ANGELES CITY NEWS

April 2010

This is the FINAL Margarita Station newsletter.  Lately the negative feedback outweighs positive feedback by a significant volume and the number of visitors to the newsletter pages has dropped significantly in recent months.     

Margarita Station News

PACMAN LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW IN MARGARITA STATION We teamed up with the Tanduay distributor and decided to try a pay-per-view event.  Tanduay brought in a projection TV and a quality sound system.  We had over 250 customers fill the place to standing room only.  We may try this again for major sporting events.  We charged a nominal fee for tickets, 100% of which was good toward food & beverages.

It's always good to see a group of military guys come in for a few light drinks with their meal.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

In early March the ABC (Angeles Beach Club) Hotel sponsored a day of WET & WILD Boxing. The entrance fee went to charity and beads were sold with a percentage going to the girls that received them and the rest to charity. I think the owner of the ABC bought far more beads than any other individual.  There was a superb buffet on the roof top that was restocked all day long and beer was free.  It was a great day party that raised over P300,000 for a local charity.  Well done Gerard and the ABC!

Honey Ko's Raid:  About 5 pm on Saturday 6 Feb an undercover Filipino NBI agent negotiated a deal with a young lady for sex. He signaled other agents that were waiting outside and they raided the club.  The agents took all the money from the cashiers cage and even tried to take personal money from the cashiers purse.  They then hand picked a group of girls and hauled them away.  The club was not closed by these officials, but they had to shut down because the momasan and the cashier were taken away in the raid.  Later, for a payment of around P300,000 all charges disappeared and Honey Ko's was open for business the next day.

DOLLHOUSE GROUP RAISES PRICES: Recently the Doll House Group raised their white tag EWR's from P 1350 pesos to P 1500 and local drinks from P 85 pesos to P 95.  With a majority of the local EXPATS and many of the board members from the various internet forums on Angeles still boycotting the entire group of bars because of the Thomas beating, raising prices right now seems like an Ermita Economics strategy from the 90's, i.e., "we don't have enough customers, so we should raise our prices." 

MOTORCYCLE SNATCHERS:  In the last few months there have been numerous reports of girls losing necklaces or purses to several guys on a motorcycle.  These snatchings have occurred as often in daylight as they have at night.  They also occurred all over the area from right outside SM to Perimeter Road.  I heard of many of them because foreigners were walking with a girl when the snatchings occurred. These reports stopped after the April 5th arrest of three guys for purse snatching (see news article below).  Let's hope they caught the right guys.  But, guys, wise up.  Angeles city isn't a good town to show off your bling.  Leave your gold at home before you visit and if you give your honey ko a nice necklace, don't let her wear it when she is out walking around balibago.

STABBING NEAR ERUPTIONS:  This was posted on the PI at Night forum about an assault on Friday, 26 February a few hours before sunrise:

I would just like to warn you guys of the dangers of AC and sometimes feeling a false sense of security. Early hours of Friday morning a good friend of mine was stabbed several times after being jumped on from behind. He was walking along the road of Eruptions bar taking a short cut to Malabanias Rd. Fortunately for my friend a security guard (I assume from the hotel there) disturbed the scumbag and he fled empty handed. My friend suffered 6 stab wounds including a slash below his eye, wound to the stomach, arms and a deep wound to his chest near his heart. This scumbag obviously tried to kill him but fortunately was unsuccessful. Please Please Please guys make sure you take a trike (even if we hate them) and do not attempt to walk off the beaten track ever!

The guy lived here and had been taking the same short cut home for about five months.   He was a very large guy, but his size did not deter the attacker at all, in fact, it may be what made the attacker decide to use deadly force from the start. 

As I have said before, do not walk through dark areas after dark.  The bad guys can see you walking and go ahead and wait in an isolated area to rob you. In the last year some of these guys resort immediately to stabbing or shooting their victims.  Don't take chances, use a trike to get where you are going after dark.

OTHER ANGELES CITY NEWS

A new and exciting Money Transfer service is about to hit the streets of Angeles City

 

 

NOTE: This is NOT a Margarita Station business. It is a business that will operate out of leased space inside margarita Station.

What makes Ko-Kard Money Transfer unique is that it enables money transfer directly to a physical ATM card for cash withdrawal at over 8,000 ATM’s in the Philippines. The neat thing about Ko-Kard is that your recipient is not required to have a bank account, no need to stand in long lines, fill out forms, re-present ID and best of all Ko-Kard is available night or day, 24/7.

From what I do know, all that will be required to use the Ko-Kard service is an internet connection (to the website  www.ko-kard.com - coming soon) and a valid credit card. Funds are transferred to the ATM card holder you have assigned, and best of all (according to Ko-Kard), the service will be significantly cheaper to use than Western Union.

It is easy for your recipient to pick up the card here in Angeles since Ko-Kard is setting up an ATM card distribution center located within The Ville (Margarita Station) complex.  This office should be operational on about 1 May 2010. Your recipient will need a photo ID to pick up her ATM card from the office in Margarita Station.

I met with the key principles of Ko-Kard, who are a group of Canadian entrepreneurs with significant payment transaction processing experience and are partnered with a leading Philippine national bank. Ko-Kard also operates a 24/7 customer support center on Clark.

Ko-Kard has informed me they will be releasing an initial number of ATM cards to kick the program off. If you would like more information about Ko-Kard, or would like to include your loved one or family member to receive one of these free ATM cards, you can contact Ko-Kard directly info@ko-kard.com

Before it's demise, Casi Cielo had some girls at Kokomo's pool every day. This practice has continued and is just called Kokomo's pool.  Reportedly, Screaming Eagle on Perimeter is supplying the girls and hiring more for their bar as they try to do the girl thing. Hours at Kokomos Pool are 2 PM to 10 PM.

MOVIES AT THE LEWIS GRAND HOTEL: Every evening, around 6.30 to 6.45 pm, they are showing movies on a giant screen, in garden area, above the pool. They have a movie listing that you can look at and give suggestions for additions. The movie nights are free but of course management hopes you will splurge on a few drinks and even, maybe, a bit to eat. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 6 to 10 PM, they have a happy hour with local drinks at 50 pesos. What a deal, watch a movie and enjoy bargain priced drinks.
ROOM RATES REDUCED:  With all the prices going up now days, I was surprised when the 950 Apartelle next to margarita Station sent me their new room rates and I noticed some of them had been reduced.  For more information, see the 950 page.
A BIZARRE CRIME REPORT AND A NEW LAW:  A long time EXPAT resident was recently detained by the police after an unusual incident. A guy I'll call Willie took home a girl from the Duke of York.  Sometime after they had been in his place for a while she went nuts and broke windows and some other items she was able to throw around.  He left her there, playing possum, while he returned to the bar to get help.  Three girls from the club came and got the girl.  However, an hour later the girl and the Filipina  club owner showed up at his apartment with the police.  The girl alleged he abused her, so the police took him and the girl to a hospital to verify her story of abuse and to bandage Willie's foot, which was badly cut from stepping on broken glass.  At one point the girl was handcuffed in the hospital because she was acting so crazy.  The hospital could find no proof of abuse.  But, one of the police had spotted Willie's digital camera in his apartment. When he checked it, they found nude pictures.  They took Willie for a drive (not to the police station).  After driving him around for two hours, he gave them 12,000 pesos and was released.

Required 9 stitches

A set-up? Maybe, but unlikely the girl saw any of that P12,000.  But, the guy got off easy as the police were probably unaware of a new law that was just passed that imposes very stiff penalties for anyone taking photos of a girl (in public or in private) without her consent.  This law was passed in the aftermath of videos that surfaced of several prominent women in Manila that were filmed with a hidden camera and then had these videos posted on the internet.  Better get a signed consent form from now on or the girls can press charges.  The way I understand it, they can even file charges if you take there photo in a club!

Donald Paul Apartelle   The Donald Paul is not CLOSED!  An EXPAT that operates a small, popular restaurant reported on numerous AC forums on April 7th that the Donald Paul was closed.  The owner has assured me that he never closed but he did fire a number of employees for an unspecified reason.

CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP IN CHAMPAGNE GROUP:  Rolf has retired from the club business as he has sold his shares in the Champagne Group. His father, Horst, would be very happy with this decision as he always wanted Rolf to be in another line of work.  Beth and Tony will remain as major shareholders in the Group .

The squatters have been cleared out of the old El Toro across from Tequila Reef.  This is a vast improvement and hopefully someone will start developing that property back into a viable business soon.
Air-Conditioned Shuttle service starts operations at DMIA

Added convenience has been provided passengers going to and from the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) with the start of operations of a DMIA shuttle service utilizing new and fully air-conditioned jeepneys by the Clark Special Economic Zone Transport Federation (CSEZTF). The service plies the route from the DMIA to the Dau Bus Terminal in Mabalacat and vice versa with stops at the Clark Main Gate and SM City-Clark. The fare is P30 from the DMIA to the Clark main gate and SM City-Clark and P45 from the airport to the Dau Bus Terminal.
 

Shuttle services will start plying between the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA)- SM City Clark-Dau Bus Terminal in Mabalacat daily starting on March 1 in a bid to provide a transport service to passengers.  "This is a welcome development for our passengers especially to the OFWs in the Northern Luzon area were transportation services leading to DMIA is even more easier, and comfortable," Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said. Luciano said passengers coming from the Northern Luzon area can take a ride on the fully air-conditioned jeepneys stationed at the Dau Bus Terminal and ferry them directly to DMIA. The Clark Special Economic Zone Transport Federation (CSEZTF) headed by their President Danilo Yumul started on Monday (March 1) their DMIA-SM City Clark-Dau Bus Terminal regular routes that would ferry passengers leading to the airport in Clark Freeport.

At least 8 units of fully air-conditioned jeepneys from the CSEZTF are currently servicing passengers that would ferry them to the DMIA. Passengers arriving at DMIA can take the jeepneys and ferry them to the Dau Terminal vise versa. The jeepneys can also pick up passengers at the SM City Clark and ferry them to the airport vise-versa. They can also drop-off passengers at the Clark Main Gate Terminal.

The transportation fee for the DMIA-Dau Terminal service is P45.00 per person while the DMIA-SM City Clark and Clark Main Gate service is P30.00 per person.

