ANGELES CITY NEWS

Nov 2009

Margarita Station FOR SALE?  This month NT Realty Corp started advertising that our property was for sale for a mere P60,000,000.  This advertisement was not authorized by us and my landlord says he did not authorize it.  Our rent is paid for a very long time in the future and we do not have any plans of closing or relocating for years.

TYPHOON AID  In October we had several typhoons hit Luzon.  Although none of these typhoons did any significant damage to Angeles City, they causes a lot of damage and flooding in areas not far away.  As we have done before in cases like this, we bought some rice, sardines, noodles, etc and started bagging them. Some regular customers asked if they could join us and they donated more food, clothing and some far away sent cash.  This enabled us to visit two needy areas and distribute food and clothing to many needy families.

 CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & MORE DETAILS

BABY BACK RIBS About three months ago we found a reliable source for baby back ribs.  We have been running a special on these every Saturday.  A 300 gram half rack is P360 and a full rack approximately 500 grams is P 485.  Served with coleslaw and your choice of potatoes.   When our new menu comes out in early 2010 they will be available seven days a week.

Emergency Medical Treatment in the Philippines  Although I have been here for many years, I have been fortunate enough to only visit the local hospitals on several occasions as an out patient. In the past few months I have had the unfortunate experience of have a family member in need of serious medical care.  I have compiled a page of information on my experiences with two hospitals in the Philippines and one in Thailand.  For that page [CLICK HERE]

If anyone needs medical help while they are in Angeles, contact JC or Aida at Margarita Station and we will assist you as much as possible.  I now have several wheel chairs, crutches, and access to a primitive hospital bed, a physical therapist, & nurses that will do home service.

BAHAY PAG_IBIG (House of Prayer) -- This is still my favorite charity in Angeles.  There are approximately 70 residents at this facility.  All have been abandoned by their families and this is their last stop in life.  The volunteers keep the place clean but they have limited funds for food and comfort items.  This week I received a Balikbayan box from an old friend (Thanks Steve Vandenmaker) full of old clothes, towels, and big bags of shampoo, conditioner, soap bars, and lotion for the residents.  If you are coming to Angeles and you have room in your suitcases, throw in some old clothing, towels, hotel toiletries, etc that we can give them this Christmas.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

 CHANGES - CLOSURES - ETC
R E N A M E D

FIRE AND ICE  was renamed SEA DREAMS on about 1 Oct 2009.  The logic on this one escapes me since Sea Dreams was the name of the cafe on the first floor that closed due to lack of business.  Then they opened Sea Dreams as a bar on the first floor and it failed once but was later reopened again as Sea Dreams.  The second floor Sea Dreams might survive because of their loyal pool player crowd, but their business as a night club has continued to decline since Ozzie left months ago.  Now they have leased out the kitchen behind the ground floor Sea Dreams and the regular customers are not too happy with the change in food quality and prices.

 

IGUANA's ZAPATA's moved from their location in mid-Perimeter Road to a new facility in the Friendship area and was renamed Iguana's (because DTI would not approve the name Zapata's).  Same owners, same lead cook, many of the same waitresses, and same good food.  Still closed on Monday's.

C H A N G E    OF   O W N E R S H I P
ERUPTIONS This club was recently purchased by the owners of the new L&M club.  No significant changes yet but we wish them luck.

"Gecko" George is no longer connected with the International (formerly Shano's). His shares were bought out by the remaining partners. It seems there was a conflict as to whether slot machines would be added to the International. Apparently the new owners planned to add slot machines to the establishment, but it seems that George wanted to keep the booths and not bring in slot machines.  You can find George at the Paradise Beer Garden (see info below).

C L O S E D

BIRD CAGE The bird cage was closed in October.  Looks like this club will be taken over by the Dollhouse Group. Renovations started the first week of November.

R E N O V A T E D

WILLIE PIGS They finished renovating the interior in late October.  It is much cleaner and more comfortable than before, but his prices are creeping up the same or more than the bigger restaurants.  They have also added a wood fired oven for pizzas.   I still recommend the seasoned fries for a tasty bar snack.

STAMPEDE/CHERRY'S  They have done some extensive renovations to the outside, but when they are done I think most people won't notice the changes.  It is clean and fresh but looks much the same as before.  Both are good places for an early afternoon drink.

C O M I N G   S O O N

 Lewis's new club between Typhoon and Champagne is starting to look like it may open before Christmas.
 
OPENED

Click on photo for more photos including the 2nd floor club and the VIP rooms

CLUB ASIA is the latest club in the Dollhouse Group.  The main floor has two stages on different levels.  Upstairs there are a four VIP rooms and another complete bar with stage that should be open by 1 Dec.  Operating hours are 7pm - 4 am.  The Dollhouse Group has also acquired the old Executive Club and work will start on that soon.  Looks like it will be connected on the 2nd floor.

 

 

L&M The Love and Music Club is located in Fields Plaza.  A very different venue where the majority of the girls dance in dresses instead of bikinis.

H-ROCK  This club is located in the Fields Plaza complex near Mc Donald's and Mac Arthur Highway.  They have live music nightly at 9 pm.  The food I sampled was excellent.

This is really three clubs in on.  On the second floor there is a Piano Bar and  Caribbean Club.

The Piano Bar  This looks like a good place for a quiet drink or dinner.
The Caribbean Club   Tucked away in the back of the Piano Bar. Pretty quiet place.
SHOOTERS Very big bar.  I enjoyed the music selection they played while I was there.  No techno or rap. 
CAR WASH  This club by the owners of the BODY SHOP was still not open on 8 November. Look for it to open very soon.

PARADISE BEER GARDEN  is located in front of the four bars listed above.  Run by Gecko's George it is a 24/7 open air venue with reasonable priced food and beverages.

 
The UNDERGROUND opened about two months ago on Santos street, across from the Wild Orchid.  It is the only real go-go club on Santos Street. The night I took these photos a big spender had just left after blowing off lots of poppers.

WILD ORCHID LAGOON On 8 November the Wild Orchid formally opened their new "lagoon wing."

The Lagoon wing has 48 Balcony rooms, all facing the pool. 

Until the elevator is installed, they will have Promo prices of P4500 per night for the ground floor and P 4000 for the second and third floors. For room photos and more information,  [CLICK HERE]

LADY O   This new bar opened in the rear of the Euro-Asia hotel.  It says it opens at 4 pm, but they apparently don't take that too seriously as I stopped by twice before 6 pm and there were indications that they were even getting ready to open.  In fact, the hotel staff looked at me like I was crazy when I asked questions about what time they opened.

PAT'S PLACE This is a English Pub/Thai Restaurant where Zapata's was located on Perimeter Road. So far the reviews are pretty good but they are complaining that it is hard to get good meats and vegetables here. Welcome to trying to operate a restaurant in the Philippines.

The corner lot at checkpoint has been transformed into a variety of new businesses to include a 24 hour Quick Stop, another much needed Western Union, two dental offices, a spa, a pawn shop, a photo studio/website designer, and a salon.  The area has been named Clarkview Square for some unknown reason since it is not square and it is no where near Clark View.

DIRT MOUSE BAR recently opened where Spinners and C-How-U-R was located in Hensonville area.  It is pretty hard for a enclosed, non-air conditioned bar to survive in this area, but these guys have added a new twist that isn't going to make it any easier.  Seems that if you bring a lady with you, her drinks are charged as ladies drinks even though she doesn't work there!

