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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

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Miss Philippines Venus Raj takes the Philippines to the top 10 of the prestigious Miss Universe 2010 as of posting. It is not certain if she is already aware of what is happening in her country but she knows that her best friend, Melody Gersbach died last Saturday in a vehicle accident. She was shaken of the news but still holds out pretty nicely. Taking her country to top 10 proves how strong and courageous the young Filipina is.

We hope she wins because the Philippines needs her in promoting the country after what happened at the Quirino Grandstand yesterday. As we await the top 5, we also hope for the peace in the country and the world.


Moms would not want their kids stripped off their dad’s name but not in the case of Kris Aquino. In fact, she is really filed a motion that will take the Yap off from their only son. What could have fueled this desire? Is it part of the plan of securing the family name for baby James political career or pure greed?

Remembering that Kris Aquino is among the most influential showbiz personality today and how she prepped up his brother to win the presidency might have gotten into her head. She might have realized how influential their family name had been and still is. His brother at 50, still a bachelor, and has never been heard of to do something extraordinary throughout his political career is now Pnoy—thanks to Kris and the legacy of being born an Aquino. He might not marry and surrounded with married sisters, there’s no one else to bear the family’s name. If the courts decide to favor Kris, baby James might be in what his uncle always says ‘matuwid na daan’ (right path). Clever!

Another reason I can think of is pure greed. Remember how Kris Aquino damaged the political and showbiz career of her ex-lover Joey Marquez? She appeared on tv, crying and looking helpless after Marquez left her. She claimed that Marquez infected her with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), which drama-loving Filipinos that we are, accepted and sided with her. Even not proven, this has sent Marquez to bonkers. Now, she wanted to do it all again—by coming forward and announcing to the public how James had been unfaithful in their marriage. Seeing James unaffected, she now wants to hurt the ego of his ex-husband by taking off his last name from their son and claiming their marriage is null. Ill advised by her lawyers or being a brat?

SANTA BARBARA, CA -During a search for evidence at the Neverland Valley Ranch, investigators discovered a corpse that has been identified as that of Michael Jackson, Santa Barbara police officials announced Tuesday.

“Coroners have officially pronounced Michael Jackson dead. From what we can tell, he died between 18 and 20 years ago,” forensic investigator Tim Holbrooke said. “We are not certain, at this time, who-or what-has been standing trial in that Santa Maria courthouse.”

According to Holbrooke, Jackson ‘s corpse was buried just inches below a stretch of the miniature-train tracks that run throughout Neverland. The largely desiccated corpse wore the remains of a red, zipper-covered leather jacket and a single glove.

“We positively identified the body as Jackson by his dental records and DNA,” Holbrooke said. “But even before we conducted a single forensic test, we began to suspect that that we’d uncovered the real Michael, and that the disturbing figure claiming to be Jackson was a fake.”

Holbrooke said that, although the corpse was in an advanced stage of decomposition, when investigators compared the body to early-career publicity photos of Jackson , they saw a striking resemblance in bone structure and facial features. But when they compared the body to photos taken after 1987, the resemblance was negligible.
“This discovery raises a lot of questions, but it also sheds light on a number of disturbing incidents,” Holbrooke said. “Frankly, Jackson had been acting pretty strange.”

Above: Investigators move Jackson ‘s body, found buried at Neverland Ranch (above).
Forensic experts and music critics are postulating that Jackson was dead before the release of the multi-platinum album Bad. Detectives are currently analyzing the lyrics to “Man In The Mirror” for any clues relating to a look-alike entity that many suspect murdered the youngest member of the Jackson 5 and assumed his identity.

“We believe that Neverland served as some sort of freakishly whimsical tomb constructed by Jackson ‘s killer,” Holbrooke said. “We also suspect that all of the iniquities that occurred on that ranch were the work of the imposter. I wouldn’t have ever thought it possible, but we are looking at a situation where the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old cancer patient is the tip of the iceberg.”

Holbrooke said that, while the living Jackson is the leading suspect in the murder investigation, he “could be another victim of some sort.”