MISS MAGIC:   A Canadian gent is telling bar patrons of his plans to build a new bar named Miss Magic next to Puzzles cafe. He said it's already under construction.  Get a load of these features: 24 hour, three shift operation, 200 girl staff, with dancers around the clock, 2 of the best pool tables in town. He said standard Perimeter prices, though he was on the high end with his proposed P60 local drinks. He said there would be a happy hour though.  He said he is already fully staffed, and is now turning away applicants. Expected completion date is early May 2010.  Oh, and he said there would be 4 'hotel rooms' on site, available for 2 or 3 hours at a time.

Thanks for the info Kabayo. Are you sure he said May 2010?  And I'm sure he has 200 staff on retainer until the place opens .. ROFLMAO. 

Next construction update in September.

 

These photos are a few months old, but still think May is an unreasonable opening date.  Construction here always takes about twice as long as you thin it will. Finishing work goes slow because the workers can see the end of their paydays.

PHOTOs OF THE MONTH

   

Interesting tattoo. What next, an expiration date?

      

Sign in Perimeter Bar CR.

Next time you are shopping on line AND you have your car with you, there is a place on Fields where you can park! LOL

Thanks for the photo Jung!

OPENINGS - CHANGES - ETC

Splash I mentioned in the last newsletter that Bada Bing had been sold and was to be renamed SPLASH.  The name change finally went into effect in mid-March and more changes are still coming.  It will be interesting to watch this club develop in the next few months. I expect it to move into the top 10 of the Perimeter bars as Dennis & Graham make improvements and some of the other Perimeter bars continue a downward slide.

Casi Ceilo  Who couldn't see this one coming?  A guy with a background in the porn industry nicknamed John T-Bone came to town and opened up a short time bar.  He advertised it through a well designed website.  The photos on the website generally complied with current acceptable standards, but the site made it pretty clear what the club was really about.  None of the girls ever wore city licenses and several girls told me they didn't go to hygiene but were instructed to say the club had a private doctor that did the check ups.   Then on 17 February at 6 pm a team from the NBI raided the club.  The took 12 girls into custody and at least one staff member.  Since then there have been conflicting reports stating that John and his wife are in jail, or that they are in hiding.  In any event, a new owner has renamed the club JUMPING JACK and life goes on. 

Forbidden City on Fields (opposite Kokomo's) opened the first week of March 2020.  This is a three story bar with 2 floors looking at the main stage area, and the glass ceiling above the second floor is the dance floor on the third floor.   This club is owned by Lewis of the Lewis Grand and a consortium of investors.  

Wee George's This was a strange club. Never could decide if it was a pub or a go-go, but the mix of the two never worked.  A few months ago a new management team tried to make a go of it, but they finally shut down.  The greedy landlord was asking for such a steep rent increase with a year up front that nobody will touch this place for a long time.  Word is George is now a manager at Forbidden City.  Lost in Asia is also coming up on the lease renewal. Let's see if the landlord makes them a deal or if they close shop too.

GRANDVIEW TOWERS  On the surface this project appears to be DEAD.  There has been no construction for almost a year (due to an injunction for building zone violations).  In March the sales office closed up and left behind an empty building with no contact signs. 

The website ( http://www.grandviewdevelopments.com/en/content/view/34/1/) is still being updated and is very optimistic.  It says the sales office is just being transferred to the main building.   I believe in the saying "let the buyer beware!'  Right now I don't think Stevie Wonder would invest in this project unless something changes.

Car Wash bar was sold in March.   It was purchased by Jerry from Eruptions.  Word is he has 180 girls in that club now and 120 in Eruptions!! 

A guy tried to open a small bar where the Flying Machine was next to ABC Hotel. Hank's wife hadn't paid the rent for about six months, so this guy paid the landlord the back rent  and then tried to kick Hank's wife out of the place.  She went to the Barangay and now the place is padlocked close.  Don't look for a Grand Opening to this 10 seat club anytime soon.

Blueberry Hill was sold.  Rumor is this was a" freehold" property. If true, it will be interesting to learn the price and who purchased it.  Asking price a few months ago was 25 million Pesos.
FIRE & ICE renamed VAULT.  Let's hope this name change improves it more than the last two times.  In the last 2 years it went from a good afternoon bar to a funeral parlor.

The new PRINCESS MADISON HOTEL.  This is located on the alley like street that runs between Fields Ave and the park.  It looks ready to open in May 2010.  Nice trendy design, but I suspect the rooms will be a bit noisy as it faces onto all those late night karaoke joints.  Definitely not a area I'd like to walk to after dark.

NEWS CLIPPINGS

From multiple sources (Not necessarily in chronological order) 

Some text may have been removed due to space limits & occasional verbose reporters.

Korean businessman murdered in Angeles hotel       MANILA, Philippines - A South Korean businessman was shot dead by unknown gunmen as he left a hotel north of Manila, local police said Monday.  One of two suspects called out the victim's name, Kang Ha-Young, shortly before the attack at the Clark economic zone late Saturday, said Angeles city police official Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista. The gunmen arrived and left by motorcycle, he told AFP, adding that no arrests had been made. Kang was with another person, who was unhurt, Bautista said. Police are looking into the motive behind the attack, including the possible involvement of South Korean rivals. "We have had cases involving these people (South Koreans) targeting each other," Bautista said without elaborating. South Korea's official Yonhap news agency said Kang was a 50-year-old real estate agent based in the northern Philippine city, home to the former United States air force base of Clark. Kang was known to have invested a large sum of money in a major land deal in the region and was usually accompanied by bodyguards because of security fears, an unnamed South Korean foreign ministry official said. Bautista said he could not immediately confirm the details given by Yonhap.

Clark firm denies foreign businessman's death

CLARK FREEPORT – The Clark Development Corporation (CDC) has denied reports that a South Korean businessman was murdered inside the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ). This after a news report was published in a national broad sheet on Tuesday bearing the headline “South Korean businessman murdered in Clark eco zone”. But Acting Manager Nicanor Targa of the CDC-Public Safety Department said there was no shooting incident inside the Clark Freeport. Targa said the fatal shooting of South Korean Kang Ha Yong happened at Arirang Villas in Barangay Anunas in Angeles City and not inside Clark. CDC Public Relations Manager Angelo “Sonny” Lopez lamented that the news story has sent wrong signals to business locators here. “News stories such as this can do so much damage to businesses inside the Clark Freeport,” he said.  Lopez said the headline specifically identified Clark as the location of the incident but a close examination of the body of the story shows that the report did not even pinpoint the exact place where the shooting incident happened. Rather it only used Clark as a reference point, he added. “While the story attributed some details to a police officer, the report did not cite concrete information from a police report,” Lopez said. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

NOTE: This murder was solved. The police arrested the shooter(s) and they, in-turn implicated several Koreans that had hired them to shoot the man.
 

Northrail may be operational by 2012

     By Ian Ocampo Flora

MALOLOS CITY — The North Luzon Railways Corporation is confident that a modern rail system would be operational from Caloocan to Clark by 2012 under its Northrail project -- provided that “there would not be any major complications.” Lawyer Zoilo Andin, president and chief operating officer of Northrail, during a press conference with media men here on Friday, said based on their build performance for 2009, they are optimistic that the 82-kilometer track from Caloocan to Clark would be operational in two years time. “We have gained momentum in our undertaking to build a modern railway system.  We have invited media men to personally see the progress of our segmental construction works and see for themselves that the Northrail project is very much alive and is doing progress as we speak,” Andin, told media men who toured the different project areas of Northrail in Guiguinto, Malolos and Balagtas. “After surmounting recurring difficulties encountered in the previous years, our physical achievements for Section 1 in 2009 have even surpassed cumulative accomplishments since construction work commenced in 2007,” Andin also said.The rate accomplishment for 2009 was recorded by Northrail at 17 percent.  Andin said that the Northrail has yet to face other possible problems along the way, but with the past experiences of the project would prove to be effective guide for future decisions.

In December 30, 2003 the contract agreement between Northrail and the China National Machinery and Equipment (CNMEG) was executed for the construction of Phase 1 of the project.  March 18, 2004 the Monetary Board approval was issued for the Northrail Project Phase 1 Section 1. July 2004, the contract between Northrail and CNMEG became effective but would be suspended in Feb 2008 due to problems in implementation.  Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan took over chairmanship of Northrail and brought back CNMEG into the implementation of the project by 2009. 

Andin said that the accomplishment rate would surely rise in the succeeding months because Northrail has already attained a high degree of “functional synergy” among contractors, engineers, technical and support personnel, which translated to faster and effective application of engineering and construction approaches. Andin said that relocation works are ongoing in Pampanga in coordination with local government units.  Stations for the modern railway system will also rise in Apalit, City of San Fernando and Clark. Since the start of relocation works some 50, 000 families from Caloocan have been relocated along with 11, 806 more families in Malolos and Angeles City as of Dec. 2009

However, Andin said that they are still studying the possibility of having the Clark terminal with a spitting distance from the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). “However, we are waiting for DMIA to also implement its full development plans. So far SM has signified its interest for the terminal to be situated with immediate distance from SM City Clark,” Andin said. SM, he said, offered to develop and shoulder part of the cost for the terminal.

Northrail adds safety measures

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO— A railway corporation announced Thursday its implementation of additional safety measures for its employees following the discovery of two live 56.6 mm World War II vintage bombs.  The North Luzon Railways Corporation (Northrail) said the measures release is to ensure the well being of its workers in the ongoing construction of the old Bigaa Philippine National Railways (PNR) station in Burol 1st, Balagtas, Bulacan.  The bombs were unearthed Wednesday by backhoe operator Rey Limbaga.  Limbaga, in a phone interview, said he was conducting clearing operations on the morning of March 10 at the Balagtas railway alignment when he unearthed the first live bomb around 8:00 am. Fifty minutes later, another bomb was dug up.  Northrail safety engineers immediately cordoned the area and reported the incident to Acting Balagtas police chief Jose Sonza.  The bombs are now under the custody of the Special Action Unit of the Bulacan Provincial police for safekeeping. Police said they are yet to identify the type and materials used for the bomb. Northrail Focal Person Vet Vitug said that the old station has been the site of an old Japanese garrison during World War II.  Northrail is doing all precautionary measures for the safety of the Balagtas Sector. Proper coordination are being undertaken to rigidly ascertain the grounds along the alignment in case the same threat might still lurk in the work area, Vitug said.  Northrail has also coordinated with the bombs disposal unit of Bulacan to clear the station of any possible bomb remains. The move may even stretch to future constructions in Pampanga and the rest of Bulacan, he said. The Northrail project is a modern railway system and is currently the biggest infrastructure project of the government. It is part of a grand vision to establish an inter-connected nationwide transport system. It is expected to put trains running from Caloocan to Clark Freeport by 2012. (Ian Ocampo Flora)

The main right of way has been being cleared in Angeles for almost a year now and is pretty much complete.  Looks like a pretty narrow easement  to me.  Photo by FRANK.

