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Pacquiao will fight in May, not April 12 - page 12
See page 12 for full details.
2013 Miss International does charity work -page 13
P6-B rice smuggling Exec corners trade payoff bared withtwobribes in last years VOL. 2 ISSUE 9
DOJ probe on JPE to cover CEZA firms
MANILA - The investigation on the accusations of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago against Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile would cover several private companies operating inside the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday. De Lima issued a two-page order directing the special task force chaired by Undersecretary Jose Justiniano to look into operations of First Cagayan License and Resort Corp., Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. and San Jose Lumber (SJL). First Cagayan and Meridien were allegedly involved in illegal gambling, according to De Lima. First Cagayan has been operating under a “master license” issued by the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) allowing foreign firms to operate online gambling in the economic zone for seven years, it was alleged. Meridien was also issued a license by the CSEZFP “authorizing it to conduct gaming operations, including jai-alai, in the Cagayan Freeport and to set up betting stations in connection thereto,” the justice department bared. Meridien – reportedly owned by Charlie “Atong” Ang – came into play in 2011 after it was accused of being a front for illegal gambling operations. As for SJL, De Lima said the firm has allegedly been involved in illegal logging operations under a license that expired in 2007. “The special task force is mandated to evaluate the evidence gathered and (Cont. on Page 15)
A TV grab from CBS TV KLAS shows an official of Yellow Checker and Star Taxi Group of Companies (right) shaking the hand of Gerardo Gamboa after giving him a $1,000 reward for his honesty.
FilAm driver returns $300K left in his cab
AS VEGAS – A Filipino-American taxi driver found a paper bag full of cash here last Monday but promptly turned it over to his employer to prove that “Las Vegas may be a Sin City but is actually an Angel City.” Gerardo Gamboa, 54, a native of Mabalacat, Pampanga and current Nevada resident, handed the $300,000 (P12.6 million) to the Yellow Checker Star cab company, according to the Fil-Am Extra Exchange. Gamboa was given a $5 tip by the passenger he picked up at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, but who had unknowingly left behind in the taxi a paper bag full of money. He dropped his passenger off at Palm Place Hotel after a fiveminute drive, a distance of two miles, the paper said. When he went to another taxi stand at Bellagio Hotel,
its doorman, who hailed Gamboa’s taxi, told him, “There is a bag in (your taxi) full of chocolate.” When the bag was opened, it turned out to contain bundles of $100 bills totaling $300,000. An apologetic Gamboa reportedly told the new passenger, “You are my witness. I did not touch anything here.” When Gamboa informed his employer of the find, he was told to immediately return to headquarters by on-duty supervisor Terry Mast of Y.C.S. Yellow, Checker and Star Taxi Group of Companies. The money was counted and audited in front of taxi company officials and later locked in its lost-and-found safety vault. Hours later, the owner of the cash arrived to claim the money and profusely thanked (Cont. on Page 15)
Goliath in rice smuggling has cornered the trade in this grain by plying Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials and rank-and-file employees with cash gifts that have amounted to P6 billion over the last two years. A former BOC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said one of the main challenges facing the new management at the bureau was whether it would dismantle the network built by a certain “David Tan” who was designated as point man when rice-smuggling transactions were centralized two years ago. “David Tan operates behind various brokerage firms. If you want to bring in rice without paying the right taxes, you have to go through him because the BOC officials deal only with him. The BOC officials do not entertain any other rice smuggler except Tan,” said the source, who described the rice smuggler as “young and with deep connections in rice exporting countries in Asia, especially Vietnam.” “They called these special operations or palusot because the rice shipments had no documents or import permit. After David Tan informs his connections where his shipments are arriving, the smuggling network goes into motion, from those who sign the papers to those who open the exit gates in the ports,” the former official
DEC 26, 2013- JAN 1, 2014
said. It was not clear whether “David Tan” was the same as “Mr. T” who, according to a new BOC official who talked to the Inquirer last week, was one of three big traders whose underthe-table deals with corrupt examiners, appraisers and other frontline personnel at the bureau were the cause of the agency’s failure to meet its revenue collection goals. The new bureau official referred to the other two big traders as “Big Mama” and “Ma’am T.” Old-timers in the BOC told the Inquirer on Monday that there was no reason to go after “Big Mama,” “Ma’am T” and “Mr. T” because the papers of the three traders “appeared to be in order.” The case is presumably the same with “David Tan.” The former BOC official said the scheme involved at least two top bureau officials (who get P10,000 to P20,000 each per container), at least one major port official (P5,000 to P10,000 per container) and more than a dozen desk employees whose signatures (P1,000 per container) were needed in the release papers of the smuggled rice. He estimated that Tan brought in an average of 1,000 TEU or 6-meter equivalent unit containers a week (a container can load 510 cavans of rice) or a weekly take of P37 million to P62 million. (Cont. on Page 15)
USD to PHP Rate $1.00 = P44.47 as of Dec. 26, 2013
PAGE 2 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post
PAGE 3 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post
OPEN LETTER to President Obama and all Concerned citizens Request to Designate Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines
This is an open letter from the Filipino Immigrants Community that desires to have protection from removal or deportation from the United States and at the same time be granted work authorization as a result of hardship caused by typhoon Haiyan (YOLANDA).
ignation considering the great damage suffered by the country from Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda, which came a few weeks of each other. It would impose a great burden on the rescue and restoration effort in the Philippines to require the country to reabsorb its nationals from abroad, many of whom may have homes that were destroyed by On November 8, 2013, super-typhoon Haiyan the Typhoon. TPS exists to provide a safe haven (Yolanda) devastated the Central Philippines, dis- for those who are reluctant to return to potentialplaced some 3.9 million people and killed more ly dangerous situations, and to assist nations that than 6,000 in the Philippines. The calamity is con- are under extraordinary and temporary conditions sidered the deadliest Asian disaster since the 2011 and facing difficulties in receiving their nationals safely. earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A request from the Philippine government has A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos here in the been made to the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the appropriate agencies such United States to work and support their families in as the Department of State, which will then decide the Philippines who were impacted by the typhoon. whether to grant the request. The current TPS des- Remittances account for more than 10 percent of ignated countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Hon- the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product. Now, duras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan more than ever, those funds are needed to help support the recovery process. and Syria. We believe the Philippines qualifies for TPS des-
Secretary of State John Kerry announced an ad-
BUSINESS Major steps to rebuild your credit immediately after bankruptcy ankruptcy is a solution to financial prob• Maintain the job – It is very important to By: Atty. Crispin C. Lozano lems and a way to start anew with what we keep your job. If you don’t have one, try to have dreamt in life. After you are discharged get it as early as possible. The employment from bankruptcy, you feel you are relieved of heavy burden you carried for along with your residence history shows your creditors that you are reliable so many years. You have passed the process and you have put the bank- person whom they can trust and give loans. ruptcy myths in the bottle. • Pay bills on time – Again a very critical point. This becomes the building block of rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. Whatever utility or credit uestion: Will I be qualified again for credit after filing bankruptcy? cards bills you may have, pay them off in time. Delay or missing payments nswer: YES! Filing for bankruptcy does not mean that you will on these can be problematic. never be qualified for credit again, whether for a home, a car or • Start using cash instead of card – This encourage self discipline while consumer items. Many people are concerned that bankruptcy will cause shopping. Usually, we misuse our credit cards and buy things even if you damage to their credit permanently. This is a myth. Although bankruptcy don’t want to since we can take them on debt using our cards. If you use will remain in your credit report for 10 years, you will be able to rebuild cash, you will tend to buy only necessary items thus increasing your savings. your credit in a matter of one to three years from the day your debts are • Keep track of your credit report – As per law, you can get one free credit discharged in bankruptcy. history report from all three credit bureaus. Keep a track of your credit. If you find any discrepancy, bring it to the bureaus as early as possible. uestion: Will I get approved for credit cards after bankruptcy? • Rearrange your finances – You should have a fixed monthly budget and nswer: YES! Bankruptcy is not the end of credit. In fact, many realign it as per your new financial status. Keep focus on savings and reduce people who file for bankruptcy enjoy new opportunities for credit spending wherever you can. Try to take credit after about 1 to 2 years which shortly after the bankruptcy is concluded. Many of people who received will help you rebuild your credit after bankruptcy. discharged with either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot believe Bankruptcy Basics that they receive credit card solicitations only months after completing the 1. Bankruptcy will actually improve your credit within one year because bankruptcy process. your unsecured debts are discharged. Although the bankruptcy will be in your records for 10 years, not filing bankruptcy will make your credit even uestion: What are my major steps after my bankruptcy discharge? worse until most of your debts are paid in full. 2. If you are being sued by your creditors, most money judgment can be nswer: Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy is something people do im- eliminated in bankruptcy. mediately after discharge. Once you are discharged in bankruptcy, fo- 3. Collection actions continue and you can be sued if you are in debt settlecus on the things you can do to actively improve your credit score. These ment. include: 4. Chapter 7 will eliminate all unsecured debts. If you are near retirement •Get a secured credit card – This should be your first step. A secured credit age, you must eliminate most of your debts. card should be easy to get from a bank since it is secured for the bank. You 5. Bankruptcy will stop foreclosure actions. If your trustee sale date is 10 need to deposit some money with the bank which becomes your credit limit. days before, you can still file for bankruptcy. Good thing about this credit card is that this will help you rebuild your credit Note: This is not a legal advice. Our Law Firm has successfully helped clients in filhistory fast. Just make sure that an application fee is zero and the bank will ing for bankruptcy for the last 14 years . Crispin Caday Lozano is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and send your credit history to the credit bureaus.