“Basically, we have no idea what type of creature we are dealing with,” Holbrooke said.
A member of the investigative team that discovered Jackson ‘s body described the experience as “otherworldly.”

“As we neared the perimeter of Neverland, the dogs started whining and howling like crazy,” Santa Barbara County detective Frank Poeller said. “We had to pull them into the house. When we got to Jackson ‘s bedroom, one of them almost choked himself to death on his leash trying to get out through the window. Minutes later, the same dog led us to the corpse.”

A representative from Jackson ‘s self-created label, MJJ Productions, said he was not surprised to find out that the current Jackson is an imposter.

“When we were recording ‘Heal The World’ for Dangerous, I could tell something was terribly, terribly wrong,” MJJ manager Luke Allard said. “Michael didn’t seem like himself anymore. He’d demand bizarre food and sit for hours in a hyperbaric chamber. His appearance began to become more and more peculiar. Soon afterwards, he started wearing a mask and confiding in a chimpanzee.”

“I remember thinking, ‘This man has become a monster,'” Allard said. “If only I’d known how right I was.”

Above: The creature that claims to be Michael Jackson.
Allard said he thinks that the imposter broke ties with Jackson ‘s former friends and surrounded himself with children who were too young to notice the radical change.
Vanity Fair reporter Beth Pither visited Neverland in 1994.

“A strangely fearful staff member led me to Jackson , but ran off before I opened the door,” Pither said. “Standing there with my hand on an ice-cold doorknob, I heard strange, unnatural sounds-leathery wings flapping, a sorrowful wail, and loud hissing. A wave of dread passed through me as I opened the door, but all I found was Michael and some kids in pajamas eating ice cream and watching 101 Dalmatians.”

While their claims have not been corroborated, other Neverland visitors have reported that when when Jackson entered a room, lights flickered, faucets ran blood-red, and screams escaped from the walls.

To aid in the investigation, the FBI enlisted Dr. Richard Weingarden, a noted expert on the paranormal from UC Santa Barbara. After only two hours, Weingarden abandoned the project.
“The smell of sulfur, the decaying facial features, the bizarrely high-pitched voice-it sounds exactly like…” Weingarden said, trailing off. “I’m sure it’s nothing. Not a big deal. Nothing to be terrified about, certainly. I have to go. I’ve got a family.”

Thomas Sneddon, the prosecutor in Jackson ‘s child-molestation lawsuit, said it remains to be seen how the shocking discovery will affect the trial.
Megan Gustafson, who left her post as president of the Akron , OH Michael Jackson Fan Club after the singer was accused of molestation, offered a positive view of the grisly revelation.

“This is very disturbing news,” Gustafson said. “But to be honest, it’s kind of a relief too. Thriller and Off The Wall are really amazing records. Now I can pull them out of my ‘ruined by child abuse’ storage bin and start listening to them again.”

They say parents will not do anything stupid to their child. But what did Mohammed did to his two year old boy, Hardy Rizal? The boy, at his age is overweight, has tantrums, and cannot run or play around with other kids. Those are not the worst, though. The boy, in his young age puffs cigarettes like a pro! His average is 40 sticks a day!

His father, Mohammed, 30 years old and a fishmonger started giving him cigarettes when he was 18 months old. Hardy is apparently suffering from nicotine addiction; getting angry, screaming, and banging his head on the walls of their home in a fishing village in South Sumatra if he is not given one. Though his father is not concerned with the apparent heath problems of his kid, her 26 years old mother Diana says she knows her son is sick.

The villagers confessed that the authorities promised to buy the family a car if they let the boy quit. In Indonesia, that may be the first step in solving a health and social issue but in our country, we call that bribery.

‘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.

If these beauties will be in a battle, will they be treated just like men?

The new breed of soldiers in Algeria..

In Austria..

The Belgian Soldier..

The sweet soldier of Brazil

Made in China soldier

The Czech Republic airborne

the modern Mademoiselles of france

the indonesian beauty in uniform

Aldente Italian soldier

the beauty in ROMANIA

there is sweetness in Russian troops

Will cruelty come its way to this Spaniard beauty?

The Sweden braves

And of course, the american lady soldier

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