ROUNDUP: News in and around Metro Manila (Nov. 19, 2019)

Published November 20, 2019, 1:11 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

Police seize illegal recruiters in sting operation

Seven illegal recruiters were arrested by police in an entrapment operation after they were reportedly hiring women to work in Singapore, supposedly as waitresses but in actuality to be prostitutes.

The operation took place at the APP Worldwide Recruitment Services in Malate, Manila, where the police identified the suspects as Ruben Samonte (general manager), Evelyn Samonte (marketing manager), Agnes Almoguera (clinic staff), Jocelyn Tolentino (staff), Rolando Patiag (clinic staff), Chaz Patiag (marketing staff), and Regino Tolentino (driver).

Investigation showed the Manila Police District’s Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMaRT) conducted entrapment operations last Friday after the Office of the Mayor received complaints from 20 applicants.

According to the victims, the recruitment agency initially offered them food service jobs and asked for thousands of pesos for training fees and medical fees.

The medical and training centers are reportedly owned by the illegal recruiters.

However, the applicants learned that they were illegal recruiters when the agency set up a video call with their employers in Singapore.

“Ang sinabi sa amin nung alias Manuel, ‘Kung ‘di ka magpapagalaw, wala kang kikitain. Kung ‘di ka makikipag-sex, wala kang sasahurin’ (What ‘alias Manuel’ told us was, ‘If you won’t allow yourself to be touched, you won’t earn anything. If you won’t have sex, you won’t receive any pay’),” one of the victims said.

“Ni-require pa po nila kaming uminom at magpakalasing kapag kasama raw ang mga kliyente, eh hindi po kami umiinom. Pinipilit niya po kami (They said we had to get drunk when we are with clients, but we don’t drink. He was forcing us to),” the victim added.

The agency took their passports and threatened them with blacklisting at other recruitment agencies after the victims refused to take the jobs.

The victims’ passports and P100 marked money were recovered from the suspects.

The suspects will be charged for violating the Philippine Passport Act of 1996 (illegal withholding of passports), Presidential Decree No. 28 (illegal recruitment as a crime of economic sabotage), Article 286 of the Revised Penal Code (grave coercion), and Omnibus Revenue Code of Manila. (Erma Edera)

Police stymie kidnap attempt on Chinese national

Police foiled an alleged kidnapping attempt after two Chinese nationals were seen beating a man inside a car in Pasay City on Monday evening.

Police identified the suspects as Wang Jun, 29; Li Gen, 32; and He Xiang, 29, who tried to kidnap Zhou Zheng Qiang, 26.

Investigation showed that Wang was driving a Chevrolet car with plate number TOJ 216 when he caught the attention of a skyway officer upon passing the westbound lane of a Toll Plaza Skyway in front of NAIA Terminal 3 at around 8:15 p.m.

Police said that Wang was called out for not wearing a seatbelt, which prompted skyway officers to flag him down.

This led to the discovery of the kidnapping attempt when officers saw Li and He allegedly beating Zhou inside the vehicle.

Arresting officers from Pasay City police immediately went to the scene and discovered that, based on Zhou’s complaint, the suspects tried to kidnap him.

Police said that investigation into the case is still underway. (Joseph Almer Pedrajas)

Caloocan police collars 4 drug suspects

Four drug suspects yielded more than P250,000 worth of illegal drugs in separate drug busts in Caloocan City Tuesday.

Elements of the Caloocan City Police Station Drug Enforcement Unit (CCPS-SDEU) collared Henry Araman, 50; and Eugenia Cantero; near their house at Barangay 171 in Bagumbong, Caloocan City at about 12:05 a.m. after they allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu worth P7,000 to a poseur buyer.

Eight sachets of suspected shabu weighing about 20 grams with an estimated value of P136,000, assorted drug paraphernalia, and the marked money were seized from the suspects.

At about 2:45 a.m., two other alleged drug personalities, identified by the police as Alexis Batsy Del Mundo, 20; and Aljon Agpoon, 19; were arrested at Barangay 177 in Camarin, Caloocan City.

According to a report, elements of the Police Community Precinct-5 nabbed Del Mundo and Agpoon after receiving a report that the suspects were transacting a drug deal in front of a condominium in the said area.

About 750 grams of suspected marijuana leaves worth about P15,000 and 18 grams of suspected shabu worth about P120,000 were retrieved from the suspects.

The suspects, who are now under police custody, will be facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (Minka Klaudia Tiangco)

P500,000 worth of shabu seized in QC

A newly-identified drug personality in Quezon City was nabbed by the police after yielding more than P500,000 worth of shabu in an anti-illegal drug operation Monday night.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Soriano, chief of Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Masambong Police Station (PS-2), said suspect Roland Fei Sanchez, 26, is now under their custody.

Soriano said the suspect was listed as a newly-identified drug personality of the station and was allegedly involved in illegal drug peddling in several areas under the jurisdiction of PS-2.

Operatives of the Station Drug Enforcement Unit (SDEU) of PS 2 conducted a buy-bust against Sanchez near his house on General Lim Street in Barangay Sta. Cruz at about 7:25 p.m.

An undercover cop acted as buyer and purchased P8,000 worth of shabu from the suspect which resulted in his arrest.

Authorities seized from Sanchez 15 sachets of shabu amounting to P544,000, the buy-bust money, a digital weighing scale and a mobile phone used in the drug deal.

A case of violation of Repiblic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will befiled against the suspect at the City Prosecutor’s Office while the confiscated illegal drugs were turned over to the QCPD Crime Laboratory. (Alexandria San Juan)