Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nepalese sentenced to 3 years for stabbing Pinay ex-GF in UAE

A 33-year-old Nepalese was sentenced to three years in jail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for stabbing a 39-year-old Filipino woman who dumped him in March 2010.

According to a report of Khaleej Times Online, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the Nepalese of stabbing his Filipina ex-girlfriend before trying to kill himself while he was intoxicated.

On March 4 last year, the Nepalese, 33, entered the beauty salon where his Filipina ex-girlfriend was working and stabbed her on her head, chest and hand, the report said.

After attacking the Filipina, he attempted suicide by stabbing himself three times in the abdomen, the report added.

The victim, a 39-year-old woman, told the prosecutor that the incident happened as she and her colleague preparing to close the beauty salon late that night.

The victim said she heard her colleague, a 35-year-old Nepalese woman, screaming because the Filipina's ex-boyfriend stabbed her in the hand.

“After stabbing her he stabbed me," the Filipina said.

She recounted that after the attack, she fainted and woke up later at the hospital.

The victim said she had known the Nepalese for a year before the attack happened.

However, when the Nepalese did not keep his promise to marry her, the Filipina decided to break up with him.

According to Khaleej Time, an Emirati lieutenant said during the investigation that he was on duty at the Raffa Police Station when they were informed by the Operation Room of the Dubai Police about a stabbing incident.

“We went to the beauty salon and there was blood everywhere. The defendant was lying on his back with a medium-sized knife next to him," the policeman was quoted as saying. – VVP, GMA News

Paul leads Hornets past Lakers in stunning opener


LOS ANGELES (AP) Chris Paul and a few teammates sneaked across the street from their hotel to Staples Center the night before the New Orleans Hornets began the postseason, eagerly hoisting up a few shots in the shadows of the Lakers' imposing championship banners.
With their tumultuous regular season finally a memory, Paul said the Hornets were almost unbearably eager for the playoffs to start.
Maybe that's why New Orleans got the drop on the defending champs in a stunning series opener.
Paul had 33 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, flawlessly leading the Hornets down the stretch of a 109-100 victory Sunday.
Carl Landry scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack added 15 for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who overcame Los Angeles' major size advantage with cagey defense and a disciplined offensive approach that led to just three turnovers, tying an NBA playoff record.
New Orleans also got a phenomenal game from Paul, who scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and led a decisive 8-0 run after the Lakers trimmed their lead to four points. Repeatedly shredding Los Angeles' defense on pick-and-roll plays, the four-time All-Star was at his playmaking apex.
"I've struggled all season long, trying to figure out where to pick my spots," said Paul, who inscribed his sneakers with the No. 30 of injured teammate David West, New Orleans' leading scorer. "It's the playoffs. It's a whole other energy."
Game 2 is Wednesday at Staples Center.
A few hours after eighth-seeded Memphis produced a series-opening surprise in San Antonio, Paul and his Hornets put another intriguing wrinkle in the NBA postseason.
Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who opened the postseason with the same halfhearted effort that comprised much of their regular season after three straight exhausting trips to the NBA finals.
Los Angeles' 7-foot starters, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, were widely expected to be an awful matchup for smallish New Orleans, but New Orleans rookie coach Monty Williams concocted an impressive game plan to minimize the big men's impact.
"Our defense, I thought, was late," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I think we were late on everything. They were the aggressors, and they stayed aggressive. ... I think they respect the Hornets. I just don't think they were keyed in on what they have to do."
Ron Artest had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who swept the four-game regular-season series with New Orleans. They had won their last six playoff series openers since Houston beat them in the Western Conference semifinals in 2009 on Los Angeles' way to Bryant's fourth championship.
Los Angeles never grabbed a second-half lead despite another dynamite game from Bryant. The most glaring problem was Gasol, who struggled to eight points - just two more than his season low - on 2-for-9 shooting with just six rebounds.
A few people in the Staples Center crowd pointedly heckled Gasol in the final minutes, while other fans booed as they streamed out of the building.
"I'm disappointed, yeah. Stunned, surprised," Gasol said. "But we were the ones responsible for that to happen, so we have to own up to that and come back to work in the next couple of days and get the series where we want it to be."
The playoff pressure of Staples Center clearly didn't bother the Hornets, who lost West to a serious knee injury last month and lost three straight games to finish the regular season. Williams made his playoff debut along with Emeka Okafor, Marco Belinelli and Jack - but the Hornets had more poise down the stretch.
Artest's free throws pulled Los Angeles within four with 3 minutes left, but Paul led the Hornets to points on four consecutive possessions, setting off a celebration confined entirely to the Hornets' bench.
"A lot of people counted us out from the beginning," Landry said. "A lot of people probably still count us out. That's cool. A lot of people might think this game might have been lucky, but we play as a team. We play as a collective unit. We're without David West, but we've still got dudes on this team that can step up."
Lamar Odom had 10 points and one rebound in 31 minutes of play, while Bynum contributed 13 points and nine rebounds but wasn't his usual defensive force in his first game back from a hyperextended right knee.
"It's always good for us, when I think about the personality of our team, to be humbled a little bit," Odom said. "Sometimes that's the best thing for us, to be humbled. To lose on our home court in the playoffs, probably against a team that people think we should handle easy, I think it's good for us."
Aaron Gray had a season-high 12 points for New Orleans, but was helped off the court by teammates with 1:07 to play after Gasol accidentally stepped on his right foot while fighting for a rebound. Williams said Gray has a mildly sprained ankle.
Bryant bruised his neck when he tumbled into the front row after hitting a jumper in the final minute of the first half, spending the last 10 seconds facedown in pain while Artest hit a 43-foot jumper at the buzzer. Bryant got up slowly and missed halftime warmups, but returned without missing a beat.
NOTES: G Trey Johnson, recalled from the D-League by the Lakers just five days earlier, played six minutes in the second quarter. Johnson was with the Lakers in training camp, and he suited up for Toronto earlier this season. ... Bryant collided with the courtside chair next to Tim Leiweke, the chief executive of sports conglomerate AEG. ... Fans near courtside included Jack Black, Seal,, former Arizona forward Derrick Williams and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

