Category Archives: crime

Underage Prostitution Bust

 

This series of video clips from a US news agency shows an investigation into underage prostitution in the Philippines. The bar owner is an American, of course. While most prostitution is owned and patronized by Filipinos, it is the foreigner owned bars that attract the attention of authorities and charities. The Filipino owners are too well connected and know how to work the system, who to pay and so on. None of which excuses the foreigners who own these bars and encourage underage prostitution or at the least do nothing to ensure the GROs are over 18.

The point is raised that many of these girls are not happy with  being arrested, or ‘saved’. They are doing this to help their families and for many this is the easiest and most effective option.  You won’t read much about efforts to change the status quo in the country and create more employment opportunities for the masses. The rich who own everything like it just as it is. Their kids go to top schools and have great career prospects. The 60% or so of the population on or below the poverty line have few choices. Because the rich own all the land the focus for generations has been on agriculture, yet there is not enough arable land to justify this. They should have gone into manufacturing like their Asian neighbours, providing jobs for the masses. They relied on foreign investment back in the Marcos days but since 1986 that investment has declined. Why? Too hard to do business here and not get ripped off, have to pay corrupt officials or jump through hoops, have local partners who itch to take the lot and so on. At least Marcos used his dictatorial reign to improve foreign investment and jobs while filling his own pockets. Too many at the top of late, with the notable exception of the current President, have carried on the pocket filling but not passed anything on to the masses, just their cronies.

The sex trade does exist int he Philippines and it does, sadly, include children and that can never be condoned. Keep in mind though the one sided presentation of this problem. Foreign bar owners and customers are a fraction of the trade. The vast majority of prostitutes work for Filipino bosses and service Filipino clients. But that is not as ‘newsworthy’ as one fo the former colonial ‘masters’ getting his come-uppance, is it?

 

Hand Grenades and Hard Bitten Journalism

Jun Jun Navarro and the cliff he fell ‘into’ while scampering away from the police.

A report in the SunStar Cebu newspaper relates how a man ‘eluding’ the police, in fact he and his associates ‘scampered’, fell into, yes into, a cliff. A hand grenade he was holding went off, killing him. I love the high school level English and sensationalist reporting style, it is really very amusing. I guess in the original Visayan it is more professional but for a country that still boasts how it is the third biggest English speaking by population (after the USA and India, I guess)it is a bit of a laugh.

Criminals running around falling into cliffs while trying to toss hand grenades is pretty serious stuff but the good news is if you live here as an expat the chances you will even witness something like this are pretty slim. The good news is that even if you don’t live here, the internet allows you to have a good laugh reading the local brand of ‘journalism’.

Bomb Disposal And Welding While U Wait

I was trained to clear mines, booby traps and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in the Royal Australian Engineers. Not trained to the standard of our Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officers, but well enough to know you don’t use a welder on a bomb. Without seeing the device it is hard to appreciate what they were thinking, other than it must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Sadly, for these men and their families, it wasn’t.
Typically the report is inaccurate, the MkII is a WW2 vintage hand grenade but the M26 is a more recent model,introduced in the 1950s and used during the Vietnam War and others. The M26 is a particularly powerful grenade and the lethality of this is attested to in this report from South Africa.http://www.safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/998/1591
In 1994 I was at an LRT station just minutes before a hand grenade was lobbed down a crowded stairwell. If I had been going for the train after the one I caught I would probably have been on that stairwell.
I don’t think the Philippines is anymore likely to get you killed via explosion than anywhere else these days, but at times of civil unrest it pays to stay away from public places like malls and transport hubs. Keep an eye on the news and a finger on the political pulse, it might save your life.

4 killed while defusing bomb in Taguig
PhilstarPhilstar – Thu, Jan 26, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – At least four people died while nine others were wounded when a bomb they were trying to defuse at a welding shop exploded in Taguig City yesterday afternoon.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Alan Purisima identified to the victims as PO2 Elizalde Bisaya and PO3 Jose Torralba, both of the Special Action Force-Explosives Ordnance Division (SAF-EOD); welding shop owner Crisanto Daguio and bakery owner Riza Romualdo.

Another SAF member, Arnold Mayo, was among the injured.

