My Observations: Crime Incidents in Parañaque Involving Chinese Nationals to Continue Even More?

A few weeks ago, I called Parañaque City a hot spot for criminal incidents involving foreigners from China. As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Parañaque registered 140 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals versus 54 in Las Piñas City and 19 in Muntinlupa City as per the findings of Southern Police District (SPD).

Think about it. There were 213 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals in South Metro Manila and Parañaque (the city of BF Homes subdivision, Manila Memorial Park and those lavish casinos and hotels by the bay) got almost two-thirds of that.

The trend of such crime continues to happen in the said city as confirmed by the January 20, 2020 news report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The report was about a police raid on a sex den inside a budget hotel that resulted the apprehension of a Chinese national who allegedly managed the place and the rescue of several Chinese women who allegedly were forced into prostitution.

Below are notable excerpts from the report.

Excerpt 1: The alleged manager of the sex den, Cai Ye Gui, also from China, was arrested. He now faces charges for violation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Excerpt 2: A tip from one of the victims’ clients led to the rescue of 11 Chinese women allegedly forced into prostitution inside one of the branches of a budget hotel chain in Parañaque City on Sunday.

Excerpt 3: The victims claimed they were promised jobs in the country, but ended up being forced into prostitution.

Excerpt 4: Similar to other sex dens raided by authorities, the business catered exclusively to Chinese nationals, especially to men working in Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) companies and their service providers. Bookings could be made through the WeChat app or in person.

So the prostitution joint was handled by a male Chinese national to cater to foreigners from China and their workers were ladies also from China who were promised jobs in the Philippines only to end up working as prostitutes against their will.

As for the app called WeChat, that is the most popular messaging app in China (according to CNBC) owned by Tencent (full corporate name Tencent Holdings Limited) which is a Chinese multinational conglomerate.

Based on the details of the Inquirer report, it seems that WeChat is used for communication and business for the raided sex den. This brings me to an excerpt from CNBC’s article…

Excerpt 1: One of the primary uses of WeChat is messaging. Just like WhatsApp, you have a list of conversations that you’re engaged in.

You can add people in a variety of ways.

When people exchange contact details in China, you often see one person scanning the other person’s phone. Each WeChat user has a unique barcode known as a QR code. One person can scan the other user’s QR code to add them to WeChat. You can also use a phone number or ID to add a person and search for people nearby.

WeChat is one of the main ways people communicate in China. Even when doing business, people prefer WeChat to email. It’s even more prevalent because services like Facebook are blocked here.

And here is a look at the commercial side of WeChat.

Excerpt 2: If you’re buying something online in China, there will be an option to purchase with WeChat Pay. You will need to put in a passcode or use a biometric authentication tool to authorize the transaction.

Instant money transfers to your WeChat contacts can also be made via the messaging function, which makes it easy to split bills or just move money around China. It is possible to be nearly cashless in China and actually go out for the day without a wallet.

If WeChat was actually used for payments (in addition to booking) for services at the sex den by Chinese users who are physically present here in the Philippine, how were they able to make it work locally? WeChat’s financial transaction feature was supposed to work only in China.

To say the least, the app made bookings convenient for Chinese nationals before visiting the illegal joint in Parañaque City. The name of the budget hotel (which had the sex den inside) was not revealed in the Inquirer report but it was described to be located near the corner of Quirino Avenue and NAIA Road.

As for the legal aspect of the latest Parañaque sex den raid involving Chinese nationals, the law enforcers and lawyers will have to figure out how to effectively apply the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 on the suspects and other violators.

If found guilty, the suspects will be penalized for twenty years imprisonment and a fine of P1 million to 2P million for the act of trafficking, 15 years imprisonment and a fine of P500,000 to P1 million for attempted trafficking, and life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million for qualified trafficking.

This latest crime makes Parañaque look bad and it is a fact that there are lots of Chinese nationals living and working in the said city.

Also let me add here the December 23, 2019 the city sisterhood agreement between Parañaque and the Chinese city of Anshan. On face value, the agreement looks like a pretty and promising way of the two cities becoming closer together. According to a Manila Standard report, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Parañaque and Anshan should “create opportunities for mutual growth, since both cities share similar environmental protection and tourism endeavors.”

There were other objectives that include “providing for better cooperation in conducting reciprocally planned and sanctioned programs geared towards the improvement of government administration, tourism, cultural preservation, environmental protection, education, technology, arts, and the holding of various endeavors mutually beneficial to both parties.”