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2014 Tax Season to Open Jan. 31; e-file and Free File Can Speed Refunds
A S H INGTON — The Internal Revenue Service by: Alvin C. Maglan, CPA today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to receive refunds. The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16day federal government closure. “Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late Janu-
ary opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.” The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original opening date from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014. The 2014 date is one day later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on Jan. 30, 2013 following January tax law changes made by Congress on Jan. 1 under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The extensive set of ATRA tax changes affected many 2012 tax returns, which led to the late January opening. The IRS noted that several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. New year-end tax planning information has been added to IRS. gov this week. In addition, many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns
in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. More details will be available in January. The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file or Free File with the direct deposit option. The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place. However, the IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. The request is easily done with Form 4868, which can be filed electronically or on paper. IRS systems, applications and databases must be updated annually to reflect tax law updates, business process changes and programming updates in time for the start of the filing season. Al Maglan is a CPA licensed in California and Nevada. You can contact him @ 510 432 7438. You may e-mail tax questions at amaglan@ aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ditional $24.6 million in humanitarian aid designed to help provide clean water, sanitation supplies and temporary shelter. That pledge comes on top of the $62 million the United States has provided in the most extensive cooperation between Washington and Manila. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations stands firmly with the Philippines in its efforts to deal with the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda and the reconstruction efforts. He said that the United Nations and partners have launched a one-year Strategic Response Plan for $791 million. He also called on all donor countries to add to their already generous support to the Philippines when he met with key ambassadors stationed in the Philippines. These show how extensive and overwhelming the devastation caused by the typhoon was. Based on the foregoing, we respectfully request the designation of Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines. The Filipino Immigrant Community
PAGE 4 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post
Temporary Protected Status for Filipinos should be granted nder INA section 244, The By: Atty. Crispin Lozano Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, (DHS) may designate a coun- Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan try, or portions of a country, and Syria. for TPS when conditions exIt would impose a great burist such as an ongoing armed den on the rescue and restoraconflict or an environmental tion effort in the Philippines disaster in the country that to require the country to reabsorb temporarily prevents the coun- its nationals from abroad, many of try’s nationals from return- whom may have homes that were ing safely. Once a country destroyed by the Typhoon. TPS exreceives a TPS designation, ists to provide a safe haven for those nationals of that country re- who are reluctant to return to potensiding in the U.S. receive a tially dangerous situations, and to temporary, humanitarian form assist nations who are under extraorof relief from deportation that dinary and temporary conditions and does not include the granting face difficulties in receiving their of permanent residence. The nationals safely. initial TPS designation lasts The Philippines may qualify for for a period of 6 to 18 months TPS designation considering the and can be extended if condi- great damaged suffered by the tions continue to support the country from Bohol earthdesignation. quake and Typhoon Yolanda. A person who receives TPS It would impose a great buror is found to be preliminarily den on the rescue and reseligible for TPS is not remov- toration effort in the Philipable from the U.S., can obtain pines to require the country work authorization, and may to reabsorb its nationals from be granted travel authoriza- abroad, many of whom may tion. Once granted TPS, an in- have homes that were dedividual cannot be detained by stroyed by the Typhoon. TPS DHS on the basis of his or her exists to provide a safe haven immigration status in the U.S., for those who are reluctant to unless the individual becomes return to potentially dangerous ineligible or the country loses situations, and to assist nations its designation. who are under extraordinary The current TPS designated and temporary conditions and countries include El Salvador, face difficulties in receiving
Resiliency and hope
t should not surprise us anymore that despite the difficulties and corruption scandals of the past year, the Filipinos would remain as optimistic as ever of the coming year. Year after year, THE NUCLEUS OF hope springs eternal THE MATTER for Filipinos as shown By by surveys in the last Val Abelgas few years. The surveys last year by both Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station showed that 95% or more than nine of ten Filipinos faced the coming year with hope. In 2009 and 2010, 89% of Filipinos showed the same optimism about the coming year, which was slightly lower than in the three previous years -- 91% in 2006 and 2007, and 92% in 2008. Hope surveys had customarily been at high levels, starting at 87% when the SWS first polled about hope in December 2000, and 88% in December 2001. In December 2002, New Year hope reached a record high of 95 percent before declining to 90 percent in December 2003. It slumped to 81 percent at the end of December 2004, but rebounded to 85 percent in 2005 and to 91 percent in 2006. Except for that period following the Garci cheating
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scandal in 2004 when street protests nearly toppled Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from Malacanang, Filipinos have been traditionally hopeful of the coming year. It may be worthwhile to note that in Germany, where the first survey about fear and hope was made in 1991, hope among Germans never topped 58% in any year from 1991 to the present. It is ironic that the Philippines, one of the poorest countries in the world, has a much higher hope rating than Germany, which is the world’s fifth largest economy, next only to the United States, China, Japan and India. Analysts cite the resiliency and the traditionally happy disposition of Filipinos as the reason for their eternal optimism in the face of poverty, disasters, calamities, corruption and inefficiency of government, and the prolonged separation of families because of the export of labor. This was clearly shown during the typhoon Yolanda disaster in Central Visayas and was recognized by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, US State Secretary John Kerry, UN chief Kim Ban-moon and many others who witnessed how the Filipinos “dusted off the dirt” and went on with their lives in the midst of extreme deprivation, devastation and death. That Filipinos remain hopeful despite all these negative factors is indeed a testament to the resiliency of Filipinos, which was first noted by the late President Manuel L. Quezon who described Filipinos as “pliant like a bamboo,” in reference to the bamboo tree, which bends with the wind and survives the storm. This inherent characteristic of the Filipino enables him to survive disasters and calamities that confront him, enabling him to adjust to life’s difficulties and move on. But whether such eternal optimism and resiliency is good for the country or not is another thing. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, for example, commented in an editorial in 2005 that “it may well be that Filipino optimism is actually what is holding the country back, rather than pushing it forward.” In conclusion, the Inquirer said: “In other words, we may be incurable optimists because we expect too little of the future, or from ourselves. We let alleged crimes slide because we do not demand an accounting; we are happy to continue eating two square meals a day and call that progress. Enough already. If this is optimism, let’s all get real.” And that precisely is the problem with the Filipinos’ eternal optimism. Because we have set the bar too low, we tend to be satisfied with what we have even though it is clearly not enough, and in this situation, it is not difficult to be hopeful. And because of our ever-hopeful spirit, we tend to ignore the problems of the past and move on, only to encounter the same problems in the coming year. The problem with these hope surveys is that they are usually conducted in the first week of December, when a festive atmosphere prevails over the Philippines because of the coming Christmas season. At this time of the year, Filipinos put their problems under the rug and put a happy face for the most festive of all Filipino celebrations. And besides, many of them enjoy a moment of satisfaction at this time of the year, having just received or about to receive 13th month pay, bonuses and other perks.
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The good, the bad, and Yolanda
uper typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was the worst typhoon in recorded history, weather experts say. Indeed, the PERRY SCOPE loss of life By and property Perry Diaz was staggering. With 6,092 deaths, 27,665 injured, and 1,779 missing, it would take a massive effort to rebuild the lives of the survivors of the biggest storm of all time. The immediate task is to provide food, shelter, and security to more than 3.4 families or 16.1 million people who were affected by the super typhoon, with 4.1 million people displaced in 588 municipalities and 57 cities. And with more than half a million homes destroyed and another 600,000 homes damaged, it would take a generation to rehabilitate and reconstruct the devastation caused by Yolanda. The good guys It didn’t take too long for the international community to respond to the calamity. Led by the United States, many countries donated funds and tons of food and other necessities to the survivors. The U.S. Navy sent the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group to Leyte and Samar to deliver food, water, medicine, and other supplies. Australia sent airplanes to help in the evacuation efforts. And the United Kingdom deployed the destroyer HMS Daring and aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious to help in the international relief operations. Even China, after staying on the sideline for over a week, sent
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their nationals safely. A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos here in the U.S. to work and support their families in the Philippines who were impacted by the Typhoon. Remittances account for almost 10 percent of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product. Now, more than ever, those funds are needed to help support the recovery process. Secretary of State John Kerry announced an additional $24.6 million in humanitarian aid designed to help provide clean water, sanitation supplies and temporary shelter. That pledge comes on top of the $62 million the United States has provided in the most extensive cooperation between Washington and Manila. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations stands firmly with the Philippines in its efforts to deal with the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda and the reconstruction endeavors. He said that the United Nations and partners had launched a one-year Strategic Response Plan for $791 million. He also called on all donor countries to add to their already generous support to the Philippines when he met with key ambassadors stationed in the Philippines.