Bobbyrondo Niuda, who witnessed the incident from the second floor of his house, said the SAF-EOD team brought the ammunition to the Chris Welding Shop along Daisy street in Barangay Lower Bicutan in Taguig City at around 2:45 p.m. He said the team first used a pipe wrench then a welder to defuse the bomb.

“I know it was wrong. I wanted to shout but I did not because I thought they knew what they were doing. They were in uniform and I find it embarrasing to correct them,” said Niuda, who claimed he underwent bomb training while working for a security agency.

Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome ordered an investigation into the accident.

“There is a lapse here. They should not have defused it using a welder,” said Senior Superintendent Tomas Apolinario, head of the Taguig police.

Meanwhile, in Caloocan City, Inspector Rolando Armendez, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) chief, said a blue bag left on the road in Barangay 172 yesterday morning was found to contain at least four World War II-vintage hand grenades.

Two MK2 high velocity fragmentation grenades and two M26 hand grenades were turned over to the bomb disposal squad for safekeeping. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Jerry Botial – By Aie Balagtas See and Non Alquitran (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)

New Zealand Woman Made A Sex Slave

A report just in alleges a New Zealand woman was lured to the Philippines for a martial arts camp and then forced to be a prostitute before being dumped on a Manila street by her tormentors. As one who has a lot of experience with Filipino Martial Arts and taught Arnis to the locals while living there, I can understand her excitement at being invited to attend a month long training camp at the ‘source’.

I can only begin to empathise with her over her treatment, it must have been horrendous. I wonder how anyman could carry out a sexual act with a woman who was obviously not a local and not a willing participant? Surely, even passive resistance and total non-participation by the woman would signal there is something horribly wrong here? It goes to the heart of the matter, what is the mindset of those men who would use her in such a way?

Many may claim the foreigners who travel to the Philippines and engage bargirls in prostitution are no different but I beg to differ. Those girls have not been forced by anything other than the poverty forced upon their country by the ruling elite ripping off the people in every way. bad enough that that is, it is a very different scenario to the one endured by the Kiwi woman.

The reality is that whatever your personal position, prostitution is the oldest profession and it will remain so while ever there are men and women and we have the attitude to sex that it is something special and can be used as a commodity or for gain. Whether that is on a date, in a marriage or a more obviously commercial transaction, so long as there is a ‘price’ put on sex there will be exploitation. That exploitation is bad enough when it is the person offering the sex exploiting the person accepting the offer, but when it is done via a third party it takes on a sinister mantle all of its own.

The origin of the invitation was Facebook. When will people learn? Facebook is a prime catchment area for the evil people of this world and they are very convincing and very good at what they do. If there is any country in S.E. Asia you don’t travel to alone, as a female, it has to the Philippines, probably followed by Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. I hope this lady can put this behind her and move on.

5 Dead In Cebu Shootout

5 Dead In Cebu Shootout

 

Monday, September 5, 2011

(From the SunStar Cebu)

CEBU CITY (3rd update, 3:46 p.m.) — The number of fatalities in a shooting incident in Cebu City rose to five after the injured security guard died in a hospital.

The security escort of a bank teller who was brought to the Chong Hua Hospital died after he was shot by robbers, radio dyLA said.

Have something to report? Tell us in text, photos or videos.

Another security escort identified as Leofer Itak died of gunshot wounds.

The three robbers, believed to be members of the Ozamiz robbery group, also died after policemen responded to the incident.

The suspects carted away P1.2 million from a China Bank teller, who was about to deliver the cash to a money changer outlet inside Robinsons Place Cebu past 9 a.m., a radio report said.

The amount was based on the inventory conducted by authorities.

The teller and his security escort were already inside the mall when the suspects grabbed the cash from the teller.

Itak, who acted as lookout, was about to respond to the commotion but another suspect who is the robbers’ lookout shot him dead.
A security guard died Monday morning while trying to stop a robbery inside Robinsons Place Cebu. (Alex Badayos)

A teller and a security escort suffer gunshot wounds during Monday’s robbery inside Robinsons Place Cebu. (Alex Badayos)

The two robbers inside the mall also shot the teller and his security escort, who was the latest fatality.

The robbers grabbed the bag and sped off.

The teller is still at the Chong Hua Hospital for treatment.

Two other policemen from Carbon Police Station, who just passed by at the area, were wounded after the robbers shot at them as well.

