Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Singapore Police arrested a 42 year-old snatcher on bicycle with the assistance of 2 teen-agers.

A full-time Police National Serviceman on duty...

A 33 year-old woman was walking along Pasir Ris Drive 1 on December 26, 2010 at about 3.45pm when a man on a bicycle came from behind and snatched away her purse. The victim shouted for help and two 17 year-old youths who happened to be in the vicinity responded to her cries and went after the thief. After a short chase, the youths spotted the suspect running up a nearby block of flats at Pasir Ris St 11 and called for the police while keeping watch.

Officers from Bedok Police Division responded promptly and conducted a systematic search of the said block. The suspect was found hiding on the 9th floor and placed under arrest. The victim’s items were also successfully recovered from the suspect’s possession.

The suspect will be charged in court on 28 December 2010 for the offence of snatch theft under Section 356 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which carries a maximum punishment of 7 years imprisonment and caning.

Commander of Bedok Police Division, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Teo Chun Ching commended the 2 youths for their public-spiritedness and said, "This arrest showcases the importance and effectiveness of Police-community partnership in the fight against crime."

Celebrate 2011 at Marina Bay Area

Marina Bay and Marina Centre at night.

Dress up in your party gear, round up your friends, and count down to 2011 at The Float @ Marina Bay!

Set against Singapore’s magnificent city skyline, this countdown event gives you an explosive night of sizzling fireworks and spectacular music acts, so be there to soak it all up. David Tao, the Taiwanese rocker with an R&B soul, commands the stage in an exclusive New Year concert showcase at the Floating Platform, while homegrown duo Jack & Rai and their band, EIC keep the crowd going with their original songs and popular hits.

From across the Causeway, One Nation Emcees is guaranteed to bring the house down with their brand of high energy hip-hop. Singapore Idol 3 winner Sezairi Sezali and Singapore Idol 3 finalist Sylvia Ratonel show off their homegrown talents. From reality talent competition, One Moment of Glory, performers including Jill- Marie Thomas, Luminiq Crew, Desert Roses, Vertical Dancers will strut their stuff --singing, dancing, spinning and even flying! And rock out with local band Rancour and Singapore Idol 1 finalist Sylvester Sim and The Queenband.

Dance the night away with spin maestroes from Zirca, DJ Kennerve and DJ Will as they bring you the Top 40 dance hits!

So get your tix for Celebrate 2011! to party in style and kick off 2011 with an unforgettable night packed with 7 hours of non stop entertainment!


DATE: 31 Dec 2010
Fri, 7:30pm

DURATION: Approx. 7hrs

VENUE(S): The Floating @ Marina Bay


Standard: S$38

Please add to above price $3 Booking Fee per ticket for tickets above $20 and $1 Booking Fee per ticket for tickets $20 and below. Charges include GST where applicable.

Please note the following conditions:
- Replacement tickets can only be issued for reserved seating.
- No replacement tickets will be issued for general admission or 'free seating/standing'.

Ticket sales will start at 6pm at the entrance of The Float @Marina Bay on the event day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's done, Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight will happen on May 7 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao at the Pacqui... 

Bob Arum and Shane Mosley said it’s a go, the fight with Manny Pacquiao on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

But Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, said they’re still tying some loose ends, and that the Filipino superstar will make his final decision after the holidays.

“A hundred percent it’s going to be Mosley. But we’re not yet where we want to be,” said Koncz.

Pacquiao must be trying to spice up the contents of the contract before he finally says yes.

“But we’re not too far,” said Koncz who also spoke to and said, “We have yet to hear from Mr. Arum. I haven’t reached out to him and he hasn’t reached out to me. It’s the holidays, and we’re in no rush. We’ll speak to Arum shortly in the next few days and make our final decision probably by the new year,” said Koncz.

“When Bob Arum was here (in the Philippines), certainly Mr. Mosley consumed most of the time during our conversations, and that would mean that he got the bulk of our attention. But that doesn’t mean that we picked him. Most of our time was spent discussing Shane Mosley, however, it was also asked that Bob Arum return to Las Vegas with a counter proposal.”

Shane MosleyMosley, who’s pushing 40 but has vowed to give Pacquiao a good fight, and probably knock him out, told that it’s a done deal.

