colonandrectalspecialists

CEBU, Philippines—Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) rescued 17 suspected human trafficking victims who were illegally recruited to work as household service workers (HSW) in the Middle East. Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the female passengers disguised as tourists were intercepted on Oct. 16 and 17 before they could board their flights to Hongkong and Macau en route to their final destinations in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

“It appears that these victims were recruited by a syndicate which separately booked them on several flights in order to mislead our immigration officers on the purpose of their trip. And that is to work abroad without documentation,” Medina said. He surmised that due to the Bureau of Immigration’s intensified campaign against trafficking, the syndicates are attempting to shift their operations to other exit ports. “They are, however, wrong in assuming that we are less vigilant in guarding our ports outside Manila,” Medina stressed, adding that Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente has already alerted Bureau of Immigration personnel manning the different reports to be extra vigilant following the incident at Mactan airport. Ma. Asuncion Palma-Gil, BI-MCIA’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) head, disclosed that the 17 passengers were offloaded from five different flights and that 13 of them were hired to work in Dubai while the other four were bound for Qatar. “They all admitted having UAE and Qatari visas in their possession and that they were recruited by individuals they only met via Facebook or through their people they know currently working in Dubai and Doha,” Palma-Gil said. She added that the passengers were not familiar with their travel itinerary and what they would do upon arriving in Hongkong and Macau as they would only rely on instructions to be given to them by their handlers. “This is a clear case of human trafficking wherein victims who are jobless and have no visible means of support are sent abroad and put in harm’s way to satisfy the cravings for profit of unscrupulous recruiters,” Palma-Gil added. The women were later turned over to the MCIA Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.

Read More

I’m privileged to write for the PCGOWA and PCGSFI to keep you abreast on what’s happening in the ladies’ circle. Though it may seem that our ladies are not seen as often at the Coast Guard headquarters as we used to, I’m glad we are still up and about and focused to fulfill our duties to serve, work behind the scene, and assist in some humanitarian activities of the Coast Guard.

Duly recognized by the PCG, the PCGOWA and the PCGSFI are both duly registered organizations under the Securities and Exchange Commission. These organizations are aimed at promoting the welfare of their beneficiaries. The PCGOWA embarks on the social responsibilities of its members being the ever supportive wives of PCG officers. The PCG ladies are always ready to render assistance as may be requested in any PCG ceremonial or humanitarian projects or activities. On the other hand, the PCGSFI manages a long-standing scholarship program that provides educational assistance to intellectually-gifted but economically challenged dependents of PCG enlisted personnel. The PCGOWA and PCGSFI generate funds through selected fund-raising projects in order to pursue their goals. Despite very modest resources, both organizations are able to cope up in providing and sustaining the duly established fund support for would-be scholars and likewise, be of valuable assistance to some PCG command activities as requested. And through this, we are able to develop and enhance fellowship among our ladies. In recent years, the PCGOWA and PCGSFI undertook several projects under the able leadership of previous lady advisers. We wish to continue to move forward in upholding the ideals and aspirations of the said organizations.

This year, the PCGOWA had the best of chances to participate in a series of events. In February 2009, in coordination with the PCG command, the PCGOWA ladies took charge of the planning and arrangement of the event for the two-part Valentine’s Party for the Enlisted Personnel and civilian employees held on February 11, 2009 at the PCG Function Room. The second part held the following day, February 12, with the PCG officers and their beloved wives celebrating Valentine’s Day “in style”. The incorporation of the renewal of vows into the program which was officiated by Fr. Edmund Desierto, with the assistance of Fr. Jude Besinga, made the occasion a very special and romantic one.

Last summer, the ladies held its first ever PCGOWA Summer Fellowship with several active and retired members of the organization in attendance. We’ve never imagined how overwhelmingly successful the occasion turned out to be which had left a mark in our hearts and in remembrance of all the fun we had during the affair. And what with the routine antics of Dr. Michelle and Cdr. Allen Dalangin as the emcees of the party, the perfect duo really turned the house down with laughter as they led parlor games for the ladies. Mrs Poblacion was very lucky to bring home the first prize. She almost fell from her seat when her name was announced as the winner. The event was also graced by the commandant, ADMIRAL Willie Tamayo, who has always shown his full support to the noble projects of the ladies. We hope that this kind of gathering among active and retired ladies will happen every year for all of us to be able to reunite with old friends and reminisce our happier days as coast guard ladies.

