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News Briefs

/ 12:33 AM January 14, 2017

BI arrests 135 foreigners for various crimes

The Bureau of Immigration has arrested in 2016 a total of 135 foreigners, mostly South Koreans, wanted for various crimes they committed in their home countries. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said this figure was 121 percent higher than the 61 foreigners arrested in 2015. Almost all  foreigners arrested have been deported to their countries of origin where they are now serving their sentences or are being tried for various charges. “They were also placed in our blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the country,” Morente said. South Koreans topped the list of those arrested at 80, followed by 25 Chinese and 19 Americans. —Julie M. Aurelio

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Coast Guard seizes shipment of dried seahorse, pangolins

The Philippine Coast Guard on Friday seized early Friday a misdeclared shipment of dried seahorse and pangolins aboard a passenger and cargo ship M/V St. Francis Xavier docked at the Manila North Harbor. PCG spokesperson Commander Armand Balilo said 13 sacks of  dried seahorse, 60 pieces of pangolins or anteaters and a box of sea dragon were found aboard a 10-wheeler truck on the ship owned by the 2Go Group docked at Pier 4. The contraband was declared as scrap plastic.—Julie M. Aurelio

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Former Abra state college president gets 30 years

The Sandiganbayan has sentenced the former president of an Abra state college to a maximum of 30 years in prison over anomalies involving various contracts and projects. In a 92-page decision, the antigraft court’s Fifth Division found former Abra State Institute of Science and Technology president Santiago Labanen guilty beyond reasonable doubt for three counts of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and one of technical malversation under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code. For the graft cases, the court imposed three sentences of six years and one month  to a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment. Labanen was also ordered to indemnify the government of P852,617.14. His retirement and gratuity benefits were also forfeited. —Vince Nonato

Abducted German hostage appears in video

Local Islamic militants have released a video showing an elderly German sailor abducted at sea late last year is alive, according to a security group that monitors jihadist activity. The Abu Sayyaf, a notorious kidnap-for-ransom gang based in Mindanao, released the video of Jurgen Kantner on Wednesday along with photos that had a date stamp of Dec.  26 last year, SITE Intelligence Group reported. On Nov. 7 last year,  Kantner’s yacht, Rockall, was  found adrift off Mindanao.  The body of a woman with a bullet wound, later identified by the hostage as his partner, Sabine Merz, was found on board the vessel.  —AFP

DAR sacks two officials over Malampaya fund scam

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has dismissed two officials among 25 people facing charges of plunder, graft and malversation at the Sandiganbayan for the Malampaya fund scam in 2009. DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano said he had  dismissed DAR Director Teresita Panlilio and Chief Administrative Officer Ronald Venancio after  the Ombudsman  found  them guilty of grave misconduct. —Jaymee T. Gamil

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TAGS: blacklisted foreigners, Bureau of Immigration, dried pangolins, dried seahorses, Inquirer News Briefs, Jaime Morente, M/V St. Francis Xavier, misdeclared shipment, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Santiago Labanen, Science and technology
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