ANGELES CITY NEWS

Aug 2008

MARGARITA STATION NEWS

 

Although many rumors have been floating around for over a year about the end of Margarita Station, we have negotiated a new lease with our landlord and we plan to be around for sometime to come.

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT & PERIMETER ROAD NEWS

MORE NBI BAR RAIDS:

Thu Jul 03 2008  The two Korean owned clubs, Agasya & Las Vegas Club were raided. Numerous girls were reportedly taken into custody. One observer stated "The girls all had obviously changed back into their street clothes...made themselves up, and were not protesting this situation in the slightest. Just hopping aboard the vans all in a row, giggling and happy-go-lucky as can be."  Neither club was closed and as of this newsletter they are operating normally.

Wed Jul 30 2008  On this night there were four raids conducted by the NBI based on a complaint issued by City Hall in that underage girls were working in the Clubs . The bars were, Roadhouse, Alaska, King of Diamonds (KOD) and Voodoo. The raids started about midnight. There were only five girls taken from Roadhouse and they were all back at work before the bar closed for the night.  All of the Alaska girls and staff were taken.  It was reported that most of the girls from KOD and Voodoo were also taken.  Again, none of these clubs were closed and no reports of any underage girls discovered.  It should be noted that they are still using a dentist to determine the age of the girls!

 

HERE IS SOME REAL SPIN IN THE PRESS!  According to all reports all girls were found to be over 18 and all returned to work where they can be "rescued" again.

Friday, July 18, 2008
47 women rescued from bars
By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY - Some 47 bar girls including minors were rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti-Human Trafficking Division recently from different bars along Fields Avenue in Barangay Balibago here. Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno said the city government had coordinated with the NBI as part of its drive against prostitution and human trafficking. He said that a surveillance conducted on various bars revealed that there are some cases of child prostitution and human trafficking. In a report, NBI Senior Agent Jose Theron Valencia confirmed the raid. He said the victims were taken to the NBI office at Taft Avenue in Ermita, Manila Nepomuceno said several bar operators are presently being prosecuted for violating R.A. 9208 otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003. "We requested the NBI to conduct an operation to stop the problem. We received report from the Angeles City Gender and Development Office on the rampant exploitation of women," Nepomuceno said. He said the city government is resolute in protecting the rights and welfare of women particularly minors. Nepomuceno warned bar owners to respect existing national and local laws, noting that violators will be dealt with severely with appropriate charges. In a letter sent to bar owners, Nepomuceno revealed that actual revenues earned by the bars are not being accurately reported to the city government. "Reports have also reached this Office that the actual revenues earned are not being accurately reported," said Nepomuceno. The Establishment Monitoring Regulatory and Compliance Office (BESMRCO) has been tasked to conduct daily random monitoring of the bars to ensure compliance of existing national and local laws, according to Nepomuceno. Nepomuceno has assured bar owners that the manner of monitoring being done by BESMRCO will not affect their operations. He reiterated however that establishments that violate existing laws will be immediately closed without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges whether criminal, civil or administrative. "What we are doing right now against prostitution and other related illegal activities are a step in the right direction and through these, surely we are sending a strong message against offenders," Nepomuceno said.

PHOTO(s) OF THE MONTH

It was a tough choice in picking one photo that stood out from the rest this month. Then, only when I did narrow it down to these two shots, did I realize that both reflect a new direction that Angeles City is taking.  The first is "gold fish bread" being sold in front of Agasya Club. Not exactly popular bar snacks for American, Australian or European bar hoppers!  The second shot is of an Asian man dancing recently in a Perimeter bar.  He was a happy spirit that hopped on the stage and danced in every bar he entered that night.  Nowadays it is not unusual to enter a club on Fields or Perimeter and see that the majority of the customers in the club are Asian males from Korea, Malaysia, Singapore or Japan.  But, most of these Asians are not as fun loving as this guy was that night, rather most are quiet and stay in groups with a guide.

OPENINGS - CHANGES - ETC

wee George's bar  A real comfortable pub that always has customers enjoying themselves.  I wrote a bit about this Perimeter club in previous newsletters, but it's good enough for one more issue.  The music is never too loud, the girls aren't pushy, and the layout is comfortable.  They do have one of the few generators on that end of town that power the bar enough that it is business as normal during brownouts.
CRAZY HORSE REOPENED:  This bar has reopened, but as a music lounge with live bands.  Not my thing so I asked around and haven't found anyone that has even gone into the place.  If I don't find anyone soon then I suspect the place won't last long as a music lounge.

C-HOW-U-R opened in Hensonville on 31 May across from the old SILVER BULLET.  Local drinks/beer is P45 and Ladies Drinks are P100.  The bar is open from 3 pm until midnight.  The bar has a pool table, a handful of girls and serves a variety of food from pizza to a variety of international dishes.  Their menu says "greasy spoon," but the selection inside is amazing.  I would be surprised if they could actually serve all the entrees in a timely manner since the menu is so diversified.   The drinks are cool, but the bar is a bit stuffy with no aircons in operation and no airflow from outside.  Still, worth a stop for a drink or three.

COMING SOON NALANG!

GOLDEN NILE:  We have been hearing about the Golden Nile opening "next month" for about a year now.    They have even scheduled a fund raiser there months ago (of course that didn't happen).  Now Richard is saying "we're almost there" -- "opening very soon."  With a wait this long, I'm sure it is going to be something special.  If the drastic improvements in  Cambodia Club over the last few months are any indication, I'm sure it will be a party place.

