My Observations: Even during quarantine, the Chinese connection still caused problems in Parañaque City

Months ago, I wrote that the City of Parañaque became a hot spot for crime incidents involving Chinese nationals and that the said city had more of such incidents than its neighboring cities here in South Metro Manila.

And then the coronavirus disease COVID-19 struck the world and this resulted community quarantine here in the Philippines which was recently extended into mid-May. Under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), most businesses were halted, mass gatherings were prohibited and people were told to stay at home so that the risk of infection would be reduced. The authorities have been struggling with testing people for COVID-19 while local government units (LGUs), including barangays, have been working to manage their respective communities and perform services like distributing relief goods to families, implementing curfew, etc.

Even though the ECQ has been implemented for over a month now, there were still problems in Parañaque City caused by Chinese nationals. I’m talking about the illegal online gaming operation involving 44 Chinese nationals (with 23 Filipinos) and illegal clinics and a stockroom filled with medicine from China.

Let’s start first with the illegal online gaming operation that was found in Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo with details from the Manila Bulletin report.

Excerpt: Forty-four (44) foreign nationals and twenty-three (23) Filipinos (fourteen female and nine male) engaged in an illegal online gaming operation were arrested by the combined team of the Regional Special Operation Unit, Southern Police District, and the Parañaque City police Friday night.

Police said that the suspects were arrested at about 7:30p.m. along Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.

The police said that prior to the arrest of the suspects, members of the RSOU received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that a group of armed foreign nationals were seen outside their residence violating the curfew hours imposed by the city government while the country is under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Upon receiving the information, members of the RSOU immediately coordinated with the SPD and the Parañaque City police for the arrest of the suspects.

The police said that verification was made and they found the group of foreign nationals with firearms visibly tucked in their waists loitering around the said place.

The suspects, upon seeing the approaching policemen, immediately ran inside their house. A chase ensued that led to the discovery of the illegal online gaming operation of the suspects.

Police recovered cash amounting to more than P1.3-million, 255 Chinese Yuan; 73 Chinese passports; two .45 caliber pistols; two .9mm pistols; nine internet modems, 40 cellular phones; 17 pairs of keyboard and mouse; 36 different brands of laptop computers and assorted computer cables.

Wow. That’s such an operation. How exactly was it set up so discreetly? Was the apartment owner aware that the rented place was turned by the foreigners into an illegal business operation? Also when exactly did the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) of Parañaque City discover the first details about the illegal online gaming operation? Was Barangay Tambo even aware of the illegal operation?

As a result of the arrest done by the law enforcers, the ball is now up to the Bureau of Immigration to decide whether to deport the 44 Chinese nationals or not. Whatever their decision and no matter how long the investigation will take, it is clear that this incident made the City of Parañaque look bad.

To put things in perspective, Parañaque is the hot spot of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Metro Manila with 414 cases as of April 26 and the City Government and the barangays have been struggling to prevent the spread of infection while managing the communities. As seen many times on social media, pictures of many people crowding the public wet markets (palengke) in the city showed clear violations of social distancing. As such, the fear of a possible COVID-19 outbreak in Parañaque is entering more people’s minds.

Next, let’s take a look at the illegal clinics and the stockroom filled with Chinese medicine with details from CNN Philippines’ report.

Excerpt 1: Authorities raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City on Sunday night.

Among those seized in the stockroom in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque was a large shipment of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease. There is no confirmed cure yet for COVID-19.

They found many more boxes of medicine and medical supplies from China in the stockroom, such as boxes of dextrose and medicine ranging from antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and medicine used for treating sexually transmitted diseases.

“They have all kinds of medicines. Na-amaze ako kasi puro injectables silang lahat,” says Paranaque City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio. She adds, “Kakaunti ‘yung oral meds, madami ding through IV (intravenous) fluid.”

[Translation: I was amazed because most of the medicines I saw were injectables. There were a few oral meds, but there were a lot of IV fluids.]

Meanwhile, some types of medicine sold by the two illegal clinics are a herbal supplement is used as a traditional Chinese treatment for colds, fever, cough, and sore throat and a non-prescription drug for flu and respiratory illnesses.

