Posts filed under ‘Palawan’

Mission Possible: Stolen American chopper recovered in Mindanao, Philippines

MIKEINMANILA EXCLUSIVE: UPDATE 3
13 bikes, 3 ATVs, SUVs, sports cars, guns galore and more recovered in a major raid. Second raid recovers around two dozen more bikes. NBI in Northern Mindanao identifies alleged owner of car dealerships as professional rider and car & bike dealer, report says 25 cars and 18 bikes recovered in major transpacific anti-grand theft auto raid.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO Law Enforcement handout

The story reads like a plot for Die Hard Six, for Skip Woods, the writer of Die Hard 5, GI Joe The Rise of Cobra, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.It’s often said the best stories are true to life. For the plot,  which would also fit on Fox’s ‘The Good Guys’, it starts from the simple recovery of a stolen vehicle —  a motorcycle,  a Martin Brothers original. Key figures:  a ‘major writer’  based in Texas who works in  Hollywood.

He loves his bike, a custom Martin Brothers bike. He loved long drives and would head out from wide open spaces in California to flatlands and expanse of open space of the Southwest to Texas. Reality paints a better picture than film here… he and his bike he loved – a man free to roam.

The bike and him were inseparable, then, his bike was stolen in Houston Texas.The writer, Skip Woods, like any other victim went to Police, who traced the bike theft to a gang that ships expensive American-made motorcycles like Harleys and his Martin Brothers custom to Asia via Mexico and Los Angeles.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO: Law Enforcement handout

Not content to go out and buy a new one with insurance money, he hired private investigators, Orion Support Inc., who traced the bike and upon that, the custom bike was seen in Asia in the Philippines.

Tuesday, led by local Philippine National Police Provincial Director  Buboy Mijares, Agent Wency Galindez of NBI Cagayan De Oro, along with US Law enforcement – at least one FBI agent and OSI private invetigators – the team searching for the rare bike found much more than Skip’s bike.

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May 10, 2011 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

When a blogger goes bad: a Fishmarket rotten

Over the two decades I’ve been in this field as a journalist I, more often than not, do not react to other writers or bloggers’ opinions on subjects – but as I sometimes look over the reports to see whats there I sometimes get frustrated when I see a report so callous, so uncaring, so insensitive to others that it makes my blood boil.

The hyperlink below is to one such blogger – whose opinions below are syndicated by the ‘blogger news network’. OK,  a nice idea, but  with pitfalls of profession being that sometimes non-journalist writers often take liberties with facts they don’t or can’t even begin to write about because they just don’t know. In other words,  they are ignorant of the realities of what they are writing about and make cute opinions about topics to get away with filling space.

Nancy Reyes describes herself as a retired doctor. Well,  what kind of doctor could be so insensitive to human suffering she just blurts out a line like below:

[] …”The Korean hostages: Part of missionary life no one mentions
Blogger News Network – Here in the Philippines, the NPA specializes in Chinese businessmen. It’s a game, and the ransom is small, since China doesn’t help them, they only charge “… []

Having covered so many kidnappings I don’t even want to remember. I can’t begin to think if a real journalist or columnist wrote this the ramifications for such a line would be – one, they would be fired, two, they would lose most of the readers or advertisers they have. Lastly, they would probably get a visit from law enforcement since partly – her article ‘gives advice’ on who and who not kidnap.

Am I over reacting? NO – I’ve been to a shallow gravesides when not far from her ‘hometown’ of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, a mother clutched the rotten body of her son – filled with worms  – and cried and  screamed. Her son had been kidnapped. I was part of news team and police who had somehow gotten the information from aprehended kidnapper where the child was buried.

The child’s only crime was he was mestizo – a Filipino-Chinese. A son a mother loved; a sad fact was that he had ancestors who came from another part of Asia and because of that he was picked up in mall in Quezon City.  Then the family begged, borrowed, and sold everything to get the boy back  from hoodlums who who were too lazy to find work other than victimizing others. They took money from the family twice – who sold everything they could to get what ever was demanded – they borrowed more the second time.