CAMBODIA CLUB With the reorganization of the Blue Nile Group, Cambodia Club has taken over the #1 spot in Richard's empire (at least until Golden Nile opens),  In a few short months he has converted this sleepy club into one of the best clubs on lower Fields Avenue. On my last visit the place was hopping and just when I didn't think it could get much better, free pizza from the bistro outside Carousel showed up. And, I must say it was some of the best pizza I've had in Angeles. I recommend you go after 9-10 pm and see the show put on by the awesome & sexy  "Bad Influence" girls.

WORK ABANDONED: Gerard has abandoned his condo project on the corner of Fields & Narciso Street and also his hotel project on the corner of Fields & MacArthur.  These would have been the first real hi-rise buildings in Angeles City, but the city made him stop work on the first site on the corner of Fields and Narciso Street because a influential neighbor filed a complaint with the city that the construction was causing too much vibration!  Even though he had all the proper permits and had already spent over six million pesos in clearing the site, blue prints, permits from the city & the barangay, renting equipment and non-refundable contracts the city refused to allow construction to continue.  Because of the city's refusal for this first project, he also cancelled the hotel project on the corner of Fields & MacArthur highway.

The good news for bar hoppers is that McDonalds is coming soon to Fields Avenue.   Gerard has subleased part of the lot on the corner of Fields Ave and MacArthur highway to McDonalds and construction has already started.
TEQUILA REEF Construction has begun on Tequila Reef Angeles.  This will be a unique food & drinks emporium in the heart of the tourist district.  Look for lots more on this business in our next few newsletters.  Opening is planned for December 2008 if there are no more snags in construction.

 

 

OTHER NEWS

It's been a fairly wet rainy season this year.  We are starting to see a slight reduction in tourists this season due to the escalating airfares.  Some guys are reporting round trip tickets up almost 100% since last year at the same time.   The good news is that with new hotels opening and more under construction, very few hotels are reaching 90 to 100% occupancy right now.  This means you are more likely to get your first choice of hotels if you book even two weeks in advance.  And some hotels have off-season discounts  (Medagr has a 25% discount on selected rooms and Blue Nile has a weekday special with a significant discount on Mon thru Wed. 

Many of us looked forward to the first Clark - Bangkok flight on Trans Global on 22 July, but were quickly brought back to reality when the first group of travelers were left stranded in Thailand when the flight didn't return as scheduled.  It was just too good to be true at $160 for a round trip.  Next up appears to be Cebu Pacific. They have announced their intent to fly this route some day in the future.  (See associated news clipping below.)

NEW DRAINAGE DITCHES ALONG PERIMETER ROAD  In the last several months the city has been installing a drainage ditch the entire length of Perimeter Road.  It will be interesting to see if this costly project is worthwhile, but it was entertaining to see the side effects of the construction.  For those of us with vehicles, it has meant months of slow moving traffic as a good portion of the roadway has been blocked by piles of dirt and boulders to build the new ditch.  But, the locals have looked at it differently.  As the dirt was piled up across from Stargate, the piles were covered with people digging through the dirt.  What valuable thing could bring this many people out to dig through the piles in the hot tropic sun?  Check out the 4th photo for a close up of the treasures (rusted scrap metal).  Next, several sections filled up with muddy water every time there was an afternoon downpour.  These mud holes quickly turned into swimming pools for the kids.  Now that the project is done I'm sure some of the locals are looking at the ditch as a great place to toss their garbage.

Lots more news clippings than normal in this edition, but all related to EXPAT and tourists life in Angeles City.

TRICARE/CHAMPUS FRAUD UPDATE  A former health care executive was sentenced 17 JUN to five years in prison for helping his Philippines-based company swindle nearly $100 million from the U.S. military health insurance program. Thomas Lutz, 41, said in federal court he took responsibility for the six-year scheme in which Health Visions Corp. bilked $99.9 million from the military's Tricare program through inflated and fraudulent claims. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said the five-year sentence was modest given the extent of the fraud, but it was the longest she could impose under Lutz's plea deal. Health Visions and Lutz were initially charged in a 75-count indictment in 2005. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to a single count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, a deal Crabb called "a huge break" for Lutz. "It's just horrifying that you were able to take as much money as you did," Crabb told Lutz. Prosecutors said the company routinely inflated claims by more than 230%, operated a phony insurance program and billed for medical services never delivered.

In April, Crabb ordered Health Visions to pay $99.9 million in restitution. Under her order, the company must sell all of its assets, including land, hospitals and office buildings, within 10 months. She said Lutz would be responsible for paying the remainder, including at least 25% of his income once he is released from prison. Crabb gave Lutz until 18 MAR to report to prison. Prosecutors asked for the nine-month delay so Lutz could help the government recover as much money as possible from the company. Formed in 1997, Health Visions owned and operated hospitals and clinics in the Philippines and billed Tricare on behalf of other health care providers. The company served thousands of U.S. military retirees living in the Philippines, where bases were located until the early 1990s. The company was reimbursed $163 million by Tricare between 1998 and 2004, and prosecutors believe at least $99.9 million of that was fraudulent. Lutz, an American citizen, read a brief statement in which he took full responsibility for his company's actions. "I would like to apologize to the Department of Defense," he said. "I am truly sorry for all those who have been affected.