The two policemen identified as Police Officers 1 (PO1) Roy Ceniza and Jay Catacutan were brought to the nearby hospital.

All Cebu City policemen were immediately alerted and responded to the incident.

Responding policemen caught up with the three fleeing robbers, onboard a motorcycle and shooting happened.

Two of the robbers died on the spot while the other died at the Cebu City Medical Center.

The bag containing the cash was recovered.

At least 12 empty shells of .45 caliber pistol were also recovered.

Cebu City Mayor Micheal Rama lauded the policemen for their immediate response. He said he will extend assistance to those who were injured in the incident.

He also urged authorities to identify the robbery mastermind.

Investigation is ongoing. (Sunnex)

Corruption Starts At The Top

The previous government were as corrupt as any other Filipino administration has been. This Police Helicopter matter is either a case of someone pocketing the change or incompetence. My money is on the former, not the latter. These men are not idiots. They have all graduated from the Philippine Military Academy or the Police equivalent, they are educated and intelligent professionals. Someone, or more likely a bunch of someones was getting a nice little earner for paying full whack for whacked out whirly birds! Note the buck passing and wriggling going on. No doubt someone down the food chain and most likely a person who never took a centavo will cop some flak over this while the big name keep their snouts in the trough.

 

Lawmakers baffled over purchase of ‘second hand helicopters’

Thursday, July 28, 2011

SENATORS were baffled Thursday by a decision by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to buy second hand helicopters at brand-new prices.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said he could not comprehend why the PNP paid full price “when two of these choppers are actually more than five years old, flying for hundreds of hours already.”

Win US $500 cash in Sun.Star’s music video contest

Police Director Luizo Ticman, chairman of the bids and negotiations committees in the purchase of “brand new” used helicopters in 2009, told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Thursday that he did not study the project proposal.

He said he relied on recommendations from Police Director Leocadio Santiago, then commander of the PNP SAF, who received the helicopters. He said he also relied on the PNP inspection team that was in charged to check the units.

He said, however, that nobody influenced the negotiations committee to favor the deal with Manila Aerospace Parts and Services Corp (Maptra).

It was found that Maptra indicated on its bid documents that two of the helicopters were “service center condition” and not brand new.

Police Superintendent Claudio Gaspar Jr., from the PNP inspection team, confirmed that the helicopters were second hand.

He said he had flown the helicopters before, as early as 2004, when he was detailed to the Office of the President.

Among his passengers were members of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s family, he said.

He said, however, that he did not tell higher ups that the helicopters were not new because he was not asked. He said he wasn’t told that they were supposed to be factory-fresh units.

“I thought they knew,” he told senators.

It was also found that the Inspection and Acceptance Committee, to which the inspection team reported to, was not at the actual inspection of the helicopters.

Of four members who signed approval of the deal, only Police Senior Superintendent Edgar Pataan was present. He said he was not a pilot and could not tell if the units were new.

In any case, he said, there were no instructions to find out if the helicopters were brand new.

“If it was flying in 2004 and was sold in 2009, obviously, that’s second hand. I don’t think you need technical competence for this,” he said.

Ticman said bidding on the proposed purchase of three light operational helicopters failed so the project was referred to the negotiations committee. The only other bidder, Beeline, asked a higher price for three Enstrom helicopters, he said.

Senator Sergio Osmena III, who was also at the hearing, said Beeline’s
bid was just P2,000 higher for three brand new helicopters.

The PNP said Beeline’s offer did not conform to contract requirements because it did not have air-conditioning. It was found later that the Robinson Raven helicopters did not have air-conditioning either.

Police ‘fooled’ in chopper purchase

Police Chief Superintendent Herold Ubalde told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that “apparently, there was deceit” in the purchase.

The Philippine National Police earlier presented a sworn statement from Hilario De Vera, president of Maptra that the helicopters he was selling to the PNP were brand new. The document was submitted as a post-qualification requirement, Ubalde said.

Senator Franklin Drilon said the papers for the sale of the helicopters from Lion Air Inc. to Maptra clearly indicated the helicopters were second hand. He said delivering units of a different quality than promised was a “classic case of estafa (fraud).”

But lawyer Luis Rivera, at the hearing on behalf of Maptra, said the company “has no capacity to deceive the PNP.” He said Maptra would submit its records on the sale at the next hearing.