Reward for Negros barangay hall massacre suspect raised to P500K

After failing for more than a month to locate the suspect, Negros Occidental authorities have raised to P500,000 the reward for information leading to the capture of the suspect in a barangay hall massacre in Silay City on March 6.

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon doubled the reward for Barangay Kapitan Ramon bloodbath suspect Noel Ayalin from P250,000 to P500,000 as police said the search for him has gone nationwide.

This developed as additional charges for multiple frustrated homicide were filed against Ayalin before the Silay City Prosecutor’s Office Friday, the news site Visayan Daily Star reported on Saturday.

Those who survived the bloodbath were Kapitan Ramon Barangay Captain Ramon Celebre, and barangay councilors Salvacion Corugda, 42, and Lenny Leorca, 34.

The survivors were the ones who filed the charges against Ayalin.

On Wednesday, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was in Bacolod City at the time, ordered the police to use all available resources and manpower to arrest Ayalin.

Robredo cited information reaching him that Ayalin, a former barangay captain, may no longer be in Negros Occidental.

Ayalin faces four charges of murder for shooting dead Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Imee Occeña, 16; and barangay councilors Luzviminda Cotamen, 45, Freddie Juno, 58, and Pedrito Orocio, 52.

The victims were shot as they were about to start their barangay council session in Kapitan Ramon on March 6.

Negros Occidental police director Chief Superintendent Cipriano Querol Jr. said the search for Ayalin has gone nationwide because they believe he is no longer in Negros.

“We formed five dedicated teams to go after Ayalin but unfortunately he has escaped our dragnet," Querol said.

Querol assured that the search for Ayalin has not stopped even if the court has not issued a warrant for his arrest yet. – VVP, GMA News

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DFA to conduct mobile passport services April to June

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will conduct Mobile Passport Services (MPS) in various provinces from April to June.

In an announcement on its website, the DFA said it will hold the missions in Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan, Mindoro and parts of Metro Manila.

For April, the DFA said consular teams will be in Tanay, Rizal and Gen. Mariano Alvarez, Cavite on April 16.

The team will also visit Angono, Rizal and Obando, Bulacan on April 30.

For May, MPS teams will be in Caloocan City and Makati City on May 7; in Rodriguez, Rizal and Pinagbuhatan, Pasig on May 14; in Pateros on May 21; and at the Department of Health main office on May 28.

MPS teams will also go to Paombong, Bulacan and Quezon City on June 4; Navotas City and Calapan, Mindoro on June 11; Pasig City and Iba, Zambales on June 18; and Tanza, Cavite on June 25. – VVP, GMA News

2 offices at NFA headquarters in QC ransacked

Police started Thursday an investigation into the ransacking of at least two offices at the headquarters of the National Food Authority in Quezon City.

A report by radio dzBB's Allan Gatus quoted NFA spokesman Rex Estoperez as saying that the affected offices included the public affairs and human resources departments.