“The team is thinking na most probably they are really catering to the POGOs around, especially noong nagkaroon tayo ng massive routing of the different clubs at madaming nakitang prostitution. Mostly chinese ang nahuhuli,” the doctor added.

Authorities said they acted on a tip from a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics. The owner of one of the clinics allegedly took her quarantine pass. As a result, the helper informed officials of what she called a “hospital” catering to mostly Chinese patients.

Excerpt 2: After the city government closed down the place, authorities found another similar clinic just a few blocks away.

Police found a Chinese man claiming to be a doctor in the second clinic. He did not speak on camera but presented what he claimed to be his doctor’s license in China.

The local government said they are finding out who owns this clinics and the stockroom.

Charges will be filed against the owners for violating quarantine laws, medical regulations, and for operating without necessary permits. The confiscated boxes of medicine will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

Two illegal clinics that most likely served Chinese nationals located just a few blocks away from each other…could those two be connected with each other? As for the medicine imported from China, I wonder if they were cleared by the officials of customs. When exactly did the City Health Office led by Dr. Virtusio become aware of the illegal clinics? Did anyone from Barangay Baclaran notice the anomalies within their territory?

With these cases combined – the illegal gaming operation and the illegal clinics – I wonder if there was any bribery involved in establishing the illegal operations, how much the local authorities knew about their existence, and how exactly are Parañaque officials dealing with Chinese nationals who really had no intention to follow local laws.

It is fortunate for law enforcers that a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics tipped them while a concerned citizen did the right thing by calling them about the presence of foreigners who were armed with guns. What exactly were those guns for, personal protection or as a means to threaten the local community’s members?

Whatever is happening behind the scenes with these two recent developments, what is clear is that Parañaque is still a hot spot for illegal activities involving Chinese nationals and the connection with mainland China. How the local authorities will deal with them is a big question mark.

You the reader might want to ask yourself: Are Chinese nationals already setting up Parañaque to be a key location for a future military invasion by mainland China?


For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Thanks for reading!

COVID-19 Crisis: Apprehension of suspects leads to tighter community management in Las Piñas City

COVID-19 Crisis: Apprehension of suspects leads to tighter community management in Las Piñas City

Managing an entire city is always tough and having strong coordination between the city government and the barangays is essential in ensuring service to the constituents. This is quite true over at the City of Las Piñas which, as of this writing, has 122 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 14 recoveries, 9 deaths, 6 probable cases and 48 suspected cases.

The City Government, headed by Mayor Imelda Aguilar, has been doing many things like distributing packages of relief goods to the homes of the constituents, receiving and answering inquiries from concerned citizens, securing the city and constantly communicating with the barangays. The City Government also had its KALIPI (Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina) practitioners involved in the production of brand new face masks which are essential now.

Even though the COVID-19 Crisis saw a sharp drop on criminal activity, there are still some people out there who did something crooked. According to a Manila Bulletin news report, two individuals who reside in the CAA community (Barangay BF International-CAA) were arrested on April 20 for the falsification of documents related to this current crisis.

This is about the making and selling of fake quarantine passes (QPs) allegedly done by suspects Mareclina Cayanan and Santiago Capon. They have since been detained by the local police and will be charged for documents falsification. A total of fifty fake QPs were recovered from the suspects and it was reported that each fake pass was sold at P20 each.

To put things in perspective, only the proper authorities have the legal right to issue QPs to their constituents as a means to control the number of people moving out of their homes to do essential things like buying groceries or doing bank transactions for their households.

In Las Piñas City, the quarantine pass is issued by the barangay units for their respective community members. Each QP has a seal (dried), a control number as well as the barangay captain’s signature. QPs are limited in quantity.

Going back to the Manila Bulletin report, the apprehension of the suspects resulted to Mayor Aguilar issuing a new order to each and every barangay captain in the city to be stricter in implementing the government’s home quarantine policy.

Mayor Aguilar also reached out to the constituents that if they see something illegal happening, they should call the police immediately.

