by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Rights abuse victims during the Marcos regime were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief when President Rodrigo Duterte approved to extend the distribution of claims until the end of the year.
According to the group, Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensuon at Aresto (SELDA), around P234 million from the P10 billion total amount of reparation pay are yet to be claimed by around 170 recognized claimants.
“Ang mga grantee noon (ay) may mga kulang pa talagang mga documents daw so hinabol ng iba iyong mga kulang ng documents,” explained SELDA’s National Coordinator Danny dela Fuente.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now planning the process and finalizing the timeline for the distribution of the remaining claims.
Apart from this, the rights group said the 7,500 Martial law victims who were among those who filed a class action lawsuit in Hawaii may still be able to receive an additional amount from so called ‘ill-gotten wealth’ of the Marcoses deposited in the island state.
SELDA noted that each recognized claimant might receive P75,000 each from the US$13.75 million dollar earned from the auctioned paintings of the Marcoses.
This would be possible if the court will rule in favor of their petition expected to be announced in March.
It can be noted that the complainants were given an initial amount when the Hawaii court ruled in their favor against the Marcoses in the Hawaii case.
“Ang tawag ngayon doon (ay) Marcos estate, iyong inihabla namin sa Hawaii. Nagkaroon nga ng favorable decision ang court of US federal district of Hawaii na kami ay ma-award ng $1.9B. Walang panggagalingan iyon kundi ang kanilang ill-gotten wealth,” dela Fuente concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, January 17th, 2019
BANGKOK, Thailand – Three Filipinas were arrested by Thai authorities on Wednesday (January 16) for soliciting funds from tourists for an alleged children’s charity.
The three Filipinas, identified as Belinda Austria Toledo (55); Jessica Bayutas Ortega (50); and Ruthie Espina Babila (38) were arrested at a restaurant in Phettrakul, Bang Lamung District.
They claimed to represent a charity group named Children’s Joy Foundation.
Authorities recovered from the trio two boxes of donation leaflets, 10 booklets of donors’ names, a guitar, and ฿5,690 baht (P9,300) cash among other items.
Police report revealed that one of the three women would draw the attention of tourists by playing the guitar while the other two would talk to potential donors to ask money for the purported children’s foundation.
The trio confessed that they have been doing such activity for almost a year now, not only in Pattaya but in different areas across Thailand.
The Bangkok Post cited Police Colonel Apichai Krobphet, chief of Pattaya city police, as saying that the three entered Thailand on a tourist visa and they did not have permit to conduct such fund-raising activities.
Thai police also found out that the foundation the trio allegedly represent does not exist or does not have an office in the country.
Meanwhile, similar activities were also reported in other countries like Hawaii, Chicago in the US, Canada, Japan and as far as Brazil, of individuals allegedly representing the same Children’s Joy Foundation.
A website www.childrensjoyfoundation.org leads the foundation’s main office to KJC Compound, Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway Catitipan, Davao City, a property owned by Filipino religious leader Apollo Quiboloy.
Quiboloy is also introduced as the founder of Children’s Joy Foundation.
The UNTV News and Rescue Team tried to reach the group of Quiboloy for comments on the arrest of the three women in Thailand.
However, according the group’s lawyer Atty. Isaraelito Torreon, they had not received the details of the arrest but vowed to issue an official statement as soon as they have assessed the situation.
Meanwhile, Consul General Val Roque of the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok assured in a statement that the trio will be provided with consular assistance in line with the case.
‘“Philippine Consular Officers visit or contact these kababayans to offer consular assistance, consistent with international practice,” Roque said.
The Philippine Embassy calls on Filipinos in Thailand to refrain from doing such illegal practices that violate Thai law and damage the image of Filipinos in Thailand. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Charizze Joy Longboen)
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018
A hole, punched through the roof of a tourist boat, is seen, after lava from the Mount Kilauea volcano exploded in the sea off Kapoho, Hawaii, U.S. July 16, 2018. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources/Handout via REUTERS
REUTERS – A fusillade of volcanic lava struck an ocean tour boat just off the Big Island of Hawaii on Monday (July 16), injuring at least 22 people in the worst casualty incident to date from the ongoing eruption of the Kilauea Volcano.
One woman’s leg was broken when the “lava bomb” landed on the roof of the vessel and crashed into the seating area, said Hawaii County Fire Department Battalion Chief Darwin Okinaka.
“You have seen parts of the lava on the vessel when we pulled up to it. There’s a few big chunks that was on the roof and we could see chunks laying all over the side of the boat and on the floor of the boat,” said Ikaika Kalama who witnessed the bombardment from the adjacent ferry boat.
“Some actually exploded about 300 yards in the air. Part of the lava actually landed on the vessel, damaged most parts of the vessel. From what I heard, actually, a big chunk fell through the roof and partly on passengers,” she added.
Kilauea volcano has shown no signs of quieting since it first began erupting on May 3. Lava spewing from “Fissure 8” has wiped out scores of homes in Kapoho by the Pacific and filled Kapoho Bay with lava.
Even though lava tourism has long existed on Hawaii’s Big Island, tour boat operators have report increased demand from tourists eager to witness the latest eruption of one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Visitor numbers spike each time Kilauea, which has erupted almost continuously since 1983, sends a tongue of lava toward the ocean. The current eruption is one of the longest and most intense on record.
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