But still the kidnappers – the vile and criminal men who not only killed the child tortured him – kept him in a septic tank with just enough space for him to stand his head above the filthy water  until they decided he was too sick to return so they killed him. Hardly the ‘harmless’ image Dra. Reyes seeks to portray of the men like these – who have killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of families lives. A number of these people from her own town. But perhaps she doesn’t live in Gapan,  or in Cabantaun or in the areas she so callously doesn’t seem to care about.

I as part the coverage team that dealt with Abu Sayyaf kidnappings had to talk and be the go-between for families of victims of both the Sipadan and Dos Palmas kidnappings. I talked for hours days and weeks with their families – I knew them and still keep in touch in with them – both the family members and victims themselves.

I’ve gone out with both NBI, PNP, and others search teams – I’ve been there when most of the time these men – grown men – come back weeping seeing the evils that are often done to the victims of these children, women, old men and old women who are taken by those whose only desire is making easy money. 9 times out of 10 are themselves killed – but masterminds often go away free and clear. Other times, they get away with it for a while but as in life what comes around goes around. They more often than not get what they deserve – but often too late for anyone they happen to victimize.

I don’t know why anyone who claims to be a healer can be so hurtful, why a so-called news organization like blogger news network let this get published.

But sadly the fact of the matter is, the topic is written by what in life is often the most dangerous thing – a person with little or no knowledge for the facts who couldn’t care less so long as what they write makes a few dollars for the banner ads on the sidebar.

I defend your right to you opinion with my life  as others who really do this work for living – journalism, but tell you flatly – you’re wrong. Kidnapping is never little thing and crime can never be so gently dismissed as to almost laughingly describe events of human suffering without the proper context the events are in. Please learn the facts and please do keep on writing. But for Gods sake, please do not dismiss something so heinous as this type of crime is as just a joke.

Otherwise that is what you become – a bad joke- with nobody laughing.

September 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

Palawan: Oil search may yield up to 450 Million Barrels

A new seismic study of the Australian owned firms lease of Nido Petroleum off the coast of Palawan Province indicates the area may have yield of up to 450 Million barrels of Oil available for the Nido service contract area 54.

PERTH, Australia, May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Nido Petroleum is pleased to
announce further updates on the exploration programme of Service Contract
54 (SC 54).
    SC 54 is being evaluated by Nido and Joint Venture partner, Yilgarn
Petroleum Philippines PTY Ltd (Yilgarn) with the focus being placed on two
areas within the permit.
    The first area consists of the technically robust Coron North prospect,
which shows potential for up to 450 million barrels of oil. The recent 3D
seismic interpretation has confirmed Coron North as a strong drilling
opportunity.
    Further technical and commercial analysis will need to be completed
before Coron North is mature for drilling; however Nido and Yilgarn are
very excited by the potential size of the structure.
    Nido's Head of Exploration, Mr. Jon Pattillo says, "Nido is pleased
that the 3D seismic is starting to deliver tangible exploration results, in
particular the Coron North prospect which is developing into an attractive
drilling opportunity."
    Also included in this first focus area is the Princesa lead; the 3D
seismic data has confirmed the presence of the Pagasa turbidite play,
including the large Princesa lead, in the western part of SC 54.
    Nido is confident it will have a positive update on the Princesa lead
once the additional 180km2 3D seismic programme is completed in the third
quarter of 2007.
    In addition the high quality 3D seismic has also uncovered a number of
new leads similar to the Coron North project and Princesa lead. This
provides even greater upside potential within SC 54.
    The second focus area is in the shallow waters of the eastern part of
SC 54. Nido is especially interested in finding new opportunities here
which can quickly be brought onto production to generate early cash flow.
    Initial interpretation of this portion of the permit has identified 24
pinnacle reef structures in less than 120 meters of water. The reef trend
is of particular importance because of its similarity to the producing Nido
oil fields.
    These pinnacle reef structures are possible candidates for rapid
exploitation given the lower drilling and development costs afforded by
shallow waters. Detailed technical and engineering work will be conducted
over the next few months to determine the commerciality of these features.
    Nido's Managing Director, Mr. David Whitby says the results validate
Nido's long-held belief in the prospectivity of the Palawan Basin as a
whole.
    "The opportunities currently being evaluated in SC 54 provide Nido with
a significant prospect and lead portfolio from which to select a number of
high quality candidates for drilling in the next sub-phase of the Service
Contract."

