Chinese national arrested, P800-M shabu seized from QC drug sting

Robie de Guzman   •   December 24, 2019   •   521

MANILA, Philippines – Over P800-million worth of shabu (crystal meth) were seized by authorities in a drug sting in Quezon City early Tuesday, December 24.

In a statement, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the operation conducted by its operatives yielded the arrest of a Chinese national, identified as 30-year old Zhang Yuan Quan alias Francis.

Authorities said the anti-drug operation was launched after surveilling the suspect’s activities for two weeks.

Among the items confiscated from Quan were around two kilograms of suspected shabu, estimated to be worth over P13-million and the marked money used in the buy-bust operation.

PDEA said the operation also led to the discovery of some 116 packs of suspected shabu, concealed in teabags, worth more than P788 million inside Quan’s rented apartment in Barangay Sienna.

The Chinese national will face charges for violation of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

QC gov’t moves ban on single-use plastics in restos, hotels to July 1

Robie de Guzman   •   February 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government on Friday (February 21), said it has moved to July 1 the implementation of its ordinance banning the use of single-use or disposable plastics in restaurants and hotels in the city.

In a statement, Mayor Joy Belmonte said the deferment of the ban’s enforcement is to give restaurants and hotels more time to adjust their dine-in logistics in compliance with the policy.

Ordinance No. SP-2876, S-2019 was supposed to be implemented on February 15 but it was moved in consideration of concerns surrounding logistics, safety and hygiene, requirements and other issues involving day-to-day operations.

“We understand the situation and concerns of the establishments so we will give them ample time to comply,” Belmonte said.

The postponement of the ban’s implementation was recommended by the city’s Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department (EPWMD) following a series of dialogues with stakeholders, including restaurants, fast-food chains, and hotels.

EPWMD head Andrea Villaroman said the policy’s enforcement was deferred, provided that stakeholders would come up with a transition plan detailing concrete steps to be undertaken to comply with the said regulation.

The plan, which will be submitted within 30 days from February 15, will include the introduction of recovery and recycling mechanisms for single-use plastics/disposable materials.

“The transition plan should also cover the hotel and restaurants’ amenities indicating the hotel’s and restaurant’s timeline for procurement and attaching the industry standards and hotel/restaurant international regulations as justification for the amenities without alternatives due to sanitation concerns,” Villaroman said.

“It shall also include additional details on single-use plastic/disposable materials used by restaurants/hotels for hygienic and food safety purposes and its appropriate recovery/recycling mechanisms,” she added.

Ordinance No. 2876 prohibits the distribution and/or use of single-use plastics/disposable materials, including cutlery for dine-in purposes, in all hotels and restaurants in Quezon City.

The ban covers the use of throw-away plates, spoons, forks, cups, and other plastic and paper disposables.

The EPWMD also said it is coordinating with the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS) to develop the recovery and recycling mechanisms for residual plastics and disposable materials, which can address those single-use wastes not covered by the Ordinance.

The Quezon City government on January 1 started the implementation of the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance, which is now mostly being followed by establishments.

Villaroman said personnel of EPWMD’s Climate Change team will be deputized to issue notices of violation or environmental violation tickets.

Chinese community appeals against discrimination amid nCoV threat

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 3, 2020

Several members of the Chinese community is appealing against the discrimination they are experiencing amid the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) threat.

“Mas deadly pa sa coronavirus ang nangyayaring diskriminasyon at sinophobia, iyong Chinese bashing. Papaano kung iyong Pinoy maputi at singkit, kababayan mo pala tapos kung i-bully mo, (The discrimination and the sinophobia—the Chinese bashing is more deadly than the coronavirus. What if the Filipino has fair complexion and narrow eyes? He is your fellow man yet you would bully him), ” According to founding president of Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran Incorporated, Teresita Ang See.

She also said that instead of letting discrimination prevail, everyone should unite in fighting against the virus.

Meanwhile, Henry Lim Bon Liong of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that the discrimination is not against the Chinese community but against the virus.

He said that there are those who just want to protect themselves from the virus without any intent of discriminating the Chinese community.

“There’s one media man who asked me that some Grab taxi doesn’t want to take in Chinese looking passengers. Sabi ko siguro, hindi naman discrimination sa Chinese (I said it might not be a discrimination against the Chinese),” he said.

“Because the virus originated from China, so they just want to protect themselves,” he added.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

BI to deport 4 foreign nationals wanted for fraud

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it is deporting four foreigners who are all wanted for fraud by authorities in their respective countries.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said these individuals, three Chinese nationals and one Korean, were arrested in separate operations launched in the cities of Manila and Pasay by operatives from the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU).

The three Chinese nationals were identified as Lin Wengao, 41; Zhang Sen, 38; and Zhang Gaosheng, 39.

The BI said the trio was arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest issued by the Chinese government for alleged involvement in economic crimes.

Citing information from the Chinese embassy in Manila, Morente said the three Chinese nationals conspired to forge a seal of a hospital in China as a result of which they managed to defraud their victims of more than 10 million RMB or nearly US$1.5 million.

Investigation revealed that the three aliens arrived separately in the country last year as tourists.

All of them are undocumented aliens as their passports were already canceled by the Chinese government, he added.

Meanwhile, Morente also bared the arrest of Korean national Woo Yong Wook, 45, who is also wanted for fraud by authorities in Seoul.

FSU agents arrested Woo on Friday, January 10 in Malate, Manila pursuant to a warrant of deportation issued against him by the BI board of commissioners.

Woo was ordered deported after the Korean authorities informed the BI that he is wanted for allegedly masterminding a fraudulent investment scheme wherein the victims lost more than a billion Won.

“We will deport them immediately and they will be included in our blacklist to make sure that they won’t return to the Philippines,” Morente said.

BI FSU chief Bobby Raquepo said that the four were the first batch of fugitives to be arrested in 2020.

In 2019, the BI said it arrested more than 400 alien fugitives hiding in the country.

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