Gov. Espino assures ‘Extensive Damage Control’
to maligned integrity of ESL teachers
Lingayen – Kame Hachi Corporation, an English Tutorial Center, here, had its re-opening on October 3 -- six months after it was temporarily closed due to ongoing investigation by the DOJ on alleged human trafficking and cybercrime activities happening in the area.
Justice is now served by the DOJ, proving the innocence of the English as Secondary Language (ESL) teachers, whom police officers of Crime Inspection and Detection Group (CIDG) portrayed as sex workers when they raided the tutorial center last March 17, this year.
“Truth is now served, but damage was done,” Provincial Employment Services Office (PESO) Chief Alex Ferrer said during a press conference held after the re-opening rites of the tutorial center that is located at Avenida West, Poblacion, here.
Ferrer, who noted the good partnership between the provincial government and the tutorial center since it was opened in 2011, said Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. assured of ‘extensive damage control’ of the incidence that maligned the legitimacy of the tutorial business.
The day after the raid, at least 30 of the total 130 teachers (as of March this year) of the tutorial school asked legal assistance from Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued; the PESO had also exhausted all means to help the tutorial center.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines - Pangasinan Chapter had also helped the ESL teachers in filing a suit against the CIDG to clarify their integrity.
The tutorial center with 73 online tutors at present provides quality online ESL instruction to clients from Japan, Korea, Australia, Brazil, China, Vietnam, Peru and Spain.
“Hindi lang trabaho ang naibibigay ng tutorial center para sa empleyado nito. Nahihiyakat din ng mga tutors na bumisita sa probinsya ang kanilang mga kliyente,” PESO Chief Ferrer said.
The Kami Hatchi Corporation led by Erlinda P. Tandoc, President; and stockholders Takayuki Umeda, Josephine Tandoc, Leonora Ceralde and Rafael Tandoc asked authorities and members of the media to help them tutorial center regain its integrity as a legitimate business.
Atty. Nolan Evangelista, who handled the case, said the DOH found no strong evidence to any alleged human trafficking or cybersex activities in the tutorial school.
Meanwhile, Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil asked law enforcement agencies to verify reports first before conducting raid, as he pointed out that “validation and coordination process between the CIDG and the PNP must be done to avoid cases like this.”
“Hindi na dapat maulit ang nangyaring ito na naka-apekto lalo sa mga ESL teachers at kanilang mga pamilya,” Cong. Bataoil said.
Bataoil noted that he is also coordinating with the CIDG to recover units of computer they confiscated during the raid and declared defective.
Desktop and laptop computers, digital cameras, cellular phones and other documents and tools used in the tutorial center were also confiscated by the CIDG.
“We will look at what happened in the past as a positive experience to renew our confidence in teaching,” Mary Joce Palisoc, an ESL teacher, said.
“The traumatic experience may have become a stigma as we fear of what people may think and say, but we know we are doing the right thing in teaching,” she added.