Canadian, Filipina nabbed

ANGELES CITY -- A Filipina and her Canadian partner were arrested Monday for allegedly operating four cyber sex dens in this city and nearby Mabalacat town. Chief Inspector Randy Glenn Silvio of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Team-Pampanga said in a report that the two have pending warrants of arrest issued by Judge Philbert Iturralde of the Regional trial Court Branch 58 on August 24, 2009. The arrest warrant was issued 10 months after complaints were filed against the suspects for maintaining cyber sex dens that were raided by policemen in Barangay Cuayan, Barangay Malabanias and Barangay Balibago in this city, and Barangay Dau in Mabalacat town.
 
The Canadian and her Filipina partner, who were able to elude arrest during the raid, have been charged with violation of Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.  Silvio and his men served the warrants of arrest to the Canadian national at No. 11, Swissland Apartments along Don Juico Avenue in Barangay Malabanias here and to the Filipina suspect at Barangay Cuayan, also in this city, on Monday. Sun.Star Pampanga is withholding the names of the suspects, provided that Section 6 of RA 9208 prohibits the media from disclosing their identities to the public. (JAM)

Retired US navy shot dead
 

ANGELES CITY – A retired member of the United States Navy was shot dead in front of his residence in Barangay Pulung Maragul on Wednesday. In his report, Chief Inspector Roger Tomen, commander of Police Station 3, identified the victim as Raymond Buenaflor, 72, resident of 43-19A Eleuterio Street, Pulung Maragul village.

Initial investigation showed that the victim was in front of his residence when an unidentified suspect shot him in the chest. The victim’s stay-in housemaid told police investigators that she was resting inside her room around 10:30 p.m. when she heard a gunshot coming from outside the house. When the housemaid went to see the incident, she found the victim holding his chest, trying to control the blood flow from the shot. She immediately called Buenaflor’s live-in partner. The victim received a single bullet wound on the left lower part of his chest, causing his death. The body of the victim was brought to a funeral parlor for autopsy. Investigators said a caliber .38 slug was found at the crime scene. As of this posting, police are still to establish the possible motive and the identity of the suspect.

Gas station robbed, guard killed

ANGELES CITY – Four men on board two motorcycles robbed a gas station in Barangay Balibago here after killing its lone security guard Monday. Chief Inspector Rogelio Javier, commander of Police Station 4 here, identified the victim as Jomar De Guzman, 19, who was shot in his temple with a caliber .38 pistol.  Investigation showed that the still unidentified suspects stopped at the Central Fuel Station here to refuel. After refueling, the suspects paid P500 and waited for their P300 change. Two of them proceeded to the cashier’s room and shot the guard at close range. The suspects took the cash box containing some P21,700 and the service shotgun of De Guzman and sped up towards Don Bonifacio Subdivision.(JAM)

Fatal robbery recorded on CCTV

  By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY – A closed circuit television (CCTV) has recorded a gasoline station robbery and the shooting of the detailed security guard Monday dawn. Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, city police officer-in-charge, said the whole incident has been recorded on the monitor of the Central Fuel Station in Barangay Balibago, this city. “With the help of the CCTV, we were able to take pictures of the two suspects who entered the gasoline station,” Bautista said. Bautista said the two suspects were with two others, who acted as look out outside the gas station store. The two other suspects drove the getaway motorcycle, according to Bautista. Chief Inspector Rogelio Javier, commander of Police Station 4 here, identified the guard as Jomar De Guzman, 19, who was shot to death by one of the suspects. The suspects reportedly stopped at the Central Fuel Station here to refuel. After refueling, the suspects paid P500 and waited for their P300 change. Two of them proceeded to the cashier’s room and shot the guard at close range. The suspects took the cash box containing some P21,700 and De Guzman’s shotgun before heading to Don Bonifacio Subdivision. Bautista said they are now conducting a follow up operation to identify and arrest the suspects.

Robbery suspect nabbed for drug, gun possession


 
MAGALANG -- One of the suspects in a robbery incident here that happened in nearby Angeles City was apprehended Saturday by elements of the town police. Islan Garcia, 27, of Sindalan, City of San Fernando, was tagged as one of the four persons who allegedly robbed the Central Gasoline Station in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City at dawn on Monday.  Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, Angeles City police officer-in-charge, said Garcia was identified because of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera installed at the fuel station owned by City Councilor Ares Yabut.  A security guard was killed in the robbery and some P21,000 were carted away by the suspects.

Superintendent Henry Flores, Magalang police chief, said Garcia was arrested when he tried to avoid a police “checkpoint” established in Barangay Santa Cruz in this town. Flores said his men spotted Garcia and another person, on board a motorcycle, who made a sudden back turn upon reaching the police line.  A brief chase ensued between the suspects and lawmen. Flores said Garcia was collared by the policemen after he jumped off the motorcycle.  Garcia’s companion, however, managed to escape during the chase.

Police said an improvised handgun and methamphetamine were seized from Garcia. Flores said Garcia will face charges of illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs, which was filed by the police before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. The Angeles City Police will also file Robbery with Homicide against Garcia, Vincent Henry Chua, and two others, according to Bautista. Garcia and Chua were caught on the fuel station’s CCTV recording.

Robbery suspect linked to gas station heist

  By Reynaldo G. Navales

MABALACAT -- One of the suspects in the recent robbery of a gasoline station in nearby Angeles City is also being linked to a previous robbery incident in this town.  Islan Garcia, 27, of No. 38 Paraiso, Sindalan in the City of San Fernando is also being linked to the robbery last month of Flying V gas station in Barangay Santa Ines, here.  Superintendent Rolly Mendoza, Mabalacat police officer-in-charge, said Garcia is believed to be one of the two suspects who robbed the fuel station.

Garcia was also tagged as one of the four suspects who allegedly robbed the Central Gasoline Station in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City at dawn on February 15.  According to Mendoza, Garcia was identified by one of the gasoline boys who were able to see the closed circuit television recording of the Central Fuel Station. Mendoza said t they will charge Garcia and a John Doe with robbery.

On February 20, Garcia was apprehended by elements of the Magalang town police for alleged possession of drugs and hand firearms. Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, Angeles City police officer-in- charge, said Garcia was identified because of the closed circuit television installed at the fuel station owned by Councilor Ares Yabut.  A security guard was killed in the heist and some P21,000 were carted away by the suspects.  Superintendent Henry Flores, Magalang police chief, said Garcia was arrested when he tried to avoid a police checkpoint established in Barangay Santa Cruz in this town. Flores said they have filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office at least two cases against Garcia. These are illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs.

Raids in US for ‘sex’ clients begin

   By Karlon N. Rama

LAW enforcement operations targeting the American clients of the cybersex den the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 found operating here in Cebu City have begun in the US.  Atty. Medardo de Lemos, NBI chief, in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, said federal agents are carrying out the raid based on information the US embassy sent to Cebu last Tuesday.  “It’s very fast because of the technology. They have custody of receipts and the hard disks of the computers we seized,” de Lemos, NBI 7 director, said. The receipts contain records of credit card payments made by clients of the cybersex den to the money transfer account of Archie Abala, one of the two persons arrested during the raid Monday last week.

Clients  He allegedly had recruited the minors, one as young as eight years old, to work in the cybersex den.  Abala allegedly recruited them upon the specific request of some clients. The hard disks, on the other hand, are believed to have temporary internet files, which may contain embedded videos of the clients. NBI operatives raided a suspected cybersex den in Barangay Suba Monday last week. Four minors, two aged 17, one aged 12 and the youngest, 8, were rescued following the operation that resulted in the arrest and indictment of two people. City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon, acting on the recommendation of inquest prosecutor Ernesto Narido Jr., found probable cause to indict Stella Lopez and Abala for trafficking in large scale. No bail is set.

Evaluation  “A circumspect evaluation of the evidence shows that it is sufficient to support a finding of probable cause for the charge,” Narido’s two-page resolution read. A separate preliminary investigation proceeding will also be held against a third respondent, Alfredo Fernandez, whom the NBI raiding team was not able to arrest. He reportedly is the live-in partner of Lopez and co-owner of the house and internet café used as front of the cybersex den. The rescued minors were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, while the respondents were committed to the Cebu City Jail.

Foreigners, Filipina charged with human trafficking, drug smuggling

ANGELES CITY – Agents of the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) filed criminal charges against three nationals of Papua New Guinea and a Filipina. The three foreign nationals and the Filipina were charged with violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, the Migrant Workers and Filipino Overseas Act and Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. The Filipino woman is from Concepcion, Tarlac. They were all arrested and detained for the same offenses.

An inquest document filed by NBI Deputy Director Ruel Lasala last Feb. 15 cited the complaints and sworn statements of the syndicate’s alleged victims who said they were asked to smuggle illegal drugs in China by swallowing “capsulized powder” and carrying luggage especially designed to conceal illegal drugs. A complainant earlier told NBI that the Filipina companion of the Guineans had offered him US$3,000 as a “delivery boy.” But upon learning about the arrest of Filipinos in China due to drug trafficking, he became suspicious and decided to seek the help of the NBI.

Last Feb. 12, operatives of the NBI’s Reaction Arrest and Interdiction Division conducted a sting operation to arrest the suspects with the cooperation of the complainant, who along with two other victims, a Filipino male and a female, were rescued from the syndicate a few hours before their flight to China via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Freeport Zone.