What needs examining here is how many tourists from Anshan (a city of more than 3 million people) will come to Parañaque for tourism, how many of those same tourists will be setting up businesses locally, how many of them will take residence in the city, and are they all willing to follow the local and nationals laws at all.

What guarantee is there that Anshan tourists will not commit any crimes in Parañaque or anywhere else in the Philippines?

If there is anything that will prevent a city or a nation from prospering and becoming more competitive with others, it is crime. Other factors that will do the same include corruption, sinister propaganda, misuse of taxpayers’ money, sub-par public service and lack of financial discipline.

It is a sad truth that Parañaque is not too competitive with other Philippine cities and was not heralded for local governance. Now the city has a crime wave involving foreigners from China.

For those of you reading this who have genuine love for the country, start praying to the Lord that the crime wave will not harm Filipino families living inside the villages. Start reading the Holy Bible and apply its lessons on your life by heart.

Muntinlupa City Government Provides Big-time Assistance to Taal Volcano Eruption Victims

The City Government of Muntinlupa proved it has the heart to assist others who badly need help in times of disaster as the local authorities approved big-time relief for the many victims of the recent Taal Volcano eruption.

Firstly, the City Council of Muntinlupa approved on January 14 the Mayor Jaime Fresnedi’s proposal of a P3,000,000 donation for the municipalities of Talisay, Laurel & Agoncillo, Batangas as aide for the victims of Taal Volcano eruption for their recovery and rehabilitation.

Fresnedi called for the public to continue to stand in prayer for the safety of affected families in Batangas and encouraged city residents to participate in donation drives.

Secondly, the City Government sent 3,417 grocery packs and 381 six-liter bottles of water to evacuation centers in coordination with Batangas Incident Command Post in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City on January 15. Muntinlupa Social Services Department head Analyn Mercado confirmed that the said relief packs went to the cities and municipalities of Calaca, Alfonso, Nasugbu, Batangas, Bauan, San Pascual, Balayan, and Sto. Tomas

Relief packs given to evacuees include canned goods, water, rice, sleeping mats, utensils, clothes, and other non-food items. Mercado added that an additional 300 sacks of rice and another 2,828 six-liter bottles of water will be distributed to the evacuees in the following days.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is still accepting any kind of donations at Muntinlupa Resiliency Building (Hall of Justice Compound) in Brgy. Tunasan or Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall.

To donate, the public may coordinate with SSD at (02) 8861 6223 and may look for Ms. Analyn Mercado.

Since Taal Volcano erupted, thousands of people living in close proximity had no choice but to leave their homes and possessions behind, occupy evacuation centers and hang on as more forms of assistance are coming. The City Government of Muntinlupa and several others are organization donation drives and public assistance campaigns for the victims. If you want to help, now is the time.

Duty Free Philippines Grows 4% in 2019

DutyFreeLogo

Hey everyone! Have you shopped at a Duty Free Philippines yet? Me? I have not been to a Duty Free Philippines outlet or shopping center for quite some time now.

Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) announced today that it grew 4% in 2019 in terms of year-on-year sales growth. Notably, the achieved growth was a clear improvement  over the 2% growth it achieved in 2018.

To put things in perspective, the consolidated sales reached a total of $226 million in 2019 compared with $217 million the previous year.

In relation to the latest statistics, DFPC chief operating officer Vicente Pelagio Angala said the Philippines’ hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and the opening of Duty Free Luxe have significantly contributed to the upswing.

He said the growing number of tourists visiting the newly-rehabilitated Boracay Island via Kalibo Airport has been beneficial to DFPC sales.

When it comes to the top source markets, 85% came from Filipino tourists, balikbayans (visiting Filipinos who live overseas) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Confectionery is still the major growth driver, with 31 percent share of the total sales, followed by liquor (21 percent), fragrance and cosmetics (18 percent), and fashion merchandise (10 percent).

The DFPC claimed it has met a number of significant milestones last year, including the opening of “Go Lokal’s” Marahuyo this past November.

“In line with the directive of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), we have augmented our product portfolio which now includes more local artisans,” Angala said.

With the agency’s strong commitment to giving top local products a global audience, DFPC was recognized as “Highly Commended CSR Initiative of the Year “at the 2019 Frontier Awards in Cannes, France for supporting The Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The DFPC has expanded the list of exclusive brands that it carries which now includes: Gucci Beauty, Armani Beauty, Hogan, and MCM. Last year, it also embarked on the renovation of the Fiestamall and NAIA Terminal 1 Arrival stores.