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a hospital ship. But it was the spontaneous efforts of various non-government groups that made the difference. One group that stood out among the others is the Vietnam War refugees who fled Vietnam in 1975 when the Viet Cong overran the country. Nowhere to go, thousands of Vietnamese crammed into boats and left, unsure where to find safety. They found a safe haven across the vast South China Sea in the Philippines where the Philippine government put them up in rehabilitation centers in Bataan and Palawan. After several years of rehabilitation in the Philippines, the “boat people” -- as the Vietnamese refugees came to be known – found a permanent host country, the United States, where they resettled permanently. Thirty-eight years later, the Vietnamese had a rare opportunity to repay a debt of gratitude to the Filipino people. Representatives of the Ben Em Dang Co Ta Foundation, the Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN), and the Vietnamese Refugees for Philippines (VR4P) went to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC and donated more than $440,000 to relief efforts for the victims of super typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda. Other groups helped, too. A group of South Koreans in Sacramento, California held a fundraising event that generated more than $5,000 for the “Yolanda” victims. In Davis, California, former Davis mayor Ruth Asmundson, a Filipino-American, partnered with the local Rotary Club and raised more than $37,000 in one event – a luncheon. In Roseville, California, the Thunder Valley Indian Casino donated $60,000 to “Yolanda” relief efforts. In Sacramento, a group spearheaded by Eskwela Natin, the first Filipino-American cultural school in Northern California, is holding a fundraiser on December 29, 2013, featuring the world-renowned University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC). The group is hoping to raise $10,000 for the “Yolanda” victims. And then came the bad guys. Indeed, Yolanda had brought out the best in people, the good guys. But sad to say, she also brought out the worst among us, the bad guys. They might get away with their evil deeds but they can’t escape the Law of Karma. As someone once said, “Nothing escapes the Law of Karma. You get from the world what you give to the world.” And as for Yolanda, well, she’d come back again under another name to test the resilience of man. And each time, too, the bad guys would rear their ugly heads. But at the end of the day, the good would prevail over evil. (PerryDiaz@gmail.com)
The San Francisco Post
China hits Japan’s defense spending BEIJING—China has denounced Japan’s plans to boost military purchases, accusing it of playing up regional tensions as an “excuse” to ramp up defence spending. The cabinet of hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Tuesday to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019—a five percent boost to the military budget over five years. Japan plans to purchase stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of its efforts to boost military hardware that will beef up defence of far-flung islands amid a simmering territorial row with China. China is “firmly opposed” to Japan’s spending plans, defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said in a statement released late Friday.
He accused Tokyo of playing up the perceived military threat from China as an “excuse” to expand its military. Japan’s actions “must cause great concern to neighbouring countries in Asia and the international community”, Geng said. Tensions between Beijing and Tokyo have flared over the last year as the two have engaged in a bitter war of words over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. China has sent ships and aircraft into the area on scores of occasions, prompting counter deployments by Japan. Tensions were ratcheted up last month when China abruptly declared a new Air Defence Identification Zone over the East China Sea, includ-
ing over disputed Tokyo-controlled islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The simmering tensions have hammered diplomatic ties. Abe has not held direct talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping since sweeping elections late last year. China has been boosting its defence budget for decades, and last year was the world’s second biggest military spender with an outlay of $166 billion, according to Sweden-based think-tank the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). United States spent $682 billion on its military in 2012, while Japan spent $59 billion, SIPRI said.
Saudi is no. 1 enemy — Syria DAMASCUS—Syria now views Saudi Arabia as its number one enemy and accuses it of trying to destroy the country by arming jihadists and other rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The oil-rich Gulf monarchies have sided with the opposition from the start of Syria’s conflict in March 2011, with Riyadh leading calls for the fall of Assad. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad told AFP this week that Saudi Arabia was providing unfettered support for “terrorist groups” in Syria, while other nations had reviewed their positions. “I think that all those who supported these terrorist groups have the feeling now that they have made big mistakes,” Muqdad said in an interview on Thursday, referring to the rebels seeking to topple Assad. “The only party who is declaring the full support to the terrorist groups, to Al-Qaeda, is Saudi Arabia,” he said. Muqdad urged the world to press Saudi Arabia to halt its support for the rebels, to prevent what he said was “another 11 September inci-
dent”. “I think that if the world wants to avoid another 11 September incident, they must start telling Saudi Arabia ‘enough is enough’,” he said, refer-
ring to Al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on the US. Earlier this month, Assad’s government urged the United Nations to take a stand against Saudi support for Islamist groups whose influence has grown on the battlefield. “We call on the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures
to put an end to the unprecedented actions of the Saudi regime, which is supporting takfiri (Sunni extremist) terrorism tied to Al-Qaeda,” the foreign ministry said in a message to UN chief Ban Ki-moon. It was the first time the Syrian government has appealed to the international body to take action against Riyadh. “Saudi Arabia is not content to merely send weapons and to finance but also mobilises extremist terrorists and sends them to kill the Syrian people,” the Syrian message said. Saudi-Syrian relations had been tense for years, long before the start of the brutal conflict that has now killed an estimated 126,000 people. The Sunni-ruled kingdom severed diplomatic relations with Damascus following the February 2005 assassination in Beirut of Lebanese expremier Rafiq Hariri who had close ties with Riyadh.
PAGE 5 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
Kerry warns China over 2nd ADIZ plan UNITED States Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday warned China over its plan to declare an air defense identification zone over highly-contested territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). “Today [Tuesday], we raise our deep concern to China announcement on air defense identification zone,” Kerry told reporters in a joint press conference late Tuesday at the DFA main office in Pasay City. “I told the foreign secretary [Albert del Rosario] that the US does not recognize that zone and does not accept it. The zone should not be implemented and China should refrain from [taking] any unilateral actions elsewhere in the region, particularly in the South China Sea,” he added. Kerry said Washington will provide the Philippines $40 million to improve its maritime security in the face of a long-standing territorial dispute with China over the resource-rich West Philippine Sea. “The US is committed to working with the Philippines to address its most security challenges,” Kerry said. “We have committed $40 million to improve the Philippines’ maritime security and maritime domain awareness.” He said the aid will come from the US Global Security Contingency Fund and will be given over a three-year period. “The US strongly opposes the use of intimidation, coercion and aggression to advance territorial claims. The US is firmly committed to the security of the Philippines and the region,” Kerry said. Kerry, however, said the
warning was not aimed at raising tension within the region. “We do not want to raise tension. What we want to continue is the process of Obama on the rebalance to Asia and what we are involved in is maritime protection capacity,” he added. “We don’t want anything except a rule of law approach to the resolution of any issues. Earlier, upon his arrival, Kerry met with US Embassy officials and representative of the Foreign Affairs Department led by Ambassador Jose Cuisia before he boarded an SUV on his way to the US cemetery at the Fort in Makati. After the wreath laying ceremony at the US cemetery, he proceeded to Malacanang to meet President Benigno S. Aquino III and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. He will fly to Tacloban today to wind up his two-day visit. In Malacanang, Kerry said bilateral relations between Manila and Washington have reached a new high as both countries stood shoulder to shoulder in giving aid to the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda. “We have found a new meaning in our relationship as we saw the United States join hands with you in order to respond to the needs of so many people. We have rekindled our ties, and we have reaffirmed America’s commitment to help rebuild and continue to stand with the Philippines,” Kerry said in his toast during the dinner hosted by Aquino. The US official recalled how he first came to the Philippines as an election monitor during the regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
SEASON OF LOVE
his is the season of love. Year in year out people all over the world, be it Christian and non- Christian alike celebrate the month of December as a season of giving. At this point in time shopping malls are being swarmed by mankind trying to buy something for their loved ones or for anyone they feel deserve a LET’S HAVE COFFEE small token of gift as a reward for being By loyal, for being a friend, for hardwork Don Augusto Orozco and just for anything else. This is indeed a Season Of Love. ….. Let us start my column on the pronouncement of Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer for the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo on Former President now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada thus, “ President Erap is truly a man with a big heart and of tender Christian mer-
cies. The comfort which he gives during this season will go far in allaying the slings and arrows of outrageous persecution being perpetrated by the Aquino regime” Indeed such a touching gesture. This is indeed a Season Of Love. ….. Well, who will ever though that such gesture, a visit to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City; will come from the camp of former President Erap Estrada. As we all remember, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is the reason behind his downfall during that infamous EDSA 2. Attorney Topacio even added a biblical term saying “ What you sow, so shall ye reap”. For this is indeed a Season Of Love. ….. Another reason why we say this is a season love is the gesture and act of kindness from the man himself or maybe I should say from the kid himself the Believer “ Justin Bieber”. Again who would have thought Bieber will go out of his way and visit Tacloban, devastated by typhoon Haiyan and donate not only time, but donate money, raise funds for the typhoon victims, play some hoops and render a mini concert for the local residents of Leyte. Thank you