Meanwhile, local police complained against the NBI operation saying it failed to coordinate with the local authorities. When a member of the Angeles City Traffic Management Transportation Management Unit saw three armed men blocked the path of two black foreign nationals and forced them into a vehicle before dawn on Feb. 13 in Barangay Balibago, he reported the incident as abduction.  After two days, however, the local police were surprised to learn that the supposed “abductors” were NBI agents, who conducted a sting operation against a suspected human and drug trafficking syndicate composed of Guinean nationals and Filipinos.

In a report submitted by Chief Inspector Rogelio Javier, commander of Police Station 4, to City Police Officer-in-Charge Danilo Bautista, said lack of coordination between the local police and the NBI had led to the confusion. He said the NBI had coordinated with the Pampanga Provincial Police Office for their operation, not with the city police.

Filipino accused of kidnapping Americans nabbed (4:24 p.m.)

MANILA— Philippine troops arrested a suspected Muslim militant accused in the high-profile kidnappings of three Americans, two of whom were later killed, and dozens of Filipinos nine years ago, the military reported Friday.  It said Jumadali Arad was captured at Manila harbor Thursday as he was about to board a ship bound for the southern Philippines, where the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group has planted bombs and carried out kidnappings despite U.S.-backed military offensives against the militants.

Two soldiers were killed and one wounded on southern Basilan Island on Friday when they tripped the wire on a homemade bomb during an operation to track down militants, said regional commander Rear Adm. Alex Pama.  They are believed to be holding two Chinese workers snatched from a plywood factory last year, Pama said. A third hostage, a Filipino, was beheaded a month after the November abductions.

Arad had been in hiding since 2001, when Abu Sayyaf abducted three American and 17 Filipino tourists from the Dos Palmas resort in southwestern Palawan province at the start of a yearlong kidnapping spree, said marine commandant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban.  American missionary Gracia Burnham survived the jungle captivity, but husband Martin was killed in the military rescue in 2002. The third American, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded by the militants on Basilan.

Arad, who allegedly drove a speedboat loaded with the hostages during the kidnappings, was reportedly on a mission to buy ammunition for Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon when he was arrested Thursday, the military said in a statement. Hapilon has been indicted in the U.S. on kidnapping and murder charges, and Washington offered a $5 million reward for his capture.

The kidnappings and violence prompted Washington to deploy hundreds of troops to the southern Mindanao region, where they have been training Philippine forces and sharing intelligence. U.S. military personnel are not allowed to engage in combat in the Philippines.  Although the government claims to have crippled Abu Sayyaf after several offensives, the group still poses a major threat. It held three Red Cross workers and several others hostage last year, attacked troops and blew up bridges. A roadside bomb in September killed two U.S. soldiers. The militants, however, have remained without a central leader following the killings of its top commanders and have split into at least five factions, police said. (AP)

Suspected robbers nabbed

ANGELES CITY -- Three suspected members of a robbery syndicate operating in Pampanga and Bulacan were nabbed recently by elements of the city police. The suspects were identified as Rustico Santos, 37, of Barangay Amsic; Ian Alafriz, 32; and Angelito Lobo, 43, of Epza Resettlement Center here. Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, city police officer-in-charge, said the three were arrested for possession of illegal drugs and firearms. The suspects, who were on board a van, were intercepted by policemen manning a checkpoint in Barangay Lourdes North West in this city. Police reportedly seized from the suspects shabu, a hand gun, bolt cutter, license plate (ZKC 807) and other tools.  Bautista said the suspects had admitted that they used the tools and the license plate in robbing an establishment in Bulacan.  Bautista said the group might also be responsible in a series of robbery in Barangay Dau in nearby Mabalacat town. Chief Superintendent Jowen Dela Cruz, Dau police station commander, said they are now verifying reports about the possible involvement of the suspects in several robbery incidents in Mabalacat. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Duo robs internet café using toy gun

MEXICO – Two motorcycle-riding men barged into an internet café in Barangay Lagundi here on Wednesday and robbed its owners and customers using a toy gun and a bladed weapon.  A report from the Pampanga Provincial Police Office said Jenmarkriz Cyber Café located along the Jose Abad Santos Avenue (former GSO Road) was robbed around 3:00 a.m. by two men on board a Kawasaki motorcycle without license plate. Police identified one of the suspects as Terrence Jake Lopez, 25, resident of Sta. Lucia village in nearby City of San Fernando.  The victims took hold of Lopez when the suspects’ motorcycle malfunctioned and upon learning that the handgun Lopez was carrying was a mere toy copy of a Walther pistol. Taken from the victims were cellular phones, cash, and jewelry. The suspects also destroyed three computer sets and a router, police said.  Lopez companion managed to escape the café. The identity of the other suspect is still unidentified, police said.  Police added that Lopez was charged with robbery with force and intimidation against persons, malicious mischief and violation of the elections gun ban. Lopez has a pending case for unjust vexation, direct assault upon an agent of a person in authority and threat before the municipal trial court in the City of San Fernando, police said. (JAM)

Village exec’s slay ‘not election-related’

ANGELES CITY -- The death of a barangay executive officer shot by an identified gunman Thursday is not politically motivated, police officials said. Inspector Roger Tomen, commander of Police Station 3 here, said in a report that around 11 a.m., Jesus Barameda, along with village watchmen in Don Bonifacio Subdivision, was waiting for their companions when the fatal incident happened. Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, city police officer-in-charge, said the shooting of Barameda was not an election-related case.  “The shooting to death of Barameda doesn’t fall or qualify under election related violence. The victim is not a political leader, organizer, or avid supporter of a particular candidate or party for this coming election,” he said.

Investigation showed that a man wearing a white t-shirt, short pants and white bull cap approached Barameda and shot him. The suspect missed the shot.  
According to the police report, Barameda, who was terrified, ran across the road. He was chased by the still unidentified suspect, who shot him three times with a caliber .45 pistol at close range. The suspect walked away and boarded the getaway motorcycle being driven by another man, who was waiting a few meters away from the crime scene. They sped off towards Barangay Balibago, reports said. The victim was brought by responding policemen to Ospital Ning Angeles but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Police recovered three empty shells of caliber .45 from the crime scene. The city police pursue at least two angles of the case, according to Bautista. These are job related and personal grudge. The City Police Station 3 is conducting a follow-up investigation to identify the suspect and determine the real motive on the killing, Bautista said. Barameda was serving Councilor Joseph Dimapilis, investigators said. (Jun A. Malig and Reynaldo G. Navales)

2 cops arrested for illegal drug dealing

MABALACAT -- Two police officers involved in illegal drugs dealing were arrested last Wednesday in a buy-bust operation by narcotics agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).  The policemen, together with another officer detained for drug dealing, were busted by a PDEA team led by Agent Froilan Bitong.  PDEA 3 Regional Director Ronald Allan Ricardo said the suspects had long been subject of a surveillance operation following reports from intelligence officers that the arrested policemen were involved in illegal drugs trafficking.  The suspects, whose names were withheld, were detailed at the Angeles City Police Office Station 6, Ricardo said.  He said a full follow-up investigation is being conducted by PDEA to establish possible links of the suspects to other groups operating in the area.

Ricardo added that they were wondering why an inmate supposedly detained at the police station was able to get out of jail to join the suspects in their illegal activities. Confiscated from the suspects were two transparent heat-sealed plastic sachets containing 40 grams of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with a street value of P390,000. One 9mm caliber pistol, a .45 caliber pistol, and a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver with live ammunitions were also seized from the suspects.  The suspects will be charged with violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act and illegal possession of firearms in regards with the elections gun ban, Ricardo said. The suspects, who refused to comment on the case, are in the custody of the PDEA in Camp Olivas in the City of San Fernando. (JTD)

Tsunami threat spares Pinoys

By Justin K. Vestil and Mia E. Abellana

CENTRAL Visayas was excluded from a list of areas under a tsunami alert, but provincial and city police directors were ordered to watch out for “unusual waves.”  The order came after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center sea level monitoring stations confirmed the possible risk of a tsunami following the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that hit Chile past 2 p.m. Saturday, Philippine time. The National Disaster Coordinating Council assured there was no evacuation order in effect. But text messages that warned of tsunamis drove residents away from their homes in Mati, Davao Oriental and Tandag, Surigao del Sur and onto higher ground.

In Cebu, the Coast Guard did not stop any seafaring vessels from traveling. The Office of Civil Defense 7 said they had no advisory to instruct the public to stay away from the shorelines.  “We should not be worried about tsunamis here because we are inland,” OCD 7 spokesperson Neil Sanchez said. Still, he said there is no harm in being prepared.  “If we notice a sudden change in the tide, it’s time to seek higher ground,” he advised. A sudden low tide may be an indicator of an approaching tsunami.  The tsunami alert level 2 warning affected the areas of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental.

Disaster councils in these areas were told to prepare for possible evacuation. The risk was highest between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. yesterday, said an official of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Philvolcs).  But Rolando Montañez, science research officer of Philvolcs in Mactan, Cebu, said that as of 3:15 pm yesterday, their headquarters in Manila cancelled all tsunami alerts around the country.  Hours before the projected arrival period, the Coast Guard’s Central-Eastern Visayas headquarters in Cebu ordered all units to stay alert, especially those in Tacloban, Catbalogan and Maasin.

Commander Angelito Gabisan, the headquarters’ spokesperson, said the warning was more pronounced in the coastal towns of Northern Samar, like Allen, a shipping town.  All police stations in Central Visayas were ordered to be on the lookout for unusual waves in their areas of responsibility.  A directive from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7, which used as reference a memorandum from Camp Crame, urged all units to inform everyone concerned in their area to avoid going to coastlines to watch the tsunami.  Residents very near coastal areas and facing the Pacific Ocean were advised to go inland. Boats in harbors, estuaries or shallow coastal water were advised to return to  shore and move away from the waterfront. Those at sea were warned to stay off-shore, in deep water, until further advised.  The devastating earthquake in Chile also sent a signal to government to be more aggressive in preparing for earthquakes and related events.