DFPC is expected to maintain the momentum in 2020 with the opening of Duty Free store at the Hilton Sun Valley Resort inside Clark Freeport Zone by the first quarter of this year.

For everyone’s reference, the DFPC is the country’s sole operator of the duty-and tax-free merchandising system, and a vital component of the DOT as it contributes to the efforts in the development of the country’s tourism infrastructure, programs, and projects through revenue remittances. There are Duty Free Philippines outlets and shopping centers around the Philippines including Parañaque City (Fiestamall shopping center), Cebu province, and Clark International Airport to name a few.

For further learning, posted below is the official FAQ of Duty Free Philippines.

DFPFAQ

Check out their online store at https://www.dutyfreephilippines.ph/

Muntinlupa City Government Organizes Business Permit Renewal until January 20, awards early taxpayers

010220 - Biz Renewal
Top Ten “Early Bird” Taxpayers in the 2020 Muntinlupa Business Permit Renewal receive cerficates of recognition and grocery packages from the City Government. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi meets early taxpayers and extended his gratitude to the business owners for renewing their businesses in the city on January 2. The business renewal event will run from January 2- 20 at Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government of Muntinlupa awarded early taxpayers with incentives and grocery packages for being the first of many who applied and settled their dues in the 2020 Muntinlupa Business Permit Renewal which will run until January 20.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi awarded certificates of recognition and grocery packages to the Top Ten Early Taxpayers in this year’s Business Permit Renewal on January 2. The Top Ten Early Taxpayers were the following: Abraham Tiro (Mama Nene Store), Lani Santos (Lito and Lani Food House), Josielyn Delez (E.J.D. Mini Store), Josephine Dejan (FDA Dejan Construction Services), Cesar Bronola Lastrilla (Mercy Salon), Milagros Salvador (Mila and Noli Scrap Woods), Elizabeth Sabalboro (Beth Sari-Sari Store), Ma. Pinky Lynsey (MPLG Begona Trading), Cynthia Olaes (Cynthia’s Sari-Sari Store), and Cherrie Flores (Mini-Mini Store).

The mayor thanked the business owners for their punctuality in paying their dues and renewing their businesses in the city. Fresnedi also urged other locators to avoid penalties and skip “rush days” of registration nearing the deadline.

The 2020 Business Permit Renewal officially started on the morning of January 2 and will conclude on January 20. Currently, there are 15,708 registered business in the city. The Muntinlupa Business Permits and Licensing Office recorded a significant increase of over 187% in business tax collection over the past seven years.

For the convenience of the taxpayers, a One-Stop Shop arrangement in the Business Permit Renewal Hub has been installed at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Barangay Tunasan. Requirements from Barangay Halls and Regulatory Offices can be acquired in the location of the Renewal as representatives of said agencies will be rendering service simultaneously.

Taxpayers can pay using Debit Cards in the renewal event. Mobile ATMs as well as a Closed-Circuit Television System were also installed across the venue. Business owners registering in the renewal may also access the internet through a free wi-fi connection.

Making matters even more convenient is the shuttle service provided for clients going to the venue. The pick-up points are located at Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle in Putatan and Muntinlupa City Public Market in Alabang.

The list of requirements is posted in Muntinlupa BPLO Facebook page at fb.com/bplo.muntinlupa. For inquiries, you may call the department’s hotline at 8317-9964 or email at bplo.muntinlupa@yahoo.com.

Parañaque City a Hot Spot for Crimes Involving Chinese Nationals

If there is anything that defined the City of Parañaque lately, it’s not about city competitiveness (Parañaque failed again), not about economic breakthroughs and not even about achieving excellence on local governance (Parañaque was not declared a winner of the DILG’s 2019 Sea of Good Local Governance award).

Rather, it’s about crime turning rampant within the jurisdiction of Parañaque, more specifically the high number of crimes involving Chinese nationals.

According to a December 27, 2019 Philippine Star report, Parañaque has the 3rd highest number of crimes involving Chinese nationals among the southern cities of Metro Manila. The number is 140 crime incidents recorded as per the statistics of the Southern Police District (SPD) as of December 25, 2019. Ahead of Parañaque were Pasay City (201 crime incidents) and Makati City (163 crime incidents).