“It’s a go. Bob (Arum) and (his representative) James (Prince) came to an agreement on the money minutes ago. Bob is drawing up the contracts and I will sign either on Wednesday or Thursday,” said the pride of Pomona, California.

Arum said he wants everything done and over with as soon as possible because he has to work on the dates, the promotion and the press tour that should take both fighters to Los Angeles, New York, Washington and San Francisco.

Arum said there would be a stop in Washington because US Senator Harry Reid is setting up a rare meeting between Pacquiao and the US President, Barack Obama.

“The President wants to see Manny,” said Arum.

The meeting between the two of the world’s most powerful figures was supposed to take place right after Pacquiao’s fight with Antonio Margarito last November.

President Obama shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidIn fact, a private plane was already on standby to take Pacquiao from San Francisco, where he was then having a concert, to Washington. But it was called off because Obama “had to fly somewhere.”

Arum said he expects a tough fight for Pacquiao, who will face Mosley at 147 or 148 lb.

“We came to a meeting of the minds,” Arum told about his meeting with Prince in Las Vegas.

“[Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce Trample says it’s a very difficult fight. I believe it will be an exciting fight. Shane knows how to fight and how to deal with the speed. Manny is in for a hellacious fight. I really believe styles make fights,” Arum said.

Mosley said he’ll knock Pacquiao out.

“Come on, man. I’m a bigger guy than him and he gets hit. And you saw how I hurt Floyd. Manny is going to come forward and I will hit him on the chin at some point. His defense is not like Floyd’s. Manny will come at me, and I will knock him out,” he told

But it’s not a hundred percent that’s going to happen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

VP Binay pushing for the creation of an “OFW Bank"

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay at a meeting o...

To bring down the cost of sending money to the Philippines, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Wednesday he is pushing for the creation of an “OFW Bank."

Binay — also the Presidential Adviser on OFWs’ Concerns — wrote to President Benigno Aquino III pushing for the proposed bank as an “alternative yet viable" remittance institution here and abroad.

“The bank will provide fair competition towards the reduction or lowering of remittance or transaction costs and provide a productive outlet for our overseas Filipinos’ savings as bank investors and shareholders," he said in the letter posted on the Office of the Vice President’s website.

Binay said the move was in response to OFWs’ (overseas Filipino workers) clamor for an OFW Bank, as financial intermediaries and money brokers are presently charging exorbitant fees for money transfers.

Government financial institutions will initially fund and underwrite the bank, according to the Vice President said.

Eventually, investors and stockholders will own and control the OFW Bank, Binay said.

Money sent home by OFWs rose to $15.46 billion in the first 10 months of the year, up 7.9 percent from $14.23 billion in the same period last year, central bank data showed.

A chunk of the remittances came from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.

The idea for an OFW Bank was raised in 2006 as a way of consolidating the financial assets and operational capabilities of government institutions, like Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Postal Corp.

The project was supposed to create a financial institution for OFWs, one that is inexpensive and more focused toward its OFW-oriented direction and services. Because of the global recession, it was shelved.

Instead, LandBank and DBP launched separate remittance programs for the lucrative OFW market estimated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration between eight million and 11.5 million land- and sea-based employees.

Friday, December 24, 2010

X'Mas Nightmare: Ex-CID Prison Cells open to Public for the 1st time

Bidding for his time, the Demon Lord, Khaos, has been waiting… this year, the Seal of Abyss trapping the demons in their underworld, revealed a crack never detected by the Guardians.

Seizing this opportunity, Khaos summoned the best of his minions to surge to the human world and spread his clutches to the corners of the world.

13 Demon Legions of all kinds answer the Demon Lord’s call to arms!

A foothold has been established by these legions at a location never thought to be the centre of this epic war. Every of his generals are preparing for His arrival to start the conquest of the human world…

Everything seems lost…only the Chosen Ones can turn this army of Darkness back to where they belong!

Are you the Chosen Ones? The fate of human kind rests on you! Take up your courage! Gather your fellowship! Brave this adventure of your life!