Justine Bieber. This is indeed a Season Of Love. ….. What is also astonishing is the gesture of several religious organizations particularly that of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. The Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko was launched by Brother Eduardo V Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, in Tondo, Manila, Philippines this year. It is a two fold mission, firstly is to propagate the faith and share the message of salvation to all humanity, especially to their countrymen. Secondly, is through their Felix Y Manalo Foundation of which thousands were given aid, such as food, clothing, and medical and dental services and is now held regularly in different parts of the world. This is indeed a Season Of Love. ….. 2013. The year that was. Thanks for all the memories. Let us altogether welcome the new year. Let us all welcome 2014 and continue the message of love of country, love of fellowmen and above all Love Of God.( For comments please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
PAGE 6 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post
Gays rush to altar in Utah after judge reverses ban SALT LAKE CITY — Elisa Noel rushed to the county clerk’s office with her partner immediately after learning that a federal judge had overturned Utah’s ban on gay marriage. They waited in line for a wedding license and were married in an impromptu ceremony punctuated with Noel giving the officiant a highfive. “I can’t believe this is Utah,” Noel said moments after a ceremony that took place about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church. Others had a similar reaction after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby that declared Utah’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The recent appointee by President Barack Obama said the ban violates the constitutional rights of gay couples and ruled Utah failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect
opposite-sex marriages in any way. The ruling prompted a frenzy of activity by lawyers and gay couples. The Republican governor blasted the ruling as going against the will of the people. Gay couples rushed to the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office en masse to secure marriage licenses, waiting in line by the dozens and getting married on the spot by the mayor and ministers. It was a jubilant affair as cheers broke out after ceremonies were completed. A gay bar in Salt Lake quickly made plans for a Friday night party to mark the event. Some made plans to march on the capitol Monday. “I am very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah. I am working with my legal counsel and the acting attorney general to determine the best course to defend traditional
marriage within the borders of Utah,” said Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican. Late Friday, the state filed both a notice of appeal of the ruling and a request for an emergency stay that would stop marriage licenses from being issued to same-sex couples. It’s unknown when the judge will make a decision on whether to grant the stay. The ruling has thrust the judge into the national spotlight less than two years after Congress approved his nomination to the federal bench. Shelby was appointed by President Barack Obama after GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch recommended him in November 2011. Shelby served in the Utah Army National Guard from 1988 to 1996 and was a combat engineer in Operation Desert Storm. He graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1998 and clerked for U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene in Utah, then spent about 12
years in private practice before he became a judge. Many similar challenges to same-sex marriage bans are pending in other states, but the Utah case has been closely watched because of the state’s history of steadfast opposition to gay marriage as the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church said in a statement Friday that it stands by its support for “traditional marriage.” “We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court,” the church said. Not all Mormons were disappointed. A group called Mormons for Equality applauded the ruling, saying it was particularly sweet coming in “the heartland of our faith.”
HOMELAND Mexican drug cartel now in PH? MANILA - A Mexican drug cartel is now selling shabu (methamphetamine) in the Philippines, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said yesterday. Authorities believed the 84 kilos of shabu worth P420 million seized during an operation at a ranch in Lipa City, Batangas on Christmas Day could be traced to the Mexican Sinaloa drug syndicate. PDEA director general Arturo Cacdac Jr. said Mexico was the latest foreign country that has smuggled illegal drugs, particularly shabu, into the country, in addition to China and West African nations. “We have monitored Chinese drug syndicates, then West African drug syndicates. Now we have confirmed that the Mexican Sinaloa drug syndicate has also penetrated the Philippine market,” said Cacdac in a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Cacdac said the confirmation was made with the assistance of the US Drug Enforcement Agency. He said the PDEA and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are closely working
to counter the operation of the drug syndicates. “It is part of our investigation how the cartel was able to penetrate our country. So we are still in the process of determining what is the history behind the arrest of these people,” said PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima. The Sinaloa cartel is reputed to be the largest source of illegal drugs to the United States. Its main leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America’s most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet. Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, chief of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF), said Gary Tan, alias Gary Chua, who was among three suspects arrested at the LPL Ranch in Lipa City, has links with the Mexican drug cartel. “Pieces of info received by AIDSOTF showed a certain Gary Tan operating in Metro Manila and nearby regions. He has been working with a certain George Torres, an
American with US passport, and both appeared in the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel,” said Tobias. Aside from Tan, agents arrested Argay Argenos and his wife Rochelle during the raid, which also resulted in the seizure of 84 kilos of shabu packed in 84 vacuum sealed plastic bags placed in four traveling bags, a caliber .45 pistol with a magazine and 10 live ammunition, and a 12 gauge Winchester rifle with four live ammunition. Purisima said authorities are looking into the link of the owner of LPL Ranch in Barangay Inosluban in Lipa to syndicate operations. “We are studying the possibility of confiscating (the ranch) in favor of the government because it was used for drug business, but we all know they were just leasing the property and we will be consulting our lawyers,” the PNP chief noted. When asked how the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel managed to penetrate the Philippine market without being intercepted upon entry, Purisima said the geographical location of the country could be one of the factors.
Aquino rejects energy chief’s resignation MANILA - President Aquino has rejected En- days. Second, within that period, Secretary ergy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla’s offer to Petilla was able to energize 317 out of 320 resign, which the latter had promised to do if affected towns, leaving 0.93% still to accomelectricity was not fully restored by Christmas plish,” Lacierda said. Eve in towns ravaged by Super He called the energy Typhoon Yolanda. secretary’s performance During a meeting at the Mala“excellent,” adding that canang Palace, Aquino coneven foreign observers vinced Petilla to remain as head pointed out that the reof the Department of Energy, pair and rehabilitation amid his decision to quit after of energy infrastructure failing to restore electricity in in Visayas was fast comsome towns devastated by Supared to those in other pertyphoon “Yolanda” (internacountries faced with ditional codename: Haiyan). sasters of lesser magni“The President did not accept tude. the resignation, cognizant of “For all these reasons, the fact that according to origithe President, in rejectnal estimates, it would take ing Secretary Petilla’s three to six months to restore Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla offer to resign, reiterated power in town centers, considthat he has no intention ering the extent of the damage of losing the services of caused by Supertyphoon Yolanda,” Presiden- an honorable public servant,” the spokespertial spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a son said. statement. Petilla took over the helm of the Department He said not only was the Luzon-Visayas con- of Energy in October 2012 following the desnection down, but a major geothermal plant in ignation of his predecessor Jose Rene AlmenLeyte had shut down. Generation, transmis- dras as secretary to the Cabinet. sion and distribution lines were also down Lacierda said Petilla planned to submit his because of the calamity. resignation letter to the President today. The Palace lauded Petilla’s accomplishments “I will have no word of honor if I stay on and despite his inability to ensure the electrifica- in public service, word of honor is extremely tion in all towns affected by “Yolanda.” important,” Petilla said, explaining his resig“First, from his original target of six months nation offer. He did not say if his resignation he was able to restore power in roughly 40 was irrevocable.
Meralco to refund customers after high court TRO on rate hike MANILA – The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is set to refund customers who have paid their bills reflecting higher power rates, on which the Supreme Court imposed a temporary restraining order (TRO) last Monday. “For bills coming out starting December 23 to end-December, bills will already comply with the SC TRO, using the generation charge of P5.67/kwh. For customers who arlready paid before the SC TRO came out, adjustments will be made in subsequent bills in accordance with the final SC decision,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said in a text message. Customers who have received bills but have not settled the same will receive written notices on their “options,” Zaldarriaga said. Meralco officials said the company would abide by the Supreme Court TRO and would refund customers that
had paid for the generation rate increase (plus taxes and other related charges) in their December dues. “We can easily refund,” Meralco COO Oscar S. Reyes said. Hopefully, Reyes said, issues will be resolved before the next billing cycle. The country’s largest distribution utility also sought help from regulators on how to get “clarity” of its situation. However, the longterm solution to power price woes, Meralco officials said, was additional capacity through new power plants. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has summoned key officials of Meralco, power generation firms, and the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), which operates the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) to a meeting on Thursday evening on how to implement the SC TRO.