Going back to the fake QPs that were sold by the suspects, the local police is searching for those who are using them. Anyone holding a fake quarantine pass will make the holder criminally liable.

If you are a resident of Las Piñas City and you want to help the authorities fight crime and catch the bad guys, contact the city police at telephone number 85516401 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pcrstation4/

For the Las Piñas City official hotline, call 89945782, 09776726211 and 09496246824.


For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 in the Sports News (May 15, 2019)

Hi, sports fans! Those of you who are following the latest in Philippine multisports (triathlon, duathlon and aquathlon) are encouraged to check out the latest sports coverage of the successful Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 co-presented by Smart which was held this past Sunday at Clark Global City, Clark, Pampanga.

Below are the newspapers that published today the post-event news. Some of them with online versions that can be viewed. Just click.

Manila Bulletin

Manila Standard

People’s Tonight

Manila Times

Business Mirror

Malaya Business Insight

For pictures of the event, check out my previous post.

Race results? You can find them right here.

Also I encourage you to visit and follow Bike King on Facebook.

 

 

 

Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 Pics and Insight

As millions of people around the Philippines were focused on the 2019 National & Local Elections, the sprawling Clark Global City (CGC) in Clark, Pampanga was filled with excitement and fun yesterday morning with the successful Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 co-presented by Smart and organized by Bike King.

For the newcomers here, duathlon is a multi-sport activity composed of running and biking. The event in Clark yesterday had two distances: 6km run—60km bike—4km run and 3Km run-30Km bike-4Km run.

As with past multisport events organized by Bike King, the event handled efficiently, the field of participants was large (in the hundreds), the awarding ceremony was a nice attraction (with two emcees who are very talented) and the participants had fun.

What is also notable about Clark Global City is that it is located just a short drive away from the South Clark exit/entry of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx). If you came from Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and arrive at South Clark exit, there is no way you can miss the CGC.

For your viewing enjoyment, posted below are random pictures I took from the event. Just click to enlarge.

I encourage you to visit and follow Bike King on Facebook.

 

Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 in the Sports News (May 7, 2019)

The Clark Global City Duathlon 2019 co-presented by Smart and to be organized by Bike King made the sports news of the following Philippine newspapers:

Manila Standard

Malaya Business Insight

Manila Bulletin

Business Mirror

The event set for May 12 (Sunday) will be held at the scenic Clark Global City and there will be two distances, one short and one long.

For more information visit http://bikekingphilippines.com/index.html

 

 

 

NTT Subic Bay International Triathlon 2019 In The Sports News

For everyone’s information, the NTT Subic Bay International Triathlon 2019 made it in the sports pages of the following newspapers.

Available links to online versions in some of the listed papers below. Just click and you will find the story online.

Manila Bulletin

Manila Standard 

Tempo

People’s Journal

Malaya Business Insight

Philippine Star

Business Mirror

The NTT Subic Bay International Triathlon 2019 is a qualifying event for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) triathlon event which will also take place in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Visit Triathlon.org.ph or TRAP’s Facebook page.

My Daily Collagen Triathlon in the News

Participants, winners and spectators who took part in the My Daily Collagen Triathlon held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone this past Sunday will be happy to know that the event made it in the sports pages of national newspapers as follows:

Manila Bulletin

Manila Standard

Philippine Star

Manila Times

Malaya Business Insight

Business Mirror

If you the reader happened to be one of the event’s categorical champions, check the above newspapers to find out if your name got printed.

My Daily Collagen Triathlon was organized by Bike King Philippines with the support of Smart, Saucony, Vittoria, Rudy Project, ACEA Subic Bay, Court Meridian Hotel & Suites, and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)

My Daily Collagen® is a protein-rich, mango-flavored health drink supplement with the right amount of easily absorbed marine collagen peptide to help boost bone and joint health, enhance post-workout recovery, and keep skin, hair, and nails strong.

For complete race results and winners listing, visit  the event results link at http://bikekingphilippines.com/events_my-daily-collagen-tri1_results.html