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9 arrested for illegal fishing in waters off Navotas

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, August 11th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — Nine fishermen were caught by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) illegally fishing in the waters off Navotas City on Wednesday.

They were onboard three commercial fishing vessels led by boat captains Jun Esatan, Tirso Beling and Leomar Jugaran.

They were arrested after failing to show valid fishing permit and for using prohibited Danish seine, locally known as “hulbot”.

The registrations of the vessels were already expired.

“Our command received information about unhampered illegal fishing operation in Manila Bay area. By engaging in this type of activity, it destroys ocean bed including corals,” NBI – Environmental Crimes Division head, Atty. Czar Nuqui said.

Also, the commercial fishing vessels were caught in the waters which are supposedly exclusive for small fishermen.

“Subsistence fishermen should be fishing there not the commercial vessels. And yet these commercial vessels are exploiting these resources to the detriment of subsistence fishermen,” Atty. Nuqui said.

They fishermen said they didn’t know that what they were doing was illegal.

“We have nowhere else to go. If we don’t do it, our families will suffer,” boat captain Jun Esatan said.

They are facing several charges for violations of the Fisheries Code punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of Php500,000. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News and Rescue

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10 Aegis Juris members surrender to NBI

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Members of the fraternity Aegis Juris involved in the death of Atio Castillo

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the Aegis Juris fraternity who were accused in the death of law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III are now under National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) custody.

The 10 fratmen, including Aegis President Arvin Balag, voluntarily surrendered around noon on Friday.

They were accompanied by their lawyers and parents.

“Mas ginusto nila mag-voluntary surrender sa NBI kasi nga parang last night may mga nagpupunta na sa mga bahay nila. Hindi nila kilala basta mga law enforcers din,” said NBI agent Atty. Danilo Mayani.

(They opted to surrender voluntarily to the NBI because last night there are people who are lurking in their homes. They don’t know them but the men are also law enforcers.)

NBI Deputy Director Atty. Ferdinand Lavin said that the accused had already coordinated with them for the surrender before the court issued the arrest warrant on Thursday.

He said that the accused will be treated fairly.

“There is nothing special about this incident. As a matter of fact, if these young gentlemen would like to evade the long arms of the law they can do that. But we appreciate and recognize their effort in coming to the folds of the law,” said Lavin.

The fratmen will be held at the nbi detention cell while waiting for the commitment order from the Manila Regional Trial Court.

They will be presented before the court on Monday after the documentation and booking procedures.

They are facing charges for violation of the anti-hazing law, a non-bailable offense which carries a penalty of life imprisonment. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Ex-DPWH chief charged for anomalous road right-of-way claims

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — 
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday recommended the filing of plunder and graft charges against former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson, and 20 former and current DPWH officials for the alleged anomalous road right-of-way claims in General Santos City way back in 2013.

Investigation showed that the government paid P255-million as compensation for nine lots supposedly affected by road construction.

But it was discovered that the claims were fake and all its supporting documents including land titles, tax declarations, and the identity of the claimants.

“Ang ating verification with the Registry of Deeds, lumalabas na lahat itong siyam na transfer certificate of titles na ginamit as basis for the claim, lahat ito ay spurious,” said NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Service Atty. Antonio Pagatpat.

(In our verification with the Registry of Deeds, it appears all these nine transfer certificates of titles which were used as the basis for the claim, were all spurious.)

The claimants were paid nonetheless.

Singson himself wrote the letter requesting the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

But NBI officials admitted that there is no evidence yet that Singson benefited from the scam.

Fourteen private individuals who also participated in the commission of the scam were charged as well.

They are Wilma Mamburam and Mercedita Dumlao, the alleged leaders of the syndicate, and whistleblower Roberto Catapang Jr. who is now under the custody of the witness protection program.

In his statement last November, Catapang said that the syndicate had amassed about P8.7-billion from the government.

The NBI is also looking into the possible liability of former budget secretary Butch Abad.

“It’s not necessarily na you incur a criminal act kung mag-approve ka ng request ng isang ng isang department. So we have to come up with an evidence that he is in collusion with the subjects at dito sa nine vouchers. Wanting pa yung evidence na yun,” said the NBI regional director.

(It’s not necessarily that you incur a criminal act if you approve a request from one department. So, we have to come up with an evidence that he is in collusion with the subjects and in these nine vouchers, that evidence is still wanting.)

Singson said that he wants to see the complaint first before making any comment on the allegations.

The NBI is further investigating the scam. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOJ prosecution panel ready to face NBI

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018

Former State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes

MANILA, Philippines — Former State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes and State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang are not afraid to face the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) probe amid criticisms on their decision to dismiss the drug charges against big-time drug lords Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and others involved in illicit drug trade in the Philippines.

Reyes and Humarang are among the panel members who heard and reviewed the case against the said personalities. They are now under Department of Justice’s (DOJ) watch amid their questionable decision.

Reyes said it is clear in their resolution that Marcelo Adorco, the sole witness presented by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), had inconsistent or unsubstantiated claims which affected his credibility.

“Hearsay, most of the material allegations pertaining to the drug deal. Overheard lang niya through telephone conversation allegedly between Kerwin and the other drug supplier. Co-conspirator din siya. Meron siya confession. Yun confession ng co-conspirator kung wala nag-corroborate hindi natin pwede tanggapin yan as ebidensya,” said Reyes.

(Hearsay, most of the material allegations pertaining to the drug deal.  He only overheard through telephone conversation allegedly between Kerwin and the other drug supplier. He’s also a co-conspirator. He may have confessed but the confession of a co-conspirator cannot be treated as evidence unless it is corroborated.)

CIDG also missed including the testimony presented by Espinosa during the Senate committee probe where he confessed that he is a drug lord.

“They said Kerwin Espinosa recanted his statement. So far, there are no pieces of evidence like that presented,” said Reyes.

The prosecution team only depended on the merits of the case based on presented pieces of evidence by the complainants and respondents.

“Hindi kami pwedeng magsabi na ‘Kulang ito. Dagdag mo ito. Kulang ang defense mo. Dagdagan mo ito’. Hindi kami allowed. Kami, mag-evaluate lang at mag-weigh ng evidence, ng mga dokumento na submit sa amin.”

(We cannot say, “This is not enough. Add this. Your defense is insufficient. Add this.” We are not allowed. We will evaluate and weigh the evidence based on documents presented to us.)

Associate State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang has the same defense saying there is no strong evidence given by CIDG and such was based on only one witness. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News and Rescue


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