4 dead in Christmas Day car crash in Tagaytay CAMP VICENTE LIM — A speeding car, carrying a group of friends, crashed into a concrete wall and left four people dead and one badly injured in Tagaytay City in Cavite on Christmas Day. Police Officer 3 Semdan Sitchon, the case investigator, named the lone survivor as Jelil Ampuan, 16. Sitchon said Ampuan’s friends and co-passengers in the car, identified as Manilyn Quinzon, 23; Renilyn Peñaranda, 20; and Paysalin Benito, whose age was not immediately available, died on the spot. The driver, Jamil Ampuan, 22, died in the hospital. The Ampuans were brothers. In a phone interview Thursday, Sitchon said the victims’ car was running above 100 kilometers per hour (kph) along Aguinaldo High-
way in Barangay (village) Crossing before it went out of control and slammed into a concrete wall of a townhouse unit at around 3:30 a.m. on December 25. “A witness from a nearby hotel said the car screeched as it ran too fast,” Sitchon said. Sitchon said that at the time of the accident, the road was empty and well-lit and the weather was clear in the often foggy city. The victims’ families, all from Dasmariñas City in Cavite, told the police that the group left their homes before Christmas eve. The victims were all found to be intoxicated with alcohol based on the doctors’ findings, Sitchon said. “We also found messages on their cell phones about what drinks they planned to buy (before the accident),” he said.
The San Francisco Post
Bigger, smarter: it’s the new Benz C-Class Once upon a time, the C-Class was the ‘baby Benz’, the easy-to-park runt of the Merc litter. But with the A-Class - not to mention B-Class, CLA and upcoming GLA crossover - sneaking below the C in the smallness stakes, Merc has sent its 3-Series rival upmarket with this allnew generation: more space, more lux, more tech. So the C-Class has swollen in size - by 10cm in length and 4cm in width, no less - with a chunk more room for bodies and boot-items. It’s bigger, but not heavier: thanks to liberal use of aluminium in the body, weight is down by up to 100kg. Which means more metres for your litre (of fuel, innit). The fourthgen C will launch with two sensible petrol engines - the 154bhp C180 and 182bhp C200 - and the 168bhp C220 diesel, which officially returns 71mpg and just 104g/km of CO2. But there are yet-greener variants on the way: an upcoming 113bhp 1.6 diesel that Merc says will out-BMW BMW in the efficiency stakes. Down the line we’ll see a C300 diesel-electric hybrid, and, after that, a plug-in version. The launch en-
gines get a six-speed manual as standard, with the option of Merc’s seven-speed auto. Talking of auto, the C nicks much of the new S-Class’s ‘intelligent driving’ tech, scanning for danger ahead and braking autonomously from 125mph. Check the right options boxes and, at speeds under 37mph, your C-Class will follow the car in front at a safe distance, even steering to keep you on the right course. That’s sophisticated stuff from a car that should start under £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in spring 2014. There’s an Audi-style touchpad that recognises all the swipepinch-tap gestures familiar from your smartphone. Spec Merc’s under-lettered COMAND nav system and you get an 8.4-inch central display screen. That nav, incidentally, chats to the C-Class’s air-con unit to inform it when you’re in a tunnel, engage its recirculation mode to save you breathing dirty tunnel-air: a very clever and very complicated way to solve a problem we never really knew existed.
New Mini JCW revealed Good News! The new Mini John Cooper Works will be unveiled at the Detroit Show in January! Bad news! It’ll only be a concept. But not for long, we’d assume - we’ve already seen the Cooper and Cooper S variants of the MkII ‘New Mini’, so the production version of this yet-hotter JCW won’t be far behind. So what do we know about the new JCW? Not, at the moment, a whole lot. As you can see, it gets a yet-bigger chin than even the Cooper S, with an extra set of air intakes lurking where the foglights sit on the standard car, along with smart 18-inch five-spoke alloys and much stickerage. Mini says the sports exhaust gets a JCW silencer system (which, if past form is anything to go by, will be anything but silent), and promises an ‘unmistakable engine
soundtrack’. There’s no official word on the JCW’s power output, but with the new Cooper S making 189bhp from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, we’d expect it to get a bumped-up version of the same engine developing something in the region of 210bhp. That should be good for a 0-62mph time around 6.5 seconds, and a top speed close to 150mph. The MkII Mini, remember, is virtually all-new, and Mini says the longer wheelbase and wider track will improve the JCW’s handling. Not that there was much wrong with the way it changed direction before, though we’d welcome a bit more travel in that multilink suspension. We’ll find out more about the JCW concept at the Detroit show in January.
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PAGE 8 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post
The San Francisco Post
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The San Francisco Post IMMIGRATION Getting a green card though provisional waiver
his provisional waiver will allow the following aliens who are married to U.S. citizens to seek waiver of unlawful presence and be able to go to their home country to apply for green card. To qualify, they must prove extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse or parents if their application for permanent residence is denied. The beneficiaries of this provisional waiver will include: 1. Seamen who entered the U.S. on a C or D visa and overstayed their visa and are not beneficiaries of Sec. 245(i). 2. Those who entered without inspection and
are not beneficiaries of Sec. 5. Be able to demonstrate By: Atty. Crispin C. Lozano 245(i) that refusal of your ad3. Those who entered as Fimission to the United ancĂŠe and did not marry the States will cause extreme visa petitioner. hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse or parent. 4. Those aliens who have lost their passports 6. Be physically present in the United States to and have no proof of legal entry to the U.S. file your application for a provisional unlawful Eligibility Requirements presence waiver and provide biometrics. To be eligible for a provisional unlawful pres- 7. Not have been scheduled for an immigrant ence waiver you must fulfill ALL of the follow- visa interview by DOS before January 3, 2013. ing conditions: 8. Meet all other requirements for the provi1. Be 17 years of age or older. sional unlawful presence waiver, as detailed in 2. Be an immediate relative of a U.S. citi- 8 CFR 212.7(e) and the Form I-601A and its zen (not a instructions. preference c a t e g o r y You are not eligible for a provisional unlawful i m m i g r a n t presence waiver if any of the following condiwho has a tions apply to you: visa avail- 1.You are subject to one or more grounds of inable). An admissibility other than unlawful presence. i m m e d i a t e 2.DOS initially acted before January 3, 2013, relative is to schedule your Immigrant Visa (IV) interview an individ- for the approved immediate relative petition ual who is upon which your provisional unlawful presence the spouse, waiver application is based, even if your imchild or par- migrant visa interview has been canceled, you ent of a U.S. failed to appear for the interview, or your intercitizen. view was rescheduled on or after Jan. 3, 2013. 3. Have an a p p r o v e d Note: The date and time that you are scheduled Form I-130, to appear for your immigrant visa interview at P e t i t i o n the designated U.S. Embassy or Consulate is for Alien not the date USCIS will use to determine if you Relative, or are eligible to file a Form I-601A. If DOS iniForm I-360, tially acted before January 3, 2013, to schedule Petition for your immigrant visa interview, you are not eliAmerasian, gible to file a Form I-601A, even if you failed Widow(er), to appear for your interview or if you or DOS or Special cancelled or rescheduled your interview for a Immigrant. date on or after January 3, 2013. 4. Have a Instead, you may file a Form I-601, Applicapending im- tion for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, migrant visa from outside the United States after you have case with been interviewed for your immigrant visa, and DOS for the the consular officer has found that you are inada p p r o v e d missible for a ground that may be waived. i m m e d i a t e 3. You are in removal proceedings that have not relative pe- been administratively closed. tition and 4. At the time of filing, you are in removal prohave paid ceedings that have been administratively closed the DOS im- but have been placed back on the EOIR calenmigrant visa dar to continue your removal proceedings. processing 5. You do not meet one or more of the requirefee. ments, as outlined in the Form I-601A and its
instructions. SUCCESS STORIES 1. On November 21, 2013, we received an approval from USCIS for adjustment of status under SAME SEX MARRIAGE. 2. On November 14, 2013, we received an approval of adjustment of status from Immigration Judge for a client who was originally denied adjustment by USCIS. 3. On November 4, 2013, we received an approval of waiver of misrepresentation from the Immigration Judge for a client who entered the U.S. as single but actually married. 4. On October 24, 2013, we received an approval by an Immigration Judge on the review of I-751 Application to Remove Condition on Residence that was previously denied by USCIS. 5. On October 2, 2013, we received an approval of adjustment of status based on SAME SEX MARRIAGE. 6. On August 14, 2013, we received a grant of waiver of misrepresentation from the Los Angeles Immigration Court for an alien who entered the U.S. as single but actually married. 7. On July 11, 2013, we received an approval from the Immigration Court for a waiver of misrepresentation for a green card holder who entered the U.S. as single but actually married at the time of entry. The grant of waiver stopped his removal and allows him to apply for naturalization. 8. On June 3, 2013, we received an approval from USCIS of a petition that continued despite the death of the petitioner under Public law 11183. Crispin Caday Lozano is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Association of Consumers Bankruptcy Attorneys. He specializes in immigration law and bankruptcy law. He earned his Juris Doctor at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He is also a Certified Public Accountant, a Real Estate Broker and a Bachelor of Business Administration Cum Laude graduate. He has offices in San Francisco, Hayward, San Jose, and Cerritos, California. You can contact him at 1-877-456-9266. Email questions to email@example.com/. Visit our website at www.crispinlozanolaw.com.