Deputy Presidential Spokesmen Gary Olivar and Ricardo Saludo assured that contingency measures are in place.  Administration presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro proposed a more massive campaign on such disasters. Teodoro headed the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) during his stint as defense secretary.  “The NDCC should conduct a massive information drive. Whether or not something will happen, they should reassure our countrymen of the current status,” Teodoro told reporters in Baguio.  “You cannot foretell a tsunami, so media should adequately inform people about it and its possible devastation. For every six hours, there should be an advisory,” Teodoro added.  “If we don’t give adequate advance warning now, it will be hard because the people will not believe that there is really danger,” Teodoro said. (With Sunnex)

Businessmen irked over wire ‘spaghetti’

MABALACAT – Businessmen with establishments along the stretch of Barangay Dau in this town have assailed the long unattended “spaghetti” or the tangle of wires and cables posing risks to pedestrians and motorists.  The highly populated road stretch from this town’s arch to the main commercial district is the scene of clumped, dangling wires. A businessman, who preferred not to be named, told Sun.Star Pampanga: “It’s been years now since we brought to the attention of authorities these ‘spaghetti’ of cut and dangling wires. Pababa ng pababa ang mga iyan and it has not only become an eyesore but a danger to pedestrians and motorists. Baka naghihintay pa sila na may makuryente diyan o may maaksidente.”  “We’ve written those responsible for these dangling bundle of wires like that Datelcom office across the street. But they have not acted on it. It’s beginning to be irritating,” said an official of nearby Bingo Pinoy.  Sun.Star Pampanga has contacted some officials of the Pampanga Electric Cooperative 2 who denied responsibility for the unattended dangling wires.

“Our wires and lines, especially high tension lines, are well in place and in their new poles. They are maintained and kept safe so as not to induce accidents of any kind. The lines that are dangling and posing risks are those of telecom firms na nakikiposte lang,” they said.  Officials of Datelcom, however, would not comment on the complaints of the businessmen but hinted that the tangled cables are still subject of an ordinance requiring all cable telephone, radio and electric companies and other similar firms engaged in the installation of wires on street posts that they should be arranged regularly and to see to it that all installed tangled and encroached wiring connections are checked or will be subject to penalties if not maintained.  The officials however, vowed to check and correct the dangling wires. (Jovi T. De Leon)

Angeles City mayor faces plunder case
By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno is now facing plunder charges in connection with the P98-million property the City Government recently acquired in Barangay Mining where the controversial P681 million sports complex will be constructed.  Members of the city’s minority bloc -- Councilors Willie Rivera, Jesus Sangil, Maricel Morales and Ruben Maniago -- on Thursday reportedly filed the plunder case against Nepomuceno and City Administrator Mark Allen Sison before the Office of the Ombudsman.

The four city councilors stated that Nepomuceno and Sison purchased the 5-hectare lot in said village without any council resolution. They said the property is overpriced considering that Barangay Mining is an agricultural area and the actual value of the land is only P12 million. Sangil said that during a special session conducted in January this year, Councilor Agapito Del Rosario failed to produce documents relative to the bidding process of the project.  Sangil said Nepomuceno requested for the special session, which is intended for the ratification of the resolution, for the approval of the project.  “We objected to the resolution because we are asking for public hearing. It’s a wrong start, alang talagang procesu,” Sangil said.  Nepomuceno’s camp refused to issue any comments in response to the issues.  But Sison said the move is politically motivated.  Sison said “they are just riding on our popularity. We will not gain anything if we will reply. As far as we are concern, the case is not meritorious.”

Nepomuceno earlier said the sports facility will give additional income to the city.  The City Government will implement the project through a loan.  Sison said earlier they have conducted a feasibility study before implementing the project. The sports facility will have 4,000-seat gymnasium, multi-purpose hall, 2,000-seat grandstand, an oval, Olympic-size swimming pool, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two sepak takraw courts, among others.

What a difference a week makes!

No power outages seen in province

By Jovi T. De Leon

MEXICO--National Electrification Administration (NEA) chief Edita Bueno said Friday that electric power cooperatives and providers in the province and in the whole of Luzon have enough supply to weather the on-going dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon. Bueno, who graced the coffee table book launching of Pampanga Electric Cooperative (Pelco) 1, told Sun.Star Pampanga that electric coops here have more than the capability to supply the demand of electricity needed by consumers. "Of course there were some plants that had to be repaired like those in Masinloc and Sual. This resulted to rotating brown-outs of about 30 minutes to one hour. Hopefully within this week they would be repaired and outages will be prevented," Bueno said. "But even with El Niño, the situation is Luzon and here in Pampanga is good, compared to the situation in Mindanao where there is a shortage of supply of power because our hydro plants have low water level," she added. Bueno said that electric power cooperatives and providers in Luzon and Visayas had managed to maintain the continuous supply of power to consumers. "Hopefully, here in the region and Pampanga, no plants would conk out but so far, we are assured of enough supply of power," Bueno concluded.

Luzon to experience power interruptions


 
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Friday that Luzon Grid customers may experience power interruptions during the weekend due to a 440-megawatt (MW) deficiency.  NGCP officials said that Kepco Philippines Corporation's Malaya units 1 and 2 were put on emergency shutdown on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and 3 a.m., respectively, due to the deficiencies. The two units contribute around 360 MW to the Luzon grid. The NGCP added that the Sta. Rita module 20, owned and operated by First Gas Corporation, also went offline at Friday early morning due to a technical problem resulting from pressure fluctuation. The plant has a 250-MW capacity. The NGCP also said the Visayas grid will still have limited power supply of 1,136 MW and a deficiency of 45 MW but Cebu Energy Development Corporation's coal-fired power plant came online on Friday and is now contributing 73 MW to the grid. Meanwhile, the Mindanao grid is expected to still have a deficiency of 650 MW due to the reduced capabilities of hydro-electric power plants there. The grid’s total available capacity for today is expected to be 807 MW with a peak demand of 1,457 MW. The NGCP said it will continue to monitor power grid conditions. As system operator, officials said the NGCP operates the power system or grid in accordance with the Philippine Grid Code. It is also the country's only utility responsible for transmitting high-voltage power from generators to distributors but does not own or operate and maintain any power generation and distribution facilities. (JTD)

Bizwoman killed in ambush

A BUSINESSWOMAN was killed and her son was seriously wounded when fired upon by five unidentified armed men along Mac Arthur Highway in Barangay San Miguel, Betis Monday.  Senior Superintendent Manuel Gearlan, newly-installed officer-in-charge of the Pampanga Police Provincial Office (PPPO), said Amerjan Eusoff Guiam, 59, a businesswoman and her son Joseph, 33, were on board an Isuzu Crosswind with plate number CSN-838 driven by one Joren Laxa.  The victims were on their way for a court hearing when reportedly ambushed by the suspects, said Gearlan. Gearlan said Amerjan sustained gunshot wounds on the head and on different parts of her body while her son Joseph was hit on the lower parts of his body. After shooting the vehicle of the victims, the suspects immediately fled on board a dark colored vehicle without a plate number towards the north, he said.  The victims’ driver who was not hurt during the ambush managed to speed off and brought the victims at the Mother Calcutta Hospital in the City of San Fernando but the mother was pronounced dead on arrival by attending doctors. Her son is still under treatment at the said hospital as of press time. Gearlan said a bystander identified as one Nancy Layug, 40, was also hit by a stray bullet on the head and was also declared dead on arrival in another hospital.  Scene of the Crime Operatives recovered 11 .45 caliber spent shells at the ambush scene.  Police are still investigating on the motive of the killing. (Ric Sapnu)

Police officer shot dead

MABALACAT – A police official died Sunday night after two gunmen onboard a motorcycle killed him along the Dapdap Road here. Senior Inspector Manuel Chika, 48, who was assigned at the Central Luzon Drug Rehabilitation Center died after sustaining several gun shot wounds on different parts of his body. Chika was on his way home with a 17-year-old girl at around 8 p.m. Sunday when the gunmen attacked him. The girl also has gunshot wound on her left leg, police said.  The Central Luzon Police Office headed by Chief Superintendent Arturo Cacdac, who inspected the crime scene Monday morning, immediately formed "Task Force Chika" to go after the killers.  The incident happened exactly a week after Cacdac assumed his regional directorial post from Chief Superintendent Leon Nilo Dela Cruz, who was recalled to Camp Crame. Chika was assigned in this town in 2002 as commander of Police Station 1 in Barangay Dau here. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Cops pursue 3 angles on officer's killing

MABALACAT -- The local police are pursuing at least three angles on the case of an officer who was gunned down in Barangay Dapdap, in this town last Sunday night.  Superintendent Rolly Mendoza, town police officer-in-charge, said the killing of Chief Inspector Manuel Chika might have something to do with the latter’s former assignment at the Internal Security Office (ISO) and Central Luzon Drug Rehabilitation Center (CLDRC).  Mendoza said Chika was active in the counter insurgency campaign when he was assigned in the ISO.  “He was also active in the fight against prohibited drugs when he was assigned at the drug rehabilitation center,” Mendoza added.  Mendoza refused to elaborate further on the third angle but said Chika became the chief of a police station in Pulung Maragul, Angeles City.  Chika was killed after two gunmen onboard a motorcycle assaulted him along the Dapdap Road in this town the other night.  The victim sustained several gunshot wounds on different parts of his body.  Chika was on his way home with a 17-year-old girl around 8 p.m. on Sunday when the gunmen attacked him. The girl also suffered a gunshot wound on the left leg, the police said.  Mendoza said the victims were on board a three-wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) at the road, which connects Mawaque and Madapdap Resettlement Centers when the victims suddenly appeared and peppered him with bullets using a .9mm pistol. Witnesses reportedly saw several men onboard two motorcycles tailed Chika when he left Madapdap Resettlement Center.  The Central Luzon Police Office headed by Chief Superintendent Arturo Cacdac immediately formed a task force to go after Chika’s killers.  Chika was assigned in this town in 2002 as commander of Police Station 1 in Barangay Dau.  Lyndon Cunanan, a mayoralty candidate in Magalang town, said Chika is an avid supporter. Cunanan said Chika accompanied him in a motorcade in San Isidro several hours before he was killed.

