Law that bans Filipinos from coming to Japan as hostesses for bars and clubs in Japan to stop the decades issue of deployment of the so-called "Japayukis" from the Philippines.

In response, the Philippine government delegated two or more Philippine Congressmen to talk with Japanese Immigration officials to grant Filipinos a waiver. They were turned down.

Still 1,000 Filipino women or more were smuggled to Japan even after the new Immigration Law was enforced, while the rest were sent to neighboring Korea, where they are apparently deployed to bars and clubs around US bases mainly.

Meanwhile, my fellow crusaders for the protection of Philippine interests in Japan are making sure that the Arroyo government will not be able to send anymore wannabe Filipino prostitutes to Japan. We keep our banner afloat: STOP THE JAPAYUKI!


Focus on the Process of Smuggling of Filipinas to Korea

Officials from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration report that they estimate Filipinas in the entertainment industry in Korea to be around 1,000, while those prostituted around the U.S. military bases to number 600. The officials attest that the women recruited are very young and indeed, mostly from Central Luzon, specifically the Pinatubo area. They are recruited through friends, and promised a job as entertainer or lured by prospects of marrying American GIs. The women are not asked of a placement fee and some are trained in Binan, Laguna. The POEA listed the names of suspected local recruiters as Leila Villaflor and a certain Boy Banag. They are reportedly in connivance with Mr. An S. H. of the Korean Special Tourist Association. Mr. An is said to be residing in Metro Manila and works with Mr. Kim Kyong-Su, a Provincial Councilor of Kyonky province. Mr. Kim was recently reported in Han Kyo Reh as being investigated by the Yong-San District Police for "importing 1,093 foreign women, from the Philippines and Russia, to work as entertainers near the U.S. military camp." He is being charged together with 2 other accomplices for illegal recruitment and forging of documents. He allegedly regularly receives commission from 234 club owners in the area.

The women are transported to the airports of either Subic or Cebu and flown to Bangkok as tourists since Thailand do not require visas. There, entertainment visas are secured by Mr. An for the women to go to Korea, supported by an invitation letter from Mr. Kim and false employment contracts. Subsequently, they are easily flown to Seoul.

There are also instances when the women go through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, before entering which the women are instructed on what to say in case any immigration officer would question them. In fact, some airport officers watched them closely and facilitated their departure, according to the women. This was confirmed by another official, who stated that immigration officials receive at least $25,000 for every worker from the traffickers.

Upon coming to the clubs, women are made to undress on the third day, and perform sexual acts such as tabletop dancing and blowjob. They are paid $600 but only $300 go to the woman. Still, they are not given the money until after two months. The unbearable exploitation led two women to escape and report their conditions to officials. The Episcopal Commision for Migrants and Itinerant People of the Korean Catholic Bishops Conference reported that seven Filipinas ran to them for problems of contract violation, illegal taxation and prostitution. Not long afterwards, 15 other Filipina entertainers went to the Yong-san District Police to seek for assistance.

Addressing the Issue

Efforts of women's organizations in Korea that are working on the issue of prostitution have focused on Korean women, but recently brought attention to foreign women, including Filipinas. Since information from Filipinas around the bases is difficult to gather, the research that KCWU has started will break grounds towards informing the public on the reality of their sexual exploitation. The research investigates the process of entry of the women, their profile, situation in prostitution, and the harms to the women.

Such research work could be helped by CATW-Asia Pacific by investigating returnees from Korea. CATW has evolved a computer documentation system that records human rights violations to women. This technology could be shared with women's groups directly working with the victims. Such system would capture the details of events of violations, profile of the victims including the impact of the violations to them, the interventions applied, and other details. Findings generated from such documentation would tremendously assist advocacy work on the issue, may it be legal, support or policy advocacy. In terms of support to the women, the strategies for assistance could be sharpened when the harms and impact of the violations are recorded accordingly. Prosecution of the perpetrators, policy proposals and other actions will also be helped by such method of documentation, which could systematize the evidences as well as serve as basis of analyses of patterns in the violations.

CATW, with its network of Philippine women's groups, could drum up an information campaign, based on this case documentation, about the exploitation of Filipinas in Korea. The campaign shall also direct attention to the culpability of the U.S. military bases in the perpetration of the sexual abuse of women, as well as local authorities.
CATW shall take part in the networking efforts of women's groups and support groups for migrant workers in Korea, as well as with Philippine officials to set up a system of referral to assist the Filipinas escaping prostitution. This network will also be vital in the prosecution of the recruiters, establishments' officers and other accomplices in the trafficking of Filipinas, both in Korea, as well as in the Philippines.