The San Francisco Post
“Cabalen is Filipino for Yum!” It’s been two years now since Filipino tasting regional cuisine. The word cuisine was declared “The Next Big “Cabalen” literally translates to “fellow Thing” by tv personality Andrew Zim- Capampangan.” The restaurant serves mern. Since then, Filipino food has everyday fare, such as chicken adobo, spending more time in the limelight and bistik, menudo, afritada, sisig, bopis, gaining more recognition. No less than BBQ-on-a-Stick, Filipino spaghetsuperstar chefs ti, lumpiang Anthony Bourdain shanghai, and Jose Andres crispy binahave professed goongan, as their love for many well as dishes of the flavors normally served prevalent in such on special occadishes as sinigang sions, such as and dinuguan. A kare-kare and couple of Filipino lengua estochefs have figured fada. It’s also prominently in pleasantly surthe reality show prising to know “Top Chef.” And that a meal can more importantly, Cabalen Owners. Glecy Yabut (seated) with busibe had for less purveyors of the ness partner Michael Cheng than $10, given cuisine such as that some FiliPig and Khao and pino dishes take Jeepney Gastropub in New York City a lot of time, effort and ingredients to have attracted a mainstream following. prepare. Here in the Bay Area, Cabalen Filipino Inside the restaurant. dishes are served Cuisine continues to receive much ac- “turo-turo style” or on a steam table claim for its authentic Filipino food. where diners basically point (“turo”) at The restaurant is known for cuisine the dishes they wish to partake. With that’s native to Pampanga, widely con- so many dishes available in Cabalen’s sidered in the Philippines as the best- arsenal, the menu offerings typically
change everyday. On a regular weekday, the spread can offer as many as 20 dishes, and on weekends, there can be more than 30 choices! That’s not even counting the famous Filipino desserts such as leche-flan, buco-pandan, and halo-halo. Different kinds of “kakanin” ( r i c e based” desserts) are available as well, such as bibingka, biko, kutchinta, nilupak, palitaw, and pichi-pichi. Looking at what’s available in their party tray menus, Cabalen offers dishes that are rarely found in other Filipino restaurants. Specialties include lechon,
PAGE 11 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
seafood paella, ginataang alimango, rellenong bangus, rellenong pusit, osso bucco, morcon, prawn thermidore, and chicken galantina. Cabalen was established in 2008 by Glecy Yabut when the first branch opened in Hercules, CA. The restaurant has always focused on affordable, high quality Filipino food. After years of great success, Cabalen opened its second branch in 2012 in Fairfield, CA. With a larger seating capacity, the Fairfield branch can be a venue for parties on special occasions. 2014 promises to be a landmark year for Cabalen because Glecy, together with business partner Michael U. Cheng, is planning on opening two more branches: one in the Peninsula and the other in Sacramento. Whether one is looking for a place to dine-in or grab some dishes to-go, party trays for special occasions, and even celebrate with in-house parties for birthdays, nuptials, or anniversaries, Cabalen is the place to go.
Atty. Crispin Lozano and wife Tess Lozano is flanked by Attorney Philip Sarmiento and Attorney Nicole Reyes on the recent Christmas party of Lozano Law Offices in Hayward last December 20, 2013.
i Atty. Crispin Lozano (standing) with (from L to R) Jimmy Reyes, SF Post Account Executive, Mr. Jose Sicat and wife Sylvia Sicat, Kirk Folger of Folger Graphics, Don Orozco SF Post Silicon Valley Bereau Chief, and Omar Adiong, SF Post Account Executive.
The INC 2013 Unity Games is a multi-sport and multiregion event and the largest athletic competition hosted for members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. After an Inter Local competition from the District of Northern California and the District of Southern California, the 2 District held a regional brotherly sport event at the city of Montclair in Southern California. Southern California carried the color purple and gold ( L A Lakers) while the participants of Northern California carried the color of the San Francisco Fortyniners. It was a funfilled day of brotherly competition in preparation for a national meet that will pit other US Ecclesiastical Districts of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in preparation for a world meet that will be held in Manila, Philippines for the Church Centennial Celebration in July 2014.
Atty. Crispin Lozano (seated) sang Christmas songs on his recent Christmas party in his Hayward office. With him are Mr. Al Maglan (left) of Tax Savers Pro and clients Remedios Ravago and Pastor Jess Bungay.
•Minimum of one year experience in Immigration Law or Bankruptcy Law or Personal Injury Law.
• Salary commensurate with experience.
Send resume to: Law Office of Crispin C. Lozano 1290 B Street, Suite 205 Hayward, CA 94541 (510) 538-7188 Fax (510) 538-7115 firstname.lastname@example.org
PAGE 12 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
Pacquiao will fight in May, not April 12 MANILA -- Manny Pacquiao is in a quandary as to the date of his next fight. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum has penciled the date April 12, 2014 and Pacquiao approved it until somebody very dear to him asked him not to proceed. You see, Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee is due to give birth to their fifth child “in the second week of April,” according to the Filipino fighter, who is now looking at the possibility that his return to the ring be moved to a later date. Told that Floyd Mayweather is scheduled to fight on May 3 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao grinned and said “that would be a perfect date.” Mayweather is shopping for an opponent and British Amir Khan and Argentine Marcos Maidana are said to be the frontrunners to land a lucrative payday although Pacquiao’s name continues
to be mentioned. Mayweather had said a couple of weeks ago that Pacquiao is a possibility although the brash US puncher dismissed it a few
days later owing to Pacquiao’s association with Arum’s Top Rank Inc. “I will never deal with Arum,” said Mayweather, who used to be promoted by the 82-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer, before they parted ways. Pacquiao said he remains interested in facing Mayweather to prove once and for all who is the better man between the current holder
of the mythical pound-forpound title and the former claimant to the throne. “That would be a great fight, a great matchup,” said Pacquiao following a sumptuous dinner at his Forbes Park residence. Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz is currently in the US working to pave the way for his muchawaited fight in 2014. While he doesn’t show it, Pacquiao is much more interested in meeting Mayweather rather than Juan Manuel Marquez or Tim Bradley. Besides, he is now not-sohot on the idea of fighting on April 12. “Jinkee asked me to wait until she gives birth,” added Pacquiao, who has informed Arum about Jinkee’s delivery date.
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The San Francisco Post
PH finishes 7th overall in SEAG
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar — The Philippines is about to end its campaign in the 27th Southeast Asian Games with 29 gold medals, an impressive performance from a team that was doomed to fail. The signs were evident. Two of the country’s top sports leaders stayed home, only 210 athletes were sent and out of 460 events on tap, the Filipinos were entered in only 167 events. Yet, the athletes fought through adversities to bring home 100 medals, three of them gold medals during the penultimate day of the Games. Another medal is assured in sepak takraw where the men’s doubles team is set to face Laos in the semifinals Sunday. The Filipinos’ medal tal-
ly is 29 golds, 33 silvers and 37 bronzes, good for seventh, their worst finish since joining the Games in 1977. Their gold output is also the Filipinos’ third worst. With several events still on tap, Thailand breached the 100-gold mark with 101 followed by Myanmar 82, Vietnam 72, Indonesia 64, Malaysia 42 and Singapore 34. On Saturday, Preciosa Ocaya typified the resilience of the Filipino, throwing everything in her arsenal to make sure she won’t suffer the same fate of teammate Philip Delarmino earlier. Ocaya, a 25-year-old fighter from Nagcarlan, Laguna, gave Laos’ Saw Dar Pot no breathing room, using every part of her body as a weapon save for her face.
With the result clear as water, Ocaya wrapped her body with the Philippine flag and celebrated after her arm was raised by the referee. Two muay thai fighters settled for silver medals. Delarmino dropped Myanmar’s Saw Dar Pot four times, his fists and legs working in clockwise precision, but still lost the decision. He dropped on his knees and meekly accepted his fate. Jonathan Polosan fought bravely against Thai pro Phitsaya Phoumchawit, but could not match his opponent’s explosive power and experience. Taekwondo accounted for the other two golds courtesy of heavyweights Kristopher Robert Uy and Kirstie Elaine Alora who pulled off come-from-behind wins.
