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Category Archives: CRIME

I wasn’t given my due process, cries Fil-Can immigration expert

“In case of dissension, never dare to judge till you’ve heard the other side.”

— Euripides, The Children of Herakles

By Alex P. Vidal29572661_10210915151185240_5653732937757158570_n

NEW YORK CITY –– A Filipino-Canadian immigration consultant based in Surrey, British Columbia has protested the advisory posted by the Consulate General of the Philippines in Vancouver, Canada on its website on July 30, 2018 saying he was “unfairly targeted and singled out without any due process.”

The advisory, authorized by the Philippine Overseas Labor

Office (POLO) with office at World Trade Center, Canada Place in Vancouver, Canada, said, “The Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Vancouver advises the general public about the unauthorized and unlicensed recruitment of Filipino workers being conducted by ‘Harvard Immigration.’”

“It was so sudden and so quick,” sobbed Jay Razon, owner of Harvard Immigration. “There was no warning whatsoever and I was not given a chance to air my side.”

The advisory added: “Based on the verification made by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (“POLO”) in Vancouver, it was determined that Harvard Immigration is not duly authorized/licensed to recruit Filipino workers for employment in Canada. Filipinos seeking employment in Canada are advised to deal only with legitimate

recruitment/employment agencies that are duly registered and accredited with the

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (“POEA”).”

AUTHORITY

The advisory stressed that “a license to engage in immigration consultancy activities is not an authority to undertake recruitment of Temporary Foreign Workers (“TFW”). It is also prohibited even for a licensed recruitment agency to charge a worker any recruitment fee to facilitate deployment to Canada.”

Razon, 63, said he surmised the advisory came out in the heels of an advertisement in the Surrey-based Philippinze Showiz Today by Lucky Supermarket located on Kings Boulevard in Surrey, which announced the hiring of workers for various positions.

He admitted he had “an outstanding contract” with Lucky Supermarket “to provide immigration services to potential supermarket workers.”

Razon, who obtained a license to operate for Harvard Immigration two years ago,

Clarified that “I was not hired primarily by the company (Lucky Supermarket) to recruit the workers but for immigration services e.g. LMIA application and Work Permit application.”

LMIA is Labour Market Impact Assessment, a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.

He said his company did not sign any contract with the workers.

The newspaper advertisement “clearly stated that applicants may send their resume directly to the hrsurrey@luckysupermarket.ca.”

“If hired by the company I can now offer my immigration services,” Razon explained.

A nurse and civil engineer by profession, Razon pointed out that “I am a regulated Canadian immigration consultant (RCIC) but not a licensed worker recruiter here in Canada nor in the Philippines. I am just not allowed to recruit workers.”

LINK

Upon the suggestions of Joel Castillo, president of the United Filipino-Canadian Association of BC (UFCABC), Razon said he tried to link with Maria Facundo-Lilly, owner of the Vancouver-based Reliable Nanny and Caregiver Placement Agency, “in order to get suggestions on how to abide with the law.”

Razon said he wanted to explain this to Labor Attaché Margarita Eugenia Victorino but she reportedly threatened to file a case against him.

POLO has issued a “cease and desist” order for his company thus “my momentum (as an immigration consultant) to help the more than 150 Filipino workers has ran out,” he protested.

“I could lose my license as a consequence of this issue, but I want to emphasize that I  am only helping the Filipino workers and I have worked so hard to obtain my license,” Razon bewailed.

Reitred Consul General Jose Ampeso and former Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS) vice president Amado Mercado Jr. are reportedly among the community leaders who “understand” Razon’s predicament and are trying to help fix his woes with the POLO.

 

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Posted by on August 17, 2018 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Playboy Bebot to Ate Glo: From ‘worse to bad’

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”

–Henry Kissinger

By Alex P. Vidal13612173_10206678118334491_1779360806990529016_n

NEW YORK CITY — Nobody has bellyached now that Playboy Bebot was booted out in a “mutiny” in the House of Representatives.
No Mark Antony-like soliloquy.
No loyal subaltern threatening to commit a hara kiri.
No post mortem protest from PDP-Laban figureheads except for softy Koko Pimental’s tantrums.
Since the ouster supposedly had the fingerprints of the First Daughter, it had been received with a grain of salt by pro-and anti-Playboy Bebot politicians.
The message was clear: Playboy Bebot deserved to be given the door, his comeuppance for picking an unnecessary fight with the First Daughter; and for poking a nose into the latter’s infant political party.
Meanwhile, she was supposed to be in jail for plunder, but by a stroke luck, Ate Glo was released from being under house arrest when the Angry Man, her political benefactor, was catapulted into power in 2016.
Her pivotal rise from the rumps of political death signaled her stunning resurrection from the nadir.