This is good news as on top of this there are already productive fields of natural gas and Oil in the area. Over the last few decades the palawan Oil fields often have not been much more than a trickle onto the world market.

It’s Gas Field however is another story – shame though that island province does not have its own pipeline that might lower costs for electricity in the area. Most if not all of the Gas fields wealth is going to be used to support electrical requirements of metro Manila – using a 2 billion dollar pipeline network that is almost at its completion.

A spur line should have been lobbied for to get more of the Natural Gas onto the mainland of Palawan – but – the powers that be only seem to interested in Metro Manila and the surrodning areas rather than allowing another xone to develop and compete and decongest the already over populated capitol. a shame really considering – chaep power could really be a boon to the ‘Last Frontier of the Philippines”.

May 17, 2007 at 2:57 am Leave a comment

He who laughs last, thinks slowest!

Well, its no strange thought that the number one group fighting versus on-line gaming is based in Las Vegas – if there’s anything casino’s hated the prospect of as well as the US government was the idea that gambling could be done at home and nearly untaxed on the Internet.

A RICO case has been filed by the US Attorneys office in Utah – versus a group based in ironically in Nevada and Utah- engaged in web based gaming- with ties to the Philippines has been allegedly busted in the US state of Utah – the crime was engaging in internet based gambling.

[]”..Las Vegas Residents, Utah Companies Tied To Internet Gambling
MyFox Utah, Ut – Defendants also channeled Western Union wire transfers through the Philippines. The 34-count indictment includes charges of racketeering conspiracy, ” []

The USA banned Internet gambling for very good reasons – aside from it does not like the competition – legal casinos pour hefty tax revenue for the Federal Government – primarily the concern was that kids and teenagers were heavy into the on-line games.

Credit card companies also were very happy to see the sites go banned and be able to stem unpaid charges often denied to those of card holders who often claimed they had been ID grabbed. Unless they won… Also in the mix is the very problematic situation of underage gaming.

Gambling, albeit legal in many places in person and on-line in some countries – is still a vice. It can be an addiction and can and should have support groups for those who want to stop or control the urge to ‘go for broke’: most end up that way.

Gambling in the Philippines is a huge business – both the legal and illicit. Aside from lottery, casino, slot machine and poker machine parlours and ‘membership club’ casinos there is linked bingo halls and bingo machine parlours that are in nealry every major shopping mall in the Philippine capital.

the ild days of illegal video carera machines and illegal gaming parlours are long gone really – they can’t compete- but they do still exist – but- mostly with 18 gaming casino’s in metro manila scores of venues from off track betting, to unline ‘sabong ‘ cockfighting gaming. Manila and other major cities like Cebu and Angeeles andd Olongapo and Subic – A recent study I saw shows that the Philippines boasts of more gaming than Macao. Which is supposed to be Asia’s gambling captial.