Thursday, June 05, 2008
Swedish fugitive nabbed

COMBINED Angeles City and Interpol (International Police) policemen on Wednesday arrested a Swedish national suspected to be responsible for several cases including gross fraud and gross embezzlement. The suspect was identified as Patrick Olof Obrink, 31, temporarily staying at Unit 2, Wes Apartelle, San Angelo Street, Josefa Subdivision, Barangay Malabanias in the city. Angeles Police-Station 4 Chief Rene Aspe said Obrink was arrested at a money transfer center along Fields Avenue in Barangay Balibago here. He said the suspect's arrest was made by virtue of an arrest warrant issued by the District Court of Gavie in Sweden. Aspe said they had conducted surveillance operations and spent for about a month to establish Obrink's whereabouts. Obrink was taken by Interpol policemen to the Interpol National Central Bureau Secretariat at Camp Crame in Quezon City. (RGN)

Saturday, June 07, 2008
Manufacture of 18 aircraft okayed

CLARK FREEPORT -- An Italian defense contractor has forged an agreement with a Filipino aviation firm for the manufacture of training aircraft worth US$13.8 million. The Alenia Aermacchi of Italy and Aerotech Industries Philippines Inc. (Aipi) on April 25 signed an Assembly and Parts Manufacturing agreement for 18 new SF260 F basic trainer aircraft, which will be used by the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The government will spend about US$13.8 million for the project, which will also include the acquisition of SF260 F piston engines, pilot and technician training, technical assistance and the supply of ground support and spare parts. Teresa Parlan, Aipi chief operating officer, said the general agreement signed by the two firms "will definitely boost the aviation industry of the country". She noted that the general agreement is up to 2015. This, she said, will mean that all orders that Alenia Aermacchi will receive in these next years from different countries will be assembled in and supplied out of the Aerotech Philippines facility. "Considering that 27 armed forces all over the world use SF 260 trainer aircraft. With about 1,000 units in operations, Alenia Aermacchi estimates that 100 new units of this aircraft type will be sold in the next five years," Parlan said. Alenia Aermacchi said delivery will start one year after the April 25, 2008 signing of the agreement and will be concluded within 18 months. Parlan said Aipi, a registered locator based at the civil aviation complex of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), has pioneered in the commercial support program of the PAF. Also, Aipi has conducted maintenance and leasing of SF 260M for the PAF's military pilot training for the past seven years and the inspection and services of Martin Baker ejection seats on S211 jets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Suspect in trader's killing nabbed
By Ian Ocampo Flora
 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Pampanga Provincial Police Office (PPPO) presented to the media Monday the main suspect in the robbery and brutal killing of a businessman in Barangay Dau in Mabalacat town on June6. Police Provincial Director Keith Ernald Singian identified the suspect as Anthony Ferrer alias Marcos, 38, a resident of North Daang Bakal in Barangay Dau, Mabalacat. Singian said the suspect was identified by a witness in the Rogues Gallery. He said while the two other suspects in the robbery and killing of businessman Bernardo Faelnan covered their faces with handkerchiefs, Ferrer did not cover his face during the fatal heist. The three motorcycle-riding suspects shot Faelnan to death, and carted away the victim’s P191,000 which was withdrawn from a bank in Balibago, Angeles City. The trader was a resident of Villa Teodora Subdivision in Barangay Dau. Police said the victim was driving his Mitsubishi Space Gear on his way home from the bank. When he reached a curb along Dona Anicia Subdivision, armed men flagged him down and banged his window. Sensing danger, Faelnan drove away, but the robbers fired three times at his vehicle that later rammed into an electric post. The three suspects ran towards the vehicle and destroyed its left front window to take the bag containing the money and fled. Witnesses rushed Faelnan to a nearby hospital, but he died.At a press conference, Singian said Ferrer

Pampanga Provincial Police Director Keith Ernald Singian(left) presents to the media Anthony Ferrer of North Daang Bakal in Dau, Mabalacat, who is the principal suspect in the robbery and slaying of a businessman on June 6. (Contributed photo)

is tagged as number 1 most wanted Person in Mabalacat for the alleged killing of the businessman. The arrested suspect has three standing warrants of arrest issued by Judge Irin Zenaida Buan of Branch 56 of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for alleged frustrated murder, robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, and the recent robbery with homicide. Prior to his arrest in his house in Barangay Dau, Ferrer hid in Urdaneta, Pangasinan for several days after the heist. During media interviews, Ferrer denied the accusations against him. He claimed that he is a "peace-loving citizen", and was just surprised by his arrest. Singian hoped that they would soon arrest the two other suspects in the robbery-slay case. "We are doing tactical interrogation on the suspect to apprehend the remaining others whom we believe are also from Mabalacat," he said.

Cops raid Portuguese-run cybersex den in Pampanga

Policemen raided an alleged cybersex den owned by a Portuguese national in Angeles City, Pampanga, Wednesday evening. Portuguese national Jorge Manuel, 47, denied the accusations and told police that he is not involved in cybersex. He insisted that he maintains an Internet rental shop. “There is no cybersex, the computers are for the Internet shop,” said Manuel. Maricel Sebastian, Manuel's girlfriend, claimed innocence. “I don’t know why they are arresting me,” said Sebastian. She added that the equipment confiscated by the police were not in use and merely stockpiled in their apartment on Kalantiyaw St. in Barangay Cutcut. Despite the denials, police still seized a number of sex toys, 12 computers, Web cameras, speakers, earphones and blank CDs. They said Manuel uses the items in his cybersex business. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said they also caught a topless woman, identified only as "Zeny", posing in front of a Web camera. Zeny, however, claimed that she was just changing her clothes. “I just had a bath. I was changing my clothes when they entered the apartment and took pictures of me. This is not a cybersex [den]. I’m here to work for the Internet café,” said Zeny.  Police said they received a tip on the couple's illegal business. “We had receivd reports that they were recruited to work in an Internet shop, only to find out that it is a cybersex den”, said Superintendent Mario Ramos, deputy chief of the Anti-Transnational Crime Division of the CIDG.  Ramos said the CIDG immediately coordinated with the local police of Angeles City to raid the apartment. Ramos said charges for violating Section 4-A of Republic Act 9208, also known as Anti-human Trafficking Act of 2003, will be filed against Manuel.