This X’mas…will never be the same again…

Chapter One of “The First Call to Arms” – Spencer Arbalest, 2010


Venue: 90 Eu Tong Seng St (Former CID HQ) Between People's Park Complex & Pearl's Centre (Chinatown MRT & Outram MRT)

When:  22nd Dec - 26th Dec 2010  &  29th Dec to 2nd Jan 2011

Time:   6.30p.m. - 3.00a.m. daily!

Book Now!!!

MRT: Chinatown Station

Buses that stops at Pearl's Centre: 54, 124, 143, 147, 166, CT18, CT28, CT8

Buses that stops at People's Park Complex: 2, 12, 33, 63, 80, 143, 197, CT18, CT28, CT8




Singapore Police Crime Prevention Advisory For The Festive Season – Molest & Unruly Crowds

Street sign for Orchard Road in Singapore.

The Christmas and the New Year celebrations are round the corner and as with previous years, large crowd and heavy vehicular traffic will be expected at major shopping centers, along areas like Orchard Road , Marina Bay, Vivo City and Sentosa. Police would like to advise all shoppers and revelers to remain vigilant against crime during the period.


Members of the public, especially women, are advised to stay vigilant against those who may take the opportunity to commit molest during this festive season. The following are some precautions women can take to minimize the risk of becoming a victim:

  • Be wary of strangers who approach you in crowded areas
  • Stay close to your friends or move around in groups when in crowded places
  • Be aware and alert of your surroundings. If someone stands exceptionally close to you, or if you suspect that you are being followed, remain calm and proceed to a more crowded area to seek assistance;
  • Avoid taking short-cuts through dark and deserted places. Keep to well-lit areas where there are more people and traffic;
  • Do not enter the lift with a stranger. Let the stranger take the lift and wait for the next one;
  • When coming home late at night, get someone to meet up with you at a planned location like the bus-stop, car-park or void-deck to escort you home;
  • Carry a shrill alarm to call for help in times of emergencies; and
  • When traveling in a public transport, remain alert and do not nap or sleep. 


During the festive season, people may congregate in groups to celebrate. During such an occasion, people may also consume alcohol. Unfortunately, some celebrations may turn rowdy. Police take a serious view against actions which disrupt public order and peace and will not hesitate to take action against those involved in such cases. Foreign workers who are convicted of such crimes may also risk losing their jobs.

  • Members of the public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures to protect themselves:
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you notice a crowd likely to turn rowdy, move away and report the matter to Police
  • When confronted by unfriendly/unruly persons, diffuse the situation by moving away quickly and avoid unnecessary eye-contacts or conversations. If the harassment persists, seek assistance from people and call for Police; and
  • Consume alcohol within your limits and remain sober

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas: OFW remittances total $1.67 billion in October

BSP Official seal(1993-present)

The money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) totaled $1.673 billion in October, a new monthly record signaling the advent of money transfers for the Christmas season, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Wednesday.

The remittances in October brought to $15.456 billion the amount of money remitted by OFWs in first 10 months of the year, up 7.9 percent from $14.231 billion in the same period last year.

BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement the remittances in October grew by $142 million or 9.3 percent from $1.531 billion booked a year earlier.

The remittances in October also eclipsed the $1.623-billion record registered in June.

"Remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks grew 9.3 percent in October 2010 to reach $1.7 billion, the highest monthly level posted during the year," Tetangco stressed.

"The sustained remittance flows into the country were due to the sustained robust demand for skilled and professional Filipinos," he added.

The remittances that accounted for 84 percent of the total and coursed through banks came from the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany, and Norway.

More job opportunities

Job orders that have been approved totaled 578,535 in the first 11 months, according to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

These orders were for the service and production sectors as well as professional, technical, and related fields in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

More Filipinos would be deployed after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported employers in Algeria plan to hire more workers for infrastructure projects, according to the BSP.

The construction of a military base in Guam next year will also open more job opportunities for OFWs, the central bank said.

"Looking ahead, the deployment outlook for Filipinos overseas also remained upbeat, given continuing bilateral talks with some host countries aimed at matching manpower requirements with the competencies of Filipino workers," the BSP chief said.

Global remittance networks

There are continuing efforts to improve the variety and coverage of the global remittance networks, enabling OFWs to transfer money using more innovative financial services.