As requested by the command, the PCG ladies got involved during the National Maritime Week Celebration from September 21 to 27, 2009. We were able to join the motorcade with the PCG command entourage and other government agencies, private sectors and different maritime institutions. This week-long celebration was concluded by the event tagged as the “Children’s Maritime Treat” wherein we were requested to assist and escort some 100 orphans from different orphanages for a tour at the Manila Ocean Park for them to appreciate our country’s beautiful marine world. But due to the onset of Typhoon Ondoy, the activity at the said park was postponed to a later date, October 10, 2009, a week before PCG Anniversary Celebration. Instead, we proceeded to the HPCG Function Room for a party treat waiting for the orphans. Everybody enjoyed the puppet shows, balloon shaping and face painting but nothing could compare with the magic brought by Jollibee himself especially when he came out and cheered the orphans. The scene indeed brought out the child in me. We had our share of experience after being stranded at HPCG after the party treat due to the heavy weather. The situation bonded us more during our “overnight camping escapade” at the headquarters. And since we portray our role as wives of public servants, the PCGOWA likewise participated in donating relief goods, as well as acting as coordinator, together with the PCG Medical and Dental Group, in collecting various donations from some benevolent sponsors from among the Coast Guard members themselves and in distributing the relief goods to organic members of PCG who also became victims of Typhoon Ondoy. We likewise distributed relief goods at Coast Guard Base Taguig to residents of different barangays affected by the flash flood in Taguig area. The ladies were also requested to make the necessary coordination and arrangements during the blessing of the Coast Guard Computer Laboratory and Library at CG Base Taguig, the newly-renovated Coast Guard Operations/Action Center and Conference Room, and likewise, the Coast Guard Function Room at HPCG during the 108th PCG Anniversary Celebration on October 16, 2009.

The PCGSFI, on the other hand, is able to sustain its objectives by recruiting new candidates for scholarship for a 4-year college course to fill up the 3 slots vacated by previous scholars of the foundation. A total of 28 aspirants from the different regions nationwide went through the rigid preliminary screening to determine who among them will qualify for the final selection process. The 3 candidates who topped the screening were named new scholars of the PCGSFI while 4 more ranking candidates were adopted by our benevolent benefactors, for a total of eight(8) scholars. Other candidates who didn’t make it were given incentives to cover their travel expenses thru the kindness of no less than the Commandant himself.

Read more

MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Immigration agents announced the arrest of a Korean national wanted by authorities in Seoul for swindling two compatriots of more than 100 million won. Bureau of Immigration intelligence officer Bobby Raquepo, chief of the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU), identified the captured Korean as 49-year-old Kim Sang Wook, who was arrested on Tuesday in Malvar Street, Malate, Manila.

The FSU operatives were armed with a mission order from Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente who issued the same at the request of the Korean embassy in Manila. Raquepo said that a Korean court had issued an arrest warrant against Kim who is also the subject of a red notice from Interpol. He further disclosed that Kim was a teacher wanted for swindling his victims of 100 million won. Kim was reportedly found defrauding his victims six times by deceiving and promising his victims’ sons that they could be employed as teachers. Investigations revealed that Kim fled to Manila on February 2015 under a tourist visa and has not left the country since then. According to Raquepo, Kim will be deported, considering he is an undesirable alien for being a fugitive from justice. Morente then warned foreign fraudsters and fugitives staying in the country, “We are serious in our drive against undesirable aliens. We will hunt each one down, deport them, and bar them from re-entering the country,” he said. Kim is temporarily detained at the Bureau of Immigration Warden Facility (BIWF) pending deportation proceedings. Meanwhile, Morente lauded the improvements made at the BIWF. BIWF Chief Remiecar Caguiron detailed that the BIWF has undergone a total revamp under her administration. "Apart from improving the quality of our personnel through seminars on jail management and human rights, we have made numerous improvements in the facilities of the detention center," said Caguiron. "We renovated a lot of areas that were already old and dilapidated, and used the open spaces to create a multi-purpose hall," she shared. Caguiron clarified that the BIWF "is not a jail, but a detention center" where erring foreigners are temporarily held pending their deportation. The new facilities were made following calls to improve the conditions of the detention center. "The BIWF has a capacity of less than 200, hence it is quite a challenge especially since our intel has been conducting numerous arrests. The management actually is looking at the possibility of setting up another bigger detention center somewhere north of Luzon. This is part of our long term plans," she shared.