PONY TAILS has been open for a few months now, but they continue to work on the club.  The latest change is a new look on the outside.  Great place for an early afternoon drink with P50 local drinks and a bowl of popcorn for free. This club is owned and operated by the Dollhouse Group.  It is the first real Fields Ave club (with Fields Ave prices) to venture on to Perimeter Road.  By all accounts it is doing well. Rumors are this group is negotiating for two more properties further up Perimeter Road and also some more on Fields Ave.

C' ITALIAN DELI & BUTCHER SHOP   Chris plans to have the deli & butcher shop open around mid-November.  They will sell all certified black angus beef, top class Australian lamb, over thirty  European cheeses,  salami, ham, daily freshly baked breads and pastry, Italian gelato and so much more.... open from 8am to 10pm!  Chris says this will be a European style delicatessen and butcher shop.  While they  will sell all the ingredients needed for making a sandwich they will not be a sandwich shop like in some countries.   On Saturdays a special roast will me made available (wait for more info on that) and they will have delivery available via bike and car all around Angeles.

OTHER ANGELES CITY NEWS

SAN MIGUEL DRAFT BEER  For the first time in my memory, San Miguel Draft Beer is "OUT OF STOCK" in Central Luzon.  It seems that the recent typhoon caused significant damage to the San Miguel plant in Bulacan.  They have no estimated date when production will resume.  Fortunately the San Miguel bottled beer plants have not been effected and they are producing more than enough to pick up the draft beer consumers.

Angeles City isn't all about drinking and bar hopping. Sometimes we do get together for a worth charity and have a fund raiser.  But, there are no rules that fundraisers have to be boring.  On 23 October about 320 girls and 150+ guys got together at the ABC Hotel to raise money for the  Duyan ni Maria Orphanage.  Lots of local businesses donated items that were raffled off to some real big spenders.  At the end of the day they raised over P350,000 (approx $7,300).

This money will be used establish an emergency medical fund, get Phil Health life insurance for all the orphans, finish needed repairs to building, get internet and cable hooked up, all bills paid for 1 year, a few more bunk beds so kids are not sleeping on floor, repair freezer and a few other broken appliances, get a few more ceiling fans, create a maintenance fund, buy vitamins for all the kids for 1 year, etc.

Click on photo above for more photos of the event

During the month of October many of the businesses got the benefit of lots of US Marines out for nights on the town.  The troops were extremely well behaved and I didn't hear of a single incident.  The door girls from Atlantis made sure these guys knew they were welcome in that club.

CHRISTMAS ALREADY?  It is bad enough that it is now hard to find a seat without a bucket of ping-pong balls and poppers on the counter, but now the Christmas Boxes are being shoved in your face while you are sipping on a drink. So next time you go bar hopping make sure you take an extra P1000 per bar so you can toss one bucket of ball, put a wad of bills in a popper and shoot it across the room and still have enough left to tip your waitress and put some money in the Christmas box.

James has moved from managing La Pasha to the general manager position at Lewis Grand Hotel.
One of the money changer  by Chow King on Fields Ave was robbed at about 5 am on Saturday 10 October by five guys.  One guy was caught and arrested. The other four reportedly got away with P350,000. 

NEW POLICE SET-UPS?  I have heard stories of new set-ups, but the guys involved in two of these refused to talk to me about the incidents.   Guys, it isn't a "police setup" if you are committing a crime and get caught by the police.  Fortunate for some people that the Philippines is still a place where you can pay to make charges go away.

Several guys were detained after being caught with the same underaged girl in their rooms.  Both of these guys were not new to Angeles.  In fact, one guy has lived here for years and is known to "like them young."   Bottom line is they both took an underage girl that was not  working in any club and it cost them both big $$.    According to one usually reliable sources these detainments  and then releases  for cash were part of the reason the Angeles Police Chief was fired (STORY HERE).  None of the police involved in these incidents were from Station 4 (the station serving Fields Ave).

But, beware. There is at least one underage girl that knows she can make more by calling the police then actually committing the deed with an old foreigner.

In another case an American paid a significant amount only to have all his furniture, car & motorcycle seized.  It turned out this was done by two fake NBI agents (see two articles near the end of NEWS CLIPPINGS).  The CIDG arrested the two fake NBI agents. But, this story isn't over yet as reportedly the American was detained in one of the police stations and what happened to the money he paid to get out?  I forecast some more police terminations since there is so much pressure on stopping this corruption.

MORE POLICE CHANGES:  The commander of Station Four, Major Lorenzo,  was reassigned on short notice to the PNP Headquarters shortly after the new City commander took command.  The new commander of Station 4 is Police Chief Inspector (Major) Rogelio C. Javier.  Maj. Javier was previously the commander at Station 1 and Station 2 in Angeles City.

CONDO UPDATES

For more  information (cost per sq meter, etc) on various condo projects in Angeles [CLICK HERE]

FIELDS PLAZA CONDOS  In my opinion this is the best value for the money per-square-meter. Some of the condo projects have stalled because of lack of funds or battles between the investing partners.  Construction hasn't slowed since day one and Gerard isn't going to run out of capital. Furthermore,  he is not using the cheapest local materials.  He is using the best materials from plumbing to imported doors to unbreakable glass.  The security in this building will be the best in any building in Angeles City .

LEXUS Construction stopped here for months. Rumors of disputes between the partners and then one was shot (but survived).  A little noise coming from first floor now, but hard to tell if construction is resuming or someone is pilfering the site.  A look at the showroom (photo on right) should give potential buyers a warning.

GRANDVIEW   The most expensive (per sq. meter) of any of the projects.  Construction has been stopped for several months after a restraining order was issued for  some reported zoning problems. The twins indicated the restraining order will be lifted this month and they will resume full speed ahead.

ICON TOWERS  This project is located a few blocks behind Margarita Station.  Construction is ongoing but it is going very slow.

PHOTOs OF THE MONTH

I'd love to read the job description. I'm sure there are thousands of people in Angeles that are qualified?

      

These new guards at Natalia are great! CLICK HERE FOR CLOSE UP

This one near AUF hospital.  Is the Blue Nile Group expanding again?

Calesa powered by a golf cart? The management of the Donald Paul Apartelle is taking over Airwolf Bruce's position for new weird ideas.

NEWS CLIPPINGS

From multiple sources (Not necessarily in chronological order) 

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

Thousands flock to Marquee Mall opening

Marking the trend in must-see destinations is Marquee Mall, a redefinition of shopping, dining and entertainment which is truly a cut above the rest. Marquee Mall is Ayala Malls' first foray in Central Luzon, making its home in Angeles City in Pampanga. It redefines convenience on this side of the country. Situated near Angeles City's business district and adjacent to the Angeles exit along North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), this new 93-hectare lifestyle hub is a vital component of "Marquee", a 53 hectare integrated mixed use community recently developed by Ayala Land., Inc.

Spanning three floors with more than 450 stores and restaurants, Marquee Mall raises the bar higher on mixed use developments in the region, as it is strategically located in the vicinity of Marquee Place, a residential area developed by Alveo Land. The 70,000 square meters Marquee Mall will also be home to an inter-modal transport terminal for buses, jeepneys, AUVs and tricycles, upgrading the accessibility and turn it into a major regional convergence area.

