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Philippine Navy seizes nearly P68M worth of smuggled rice in Zamboanga

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2018

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were siezed by the Philippine Navy.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy Western Mindanao Command apprehended a Mongolian-registered vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14.

Over 27,000 sacks of allegedly smuggled rice were seized from the cargo vessel.

Onboard MV Diamond 8 were 15 crew members identified as 11 Bangladeshis and 4 Chinese nationals, together with 34 undocumented Filipinos including a minor.

According to investigation, the cargo ship has already unloaded around 7,000 to 8,000 sacks to two other vessels with locations yet to be determined. — UNTV News & Rescue

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6 Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in separate NBI operations

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) presented to the media on Tuesday (June 11) six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were arrested in separate operations last month.

The NBI said that the six were arrested in Taguig City, Balanga City in Bataan, and Zamboanga City on May 16 and 20.

NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said, “the six arrested were involved in various terrorist activities, ranging from ambush, kidnap for ransom, bombing in Southern Philippines, and recruitment of other members.”

He added that the arrest stemmed from the intelligence reports that they gathered and have led them to the whereabouts of Azmier Maalum in Taguig City.

The joint operations of the NBI, the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had led to the arrest of Maalum, along with Amar Assan, Musa Tahil Sampang, Jamil Ibrahim, Yong Aming, and Majuk Tahil Amil.

Maalum has several warrants of arrest for eight counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Golden Harvest plantation workers in Basilan in 2001, while Sampang was involved in several bombing incidents also in Basilan.

The NBI said the six had been recruiting members in Metro Manila. (with reports from April Cenedoza) /mbmf

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Gov’t tells Alejano: Trip to Panatag shoal OK but should be cleared

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Senatorial candidate Gary Alejano (📷 Twitter)

Everyone may visit the disputed Panatag Shoal off Zambales, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said on Monday.

Balilo made the statement after Otso Diretso Senatorial candidate and Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano wrote a formal letter to the PCG to request for permission to visit the contested shoal.

The letter, dated April 13, was addressed to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.

“Sir, the PCA ruling in 2016 clearly stated that the Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground of Filipino and Chinese fishermen, hence, both of our fishermen can fish there. However, our local media has reported otherwise, which, if left unchecked would greatly undermine our people’s rights to the resources found there,” Alejano’s letter read.

Balilo said there is no policy that prohibits people from visiting Panatag Shoal as long the trip is properly coordinated with the PCG station for rescue operation in case of emergency.

However, the Philippine Navy said Alejano and other opposition senatorial candidates cannot just sail to the disputed area, saying this should be cleared with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).

The Philippine Navy said Alejano’s request should be forwarded to the AFP-NOLCOM as it has operational control of the navy ships deployed in Panatag shoal.

Nevertheless, authorities expressed doubt that the trip would be permitted if it’s going to be used for something other than fishing.

The PH Navy also stressed it can always deny request to travel to Panatag Shoal as it is not a tourist destination that anyone can visit.

The military said the AFP-NOLCOM’s priority concern is safety, and the current maritime dispute between the Philippines and China comes second. – Robie de Guzman

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Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula up by 81%

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula rose to 81 percent, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 9. Cases had reached 1,743 from January 1 to March 7, 2019.

Based on the report of the DOH 9, Zamboanga City reported 719 dengue cases, a 213% increase compared to the same period last year which recorded 230 cases. Zamboanga del Norte, on the other hand, recorded 499 cases which is a 222 percent increase from last year’s 155 cases.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga Sibugay recorded 175 dengue cases; Isabela City , Basilan, 99 cases; and Zamboanga Del Sur with 251.

READ: DOH: even a little water can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes

The DOH reminds residents to implement the 4-S campaign against dengue and work on controlling the mosquito population.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously said, “The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes. It is important to remove any space or container that can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites for mosquitoes.”—Aileen Cerrudo

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