THE operatives of the Bacolod Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested a big-time supplier and dealer of imported used clothing Tuesday morning at Barangay 35, Bacolod City.

The arrested suspect was identified as Luisa Montano, 52, of Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City.

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CIDG-Bacolod head Inspector Bejamin Topacio said the suspect was nabbed at her residence at Barangay 35 at around 4:30 a.m. by virtue of a search warrant issued by Judge Napoleon Diamante of the Bacolod MTCC for violation of Republic act 4653.

The police seized a large volume of imported used clothing or "0ukay-ukay" of still undetermined amount.

Topacio said the suspect had violated RA 4653, an act to safeguard the health of the people and maintain the dignity of the nation by declaring it a national policy to prohibit the commercial importation of textile articles or known as used clothing and rags.

He said the suspect was immediately arrested in flagrant disregard of existing laws and notwithstanding the risk and hazard to health caused by her illegitimate business.

Topacio noted that it is unlawful for any person, association or corporation to introduce into any point in the Philippines textile articles used as clothing and rags, except when these are imported under certain provisions of Section 105 of RA 1937 or the Tariff and Customs Code.

"The suspect is neither a registered nor licensed social welfare agency nor individual. The duty-free donation privilege is accorded only to DSWD-registered relief organizations, pursuant to Section 105 (I) of the tariff and customs code in the Philippines, as amended. The act of Dizon is purely for profit and gain and not for charitable purposes," Topacio stressed.

He added that it appeared on their verification with the Department of Trade and Industry that the suspect has no existing business name registration, noting that a person with the same name, however, is registered in a merchandise business for ready-to-wear or brand new garments but not for used, surplus, or second-hand clothing.

Topacio explained that although the suspect may be the same Luisa Dizon with two RTW textile businesses at 888 China Town Square, Bacolod City, "her registration with the DTI is solely for RTW or fresh garments and textiles."

He added that a criminal charge is being prepared against the suspect.