Indulge in sheer fun and entertainment with remarkable features such as the Activity Center, an energetic event venue where people can linger and enjoy various activities and live performances, the Civic Plaza which echoes an al fresco feel heightened by beautiful installations of water features and lush landscaping, interactive sculptures designed by Reggie Yuson, and four digital cinemas.

37% of sex workers in Balibago bars are locals

ANGELES CITY -- A pro-women non-government organization has disclosed that 37 percent of "sex workers" in night clubs at the red light district of Balibago here are from this city.  The Renew Foundation based its figure on the recent survey it conducted in cooperation with the UK-based University of Oxford. "In 2005, 16 percent of the women prostituted in the sex bars of Balibago came from Angeles (City) itself. But today in 2009, 37 percent of the women prostituted in the sex bars of Angeles are from Angeles itself," the Renew Foundation stated.

The same research also revealed that one in five women working in the sex bars of Fields Avenue have been trafficked - forced, tricked or coerced into prostitution.  During a human trafficking summit at the Shanghai Palace restaurant here recently, Paulo Fuller of the Renew Foundation said that an average of two children and three women are being rescued weekly from sex bars in Balibago. Fuller said the victims have all been trafficked.

The Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), MTV End Exploitation and Trafficking (MTV Exit), Ing Makababaing Aksyon (IMA) Foundation, Visayan Forum Foundation Incorporated, among others, spearheaded the human trafficking summit. These groups are coordinating with each other to curb human trafficking in the country.  In line with the program, the MTV Exit will stage a second concert at the SM Clark at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The concert will feature local bands Sponge Cola and Sugarfree.  The VFFI, CIAC, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) Anti-Trafficking Task Force for Migrant Workers and Trafficking in Person and IMA Foundation will lead anti-trafficking advocates in a freedom march which will start at 3 p.m. at the Balibago Barangay Hall and will end at SM City Clark. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Ondoy’ spares Angeles City

ANGELES CITY -- Even as Typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc in many parts of Pampanga, it spared this city from much damage and flooding.  City Administrator Mark Allen Sison, during the opening of the Metro Gaisano Department Store here, said the city was fortunate that there were no major damages.  The typhoon brought heavy downpours that caused flooding in many towns and claimed the lives of some 14 people in Barangay Baño in Arayat in a mudslide.  “Generally, there were major damages in the city but because our elevation is 25 meters above sea level there was no flooding. But there was some erosion along Abacan River, which is perennial in nature,” said Sison.

“Actually, there were four houses that eroded last Saturday, but even before the typhoon we already cleaned up Sapang Balen Creek and Mayor Blueboy Nepomuceno already had bidden out his commitment to Balibago Bridge for the sheet pilings amounting to P30.7 million and another P10 million for the rechanneling of Abacan River that is why we were able to prepare for major calamities and avoided much damage,” he added.  He said it has been a long time ago that the city has prepared, bidding and purchasing medical supplies, food, raincoats and boots.  “We also have declogged our canals because they are being made dumpsites for wastes, so instead of the water going down the river, they are clogged and overflow,” he said. According to Sison, the Ospital ng Angeles is open 24 hours for emergencies not only for the city’s constituents but for neighboring towns as well. “All our roads are passable and our electric and water utilities have been restored,” he said, adding that after their meeting at the City Disaster Coordinating Council, city officials will distribute relief goods for affected families in Arayat and San Fernando. (Jovi T. De Leon)

Only in the PI. Wait until there is a disaster and then declare the Red Cross null & void


Red Cross charter declared unconstitutional

RESCUE efforts for victims of Typhoon Ondoy may suffer a setback after the Supreme Court (SC) denied with finality its motion to reconsider a ruling that declared a Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) charter null and void for being unconstitutional.  In a resolution, the SC en banc affirmed its July 15, 2009 decision that struck down almost all provisions in the PNRC charter, Republic Act (RA) 95, as they ran counter Section 7, Article 14 of the Constitution, which prohibits Congress from creating private corporations, except by general law.  “Acting on its MR, the Court resolved to deny with finality the said motion for reconsideration, as the basic issues raised therein have been passed upon by this Court and no substantial arguments were presented to warrant a reversal of the questioned decision,” the Court ruled.  Justice Renato Corona took no part in the voting.

The high court earlier voted 7-5, with one abstention, declaring Sections 1-13 of the PNRC charter void. It further said that the PNRC should incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if it wants to be a private corporation.  The decision, penned by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, held that Congress cannot enact law except by general law applicable to all citizens. It added that Congress cannot enact a law creating a private corporation with a special charter.

In its motion for reconsideration, PNRC lawyer Lorna Kapunan asked the SC to declare it as a private and neutral organization performing humanitarian functions as an auxiliary to government and that its charter, under Presidential Decree 1264, as amended by Presidential Decree 1643, is valid and constitutional.   The PNRC admitted that its structure is unique since it cannot be easily classified as a government-owned or controlled corporation due to the fact that the government has no control over it.

The petitioner added that it cannot be strictly categorized as a private corporation because it was not organized under the Corporation Code.   The PNRC explained that its charter was created under Presidential Decrees 1264 and 1643 issued by then President Marcos and not under RA 95.  In nullifying their charter, the organization said it was never a party to the case which was filed by a group led by former Quezon City Representative Dante Liban with Senator Richard Gordon, PNRC chair, as the lone respondent.

In their petition, Liban’s group argued that PNRC is a government office, thus Gordon’s appointment as chair of PNRC automatically forfeited his seat in the Senate.  But the SC dismissed the claim of the petitioner that the PNRC is a government agency as it held that it is a private organization performing public functions.  Being so, the Court said, the PNRC chairmanship may be held by any individual, including a senator or a member of the House of Congress. (JCV/Sunnex)

Mayor withdraws libel case vs American

 
ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno has dropped the libel case he filed against an American trader who earlier accused him of being behind the operation of a group allegedly gypping money from bar owners and bargirls along the entertainment district of Fields Avenue in Barangay Balibago here.   Nepomuceno dropped the case against Jim Dale of Hotel La Casa after the foreigner apologized to him.  “I knew that you were not behind the Jojo Group,” Dale told Nepomuceno in his letter of apology dated September 30, 2009.  Dale met with Nepomuceno at the Angeles City Hall and personally apologized to the local chief executive for the false reports. 

The Jojo Group was tagged behind the alleged extortion activities along Fields Avenue.  “I was quoted as saying that ‘you knew about the Jojo Group’ and I must admit that I thought you were aware of their existence. Since then I have come to realize that you were not knowledgeable of them,” Dale told the city mayor.  “And if I had known that I would have made a concerted effort to arrange an appointment with you to explain their existence. I assumed something and that was a mistake on my part. For that I humbly apologize,” he explained.  Dale strongly denied saying that Nepomuceno is behind the extortion group.  “It was written that I said you were ‘behind the Group’ and this I strongly deny. My words were taken out of context.”  Dale said he told reporters, who asked for specific names, to become investigative reporters and do the research themselves.   “I was very upset when I was misquoted and want you to know that I never would have made such an accusation,” he said.

