1.11.2009

PIA News Service - Monday, January 12, 2009

PDEA-Caraga updates public on illegal recruiters’ “modus operandi” to OFWs arrested abroad for drug-related offenses

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Caraga informs the public that the increasing number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) arrested abroad for drug-related offenses has already become an international concern.

PDEA observed that majority of them are victims of drug syndicates being run by Nigerian and Pakistani nationals.

It was learned that one of the modus operandi includes the usual lure of big salary abroad.

Also, during their trip abroad, they are asked to carry a baggage to be given to someone at their destination – a contact person who will facilitate their employment. They are of course more than willing to do a favor for the recruiter and to the other person who will be of help to them. Unbeknownst to them, the baggage contains illegal drugs slashed at secret compartments.

When they reach the airport abroad, if they are unlucky which is usually the case given the sophisticated gadgets used for screening and inspection at the airport, they get arrested when inspection of their baggage would reveal drugs.

The other modus operandi happens when they get to travel abroad. “When they reach their destination, they would be disappointed to discover that there is no job waiting for them. The recruiter attributes the situation to unforeseen problems. They are then assured of a good-paying job but they have to wait. After a month or so of waiting, the recruiter would announce that a job is finally available for them in another country. Tired of waiting, with no more money and over-zealous to finally land a job, they are happy and more than willing to go”, PDEA reported.

On their trip, they are asked to carry a baggage, which they will deliver to a contact person at their destination. Unbeknownst to them, the baggage contains illegal drugs slashed at secret compartments. And finally, when they reach their destination, if they are unlucky which is usually the case given the sophisticated gadgets used for screening and inspection at the airport, they get arrested when inspection of their baggage would yield drugs.

With these information, PDEA is asking the public especially to those who wanted to work abroad to be vigilant enough and beware of those illegal recruiters.

PDEA is also requesting the public to furnish them with any information on Pakistani and Nigerian nationals in the region, especially those who are engaged in job recruitment so that PDEA can monitor their activities.

“Let us forewarn our fellow citizens in Caraga so that they will not fall victim of this drug syndicate,” PDEA-Caraga OIC-Regional Director Atty. Joey Quiriones said. (PDEA-13/ PIA-Caraga)



DENR paves way for operation of a multi-billion peso forest plantation project in Agusan Sur

PATIN-AY, AGUSAN DEL SUR – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Caraga Region has swept away the remaining barriers that seemingly obstruct the full operation of a multi-billion peso forest plantation project in Agusan del Sur paving the way for the acceleration of the economic growth in the province.

For a province which has been classified on among the areas with high poverty incidence, the project is a welcome respite. This is borne by the fact that the project is expected to bring in fresh capital funds into the mainstream of the local economy and generate employment for the people.

The move followed the resolution and fine tuning of issues and concerns and other details of the Co-Production Agreement signed in the previous years between the DENR and the Shanalynne Inc. during a meeting that was presided over by the DENR Regional Executive Director Edilberto S. Buiser at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Tuesday.

DENR Secretary Lito Atienza ,Jr has always been promoting the development of reforestation in the countryside to support the poverty-alleviation program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Also present during the meeting were the representatives of the Shannalynne Inc. headed by its area operation manager Engr. Redoben Andaya , PENRO Sixto C. Badua, CENR Officers for Bayugan Jaime Acebu , Edgardo Bacomo for Loreto, Eutiquio Bade for Bunawan , Simon Enong for Talacogon , and Belo Urdarbe , division head of the Land Management Services.

“Except for few regulation requirements which the investors have to comply, the operation of the 120,000-hectare forest plantation project of Shannalyne Inc. which is also under the stewardship of the government of New Zealand and Finland is certain to start anytime” director Buiser said.

For instance, the DENR has emphasized that the company should shoulder the cost of expenses to be incurred during the delineation of boundary perimeters of the project area considering the limited funding resources of the DENR.

It was also made clear by director Buiser that the forest protection of the project area being the responsibility of the company must be strengthened as provided under the agreement.

He said that the DENR can assist the Shannalyne Inc. in the aspect of forest protection through the deputation of its recommended forest officers so that the said deputized company forest guards can now have the authority to apprehend and confiscate illegally-cut and transported forest products and prosecute forest violators in their project area.

Director Buiser , however , cautioned the company officials to hire the right people for the job who has the credibility , integrity and the right character to ensure the protection and preservation of the forest resources in their area.

In the latest validation of the project area conducted by the DENR, it was found out that the company has been able to establish two forest nurseries with a stock of at least 1.3 million seedlings of mahogany and other fast growing tree species.

So far, the company has already planted about 8 hectares of land. According to Engr.Andaya, they are mobilizing people in the area to plant 8,000 hectares of open land with fast-growing tree seedlings over the next seven weeks.