Specifically on South Metro Manila, Las Piñas City had 54 crime incidents while Muntinlupa City had 19 crime incidents. Combine those numbers with Parañaque’s 140 crime incidents, then that’s a total of 213 crime incidents for South Metro Manila.

You must be wondering why is it that the city that is home to a significant portion of BF Homes subdivision attracted a great majority of of the 213 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals for South Metro Manila?

For one thing, there is a high number of Chinese nationals who took residence in Parañaque and got involved in the local commerce. Speaking of commerce, a lot of these POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) opened up and operated within the city. The City Government recently considered filing charges against the owners of buildings housing Chinese nationals who are working at these POGOs. The housing of many Chinese nationals caused a social disruption in the community of Multinational Village  for the past two years. This caused Multinational residents to write letters of complaints regarding diminishing water supply, power transformer blowouts, eroded roads and rising security risks that allegedly were connected with the Chinese nationals residing in their local community as well as the construction of new POGO housing facilities.

By the way, there are casinos and hotels operating in the Entertainment City which is within the jurisdiction of Parañaque. Those facilities are known to attract a lot of Chinese nationals along with other foreigners.

Focusing more on crimes involving foreigners from China, there was a prostitution raid in Parañaque this past September.

Here’s an excerpt from the CNN Philippines report:

The raid in Diamond Tower in Baclaran also led to the arrest of 13 alleged den maintainers or recruiters of sex workers, nine of whom are male and four who are women, plus 18 male Chinese customers.

And then there was the Chinese affair involving kidnapping that also took place in Parañaque. Here’s an excerpt from the report of Business Mirror:

The Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) rescued a Chinese national and arrested two kidnapping suspects during a police operation in Parañaque City.

PNP-AKG Director Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo identified the victim as tourist Wang Hong, alias Lee, 29, married, native of Chongqing, China, and who is temporarily residing at Strata Gold Condominium, Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila.

The suspects, on the other hand, were identified as Wan Rehong, 32, native of Qingshanhu District, Nanchang City, China, and Wan Liang, 36, native of Jiangxi, China. Both suspects are tourists.

Estomo said that in the sworn statement of Wang, the victim went to Solaire Resort and Casino on December 4 and gambled. When he lost all his money, a group of Chinese men offered him a loan of P1 million, which he accepted.

The group lent him another P1 million as capital, but he lost again, prompting the group to take the key of the car that he borrowed from a friend and asked him to go with the suspects.

The two suspects took him to Okada Hotel and Casino, and while inside a room, they forced him to make a letter stating that he borrowed from them P2 million and forced him to sign the letter.

On December 8, at around 2 p.m., Wang and the two suspects boarded a taxi wherein he managed to send a message to a friend that they are billeted at Room 505 of Baymont Hotel in Parañaque City.

While inside the room, the kidnappers instructed him to ask money from his family or friends for him to pay the P2 million because, if not, “they will kill him and be thrown at cemetery.”

The victim’s friend notified the PNP-AKG about the incident that prompted operatives to launch a rescue operation which resulted in the arrest the two suspects.

As mentioned earlier, Parañaque City is a hot spot of crime incidents involving Chinese nationals and clearly this is bad. Nobody wants to live in a city with rampant crime (kidnapping, extortion, prostitution and the like) nor does anyone want to see their community turn bad because a lot of foreigners from China working in POGOs were allowed to take residence.

The hot questions to ask here:

1) Is the City Government really tough against crime in general?

2) Are POGOs and other businesses that target Chinese nationals as employees and consumers too tempting for the City Government to reject and were allowed to be part of the local economy and communities?

3) Were the business permit applications of those POGOs and businesses targeting Chinese nationals carefully reviewed by the Parañaque Business Permit & Licensing Office (BPLO) before being approved?

4) Are there any police officers in Parañaque who accepted bribes from Chinese nationals and the POGOs to look the other way and let them do their illegal activities?

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.

 

 

 

 

Muntinlupa City Government Aims for Zero Firecracker Injuries, to Apprehend Open-muffler Ban Violators

Muntinlupa City Government Aims for Zero Firecracker Injuries, to Apprehend Open-muffler Ban Violators

With local measures already enforced, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced today that it is targeting zero firecracker-related injuries and will apprehend motorists using open-mufflers in the holiday season.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the City Government aims to have zero firecracker-related casualty when city residents welcome the New Year as it beefs up the implementation of Oplan Iwas Paputok campaign.

