Found this interesting post for January 4, 2011 in the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines – Home.


MANILA, Philippines—Sophisticated transnational drug-trafficking syndicates—including a West African group using overseas Filipino workers as couriers—remain the biggest challenge to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other agencies involved in the campaign against illegal drugs, according to a report from the US State Department.

From only three in 2008, the number of foreign-based drug organizations operating in the Philippines has increased to nine, according to the department’s 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

“The West African drugs syndicate continues to infiltrate the Philippines with their operations. There is an increase in the recruitment of OFWs to smuggle cocaine and heroin in and out of the country,” said the report which was posted on the website of the US embassy in Manila.

These drug couriers “smuggle and transport illegal drugs to China, Malaysia and Vietnam. Several Filipinos, mostly women, are jailed abroad for drug trafficking and face severe prison sentences, including the death penalty in countries such as China,” it also said.

Billion-dollar industry

The report noted that although the Philippines is not a regional financial center, the illegal drug trade in the country has evolved into a billion-dollar industry, valued at over $8.4 billion (about P368.2 billion) a year.

It said the illegal drug industry here is fueled by foreign-organized criminal activities from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; insurgency groups that partially fund their activities through local crime and the trafficking of narcotics and arms, engaging in money laundering through ties to organized crime; and the proceeds of official or bureaucratic corruption which are also a source of laundered funds.

“Wholesale quantities of crystal methamphetamine (commonly known as shabu) are smuggled into the Philippines and continues to be manufactured clandestinely in the country,” the State Department said.

“Precursor chemicals are smuggled into the country from China, India and Taiwan through international airports, seaports, the mails, as well as via large unpatrolled expanses of the Philippine coastline,” it said.

PH transshipment point

Traffickers take advantage of the Philippines’ long and porous maritime borders to use the country as a transit point for high-grade cocaine and heroin shipments, primarily originating from India and Pakistan, the report said.

Chinese and Taiwanese remain the most influential foreign drug-trafficking groups in the Philippines and control domestic methamphetamine production, the State Department said.

Their chemists continue to establish clandestine laboratories in the Philippines for the manufacture of methamphetamine, it said.

“These traffickers typically produce methamphetamine in relatively small-scale clandestine meth labs commonly referred to as ‘kitchen-type’ labs, which more easily avoid detection by law enforcement authorities,” it said.

Shabu “ranks first in availability and remains the primary drug of choice in the Philippines,” where approximately 95 percent of arrested drug users are addicted to the illegal drug.

According to the 2009 United Nations World Drug Report, the Philippines “ranks fifth in the world in terms of methamphetamine hydrochloride seizures in the last 10 years and has remained a significant source of high-potency crystalline methamphetamine used both domestically and exported to locations in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania.”

The Philippines is also a primary source of shabu for Hawaii and Guam, said the US State Department.

But it noted that “intensified nationwide counter-narcotics operations by Philippine law enforcement agencies have apparently contributed to a reduction in drug supply, inasmuch as drug prices have been erratic in areas of increased enforcement.”

Law enforcement efforts

The Philippine government was cited for making anti-narcotics law enforcement one of its top priorities, with law enforcement agencies such as PDEA, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Customs actively pursuing counter-narcotics enforcement operations.

But though each agency is diligent in its efforts to carry out its mission, “their efforts are hampered by a lack of inter-agency cooperation at higher levels. Severe budgetary constraints also restrict operations and training,” it said.

PDEA, for instance, “remains too small to address the entire nation’s problems with the trafficking and sale of illicit drugs. It currently relies on other agencies for personnel assistance.”

“However, PDEA has established stronger regulatory guidelines and practices, and if provided necessary resources, should continue to develop into an effective drug enforcement agency,” it said.

The PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force “has been an effective drug law enforcement unit and scored several successes in 2009,” according to the State Department.

NBI’s small role

Compared with the PDEA and PNP, the NBI “has played a smaller role in drug enforcement due to its very limited manpower and multi-mission focus. However, its investigative and technical expertise is vital to the overall Philippine counter-narcotics efforts, especially in more complex investigations,” the US agency said.

The State Department said Washington plans to continue working with the Philippine government in the “training of anti-narcotics personnel, intelligence-gathering and infrastructure development.”

“Strengthening bilateral counter-narcotics relationship serves the national interests of both the US and the Philippines,” it added. –Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer


6 months plus months of personal training got Jovit Baldivino 2 million pesos in the first ever Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT), the country’s leading talent search show. Jovit started as one of the strong contenders from Luzon, serenading the audience of his rock star voice.

The new millionaire sang Journey’s ‘Faithfully’, an all-time favorite revived by now Filipino vocalist Arnel Pineda, the first time. He was in humble polo and slacks that time. Obviously, he wowed not only the audience but the judges of the TV show.

Jovit appeared in a sleek jacket and dark denims in the semi-finals night. This time, he already grew his fans double. He is also a million-hit worth in the prestigious online video site, You Tube. The once simple boy sported a browned hair, which one of the judges commented on. He won that phase with ease.

Apparently, he was the favorite of the crowd when he sang his final’s piece ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ last night. This time though, he contended with dancing greats Velasco Brothers and Baguio Metamorphosis, equally cool Ezra Band, and singing sensation Ingrid.

The people have spoken, Jovic Baldivino topped the text votes. He won 2 million pesos and the pride of being the very first PGT winner. Once a Siomai vendor, Jovic can go back to school and a new singing career with apparently the channel that launched the talent search.

‘The best things in life are for free’ struck me this morning as I was sitting and waiting in vain for my loan to be released. It was a grueling three-hour wait when I saw a priceless thing right in front of me, a meter away from me down on the floor. Trying hard to make out what it is, as I move slowly to see it more clearly, the biggest smile of my life formed on my face stretching my lips for the first time in three hours.

