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Philippine Navy seizes nearly P68M worth of smuggled rice in Zamboanga

by UNTV News   |   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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BOC holds off auction plans for smuggled rice in Zamboanga Sibugay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

The cargo ship MV Diamond 8 with the smuggled rice in Zamboanga Sibugay

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will not allow the resell of smuggled rice from Zamboanga, Sibugay unless the shipment goes through proper investigation.

According to Atty. Lyceo Martinez, BOC’s collection officer in Zamboanga, the agency is giving the owner of the shipment as well as the owner of the cargo vessel, MV Diamond 8, ample time to prepare for the investigation.

BOC said the process will take time because the ship involved is an international vessel. If the owners are proven to have violated the Philippine law, a warrant of seizure and detention will be issued against them and the shipment.

“After considering all the facts of the case from the Navy at saka sa mga may-ari ng barko (and the vessel owners)…after the proper seizure and forfeiture proceedings, doon pa lang natin sila pwedeng i-auction (only then can we hold the auction),” Martinez explained.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Philippine Navy, BOC, the Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Quarantine met to discuss the joint inventory on the smuggled rice.

“We want to turn this over to the proper agencies and then iyong sa crew naman, doon sa (as for the crew, turn them over to the) Bureau of Immigration. As far as the goods are concerned naman itu-turn over namin ito sa (we will turn them over to the) Bureau of Customs,” Col. Joe Anthony Orbe, the acting commander of the Naval Task Force said.

The shipment includes 27,180 sacks of rice valued at P67 million.

The BOC wants to make sure through the inventory if there are other illegal items aside from the smuggled rice on board MV Diamond 8. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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First-time donors join MCGI bloodletting in Zamboanga

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

The opportunity to help others and the health benefits of donating blood are two reasons first time-donors cited for joining the mass bloodletting event of Members Church of God International (MCGI) in Zamboanga on April 14, Saturday.

For 17-year-old Claricel Manson, she has long wanted to participate in this kind of event.

“Dumalo ako sa bloodletting last time and then ni-reject lang ako kasi 16 years old pa lang ako (I tried to join the bloodletting last time but was rejected because I was only 16 years old),” she said.

Though it can be daunting, first-time donor Ellyn Marie Yu finds helping others more important and such a fulfilling experience.

“Kabado baka medyo mahihirapan sa paghahanap [ng ugat] dahil chubby, pero okay naman po. So far so good,” she said.

(I’m a little nervous. Finding a vein might prove difficult because I’m chubby, but I’m fine with it. So far so good.)

A total of 65 bags were donated to Zamboanga Medical Center.

The partners of MCGI have expressed happiness over the success of high-volume recruitment of donors.

According to Carlo Evardo, head of the hospital’s donor recruitment, they need 50 to 60 on a daily basis.

“Priority po natin mga indigent persons kasi sila iyong mas nangangailangan, kasi hindi sila nakaka-afford ng dugo. Actually, iyong dugo libre lang but the processing fee iyong binabayran,” said Evardo.

(We prioritize indigents because they need it more and they cannot afford it. Actually, the blood is free but you have to pay for the processing fee.)

Meanwhile, four members of MCGI are set to receive the  Galloner Award of the Department of Health for donating  10 times.  — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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Palace official suggests reselling of smuggled rice seized in Zamboanga, Sibugay

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

SMUGGLED RICE: Over 27, 000 sacks of Vietnam rice were seized by the Philippine Navy from a foreign cargo vessel in the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay on Saturday, April 14. (Photo Courtesy: Philippine Navy)

MANILA, Philippines — The National Food Authority is urged to resell the 27,180 sacks of smuggled rice seized from a foreign vessel off the waters of Zamboanga Sibugay last Saturday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque suggested that the NFA may offer the rice shipment to markets at a cheaper price.

“Kung hindi nga lang po bigas iyan, that should be up for destruction din. Pero dahil makakain naman ng taumbayan, ang sinabi sa akin ng Department of Agriculture ay pupuwede po iyang ibenta as NFA rice, iyong cheap rice para ma-increase iyong stockpile ng NFA.” the Palace official said.

(Had it not been rice, it should have been up for destruction also. But because it is suitable for public consumption, the Department of Agriculture has told me it can be sold as NFA rice, the cheap rice, to increase the NFA’s stockpile.)

The NFA is still awaiting the replenishment of its rice buffer stock of 250,000 imported rice which is set to arrive in May.

The seized shipment on board MV Diamond 8 is valued at P68 million pesos. — Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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