Dale has apologized for the wrong reports which had been the basis of earlier statements issued by Balibago Barangay Captain Rodelio “Tony” Mamac against Nepomuceno.   Mamac is also facing libel charges and was arrested on September 15 by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU). He posted P10,000 bail at the Regional Trial Court 47 in the City of San Fernando for his freedom.  Dale stressed that some statements he had made in a previous meeting organized by Mamac were taken out of context.   “For one, I was never an organizer of that meeting, I was invited because of my positions with ACTA (Angeles City Travel Associations) and HARP (Hotel and Restaurant Association of Pampanga) and a concerned resident of this City,” Dale said.  City Administrator Mark Allen Sison earlier said the issue will be solved in the proper forum.  “We ask the people of Angeles City to see reason and let the law take its proper course. We should not be appealing to the public for pity but instead face the issue justly and post bail,” he said.

Frogs may be nearing extinction

By Jovi T. De Leon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- As this city gears up for the 7th Annual Frog Festival, officials here led by Mayor Oscar Rodriguez Friday afternoon disclosed during the press conference for the yearly “Piestang Tugak” the fast diminishing population of edible frogs common in their habitat in farms, river banks and wetlands. The greenish-yellowish edible frog, a specialty and delicacy in most Kapampangan kitchens, has become a symbol of this city’s leapfrogging to success and growth the past years, according to the mayor.

“Because of rapid urbanization, we have observed that the edible frogs are fast disappearing and maybe nearing extinction. Subdivisions are taking over farmlands and river banks, because of the necessity to avert flooding, are being paved as concrete embankments, driving away the frogs from their natural habitat. That is why for this year, we will divert from the usual aspect of frogs as food and the catching process, but rather move to preserve and protect them,” Rodriguez told Sun.Star Pampanga.

He said the City Government, starting with this year’s festival, would put emphasis on the frogs’ benefits to humans, the environment and ecological balance.  “We are seriously considering a program to preserve these species of frogs, snails and crabs along with moves to culture them and save them from extinction. I have asked City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao to discuss this project with our Technical Working Group to maintain, propagate and link-up with other local government units nearby to encourage culturing this vanishing species for the benefit of generations to come,” he said.  Rodriguez narrated how frogs sustained him and his family during the early years when the province was teeming with the amphibians as a source of food and livelihood for many folks.

“It became for us then a source of food and livelihood as we would sell part of the catch in the market. The best recipe them was ‘tortang tugak’ (minced frog cooked in soy sauce) and of course the all time favorite ‘betute’ (fried stuffed frog) which I even saw in Europe as a delicacy. If we don’t act on their diminishing population now, the future generations might not even recognize these frogs anymore,” Rodriguez said.  He added that it is the species of poisonous frogs (karag in the vernacular) that have been proliferating lately.

Frog Festival chair Engr. Marni Castro for his part said the city now has 10 pairs of the popular and edible farm frogs which are being cultured under the watch of Caylao, who is set to create a “frog garden” similar to the famous butterfly gardens launched to save the winged insects from extinction.  Meanwhile, Community Affairs Department head Donny Sayre said this year’s festival will feature the first frog street dancing festival.

Sayre said the winner in the street dance contest, to be participated in by students from the city’s integrated schools, will represent the city in the provincial Sinukwan Festival in December. He added that aside from the P20,000 grand prize, the City Government will subsidize the winners with another P10,000 for the December contest.  This year’s festival reels off on October 7 with a frog collection exhibit, frog mascot competition and street dance contest at SM City Pampanga; a frog catching (paduasan) contest at Heroes Hall on October 8; and the “Lundag Tugak” (frog leaping) and other frog games on October 9 at the city proper.

From the Philippines to Perth: nowhere to hide

Terrence William Hainsworth relaxes in the Philippines with an unidentified woman before his arrest.

JOSEPH SAPIENZA    October 5, 2009

A WA man convicted of possessing child porn has also fallen foul of the law in the Philippines. Joseph Sapienza reports.

Angeles City is a seedy place even by the standards of the Philippines sex industry. One of the most infamous fleshpots in Asia, thousands of foreigners visit the town - two hours drive north of the capital, Manila - to pick up children, some younger than 12, for sex.
 
Plenty of Australians call it home. But one who won't - for a while yet, anyway - is Terrence William Hainsworth.
 
That is because the 52-year-old West Australian will be spending the next 13 months behind bars in his home state, after being convicted in the Perth District Court last week on charges of importing and possessing child pornography and bestiality images. 
 

An investigation by WAtoday.com.au has found it is almost two years since he was put behind bars in Angeles City, while awaiting his day before the Philippines judicial system to face charges that he raped the seven-year-old daughter of his Filipino partner. It was claimed in medical records issued by a Filipino hospital that the girl suffered injuries consistent with sexual assault. Hainsworth, who denied the charges, which were later dropped, spent several weeks in jail. He later used a web forum to offer his friends an extremely detailed look at life on the inside of a Filipino jail - even revealing he was asked to play Santa Claus during Christmas.
 
During his time in jail, Hainsworth had many supporters in his corner. This was highlighted in the Perth court in the form of character references, including the author of an online newsletter for expats living in Angeles City.  He claimed Hainsworth was planning to return to Australia when he got into an argument with his girlfriend. She went off and came back with police in tow, claiming Hainsworth sexually abused her daughter. "One thing led to another and old Terry found himself in the hoosegow and needed the services of a very competent local lawyer ..." the newsletter says.
 
The newsletter then quoted Hainsworth's lawyer saying that sometime in January, Hainsworth and the girl's mother had "reconciled" and the woman agreed to withdraw the complaint against him. Enemies of Hainsworth have surfaced in Angeles City as a result of his alleged behavior. One adversary claims he paid his way out of jail, in a country where "money talks". Hainsworth was under the eye of Australian law enforcement agencies when he arrived at Perth International Airport on November 12 last year.
 
The Perth District Court was told that Customs officers discovered a dozen pornographic images involving an eight-year-old child on Hainsworth's laptop computer. The laptop was seized, and Hainsworth was now firmly on the radar of Customs. He flew back to Angeles City again on November 25 before returning to Perth on Christmas Eve. In the days and weeks that followed, Customs and police officers seized equipment and images, including pictures of girls as young as six engaged in sexual acts and bestiality images. The court heard that Hainsworth worked as a railway operator in NSW from 1990 to 2006 and that he suffered a number of health-related problems, including high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, insomnia, depression and impotence. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 and was treated with radiation therapy, which led to his becoming impotent. "To engage in sexual encounters, you went to the Philippines to address this," Perth District Court Judge William Groves said.

Hainsworth has been married three times, including unions with two Filipino women. He had a son with his Australian-born first wife and two boys with his second wife. He separated from his third Filipino wife nine years ago, at a time when he was in another relationship with his current partner. The same woman - who accused Hainsworth of the rape in the Philippines - remains there with their young son.  The references tendered to the court, including one from his current partner, spoke highly of Hainsworth, although they indicated "surprise, shock and dismay" over his offending in this instance. Hainsworth's partner told the judge he was "supportive of her and the child" and that she was "shocked" to find about the charges. "He is a good man, a good father, nice friend and (she) pleads you should be given another chance," Judge Groves said of the reference. "She and the child miss you."
 