"This, combined with the increasing presence of bank and non-bank money transfer conduits, both locally and internationally, as well as the expanding range of products and services offered by financial intermediaries to overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries, contributed to the strong inflow of remittances," Tetangco explained.

In 2009, remittances went up 5.4 percent to a record $17.348 billion from $16.426 billion in 2008 exceeding the revised 4-percent forecast by the central bank.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Returning OFWs get a free rides from Airport to Bus Terminals

Manila International Airport Check-in counter

As part of its efforts to honor overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the government is giving returning OFWs a free ride to bus terminals where they can get a ride to their home provinces during the holidays.

Radio dzBB's Denver Trinidad reported Monday the free rides are part of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration's "Pamaskong Handog (Christmas offering)."

The report quoted OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon as saying the returning OFWs will be ferried from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to different bus terminals.

On the other hand, Dimzon said she has ordered OWWA personnel at the NAIA terminals doubled to attend to the needs of returning OFWs.

On Monday afternoon, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will personally lead officials in welcoming OFWs returning home for the holidays.

Aquino is expected to hand out raffle prizes to lucky OFWs, the report said.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PNoy welcome returning OFWs at NAIA

Check-in Counters of Terminal 3 of the Ninoy A...

President Benigno Aquino III will go to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Monday to welcome returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The move would symbolize the government's high regard for OFWs, whose remittances sustain the economy, radio dzBB reported Sunday.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration chief Carmelita Dimzon will be with the President.

With luck, three OFWs will get cash and non-cash prizes in a raffle, according to dzBB.

His administration will make working abroad an "option" instead of a necessity for Filipinos, the President earlier said.

During the campaign for the May 10 elections, Aquino lamented that poverty continued to force many Filipinos for better paying jobs abroad.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Malacañang Announces Christmas Holiday Schedule

Malacañang Palace, the residence of the Philip...

Malacañang announced it was retaining the holiday schedule provided for under Proclamation No. 1841 of 2009 “Declaring the Regular Holidays, Special (Non-working) Days, and Special Holiday (for all Schools) for the Year 2010, saying the law was “relevant” for the occasion.

In an interview aired over dzRB on Sunday, Presidential Communication and Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said the government concurred with the law also known as the “holiday economics” law which provides that non-religious holidays be moved to the nearest Monday.

The rationale behind this law is to give Filipinos a longer weekend with which they can use to bond and strengthen family relationships as well as spur domestic tourism.

Under Proclamation No. 1841, December 24 (Friday) and December 31 (Friday) have been declared as “additional special (non-working) days” while December 27 has been declared a non-working holiday as it falls on the Monday nearest Rizal Day, a regular holiday every December 30.

With this holiday schedule, a pocket of three working days from December 28 (Tuesday) to December 30 (Thursday) remains for the remainder of the year after Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Watch Sale at OG Orchard Point up to 35% off

This Christmas, give your loved ones the gift of time with these stylish timepieces from Casio, Seiko and Citizen. Watches are going on sale at discounts at up to 35%! Only available at OG Orchard Point until 26 December 2010.

What:Discount sale of Casio, Seiko and Citizen watch
Where: OG Orchard Point

Friday, December 17, 2010

Filipino Dragons Bags 3 Golds, 1 Silver at Sava Sprints International IV Dragonboat Race

Filipino Dragons (Singapore) has recently bagged three gold medals at the 6th Sava Sprints International Dragonboat Competition, 20-21 November 2010, held at Lower Seletar  Reservoir, Singapore.  The team’s 12th gold medal in dragonboat races only in the span of two years.  Filipino Dragons (Singapore) is an expatriate team in Singapore with over 130 members and an affiliate member of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association.  It is to be mentioned here that the recent gold medal is the most precious one as it is the team’s first time to conquer the Championship in the Singapore Expatriate Community Category.

While the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) bagged the golds for the Corporate Club 20-Crew Open and the Singapore Expatriate Community Categories, two boats from the Filipino team raced and won the Gold and Silver in the Local Freestyle Category.  Also, in the two-day dragonboat event, several Filipino teams from Manila competed and all went home with medals.  They are the Legionaires Dragonboat Team, PDRT Fireblades and PYROS.