Friday, July 04, 2008
American killed inside his residence
By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- An American national was killed inside his residence at Santa Maria Village 1 in Barangay Balibago here. Tylar Hammond, 64, single, was reportedly killed four days ago but his body was discovered only on Wednesday. Angeles City Police Chief Inspector Rene Aspe said Hammond's body was found inside the comfort room. Joben dela Cruz, caretaker of Hammond's house, reported to the city police about the incident, Aspe said. Luisito Tan, Station 4 deputy commander, said the victim sustained multiple stab wounds. The victim's hands and feet were tied with an electrical wiring, according to Tan. Investigators found a bread knife at the other comfort room of the victim's residence. Acting city police director Superintendent Felixberto Castillo has ordered a follow-up operation against the possible assailants of Hammond. The victim's body was taken to the Galang Funeral Parlor for autopsy, Aspe said.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Carjackers shoot victim

By Reynaldo G. Navales

GUAGUA -- A 26-year-old man was seriously injured after he was shot by still unidentified carjackers in Barangay San Matias here Sunday night. The victim, Marvin Zita Chu, a resident of Barangay San Vicente, Santa Rita, was attacked by armed men who later took his white Ford Everest sports utility vehicle with license plate XMD-253. At 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Chu alighted from his vehicle to buy something at Artlits Bakeshop in the barangay when several armed men approached him. One of the perpetrators shot Chu in the head. The carjackers immediately boarded the victim's vehicle and escaped towards unknown direction. The victim was taken to the Diosdado Macapagal Memorial Hospital here for treatment. He was later transferred to the Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the City of San Fernando. As of Monday afternoon, the victim was still in comatose. Police recovered an empty shell of caliber .9mm pistol from the crime scene.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008  - Manila Times

Syndicates employ minors in extortion

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga: The chief of the Pampanga Crime Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) disclosed last week that syndicates proliferating in the city are reportedly using minors to extort money from foreigners. In his speech during the directors’ meeting of Hotel and Restaurants of Pampanga, Inc. (HARP), Supt. Florendo Saligao also revealed that some policemen “are oftentimes in cahoots with syndicates and share in the proceeds of the settlement.” HARP President Noli Reyes of the Montevista Resort Villas invited Saligao to speak on several concerns of the association on security and protection against syndicates and other lawless elements. Saligao warned HARP officers to be vigilant saying that they should disallow persons “tagging along children and minors inside hotel rooms without proper identification on their blood relationship.” “Minors are being exposed to sex trade and being abused by pedophiles, drug syndicates and those into cybersex trade,” he said. He noted that syndicates into cybersex business are now using hotel rooms for their operations. He also received reports that they transfer from one hotel to another to prevent detection. Saligao said “the modus operandi of syndicates is that a couple will post as parents of a minor and will file a complaint in the police station against a foreigner.” Out of fear of being accused or charged, the foreigner would be compelled to settle the case (through payment) with the alleged “parents” for the dismissal of the complaint. Saligao said he already submitted a report to his superiors of a case involving some policemen caught in a hotel video surveillance camera. They are reportedly involved in extorting money from foreigners using minors. The CIDU Chief said he is also expecting victims (mostly foreigners), who already left the country, to come back and testify against those involved in extortion activities. He stressed “the necessity of installing surveillance cameras in business establishments to monitor several unlawful activities and to identify suspicious looking persons.” “The cameras cannot lie and those involved could easily be identified”, he said. He also vowed to pursue his crusade of tracking down syndicates involved in various illegal activities like prostitution and illegal drugs. “I would not mind who would be involved and charged.” Saligao also called on his colleagues “to be true to their sworn duty to protect the people and should not engage in unlawful acts just to [illegally] benefit from it, to the prejudice of innocent persons.” HARP is an association of known hotels and restaurants in Pampanga. It boasts of 38 affiliated hotels and restaurants here. Central Luzon Tourism Director Ronnie Tiotuico also attended the meeting. -- Joey Aguilar

SPEEDING TICKETS ON SCTEX?  Several people have reported  being issued speeding tickets on the SCTEX (expressway to Subic) based on time entering & exiting. One source said they confiscated his license and he had to go to San Fernando to get it back.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
'No helmet' ordinance sees to deter crimes    ONLY IN THE PI!!
By Alejandro Tampus

ANGELES CITY -- The Peace and Order Council (POC) is eyeing an ordinance that would prohibit the wearing of helmets in selected areas of this city as a good measure to prevent robberies perpetrated by motorcycle-riding criminals. This was agreed upon during the council's recent meeting, which was presided over by Mayor Francis "Blueboy" Nepomuceno. Council members expressed their belief that declaring of crime prone areas of this city as "no helmet zones" would significantly minimize motorcycle-related crimes. They noted that most motorcycle-riding robbers usually wear helmets or bonnets to avoid being recognized by their victims and the police. Nepomuceno has requested City Council presiding officer Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting, who is the vice chairperson of the POC, to study the possibility of enacting an ordinance that would create "no helmet zones." The vice mayor has agreed to the mayor's request. The council also reviewed the implementation of the local government's security measures and the city's actual peace and order situation. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here led by Chief Inspector Artemio Llena said his office has been enforcing the Fire Code of the Philippines and holding fire safety and prevention activities. But he said his office does not have enough equipment and manpower. He said 11 fire trucks and 154 personnel are needed for this city, saying the standard ratio for fire trucks is one for every 28,000 people. Daniel dela Cruz of the Philippine Army offered to help the fire department by providing his personnel as force multiplier. He, however, said his men should first be trained by the BFP. The new officer-in-charge of the city police, Senior Superintendent Pierre Bucsit reported to the council the accomplishments of his office. Nepomuceno promised to provide more communication equipment to the city police for their anti-crime activities. Major Remy Maturan of the 600th Air Base Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Field said they are also focused on fighting criminals like smugglers, human traffickers and extortionists "who tend to inflict negative effects on the economic stability of the Freeport zone and who will drive away soon tourists and investors."