Shannalyne has started its initial operation in Agusan del Sur in December 23, 1997 after it has secured a Memorandum of Understanding with the DENR through the initiative of Cheow Teck Tan, Corporate Executive Office of the Consolidated Technologies Development Ltd of Auckland, New Zealand.

Under the MOU, Shannalyne Inc. will undertake an industrial tree plantation and wood processing plant with an initial investment of US $ 50 million.

The project which would operate on a co-production agreement with the local forest entrepreneurs shall provide the wood requirements of the country’s forest wood-based economic zone which is the Shannalyne Technological Environment Park (STEP) in Agusan del Sur pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 17 dated March 12, 2001.

The wood-based eco-zone shall develop a pulp mill that shall produce hardwood kraft pulp of about 750,000 tons annually that is expected to generate an annual income of about US $ 1.2 billion.

It will also develop a biomass plant that shall produce bio-fuel from harvest residues that will also generate an income of US$ 40 million annually and a 200-megawatt power plant, which can supply at least 40 percent of generated power to the Mindanao Power Grid.

In an effort to provide support to the Forest Eco Zone at least Four Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) area in the towns of Loreto, Veruela and San Luis with a total area of 61,331 hectares have been issued by the DENR in 1998. Another 258 hectares in Barangay Milagros in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur had been designated as a Special Economic Zone to complement the project. (Eric Herson F. Gallego, DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)



Boat capsizes off Hikdop Island, 4 rescued

San Jose, Dinagat Islands (12 January) - A motor banca capsized along Hikdop Island and Brgy. Zaragoza in Surigao City on Sunday (January 11), but Dinagat Islands Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council said, its 3 crew members and 1 passenger were successfully rescued.

Reports from PDCC Action Officer Rosario Roxas bared that, at around 11:30 am Sunday, Jan. 11, the PDCC Action Officer of Dinagat Island received a text message from the Philippine Coast Guard-San Jose that a boat named MB San Jose Municipal Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative capsized along Hikdop Island and Barangay Zaragosa in Surigao City.

The boat capsized due to huge waves brought about by strong winds in the area.

“Upon reaching the location, the emergency responders found the floating motor banca filled with seawater as the boat captain and a crew holding along the boat,” PDCC reported.

Two other victims swam towards the shoreline of Brgy. Zaragosa, Surigao City and was fetched by the Dinagat Islands Search and Rescue (DISAR) rubber boat.

The response operation was successfully finished at around 4:00 0’clock in the afternoon on that same day, PDCC report added. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)



POLICE REPORTS
By PO3 Arturo Suganob Campania


Report on illegal fishing

On January 10, 2009 (Saturday) at 10:00 in the morning at Sitio Magsaysay, Barangay Tangbo, Sta Monica, Surigao del Norte, PNP elements of Sta Monica Municipal Police Station led by PINSP LUMACANG apprehended the suspects while actually engaged in illegal fishing activities.
The suspects were identified as Merlito Adlawan Laoc, Mario Urbistondo Rotaniel, Marlon Katay Morial, Edgar Katay Pitang, all resident of aforementioned place.

Confiscated from the suspects’ possession and control were pump boat with 5HP engine; four pieces paddles; six pieces improvised flipper, spare gun, sharp pointed instruments and 15 kilograms of assorted fish believed to be dynamited.

Arrested persons and confiscated items were brought to said station for recording, documentation and proper disposition. (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


PNP arrests wanted person

On January 9, 2009 (Friday) at 2:00 in the afternoon at Barangay Tagcatong, Carmen, Agusan del Norte, PNP elements of Carmen Municipal Police Station led by PINSP Dionesio Pingos arrested the suspect identified as Tranquilino Fajardo, of legal age, farmer and resident of said place.

Suspect was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest (WOA) issued by Hon Judge Augustus Calo of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5, Libertad, Butuan City, dated September 25, 2008, for violation of PD 533 (anti-cattle rustling law), under CC number 12430 with recommended bailbond amounting to Php 36,000.00.

Subject person is now temporarily detained at Carmen Detention Cell for proper disposition. (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)


Report on illegal gambling

On January 10, 2009 (Saturday) at 11:00 in the morning at Purok 3, Barangay 23, Holy Redeemer, Butuan City, PNP elements of Butuan City Police Station 2 led by PSINSP Inocencio Amora conducted operation on illegal gambling resulted to the apprehension of the suspects identified as Kerr Cabacahan Acompañado, 21 years old; Gaudencio Solana Resnera, 69 years old, married;

Zosimo Paraguerre Vasquez, 56 years old, married; Erique Baguio Equilang, Jr, 20 yrs old, married; Nestor Dalay Campeciño, 52 years old, married.

Confiscated from the suspects’ possession were two sets of playing cards and cash money amounting to Php 191.00.

Case is now prepared for filing in court. (PNP-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)