Month: November 2015

Toronto woman faces immigration fraud conviction

Imelda Fronda Saluma. CTV screen grab November 25, 2015 Courthouse, Rm308 1000 Finch Ave. West Toronto Toronto, CA – “Imelda, you shattered dreams, betrayed trust and friendship, made us financially exhausted; heartless, she caused us deep emotional and physical impact, insulted the Canadian Immigration, took advantage of sympathetic natured individuals.” These are the words of anger and rage by the victims of Imelda Fronda Saluma as they read their impact statement before the court on November 25, 2015 at Courthouse Room 308. They were hoping to have heard the final verdict for the biggest swindler in the Filipino Community in Toronto. Saluma collected money from over 900 individuals around the world – amounting to around 1.5 million dollars – in exchange of promised jobs in Canada in the agricultural sector, hotel industry, and caregiver program. All the recruiters for GoWest Jobs International, who have recruited a significant number of applicants for Saluma, also appeared before the court. During the proceedings, Joriphie Maristela, one of Saluma’s victims, passed out presumably due to a fit of rage and stress. This lead the court to call for its first break. After fifteen minutes, the second session began – the submission of the crown, Atty David Wright and recommendations. The recommendation was to have a maximum of 14 years of imprisonment and order restitution. The defense counsel Atty Monica Lipson, on the...

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Winnipeg’s Filipino and Jewish communities celebrate links

Regina Teplitsky, left, and Joy Lazo sing the Canadian anthem together prior to a screening of the documentary Rescue in the Philippines at the Asper Jewish Community Campus in Winnipeg on November 9. (Chris Glover/CBC) How the refugee issue united two communities By Ted Alcuitas While Canada continues to debate the Syrian refugee crisis, 10,000 of whom is set to arrive by the end of this year followed by another 15,000 next March, it is fitting that we tell the story of how the Philippines accepted refugees fleeing Nazi Germany during WW2. Winnipeg’s Jewish and Filipino communities came together in an emotional gathering November 9 as they learned about how the Philippines came to the aid of Jewish refugees during the Second World War. Local cultural groups hosted a screening of Rescue in the Philippines, a documentary that chronicled the largely unknown wartime connection between the two ethnic groups. While Most people have heard of the heroic efforts of Oskar Schindler in the Steven Spielberg film Schindler’s List, few know of the story of Manuel Quezon, the Philippine Commonwealth President, and how, in 1939, he helped 1,300 German Jews escape probable extermination in the Holocaust by providing them with visas and safe harbour in the Philippines. At a time when hardly any country offered to help, and when Canada was saying “none is too many,” the Philippines opened its doors. The...

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Death of young father ‘devastates’ family

Facebook photo of Ordinario family. Abuloy raises more than $10,000 Vancouver, B.C. – A tragic biking accident has claimed the life of Ronald ‘Nonoy’ Ordinario, leaving behind a wife and three children. Ordinario, an avid cyclist and basketball enthusiast, was sideswiped by a dump truck in Richmond on Nov. 5 as he was returning home from one of his three jobs. The 37- year old father who came to Canada from his home province of Davao to follow his sister Jane and other siblings, was a founding member of Migrante B. C. , a grassroots organization advocating for the rights of migrant workers. He was credited with organizing the Men’s Basketball League of Migrante which is now an annual event for the past six years. He leaves behind his wife, Nie-Ann Amante, sons Rainier (9) and Rhyan (6), and a 3 month- old Reanna, his mother, three sisters and another brother. A crowd funding initiative through Go Fund Me website has raised more than $10,000 which will be given to the family, according to organizers. The Filipino tradition of ‘abuloy’ which literally translates as ‘aid’ is still practiced abroad where Filipinos are located. Instead of giving flowers, mourners give financial aid to the bereaved family. The social media is now adapted, giving even friends from far-away to...

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Immigration scammers target Filipinos

Monina Relano warns kababayans about immigration scam photo:Phil Hossack/Winnipeg Free Press WINNIPEG FREE PRESS November 18, 2015 Winnipeg, Manitoba (Ed’s note) “You can fool some people some time but you can’t fool people all the time.” This time, the scammers picked the wrong person to fool. Monina Relano, a retired school teacher, is a feisty woman who will stand up for what is right. During the height of the Marcos dictatorship in the 80s, she stood up against the tyrant and was a pillar in the only anti-Marcos organization in Canada – the August 21 Movement (ATOM). ATOM, an acronym for the date of the assassination of Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino (father of the current President Benigno Aquino 3rd) was formed in Winnipeg to expose Marcos. The organization was responsible for the visit to Winnipeg of Ninoy’s brother, Butz Aquino, as well as other prominent anti-Marcos personalities like Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera and Heherson Alvarez who played important roles in the cabinet of President Corazon Aquino. Here is the Winnipeg Free Press story: More than 45 years after Winnipeg resident Monina Relano moved to Canada from the Philippines, she got a phone call Tuesday saying there was a problem with her immigration paperwork. “I was scared,” said Relano. Though she’s been a Canadian citizen since 1975, she was taken aback by the authoritative voice on the phone. The man...

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Filipinos mob Trudeau, gets promise to solve garbage problem

Filipino environmental activists demand Canada takes back its garbage. (National Post) MANILA – (Nov. 19,2015) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to address the trash problem which has been an irritant between the two countries for the past two years. Trudeau, who is in Manila for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, said he has already been informed about the trash problem and a solution is now “being developed,” reports ABS-CBN News. The previous Harper government ignored the issue and did not raise it with President Benigno Aquino’s state visit to Canada before the federal elections. Dubbed an “Apec Hottie” on social media, Trudeau was mobbed by journalists and other fans as he was leaving the media centre surrounded by security personnel. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is mobbed by screaming fans as he leaves the media centre. Some 55 containers of trash were intercepted in 2013 because these were misdeclared as scrap plastics, in violation of the Tariff Code. Trudeau vowed to close the loopholes in the law that allowed the importation of Canadian dump into Philippine soil, but he remained vague whether or not he would take the garbage back. Instead of shipping these back to Canada, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has decided to dump the trash in Capas, Tarlac at the Philippines’ expense. The Ontario-based Chronic Inc. shipped the containers to Manila through its Valenzuela-based consignee,...

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