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Philippine News Digest 134

October 26, 2007 · 

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Contents:
-China closes door to Filipino domestics
-American gets 5 years in jail for sex tourism in RP
-Cops see white slavery gang behind abductions

China closes door to Filipino domestics
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Manila Bulletin

China has closed its doors to foreigners, including Filipinos, who intend to work as domestic helpers, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.

The Philippine Embassy in Beijing, China informed the DFA that domestic service employment is not allowed in mainland China as it sounded alarm over a scam that entices Filipino victims to pay a fee of more than P100,000 in exchange for high-paying jobs there which are non-existent.

Officials from the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Security Bureau told the Philippine Embassy that Beijing scrapped domestic service employment of foreign nationals, Ambassador Sonia Cataumber Brady said.

“Illegal recruiters continue to victimize Filipinos, which has resulted in the increasing number of our countrymen coming and staying in China with inappropriate documentation,” she said.

She reiterated the embassy’s warning that it is unlawful to work as domestic helpers in China.

“Filipinos who are promised jobs as domestic helpers in China are always in danger of being arrested because foreign nationals are not allowed to work as domestic helpers in China,” the ambassador added.

Victims have been forced to pay up to P100,000 each for their plane tickets and tourist visas for China. Upon arrival in China, majority of them use agents to extend the validity of their visas.

Some of them failed to reclaim their passports because they do not have the money to pay for the agents’ services of up to 4,000 yuan (P24,000), the embassy said.

Last June, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau conducted an inspection in Maquanying, an area where a number of Filipinos live in Beijing, that resulted in the arrest of two Filipinos “because they could not show to authorities a legal permit to work, as their passports were in the hands of visa agents, and the confiscation of about 17 Philippine passports with suspicious visas,” Brady said.

“As a result, our kababayans may be deported for staying and working illegally in China,” she said.

American gets 5 years in jail for sex tourism in RP
Wednesday, October 24 2007 (www.philstar.com)

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) – An American was sentenced to five years and five months in a US prison on Monday for arranging sex with underage girls in the Philippines.

Daniel Cuneo, who was caught in a 2005 sting, was also fined $3,000 under the sentence imposed by US District Judge Jose Linares.

Cuneo, 38, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 to a single count of engaging in sex tourism. The charge carries up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Cuneo, who operated a website called ladyparadise.com, admitted that he arranged a trip to the Philippines for a customer and offered to serve as a personal tour guide. Cuneo, who was to be paid for making hotel reservations and renting a yacht, also admitted giving advice on how to find girls who could be hired for sex.

Cuneo, who did not know that the customer was an undercover agent with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was arrested at a hotel near Newark Liberty International Airport on July 19, 2005, as he was about to fly to the Philippines. He has been held on $1-million bail since his arrest.

Cops see white slavery gang behind abductions
By Edwin Fernandez, Charlie Sease
Inquirer
Last updated 02:53am (Mla time) 10/24/2007

COTABATO CITY—White slavery in Lanao del Sur has stirred the interest of authorities anew with the recent rescue of a 3-year-old boy, who was snatched in this city two months ago.

Senior Supt. Willie Dangane, city police chief, said the boy, the son of a saleslady, was reported missing after he was last seen standing in front of the store where his mother works on Aug. 29.

A few weeks later, the child’s parents received information that he was being kept by a Maranao couple in Piagapo, Lanao del Sur.

The parents went to the place and sought the help of local police.

They found their child in the hands of a Datu Daud Tuglao, who claimed that he bought him from unidentified men for P3,000.

Dangane said Tuglao demanded P50,000 and a .45 cal. pistol from the couple in exchange for the boy.

But the parents had no money so they decided to seek police help, he said.

Dangane said he immediately formed a five-member team and went to Lanao del Sur.

He said the team coordinated with Lanao del Sur police director Supt. Paniares Adap in rescuing the boy.

updated October 24, 2007

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