But, resources for problem gaming are rare – there is no local chapters for example of Gamblers Anonymous – Anyhow for those interested here’s a link:

Gamblers Anonymous Official Home Page

A fellowship support group for compulsive gamblers.
www.gamblersanonymous.org/ – 4k – CachedSimilar pages
20 Questionshttp://www.gamblersanonymous.org/20questions.html
Recovery Programhttp://www.gamblersanonymous.org/recovery.html
Gamblers Anonymous …http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/mtgdirTOP.html
Q and Ahttp://www.gamblersanonymous.org/qna.html
More results from www.gamblersanonymous.org »

 

 

May 12, 2007 at 8:04 am 1 comment

Patronage Politics blamed: For Political Murders & Mayhem in the Philippines

The 90 day long Philippine election campaign period for the mid term polls for Congressional and local positions has so far resulted in 75 election related murders.

A briefing given by the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported.

GMANews.TV

</b> Election-related violence cases rise to 108

Saksi: Election-related violence cases rise to 108

» Comelec: Cell phones not barred, just watched

» SunStar: Benguet town ‘loses’ 40 cops to poll duty

» GO to question resolution naming LP as dominant minority

» Poll execs will call which areas to put under Comelec control

» Comelec mulls control over Bantayan Island

» Report: NPAs briefly hold Kampi bets hostage in Agusan Norte

“The PNP, as of May 1 the fatalities included two lawmakers (congressmen), a vice-governor, two mayors, three city councilors, 19 village chairmen and 16 village officials.” Senior Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr added that, “Another 32 casualties were supporters of the political candidates or civilians who happened to be in the area when the attacks took place.”.

Police officials however are quick to point out that 75 election related murders however violent this may seem is actually an improvement over past elections. “The number of casualties is still low compared to the 189 reported killed and 279 wounded in the 2004 campaign period”. PNP Spokesman Gen. Pagdilao clarified; overall the situation has improved since the last election.

Partly the decision by the Philippine election commission or COMELEC to place 60 cities and municipalities and two provinces were placed under ‘Comelec control is seen by Police as major reason for the drop in half violent incidents and killings.

Far from Over: 2 weeks till Election Day .

The Philippines Police is at a higher alert level during the election period with assault teams backing up armed police in the streets and mobile and fixed checkpoints spread throughout several areas of COMELEC control.

 

In part to keep warring political factions with heavily armed bodyguards from clashing, “417 cities and municipalities tagged as areas of immediate concern while 216 cities and municipalities were listed areas of concern.”.

Political clans and Warlord Politics:

In some parts of the Country there are those who still rule ‘warlord style’ a throwback to the 1950’s over parts of the country far from the public eye, In some cases even in urban areas with either private militias of bodyguards or often using, ‘active duty’ Military or Policemen.

To the “private Warriors’ whose pay and lifestyle are augmented by the nearly feudal system of old ‘Politics of patronage’.

But while these groups are often in far flung areas.

It is when rival political groups clash the outcome can be extremely violent. In the Central Luzon Province of Nueva Ecjica, an example of what happens when heavily armed political groups cross paths was displayed the often ugly side of ‘politics of the gun’ at it’s worst.

“The shootout in Jaen, Nueva Ecija between the camps of Nueva Ecija congressman Rodolfo Antonino and former Jaen Mayor Antonio Esquivel left four people dead and 14 more wounded – one of the bloodiest election related incidents this campaign.” Babe Romoldez, a columnist of Philippine Star newspaper wrote in in a Op-Ed piece, ” There’s no question a lot of business activity depends on the result of the elections, but of equal concern is for the process to be perceived as clean and honest. Unfortunately, election-related violence is getting more intense, “

The clash between warring political groups has led led to the deployment of 1,000 combat troops to the province and COMELEC (Commission of Elections) control.

In another election related killing a Mayor attending a complaint haring was gunned down on the streets of the Philippines second largest city of Cebu, while even on the campaign trail – violence has become part of the campaign, “Another violent incident involves San Carlos City, Pangasinan mayor Julian Resuello, who was fatally shot during a rally on Saturday. This further intensified perceptions that election violence is getting out of hand”

Local Government Politcal reform urged:

Political patronage which according to some of the top leaders of major LGU’s is often funded by graft ridden political cronyism and illegal ‘rackets’ that is typical at the local level of Government in areas far from the capitol – and – even sometimes in towns and cities of the major metropolitan zenes.

