CNMI Worker Advocate Jerry Custodio Safe in Manila

November 16, 2013

Jerry at a rally in 2009
The former president and founder of The Human Dignity Movement, Jerry Custodio was in Guiuan, eastern Samar when Typhoon Maiyan slammed into his province. His house was totally destroyed and the family lost all of their possessions.  Sadly, his father died in the storm.

Jerry said, "We are back to zero. It's survival!"

He described the situation as dire, saying there was no food or water in Samar and no way to communicate. They had to leave.

Finally, yesterday Jerry, his wife and two children were evacuated to Cebu in a C-130 military transport plane and then on to Manila where they are staying with relatives.

Jerry's storm-related injuries were treated in Manila.

In December 2007 Jerry was named one of the "Newsmakers of the Year" by the Saipan Tribune.

Jerry Custodio, former president and founder of the Human Dignity Movement, was a tireless leader for the guest workers. The nonresident worker group was named after the Human Dignity Act, which was introduced in June 2006 by Jerry's hero, Rep. George Miller, (D-CA).
Introduction of the Human Dignity Act in June 2006.
©2006 Wendy L. Doromal
In January 2007 Jerry joined other nonresident worker advocates to head a rally at the Horiguchi Building to call for federalization and an increase of the minimum wage.

In July 2007 we worked together on a petition to Congress, a prayer vigil where thousands of guest workers came together to pray for federalization, and a meeting of the U.S. citizen children and their parents.

Jerry was among worker leaders who accompanied me to visit Bishop Camacho, Karidat, the Philippine Consul, Guma Esperansa, and other offices during my July visit. He helped to organize other events in 2007, including the demonstration at the August House hearing, the August Prayer Vigil and Rally, the November vigil at American Memorial Park the Unity March, the collection of unpaid judgments, and the guest worker letter writing campaign.

At a December 2007 Press Conference in Saipan 

In July and August 2008 Jerry assisted me in interviewing hundreds of nonresident workers in Saipan in preparation for a status report submitted as congressional testimony. His  advocacy work continued until he left Saipan on December 1, 2008.

Our family send our love and prayers to Jerry and his family and to all of the victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

Please donate to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan!

An aerial view of Jerry's town of Guiuan, in eastern Samar province taken
on November 11, 2013 four days after the typhoon devastated the
province (Getty photo)


Anonymous said...

M'am Wendy

Thank you for sharing this story. Thanks God Jerry is safe. Condolences to him and his family on the loss of his father. Jerry helped all of us. Anyone who had problems go to him and he'd help. We're praying for him.