PJS Law successfully defends Filipina victim of human trafficking

August 15, 2013

PJS Law has successfully defended, on a pro-bono basis, a Filipina who is a victim of human trafficking in the United States of America. The PJS Law Litigation Team secured the dismissal of the case filed by the traffickers against the Filipina in a Philippine Regional Trial Court.

The case emanated from the indictment by a United States federal grand jury of a Maryland couple for harboring and forcing the Filipina to work for them as domestic helper since 1998. The couple was charged with five (5) counts of Forced Labor Conspiracy, Forced Labor and Attempted Forced Labor, Document Servitude, Conspiracy to Harbor for Financial Gain and Harboring Domestic Worker for Financial Gain. Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) rescued the Filipina and the defendants have since pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of Harboring an Alien.

In an attempt to intimidate and harass the victim, however, the Maryland couple filed a lawsuit in the Philippines seeking for the cancellation of the victim’s passport and to have her deported from the US to the Philippines and stand trial for allegedly making false statements in her passport. Through the Washington, D.C. Based Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center and the law firm of Jenner & Block – US counsels assisting the Filipina victim in the US cases – PJS Law was tapped and requested to represent the Filipina victim in the case filed in the Philippines.

On July 10,2013, the Philippine trial court acted favorably on the Motion to Dismiss filed by PJS Law on behalf of its client and issued an order the dismissing the petition for cancellation of passport.

According to PJS Law Managing Partner, Atty. Regina Barrientos, "[T]his case is a testament to the living nature of the Firm's commitment to social responsibility. PJS Law is always mindful not only of opportunities for our corporate clients but also for our lawyers to be able to give back to society and contribute in a meaningful way to promoting the values we also hold dear in the Firm."