9 arrested for illegal fishing in waters off Navotas

UNTV News   •   August 11, 2017   •   4113

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_081017_NAVOTAS FISHERMEN

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

NBI exec, brother face raps over alleged pastillas scam

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed graft and extortion complaints against its official and his brother from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) over the alleged ‘pastillas scheme.’

Atty. Joshua Paul Capiral, NBI’s legal assistance chief, and his brother, Christopher John, an officer at the BI’s medical section, underwent inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice on Wednesday morning.

The brothers are facing extortion complaints under the Revised Penal Code, and violation of the Anti-Graft Practices Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and the Executive Order No. 608 which established the national security clearance system for government personnel with access to classified matters.

The two were arrested in an entrapment operation on Monday night for allegedly receiving bribes from individuals implicated in the pastillas scheme in exchange for exclusion from the charges.

Nineteen Immigration officers allegedly linked to the pastillas scheme are currently facing charges filed by the NBI at the Office of the Ombudsman last month.

The modus was called pastillas, derived from a Filipino sweet and sticky dessert, because the bribe money that some personnel receive were wrapped in paper.

The scheme allegedly takes advantage of Chinese casino high-rollers and offshore gaming workers who wish to be escorted to dodge the immigration screening process for a fee.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has ordered a reinvestigation into the pastillas scheme.

“Considering that the NBI investigation appeared to have been tainted, I will order a reinvestigation of the so-called ‘pastillas’ racket involving some unscrupulous BI employees,” he said in message to reporters.

Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente welcomed the development and assured support for the drive to cleanse the agency of corruption.

Morente also vowed to continue its campaign against corruption activities within the agency.

“We will continue to pursue our campaign against BI personnel engaged in corrupt activities in coordination with NBI and other law enforcement agencies in support of President Duterte’s desire to cleanse the agency,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Drilon wants NBI legal exec tagged in ‘pastillas scheme’ disbarred

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Frankiln Drilon on Wednesday urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to file a disbarment case against its official who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the ‘pastillas scheme’ in the Bureau of Immigration.

Drilon made the call following the arrest of Atty. Joshua Capiral, NBI’s head of legal assistance division, for allegedly accepting bribes from persons involved in the modus in exchange for exclusion from charges.

“Bantay salakay ang tawag dito. Yung inatasan na mag-imbestiga sa katiwalian sila yung gumagawa ng katiwalian,” he said in an interview over Teleradyo.

“He is a disgrace to the legal profession. We lawyers took an oath to tell nothing but the truth. Capiral violated that sacred oath of lawyers. All he did in the NBI is to enrich himself through corruption,” he added.

When asked whether the case of Capiral warrants a Senate investigation, Drilon said he will support an investigation if there is evidence of massive corruption in NBI – like in the case of PhilHealth and the Bureau of Immigration.

“At this point I think there is no evidence of massive corruption in the NBI. This is a laudable move for the NBI to arrest one of its members. The NBI should make an example out of Capiral that corruption has no place in the agency,” Drilon said.

“If we do not address this, everybody will believe that they can bribe the NBI and having that perception is not good in the fight against corruption,” he added.

Capiral was nabbed in an entrapment operation on Monday night. He underwent inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice on Wednesday morning.

The two are facing complaints for extortion under the Revised Penal Code and violation of the Anti-Graft Practices Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employee, and Executive Order No. 608 which established a national security clearance system for government personnel with access to classified matters.

Drilon said that Capiral’s case is among the reasons why the public tend to lose confidence in the government’s ability to stop corruption.

“This is one of the reasons why Filipinos are losing faith in the ability of the government to fight corruption. This only shows how rampant corruption is today,” he said.

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Mas mababang kaso ng COVID-19, naitala sa Navotas City

Robie de Guzman   •   August 31, 2020

Nakapagtala ng mas mababang kaso ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ang Navotas City kasabay ng mga isinasagawang testing sa lungsod.

Ayon kay Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, sa mahigit 4,000 positibong kaso ay mahigit 3,000 na ang gumaling mula sa sakit habang 123 ang nasawi. Nasa 494 naman ang aktibong kaso.

Mababa rin ang naitatalang bagong kaso ng impeksyon sa lungsod – mula sa 24 kaso ay 15 na lamang ito sa mga nakalipas na araw.

Ayon sa alkalde, maaaring nakatulong sa pagbaba ng kaso ang maigting na COVID-19 testing, hindi lamang sa mga nakatira sa lungsod kundi pa rin sa mga taga-ibang lugar pero sa Navotas nagta-trabaho.

“’Pag ang isang tao ay naging positive ay iko-contact trace natin siya within 24 hours. Ibig sabihin, dapat natin malaman within 24 hours kung sinong direktang nakasalamuha niya. After siyang ma-contact trace ay dadalhin na siya sa isolation facility,” ani Tiangco.

Hindi ho kami pumapayag ng home quarantine dahil karamihan nga ng hawaan ay nasa loob ng bahay,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa kabila nito, nanawagan ang alkalde sa mga residente sa lungsod na huwag maging kampante at ituloy pa rin ang pagsunod sa health protocols kontra COVID-19.

“Mahaba pa ito eh. Hindi naman porke’t bumaba na ‘yan ay dapat maging confident tayo. Of course, dapat matuwa tayo pero dapat, ang mas importante is, pagsikapan pa natin na lalong mapababa,” ani Tiangco.

Sa kasalukuyan aniya ay binibigyang prayoridad ng lokal na pamahalaan ang pagsusuri sa non-medical frontline workers gaya ng mga tsuper ng public utility vehicles, mga nagtitinda sa palengke at namamasukan sa grocery stores.

Naglagay na rin ng dagdag na isolation facilities sa lungsod upang mapalawig ang bed capacity at accommodation para sa positive cases.

Muli namang nanawagan si Tiangco sa mga residente na magsuot pa rin ng face mask at face shield sa tuwing lalabas ng bahay, panatilihin rin ang physical distancing at palaging maghugas ng kamay. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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