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Friday, May 22, 2015

Police rescues five women from Aklan in trafficking bust



BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

Five women from Aklan tried their luck to travel to Dubai via Singapore when they fall in an entrapment operation on Friday afternoon at Kalibo International Airport (KIA). 

Inside the Kalibo airport terminal building, the five women asked an airport security guard to facilitate their travel to Singapore in exchange for money. 

Suspecting that something was wrong, the airport security guard informed the media and subsequently the local police of the ‘modus’ operation.

Police said the security guard acted to help and to allow free pass of these women in the immigration counters out of Kalibo International Airport to Singapore. 

When one of the would-be domestic workers gave their passports and P15,000 cash to the security guard at around 2 p.m. Friday, the police operatives came into the scene.

The airport security guard from a private agency informed the police that the alleged illegal recruiter ‘negotiated’ with him last May 20 to help the Singapore-bound workers. 

All the bags of rescued Aklanon women are packed but not ready to go 
The illegal recruiter is described as Bombay-looking and Aklanon-speaking woman, chubby and standing 5 feet and 3 inches in height.  
 
The alleged woman illegal recruiter, however, evaded arrest when she immediately boarded a hired tricycle out of Kalibo airport area. 

Police said the rescued women, aged 24 to 40 years old, four of them from New Washington, Aklan and another from Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan, were tricked by the recruiter to accept jobs in the Middle East. 

They were initially turned over to KIA Aviation Security Group and were brought to Kalibo police station for investigation. 

Women intercepted this year by immigration officials were using the Kalibo International Airport to travel to Middle East via Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, where they pick up entry visas to Dubai.

As of this month of May, 11 passengers were stopped by immigration authorities from boarding their airplane due to lack of proper travel documents.

They were turned to the Kalibo municipal social welfare office for custody and were established as possible victims of illegal recruiters.

These women pretending to be tourists and were offered free plane tickets and placement fees but actually they are planning to stay or work illegally in Middle East. 

The illegal recruiter, who was positively identified, managed to elude arrest when the Kalibo police swooped at the suspect’s house on Friday. 

Meanwhile, immigration authorities have stepped up its procedures to monitor and combat human trafficking and illegal recruitment in Kalibo airport.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Aklan gov’t asks court to set aside writ of injunction






BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

The provincial government of Aklan has asked a regional trial court to set aside the writ of injunction it issued in favor of the municipality of Kalibo.

Provincial Legal Officer Lee Manares filed the urgent motion for reconsideration in behalf of the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan and the Provincial Local Finance Committee (PLFC) on May 14. 

Judge Elmo del Rosario of Branch 5 issued the writ of injunction on April 28 stating the existence of the right to be protected and that the acts against which the injunction is to be directed are violative of said right.”

Manares said, “there is no urgent need to issue a writ of injunction to prevent irreparable injury to the municipality of Kalibo.”

Last December 14, 2014, the annual budget of P52.293 million for General Fund-Municipal Economic Enterprises Development under Appropriation Ordinance No. 2014-20 and for the P190.500 million budget for General Fund-Proper under Appropriation Ordinance No. 2014-19 were approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo.

But on March 25 this year, Aklan SP issued Resolution No. 100 series of 2015 declaring the appropriation ordinances inoperative in its entirety.

“In the present case, the specific act sought to be enjoined by the municipality of Kalibo is the enactment of SP Resolution No. 100, series of 2015. However, this resolution was already consummated before the filing of the present petition. The status quo, therefore sought to be preserved by the municipality of Kalibo in the present case no longer exists,” Manares said in his six-page urgent motion for reconsideration.

Last April 14, State Auditor IV Maria Fe Igtanloc of the Commission on Audit also explained in her letter to Kalibo mayor William Lachica that only the annual appropriations for salaries and wages of existing positions, statutory and contractual obligations, and essential operating expenses authorized in the annual and supplemental budgets for the preceding year are deemed reenacted. 

Manares stated that the municipality of Kalibo could still operate and function on a re-enacted budget until such time that the new ordinances authorizing the annual appropriations is enacted and approved. 

“On a re-enacted budget, the municipality of Kalibo could still hire emergency or casual employees or laborers relating to projects duly approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo pursuant to Section 77 of Republic Act 7160,” Manares added in his motion.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Woman intercepted in Kalibo airport



BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

Another woman was intercepted by authorities at Kalibo International Airport, bringing to six the number of undocumented domestic workers ‘rescued’ for the month of May.

The would-be domestic worker from Ilocos Sur, aged 23, was stopped while trying to take a flight for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Senior Police Officer I Babylyn Daylusan, chief of Kalibo PNP Women’s and Children Protection Desk, said the woman was brought to Kalibo police station for investigation and turned over to the local social welfare worker for custody.

“This is the 11th batch intercepted by the immigration authorities. She was previously off-loaded in Ninoy Aquino International Airport last April due to fraudulent travel documents and tried to sneak out of the country through Kalibo airport,” she said.

Daylusan said the recruiter promised the domestic worker to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as tourist but she had also a visa for Dubai. 
 
“Dati siya na factory worker sa sigarilyo and after na mag-asawa siya, naging jobless na until now,” she added.  

Daylusan said, “the immigration authorities in Kalibo airport are also strict in checking the travel documents of domestic workers bound to regional cities."

As this developed, a woman from Barangay Briones, Kalibo, Aklan will be facing charges for violation of Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003 after two women intercepted last May 15 at Kalibo International Airport implicated her as their alleged recruiter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brigada Eskwela in Aklan in full swing



BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL

The clean-up and repainting of elementary and high schools in Aklan are in full swing in preparation for the opening of classes in June.

Brigada Eskwela coordinator Mary Ann Lopez said the Brigada has been launched last Monday at Makato Integrated School in Makato, Aklan with Department of Education (DepEd) officials and community stakeholders in attendance. 

Adopt-a-School Senior Program Specialist Dalen Esmeralda from DepEd Central Office and Gemma Mondragon from the DepEd regional office in Iloilo City joined the launching.

Lopez said they will monitor the implementation of the weeklong Brigada Eskwela in public schools in time for the re-opening of classes on June 1 for school year 2015-2016. 

Brigada Eskwela started last May 18 until May 23 where public schools are getting support from the community, parents, students and teachers.

Brigada Eskwela also known as National Schools Maintenance Week was launched in 2003 by DepEd to make the schools clean, ecologically conscious, disaster-prepared, conducive to learning and ready for opening of classes. 

Volunteers and DepEd employees are enjoined to offer their skills, time and in-kind support to public schools during the Brigada Eskwela activities. 

DepEd Region 6 will confer awards for Brigada Eskwela Best Implementing Schools in September in Iloilo City for Small School, Big School and Exceptional categories. The schools will be judged on the scope of work, community involvement, government agencies and private sector involvement, generated resources and alignment of the maintenance effort to Brigada Eskwela theme.  

This year’s theme is “Tayo Para sa Kalinisan, Kaligtasan at Kahandaan ng Ating mga Paaralan.”