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Ate Glo had inherited her son’s position in congress, thus her political rehabilitation came to a zenith when she was installed as the new House speaker hours before the Angry Man’s state of the nation address on July 23, 2018.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, there’s no more turning back.
She could become the first prime minister if the sinister plot to hijack our constitution and shift the system of government into federal from unitary will come into fruition.
Between Playboy Bebot and Ate Glo, lawmakers opted for the lesser evil.
Thus the leadership change can be considered to be a transfer of power from “worse to bad.”
For being morally unfit and a bad influence, Playboy Bebot was a worse speaker.
For being mentally dishonest (“Hello Garci” tumult) and having been tainted with a whiff of graft and corruption, Ate Glo is a bad choice for Playboy Bebot’s replacement.

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I was again misinterpreted for exhorting the relatives and friends of Monica-Blumentritt, Iloilo City Proper village chief Keith “Dabing” Espinosa and her jailed husband, Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr. to “pray for them” in my previous article.
It’s a common knowledge in Western Visayas or in Iloilo City, in particular, that the couple has been receiving threats owing to their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Although Jing-Jing is now detained at the Iloilo Provincial Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo for frustrated murder, he continued to engage in selling of illegal drugs using Dabing and his family remembers, according to Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) director, Chief Supt. John Bulalacao.

-o0o-
When I used “Pray for Jing-Jing and Dabing” as the title of my article, it did not mean I believed they were immaculate and shouldn’t be indicted in court.
They should be brought before the bar of justice unscathed.
As Christians, we are advocating for any suspected criminal to be given the due process and treated humanely.
This goes not only for Dabing and Jing-Jing but for all “notorious” characters out there who are still enjoying their freedom and are not yet locked behind bars.
We air this utmost concern amid the culture of impunity, the series of summary executions that pervade our society under the present administration, which apparently has showed callous disregard for the human life based on numerous anti-illegal drugs police operations.
We believe that any person, whose guilt has not yet been proven beyond reasonable doubt, should be entitled to his or her right to life.
 
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Posted by on July 24, 2018 in CRIME, POLITICS

 

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Pray for Jing-Jing and Dabing

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.”

–Steven Wright

By Alex P. Vidal29572442_10211417967587760_356020253209754251_n

NEW YORK CITY — The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) in the Philippines can’t blame the family and constituents of Monica-Blumentritt, Iloilo City Proper village chief Keith “Dabing” Espinosa and her husband, Jesus “Jing-Jing” Espinosa Jr., if they blame the police if something bad will happen to the Espinosa couple.
Chief Supt. John Bulalaco, the PRO-6 director, has been telegraphing their punches these past weeks.
First, Director Bulalacao has announced he would never meet with Dabing as long as her name is on the list of suspected drug lords.
Dabing, who is reportedly in hiding, had been wanting to see Director Bulalaco to clear her name but the top cop was quoted in media reports as saying, “I have no time for her.”
It’s understandable.
A Dirty Harry film once explicitly proclaimed that authorities aren’t supposed to compromise with the underworld.

-o0o-

Second, Director Bulalaco has revealed that Jing-Jing, now detained at the Iloilo Provincial Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo for frustrated murder, continued to engage in selling of illegal drugs and is using his family members, including Dabing, as fronts.
Director Bulalacao’s revelation on Jing-Jing’s jail activities was a palpable sign that the police could be wittingly or unwittingly trying to condition the public mind that the Espinosa couple has become incorrigible, ergo…
If we deeply analyze these two damning pronouncements coming from Western Visayas’ highest ranking police official, it seems they are harrowing indications of the portent of things to come.
God forbid.
Friends and family members should start praying for the couple’s safety.