Quezon City Police District Scene of the Crime Operations (QCPD-SOCO) operatives cited initial information that drawers in the two offices at the NFA building's third floor were flung open.

The report did not indicate the things that were lost in the incident, but said police may ask NFA officials for closed-circuit television footage, if these are available. — LBG, GMA News

NBA fines Bryant $100,000 for anti-gay slur

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The NBA fined Kobe Bryant $100,000 on Wednesday for using a derogatory gay term in frustration over a referee's call.
NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a swift disciplinary ruling after the Los Angeles Lakers' five-time NBA champion guard cursed and used the homophobic slur when referee Bennie Adams called a technical foul on him Tuesday night in the third quarter of a victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
"Kobe Bryant's comment during last night's game was offensive and inexcusable," Stern said. "While I'm fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. ... Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society."
Stern's action drew praise from gay-rights organizations that had demanded a fuller apology from Bryant and condemnation of his words by the Lakers. Bryant, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, issued a statement earlier Wednesday saying his words came strictly out of anger and shouldn't be taken literally.
"We applaud Commissioner Stern and the NBA for not only fining Bryant but for recognizing that slurs and derogatory comments have no place on the basketball court or in society at large," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said. "We hope such swift and decisive action will send a strong and universal message that this kind of hateful outburst is simply inexcusable no matter what the context."
Bryant's words and actions were captured by TNT's cameras during the network's national broadcast of the Lakers' regular-season home finale.
Bryant punched his chair before taking a seat on the bench, throwing a towel on the court near his feet in frustration after picking up his fourth foul in the third quarter. He got his 15th technical of the season for arguing the call, one shy of the cumulative trigger for a one-game NBA suspension.
"What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period," Bryant said in a statement issued through the Lakers. "The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
The 32-year-old Bryant is a former league MVP, a 13-time All-Star, the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history and sixth on the NBA's career list after passing Moses Malone last month. He was the MVP of the last two NBA finals while leading the Lakers to back-to-back titles.
Bryant has been among the NBA's most popular players worldwide for most of his 15-year career, spent entirely with the Lakers, even after he was arrested and accused of sexual assault in 2003 in a case that was later dropped. He has several lucrative endorsement deals with companies ranging from Sprite to Turkish Airlines.
His No. 24 jersey was the league's best-selling uniform among fans during each of the past two seasons, and Bryant's jersey finished second to LeBron James' new Miami uniform in the NBA's annual rankings released earlier Wednesday.
Gay-rights groups quickly denounced Bryant's actions against Adams. Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, saw an opportunity to put a spotlight on the unacceptable nature of anti-gay slurs.
"Professional sports players need to set a better example for young people who use words like this on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility," Barrios said. "The LA Lakers have a responsibility to educate their fans about why this word is unacceptable."
Known as a fierce competitor with a nasty edge, Bryant has ranked among the NBA's top 10 accumulators of technical fouls during each of the past six seasons, and he has edged right up to the line of serious NBA discipline this spring. He ranks second only to Orlando's Dwight Howard in technical fouls this season, mostly for arguing with referees.
Bryant was called for an additional technical foul that was rescinded Monday. If Bryant gets another T in the Lakers' season finale at Sacramento on Wednesday night, he would be suspended for the first game of next season, not for a playoff game.
The Lakers will open the playoffs this weekend at Staples Center.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Labor chief: OFW displacement to slash remittances by $1.6B

Threatening to displace over two million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the escalating unrest in Middle Eastern and North African countries could bring down annual OFW remittances by $1.6 billion, government figures show.

Citing remittance figures from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz disclosed that about 2.4 million OFWs work in strife-torn countries in the Middle East.

In North Africa, some 64,736 OFWs in similarly conflict-ridden states such as Egypt and Libya face threats against their personal security and employment.

The projection, however, excludes possible losses from OFWs in countries with lingering conflict such as Iran, which employs 4,420 OFWs, Iraq with 6,215, and Israel with 39,000.

Employment in Qatar

Vice President Jejomar Binay meanwhile said that job openings await OFWs in Qatar -- at $88,233 per person, it has the world’s highest per capita I ncome, surpassing Norway and Luxembourg.

In his meeting with Binay, Qatar Labor Minister Nasser bin Abdulla Al Hamaidi expressed his eagerness to see more OFWs in Qatar as the country prepares to host the World Cup in 2022.