Police Director George Piano, former director for logistics, said they accepted the units on the presumption that they were brand new.

Drilon said after the hearing that Piano is “indispensable to this entire mess.”

“It was only because he accepted these helicopters as being consistent with the supply contract that payment was made,” he explained.

Guingona said the police officials should not close ranks or they may all be found liable for the anomalous purchase. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2011/07/28/lawmakers-baffled-over-purchase-second-hand-helicopters-169601

Say It Ain’t So, Mr Honest Filipino!

Well, seems when the police raided the Blue Nile bar the other night and took away a stack of employees as well as the bar owners… they also loaded a bus with patrons and took them to Manila. They arrested foreign tourists and took them to Manila where they could be held and pressured until they paid huge amounts of money to be released. Don’t believe me? Two patrons kept their cool and repeatedly told the police they were not getting on the bus unless they were properly informed of what they were being arrested for. They knew their rights and insisted on due process. Too troublesome to risk taking with them so they were allowed to leave. These two old hands knew enough not to jump up and down and make a lot of nose, they quietly refused to board the bus until they were told the reason for arrest. If they had made a fuss the cops would have lost face and grabbed them anyway.

Meanwhile the other patrons were taken away and as they were mostly tourists here for a short stay, no doubt they paid up and left as soon as they could to avoid further hassle. Being held illegally and falsely arrested would mean a long wait in a slum sewer of a jail (why they can’t even maintain a decent jail let alone a country beats me) and forever going to court to have hearings delayed and so on.

Did the cops raid the Filipino bars where the girls are kept as virtual sex slaves? No. They raided the foreigner owned bars where the girls come and go as they please. Did they raid the Japanese or Korean owned bars? No again because nobody messes with the Yakuza or Korean version, those guys shoot back. So a few greedy cops have, in the name of retaining grants from the US for fighting people trafficking, killed off the goose laying all the golden eggs in Angeles and every province in the country. Just as Lim did to Ermita in the early 90s to make way for his Chinese buddies to buy all the real estate cheap, all this will do is close down the well run establishments that provided a ton of money for the local economy.

Morality aside as far as prostitution is concerned, the reality is that the Philippines has little else to offer the tourist compared to other parts of S.E. Asia. Better infrastructure and no threat of kidnapping by NPA or Abu Sayaff not to mention more varied cuisine lure more to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, even Vietnam and Cambodia than to the Philippines. The scuba diving is no better than in other tropical countries and the getting there and back is often a lot simpler and more comfortable, not to mention safer in neighboring countries. With the catholic church keeping the population rate doubling all the time it is only a matter of time before the place collapses. The rich don’t care as they have their condos in the USA and Spain among other bolt holes. Those who can get out are doing so and have been doing so for decades, keeping the place afloat with the money they send back. Many families do nothing except wait for the remittances, then spend them. Industry is not setting up new factories in the Philippines and those already there are relocating because it is cheaper and simpler to do so. Wake up Kababayans, the double standards that are such an intrinsic part of your society are going to double back and bite you on those proud, swelled chests.

Who Do You Trust?

It turns out, according to several sources actually in Angeles City itself, that the police raided several establishments the other night and arrested some 400 GROs, bargirls. If past raids are anything to go by, several of those girls will have been raped while in police custody. All will be told if they post silly numbers for bail money they will be released. Of course they won;t have the money and so some will be able to buy their way out with sexual favors, others will simply be used by the misogynistic cops. The average Filipino male is not known for his emancipated views on equality of the sexes at the best of times and those in a position of power over someone else, less so.

The reason Smith was arrested was apparently because two of his staff are underage. Forget the fact that they produced official, Angeles City approved ID, backed by National Bureau of Investigation ID that they are over 18 , who they claim and have no criminal history. That is irrelevant in the Land Of Lip Service. It is not the responsibility of the government to provide authentic ID or prevent abuses and the issuance of false ID for favors and fee. No, it is the duty of the foreigner to make sure despite all the checks and balances required by law being in place, that these girls are of age. Please! yet go down the street to a Filipino owned bar and the girls are underage WITHOUT fake ID yet the owner is related to some petty official and pays the right people.