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We only wish that if the police have enough evidence against Jing-Jing and Dabing in their alleged continued involvement in illegal drug trade, proper charges should be immediately filed against them in court.
If there are pending cases in court against them, let the litigation continue and grind to its full conclusion.
At least that’s how the justice system in the Philippines works.
Let the judicial truth come out during the trial.
We can’t subject the controversial couple into an endless trial by publicity.

We can’t convict them through allegations, tough words and a public rebuke.
Even if they are known to be the “soldiers of the darkness”, suspects in the Philippines still have to avail of their rights under the Constitution to be heard in a competent court.
They are still innocent until proven otherwise.
Efforts must be pursued to secure them first before being brought to a fair trial.
 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Treñas’ foes try to link him to illegal drugs  

“Politics have no relation to morals.”

 — Niccolo Machiavelli

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY –– Some of the possible rivals of Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas for city mayor have started to sharpen their knives now that the congressman has declared his intention to run again in 2019.

In order to stymie his candidacy, some of Treñas’ prospective opponents have begun “establishing” his supposed links with the slain drug lord, Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr.

The disgraced drug kingpin, who was slain together with his wife, Merriam, in Caticlan, Aklan on August 28, 2016, reportedly cemented his narcotics fiefdom when Treñas was city mayor in 2001-2010.

It did not mean, however, that William Hale “Big Bill” Thompson was in cahoots with the mobsters only because he was the mayor of Chicago when Al Capone terrorized the Windy City.

True or not, Treñas can’t remain silent on the issue.

Sooner or later, he will be forced to answer the accusation lock, stock, and barrel, especially when the election campaign officially starts.

He can afford shrug off the issue today and consider it as a mere “mosquito bite” since it is not yet certain whether he is really running for city mayor or just trying to bluff certain characters.

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It was the issue on illegal drugs that prematurely put an exclamation point to the city hall stint of dismissed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, although many of his supporters maintain until today he was innocent and only a victim of political vendetta.

We have been warned always that if we ignore the danger signs, they could spell our ignominy when we least expect it.

Mabilog, confident of his innocence, and his supporters could not believe that a mere “mosquito bite” would turn into a poisonous wound inflicted by a deadly Python when no less than the misinformed Presiden Duterte swallowed the canard hook, line, and sinker.

A lie repeated several times becomes the truth, according to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

But even the truth in politics, more often than not, can’t save any politician from the pit of destruction.

And the rest is history.

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Even without a resolution from the Iloilo Provincial Board calling for a speedy investigation of the murder of STL operator Samuel Aguilar, the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) must pursue all angles and run after the perpetrators.

It doesn’t matter whether the victim was a VIP or an ordinary person. Murder is murder; a crime has been committed in broad daylight when unidentified gun men ambushed Aguilar’s vehicle in Barangay Buyuan, Tigbauan, Iloilo on March 13, 2018.

If a prominent personality can be killed despite the presence of his bodyguards, there is no guarantee that an ordinary victim who walks alone or rides in any vehicle won’t be waylaid and shot fatally by any criminal.

Aguilar was not the first “big name” in the gambling business killed in Iloilo.

Five years ago, Jimmy Punzalan, a retired Philippine Constabulary sergeant and believed to be also engaged in numbers game, was also murdered in cold blood by unknown assailants while resting in his restaurant in Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Punzalan’s killing was never solved.

Let’s hope the twin murders were not connected.

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in CRIME, ELECTION, POLITICS

 

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Sleeping cops shouldn’t be shamed

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

–Stephen Covey

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEWARK, New Jersey — I agree that some cops in the Philippines caught sleeping while on duty be meted with disciplinary action, but I don’t agree that they should be berated like kids in front of a national TV.

Sleeping while on duty is indeed a serious offense amid threats from the communist rebels to attack police stations anywhere in the country.

It constitutes negligence and lack of discipline especially if those caught dozing off were not in proper uniform and in terrible shape physically.

They could be disarmed by bad elements and even killed while in dreamland.

They can’t also respond to calls for police assistance from victims of crimes at night time.

Sleeping precinct commanders should be sacked and replaced with those energetic and strong enough to withstand drowsiness on night shift.

-o0o-

I have misgivings though with some police officials who give their junior officers the dressing down in front of TV cameras.