The Sava Sprints International is an annual event organized by Sava.  ”Think Dragonboat.  Think SAVA”, tryly has been Sava’s mission in promoting the sport in the country.  ”This year, we were very confident to win in the categories that we have signed up for because our team has religiously trained four times a week,” said Harland Baraquero, Head Coach of the Filipino Dragons (Singapore).  ”I always tell them to make each stroke solid and to alwyas look in front during their heats.”

“I am very proud of them for their first gold medal in the Singapore Expatriate Community Category.  They are now the new champions and the team to beat here in Singapore.”, Baraquero acknowledged.

For the record, Filipino Dragons (Singapore) or FDS has joined several international dragonboat races in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in the team’s homeland Philippines.  The team has been supported by 7,107 Flavours, PacBev, distributors of San Miguel Beer, Kali Majapahit and Buff Multifunction Headwear from Spain.

The team is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary in 13 December 2010 and has since established friendship and solidarity among other expatriate teams in the dragonboat community.  According to Tharin Walker, Team Captain of the American Dragons, “I’ve known the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) since the team’s beginning in early 2009.  I’ve been favorably impressed by several things about the team.  The first is , of course, the very fast growth in terms of numbers – FDS is easily the largest of the Expat / International teams in Singpaore.  Also, of course, the very fast rise from beginner to competitive status in terms of race results.  But, the coolest thing that I see about FDS is the friendly, family-like atmosphere amongst all the team members.  That is the team’s biggest strength, in my opinion.”

Wayne Salamonsen of AustCham Dragonboat Team when asked about the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) shared, “We’ve known the Filipino Dragons since they first setup here several years ago.  At that time they were just a fledgling team that had to borrow boats from other teams to get out on the water.  Since then they’ve grown significantly in both size and ability.”  In 2009, the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) joined the AustCham 10K Challenge hosted by the Australian Dragonboat Team and this year the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) sent two boats to participate in the said annual event.  Salamonsen added:  ”They are now probably the largest International team in Singapore in terms of membership numbers, own several boats and have become consistent challengers for the top step of the podium at the major Dragon Boat events in Singapore.”

Coach Baraquero added: ”We are now preparing for MR500 race in March 2011 and the Boracay International Dragonboat Festival on April 28-30, 2011 in Boracay, Philippines.  I am very delighted with the number and the quality of wins that we got for this year.  An early team anniversary and Christmas gift for most of us who will be away from their families this coming holiday season.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MANGO Year End Sale now open at outlets island wide

The MANGO Year End Sale, one of the anticipated sales has come around again and starts today at MANGO outlets island wide. Go early to beat the crowds and take advantage of the discounts of up to 50% off!

What: The MANGO Year End Sale
Where: MANGO outlets islandwide

Bureau of Customs will be considerate this Christmas, no tax duties on one electronic item

The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BoC) will be considerate to vacationing balikbayans or overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who would want to bring in electronic items in the country this Christmas.

"In the spirit of the holiday season, ang sabi ko sa ating collectors, examiners at appraisers, lalung-lalo na dito sa arrival area na bigyan naman ng konting konsiderasyon ang ating mga kababayan," said Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez.

Balikbayans or OFWs will be allowed by the BoC to bring in one electronic product free of duties and taxes.

Based on customs regulations, ad valorem tax is imposed on an electronic product with more than P10,000 value.

Alvarez admitted that the law on duties and taxes is outdated and needs to be amended by Congress.

OFW Rodrigo Cabuena had just arrived from Palma de Mallorca in Spain. He bought family chocolates and clothes as presents for his family because he knows how difficult it is to bring in electronic products in the country.

Aside from the long thorough search of his belongings, BoC members would also bombard him with several questions.

“Alam nyo po naman ang trabaho namin saka yung sahod namin, minimum wage earner lang po kami doon. Ngayon, kung pagbabayarin po kami nun, medyo mabigat yun,” Cabuena said.