Suspect in cop killing charged

MABALACAT -- Local policemen recently filed a murder case against a person in connection with the killing of a police official in this town. Superintendent Rolly Mendoza, town police officer in charge, said they charged one Alvin Sigua, a resident of Santa Lucia Resettlement in Magalang town who has been involved in the recent killing of Chief Inspector Manuel Chica. Chica, 48, was killed after two gunmen assaulted him along the Mawaque Road here on March 14. Aside from the case, the local police also field frustrated murder against the suspect.  Chica's 17-year-old companion was also hit on the leg during the shooting incident.  Chica, who sustained several gunshot wounds in different parts of his body, was on his way home with a 17-year-old girl around 8 p.m. on March 14 when the gunmen attacked him.  Mendoza said the victims were on board a three-wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle at said road, which connects Mawaque and Madapdap Resettlement Centers, when the victims suddenly appeared and peppered him with bullets using a .9mm pistol.  Mendoza said a witness positively identified Sigua as one of the persons who attacked Chica.  Chica was assigned in this town in 2002 as commander of Police Station 1 in Barangay Dau. (RGN/Ric Sapnu)

Central bank to release new paper bills


 
ANGELES CITY -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced Wednesday that it will soon be releasing “new generation bank notes” in a bid to demonetize, update, and improve security features of paper bills in the country. Managing Director Pedro Tordilla Jr. of BSP’s Regional Monetary Affairs Sub-Sector said the new generation bills would be introduced before the end of the year.  Tordilla, who spoke before representatives of various sectors during the BSP Consultative Meeting on the artificial coin shortage, said the current bank notes have been in circulation for 23 years already.  The new generation bank notes will be made from cutting edge technology that will become hard for counterfeiters to follow. It will also carry the world heritage sites in the country as declared by the United Nations. The meeting was attended by the banking sector, other financial institutions, national government agencies, non-government organizations, transportation sector and local government units, he said.  “There is also a move to intensify colors of the bank notes to help users identify them more easily by the color alone. There will also be changes as some of the bank notes will include popular flora and fauna themes,” Tordilla said. Tordilla said that included in new generation bank notes is the design for the new five hundred peso bill in which the figure of late senator Benigno Aquino would be joined by the figure of his wife former president Corazon Aquino. Old notes or bills will be demonetized in two to three years time after which, these can no longer be used to purchase goods or services but can be changed to new bills through banks.  Tordilla also denied rumors that the BSP will shift to use plastic money as new generation bank notes. He said that such move would be disastrous for the local abaca sector.  “We will not be turning to plastic money because we want to protect the local abaca industry. Some 40 percent of our bank notes are made from abaca which is known to lengthen the durability and life of the bank notes. The remaining composition of our banknotes is 60 percent cotton,” Tordilla said.  However, Tordilla said there is still much to be done in educating the public on the proper use of bank notes like using wallets for storage and avoiding inflicting any form of mutilation when using bank notes.  “We can greatly help the BSP and lengthen the life of our banknotes if we are more responsible in the use of our paper bills,” Tordilla said, stressing that by 2012, the BSP will also start demonetizing current coins in the circulation for the planned introduction of new generation coins. (Ian Ocampo Flora) 
The Philippine Army uses a tank and 81 mm mortars in a 7 hour firefight against a private army.  The private army uses snipers and M203 grenade launchers.  The army commander said "This is the highest degree of violation after the Commission on Elections imposed a gun ban."  Gee, ya think??

‘Private Army’ attacks village

PANATAO RAGAT, Lanao del Norte -- The armed men encountered by government troops on Thursday morning in Barangay Kalawi here were believed to be members of a private army of a politician. Lieutenant Colonel Allan Hambala, commander of the 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army, said the undetermined armed men attacked Barangay Kalawi, a hinterland town of Panatao Ragat in this province, on Thursday morning.

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Government troops assault the enemies’ position in a three-hour firefight to disband private army that intrude Lanao del Norte on Thursday. (Richel Umel)

Hambala said he received reports from civilian informants about the presence of armed group while they were on patrol about 300 meters from the town hall.  He said when they went to check, the armed men opened fire and hit Police Officer 1 Arnold Bihag, who was brought to a hospital in the nearby Iligan City for treatment. He said the firefight lasted for seven hours wherein 36 81mm mortar ammunitions were released to the enemy's position in an abandoned mosque.  Hambala said the re-enforcement sent by Lieutenant Colonel Juvy Max Uy of the 43rd IB stationed in Suarez, Iligan City were ambushed in Batangan, Matungao town, an adjacent municipality.

He said no one was hurt since an armored tank was following the troops and returned fire.

Hambala said politicians belonging to Lakas-Kampi-CMD tried to negotiate for the armed men’s withdrawal. However, snipers from the military saw a number of armed snipers from the enemy, hence a new firefight ensued, Hambala said. After the firefight, he said at least three men were killed and three injured from the armed group’s side while one personnel from the government forces was wounded. “Me and my troops were nearly hit from an M203 bombardment. This is the highest degree of violation after the Commission on Elections imposed a gun ban," Hamabala said.

Umisalam Macabanding, school principal of Pantao Ragat Agro-Industrial High School, said it was the armed men allegedly belonging to a private army who fired first while they were having classes. He said more than 500 students scampered for safety with the help of the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Police Superintendent Ferdinand Bartolome said the PNP will file a case against the private army who attacked the town after all evidences would be gathered. A military source said the armed group came from Matungao, Balo-i, Pantao Ragat, Poona Piagapo and some from Lanao del Sur. Earlier, Panatao Ragat was recommended to be under Martial Law due to alleged presence of private armies in the area but did not workout. (Richel V. Umel)

I-Card now being processed in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- Processing of Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card can already be done at the Bureau of Immigration (BI), One Stop Shop Center at CDC Building 2127 here.  The processing inside the Freeport zone is part Clark Development Corporation’s (CDC) thrust to help investors simplify the process of getting ACR I-Card, said CDC President Benigno Ricafort. Ricafort said that for those who have been issued working visas and have not applied for their ACR I-Card yet, “you are hereby advised to contact Ms. Arlene Quodala, Immigration Officer, through (045) 599-4402 for your ACR I-Card capturing schedule.”  For those applying for working visas, ACR I-Card will be processed simultaneously with the stamping of working visas, Ricafort added. Earlier, CDC also upgraded the import and export automated system project of the Bureau of Customs in compliance with the Electronic Transit and Admission Permit System (E-Taps) of Clark Freeport Zone and Subic Bay Freeport Zone that will upgrade transaction on import and export processing of the two freeport zones in Central Luzon last year. “This is towards our thrust of shifting to automation of processes for lesser face-to-face transactions,” said Ricafort. (RGN)

New trainer plane manufactured in Clark

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- The new SF 260 trainer aircraft the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is acquiring is being built inside the Clark Freeport.  Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales inspected Friday the Aerotech Industries Philippines, an aircraft manufacturing facility, where the trainer aircraft is being assembled.  Gonzales said he is pushing for upgrading the Armed Forces capability through reviving a US$13.1 million project for the acquisition of 18 SF 260 trainer plane for the Air Force pilot training.  He announced his approval of an amended contract for the supply and delivery of the aircraft by Italian company Alenia Aermacchi and its local partner, the Aerotech Industries Philippines.  Aside from the PAF, the Aermacchi also distributes SF 260 to the Italian Air Force.  The amended contract was earlier endorsed by newly-installed AFP chief-of-staff General Delfin Bangit and PAF Commanding General Oscar Rabena.  Gonzales said the project is expected to boost the country’s aviation industry because of its technology transfer aspect.  The contract with the Italian company also involves integrated logistics package, such as pilot, technical and maintenance training and after-sales support, including provision of initial equipment and spare parts.  The SF 260 trainer aircraft is in service with 27 military customers, civilian flying schools worldwide with almost 1000 units in flight operations, according to Aerotech Philippines.

GMA signs Expanded Breastfeeding Act

Updated March 24, 2010 12:00 AM   By Marichu Villanueva (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Government offices and private establishments may soon have “lactation stations” where mothers can breastfeed their babies or store their breast milk in refrigerated containers.

This is mandated under Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009,” signed by President Arroyo last March 16, which provides tax incentives to all government agencies and private establishments that provide lactation stations for working mothers.

Without the traditional ceremonies at Malacañang, Mrs. Arroyo signed the Congress-approved amendments of RA 7600, which promotes breastfeeding.

A copy of the law was furnished to The STAR by Sen. Pia Cayetano, its principal author. The enrolled copy of the consolidated bill was sent to the Palace last Feb.16.

Cayetano, who is up for re-election under the Nacionalista Party (NP), hailed the President’s approval of the new law.

Under the new law, all private enterprises as well as government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, are required to put up lactation stations.    Lactation stations are tax deductible.

Balibago residents decry ‘illegal treasure hunting’

ANGELES CITY -- Residents of a subdivision in Barangay Balibago here are complaining in what they described as illegal treasure hunting in the area. Members of Concerned Residents of Diamond Subdivision have expressed fear over the reported diggings inside a property owned by one Norman Haynes. Some of their apprehensions include the danger of soil erosion, flooding, and illness among others.  With a battle cry “No to Mining, No to Treasure Hunting, Yes to Health, Yes to Environment,” the residents are appealing to city officials to intercede on the case and stop the illegal mining in their subdivision. Former councilor Louie Reyes filed last year a complaint in court against Haynes in connection with the alleged diggings inside Haynes’ property. Baptist Pastor Tony Horn, a former employee of Haynes company, confirmed that there is a digging going on inside the property. Aside from the noise, Reyes said a foul odor emits from Haynes lot. Horn claimed that he is being harassed by a group of individuals after he testified in court against Haynes’ company. Horn had experienced harassment through libel case, qualified theft, and hold departure order according to Reyes.  "Pastor Tony was arrested and handcuffed in front of his children and church members without an arrest warrant. He is begging for help from the Filipinos," Reyes said.  Sun.Star Pampanga, however, was not able to get Haynes’ side on the issue as of this posting Friday.  But Balibago village chief Tony Mamac said they found no excavation when he and other barangay officials inspected Haynes’ property. “Wala naman kaming nakitang hukay dun. Meron kaming nakitang generator at mga frame na bakal pero diggings wala naman,” Mamac said. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

 

I have met Norman Haynes on numerous occasions and can confirm he has been chasing Yamashita's gold for years.  I thought he was a colorful character until I did a search on "Pastor Tony Horn." Now, this guy is colorful.... [click here for more on the "Pastor"]

Lottery, church donations cause coin ‘shortage’

    By Ian Ocampo Flora

ANGELES CITY -- The government-sanctioned small-time lottery and church donations are the leading causes of the perceived coin shortage, said an official of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently.  A consultative meeting on the perceived or artificial coin shortage was held last week. “There are sectors that have been concentrating a huge number of coins. This is causing an over concentration of coins in one area creating a lack in another. There is also the sector of malls and supermarkets and, of course, small piggy banks at home,” said Managing Director Pedro Tordilla Jr. of BSP’s Regional Monetary Affairs Sub-Sector.  Tordilla said the BSP has issued almost P3 billion pieces of coins.  However, due to the over concentration in certain sectors, there has been a perceived shortage of coins.   To address the issue, Tordilla is calling on small-time lottery operators, local government units and other sectors with over concentration of coins to re-issue the coins back into circulation.  Tordilla has also urged the people who keep their coins in piggy banks, churches, charitable institutions and other business establishments to use their coins to avoid the shortage.  The BSP director said the government is spending millions for the manufacturing of coins.  “The BSP, through its Mint Refinery and Operations Department is spending several millions of pesos to mint fresh supply of coins. It also takes about half a year to mint new coins," the director said. The BSP also warned the public on the illegal use of the Philippine coin. The people are also urged to report anybody involved in such unlikely activity that involves defacement, mutilation and smuggling of the coin.

