THE Philippine National Police (PNP) 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 in separate entrapment operations in Cebu City.
The fake money were supposedly set for circulation in time for next year’s elections, according to PNP Chief, Police General Guillermo Eleazar.
The PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), together with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (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 fake P500 bills.
On October 19, a certain Joseph Mercado Salas, 36 years old, 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.
“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 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 kababayan,” said PGen Eleazar.
Meanwhile, the PNP chief also urged the public to be extra cautious and be wary of fake money, and to familiarize themselves with the security features of genuine peso bills to avoid spreading fake bank notes, as advised by the BSP.