Psychological and pre-sentence reports submitted to the court showed Hainsworth engaged in "strict denial" over the offences and was "angered" he had been charged.  His attitude towards the offending was "very evasive, not particularly honest and more concerned with distancing himself from the material found in his possession".  But despite this, the judge found Hainsworth to be remorseful, that he had suffered personally and was "ashamed" of these convictions.  Judge Groves told him these were serious examples of child pornography, and although his lawyer John Hawkins suggested it was not of the worst kind, the judge later remarked: "In my view, it is difficult to categorize any type of offending when it comes to sexual abuse of young children." As well as the jail term, Judge Groves also fined Hainsworth $2000.

American accused of violence vs women, children

CAMP OLIVAS -- The Central Luzon Police Office reported on Tuesday the arrest of American national Michael Scott Given by police intelligence operatives.  Given, 50, a resident of Barangay San Nicolas 2 in Magalang town, has been subject of an intensive manhunt ordered by Chief Superintendent Leon Nilo dela Cruz a few weeks ago for violating Republic Act 9262, other wise known as "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004."

The act which Given allegedly violated “values the dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The law also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.”

According to Central Luzon Police Information Officer Baltazar Mamaril Jr., Given was arrested in Barangay San Nicolas, Poblacion in Concepcion, Tarlac by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Bernardita Erum of the Regional Trial Court in Angeles City. He added that Given is now in police custody as his case will soon be heard. He said Given’s capture was a result of the cooperative manhunt efforts of the members of the regional police.

Scott Frye (aka VIP Asia)  was not a low key EXPAT during his years in Angeles.  For a while he was one of the owners of a local adult orientated website. Then he was behind another adult website for a pretty local girl.  He was also involved in a local bulletin board and the much publicized MAGANDA FILIPINA beauty contest.

In October he was arrested for security fraud in America (see stories below).

Scam man behind bars years after local indictment
Oct 14 2009 12:00AM  By Melissa Braun Sun Staff Writer

A man authorities say played a role in the theft of retirement funds from area Realtors is finally behind bars almost five years after the alleged crime. Scott Allen Frye, 41, was located and arrested by federal authorities in the Phillipines, according to reports. Frye allegedly partnered with Michael Von Kanel to sell unregistered securities as an unregistered dealer. Their criminal activities are believed to have begun in 2000 while Von Kanel was working as an agent for John Hancock Insurance and sprawled across Alabama, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi.

“Along the way, he (Von Kanel) developed the reputation of being straight up and won the confidence of Billy Cotter (an Enterprise businessman),” said 12th Judicial District Attorney Gary McAliley. “They (Von Kanel, Teresa H. Von Kanel and Frye) came up with so many different investment plans. Eventually, they convinced Cotter to invest his employees’ retirement plans.”

Several of Cotter’s employees realized their money was missing, however, and a subsequent lawsuit was brought against John Hancock Insurance.  A simultaneous investigation also began into Von Kanel’s investment practices by the Coffee County District Attorney’s office, the Alabama Securities Commission and the Attorney General’s office. A November 2005 session of the Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Von Kanel and Frye for the illegal offering or selling of unregistered securities. The indictment alleged that from December 2000 to January 2002, Frye, Von Kanel and others offered and sold false securities to residents of Coffee County. The securities, described as cash flow agreements, were for World Wide Wall Street, a real estate investment in Nassau, Bahamas, according to Dan Lord of the Alabama Securities Commission.

Frye has been on the lam until he was located in the Phillipines last week by federal authorities. Von Kanel and his wife, Teresa, each pleaded guilty in 2007 to the sale of unregistered securities. McAliley at that time recommended a sentence of 10 years in the state penitentiary. Of the 10 years, Coffee County Circuit Judge Tom Head said Von Kanel must serve three years in confinement with seven of the 10 years suspended, according to court records. Von Kanel will be on probation for five years after he is released from prison and was ordered to pay $327 in restitution.

Frye is currently awaiting extradition to Alabama where he will be arraigned. John Hancock Insurance reportedly reimbursed each victim ––more than $100,000.

Final arrest made in Coffee County securities fraud case

The fourth person charged in a multimillion-dollar securities fraud case will be returned to Coffee County Court to face charges.

Twelfth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Gary McAliley said Wednesday that Scott Allen Frye, 41, was arrested in the Philippines by federal authorities. He 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. 

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, according to the Alabama Securities Commission.  McAliley said 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. 

Michael Von Kanel had been 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 people 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 with the Alabama Securities Commission. 

Handley assisted federal security exchange officials with their investigation in 2005 and based upon that agreement, charges against him were dismissed. Both Von Kanels pled guilty and are in prison. Frye had eluded authorities until his arrest Tuesday. Violations of the Alabama Securities Act are Class C felonies, punishable by not less than 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Frye remains in federal custody awaiting extradition to Alabama, according information from the Alabama Securities Commission.

3 Nov Manila Bulletin:

Carjackers strike again

CAMP OLIVAS -- Carjackers strike anew in Angeles City.  A brand new van was forcibly taken along Santos Street, Nepo Subdivision in Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles City around 2 a.m. last Sunday.  Reports reaching this camp said that a 2009 Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia, with license plate NIQ-677, was taken at gunpoint while parked at the subdivision by four unidentified gunmen on board a black Kia Sportage SUV without plate numbers.  The owner, Clarita Limiac, 39, of Purok 3, Porac town, together with driver Clarizon Tolentino, Michael delos Reyes and Paulo San Jose, were inside the vehicle when the carjackers appeared.  At gunpoint, two of the suspects ordered the van’s occupants to disembark, the report said.  Police said one of the suspects boarded the Toyota Hi-Ace and drove it to unknown direction while the Kia Sportage was tailing it.  Senior Superintendent Pierre Bucsit, Angeles City police director, said he has ordered a manhunt against the carjackers. (Ric Sapnu)

Arroyo leads distribution of relief goods

SAN SIMON -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the distribution of relief goods to victims of tropical storms Ondoy and Pepeng during her visit in San Pedro village Sunday. According to Fourth District congresswoman Ana York Bondoc, this remote village located near the boundary of San Luis town was one of the worst hit villages here with floodwaters rising from five to eight feet.  "There are about 2,400 affected families who have received packs of foods through the generosity of the President," Bondoc said. Each food pack contained two kilos of rice, instant noodles, canned goods and used cloths.

The residents and local officials warmly welcomed the President.  They have profusely thanked her for finding time in attending to their needs, especially in times of calamities.  "Nagpapasalamat po kami sa mahal na Pangulo dahil kahit na malayo ang aming barangay ay pinupuntahan niya kami para tulungan at bigyan ng pagkain lalu na ngayong nilubog kami," a resident said. Martha Alfaro, 73, and Rosita Santos, 70, said poor people like them are in need of food, as they cannot afford to work because of their old ages. "Maraming maramng salamat po," they said in teary eyes. Mayor Rodrigo "Digos" Canlas also joined the President in the distribution of the relief goods. (Herbert P. Mapiles)

Zest Air inaugural flight fully booked

CLARK FREEPORT -- All seats have been taken for the inaugural flight of Zest Air to Hong Kong Friday. This signals the start of its full commercial operation via the Clark-Hong Kong route at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). A roundtrip ticket of only $70 via Clark-Hong Kong flight was sold like a hot cake in their first-ever international operations at DMIA that is expected to boost passenger volume before the end of this year.

Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose Luciano, Zest Air President and CEO Ambassador Alfredo Yao and Subic Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan will lead the inaugural flight of Zest Air at DMIA Friday afternoon.  "This is another history in the making for DMIA and we will continue giving world class service to our passengers using DMIA," Luciano said.  Simple send-off ceremonies will be held at the DMIA VIP Lounge at 3 p.m. Friday.

Zest Air, formerly known as Asian Spirit, will be using its brand new Air Bus 320 with a capacity of 166 seats, which will be arriving at the DMIA at 2:30 p.m. for its inaugural daily flight to Hong Kong.  Zest Air passenger flight Z2-083 will be coming from Manila then proceed to DMIA at 2:30 p.m. to pick up passengers bound for Hong Kong.  The aircraft will be arriving at the Hong Kong International Airport at around 5:40 p.m. where passengers would be treated by a short welcome at the airport.

The airline company is the second local air carrier to operate international commercial operations at DMIA.  It also flies local domestic operations via Clark-Caticlan flights to the world famous Boracay Beach Island Resort in the Visayas.  DMIA is also home of other foreign carriers such as Tiger Airways which flies to Singapore, Air Asia via Kuala Lumpur and Kotakinabalu and Asiana Airlines via Clark-Incheon in South Korea with connecting flights to the US, China and Japan.

Zest Air also flies international such as Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Incheon in South Korea, Fukuoaka and Okinawa in Japan, while domestic flights are Puerto Princesa, Busuanga, San Jose, Marinduque, Naga, Virac, Legaspi, Tablas, Kalibo, Calbayog, Catarman, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga, Tagbilaran, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, Siargao, Caticlan, Clark and Davao.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo designated DMIA the country's Premier International Airport right after the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

Interested passengers are advised to log on to www.zestair.com.ph for bookings to avail of Zest Air's other special promos.

Suspect in NPA commander’s daughter’s kidnap-slay killed

Written by Rene Acosta / Reporter    Monday, 26 October 2009 21:59

A SOLDIER who was implicated in the abduction and killing of a daughter of a New People’s Army (NPA) commander in Davao several months ago was killed on Sunday by the communist guerrillas.  The military said two civilians were wounded during the attack at the mountain barangay of Malabog in Paquibato District, Davao City.  Capt. Emmanuel Garcia, spokesman for the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said Cpl. Orly Pedregoza was shot by communist guerrillas at about 1 p.m. while he was attending a religious activity at the local parish of the Philippine Independent Church.  Garcia said the soldier, who is assigned to the 10th Infantry Battalion and a resident of Paquibato, sustained multiple-gunshot wounds and died on the spot.  Garcia also identified the wounded civilians as Jefrey Labtic and Jolito Atig. Both sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Earlier, the NPA tagged Pedregoza as among those who allegedly abducted and later killed Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of rebel leader Ruben Pitao, alias Commander Parago, in Davao, an act that was also condemned by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte said the death of Rebelyn has opened a new frontier in the conflict between the government and the NPA in Davao City.  After the killing, the provincial leadership of the NPA ordered a manhunt against the suspects, including Pedregoza.

The military said the killing of the soldier was an added record in the trail of violence and human-rights violations of the local rebel group.  “The killing of an individual and wounding of two others in the middle of a community religious activity shows the true nature of the organization where the perpetrators belong. This is a total disregard for the safety of civilians and contempt to a peaceful gathering in a community,” Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, 10th ID commander said.

Meanwhile, the Army said two NPA rebels surrendered to soldiers in Davao.  David Paduyao and a certain Tirso Jose yielded to the 77th Infantry Battalion and the 72nd Infantry Battalion, respectively.  Another rebel, Antonio Espaletero, also surrendered to the elements of the 61st Infantry Battalion at barangay Camansi, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.  “With the 2010 deadline at hand and the recent disasters that came our way, the Army will continue and shall not stop from serving the people until the country achieves lasting peace and sustainable development,” said the Army spokesman, Lt. Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos.

The local NPA command, however, said Pedregoza is among the 21 people indicted in a “People’s Court” for the kidnap-killing of Rebelyn.  A statement issued by the rebel group said Pedregoza tried to put up a fight when the guerrillas sent to “arrest” him came. The rebels admitted having taken Pedregoza’s personal belongings including a caliber .357 Magnum revolver and his wallet containing a “fake” P1,000 bill.  The rebels did not explain why they had to get Pedregoza’s wallet, as in other operations the guerrillas just take the firearm of their victim.

City cops nab suspected rob gang leader

ANGELES CITY -- The alleged leader of a robbery syndicate operating in Central Luzon was apprehended by the city police Tuesday after he was suspected of handling methamphetamine (shabu).   Senior Superintendent Danilo Bautista, newly installed city police officer-in-charge, said Allan Roque Sotelo, alleged leader of the Sotelo Gang, was arrested in Barangay Sapang Bato by personnel of the Police Station 5.   Bautista said that Sotelo has been included in the list of most wanted persons in the city.  He said Sotelo allegedly heads the notorious Sotelo Gang and Aries Group, which are responsible for a series of Akyat-Bahay and hold-up incidents in Pampanga and Tarlac provinces.  Sotelo's group reportedly encountered some months ago elements of the Tarlac provincial police unit.  At least eight members of the gang were killed during the shootout with policemen.  Meanwhile, one Michael Mayo Lusung, 29, a tricycle driver, and a resident of Purok 5 Ponciano Street, Fatima Subdivision, Santa Cruz, Porac, Pampanga was arrested by the city police.  Bautista said Lusung is wanted for physical injuries under criminal case Number 09-4330.  Sotelo and Lusung are now  detained at the Angeles City District Jail.  "We intensified police operations to arrest wanted persons. We would like to assure the people that criminals are brought behind bars for justice and held accountable for the crimes they committed," Bautista said. (Reynaldo G. Navales)

Motorcycle-riding gunmen strike again

ANGELES CITY -- Two motorcycle-riding gunmen ambushed a younger brother of former Public Works and Highways Secretary Jose "Ping" De Jesus while jogging inside a subdivision last October 17.  The unidentified suspects shot Antonio de Jesus, 61, at 7:15 a.m. along 9th St., Plaridel 2 Subdivision in Amsic village, this city. The victim, however, survived the attack.

The two other recent victims of motorcycle-riding killers were not as lucky.  Joseph Padua Castro, 26, was having a conversation with his teenage nephew around 9:20 p.m. last October 27 in front of their compound in Mt. View Subdivision, Barangay Balibago when he was shot three times by still unidentified suspects. Chief Inspector Rogelio Javier, station commander of police precinct 4, said the two suspects pulled over in front of the victim and asked for direction.  While Castro was giving them direction, one of the suspects drew his gun and shot the victim thrice and sped off.  Relatives rushed Castro to a nearby hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians.  Three empty shells of a .45 caliber pistol were found in the crime scene.

The second victim of the motorcycle-riding killers was identified as Edwin Caguigin Paulino, 27, a waiter at Chang's K Videoke Bar near the Clark Freeport's main gate also in Barangay Balibago. Police investigators said Paulino, along with a co-employee, was waiting for customers in front of the bar around 1:50 a.m. last October 28 when two still unidentified men on board a motorcycle arrived and shot the victim four times. The suspects then fled towards unknown direction. Paulino was rushed to a hospital but pronounced dead on arrival by doctors.  A slug from a .38 caliber handgun was found in the crime scene.