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Pampanga's most wanted, 2 others nabbed

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Policemen here arrested three alleged members of the notorious Santiago Group, including its leader who is the most wanted person in the Pampanga Provincial Police Office's list. The group is believed to be responsible for the several carjacking, robbery hold-up, and "akyat-bahay" incidents in various parts of this province and adjacent areas. Police Provincial Director Keith Ernald Siñgian identified the suspects as Jeffrey Santiago, 19; Abril Punzalan, 19; and Roslee Jacinto, 19; all residents of Floridablanca, Pampanga. Siñgian said Santiago is the alleged leader of the group and has three standing warrants of arrest for the crimes of robbery with homicide and another case of robbery. He said Santiago is tagged "as Number 1 Most Wanted Person (MWP) in the province." He said the group is composed of notorious robbers operating in the province. He said the arrest of the suspects is the result of a massive manhunt operation launched against Santiago and his cohorts. Superintendent Gregorio Lim, intelligence chief of the Pampanga police, said the suspects were arrested after the policemen tried to serve the arrest warrants against Santiago last Tuesday in Barangay San Jose, Floridablanca. He said the policemen spotted the suspects on board an XLT passenger jeep heading towards the town of Guagua. Confiscated from the suspects were an Armscor caliber .45 pistol loaded with one magazine and seven live ammunition, a spare magazine loaded with three live ammunition, a holster with belt for caliber .45, one hand grenade, and a fan knife. The suspects will also be charged with Violation of Presidential Decree (PD) 1866, as amended by Republic Act 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions). Siñgian earlier directed all field commanders to amplify their efforts in arresting wanted persons with standing warrants of arrests in concurrence with one of the thrusts of Police Regional Director Errol Pan's "LOI Manhunt Bravo." He also ordered the Provincial Intelligence Office to intensify information gathering on "the whereabouts of target personalities in order to effect their immediate arrests."

Clark biggest winner in Thai-Philippine air accord
By Riza T. Olchondra Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—More opportunities have just opened for airlines seeking to fly from the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in the Clark Freeport, north of Manila, as an air agreement between the Philippines and Thailand was renewed, with Clark getting 8,600 passenger seats in capacity. An equivalent number of passenger seats was allocated for Thai carriers going to Clark, bringing the Clark capacity to a total of 17,400 seats weekly. Clark International Airport Authority (CIAC) president Victor Luciano told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the agreement presents great opportunity for the gateway as it can accommodate 14 passenger flights daily. Cargo capacity was also boosted for Clark, from zero to 700 metric tons weekly. Luciano also confirmed that there was no limitation on airline designation. This means that even non-flag carriers can fly there from multiple designations. Other Philippine carriers, aside from flag carrier Philippine Airlines, can apply to fly between Clark and Bangkok, he said. The additional allocations were not limited to Clark. Manila airports got 5,400 seats, up from 2,930, with cargo allocation of 300 metric tons, up from more than 200 previously. Airports outside Clark and Manila were given 2,110 seats, up from 850. The Civil Aeronautics Board said that while Thailand was not currently contributing as much tourism as Hong Kong was, with only about 26,000 Thai tourists a year coming to the Philippines, the potential for growth was great. Traffic is expected to grow further at a pace of seven percent or more per year since capacity has increased and more gateways have been added. Traffic would also get a boost if Cebu Pacific Air opened a hub in Clark. Cebu Pacific earlier said it needed five destinations to be able to do so: Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. With Thailand opening up to Clark, all five destinations are now reachable from the Northern Luzon gateway. Candice Iyog,Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and product, declined to comment on the impact of the Philippine-Thai air agreement on the airline’s plans for Clark, saying Cebu Pacific had not received an official advice on the matter. She did confirm that having all five destinations accessible via Clark would give Cebu Pacific the freedom to revisit plans to open a hub there. The Philippine air services negotiating panel is led by the Department of Transportation and Communications and includes the Department of Foreign Affairs, Civil Aeronautics Board, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, and representatives of the airline industry.