Welcome to da Pilipeens. If anyone doubts this post, feel free to prove me wrong. Not to any Filipino standard of proof such as ‘dat is our pride’ kind of standard. Proof. We can produce dozens of sworn affidavits as to what we know and have seen. Including statements from bar girls raped in custody.  As for the fate of Smith, it all depends on how much he has to pay and who he pays it to. Forget justice. Court cases dragging on for years due to incompetence, corruption and greed… forget it. Pay up and get the hell out of Dodge is our advice.

 

Hypocrisy City

An Australian bar owner in Angeles City, Terence Smith, is facing life in prison for ‘Human Trafficking’, the latest UN approved buzz word for pimping. Despite no doubt running the bar for many years, he has only now been arrested and the bar closed. Following this and some other show case raids against foreigners, the US took the Philippines off its list of countries not doing enough to fight human trafficking… and of course reinstated millions of dollars of funds.

Angeles City has dozens of bars where patrons can pay a ‘bar fine’, euphemistically called an ‘early work release’ so the GRO or Guest Relations Officer (hostess) may leave work early and go on a date with the patron. Sex is not guaranteed as afterall, this is a proud catholic country where prostitution is illegal. So why out of all the bars there did they swoop on Smith’s? Obviously he failed to pay the corrupt police enough money. These are the same police that framed the late John Martin on ridiculous drug trafficking charges a decade ago.

So what about the other bars? What about the thousands of bars owned by prominent Filipinos catering purely to Filipino clientele? What about the parents selling off their children to pedophiles and middle men? What about the evil Arab employers in teh Middle East that rape and beat Filipina house maids? Well, they are not as easy a target as a foreigner running a bar, employing dozens of locals and putting money back into the economy.

Calling prostitution ‘human trafficking’ is only accurate if the prostitutes are unwilling participants, surely? While technically yes, they are being trafficked in one respect, the sad reality is too many have few other options for employment. While the catholic church continues its medieval enforcement of no contraception laws the population continues to explode well beyond the country’s capacity to sustain the growth. The rich don’t care as they send their kids overseas and continue to make money from the poor. Many prostitutes actually enjoy the attention and the income and the lifestyle, seeing it as a sure fire way to meet a foreigner who they can marry and use to leave this all behind, then help their family from abroad. If nothing else it is not a one size fits all situation with the solution lock up the bar owners.

One can not moralize against the bar owners and the patrons without also moralizing against the girls who choose to seek work in this industry. Unlike horror stories of prostitutes in Europe being trafficked from Eastern Europe, drugged and treated abominally by pimps, the bar girls are much better taken care of, at least in the foreigner owned bars. The cases of rape by clients, bar owners and the police are out there but rarely investigated as it would require taking action against prominent Filipinos, many with political connections and all with money. And in this, as in any country, money certainly talks.

Make no mistake, the authorities have supported these bars for many years with officials patronising them and enjoying the free services offered, as well as cash payments. To say otherwise is to be naive and deny what is widely known. Smith is a scape goat, one of many foreigner scape goats sacrificed on the altar of US Aid, tied to paying lip service to whatever the latest UN buzz word is this month.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/9756046/philippine-police-nab-australian-in-red-light-raid/

Short Time Behind Bars

While there are still victims of the corruption and incompetence rife in Filipino society languishing behind bars while case after case is thrown out of court, local prisoners seem to be able to enjoy a wide range of privileges, including prostitutes and ‘sleep outs’! A report in the local press exposes the corruption and serious problems at many prisons with prostitutes being brought in to work for their pimps after dark, inside the jail.

While not unheard of in western prisons, there are many cases of female correctional officers selling themselves to well off prisoners and even becoming pregnant. They lose their job and in some cases their family, all for the want of either a condom or some restraint. But don’t blame the women officers. If they were paid a fair wage perhaps they would not resort to this base trade.

Then we have the ‘VIP’ prisoners such as former Batangas Governor, now convicted murderer Antonio Leviste, arrested in Makati outside a building he owns there! You would think they would have some kind of ‘proceeds of crime’ legislation and take the building off him, let alone not let him out to carry on his business.

Make no mistake, Secretary De Lima is doing all she can to sort out this cess pit of corruption but it is not an easy task and not one achieved overnight. The good thing is she and the current Acquino administration seem to have the will to do the job. We can only wish them luck and support them in their uphill battle.

For the report see: http://ph.news.yahoo.com/sex-trade-flourishes-philippine-prison-061003931.html