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139 victims of human smuggling on board a cruise ship rescued in Bataan

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Authorities round up the rescued undocumented passengers of  a cruise ship bound for Micronesia. (Photo courtesy of: Philippine Coast Guard)


MANILA, Philippines – A joint anti-smuggling operations by members of the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) together with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) rescued 139 victims of human smuggling on board a cruise ship bound for Micronesia at 1:00 am, Tuesday (July 3).

In a press release, the PCG said the operations team apprehended a 5,746 gross-tonne old cruise ship registered as “M/V Forever Lucky” with 41 crew members on board after the NCWC received information from its foreign counterpart that a vessel of interest docked in Orion, Bataan was allegedly involved in illegal activities specifically human smuggling.

According to NCWC Director Rear Admiral Joel Garcia, the NCWC flagged the information to the PCG and the NBI that the vessel was “preparing to depart the Philippines for Micronesia to transport undocumented number of Filipinos.”

The owner of the vessel, Farenheit Company Ltd., produced “falsified and fictitious Special Permit to Navigate, no Certificate of Public Convenience or franchise to legalize its operation, no manifest for the 139 passengers on board, and other documents,” according to the PCG.

The PCG said the investigation in ongoing to determine appropriate charges to be filed against the persons responsible behind the illegal activity. — Marje Pelayo


M/V Forever Lucky: The 5,746 gross-tonne old cruise ship that was used to smuggle 139 people  (Photo courtesy of: Philippine Coast Guard)




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NBI arrests 3 BIR employees for corruption

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2018


Officials of the National Bureau of Investigation present to media three BIR personnel who were arrested for extortion.


MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday, June 25, announced the arrest of three employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) over corruption.

The arrested employees were identified as Arturo Buniol, Gary Anastacio, and Edgardo Javier, designated as special investigators at BIR Regional Investigation Division.

They were nabbed at an entrapment operation by members of the NBI-Special Task Force in Greenhills, San Juan on Thursday (June 21).

The case stems from a complaint filed by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica following a report from an employee of a Chinese restaurant against the three for demanding that the owner pay P1.2 million in tax liability.

The subjects asked for the initial P600,000 to secure the service of a public accountant. Commissioner Belgica, posing as the public accountant, texted them to determine the purpose of the requested amount. Commissioner Belgica later on discovered that the subjects were asking for the P75,000 of the P600,000 and the remaining balance will be given to the “other side.”

According to NBI Director Dante Gierran, the arrested employees “have been subsequently charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for violations of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code. – Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

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Coast Guard makes life jacket mandatory among passengers in Boracay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, June 15th, 2018


BORACAY ISLAND, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has ordered mandatory use of life jackets to all passengers of sea vessels entering and exiting Boracay Island.

The directive was prompted by a series of accidents involving motor bancas amid the inclement weather.

“Dapat bago sila pumalaot titignan muna nila ang panahon kung merong gale warning. Masama ba ang panahon? Malaki ba ang alon? Pag ganoon, wag na sila magtuloy kasi malalagay lang sa alanganin ang buhay nila,” said Aklan PCG Commander LCDR Ramil Palabrica.

(Before heading out to sea, they should check for any gale warning first. Is the weather bad? Are the waves too high? If so, they should not proceed or they’ll just be putting their lives in danger.)

Meanwhile, due to the effects of the southwest monsoon or habagat, PCG has closed Caticlan Jetty Port. Passengers may proceed to Tabon Port in order to board for Boracay.

Also, Cagban boat terminal is closed to passengers and they are directed to Tambisaan Port for safety and to avoid large waves in the eastern part of the Island.

“Iyong mga bigger boats nga natin nagti-take shelter doon sa may likod ng Boracay para makaiwas doon sa malaking alon dito sa front beach, so how much more kung ang maliit na motor bangka na two-man capacity. Hindi kakayanin,” explained Palabrica.

(Even the bigger boats take shelter behind Boracay to avoid the large waves at the beach front, so how much more for smaller motor boats with a two-man capacity?)

Aside from life jackets, Coast Guard personnel also advise passengers to bring flashlight and make sure their cellular phones are fully charged to be able to call for help while at sea.

PCG also recommends plastic gallons or styro buckets as alternative floating devices. It is also important, according to PCG, to monitor weather advisories to be forewarned and prevent further mishaps at sea. – Vincent Octavio / Marje Pelayo

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Ardot Parojinog wants transfer of cases to NBI – Albayalde

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Former Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog (photo courtesy of: OCPNP)


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Arrested former Ozamis City councilor Ricardo “Ardot” Parojinog is requesting that his case be handled by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

On Thursday, June 14, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde confirmed Ardot’s request through a letter he sent to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

However, Albayalde said the decision to transfer Ardot’s cases to the NBI is really up to the DO, although he added that the PNP is ready to follow whatever the Court orders.

Meanwhile, Albayalde admitted that they have been receiving only limited information about Parojinog who is now detained in Taiwan for illegal entry. Since he is under the custody of Taiwan authorities, the Chief of Police said he is not allowed by Taiwan prosecutor to receive visitor or relatives.

Ardot Parojinog is the brother of former Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and has been wanted by Philippine authorities for his involvement in illegal drugs.

He was not in the house when the police raided the Parojinog residence in July last year. He went on hiding for 10 months in Taiwan where he entered illegally.

He is included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s narcolist of politicians and has a P5 million bounty on his head. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

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