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2 Filipina ex-DHs deny illegal sale of alcohol in ‘ale ale’ pub

25 October 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

The pub where the 2 accused were arrested is located on this alley in Central

Two Filipinas who used to work as domestic helpers have pleaded not guilty to nine charges relating to their alleged illegal sale of alcoholic drinks, violation of anti-coronavirus regulations and breaching their visa conditions. They were arrested in March during a police raid in a pub on an alley in Central.

Jenivib A. Balanggao, 34, and Mary May C. Soriano, 38, both entered their pleas at the Eastern Magistracy today, Oct 25.

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Magistrate Daniel Tang adjourned the case until Dec 20 for a pre-trial review and extended the two defendants’ police bail.

Balanggao, a recognizance paper holder, and Soriano, a HKID holder with a visitor’s visa, were arrested during an operation by the Central Police District anti-triad team on Mar 12-13 at a pub in Room 203, 2/F Fai Man Bldg on Li Yuen St West, Central.


The prosecutor said undercover officers checked on the evening of Mar 12 whether catering businesses in the narrow lanes popularly called by Filipino workers as “alley-alley” were complying with a government order to close down during specified periods.

They found the pub in Room 203 on the second floor of the building open and pretended to be customers. After a beer each and some food, the officers paid the bill and left.


But they returned with a raiding team after midnight when the pub was still open with several customers, and arrested the two women.

Initial investigation showed the two were former domestic workers, with Balanggao later becoming a recognizance paper holder and Soriano, a visitor visa holder.

The 2 will face trial in Eastern Court

The prosecution told the court it will have 16 witnesses while the defense said they will have two additional witnesses aside from Balanggao and Soriano.

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Aside from denying their alleged illegal sale and possession of alcoholic drinks, Balanggao and Soriano also rejected allegations they violated Regulation 599F, which restricts the operating hours of certain businesses, and 599C, which restricts group gatherings.

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In addition, Balanggao was charged with operating a business without permission from Immigration, and Soriano, of taking up employment while on a visitor visa.

The defendants were ordered to return to court for the pre-trial review of their case. 

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