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/ 07:06 AM April 13, 2019

Troops kill 12 Abu Sayyaf bandits in clashes

ZAMBOANGA—The military said 12 Abu Sayyaf bandits had been killed in clashes as Army troops pressed an offensive in Sulu after the extremists were blamed for the deadly bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral.  The Western Mindanao Command said the 12 militants were killed in four separate clashes on Thursday in Patikul town. The bodies of two of the slain militants were retrieved.  It said several army scout rangers were wounded.   The military said on Friday that the fighting involved 120 Abu Sayyaf members led by Hajan Sawadjaan and Radullan Sahiron near the village of Panglayahan.—AP

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Environmentalists tell Nestlé: Stop using plastics

Environmental groups on Thursday demanded that global giant Nestlé end its dependence on single-use plastic, citing waste audit reports that named the multinational company as one of the top sources of plastic pollution. Interrupting the company’s annual general meeting in Switzerland, activists from Greenpeace and Break Free From Plastic Movement said the company should immediately invest in alternative delivery systems based on refill and reuse. The protest came a day after Filipino activists trooped to Nestlé’s Philippine headquarters in Makati City to deliver an “invoice” that detailed the impacts of single-use plastic packaging to human health and environment. “People can see with their own eyes the damage plastic pollution is doing to our oceans, waterways and communities,” said Greenpeace international executive director Jennifer Morgan.  Greenpeace said Nestlé produced 1.7 million tons of plastic in 2018.—JHESSET O. ENANO

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2 would-be surrogate moms stopped at Naia

Immigration agents at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) stopped two women from boarding a flight to Hong Kong on Thursday night after admitting they were recruited to become surrogate mothers in China in exchange for P300,000. Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations division chief Grifton Medina said human trafficking victims Ria, 32, and Ellie, 28, (not their real names) checked in for a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Hong Kong at Naia Terminal 3 but were intercepted by operatives from the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) at the immigration departure area.  BI-TCEU chief Erwin Ortañez said the women recounted that they were recruited through a website that invites women to bear a child for others in exchange for a fee. A surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person.—JEROME ANING

Cigarettes, alcohol top counterfeits seized in 2018

Cigarettes and alcohol were the most seized counterfeit goods in the country last year. Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO) Director General Josephine Rima-Santiago said that of the total P23.6 billion worth of counterfeit goods confiscated in 2018, cigarettes and alcohol accounted for the “lion’s share” at 86 percent, or P20.3 billion. Pharmaceutical and personal care products came in second with P1.2 billion’s worth of counterfeits seized, the IPO chief said. Leather goods such as handbags and wallets, and optical media came in only third and fourth, at P821 million and P790 million, respectively. The total confiscations in 2018, Santiago said, represented a 188-percent increase  from 2017’s P8.2 billion.  At the ceremonies held at the Camp Crame grandstand on Friday, P65 million’s worth of 2018 confiscations were destroyed.—JAYMEE T. GAMIL

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Alcohol, cigarettes, counterfeit, IPPO, NAIA, Nestlé, news, news briefs, newsbits, Sulu, surrogate, Zamboanga
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