Read more

Moving forward with our UPHSD BSNAME Program. Be a ship designer, shipbuilder, marine surveyor, technical superintendent, shipyard manager, shipyard owner, and/or a potential Navy/ Coast Guard officer. Join us!     

An improvised explosive device was found on 26 July 2009 inside a sack aboard MV Blue Water Princess II, a RoRo vessel bound to Masbate city. Acting upon an Intel report, personnel of coast guard station Lucena together with a CGK9 team boarded the target ship. The CGK9 team searched the ship and with CGK9 robins help successfully detected and recovered several gin bottles of ammonium nitrate or “bigas - bigas” with blasting caps.

After being diffused by members of the EOD battalion of the Philippine army assigned at the AFP southern Luzon command said items were brought to the coast guard station for investigation and proper disposition.

Although no one was arrested the unlawful elements did realized that the coast guards is doing its job and that our CGWD are “for real” for as long as there is threat in our peace and order,CGK9 will never cease to serve and protect.

Read more

According to Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina. —An Iranian fugitive wanted for an assault and battery case was intercepted by immigration officers upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday morning. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division (POD) Chief Grifton Medina said 31-year-old Zare Bahari Bahareh was immediately excluded hours after she arrived at the NAIA terminal 3 aboard a Cebu Pacific flight from Dubai.

Medina said Zare Bahari, who was a respondent to an assault and battery case in Dagupan, was intercepted by Bureau of Immigration men upon seeing that her name has a hit in their derogatory database. According to Bureau of Immigration NAIA Terminal 3 Head Bradford Allen So, Zare Bahari was excluded as she is the subject of a red notice from Interpol. So likewise disclosed that during the implementation of Zare Bahari’s exclusion, another Iranian national they later identified as Minbashi Moeini Morteza had then approached the Immigration arrival area. "Morteza was unruly. He was able to enter restricted areas at the airport, collect the luggage of Bahari, and sneak into the immigration arrival area to personally fetch his compatriot, surprisingly without an airport pass," So said. He added that Morteza's presence in the arrival area was a brazen case of security breach that they had to immediately report to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). "Morteza and Zare Bahari were already causing a scene, and had to be forced apart by airport authorities, as Zare Bahari was screaming ‘Jesus kill you all Filipinos!’” So further shared. Morteza was reportedly then taken into custody by airport security personnel. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente then expressed his dismay towards the incident. “Foreign nationals should respect our laws when they are in our country. Improper behavior and derogatory remarks gave the officer further reason to deny Zare Bahari’s entry,” he stated. He likewise requested airport authorities to conduct an investigation on the illegal entry of Morteza in the airport premises. “This is a clear security breach, and should not be taken lightly. We are deeply concerned as to how this person was able to enter the airport without inspection,” he added.

Read more

Coast Guard District Northern Luzon rolled up its sleeves to rise up the challenge of teaching civilians about safe water rescue, the work it knows best. The 4-day training title water search and rescue (WaSAR) was sponsored by the LGU of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur and was participated in by twenty (20) rescue students from 29 July 01 august 2009.

There were four (4) basic modules which are basic swimming strokes. Life saving techniques, rubber boat operators and basic life support. Presentation materials and verbal instructions were mainly in Filipino or Ilocano which was truly appreciated by the students because it facilitated easy understanding on their part. The effort of the CDGNLZ training staff truly paid of as proven  the post training assessment by the LGUs and students that the training was conducted in a manner that is “non militarized ”and quite cheerful which contrary to their initial expectation, made learning all the more enjoyable and effective.