Mayors races

Mayoralty aspirant bares platforms  (DAU)

MAYORALTY aspirant Marjorie Morales-Sambo bared Friday her platform in a grand ceremony at Jose Feliciano College in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Morales-Sambo said there would be a lot of reforms and focus on the delivery of basic services. Her top programs would be on health and education. “We would concentrate on the upgrading of our hospitals here and the establishment of more schools.” She added that attention will also be given to infrastructure like the construction of a flyover, housing for the poor and the immediate delivery of other basic social services like livelihood programs and investments generation. “I love Mabalacat and I vow to serve Mabalaqueños well. This opening salvo is the beginning of hope for our people,” she concluded. The launching of her campaign platform was attended by a huge crowd of supporters estimated to have peaked at 10,000 midway in the ceremonies, said an official from her camp. Complete with fireworks, the launch started with a band performance of her jingle and was succeeded by the entry of colors and banners of her supporters. Morales-Sambo said the gathering was attended by several religious and multisectoral groups from her hometown who vowed to support her bid. Representing her running mate Anthony Dee was his son.

Nepomuceno, Pamintuan disclose plans  (ANGELES)


 
ANGELES CITY -- Re-electionist Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno and mayoralty aspirant Ed “EdPam” Pamintuan bared Friday their platforms in their opening salvos.  Nepomuceno said he will continue and sustain the programs and projects in education, infrastructure, investments generation, health, pro-poor services and the delivery of basic needs of his constituents. “Our centerpiece would be to make our dream of the City Sports Stadium a reality. It is happening now and we would make it all happen,” he said.  Meanwhile, Pamintuan made his call for fresh reforms if given the mandate by the electorate. “This is our campaign for Angeles City: change for the better. There should be enough medical services and medicines for the poor. And all out support for our athletes and the poorest of the poor,” he said.  Pamintuan said that instead of spending P800 million for a sports stadium, the amount could be diverted into essential services like more hospitals and the improvement of the Ospital ng Angeles, solving the P65 million garbage mess and the construction of more schools for the needy.  Pamintuan said that all of these could be accomplished through the concerted and united efforts of Angeleños who believe in him and his team. Nepomuceno that afternoon led a motorcade participated in by some 5,000 of his supporters who did rounds of the city, while Pamintuan held a rally at historic Plaza Miranda where an estimated crowd of some 5,000 gathered. (JTD)
S. Korean unconscious after being shot in Philippines

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean man is in serious condition in the Philippines after an unidentified assailant shot him in the head, Seoul's foreign ministry said Monday.  The victim, a 35-year-old man identified only by his surname Cho, was shot around 10 p.m. Sunday (local time) in Angeles City

This was Cho Sik, the Korean owner of the new SHARK bar on Fields Ave.  Some people believe it was his Filipino partner.  Likely no arrests will ever be made on this one.

Angeles cops nab robbery suspects

ANGELES CITY --- The city police on Monday apprehended three persons suspected of snatching the bag of a woman containing cash and other valuables. The suspects, Mark Anthony Miclat, 23, Kenneth David, 22, and Benito Sinamban were charged with robbery after they allegedly snatched the bag of Mary Ann Santiago, 28 of Porac town. The bag contained P15,000 cash, a cellular phone, ATM card, and two pawnshop receipts. Investigation revealed that Santiago, together with her niece Mary Joy Carlos y Oronos, withdrew cash worth P15,000.00 then proceeded to Metrobank Balibago branch, on board a motorcycle, purportedly to send money to her sister. But Santiago made a quick decision and proceeded to the Fiesta Communities Office located at Don Bonifacio Subdivision in Barangay Pulung Maragul, this city to pay her housing amortization. Upon reaching the gate of the said office, the suspects on board a red Honda TMX tricycle bearing plate number 1055 RB snatched the blue checkered bag from Carlos and sped towards the east direction. The victim chased the suspects and with the help of policemen from Police Station 3, who were then conducting a patrol in the area, cornered the suspects at Purok 4, Barangay Pulung Maragul, this city. Police recovered Santiago’s bag from the suspects.

Be VERY CAREFUL what you say to your girlfriend when you are mad!

Looks to me like another chance for LTO enforcers to have a double standard.  Many Filipinos wear batting helmets, helmet liners, lineman hats etc, but I'm sure foreigners will have to have DTI certified ones. And last year Angeles proposed an ordinance to make wearing a helmet illegal as it was too hard to identify the individuals committing crimes from motorcycles with their faces covered.
 
GMA signs mandatory helmet law
April 12, 2010 12:00 AM   By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)  
MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo has signed the Mandatory Helmet Act of 2010 that requires all motorcycle drivers and their passengers to wear helmets at all times and imposes stiff penalties on violators.  Republic Act 10054, authored by Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., is aimed at protecting motorcycle drivers, back-riders as well as pedestrians from injuries and death in accidents. The law, however, exempts drivers of tricycles – a motorcycle with a side cab, which is a common mode of transport in the country – from wearing helmets.  “From narrow streets to major thoroughfares, motorcycles and scooters are a common sight every day and night. Wearing helmets will greatly reduce fatalities in road accidents and would also (foster) a sense of discipline in all motorcycle riders,” he said.

Revilla said it took a long while to see his measure enacted into law. There are an estimated 3.5 million motorcycles registered in the country.  “After more than two years of pushing this bill, our long wait is finally over,” Revilla said. “The passage of this measure will not be fulfilled if not for the support of our motorcyclists and the motorcycle manufacturers and dealers who are aware of the danger of not wearing a helmet.”  He said studies have show that good helmets and their proper use are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries and 67 percent effective in preventing brain damage to motorcycle drivers and their passengers. Under the law, those who will be caught not wearing protective helmets face a minimum fine of P1,500 and a maximum penalty of P10,000.

The law requires the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct mandatory tests on all locally manufactured and imported motorcycle helmets in the country. Manufacturers and importers of motorcycle helmets are also required to secure a Philippine Standard mark or an import commodity clearance before they can sell and distribute their products or pay a fine of P10,000 to P20,000 if they violate the provision.

OTHER NEWS

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT IN ANGELES CITY  The lack of enforcement of traffic rules in Angeles has hit new record levels.  With the exception of LTO traffic police pulling over obvious foreigners looking for a bribe and the occasional motorcycle checkpoint, it is pretty much anything goes. It has become routine to see trikes and motorcycles going the wrong way up a one way street.  If there is a bit of traffic, no need to wait in line, just pass on the right and when that lane fills up, use the left lane (usually reserved for opposite direction traffic in non-3rd world countries.  And if you stay in the proper lane, don't be surprised if the police give you a hard time for not letting in those passing illegally!

And "WALKING STREET" is the biggest joke of all. There is actually a checkpoint at the entrance on Fields that is manned by police, but they let just about anyone inside. All night long motorcycles and trikes zoom up and down the street and dangerous speeds. It is only a matter of time until a tourist is seriously injured or killed on the "walking street."

 

Several ice suppliers have trucks with out of date license plates and zero tail lights (I don't mean tail lights that don't work, I'm talking about no lights at all).  And the traffic police never stop these offenders.  But, they are always on the watch for a foreigner with no seat belt since it might yield a little beer money.

In line with the above comments on the lack of rule enforcement, I recently received this updated Philippine driving manual from Don Wong.  Pretty funny, but also true (especially stuff like #6) . Thanks Don  [LTO Drivers Manual]

Space Available Flights  We are now receiving emails on a routine basis that list all the US Military space available flights out of Clark.  There are limited seats available but it is common to see 5-6 flights a week on the list.  If you want to see the list, contact a manager at Margarita Station and he will printout the most current sheet.
PHILIPPINE MEDICAL CARE CONTINUED:  I have written in the past about the quality of health care available in the Philippines.  Below is a story I got recently through the grapevine about the Philippine mother-in-law of a retired US military guy. 

 

Last summer I had my wife's mother, Jenny, brought back to the Philippines to find out why she was having severe headaches. As luck would have it, she met a "nice" Christian couple on the plane. Amazingly, they had a close friend with the same problem who had made a complete recovery with the help of a fine doctor in Manila. Jenny went with these people to the fine doctor soon after arriving here. The fine doctor examined her in a private office near a major hospital. She was told she had two aneurisms, and that she would soon die without immediate treatment. Jenny was terrified, went ahead with the "treatment", which she was told included a stint being put in to reduce the size of the aneurism. Then she was told she had to start expensive gamma knife treatment to permanently get rid of the aneurism.

Of course I am coughing up large sums to pay for all this all along thinking Jenny is being treated at St. Luke's Hospital where we both have gone lots of times for world class treatment.  Anyway, I start asking questions, like where are receipts, names of doctors etc. I arrive here early in December and demand to meet doctors, they put me off and I say no more money until I meet all the doctors. I get a e-mail from one of the "Docs", I take the e-mail to a world famous brain surgeon I know and he tells me that there are 3 possibilities: (1) if the email is true, Jenny is a goner, (2) If the email is from a doctor, it's the dumbest doctor in the world who never learned much in Med school, or (3) the e-mail is from a fake person who is scamming Jenny.