It was false teeth that apparently fell down from the agape sleeping woman two rows in front of me! It was rude of me but I can’t help laughing, first in silence and then louder in the comfort room. When I went back inside, my seat was already taken but I am already feeling good. It was funny but it was more than a relief to know that I am still lucky to be just losing my three hours of the day,

Inspired, I approached the teller and asked about the release of my loan why the release is taking too long. Good for me I did that because my release papers were ‘misplaced’. I wonder if that woman, sleeping there with her mouth open and false teeth already on the floor is also trapped in the bureaucracy of the government. I’ll never know, I need to hurry before the bank close down today.

Iron Man 2 stars walked the red carpet of El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles today after bringing in a blockbuster performance. The sequel is expected to rake in more than the first time in 2008 and will try to shake the box office for a slot. Like in the first Iron Man, the movie is starred by Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jon Favreau among others. Veteran and Oscar winner Samuel Jackson is also included in this movie. Another new is screenplay writer Justin Theroux. The story is still based on Stan Lee’s Marvel comic book.

Here is IDMB’s summary of the film:

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances — and confront powerful enemies.

Iron Man 2008 by screenplay writers Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway

Tony Stark is the complete playboy who also happens to be an engineering genius. While in Afghanistan demonstrating a new missile he’s captured and wounded. His captors want him to assemble a missile for them but instead he creates an armored suit and a means to prevent his death from the shrapnel left in his chest by the attack. He uses the armored suit to escape. Back in the U.S. he announces his company will cease making weapons and he begins work on an updated armored suit only to find that Obadiah Stane, his second in command at Stark industries has been selling Stark weapons to the insurgents. He uses his new suit to return to Afghanistan to destroy the arms and then to stop Stane from misusing his research. Written by John Vogel {}

The playboy wolf and genius Tony Stark is the successful CIO of the Stark Industries, a weapon company founded by his father. His second in command is Obadiah Stane, who worked with his father, and his loyal and professional secretary is Pepper Potts, who has a crush on Tony. While in Afghanistan to demonstrate the ultimate Jericho missile developed by his company, his military convoy is attacked and Tony is seriously wounded on his chest and kidnapped by a group of rebels that wants him to assemble a missile for their use. Tony stays with his abductors for three months and develops a powerful metallic armor to escape from the cave where he is arrested. He decides to stop manufacturing weapons in his company under the protest of Obadiah, and dedicates his time to improve the armor, manufacturing it with gold and titanium and installing a propulsion system to fly. However, Pepper discovers that Tony was betrayed by Obadiah, who is using Tony’s data to build prototype armor for him, transforming it in the ultimate weapon.

Who can forget the First People Power or the Edsa Revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos? It was a national happening that showed Filipinos are democracy-loving people. No one is going to forget that, but few will celebrate it nowadays unlike the good old days.

One of the reasons cited for the absence of many personalities in the 3-day celebration is that they are engaged in other events. Come to think of it, after the government have made the day a holiday, they are still out for their own personal engagements? Isn’t it more truthful if we say that they have already lacjed the interest to celebrate something that had been part of our history? Besides, Filipinos are basically ‘ningas kugon’.

The forgetfulness to show up in the celebration may also be caused by confusion. Just imagine, the real date of the People Power Revolution is February 26. That should fall on a Thursday but instead, the government moved it to the nearest Monday. I myself forgot that Monday was a holiday and filed a vacation leave to file for a HDMO loan. I was surprised no one was in the office at the first day of the week!

Or maybe, it is just the timing. People have already felt tired of the celebration for 28 years now. The fact that it is celebrated by a government that most of the countrymen despised. If that is the case, isn’t it better to be at home and spend the day with the family?

Anyway, whatever reason/s they have, we can’t oblige the People Power Revolution personalities to be there. We are living in a democratic country, isn’t that what this revolution was all about?

What reminds you of February 12? Darwin Day, that’s right! But honestly, it is not the evolutionary biologist that gets to my mind every February 12 but monkeys of different kinds until they become…me?
Charles Darwin is the one who have ruined my belief of being molded in perfection using dirt, soil, and whatever there is on Earth long time ago. He is the man who has made me worried each time I went to zoos and wildlife. Remember? You and I are nothing but the highest and intelligent nieces and nephews of those urangutans in chicken wire prisons. Whew!

Kidding aside, Charles Darwin is celebrating his 200th year on Earth if he was alive. But there is no forgetting. People have put up the International Darwin Day Foundation to honor the works of the greatest evolution discoverer of all times. If it happens you are a fan, log on to and learn more about the man. You can also become a contributor or whatever you think will be best for you and the foundation’s interest.

I know its Christmas and I am supposed to be really happy. But how can I after my darling for 14 years announced that it is all over for us? That someone else had come and given her an opportunity to make all things right for both of us. Why, was I wrong all along? I can’t figure it out. Why would anyone just break someone’s heart? That someone who had shared every moment of life, happy and sad? How could someone just come and break my heart in time for Christmas?

Frankly, I knew this is going to come but I have always believed in us. I thought we were invincible. I don’t believe any of my thoughts now. I don’t believe me. I don’t and I can’t believe anyone else now. I think the world is seriously funny and that some people are just sick in their minds!

To you my one and only love, you hurt me too much. I really can’t believe you can do this but whoa, I was wrong again. How could you hurt me this way? In fact, I should ask how you could have replaced me before you actually discard me. I have so many questions and I can’t get any answer. Really, how could anyone break someone’s heart saying they loved them but they just got to move on? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with the world?

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