Welcoming Binay, Crown Prince Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani also said, “Filipinos are always welcome in Doha. Our doors are open to them. They are hardworking, disciplined, highly skilled and very professional, and they have become part of our culture." 
OFW remittances have buoyed the Philippine economy, reaching nearly $19 million in the last two years. — PE/VS, GMA News Online

PHL Embassy in UK warns vs forged signatures, fake verification stamps

Philippine officials in the United Kingdom (UK) warned Filipino workers on Sunday to be wary against the forged signatures of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office there (POLO-UK) and fake job verification stamps.

The Philippine Embassy in the UK issued the warning after learning that at least one recruitment agency presented forged Job Order Verification Stamps and signatures of authorized officials of the POLO-UK.

"The Embassy reiterates its advice to verify any job offers, particularly those secured online, with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency or the POLO-UK at or," it said in a news release posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website.

The embassy said the case involved one JP Recruitment Agency with address at 290 Queens Road, Bootle, Liverpool, United Kingdom and contact number 00-44701114753.

Citing information reaching it, the Embassy said the agency presented a Manpower Request/Job Order bearing a fake POLO-UK verification stamp and the forged signature of the Labor Attaché based in London to a Philippine recruitment agency.

However, the DFA did not say if the agency was sanctioned for the action.

"The public is advised not to entertain any transactions for recruitment and employment from the said entity which allegedly bear the stamp and signature of POLO without first verifying this with the POLO-UK Office at the Embassy," it said. – VVP, GMA News

Convicted Pinoy drug courier in Thailand to appeal case

Another Filipino detained abroad on drug-related charges will fight to prove her innocence in court, as she believes that she has a strong case.

Flory May Talaban, who is detained in Thailand, is not seeking clemency before the Thai king but has instead filed an appeal before Thailand's second court.

Talaban, 28, disclosed this to her parents who visited her at the Correctional Institute for Female Offenders in Bangkok last March 28, news site Visayan Daily Star reported on Saturday.

Her mother Nede said that Flory May had told them she has filed an appeal before Thailand’s second court.

Rep. Neri Colmenares, who facilitated the visit of Nede and Florentino Talaban to their daughter, said that one has to withdraw one’s appeal in court to avail of a pardon or clemency from the King of Thailand.

Colmenares said that Flory May had said that she does not want to seek clemency because she wants to prove her innocence in court, as she believes she has a strong case.

Flory May is one of two Filipina drug mules facing life sentences in Thailand.

Colmenares said the other Filipino is Icoy Mamontong.

He added that there are 23 Filipino drug mules now detained in Thai prisons.

Thai police arrested Flory May at a Thai mall on May 4, 2009. She was supposedly carrying a book said to have 2.6 kilograms of heroin concealed inside.

Police also raided her Bangkok apartment and found 2.8 kg of heroin there.

The Thai Court found Talaban guilty of “possession of a Category 1 illegal narcotic (heroin) with intent to sell."

March 28 was the first time Flory May's parents were able to see her since her arrest.

Colmenares described the meeting as "heart-wrenching."

But while Flory May and her parents wept, they were denied a chance to hug each other, as they were separated by a glass wall.

Colmenares said he asked the jail personnel if the Talabans could hug their daughter even only briefly.

It was not allowed.

They touched fingertips through a small hole in the glass, he said.

The Visayan Daily Star report quoted Nede as saying Flory May told them that she was sorry if the allegations against her had brought shame upon her family. She insisted she is innocent, and says she will prove it in court.

She told them that, as their eldest child, she wanted to be the one helping her parents rather than the one causing them pain.

Flory May said that at her first trial, she was defended by a court-appointed lawyer but that they had lost their case.

Now she has a new lawyer who had agreed to defend now and be paid later, Colmenares said.

Flory May, 28, quit her law studies at University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City to work as a teacher in China in 2005.

But when she arrived in China, there was no work available to her. She opted to stay after her father suffered a stroke and was forced to retire from work at the USLS as electronic technician.

She told her parents that she had been hired as a tutor.

Colmenares said Talaban's work visa in China had expired so she went to Thailand to renew it from there.

She also went to Thailand where she had been told that many tutoring jobs are available, Colmenares added.

Flory May told her mother that in the Thai village where she was living, she had a Nigerian acquaintance who had asked her to deliver a book to a friend of his when she went to the mall. The man also asked if he could leave a bag at her apartment.

She said she was surprised that while she was at the mall, the police arrested her and found the drugs in the book.

They then asked her daughter where she lived and she told them, Nede said.

Nede said her daughter did not know that the bag left in her apartment contained drugs. If she knew what was in it, she would not have told the police where she lived, she added.

Nede said her daughter has grown thin and has rashes and scars on her face. She is allergic to the Thai food she is eating in prison and sometimes lacks soap, Nede added.— AYA/TJD, GMA News