New Modus Operandi: Syndicates Frame – Legitimate Business Firms to Smuggle Sugar into PH

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The smuggling of sugar into the country has taken to new avenues, using business firms of formidable repute as unwitting fronts in order to sneak past the Bureau of Customs (BOC), it was learned yesterday.

The new modus operandi by big-time international smugglers was exposed in the recent interception of 57 containers of sugar smuggled from Thailand valued at P40 million by the BOC Intelligence Group (IG).

Initial BOC investigation showed that the shipment seized was consigned to a certain Rainbow Holdings, Inc., a Korean firm with offices in at Madrigal Business Park, Ayala, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

However, further investigation showed that Rainbow President and CEO Grace Son Eukyoung had no idea about the huge sugar haul addressed to her company, which engages only in asphalt trading.

Ms. Son was outraged that the name of her firm was apparently framed by a smuggling syndicate to mislead the BOC and investigating authorities responsible for the ongoing crackdown on sugar smuggling.

“The battle against rice or sugar smuggling is not just in balikbayan boxes or random confiscation of suspected hot items or containers among traders but a total crackdown,” said Ms. Son. “So now, these syndicates use fall guy companies that will take the brunt if the shipment is seized.”

Rainbow Holdings has already sent a “disclaimer letter cum authorization” to the BOC to disown the shipment and deny any link, knowledge or association to its entry into the country.

The letter, addressed to Atty. Jemina Flores of the BOC Account Management Office; Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa, chief of the IG; and BOC Commissioner Alberto Lina, stated that “that Rainbow Holdings Inc., with TIN: 00733190000 and with current office address at Unit 810 ALPAP II BLDG., TRADE ST., COR INVESTMENT DRIVE, MADRIGAL BUSINESS PARK, AYALA, ALABANG, MUNTINLUPA CITY, has no importation since July 21, 2015 and that the company’s importation for the year 2015 starting June to July is BITUMEN (ASPHALT).”

It further stated that it gives the BOC “full AUTHORITY to dispose of any importation from July 20 to present named to Rainbow Holdings Inc., for such importation do not belong to us.”

“This only shows that sugar is not our cup of tea,” said Ms. Son in an interview. “We do not do business with any sugar importation.”

The lady executive said Rainbow Holdings is one with other legitimate domestic and foreign business ventures in the Philippines that throw their full support on BOC efforts to get rid of smuggling.

“We are an all-legitimate company; and we fully support the Aquino administration in curbing illegal imports that use and abuse Customs officials and snatch from the revenues that the government should be earning if these were coursed through the normal process,” she said.

Ms. Son also stressed her company’s support to the Bureau of Customs when it deputizes SRA, SASO to intensify efforts against sugar smuggling, referring to an agreement among the BOC, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and the Sugar Anti-Smuggling Office of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines (SASO) to have deputized representatives that will guard against sugar smuggling.

“We are one with the efforts to cleanse our government of crooks,” Ms. Son said. “We believe that curbing sugar smuggling in the country is a move consistent with the genuine desire of the ‘Tuwid na Daan’ policy of the administration of President PNoy,” she ended.# (Mariposa)


Coca-Cola Bottle Art Tour opens in the Philippines

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A design so distinctive that it could be recognized by touch alone and so unique that it could be identified when shattered on the ground. This was the brief for the creation of the Coca-Cola bottle, which is 100 years young this year.

To mark this milestone, The Coca-Cola Company began a year-long campaign in January that includes new advertising, a music anthem and, most notably, a series of art exhibits featuring works from some of the world’s leading contemporary artists.

Today, the exhibit finally reaches the Philippines. The Coca-Cola Bottle Art Tour: Inspiring Pop Culture for 100 Years, will take consumers on a unique, multi-sensory journey featuring an array of Coca-Cola bottle themed art, historical artifacts and interactive experiences which showcase the Coca-Cola bottle’s role in art and popular culture. The exhibition, which would travel about 62,000 miles in 15 different countries will rest in the Philippines for three days, beginning October 2 to October 4 at the Amphitheater, High Street South, Bonifacio Global City.

Just how special is a bottle of ice-cold Coca-Cola?


Born on November 16, 1915, the Coca-Cola bottle was the creation of the Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Ind. With its unmistakable curves and a distinctive contour, the bottle has become a global icon, inspiring a century’s worth of signature moments in film, social history, design and the fine arts.

“Since its creation in 1915, the Coca-Cola bottle has achieved iconic status as a symbol of refreshment and uplift and it remains an important asset for our business today,” said Marcos de Quinto, Chief Marketing Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “The campaign, which will be executed in over 130 countries, is our invitation to consumers around the world to share in the specialness of an ice-cold Coca-Cola.”

Visiting the Philippines along with the exhibit is Ted Ryan, Director of Heritage Communications, The Coca-Cola Company. According to Ryan, the Bottle Art Tour curates 100 years’ worth of happiness in film, social history, design, and fine arts—the development of an icon, an enduring muse for artists, musicians, and designers.

“The Coca-Cola bottle is the ultimate blend of form and function. The beautiful contoured, fluid curves of the bottle are the same today as they were in 1915 and it has led to the development of the aluminum contour and varying package sizes today,” he added.


18 artists, one inspiration


The Bottle Art Tour puts together 18 artists—some of them being forerunners of the Pop Art Movement—for a sweet mix of media from prints, photography, found objects, toys and paintings.

Among these artists are Peter Blake, creator of the iconic Sgt. Peppers album cover and the ‘Coke Side of Life’ mural at Southbank, London; Andy Warhol, known for his Campbell’s Soup Cans; and Haddon Sundblom, the man behind popular depictions of the merry man from the North Pole, Santa Claus.

Other artists include: Burton Morris, Jane Wells, Jeff Schaller, Kate Brinkworth, Kim Frosin, Michael Kalish, Pakpoom Silaphan, Robert Mars, Sally Tharp, Steve Kaufman, Steve Penley, Bern Hotzel, Clive Baker, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Norman###