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Pinoys in New Zealand advised to stay indoors after mass shooting

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

A video captures the gunman executing people inside a mosque.

Filipinos are urged to stay indoors following the mass shootings in two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Wellington said they are currently monitoring the situation and has advised over 5,000 Filipinos in New Zealand to remain indoors.

The DFA also sends its support to New Zealand.

“The Philippines stands in solidarity with New Zealand following the tragic shootings in Christchurch this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the tragedy,” the DFA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Police continue to respond to the incident and has confirmed a number of fatalities. They are also in custody of four individuals involved in the incident.

During a press conference, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”—Aileen Cerrudo

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New Zealand mass shooting suspect appears in court

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, March 16th, 2019

Suspect in Christchurch shootings during court appearance | Image grabbed from a Reuter’s video footage

The primary suspect in the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch was charged with one count of murder after killing 49 people and wounding dozens on Friday, March 15.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen, was remanded on Saturday (March 16)without plea until his next appearance in the High Court on April 5.

Tarrant appeared before a New Zealand district court judge, charged with murder. His hands were handcuffed and he was wearing white prison attire. — Reuters

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4 scammers illegally recruiting OFWs to New Zealand nabbed

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

The four scammers illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers to New Zealand

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities were able to arrest in July 2017 the leader of a syndicate that recruits OFWs seeking to work in New Zealand. The leader is identified as Marivel Equio.

However, she walked free after paying P 90,000 to the three complainants.

Earlier on Tuesday, operatives of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) re-arrested her through an entrapment operation at the Harrison Plaza Manila after receiving complaints on a similar modus operandi.

The suspect allegedly demanded P 60,000 from victims as placement fee.

“May opisina po kami sa New Zealand. Sa Pilipinas po wala. Ang company po ay hindi po talaga nakaregister sa POEA. Direct hire nga po,” said Equio.

(We have an office in New Zealand. We don’t have one in the Philippines. The company is really not registered in the POEA. It’s direct hire.)

Earlier, members of the syndicate identified as Cristina Limon and Nathaniel Camacho were arrested in Paranaque, while Edith Rico was arrested in West Avenue Quezon City.

Some of the victims said that the promised New Zealand flight of the suspects in the first and third week of March did not happen.

“Yung iba po ay kinuhanan nila ng motor para lang ipambayad. House and lot binibigay sa kanya, sinasanla para may pang placement fee sila kaya kailangan po napagbayad sila sa kasalanan nila. Mabulok sila sa bilangguan,” said Gemma Piscuela, one of the victims of the recruitment scam.

(They even get a motorcycle from one of the victims as payment. Others pawned their houses to pay the placement fee. They have to pay for their crimes. It’s their fault. They should rot in jail.)

CIDG-ATCU chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said that the suspects were able to swindle money worth around P 1,000,000 from almost 50 victims.

This prompted them to file illegal recruitment and estafa charges against them.

Merdegia reminded the victims to stand firm on their complaints.

“Wag magpadala sa areglo. Kung magsasampa ng kaso ay ituloy para makulong na ito ng tuluyan at hindi na makalabas ng kulungan,” said the police officer.

(Don’t be swayed by a settlement. If you will file a case, follow through on it so they won’t be able to escape jail.)

The CIDG-ATCU reminded aspiring OFWs not to fall for direct hiring as this system is commonly used by illegal recruiters. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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Deadly US cold snap expected to worsen

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018

A record-shattering arctic freeze kept its grip on the U.S. Northeast, closing schools and affecting travel on the first business day of 2018, and forecasters warned the region could be walloped by snow later in the week.

“Might as well be cold (laughs); it’s going to be cold either way,” said a resident from New Zealand.

“Extra cold, yeah. It’s definitely a lot colder than New Zealand, so,” said a woman.

Officials throughout the region urged residents to alert social services if they saw people stuck outside in the cold.

The frigid weather had gripped much of the country for the past few days, breaking long-standing temperature records in cities from Omaha, Nebraska, to Aberdeen, South Dakota.

“With the extreme temperatures that we’ve been experiencing. As I mentioned, we’re adding two to three inches of ice per day, and so the thickness right now is 10 to 12, 14 inches (25 to 30, 36 cm) of ice in many of the areas,” said Todd Heitkamp, owner of fishing store Dakota Angler.

However, the higher temperatures are expected to be accompanied by heavy snow in the east coast by as early as Wednesday, according to the national weather service. The cold was expected to ease temporarily on Wednesday before the frigid temperatures return on Thursday.

Forty US states were under official winter alerts for bitter cold or snow on Tuesday morning.

Tourists visiting Niagara Falls have posted photos of the waters freezing.

The US National Weather Service tweeted: “Arctic air mass will bring a prolonged period of much-below-normal temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills to the central and eastern us over the next week.”

Authorities are warning that high winds can drive down temperatures even further, leaving uncovered skin frostbitten in minutes.— Reuters

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