Navarro said the City Health Office recorded a significant decrease in casualties from 13 cases in 2016 to six in 2017, and reduced to two in 2018 upon the implementation of the ban. Local hospitals including Ospital ng Muntinlupa are on standby and have installed fast lanes to provide emergency medical assistance to victims of firecracker blasts.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi ordered the local Peace and Order Council to intensify inspections on marketplaces to confiscate illegal firecrackers and apprehend violators.

On December 23, the Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau and personnel of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) led an operation in Alabang Viaduct to apprehend vendors selling firecrackers and conducted an information drive.

Ordinance No. 14-092 was passed by the City Council effectively prohibiting the display and distribution of firecrackers within Muntinlupa’s legal jurisdiction as part of its efforts to reduce cases of casualties and harmful effects of pyrotechnic devices to health and the environment.

Apprehended individuals using firecrackers will be fined with P1,000 up to P5,000 penalty. While commercial establishments selling firecrackers may face revocation of permit and license to operate in pursuant to penalties provided in the ordinance. Further, mall owners or similar establishments may organize fireworks displays in designated areas upon securing a permit from Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police.

The City Government is also set to organize a motorcade on December 30 to launch its Iwas Paputok awareness campaign. During the motorcade, local officials will distribute alternative noisemaking devices (torotot) in District 1 and 2 barangays. The motorcade will begin at Muntinlupa City Hall Quadrangle and will conclude in South Station, Alabang with a boodle fight event.

While alternative noise-making activities are encouraged, MTMB warned motorists that the use of aftermarket mufflers, or removal of such, which emit excessive loud noise causing disturbances in is prohibited as per City Ordinance 04-022 or the Muntinlupa City Traffic Code.

The City Government has coordinated with Philippine National Police (PNP) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) to put up checkpoints and conduct monitoring surveillance on major thoroughfares, including secondary roads, for the apprehension of revelers with open-mufflers.

Mayor Fresnedi urged residents to use alternative noise-making instruments and not to patronize firecrackers and open-pipe mufflers. He also encouraged them to celebrate the New Year’s Eve safely.

Muntinlupa residents are also encouraged to report violators to authorities. Locals may contact the following offices: MTMB (831-9884), PNP Muntinlupa (862-2611 / 09083770084), BFP Muntinlupa (842-2201), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (925-4351), and Ospital ng Muntinlupa (771-0457).


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Muntinlupa City Government issues public warning about firecrackers ban and the prohibition of open pipe mufflers

If you are caught using an open pipe muffler or if you light firecrackers within the City of Muntinlupa during the Christmas holidays, then you will be in trouble.

The City Government of Muntinlupa formally announced on December 23 the on-going ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, including open pipe mufflers and other modifications, during the Christmas and New Year celebration.

On that same day, the Muntinlupa Traffic Management and MMDA led an operation  at Alabang Viaduct to apprehend illegal vendors selling firecrackers and conduct an information drive on the prohibition of the said items.

The City Council passed Ordinance No. 14-092 prohibiting the display and distribution of firecrackers in the city as part of its efforts to reduce cases of casualties and harmful effects of pyrotechnic devices to health and the environment.

Apprehended individuals using firecrackers will be fined with P1,000 up to P5,000 penalty. Commercial establishments selling firecrackers may face revocation of permit and license to operate in pursuant to penalties provided in the ordinance.

Further, mall owners or similar establishments may organize fireworks displays in designated areas upon securing a permit from Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police.

Upon the implementation of the firecracker ban, the City Health Office recorded a significant decrease in casualties from 13 firecracker-related cases in 2016 to six cases in 2017 and two cases in 2018.

While alternative noise-making activities are encouraged, the Muntinlupa Traffic and Management Bureau warned motorists that the use of aftermarket mufflers, or removal of such, which emit excessive loud noise causing disturbances in the holiday season will be apprehended.

As per City Ordinance 04-022 or the Muntinlupa City Traffic Code, motorists shall equip their vehicles with a muffler to prevent unusual noise.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urges residents to use alternative noise-making instruments and not to patronize firecrackers and open-pipe mufflers. He encouraged Muntinlupa residents to celebrate the New Year’s Eve safely.

Muntinlupa residents are also encouraged to report violators to authorities. Locals may contact the following offices: MTMB (831-9884), PNP Muntinlupa (862-2611 / 09083770084), BFP Muntinlupa (842-2201), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (925-4351), and Ospital ng Muntinlupa (771-0457).