TERMINAL 3 OPENS IN MANILA

Manila - The Philippines on Tuesday finally opened a new terminal at its main international airport after almost six years of delay due to a dispute with its builders, a German-led consortium. A pre-dawn flight to Caticlan airport in the central province of Aklan became the first to take off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Manila. Caticlan is a connecting point for tourists going to Boracay Island, a favourite vacation destination known for its white-sand beaches. Authorities said the NAIA Terminal 3 would operate only partially in the next six months to one year before it shifts to full domestic and international operations.  Tirso Serrano, NAIA 3 assistant general manager, said the new facility will handle eight inbound and outbound domestic flights daily for the first week.  So far, only Cebu Pacific Air, the second-largest airline in the Philippines, has moved to the new terminal, which has an annual passenger capacity of 13 million.  Serrano said other domestic airlines, such as Air Philippines and PAL Express, the budget unit of flag-carrier Philippine Airlines, will move operations to Terminal 3 next week.  "This terminal will be very productive," he said. "We remain consistent with our position, the terminal is safe and operable for passengers."  The facility was built by a consortium led by Germany's Fraport AG under a build-operate-transfer contract with the Philippine government.  It was initially scheduled to be opened in December 2002, but this was canceled when the Philippine government decided to scrap the contract, citing anomalies in the agreement.  The government eventually won a battle in the Supreme Court and expropriated the facility in December 2004, triggering a dispute with Fraport and its local partners in international arbitration courts.  The Philippine government has paid 3 billion pesos (66 million dollars) to the builders as a down payment for the facility's cost. A full appraisal has yet to be completed.  The builders claim the project's cost is 565 million dollars, but the Philippine government said the price should only be 305 million dollars because fixtures and other components were not completed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lawmaker questions NAIA-3’s safety after ceiling collapse

Muntinlupa Rep. Rufino Biazon sought yesterday a congressional investigation into the safety of the newly opened Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3).He proposed the inquiry two days after a part of the ceiling at the NAIA-3’s Gate 133 collapsed. Another part of the building’s ceiling caved in two years ago. Pending the investigation and an inspection by an internationally accredited airport safety inspection company, Biazon said the use of NAIA-3 by domestic carriers should be suspended.“We cannot sacrifice the safety of travelers, local or foreign, and airport workers,” he said. “A single accident will mean huge losses in revenues. We could just imagine the international repercussions and bad publicity an accident will generate.” Biazon is a member of the House oversight committee on NAIA-3. He and other congressmen have urged authorities to open the building to scrutiny by international safety agencies before allowing even domestic carriers to use it.A NAIA-3 task force headed by Mike Defensor, former chief of staff of President Arroyo, has given the go-signal for the operation of the new passenger building. Cebu Pacific was the first to use it.Airline workers have echoed Biazon’s call for a safety inspection of the terminal and for suspending its use in the meantime.In a letter to congressmen, Romeo Sauler, vice president of the Philippine Airline Employees Association, said the collapse of the ceiling at Gate 133 “meant that the new terminal is not yet really ready for operation.”“The safety of airport workers is at stake. There should be no trial and error in operating an airport as we could be jeopardizing the lives of workers and passengers. Their safety must never be compromised,” he said.He said the government should subject the new airport to thorough inspection to avoid a bigger tragedy in the future.“Most of the facilities and equipment inside the terminal are not yet fully functional,” he added.Sauler said NAIA-3 does not have a safety certification from the International Civil Aviation Organization, which sets guidelines and standards for airport safety; and the International Air Transport Association, a trade organization for airlines.He said they would advise Philippine Airlines (PAL) management against using NAIA-3 until inspection by reliable organizations is done and the building’s safety is established.PAL is using NAIA Terminal 2 while other international carriers use NAIA Terminal 1. – Jess Diaz

Saturday, July 19, 2008
American trader sued over missing fence
By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- A former mayor of Mabalacat has filed criminal charges against an American businessman for a missing portion of his property at Hensonville Subdivision in Barangay Malabanias here. Reynaldo Candelaria filed before the City Prosecutor's Office charges of robbery by the use of force upon things against Norbel Bostick (aka TICK from DMZ), 60, an American trader and a resident of 4180 Zeppelin Street, Hensonville Subdivision, Barangay Malabanias, this town. According to Candelaria, Bostick on July 9, 2008 ordered his workers to remove the GI sheets, cyclone wire and other materials which served as fence for the former Mabalacat mayor's property in the village. Candelaria maintains a commercial building near Bostick's property. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) provincial office assisted Candelaria in filing the complaint against Bostick. Aside from Bostick, Candelaria also charged certain Saldaña and three other persons for his missing fence. He said the four accused are Bostick's workers who removed and destroyed the fence. Candelaria said he is also planning to file a complaint against Bostick before the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID).

Thursday, August 07, 2008
C. Luzon workers seek P125 daily wage hike  
NOTE: This would be a 42% increase in the minimum wage!
By Ian Ocampo Flora
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A labor organization in Central Luzon has renewed its call for a legislated P125 across-the-board wage increase due to the country's record-high inflation rate. The Workers of Alliance of Region (WAR) 3 issued the call Wednesday, saying it is high time to help ordinary workers meet their daily needs through additional increase in salaries and wages. They made the call after the National Statistics Office (NSO) announced that country's inflation rate last month was 12.2 percent, the highest in 17 years. The NSO stated in its report that "in Areas Outside the National Capital Region (AONCR), annual inflation further accelerated to 13.9 percent in July from 12.3 percent in June as all the commodity groups continued to record higher annual inflation rates." Angie Ladera of WAR-3 said the inflation rate further reduces the purchasing power of ordinary Filipinos, especially workers in Pampanga and other parts of Central Luzon, because of the disparity in the prices of commodities and the salaries of ordinary workers. The inflation rate is the basic parameter for measuring how fast prices of commodities and basic commodities rise within a given time. Ladera said while inflation on the national and local markets still continues, ore workers will not make ends meet. She added that the 12.2 percent inflation rate is almost equivalent to P37.08 additional burden on the part of buyers and consumers of basic commodities. This, she explained, does not help since the P292 wage instituted in Central Luzon earlier do so little for ordinary workers.  In June, inflation rose to a 14-year high of 11 percent. This resulted in the rise in the prices of basic food. Market analysts still say that inflation rate may still go up this month.
Monday, August 18, 2008
'Texting': New weapon vs 'kotong' cops, criminals     Corrupt police in the Philippines??  Please tell me it isn't so!
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Watch out corrupt cops and criminals! The Provincial Police Office (PPO) here launched Saturday a short messaging service (SMS)-based program that seeks to apprehend corrupt cops and enable speedy response to crime. Provincial police officer-in-charge (OIC) Keith Singian led the formal launching of the twin programs "I-txt mo kay PD at Hepe-Aksyon Agad" and "PNP Text Anti-Kotong Project" at the Bale Katimawan (Freedom Hall) in the PPO compound here. The said project was conceptualized by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in coordination with the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and non-government organizations (NGOs). Despite the odds, it aims to pinpoint and apprehend corrupt police officers and government employees. Although the program is not the first of its kind, Singian said it will serve as an addition and supplement to existing anti-criminality campaign. The PNP Text Anti-Kotong Project runs similar to that of the Text 2920 and Patrol 117, two government complaint and services programs. The PNP Text Anti-Kotong Project only needs an SMS message or picture message sent to the numbers 0927-515-1515. The complainant shall then receive a message regarding the result of the complaint. However, the PNP said complaints should supply all the necessary details like name, time and location of incident for verification and investigation purposes. Singian said the "I-txt mo kay PD at Hepe-Aksyon Agad" is a more personal approach in bringing the services of the PNP to the people of the province. In this said program, the cell phone number of Singian, along with different municipal police chiefs, are listed for easy access of complainants and for the fast reporting of crime incidents. The PNP said complaints received by the office will remain confidential to fend off the worry of complainants for possible retribution. "With this system in place, the community can effectively help us in our duty and somehow bring security from lawless elements," Singian said. (IOF) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
3 'robbers' nabbed