Alvarez reminded OFWs that they must honestly fill up the Customs Declaration Form and bring the receipt of the electronic item they want to bring into the country

source: abs-cbn

Friday, December 10, 2010

Singapore Police nab 32-year-old Malaysian believed to be responsible for two cases of armed robbery


Singapore Police have arrested a 32-year-old Malaysian man who is believed to be responsible for two cases of armed robbery with hurt in the Ang Mo Kio estate.

On 29 November 2010 and 1 December 2010 , two cases of robberies were reported in the vicinity of Ang Mo Kio. In the first case on 29 November 2010 , a 60-year-old female victim was assaulted and robbed of her handbag containing S$50/- cash and a handphone by an unknown man while she was in the lift of Blk 438 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 at around 11am . In the second case on 1 December 2010 , a 57-year-old taxi driver was robbed of S$180/- at knifepoint by a male passenger in his taxi at Blk 416 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 at around 10.05am . As a result of a struggle with the suspect, the taxi driver also suffered a 4cm laceration on his neck.

Following the reports, officers from Ang Mo Kio Police Division worked relentlessly on all possible leads. Through extensive probes and investigative follow-up, the officers managed to establish the identity of the suspect – a Malaysian who had overstayed. With this lead, the officers mounted a series of ambush operations at various locations in Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh area in a bid to apprehend him.

On 2 December 2010 at about 5.20 pm , the officers' efforts finally paid off when they located the suspect and arrested him in the vicinity of Lorong 5 Toa Payoh. Upon his arrest, he was found in possession of a bank passbook belonging to the first victim and a penknife, which was believed to have been used in the commission of the offence.

The suspect will be charged in the Court on 4 December 2010 for Armed Robbery with Hurt which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years imprisonment and not less than 24 strokes of the cane. He also faces an additional charge of Overstaying Illegally in Singapore under the Immigration Act. A Court Order will be sought to remand the suspect for further investigation thereafter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Philippine Bureau of Immigration screening procedures led to a big drop in the number of human trafficking victims reaching Singapore


The Philippine embassy in Singapore lauded the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) campaign against human trafficking that prevented the departure of thousands of undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) during the past weeks, many of them bound for the progressive city-state.

In a letter to Immigration Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma, embassy charge d’ affaires Nathaniel Imperial said the BI’s recent screening procedures for departing Filipinos led to a big drop in the number of human trafficking victims reaching Singapore.

Imperial said Singapore, being a Freeport, is a regular destination and transshipment point of Filipinos who are victims of illegal recruiters and prostitution rings preying on young women.

“The Embassy appreciates this effort of the Bureau in countering the trafficking problem in the Philippines, especially since Singapore is a destination country of many trafficking victims,” the official said.

Imperial said that due to the BI’s intensified drive against human trafficking, the embassy now receives frequent queries from Filipinos in Singapore who wish to invite relatives and friends to visit them.

He asked the BI for specific guidelines as to when immigration officers at the airports may require affidavits and other proofs from travelling Filipinos who claim they were invited by relatives and friends abroad.

Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI airport operations division chief, said such affidavits must be authenticated by the Philippine embassy in Singapore, but stressed that such affidavit is not a guarantee that the invitee will be allowed to depart.

He said it is the discretion of the immigration officer to allow or disallow the departure of a passenger depending on the assessment during primary and secondary inspections.
Santos said there were past reports that affidavits were being forged by human trafficking syndicates to facilitate the departure of “tourist workers”, or would-be OFWs disguised as tourists.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Driving instructor jailed for 9 months for molesting and insulting his teenage student

A 52-year-old Singapore driving instructor was sentenced today to nine months' jail for molesting his student and uttering sexually explicit words in her presence.

Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman was convicted of three counts of molest and one count of insulting the girl's modesty following a three-day trial.

He had committed the offences in a car during the girl's fifth and final driving lesson on December 19 last year.

He did so while the 18-year-old student was driving around the Ubi Estate between 8.30am and 10am that day.

Teen arrested!

Abdul Aziz had placed his right hand on her inner left thigh and squeezed it several times.

He had also used a finger to brush against her chest.

During the trial, the girl had testified that during her first four lessons with Abdul Aziz, she found that he was "a very nice person who was easy to talk to".

He only started behaving inappropriately towards her after the first 15 minutes of the final lesson.

The student had also testified that she felt violated by Abdul Aziz's behaviour.