Police have yet to identify and apprehend the suspects in the two shooting incidents. (JAM)

City installs CCTV cameras

 By Ian Ocampo Flora

ANGELES CITY -- As part of its campaign against criminality and traffic violations, the City Government here has installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras along major thoroughfares.  Mayor Francis “Blueboy” Nepomuceno led the launching of CCTV surveillance system in this city during the Street Jam and Party celebration along McArthur Highway at Barangay Balibago.  He said at least seven cameras with zooming capabilities are already operational. They will be used to monitor major thoroughfares to help deter crimes. Videos and still images are transmitted over fiber optic lines to the operation center.  “The CCTV cameras will be jointly monitored and supervised by the Angeles City Police Office (Acpo) and Office of the Mayor,” he said.

City Administrator Mark Allen Sison said the CCTV cameras would also be used to manage the traffic situation in the city and to gather relevant data on vehicular traffic, including its volume, for future traffic regulations.  Nepomuceno also said that he is re-implementing Ordinance 175, which requires all banks, money changers, pawnshops, malls, supermarkets and other similar establishments to install CCTV cameras to prevent cases of armed robbery, theft and similar criminal offenses in their respective establishment.  He said the ordinance was approved by the City Council on January 16, 2006 but many establishments are still not complying with it.  The ordinance, he said, is in reference to the Local Government Code under Section 16, stating that every local government unit shall exercise the powers essential to the promotion of the general welfare of its inhabitants.  It states that all banks, money changers, pawnshops, malls, supermarkets and other similar establishments with capitalization of more than P500,000 are required to install CCTV monitors within a period of one year.

Suspected treasure hunters accosted

ARAYAT -- Authorities accosted 10 persons believed to be involved in treasure hunting activities in Barangay San Juan Baño at Mt. Arayat last Sunday.  Superintendent Luisito Magnaye, outgoing Arayat chief of police, identified the suspected treasure hunters as Domingo Garcia, 42, of Barangay San Nicolas; Jaycee Napoles, 31, Arman Gallardo, 26, Clarito Gillongo, 30, Niko Tobesa, 18, Nestor and Narciso, 48, all of Barangay Mesulo; Ogelio Cajucom, 36, Garry Galudes, 30, and Ener Guevarra, 51, of San Nicolas village; and one alias Giony, of legal age, a native of Nueva Ecija province.

Magnaye said that based on the sworn statement of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) employees Amador Bernardo and Jose Mallari, they received a "tip" at 7 a.m. Sunday from a concerned citizen who said that a huge hole was discovered and several equipment used in digging at the foot of the mountain near the Delta dam were found.  He said the two DENR employees immediately informed the police, soldiers belonging to the 703rd Infantry Brigade, and barangay chairman Jesus Delos Santos who rushed to the digging site and confiscated three shovels, roll cable wiring, two electric flashlights, a water pump machine, a gas stove, gas tank, plastic jar, chain block, kitchen utensils, one can of biscuit, plastic can with gasoline, assorted can goods, bolo, nylon rope, plastic hose, small chain block and assorted clothes.

Magnaye said the suspected treasure hunters, who were at the digging site, were accosted by authorities and were brought to the police station here for questioning.  He said initial investigation revealed that Garcia is the alleged financier of the group.  Mayor Luisito Espino has urged the DENR and police to file appropriate charges against the suspected treasure hunters, saying that Mt. Arayat is a natural and historical landmark that must be preserved and protected. Espino said the Municipal Government of Arayat will be coordinating with the police, DENR and other concerned agencies to study the filing of appropriate charges against the suspected treasure hunters.

A Sun.Star Pampanga source who requested anonymity said treasure hunters believe that gold bars had been buried in the fabled mountain by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita before the end of World War II.

At the height of Typhoon Ondoy last September 27, a mudslide occurred at the foot of Mt. Arayat in Barangay San Juan Baño, where 12 people, mostly women and children, were buried alive. Some 50 houses were destroyed and some 2,000 individuals were displaced. (Chris Navarro)

US scraps $2-million military aid

The Nation  Written by Fernan Marasigan / Reporter    Thursday, 05 November 2009 

THE government of the United States has decided to withhold $2 million worth of military aid to the Philippines in 2009, allegedly owing to the human-rights abuses previously raised by groups and churches in the US. This was revealed on Thursday by Party-list Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares of Bayan Muna after meeting with US State Department officials.  Colmenares said the officials confirmed to him that the amount has, in fact, been withheld.

He said the State Department officials, whose responsibility includes US policy toward the Philippines, admitted that they were unable to report to the US Congress that the Philippine government had met the human-rights conditions required for the release of the military aid.  As a result, the final $2 million in military assistance appropriated by the US Congress for the Philippine government has not been released.

In 2008, following a hearing in the United States Senate on the human-rights situation in the Philippines convened by Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer if California, the US Congress voted to impose as a condition for the release of the full amount of 2009 military aid the Philippine government’s compliance with three human-rights conditions.   The conditions include the implementation of the recommendations of Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on human rights; the investigation and prosecution of military officials credibly alleged to be responsible for human-rights violations; and  that violence and intimidation of legal organizations should not form part of the Armed Forces’ policy.   Owing to the government’s failure to meet all the conditions, the US House of Representatives approved HR 3081 on the basis of the same three conditions. The US Senate has approved the House spending bill, which shall form part of the US 2010 budget.

“Members of the US Congress took the cue from the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston that the Philippine government must address the long-standing impunity for the killings, enforced disappearances and other forms of human-rights violations, and that extrajudicial executions and other human-rights abuses do not form part of the policy of the military and the government,” said Colmenares.   “The release of the military aid was tied to the prosecution of human-rights violators in the country, including retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, [now a representative of the party-list group Bantay]. Of course, it has always been our position that no country should give military aid to a repressive government,” she added.

Colmenares said that instead of heeding the conditions, the Philippine government merely launched high-level lobbying efforts of the US Congress, led by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, President Arroyo’s Special Envoy Patricia Ann Paez and Legislative Affairs Officer Ariel Peñaranda.   But Colmenares said the failure of Mrs. Arroyo to investigate and prosecute  Palparan defeated all their lobbying efforts.  The Filipino-American community and the US-based National Alliance on Filipino Concerns, who also met with US congressional officials, have similarly expressed outrage over the spending of their taxes to arm a repressive government, Colmenares said.  Besides the UN report, Colmenares said members of the US Congress are aware of the Supreme Court decision in Secretary Gilbert Teodoro v Manalo and the Melo Commission report implicating Palparan and other military officials in various human-rights violations.  Colmenares also raised concerns with US State Department officials about progress of the Philippines Defense Reform Program, a large US funding for the modernization and reform of the Armed Forces, citing the ongoing impunity for human-rights abuses. He called for an end to the funding considering the human-rights record of the military and its coverup of the perpetrators of human-rights abuses.

The Philippines Defense Reform Program began in 2003 in cooperation with the US military and is funded, in part, by the US Congress. The State Department committed to inquire about the said funding from the Pentagon. The Pentagon has been criticized in the US for implementing aid projects, a purely civilian function.