In the regional and international levels, CATW will hold an inter-regional dialogue in Russia in March 2000, to discuss the trafficking of E. European women to countries in Asia and to explore legal strategies in combating the problem. Such action is reinforced by our findings that aside from the Filipinas, Russian women account for the most number of foreign women exploited around the U.S. bases in Korea. -Preventive work, including education among women in vulnerable situations and setting up of monitoring mechanisms, are being undertaken by CATW in the Philippines. We shall be happy to exchange with you on other strategies for prevention in both ends.

Man Arrested for Illegal Net Bank

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Man arrested for illegal Net bank

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of operating an Internet banking business without a license, police said Wednesday.

No Kum Sok, 37, a resident of Arakawa Ward, Tokyo, helped three South Korean women send a total of 557,000 yen to South Korea using the Internet in April and May.

No, who runs a shop selling South Korean goods, admitted to the allegation, saying, "I did it by myself because the business does not require anyone to act as a money trafficker."

Police suspect No was involved in about 1,400 illegal transactions worth 520 million yen since last March.
The Japan Times
(C) All rights reserved

This story reminds me of the OFW Bank being conducted likewise via the Internet. I don't recommend it to my Filipino friends working overseas because it is illegal in principle despite the nobility of the intention of those running it.

A friend of mine in fact tried banking with it, but got disillusioned when his wife could not withdraw money from it, and so, he decided he wanted to withdraw his money sleeping in that bank for 2 or 3 years. When he did, the value of the dollar had gone down and the money returned to him was far less than what he paid for remitting the money to the said bank.

In short, he was hoodwinked, with his money getting undervalued and with no interest gained during the time his money was there. He wanted to sue the operators of the said bank but he thought it would be another loss of funds, so he gave up.

Now, Arroyo says she wants the OFW Bank to be a government entity! Patay!

Iraq Pull Out Announced

From the Daily Yomiuri:

Iraq pullout announced / Koizumi cites new govt, regional security transfer as reasons

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Tuesday that Ground Self-Defense Force troops dispatched to Iraq would withdraw from the nation, ending their mission to help reconstruction efforts there that started in January 2004.

The GSDF unit based in the southern Iraqi city of Samawah is to soon start withdrawing from Iraq to Kuwait, a process sources said would be completed by the end of July.

The personnel then will return home in August or later.

At a press conference, Koizumi said the decision on the withdrawal had been made after taking into account such factors as the launch of the new Iraqi government and the planned transfer of security duties from British-led coalition forces to the Iraqi authorities in Muthanna Province, in which Samawah is located.

"After consultations with the United States, as well as Britain and Australia, it has been judged that the GSDF's humanitarian aid and reconstruction activities produced results," he added.

He also issued a statement, saying, "The nation intends to have the results of the aid mission take root [in Iraq] and to establish long-term partnerships with Iraq in various areas."

Regarding Air Self-Defense Force personnel, who are engaged in transport services to Iraq, the statement said their duties would be expanded.

Earlier in the day, Koizumi held a meeting with New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki and told him that ASDF transport services would be expanded to those for U.N. employees. Koizumi also met with Japanese Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii and Social Democratic Party leader Mizuho Fukushima to inform them of the pullout decision.

The Security Council of Japan, a key government national security issues panel, then met to formalize the decision. Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga then issued an order for the GSDF's 10th unit for the Iraqi mission based in Samawah to withdraw.

The Defense Agency is expected to dispatch an additional unit of 100 troops specializing in supply and transport services to help the withdrawal. The 10th unit, divided into three groups, is to gradually move to Kuwait over a period of about 30 to 35 days.

After conducting checks on vehicles as well as arms and ammunition, the personnel will be brought home either by ASDF carriers or on chartered airliners.

The ASDF personnel, who are based in Kuwait and engaged in transporting materials for the U.S.-led coalition occupation forces in Iraq, will continue their operations there.

Complying with a U.N. request, destinations for ASDF transport services, which are currently limited to Basra and Tallil in southern Iraq, will be expanded to include Baghdad and Irbil.
(Jun. 21, 2006)


Personally, I am against the deployment of Japanese Self Defense Forces to Iraq, and Japan's involvement in this crazy war of Bush. Even when this is not in response to public clamor for the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Iraq, at least, they are coming home at last.

Prime Minister Koizumi cannot leave the Japanese troops there hanging upon his departure from office and the next Premier not being as enthusiastic to put Japan in danger by defying the provision of the pacifist Japanese Constitution limiting Japan's defense capability to protection and defense of Japan from attack from the outside that is inevitable with US military build-up in Japan.

The North Korean missile threat is a blessing in disguise as a matter of fact.