POLICE on Monday announced the arrest of three suspected robbers in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City. Chief Inspector Rene Aspe, chief of Angeles Police-Station 4, identified the suspects as Reynaldo Patrealba, Joel Perez, and Carolino Aldante. Aspe said the suspects might be responsible for a series of robberies involving foreigners at the entertainment district of Barangay Balibago in Angeles City. Last Sunday, businessman Marlon Jose Pring, 26, of the town of Mabalacat, sought the assistance of the Angeles police for the apprehension of the suspects who, he said, stole his wallet containing P2,000 in cash. Aspe said he ordered a police team to conduct a hot pursuit operation against the suspects, who were later cornered near Saver's Mall in the barangay. Confiscated from the suspects were three bladed weapons. (RGN)

ANGELES CITY CALENDAR:  Here is something that should sell out fast, a calendar with some of the cuties from Gecko's Bar.  Nice photos, but nothing you can't hang up in your office at home.  The Calendar begins in September 2008 and ends in December 2009.  There are 16 beautiful girls and an added bonus picture every month with each picture being 12 x 18 1/4 inches.  Cost will be P690 each and they can be purchased in Gecko's or Margarita Station starting around the beginning of September.

 

 

Our good friend Sherylie was featured in June's FHM Magazine.   We have a few copies that she autographed for Tom Donnelly's fundraiser.  These are on sale from our cashier for P500.  All profits go to the Tom Donnelly medical fund.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BIRTHDAY:  The older I get, the less important birthday parties become.  This year I decided to do something different, I contacted Neil at Stargate and offered to sponsor a day out for the orphans of DUYAN NI MARIA The day got delayed because the nun that runs the orphanage was out of town, but we finally pulled it off in early August.  I provided all the food and drinks and one of the managers from Margarita Station baked up three sheet cakes.   Neil got 35 girls from Roadies & Stargate to help watch the kids in the swimming pool and they did a superior job constantly putting the fun of the orphans first.  If all birthday parties could be like this, I might just have a few more!  PHOTOS
SUBIC TIME!   As the weather starts to improve, a visit to Subic may be on my schedule now that there is finally a quality resort hotel on the beach.  If you haven't looked at the beautiful Wild Orchid Subic, it is time to take a look!  Photos/info
FINAL SALUTE

Tylar Hammond, a 64 year old American, was murdered on about 1 July.  (See article above.)
Allen Patrick, 44 yeas old,  passed away of apparent heart failure on 1 July. Allen had been involved in managing clubs in Angeles for about 10 years.  Reportedly he was hospitalized about 3 months ago for heart problems, but didn't give up the cigarettes or alcohol.  Allen is survived by his wife and twin sons.
Derk Tooi, A Dutch citizen known to most EXPATS around town as "Dick" passed away in early August 2008 from cancer.  He had worked years ago as a manager in Cleopatra, but in recent years other than a short stint as a relief manager in Blue Nile Executive he had pretty much stayed to himself.  He is survived by his Filipino wife.
Pierre Nisjsen, a 70 years old Dutch national  who was reportedly suffering from stage 3 cancer committed suicide by shooting himself with a 25 caliber handgun. Pierre was found dead inside his room by his live-in partner, Angeline Casamis. Chief Inspector Rene Aspe, chief of Angeles Police-Station 4, said Casamis informed investigators that Nisjsen was depressed of his health condition. "Miss Casamis stated that Nisjsen was depressed of his stage 3 cancer and he never ate for almost two weeks," Aspe said. Scene of the Crime Operation (Soco) police investigators said there were no signs of foul play in the slaying.
Ernest Doppmann - Ernest, a 59 year old Swiss citizen, passed away at the Angeles University Hospital (AUF) on 30 Jun was the founder of Charina's Travel located in the Clarkton Hotel and over the years it developed into one of the most reputable travel agencies in town. Death was caused by liver failure as cancerous tumors had attached themselves to his liver and regretfully had reached the stage where doctors here and in Switzerland informed him that there was nothing they could do. Ernst left behind a wife and adopted children but she is a Swiss citizen so a pension will continue. The SEAIR staff and management extend their condolences and appreciated their long time business relationship with Ernest as many times over the years this travel agency outsold all others in SEAIR tickets. He was well respected and will be missed.