Not all the sleeping beauties are useless or bad cops.

Sleeping is a human foible. Even Hercules and Don Juan fall asleep.

Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson had also been caught sleeping in cowboy and crime movies, but they always emerged as outstanding lawmen and ten feet taller than the bad guys they had killed.

Police officials can always conduct a surprise visit in various precincts even without the media coverage and fanfare.

They can always throw the books on erring subordinates without the need to insult and embarrass them in media.

While most of these police officials are motivated by call for duty, protocol and professionalism and their wrath seem to be valid, some of them have hidden agenda.

When they retire several months or years later, they don’t only become civilians, they become candidates in elections for a public office.

If they can shame subordinates for the sin of sleeping, they must, first and foremost, do the same to the rogue cops, the real bad eggs in uniform notoriously engaged in illegal drugs and illegal gambling.

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When Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) committed crimes, some of them were sentenced to death in foreign courts even if their guilt wasn’t established beyond reasonable doubt.

In most cases, the Philippine government wasn’t able to save wrongly convicted OFWs from the death row.

Either news of the sentencing in court reached late in Malacanang, or there was lack of coordination and miscommunication among labor attaches and other concerned officials.

If the OFWs are the victims of crimes perpetrated by their employers, the chances that they can get support from Malacanang through our embassy are also sometimes nil.

Especially if embassy officials face a blank wall like in the case of 29-yar-old Joanna Demafiles of Sara, Iloilo whose body was found inside a freezer in a Kuwait apartment recently.

As of this writing, efforts by Lebanese authorities have been undertaken to capture the suspects, a couple and Demafiles’ former employers, who fled to Lebanon after abandoning the apartment in 2016.

Demafiles had been identified through her fingerprints, according to RP officials in Kuwait. Her family is demanding justice. They wanted her body back in Sara, Iloilo.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2018 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Duterte appoints new Iloilo, Negros judges

“I love judges, and I love courts. They are my ideals, that typify on earth what we shall meet hereafter in heaven under a just God.”
–William Howard Taft

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — If I were House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, I would refrain from further humiliating detained Senator Leila De Lima.
In his most recent media conference, the former cabinet official of then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo lambasted De Lima calling her as the “No. 1 drug lord in the Philippines.”
True or not, in our culture we don’t kick somebody who is already down. Especially a woman.
We never heard the same level of vitriol and angry words from past speakers like Nicanor Yñiguez, Ramon Mitra Jr., Jose De Venecia, Arnulfo Fuentebella, and Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

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President Duterte has appointed the following judges for the islands of Panay and Negros:
-Daniel Antonio Gerardo S. Amular (RTC Branch 35, Iloilo City);
-Oscar Leo S. Billena (RTC Branch 70 Barotac Viejo, Iloilo);
-Jose E. Mauricio E. Gomez (RTC Branch 71 Barotac Viejo, Iloilo);
-Nelita Jesusa Arboleda-Bacaling (RTC Branch 72 Guimbal, Iloilo);
-Gemalyn Faunillo-Tarol (RTC Branch 76, Janiuay, Iloilo);
-Ernesto L. Abijay, Jr. (RTC Branch 10 San Jose, Antique);
-Josefina Fulo-Muego (RTC Branch 13 Culasi, Antique);
-Phoebe A. Gargantiel-Balbin (RTC Branch 45 Bacolod City, Negros Occidental);
-Edwin B. Gomez (RTC Branch 77 Sipalay City, Negros Occidental);
-Gwendolyn I. Jimenea-Tiu (RTC Branch 60 Cadiz City, Negros Occidental);
-Reginald M. Fuentebella (RTC Branch 73 Sagay City, Negros Occidental);
-Mila D. Yap-Camiso (RTC Branch 74 La Carlota City, Negros Occidental);
-Gertrude Belgica Jiro (MTC Dumangas, Iloilo);
-Kathryn Rose A. Hitalia-Baliatan (MTC Miag-ao, Iloilo);
-Meliza Joan Berano Robite (MTCC Branch 2 Iloilo City);
-Larnie Fleur B. Palma-Kim (MTCC Branch 6, Iloilo City);
-Mark Anthony D.R. Polonan (MTCC Branch 8, Iloilo City);
-Rysty Ann C. Espinosa-Borja (MTCC Branch 9, Iloilo City);
-Joan Marie B. Bargas-Betita (3rd MCTC Malinao-Lezo-Numancia, Aklan);
-Maria Fe Macabales-Taal (3rd MCTC Patnongon-Bugasong-Valderrama, Antique);
-Joevy Paclibar Velnzuela (5th MCTC Sigma-Sapian-Jamindan, Capiz);
-Kathleen Gigante Delantar (MTCC Branch 2 Roxas City, Capiz);
-Jeeli Panaguiton Espinosa (2nd MCTC Buenavista-San Lorenzo, Guimaras);
-Bienvenido B. Llanes Jr. (MTC Pontevedra, Negros Occidental);
-Jose Meno C. Ruiz (MTCC Escalante City, Negros Occidental);
-Jose Manuel A. Lopez (MTCC Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental); and
-Maria Concepcion Elumba Rivera (MTCC, La Carlota City, Negros Occidental).