Number 3 was the one. So, I tell Jenny no $ until I and my doc meet her docs, she calls them, tells them they have to meet me, they agree, we get ready to go to the office that is not at a hospital, but on the way the fake doc calls and says he has emergency surgery, and cancels the meeting. I laugh and send Jenny to my real doc to get examined. He does a MRI which is totally normal, there is no stint in Jenny's tiny little brain and no sign of aneurisms. My doc gives Jenny treatment for her headaches, Tylenol.

Jenny then spends weeks racing around Manila looking for her "docs", they are not to be found, surprise.  So, Jenny is not going to die, not from an exploding aneurism anyway, maybe from embarrassment for being such a dope.  My wife and I thought she was a goner, we're happy to have momma back. Of course momma is from now a slave until she pays us back almost a million pesos, at the rate we pay her that will take 200 years.

Feel free to pass this on to anyone you want to, and be careful next time you are making deals with Filipinos.

MORE, this time on a LIVING WILL:

It is my unfortunate task to inform you that we have another Comrade in Distress.  Charles William Sicurella, a.k.a., Harley Charley, has been in ICU at Lorma Hospital since March 18, 2010.  He has end stage (ALS) Lou Gehrig’s disease.  He is on total life support at the moment.  Although Charley’s living will opposed to such treatment, I was able to convince him to accept it, as he had asked me to assist his Common-Law wife Lenny in receiving his assets.  

This has proven to be an astronomical task.  After one week we finally got clearance from the PRA to release his $50,000.00 deposit in BDO.  Only to have it go to his US$ savings account in the same bank.  Then BDO obtained a medical report from the doctors stating he was terminal, and they now won’t let Lenny withdraw from the account.  I am currently working with an attorney to complete a Special Power of Attorney to make the Bank release the funds.   

Another learning step was the Doctor, and the Hospital informing me that they couldn’t comply with our living wills, provided by the VA website.  They consider complying with our wishes to be tantamount to assisted suicide.  Also, the attorney, advised me early on that the Philippine government wouldn’t honor the living will either.  She told me the only thing to do was to have Lenny withdraw all funds from Charley’s accounts prior to his death, or she will face a court battle, wherein only the court, attorneys, and government would receive his funds. 

From this, and previous experiences we have had trying to assist our comrades in time of need, I am convinced we must all execute a Living Trust document earliest.   This is acceptable by both governments, banks, and does not go through the probate processes.   

Charley is in an extreme depression, with all the tubes, etc., he has to deal with.  He can only correspond by using a white board, letter by letter.  His latest writing for me was: “I don’t want to live anymore.  This is not living.”  Those who can, should visit him.  Those who cannot, please pray for him.

NOTE: I went through this several years ago with a guy I never met (a friend of a friend). PIH refused to accept the living will (as long as he still had $$ in a local bank account). I had the guy transferred to Mt Carmel in San Fernando where they said it was quite clear and very legal. They stopped life support.

Scott Frye, aka VIP Asia

Another article

$327 in restitution? YGBSM

The fourth person charged in connection with a multi-million-dollar securities fraud case had bond set at $250,000 by District Judge Paul Sherling on Friday

Sherling set bonds of $50,000 each on five counts of transacting business in unregistered securities for Scott Allen Frye, 42. 12th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Gary McAliley said this case is Coffee County’s first international extradition case. Frye has been called the “Pioneer of Internet Fraud in the United States,” McAliley told the court.

Frye was arrested in the Philippines in October 2009 by federal authorities and was returned to the United States. Following extradition hearings in Los Angeles, Calif. Frye was returned to the Coffee County Jail late Thursday by 12th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chief Investigator Dwight Holley and Alabama Securities Commission Investigator Charles Harrison. 

Frye is one of four people charged, and the last to be arrested, in connection with fraud cases that occurred between July 2000 and March 2005 in Alabama, Indiana, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee. “This is the leader of the pack,” McAliley told the court Friday. “He is a flight risk.”

Handcuffed and shackled, Frye shook his head from side to side as McAliley spoke to the judge. “I want to make it very clear that I didn’t run,” Frye said to Sherling.  “That is not correct.”

Frye is charged in connection with the offer and sale of securities, sale of unregistered securities and the sale of securities by an unregistered dealer involving $3.7 million through the sale of investment contracts, promissory notes and shares of common stock,  McAliley said.  McAliley said previously that Frye and co-defendants Michael A. Von Kanel, Teresa H. Von Kanel and Douglas D. Handley led their victims to believe money from the investments was being used for real estate development in Nassau, Bahamas. “I look forward to prosecuting someone who comes up with fraudulent schemes to defraud our citizens out of their retirement savings,” McAliley said.  Michael Von Kanel was a John Hancock life insurance agent who administered employee retirement plans for Century 21, a real estate brokerage firm with offices throughout the southeastern United States, until his indictment on the security fraud charges in November 2005. Five real estate agents at the Enterprise Century 21 office had participated in the retirement plan Von Kanel presented, McAliley said. According to the subsequent investigation, Von Kanel had forged the local real estate firm owner’s signature on John Hancock loan disbursement forms totalling $139,500. The John Hancock Insurance Company repaid the six Enterprise agents for their losses, McAliley said.

The Von Kanels and Handley, Michael Von Kanel’s father-in-law, were arrested in December 2005 in Hoover and later transported to Coffee County. Their indictment was the result of a joint investigation by county authorities and the Alabama Securities Commission.  Handley assisted federal securities officials with their investigation in 2005 and charges against him were dismissed in return for his cooperation. Both Von Kanels entered guilty pleas and and are in prison.

Violations of the Alabama Securities Act are Class C felonies, punishable by not less than 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000. Sherling ordered Frye to surrender his passport and he remains in Coffee County Jail.

FROM MY MAIL BOX:  Transportation from Angeles City to Sabang Beach only P1,290 per person.   Please don't flood me with email questions, all the information I have is listed below.  I have yet to receive any feedback from anyone trying this service.
  • Late model, air-conditioned, well-maintained van with professional, safe driver, leaves central locations in Angeles at 8am each day for Batangas and transfers you to a private 70ft boat for the spectacular sea crossing to Sabang
  • Approximate travel time door-to-door is around 4 hours *
  • The return boat leaves Sabang at 10am each day and meets up with the van for the return trip to Angeles
  • Special accommodation, transfer and breakfast packages (3 nights 4 days) are available from only P5,990 at Campbell's Beach Resort located on clean, sandy Big Laguna Beach
  • Wide range of accommodation available (staying at Campbell's is optional)
  • Complimentary light refreshments on board
  • Trips run every day except Wednesdays
  • No sudden cancellations **
  • PRE-BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL
  • CALL OR TEXT: 0999 4492507
  • WEBSITE: www.angeles2puerto.com

    * travel times are average and depend on traffic conditions

    ** sea crossings may be prohibited by the Coast Guard due to rough sea conditions
MISSING IN ACTION IN ANGELES:
I am trying to locate a Jerry Cutshaw he is a retired USAF and Lockheed tech.  Last known address was Diamond Subdivision.   If anyone knows how to contact him please advise to my gmail larryrayburger@gmail.com thanks
Our friends and family have been trying to locate an old friend.  The last we heard, he was in the Philippine Islands.  When I Googled his name plus Philippines the Tom Donnelly website came up. We are searching for Gary Ruhl, originally from Iowa, then California and Oregon.  We know he was interested in sky diving.  When I saw "jumper" with his name on your donation list, I hoped that this might be our old friend. Of course I don't know if you know Gary the jumper or have any contact with him, but if you do will you be kind enough to tell him that the Murphy's and the Cohen's would like to be in touch.  Please give him this email address.   reginamurphyb@gmail.com
CIVILIAN POW'S DURING WW II:  Here is a new website about the civilian detainees in the Philippines during WW II.  Some of the photo links don't work, but it is a very new site so I'm sure they will get fixed soon.  [Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War]
TEXAS JOE's HOUSE OF RIBS has finally opened on Subic Duty Free Zone.  It has only taken him about a year longer than he planned, but the initial reports are that his ribs are good and the price is reasonable.  A little more info is available on his website.
New species of giant lizard found in Philippines

Varanus bitatawa, pictured in 2009 in the Philippines. Scientists reported on the "spectacular" discovery a previously unknown species of fruit-eating lizard as big as a full-grown man. Astonished researchers found the secretive but brightly-colored beast, a close cousin of the fearsome Komodo Dragons of Indonesia, in a hard-to-reach river valley of northern Luzon Island in the Philippines. (AFP/Royal Society/Joseph Brown)

"I think we have a few undiscovered species right here in AC too, if the scientists will ever stop here and look. You can see them walking up and down Fields Avenue and sitting and drinking at the outdoor bars every day."    Joe

In order to prevent swine flu all arriving passengers have been required for months to complete a questionnaire.  I love the possible choices for individual occupations ---->

 

Here are some photos of the annual balloon festival shot by Tom B (aka Jung)

 

FINAL SALUTE

Raymond Buenaflor, 72, resident of 43-19A Eleuterio Street, Pulung Maragul village. A retired member of the United States Navy was shot dead in front of his residence.

 

SERVICED HOUSE FOR RENT   We only have one,  so book early.   You can rent one bedroom and have the entire house to yourself, or a group of 3 guys can have a party house much cheaper than 3 hotel rooms.   

For more details see http://www.margarita-station.com/house.html

Booked now thru end of April 2010

Margarita Station Website

Previous Newsletters

My favorite charity is Bahay Pag-Ibig in Angeles City. Here I can see 100% of my donations going to the people in need.  Sadly, so many charities have high overhead costs where a huge percentage of donations go to the over paid staff personnel.

Another great charity is the Father Ray Foundation in Pattaya, Thailand. I encourage anyone with a little money to spare to look into and then support this great charity.  There are many great volunteers trying to continue the work of the late Father Ray trying to feed, clothe, education, house, etc. more that 850 young folks.  But, times are tough and they need contributions to keep taking care of these needy children.

They have produced a small DVD, narrated by TOM MINTIER, the retired CNN BANGKOK BUREAU CHIEF.  For a copy of the DVD or more information contact  vincentfoundation@Yahoo.com

Again, I don't support many charities, but this is one of the good ones!

The Father Ray Foundation website is:   www.fr-ray.org