Barely two weeks remains in the campaign till election day on May 14th, In the last week the violence has escalated with 22 new incidents reported – this coming alongside three active insurgent groups clashes with government forces has led the US, UK, and Australia as well as many EU countries to issue warnings to their nationals living or visiting the Philippines to exercise extreme caution and avoid all Political gatherings.

“It is a cycle that needs to be broken, Political leaders to stay in power are expected by the people to hand out ‘favors’, You need funds to do this – so those not wealthy enough become forced to fund these activities with graft. Which leads to ineffective projects and governance,” A leading local official said on condition of anonymity, “Reforms are needed at the local level of politics too, or in the end it will be warfare every time there is an election as groups battle for control of local economies through political feuds and violence.”

With 75 Dead and 12 days to go and at least another week till winning candidates will be proclaimed the danger of more violence looms of violence is in the air already as political rivals claim victory amidst threats of more violence if their candidates do not win.

ABS-CBN News:

Fearless Palace forecast: 8-4 for TU 5/3/2007 4:26:52 AM
COMELEC picks Lakas, LP as dominant parties 5/3/2007 4:26:35 AM
Erap warns of ‘revolt of the masses’ if there is cheating 5/3/2007 2:37:11 AM

 

PNP concerned by swift rise of election violence

PNP concerned by swift rise of election violence

06:09 AM 05/03/2007

‘The threats of violence echo all the way down line from all sides of the politcal spectrum if they don’t win from the leaders at the top down to the lowest councilor.’ A senior national police official declining to be named told the author, “I’m more worried about what happens after the votes are counted and how that goes – if it goes bad – scenes of violence on large scale in some places might happen.’

Police officials privately fear the worst but say they expect if the polls are credible post-election violence ‘Won’t happen’. One thing is certain, as the frenzied campaign period is nearing climax, expect election-related deaths to soar as the Philippine Political warfare nears the homestretch.

May 3, 2007 at 11:21 am 2 comments

Philippine spratly island town sinking ‘global warming’

The current debate and stand-off in the south China sea over a gruop of islets called the spratly chain of islands may be all for nothing if global warming keeps its path. the small islands may soon be whiped off the map – by rising tides cuased by gloabl warming.

[] “… disclosed by geologist Dr. Jose Antonio Socrates who is continuously monitoring the conditions of the Pag-Asa Island, one of the islands in the KIG, also known as the Spratlys. …”[]  http://www.bayanihan.org/

Ironic considering the Philippine government is considering building up the runway and facilities and infrastructure on the largestof the islands. Pag-Asa – incorporated under the munincipality of Kalayaan – or freedom land – the runway has a long history originally built on the remnants of  Japanese – then later US  military emergency airstrips built and abandoned during world war two.  The advantage pagasa has is fresh water.

But if Doc Soc – as he’s known on palawan is correct – then the Philippine government and other claimants to disputed territory rich in both marine and petroleum resources might want to look at options to build up rather than out in the small area.

the Philippines sees the area as a possible growth area for tourism – coral reefs are still largely intact although chinese fishing companies from Hainan are still using Cyainiad and explosives to boost fish catches. destroying rees in the same maner they destroyed much of the coastal areas they have near hainan and the Parcel islands. Philippine blast fishermen also abound as do blast fishermen from Indonesia and other areas.

So building up resources and infrastructure might be the only way to save the area and with cooperation rather than confrontation a key word in each claimants efforts the islands stand to see much feasable growth as a shared area for the six countries that claim the islands.

March 31, 2007 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

The Apple Irack

Good well made satire always makes one think – it’s about brands and more of whats in a name there’s also a strong commentary of today’s events as name hints – very well made and interesting.

enjoy:

March 22, 2007 at 11:42 am Leave a comment

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