Friday, 22 April 2011

2 West African Drug Syndicate members nabbed in Malate

MANILA, Philippines – Two alleged foreign members of the West African Drug Syndicate (WADS) were arrested in Malate, Manila.

The National Bureau of investigation (NBI) Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force identified the suspects as Kamano Pascal from Guinea, West Africa and Thai national, Kanchanaphon Chenchuwithan. The NBI said both suspects are WADS members.
The two were nabbed inside Room 211 of a hotel located in Malate. Authorities also found a kilo of cocaine with an estimated value of P5 million inside the room’s safety deposit box.
Based on their passports, Pascal arrived in the country last April 8 while Chenchuwitan came on April 11.
“What we received was mayroon nang drugs dito, smuggled outside the country,” said Atty. Ross Jonathan Galicia, chief of the NBI raiding team.
It was learned that the suspects were already readying the cocaine for shipment to Thailand.
“They will package it in a capsulized form and then swallow [it],” said Galicia.
WADS members are allegedly careful when using Pinoy drug mules after the execution of 3 Filipino drug couriers in China.
The suspects will be charged with violation of the Republic Act 9165 if the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Authorities are likewise determining where the cocaine came from.

Friday, 1 April 2011

DFA: No long queue of Pinoys on China death row

Only 1 Filipino still facing death penalty

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said only one more Filipino is waiting for a final ruling on a drug trafficking case in China.
In an interview with ANC, DFA Spokesperson Ed Malaya said the case, which is pending before the Supreme Court of China, is also punishable by death.
“There is no nakapilang Pilipinong bibitayin sa China. There is no such thing. There is only one,” Malaya said.
Malaya said the earlier reported 73 cases of Filipinos on death row in China is not accurate because they were “meted the penalty of death with 2-year reprieve."
“They are all drug-related cases,” he said.
Malaya said that there were 6 critical death penalty cases in China, including the cases of Sally Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain.
“Of the 6, three were affirmed. That's why we had the execution yesterday. Two of the 6 were reevaluated and the penalties were lowered from death penalty without reprieve to death penalty with 2-year reprieve,” Malaya said.
Villanueva, Credo and Batain were executed late Wednesday morning in China.
“There is a remaining one and this is what is pending before the Supreme People's Court in Beijing,” he said.
The reprieve given to the 2 Filipinos, Malaya said, means that if they show good behavior in prison, their death sentence will be commuted to life in prison.
He added that most death penalty cases involving Filipinos around the world are in China.
“Most of the death penalty cases in China pertain to drugs. What we have been seeing is a specific targeting by international drug syndicates of Filipinos to become drug couriers,” he said.
According to Malaya, the number of Filipinos involved or arrested for drug trafficking in 2007 was very minimal. However, it noted that the figure in China jumped to 111 or almost 600% jump from the previous year.
“In 2009, we have seen a sustaining of this momentum up to last year,” he said.
“At the end of the day, what is really needed is personal vigilance--to know what is good and what is bad. And clearly, using drugs is bad and also trafficking of drugs is bad and it cannot be excused,” he said.

Filipino workers file class suit vs Denny's

VANCOUVER - Customers at a Denny's restaurant in downtown Vancouver found an unusual sight over breakfast and coffee: Filipino workers upholding their rights.

Labor groups showed their support for a $10-million class action lawsuit filed by Filipino temporary workers against the popular food chain.
They claim there was an alleged breach in the workers' contracts due to shorter work hours and unpaid airfare from the Philippines, among others.
"We're raising awareness not just for temporary workers but for the Canadian public. They don't know this is happening," Jane Ordinario of the progressive group Migrante BC said.
Representative plaintiff Herminia Dominguez also faced the media to talk about her struggle to speak up.
Dominguez said the company offered to pay for overtime and transportation costs following the filing of the case, but she declined. She has since stopped working for Denny's.
"Tuloy ito. Kasi karapatan ng mga workers ang pinaglalaban hindi madali but many Pinoys continue to work for the food chain,” Dominguez said.
A certification hearing has been scheduled by the BC Supreme Court this August to determine whether or not the class suit should proceed.