REAL ESTATE Lack of affordable rents reaches crisis level – study An “affordability crisis” has hit the U.S. rental market in the past decade, with a skyrocketing increase in the number and percentage of renters who must decide between paying for a place to live and other necessities, according to a new national study. The study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, released Mond a y , details just how tough t h e housing market has bec o m e f o r many renters. “ T h e gravity of the s i t u ation for the large proportion of renters spending so much of their incomes on housing is plain,” said Eric Belsky, the Joint Center’s managing director. “We are losing ground rapidly against a chronic problem that forces households to cut essential spending. With little else to cut in their already tight budgets, America’s lowestincome renters with severe cost burdens spend about $130 less on food each month, and make similar reductions in healthcare, clothing, and savings. And while many choose longer
commutes to lower their housing costs, the combined cost of housing and transportation means even less remains for other expenses.” The wave of foreclosures since 2008 and fallout from the Great Recession forced many former homeowners into the rental market. The renter share of all U.S. households climbed from
31 percent in 2004 to 35 percent in 2012, bringing the number of renters to 43 million by early 2013, according to the study, which is released every other year. The 2000s marked the strongest numerical growth in renter households in the last 50 years, with about 3 million existing homes switching from owner to rental occupancy from 2007-2011 alone, the report said. “For many low-income families, the rental housing affordability crisis is like a game of musical chairs in
which there is never a chair left for them,” said Chris Herbert, the Joint Center’s research director. “The shortfall in the number of units affordable to extremely low-income renters in the U.S. (those earning no more than 30 percent of the area median) more than doubled from 1.9 million in 2001 to 4.9 million in 2011. The situation just keeps getting worse. Assistance efforts have failed t o keep pace with escalating need, undermini n g the nat i o n ’s longstanding goal of ensuring decent and affordable housing for all.” The study found that currently half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the traditional measure of affordability — an increase of 12 percentage points over the decade. And renters who are “severely costburdened” — spending more than half of their income on rent — increased 8 percentage points to 27 percent, according to the study.
The San Francisco Post
Pauleen is in Vic’s heart Although said to have been dating for quite a time now, Vic Sotto has never admitted being in a relationship with fellow “Eat Bulaga” mainstay Pauleen Luna. In a recent appearance on “Bandila” though, the 59-year-old comedian, more known as “Bossing,” felt the need to speak his heart out when pressed about the matter. Asked by host Boy Abunda “Kung bubuksan ko ang iyong puso ngayon, anong pangalan ng babae ang nakasulat?” Vic responded with a sheepish smile, “ Ti n a t a n o n g mo pa?” Boy answered, “Oo nga, dapat hindi na tinatanong.” Then before wrapping up the interview, Vic blurted, “Sagutin ko na rin – Pauleen.” A May-December romance if it were true, the Vic-Pauleen tandem is one of the most talked-about issues the past year. There have been reports saying that the two Kapuso stars got secretly married and are thinking of settling down. They both denied it. In a guest appearance on “Kris TV” prior, Vic admitted that he had thought of closing
his doors on marriage. He shared, “There’s a phase in my life na ’yung mindset ko ganoon na, I’ll be single for the rest of my life. Inisip ko rin, malalaki na ’yung mga anak ko at may kanyakanyang pamilya na ’yan in the future, so sino ang maiiwan sa akin?” Then, Pauleen came along. “In a relationship, you talk about that. It’s not a good relationship if you don’t talk about those things, right? If you don’t want to talk about it, parang naglolokohan lang kayo, eh kahit naman noong bata pa ako eh hindi naman ako nakikipaglokohan talaga,” Vic said. Pauleen, on the other hand, has been more open with her romance with Vic, as seen on her Instagram page. Her profile display has consistently featured her and Vic’s sweet photos together. She even posted recently a photo of Vic with the caption: “My happy man.” In past interviews, Pauleen maintained that Vic is her true love and always come into defense pertaining to her relationship with the veteran actor-host. She was quoted as saying, “Masaya kami and what we have is something real.”
Carmina sets condition before facing BB Carmina Villaroel no longer feels awkward when her show does a feature about her former husband, Rustom Padilla, who is now more known as BB Gandanghari after he came out of the closet in 2006. Speaking on “Buzz ng Bayan” which she co-hosts, Villaroel said: “Before [kapag tinatanong ako], sinasagot ko oo. Pero ngayon, nung napapanood ko, parang hindi na. Wala ng parang. Hindi na.” This comes after the talk show aired an interview of action star Robin Padilla talking about how he mended ties with Gandanghari. “Okay naman na. Kung ano ‘yung nangyari, tapos na iyon. Hindi ko lang alam if kaya ko na bang harapin. Pero nung pinapanood ko, parang wala lang,” Villaroel added. The TV host said time indeed helped her move on from the past. “Parang after a while, wala na tapos na. Ang tagal tagal
na. Madami pang importanteng bagay na dapat pagtuunan ng pansin,” she said. Villaroel and Gandanghari tied the knot in 1994, but separated in 1996. Their marriage was annulled in 2002. Meanwhile, Villaroel only has one condition before she agrees to do a one-onone interview with Gandanghari in the future. “Siguro mangyayari ‘yun pero gusto ko sana magkita kami na wala munang camera. Gusto ko muna makita, gusto ko talaga siya pagmasdan. Ang dating sa akin, iba talaga siyang tao na. Parang wala na ‘yung Rustom. Different person,” she said. Villaroel also thinks she and Gandanghari can get along well. “Feeling ko okay kaming dalawa, jive kami. Mahirap kasi magsalita. So kapag nangyari na lang, ‘yun na,” she said. Villaroel is now married to actor-host Zoren Legaspi, her partner of 14 years. They have two children.
PAGE 13 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
2013 Miss International does charity work MANILA -- Newly crowned 2013 Miss International Bea for her victory parade this week. Rose Santiago said yesterday that some of the candidates Santiago also said this year’s batch of Miss International in the beauty pageant would like to do charity work for candidates distanced themselves from the controversy the Philippines, especially concerning the dethronein areas devastated by ment of 2012 Miss Internasuper-typhoon “Yolanda’’ tional Ikumi Yoshimatsu of recently. Japan due to alleged threats Santiago, 23, of Catainand harassment involving a gan, Masbate, who just armedia executive. That was rived from Tokyo, Japan the first time that a winner last Saturday night, said in one of the major beauty first-runner up Miss Nethpageants was dethroned. erlands Natalie den Dekker But Santiago was surprised and second runner-up Miss that she was crowned by her New Zealand Casey Radidol 2008 Miss Internaley are expected to visit the tional Alejandra Andreu of Philippines and possibly Spain. She added that one join her in relief efforts for of her cherished moments the typhoon victims in the in Japan was meeting PresiVisayas next month. dent Benigno S. Aquino III “Miss Netherlands will who at that time was visitorganize a charity event for ing Japan. the Philippines in her counSantiago captured the try and hopefully she will crown after she answered be here in January. Miss the question “What will you New Zealand also wants to do if you win the crown?’’ visit the country,’’ said SanHer winning answer was: tiago, during a homecoming “The whole world saw how press conference held at the Miss International Bea Rose Santiago my country suffered. One Gloria Maris Banquet Hall, by one, the other countries Gateway, Araneta Center, in helped. I would like to Cubao, Quezon City. thank those who helped my country in our darkest hours. Other candidates who have expressed interests to visit You have opened my heart and eyes on what we can do to the Philippines were representatives from Macau, Lithu- help each other. I will work to sustain the spirit of symania and Aruba. pathy and spirit of hope. If I become Miss International, Santiago said she still could not believe that she had won I would uphold international camaraderie. As long as we the beauty pageant. “It’s still not sinking in. But I’m very work together, there is hope.’’ happy that my wish was finally granted.’’ Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, chairperson of the When she came home, the beauty queen was not wearing Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., expressed her conthe winner’s crown. She said the crown will arrive in time gratulations for Santiago’s victory.