This is the third WaSAR training held within region1 over the years which has fortified the presence of coast guard trained water securers in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and now in Ilocos sur. The ideals for CDGNLZ to have “stand-by partners” at the level of the community during disaster emergency that can provide a swift response during the “golden hour” when casualties may still be rescued alive. Since it imparts capabilities to save lives it impowers local rescuers and coordination of response be easily established even prior to the arrival of responding SOG personnel in the area.

Read more

PASAY, Philippines— Bureau of Immigration Chief Grifton Medina."Our immigration officers found numerous inconsistencies in their statements. They all eventually admitted having United Arab Emirates (UAE) visas in their possession and that their final destination is Dubai where they were recruited to work as household service workers.". Four undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hired to work as household service workers (HSW) in Dubai were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for attempting to leave for Bangkok in the guise of being tourists, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

“We are in the midst of an intensified campaign against human trafficking, thus we are warning aspiring OFWs to comply with the rules and requirements for overseas workers,” said Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente in a statement. “We are likewise warning recruiters and other cohorts not to attempt to assist or vouch for illegal workers, as you will face human trafficking cases which could lead to life imprisonment,” he added. The Bureau of Immigration chief issued the statement after immigration officers intercepted four women at the NAIA Terminal 3 who pretended they were going to Thailand as vacationing tourists. Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina reported that the women were about to board a flight to Bangkok last Oct. 9 when they were intercepted by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU). “They pretended that they all knew each other as they were co-workers and friends,” said Medina. He added that a woman who allegedly recruited the workers and was supposed to vouch for them and accompany them in their trip was also barred from leaving. They were all turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of appropriate charges, Medina said. Bureau of Immigration TCEU chief Timotea Barizo said the women initially claimed to be employed at the travel agency owned by their recruiter, who also arranged their trip to Bangkok. “During immigration inspection, the recruiter would act as the spokesperson for the entire group. She kept on answering for everyone, and has everyone’s documentation. This caused our officers to further doubt their story, hence they verified and eventually discovered the deceit,” said Barizo. “We are noticing here a pattern where trafficking victims are being made to appear as employees of their recruiters. But such scheme will not work anymore, luma na yan, we knew of this trick a long time ago,” Barizo said. The names of the passengers were not divulged to a prohibition in the anti-trafficking law.

Read More

Last August 2008, I led the delegation of Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary which attended the US Coast Guard Auxialiary’s annual National Convention in my new capacity as PCGA National Director. It was there, during the International Round Table discussion, that the US Coast Guard Auxiliary presented the task of forming an alliance of Search and Rescue Organizations in the Asia Pacific Region. COMMO Ray Campbell, National Commodore of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) and I, accepted the challenge and committed that we would try to form the alliance before the next USCGA National Convention in August 2009.

Seven suspected victims of human traffickings were rescued by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after they were intercepted for possessing spurious travel documents. “These fraud syndicates continue to ignore our warnings. There will be no letup in our campaign against human trafficking and their victims will not be allowed to leave if they are caught,” said Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente. Morente issued the statement after the seven passengers were stopped from leaving the country last week in three separate instances at Terminals 3 and 1 of the NAIA.

The latest interception involved five passengers who pretended to be tourists in attempting to leave for Malaysia last Oct. 5 at NAIA 3. “They admitted paying their recruiters fees ranging from P125,000 to P175,000 each in exchange for processing their jobs and travel papers to Australia, which was their final destination,” said Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina. The passengers were reportedly accompanied by a woman who was also stopped due to a pending court cases of estafa and illegal recruitment. ‘They also presented fraudulently manufactured employee IDs which were given to them by their handlers to make it appear that they are gainfully employed here and are thus legitimate tourists,” Medina added. Earlier, the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) reported that a Malaysia-bound woman was intercepted also at NAIA 3 last Sept. 24 for having a spurious United Kingdom visa and tampered pages on her passport. “We also discovered that she was already previously barred from leaving the country on suspicion of being a tourist worker,” Bureau of Immigration-TCEU chief Timotea Barizo said. On Oct. 2, TCEU members also stopped from leaving an underage overseas Filipino worker who misrepresented her age by falsifying her date of birth. All seven passengers were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.

Read more