 

SERVICED HOUSE FOR RENT  Available 3 Sep 2008 thru 30 Sept, and again after 1 November.  We only have one,  so book early.   You can rent one bedroom and have the entire house to yourself, or a group of 3 guys can have a party house much cheaper than 3 hotel rooms.    For more details see http://www.margarita-station.com/house.html

Margarita Station Website

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Please Support the businesses that supported our fund raiser for Tom Donnelly.

Zapata's  Home of the best Mexican food on Luzon.  Located on Perimeter Road just past the Phoenix Hotel.  Open Tuesday thru Sunday's.  Largest selections of tequila and hot sauces in the Philippines.
C'Italian  Hands down the best Italian restaurant  in Angeles City. If you want a perfectly prepared meal served in pleasant surroundings, then C'Italian Dining is your best choice.  The flank steak is the best beef dish in Angeles city! Perfect  and tender every time.
Wild Orchid  The Wild Orchid was Tom's favorite place to spend his days off.  A great pool with good food and ice cold San Miguel, who could want more?  In May the Wild Orchid started replacing all the queen size beds with new king size beds.  And, on the 17th of May Wild Orchid SUBIC opened in Barrio Baretto.  From the looks of the rooms and pool,  this will become the #1 place to stay in the Subic/Baretto area.
SEAIR   Daily flights from Clark to Boracay and twice a week Clark to Busuanga.
Champagne Group  The Champagne group no longer has a website.  But, when you are in Angeles visit Champagne, Camelot, Lancelot and Brown Sugar.  Also, we recommend their rooms at the Royal Apartelle
Palmera Gardens  One of my favorite places to relax.  Palmera Gardens is located on a uncongested beach in Iba, Zambales.  A great place to relax in the sun and to have a quiet dinner at the end of the day while watching the sun set over the South China Sea.

Swagman Manila   A classic Manila hotel located near the US Embassy.  Swagman also operates a daily bus service between Angeles and Manila and a bus service between Angeles and Subic 4 days a week.  The entire operation is now for sale - see http://www.swaggy.com/
Angeles Beach Club Hotel  This Angeles hotel has some of the best hotel rooms in Angeles City.  All the rooms are quiet due to superb sound-proofing.  The large rooms have huge mattresses with quality bedding.  There is Wi-fi access throughout the hotel, but perhaps the best amenity is the least advertised -- the limo service.  All guests can avail of free transportation throughout Angeles in one of the hotels many late model cars.  No other hotel in Angeles offers such a free limo service.
Medgar   The Medgar Hotel is an American owned and operated Apartelle located very close to Margarita Station and the checkpoint area.   One of the few hotels in Angeles with kitchen facilities and US mattresses.      For more photos of the Medgar, click on the logo on the left.
Arizona  With our longtime friend Bernd now managing the Arizona Hotel in Barrio Baretto I can now  recommend this hotel without visiting (although I plan to stop in soon).  Bernd is a superb chef and an excellent manager that has the ability to make any guest feel at home.
Roadhouse  Home of quality Rock & Roll (and more than a few dancers).  One of the few Angeles City bar web pages with monthly updates.  This is a RAP FREE ZONE!   One of the better happy hours in town, but don't show up if you aren't in the drinking mood.

COMING SOON TO ANGELES

Tequila Reef    Mexican Specialties are only the tip of the iceberg at Tequila Reef in Pattaya, Thailand.  First and foremost among items are the best Bar-B-Q-Pork Ribs in town, guaranteed to simply “fall off the bone”.  Look no further for Great Steaks, Fresh Seafood, Louisiana “Cajun” Specialties, Burgers, Sandwiches and Thai Food.  We feature a full bar with all your favorite spirits, wine and beer including “Corona”, the beer of Mexico.  Don’t leave without trying our famous frozen, fresh fruit blended or “hand shaken” Margaritas and Daiquiris.  Simply not to be missed.   Additionally, our “Exotic” drink menu features wide variety of tropical drinks and “shooters” plus a special section of “Erotic” drinks.

Rick's Cafe has closed it's doors, but the internet gift business is still alive.  If you want to send a gift to someone in Angeles or elsewhere in the Philippines, Rick's is the original Amazon.com of the Philippines with a great reputation for getting the gifts there and sending you a photo of the recipient with the gift.

 

Stargate  One of the last stops on Perimeter Road (Actually Don Juico Blvd), this is a great bar with a full staff of friendly girls. 
Roadies   Sister bar to Stargate, this bar located near the Clarkton Hotel. Now with the stupidest happy hour in town - free local drinks Mon, Wed, & Friday from 5-6 pm.
Honey Ko's    One of the most popular bars on Perimeter Road for the last few years, they serve one of the largest rum & cokes in town for only P50.  Open at 2 pm this is a popular EXPAT bar with a great staff.
Rhapsody & La Bamba   Sister clubs located in central Fields Ave.  Both of these bars have been around for years and have a strong following.  I prefer these cozy, friendly bars to the big glitzy, impersonal clubs. 

La Bamba opens early in the afternoon and a second shift comes in about 6 pm.  Rhapsody, next door, opens at 6pm and stays busy until late.

Subic Seaplane, Inc.      Charter flights from Subic Bay Freeport Zone to almost any place in the Philippines                           Phone: +63 47 2522230                                    Cell: +63 919 3251106