Will ‘Boy Golden’ win awards too like ER’s previous films? The hard-action movie, “Boy Golden,” based on the true to life story of 1960’s gangland and notorious criminal Arturo Porcuna, is Gov. ER Ejercito’s official entry to the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival which opens on Dec. 25 in Metro Manila with simultaneous showing in other cities outside the metro. Like ER’s previous film festival entries “Asiong Salonga” and “El Presidente,” will “Boy Golden” win awards too? Gov. ER said during his film’s recent grand press conference-cum Christmas party for the entertainment press held at Zirkoh Morato, his previous films won more than 40 awards each, and with award-winning Chito Roño at the helm of this one, it is expected that “Boy Golden” will win awards too. “Magaling na director si Chito Roño, he’s one of the best, at Hollywoodish ang style,” the Laguna governor said. So now Direk Chito is pressured to win more than 50 awards for “Boy Golden,” Gov. ER kidded. “Boy Golden” stars Jeorge Estregan, KC Concepcion, John Estrada, Tonton Gutierrez, Leo Martinez, Gloria Sevilla and Eddie Garcia, among others. Gov. ER said it took them no less than 35 shooting days to finish the movie. KC Concepcion, he added, met the biggest challenge so far in her acting career, but passed it with flying colors. He even mentioned
that KC might win the Best Actress award. The actress had earlier won Best Drama Supporting Actress award at the 27th PMPC Star Awards for TV. To ensure that the fight scenes are really exciting and suspenseful, the producers of the movie project even imported two fight directors, Seng Kawee (from Thailand) and Larry Ang (China). Their Filipino counterpart is Miguel Vasquez. “Producing movies is my commitment to the Filipino movie industry,” ER stressed. “At least one or two movies a year. This way, I can be of help to the people in the local movie industry (with) their employment aside from building and promoting their crafts.” The supporting cast includes Jhong Hilario, Baron Geisler, Joem Bascon, Roi Vinzon, John Lapus, Mon Confiado, Dick Israel, Deborah Sun, Simon Ibarra, Gerald Ejercito, Dexter Doria, Buboy Villar, Juan Miguel Urquico, Lui Manansala, Gerald Acao and Mike Loren. Why should his entry be a crime story? ER explained that there is much to learn from “Boy Golden.” Crime does not pay. And we learn also about our history, the growth or deterioration of society at any given period in the country’s history. And, “my fans want to see me in gangster roles on the big screen.” “Boy Golden” received an “A” rating from the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB).
PAGE 14 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014 To advertise, call (510) 885-8827 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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GAMES & ENTERTAINMENT CROSSWORD PUZZLE
SUDOKU To solve a Sudoku puzzle, place a number into each box so that each row across, each column down, and each small 3x3 square within the larger diagram (there are 9 of these) will contain every number from 1 through 9. In other words, no number will appear more than once in any row, column, or smaller 3x3 square. Working with the numbers already given as a guide, complete each diagram with the missing numbers that will lead to the correct solution.
HOROSCOPE Aries March 20 - April 18 Your life is taking off in many different directions, Aries. Everything seems to be expanding at once. It may be difficult to get a solid grip on any one thing. Try not to get overwhelmed. Taurus April 19 - May 19 This is a great day for you, Taurus. There’s a terrific feeling of expansion in the air. This is one of those times in which a small germ of an idea can grow into something big right before your eyes. Gemini May 20 - June 19 You may feel like someone caught in a tornado, Gemini. Things are whirling around you and everything seems out of control. Don’t get stressed out. Cancer June 20 - July 21 It’s time to take charge, Cancer. There’s fuel for your fire, and the scope of your influence is virtually unlimited. Don’t hold back in any way. Confidently attack every project knowing that things will work out in your favor. Leo July 22 - August 21 Don’t concern yourself with getting more. Concentrate on what you already have, Leo. Work with whatever resonates within you. You instinctively know what does and doesn’t work. Virgo August 22 - September 21 This is an excellent day for you, Virgo. The farther you extend your emotions, the more prosperous you will be. Don’t be afraid of new things. More than likely, the new things entering your life now
will make the most sense later. Libra September 22 - October 21 It may seem like people aren’t taking things as seriously as you’d like them to, Libra. If so, take it as a hint that perhaps you’re the one who needs to lighten up. Scorpio October 22 - November 20 Don’t turn down any opportunities today, Scorpio, even if they seem like dead-ends at first. One could be your lucky break. Realize that success doesn’t always have a big neon sign pointing you in the right direction. Sagittarius November 21 - December 20 It’s time to put your plans in motion, Sagittarius. There’s a very expansive energy urging you to reach out and make valuable connections with others. Capricorn December 21 - January 18 Go for the gold, Capricorn. Don’t settle for less. There’s an expansive energy on your side urging you on to prosperity in every aspect of your life. Take control of the situation and act on your emotions. Aquarius January 19 - February 17 The more you vacillate, the more valuable time and energy you waste, Aquarius. Take a decisive stance and be confident about your choice. Give it everything you’ve got. If it doesn’t work out, try a different approach. Pisces February 18 - March 19 Arguments could quickly turn into declarations of war today. Things could get blown out of proportion if they aren’t handled with care, Pisces. The key lessons for you are about balance and communication.
PAGE 15 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post (Cont. from page 1..FILAM DRIVER) Gamboa, Fil-Am Extra Exchange said. The owner turned out to be a world-renowned professional poker player, who had a big night before he hailed Gamboa’s taxi. The poker player did not want to be identified. At first, CBS TV station KLAS in Las Vegas said the poker player was not able to collect his money pending verification of his identity “because he had no ID.” But when the Las Vegas police confirmed the claimant’s identity, the taxi company gave the money to the poker player. Checker Group of Companies CEO Bill Shrinko said he was not surprised at the incident as the company had dealt with far bigger amounts left behind in their taxis. Shrinko added that all drivers of their taxis undergo an almost weekly seminar or continuing education about
honesty as professional taxi drivers, emphasizing honesty to all tourists from all over the world visiting the entertainment capital. Gamboa, for his act of honesty, expressed his desire to prove that Filipinos are hardworking, industrious and honest no matter where they are. For his honesty, Gamboa was adjudged “Driver of the Year” by the company. He was also given $1,000 in reward money and a dinner for two in a high-end Las Vegas hotel. Gamboa is the son of the late Manuel Gamboa from Silay City and Leonila Dizon-Gamboa from San Francisco, Mabalacat. CBS TV KLAS said the owner of the money is going to give Gamboa a “substantial reward.” Gamboa, a 13-year taxi driver veteran, told another reporter, “I just want to do the right thing.”
recommend possible courses of action or legal processes including, but not limited to, the filing of the appropriate criminal complaints as the evidence may warrant for purposes of the conduct of the corresponding preliminary investigation, and request for investigation by the Anti-Money Laundering Council,” read the order. De Lima also directed the task force to regularly report and submit their final report within three months. De Lima earlier created the probe team to look into the alleged involvement of Enrile in illegal gambling, illegal logging and illegal importation in the CEZA. CEZA is under the administration of Jose Mari Ponce, a distant relative of Enrile. The senator’s son-in-law James Kocher also runs the automobile importing operation inside the free port. Apart from these allegations, De Lima also ordered the task force to look into Enrile’s alleged submission of assets, liabilities and net worth and “other related acts constituting criminal offenses under existing criminal statures.”
De Lima said she saw the need to order an investigation due to the seriousness of the allegations and also upon request of Sen. Santiago. But she stressed the probe would not cover allegations on alleged human rights violations committed by Enrile when he was defense minister of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. “It might not be feasible to look into that because (the alleged crimes) happened a long time ago and had already prescribed. And it would really be difficult to gather evidence on those charges,” she explained. With regard to Santiago’s claim that Enrile masterminded the pork barrel scam reportedly perpetrated by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, De Lima explained this case is already undergoing preliminary investigation by the Office of the Ombudsman. In a privilege speech, Santiago linked Enrile to various crimes including smuggling, illegal logging, and gambling in CEZA, and plunder. Enrile, who sat in front of the fuming Santiago, was seen playing a video game as Santiago was giving her speech. He was also seen laughing at certain points.
(Cont. from page 1..DOJ PROBE)
(Cont. from page 1...RICE SMUGGLING) Kickbacks In the last two years since Tan monopolized rice smuggling in the country, the former official said kickbacks had reached between P3.85 billion and P6.45 billion. The former official said roughly one-third of the kickbacks went to just one official who was believed to be representing an “influential” group. “Tan would pay low taxes by claiming that the TEUs contained goods of lesser value than rice. Often, his group declares the rice shipments as various construction materials that are also heavy but carry lower duties,” the former official said. Smuggled rice is usually brought in through the two ports in Manila and the ports in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao, the former official said. He said rice and oil were the two most smuggled goods in the country because of the huge profits involved in
bringing these commodities in on the sly. In October, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) president and former Abono Rep. Rosendo So urged the government to look into reports that a certain “David Tan” was the head of the country’s biggest rice smuggling syndicate and called on BOC officials to identify him so he could be arrested. “We want to know who is David Tan and why the authorities have allowed him to allegedly manipulate rice imports for his own and his group’s profit,” So said. Nothing happened, as in President Aquino’s trying to shame BOC officials and employees into leaving by singling the bureau out for corruption in his State of the Nation Address in July. Former Rep. Ruffy Biazon whom the President had appointed to head the bureau, reorganized the agency to put an end to corruption there, but those who were shuffled challenged their reassignment in the Court of Appeals, frustrating reforms and keeping their lucrative posts.
PAGE 16 Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 1, 2014
The San Francisco Post