UPS donates $50-T to typhoon victims

By Reynaldo G. Navales  

CLARK FREEPORT - The US-based United Parcel Service (UPS) Thursday donated US$50,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) as part of their assistance for typhoon victims.  CIAC president and CEO Victor Jose Luciano and UPS Asia Pacific Region senior vice president KM Liu led the ceremonial turnover of the donation to PNRC officials led by chairman Emeritus former Justice Leonor Ines Luciano and Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang at the CIAC Boardroom Thursday.  "UPS has chosen the PNRC through the American Red Cross as the recipient of the $50,000 donation intended to help the victims of Typhoons in Northern and Central Luzon," Luciano said.  "We are happy that a Clark-based company like the UPS are extending their assistance to those affected by the typhoons," he added.

UPS was the one who pioneered the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). It started cargo operations in 2002, according to Luciano. UPS is a partner of CIAC for the development of DMIA. Lui said UPS is committed to support community activities especially in providing assistance to the victims of calamity in the Philippines.  "We are very pleased with President Luciano and the whole of CIAC for their cooperation and support to UPS and we look forward to continue the relationship and continue our objective for the development of DMIA and the whole of Clark," Lui said.

Last October 27, SIA Engineering Company donated $20,000 dollars for the victims of the typhoon. The funds were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the PNRC. 

Other personalities who graced Thursday's turnover rite include Kevin Chan director UPS Asia Pacific Region, Rolly Nierva senior manager UPS Shared Services, CIAC executive vice president Alexander S. Cauguiran, Lauro Ortille vice president for Administration and finance, Romeo Dyoco vice president for Operations and Business Development, and Captain Ben Solis of the Asia Foundation.

CIDG nabs 2 NBI agents

November 5, 2009

ANGELES CITY   Two men who identified themselves as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents were arrested Wednesday by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in an entrapment after an alleged extortion try in Maharajah, Anunas, this city.  Senior Superintendent Marvin V. Bolabola, regional chief of the CIDG, said that the arrest of the suspects  Reynaldo Silva of 4093 Amsic, Angeles City, and Pablito Reyna of Lot 16, Block 85, Phase 8, North Fairview, Quezon City  came after the two tried to haul the motor vehicle of the victim, not knowing that a team of CIDG agents led by Chief Inspector Randy Glenn S. Silvio, Pampanga CIDG chief, were posted around the area.  Bolabola said that as soon as the two armed suspects tried to get the Kawasaki motorcycle of Ellaine Cunanan Torres, 20, of Barangay Anunas, Angeles City, they were immediately arrested by the CIDG agents.  The entrapment was done after Torres sought CIDG’s assistance regarding the activities of the two suspects who claimed to be NBI agents.   Silvio said the alleged NBI agents had earlier forcibly took all their properties inside their apartment at 17 Maharajah Apartment in Barangay Anunas, several days after they arrested her partner Levi Anderson, an American  on alleged involvement in human trafficking.   Later, the suspected NBI agents sent text messages demanding turnover of their motorcycle in exchange for the release of Anderson, who they said is under the custody of the NBI-National Capital Region. This prompted Torres to seek the assistance of the CIDG. (Mar T. Supnad)

2 ‘NBI agents’ nabbed for stealing

By: Alfred P. Dalizon    November 06, 2009 05:29 PM 

AUTHORITIES arrested on Wednesday two fake agents of the National Bureau of Investigation for allegedly stealing P.6 million worth of properties owned by an American national in Angeles City.  Police identified the suspects as Reynaldo L. Silva, 49, of 4093 Amsic, Angeles City and Pablito E. Reyno, 59, retired policeman of North Fairview, Quezon City.  Chief Insp. Randy Glenn S. Silvio, of Pampanga police, said the suspects were arrested based on the complaints of Elaine C. Torres, 20, live-in partner of jailed American Levi Anderson.  Torres said the suspects took the properties of Anderson after he was arrested and jailed for alleged violation of human trafficking laws.

OTHER

A popular monthly magazine on Angeles City is the Blue Book.  Click on the magazine on the left for their website.  Each issue may be viewed on line or downloaded as a pdf.

123 PIZZA  I recently ran into the owner of 123 Pizza on a bar hop. He ordered a pizza and I was shocked how much better it was since the last time I had tried one (a long time ago).  A few weeks later I ordered another one.  Not sure if it was the rum or the fact that the owner placed the order the first time (I'm betting on the latter) but although it was still good, it wasn't quite as good as the one in the bar that night.   All that said, both were very good pizzas for Angeles City.  Next time you have the munchies, I'd recommend you try a 123 pizza.  Make sure to ask if they have a promo because they will not tell you there are free options with your order.

STAY ALERT ON THE STREETS  About noon time on 4 Nov a EXPAT lost control of his car while backing into a parking space in front of Margarita Station.  He slammed into the building at a high rate of speed (as evidenced by the scrape marks down the side of the building).  Fortunately there was no one on the sidewalk at the time or they would probably have been killed.  A retaining wall from JJ's store stopped the vehicle, but not before it hit a vendor in front of JJ's.  The vendor ended up under the car when it stopped, but he suffered only minor injuries.

FINAL SALUTE

Kevin Eastwood (or bud to his mates) passed away on the morning of 3 October in Angeles. He had been living in Villa Sol Subdivision for about 10 years  He was only 55 years old (and a non smoker).   He earned enough  working in Port Hedland, West Australia to allow him to retire to AC.  A couple of years ago he got a wake up call (diabetes) that told him the high life he was living was doing him harm and he managed to slow down. Apparently overnight he started coughing blood and before they could get him to a doctor he hemorrhaged badly and it filled his lungs.  He passed away shortly afterwards (approximately 3am Philippines time). Kevin was a die hard Manchester United fan and a frequent customer at Margarita Station.  Kevin is survived by his long term girlfriend and two very young children.
Jesse Foster  The former commandant of the American Legion Post #10 passed away in late October at the age of 75.  Service were held at the American Legion. 
James Fitzgerald Parks   abs-cbnNEWS.com MANILA - An American national died of a suspected heart attack after having sex with a Filipino waitress in Pampanga Wednesday, police said. PO1 George Buan, who is assigned at Angeles police station 4, identified the tourist as James Fitzgerald Parks, 45. Buan said Parks and a 22-year-old waitress, Gina Bacalla, went barhopping last September 16 before checking in at a local hotel to have sex. Bacalla said Parks went to the bathroom to relieve himself when she heard a loud noise. She said she called for a doctor after finding Parks sprawled on the floor, shaking. "We'd only just met. We went barhopping and had dinner before going to the hotel. After we had contact, I heard a noise and then I saw him on the floor," she told authorities. Buan said a doctor went to the hotel but failed to save Parks. He said a heart attack might have killed the tourist. He said Parks was immediately brought to a funeral home in Dau, Mabalacat. Parks' relatives are expected to arrived from the US to claim the body.
Des Bowater  died at around 7 PM Friday, Sept 18th evening. A few months ago he fell off a bar stool and broke his arm.  While he was at home recuperating  he had a stomach ulcer burst causing internal bleeding.  Word was that he decided to give up drinking and smoking to try and get himself better. Unfortunately it was a few years to late.   Des was manager at Silly Hat. He had worked at numerous businesses over the years to include Swagman, Emotions, & Magic Moments. He is survived by his wife who works at Pacific Breeze.
John Banning   passed away on Friday morning (30 October) about 3 AM from a heart attack as best as the coroner can tell. There was a get together at the Blue Boar Inn  to bid him farewell.

 

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 Feb 2010

Margarita Station Website

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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