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WE can’t blame Mayor Alex Centena of Calinog, Iloilo if his presence has been sorely missed in important gatherings like the League of Municipalities.
Ever since President Duterte mentioned Centena’s name as among those allegedly included in narco-politics, the dashing former chair of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) during the Marcos years has reportedly refused to join in various social and political events in Iloilo.
“He has become security conscious,” noticed a former broadcaster from Cabatuan, Iloilo, who is familiar with Centena’s activities during the halcyon years.
“The mayor stays in his safe house most of the time and his whereabouts can’t be ascertained even by some of his municipal staff in regular days and during weekend.”

WEIGHT

He became reclusive and lost weight, the former broadcaster added.
Centena have reportedly cancelled all his out-of-town commitments and refused interviews with reporters who come to Calinog.
Duterte has threatened to kill those involved in trafficking and manufacturing of illegal drugs, including some local government executives.
More than 7,000 have been killed nationwide since the Duterte administration launched the “Oplan Tokhang” against known drug pushers and users.
Centena has repeatedly denied links to any drug lord, but admitted slain Iloilo City-based drug lord Melvin “Boyet” Odicta Sr. once visited his house where he maintains a mini-zoo.

 
 

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Iloilo police ‘task force’ once linked to EJK

“Even in killing men, observe the rules of propriety.”
–CONFUCIUS

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By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Even before the alleged Davao Death Squad (DDS) terrorized criminals in Davao City, the territory of President Rodrigo Duterte, a police “task force” in Iloilo City was already making headlines in the late 80’s and early 90’s for links to the now infamous tagline “extra-judicial killing” or EJK.
The dreaded “Task Force Iron Eagle” led by one Colonel Rolando Maclang, operated under the tutelage of the Metrodistrict Police Command (Metrodiscom), now Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO).
Maclang had been convicted for the kidnapping and murder of a woman Filipino-Chinese cockfighting habitue, Obing Cocjin, and is now serving a jail term in the New Bilibid Prison.
Bodies of EJK victims were mostly dumped in the now Sen. Benigno Aquino Avenue, formerly known as Iloilo Diversion Road when it was still grassy, muddy and dark.
Under the watch of the late former city councilor Achilles Plagata, Metrodiscom earned notoriety for alleged involvement in EJKs where the victims were mostly thieves, rapists, drug pushers, and members of the underworld.

COUNCILOR

Plagata was a former police colonel who became a city councilor in the 90’s after his retirement. He was swashbuckling and tough-talking and had no mercy for criminals.
Well-loved and feared by police scalawags, he could have been “Iloilo City’s Rodrigo Duterte” had he ran and won for city mayor.
Like Duterte, Plagata also used cuss words and diatribes to torment bad elements in society.
His mere presence in police offices would strike fear in the hearts of lousy policemen who got dressed down like kindergarten pupils.
Task Force Iron Eagle crossed my mind when I leaned that alleged former executioner, retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas, corroborated the testimony of fellow hitman Edgar Matobato linking President Duterte to the so-called DDS.
When Plagata retired in police service until his stint as elected city official, nobody from among his former henchmen ratted against their former operations.
In other words, Plagata took good care all his minions even during his civilian life.
The likes of Lascañas and Matobato were unheard of during Plagata’s “reign of terror.”

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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