In mitigation, the instructor's lawyer, Ismail Hamid urged District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim to consider his client's age before sentencing him.

Mr Ismail added that Abdul Aziz has been suspended from his job since he was charged and was "deprived of his livelihood" for more than six months.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Edward Ti told the court that Abdul Aziz had betrayed what he referred to as a "sacred" relationship between a student and a teacher.

The crimes had also taken place in a confined space, said Mr Ti.

Abdul Aziz who intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence has been offered a bail of $15,000.

For each molest charge, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined.

And for insulting the teenager's modesty, he could have been jailed up to a year and fined.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Singapore Police arrested a 51 year-old Malaysian for posing as ‘Bogus Electrician’

Police have arrested a 51 year-old Malaysian national who is believed to be responsible for numerous cases of theft in dwelling at various housing estates by posing as an electrician.

The ‘bogus electrician’ was known to target elderly persons and would pose as an electrician to gain entry into the victim’s unit on the pretext of checking/repairing the power supply. Upon entering the premises, the victim would be asked by the suspect to hold a bamboo pole against a light bulb in the kitchen toilet to facilitate the checks. The suspect would then take this opportunity to steal cash and/or jewelry from the premises while the victim was occupied. In the latest case reported on 26 October 2010, a 76 year-old woman living at Bendemeer Road fell prey to the ‘bogus electrician’ who made off with about $10,000 cash and $4,000 worth of jewelry.

Following these cases, officers from Central Police Division conducted extensive enquiries and investigations in a bid to nab the suspect. Police also issued a crime alert via the media on the suspect’s description and modus operandi, together with a crime prevention advisory to warn members of the public against him.

The officers’ hard work and perseverance finally paid off when the suspect’s identity was established through investigations and intelligence probes. With this important lead, an operation was mounted and the suspect was detained at Woodlands Checkpoint on 22 November 2010 at 2.50pm as he was about to leave Singapore.

The suspect will be charged in Court on 24 November 2010 for an offence of Theft in Dwelling under Section 380 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224 which carries a jail term of 7 years and a fine. He will be remanded for further investigations thereafter.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Philippine immigration officers underwent customer care, skills training hoping to project positive and tourist-friendly image

This is good news, hopefully those who are planning to go home this holiday will feel the love and care of our “newly” trained officers. We commend BI for having thought of this training, it is badly needed. Those mentioned soft skills (in bold letters) are a mouthful and we hope they will stick once they are back on the job….

As part of its continuing mission to empower and develop the potentials of its employees, the Bureau of Immigration will conduct this week a three-day training for immigration officers that focuses on effective communication, enhanced customer service and conflict management.

BI Officer-In-Charge Ronaldo Ledesma said an initial batch of 25 immigration officers will undergo the “Customer Care, Image and Skills Enhancement Workshop” to be held at the Philippine Immigration Academy in Clark, Pampanga from November 3 to 5.

“This is part of the bureau’s continuing efforts to improve our service delivery and at the same time update our immigration officers on the latest immigration trends and best practices in the world,” Ledesma said.

“Our immigration officers are the very first persons that foreigners meet when they arrive in our airports. That is why it is very important that they project a positive and professional image that should also reflect the Filipinos’ trademark traits of hospitality and courtesy,” he added.

Lawyer Arvin Santos, BI Airport Operations Division chief, said that the bureau would adjust the schedules of the other immigration officers who are not included in the first batch of trainees to minimize disruption in operations, particularly in the manning of immigration counters in the airports.

The three-day workshop will cover topics such as

  • updates in the policies and procedures of the Airport Operations Division
  • courtesy and discipline
  • personal awareness and aspects of a positive job image as immigration officers
  • effective communication
  • conflict management
  • and defining business etiquette within globally-accepted immigration standards, among others.

The bureau’s immigration officers are at the forefront of the country’s intensified campaign against human trafficking, drug smuggling and other transnational crimes, and are usually at the receiving end of abusive foreign visitors, thus the need to project strict but professional demeanor at all times.

“This training program is vital not only for the immigration officers’ professional growth but also in projecting a positive and tourist-friendly image for the Philippines in the eyes of the world,” Ledesma said.