Advocacy groups have lashed out at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration after it blacklisted a former Filipino domestic worker who has won awards and recognition for supporting migrant workers.

Caridad “Caring” Bachiller, who had worked as a secondary-school teacher in Bangued, Abra province, went to Hong Kong as a domestic worker in 1989. She then went to work in Saudi Arabia in 2008 before retiring and returning home in 2014, Bulatlat reported.

During the years when she worked overseas, she helped many fellow migrant workers and became an advocate for their rights. She set up the Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society-Hong Kong (ATIS-HK) in 1992, which is a federation of 16 municipal organizations and three special concern groups.

Migrante International, an alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos, praised Bachiller for her role in the campaign for migrants’ rights and strengthening migrant-worker organizations for almost 20 years.

However, the Bureau of Immigration added Bachiller to its watchlist of foreign nationals who are not allowed to enter the Philippines, claiming her country of origin was China. ATIS-HK released a statement saying that Bachiller should not be put on the blacklist and that she has done nothing wrong but has helped support the welfare of Filipino migrant workers.

“We urge the Bureau of Immigration to remove our Mommy Caring from its list, together will all human-rights defenders. We demand that the BI explain why and how it issued this outrageously tyrannical list,” ATIS-HK said.