Thursday, September 23, 2021

Engines ‘fake’: NBI

CEBU. A team from the National Bureau of Investigation of the National Capital Region move out stocks of Robin motor engines that are unauthorized copies of Solanda’s product, from a warehouse in Mandaue City. (Alan Tangcawan)

AGENTS of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)National Capital Region raided and seized 150 “fake” motor engines from a warehouse in Barangay Cabancalan, Mandaue City yesterday morning.

The raid at the Weld Industrial Sales warehouse stemmed from the complaint filed by Solanda Enterprises, which is based in Intramuros in Manila.

The alleged fake engines are worth about P1.5 million, according to Solanda’s product manager Chris Rubiano.

“We have been receiving complaints from our customers since last year that the motor engines they bought (from Weld) would easily get damaged,” he said in Tagalog. “Our company’s name is at stake here.”

Rubiano said Solanda Enterprises has been the sole distributor of the product in the Philippines since 1983.

NBI’s operation was authorized by a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Rainelda Estacio-Montesa.

The investigation revealed that Weld Industrial Sales, which is run by Joy Bagaluyos and Anne Jamaica Chueya, sells the Robin EY Series engines.

The engine powers motor bancas and water pumps, said Rubiano.

Farmers and fishermen have complained that the fake engines would break down less than a month after they started using it.

“The genuine ones are still in good condition in the first five years of use,” said Rubiano.

A representative of Weld, who asked not to be named, said they did not know that the engines they are selling are not authentic. The store’s supplier is from Manila.

“We are also victims here,” he said.

Before the operation, NBI agents bought fake engines from Weld, which they used as evidence in obtaining the search warrant.

Rubiano said the genuine engine has a bright yellow color and proper markings, while the fake ones are coated in pale yellow paint with erroneous markings.

He said Weld sells a five-horsepower engine for P9,000 to P10,000 to fishermen and farmers.

The store’s frequent clients are offered a price of P7,500 to P8,000, Rubiano said.

They lower the price if the client knows the engine is fake, he said.

The owner of Weld Industrial Sales will be charged for violating Republic Act (RA) 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, which punishes any person who commits trademark infringement and unfair competition.
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