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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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PH to join migration global compact deal to curb human smuggling

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Migrants try to get products from a truck | REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

MANILA, Philippines – Representatives from different countries converge in Manila for a two-day conference to tackle the future of migration.

The conference centers on the upcoming adoption of a global compact to promote safe and orderly migration and reduce human smuggling and trafficking.

According to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola, this is the first international and multilateral agreement on migration governance that the Philippines has strongly pushed for.

Arriola said the agreement culminates the lengthy negotiations on the contentious issue in new york, noting its aim to have a national policy and general framework in labor-receiving countries to prevent discrimination and other migration-related problems of Filipinos.

The official said the finalization of this deal was long overdue. It is envisioned to address the negative impacts of irregular migration while respecting migrant rights and promoting security and prosperity of countries of origin and destination.

The outcome of the conference will be submitted as input to the United Nations migration network for a conference in Geneva, Switzerland in October.

 “It’s a non-binding instrument…Siya ang minimum standard para kung paano dapat i-trato ang mga migrante sa buong mundo,” Usec. Sarah Lou Arriola of DFA Migrant Workers Affairs said.

 More than 190 countries will sign the global compact on migration agreement which is set to be formally adopted in Morocco in December.

According to Arriola, the Philippines is one of the pillars of the agreement which will hugely benefit over 10 million migrant Filipinos around the globe.

She noted that the GCM is a good start to promote the protection of migrants as the pact states the responsibilities and suggestions of various countries on the proper migrant treatment. – Cathy Maglalang / UNTV News and Rescue

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Sea travel in some parts of Luzon, Bicol suspended due to habagat

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018



(Courtesy of Noveleta DRMMO)


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended sea travel in several parts of Southern Luzon and Bicol on Monday (August 13) morning due to the enhanced southwest monsoon or habagat.

As of 4:00 a.m. today, over 190 passengers were stranded in ports in Camarines Sur, Batangas, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon and Northern Quezon, according to the agency in an advisory.

The PAGASA weather bureau said monsoon rains would continue to dump moderate to occasional heavy rains in Luzon in the coming days that might cause flooding and landslides especially in low-lying areas in the country. – UNTV News & Rescue

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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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