By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar warned the public against the proliferation of fake peso bills following the arrest of two people who yielded some P100,000-worth of fake peso bills supposedly set to be circulated for next year’s elections in separate entrapment operations in Cebu City.
“I commend the CIDG headed by PMGen Albert Ignatius Ferro for the successful operation that led to the arrest of two people behind the proliferation of fake peso bills in Cebu. Mga ordinaryo nating mga kababayan ang kalimiting biktima ng mga kriminal na ito kaya titiyakin natin na pagsisihan ng dalwang ito ang kanilang ginawa,” said PGen Eleazar.
“HIndi dapat mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga taong ito lalo na ngayong papalapit na ang kapaskuhan kaya pinapaalalahan din natin ang ating mga kababayan na mag-isip-isip sa pagtanggap ng pera mula sa mga kandidatong bibili ng inyong mga boto dahil baka mabudol lang kayo,” he added.
Accordingly, the police operation stemmed from the reports received by the CIDG that counterfeit money is being readied for use for the upcoming national and local elections.
The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), together with BSP agents, confiscated P88,000-worth of counterfeit peso bills last Monday, October 25. Arrested was 35-year-old Ivan Noval Luardo for possession of 52 pieces of fake P1,000 and 70 pieces of fake P500 bills.
On October 19, a certain Joseph Mercado Salas, 36, was also arrested for allegedly making fake peso bills. A total of P24,000-worth of counterfeit bills was seized from him by the CIDG and BSP operatives.
The suspects were charged in the City Prosecutor’s Office with violation of Article 168 (Illegal possession and use of false treasury or banknotes and other instruments of credit) in relation to Article 166 of the Revised Penal Code.
PGen Eleazar directed the CIDG to further investigate the operation of the suspects to identify and arrest their financiers and other cohorts.
“I also instructed the CIDG and other unit commanders to step up intelligence-gathering and operations, in coordination with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, to ensure that those who benefit from these modus will not be given opportunity to victimize our kababayans,” said PGen Eleazar.
PGen Eleazar assured, “Magpapatuloy ang aming kampanya upang mapigilan ang mga ganitong ilegal na gawain na magiging balakid sa ating hangaring magkaroon ng malinis, maayos, at mapayapang halalan sa susunod na taon.”
Meanwhile, the PNP chief urged the public to be extra cautious and said, “I would reiterate the advice of the BPS to the public to be wary of fake money and familiarize themselves with the security features of genuine peso bills to avoid spreading fake banknotes.”
“Maaaring kulong ang sapitin ng sinomang magtatangkang gumamit ng pekeng pera sa anumang transaksyon,” he added.
“Agad ninyong idulog sa pinakamalapit na police station o kaya’y i-report sa ating PNP E-Sumbong platforms kung kayo ay nabiktima o napasahan ng counterfeit na pera para agad ay magawan namin ng kaukulang aksyon at mahuli ang gumagawa nito,” PGen Eleazar said. (ai/mtvn)