PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar warned the public against the proliferation of fake peso bills especially as the election season nears.
Eleazar issued the warning on Friday, October 29, 2021, following the arrest of two persons during separate operations in Cebu City for possession of 500 and 1,000 peso bills.
“I would reiterate the advice of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BEP) to the public to be wary of fake money and familiarize themselves with the security features of genuine peso bills to avoid spreading of fake bank notes,” he said.
“Maaaring kulong ang sapitin ng sinomang magtatangkang gumamit ng pekeng pera sa anumang transaksyon. 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,” he added.
(Those using fake money in whatever transactions may be imprisoned. You report immediately to the nearest police station or via the PNP E-Sumbong platforms if you happen to be a victim or received counterfeit money so we can act on it immediately.)
On October 25, Ivan Noval Luardo, 35, was arrested in an entrapment operation for possession and control of 52 pieces of 1,000 fake peso bills and 70 pieces of 500 fake peso bills, amounting to a total of P87,000.
A similar police operation was also conducted on October 19 against Joseph Mercado Salas, 36, who yielded a total amount of P24,000 in 1,000 and 500 denominations.
“I commend the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) headed by PMGen. (Police Major General) 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 (The ordinary people are the usual victims of these criminals, that’s why we will make sure that they will regret what they did),” said 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.
(They should not be given a chance to victimize the public especially that Christmas season is near, so we also advise the public to think first before accepting money, especially from political candidates who will buy votes.)
Ferro said the operation, which they coordinated with the BSP, stemmed from reports received by the CIDG that counterfeit money is being readied for use for the upcoming national and local elections.
BSP agents revealed that the seized bills were found to be fake after they failed to show any of the security features of a real banknote.
Eleazar directed the CIDG to further investigate the operation of the arrested suspects and to identify and arrest their financiers and other cohorts.
Luardo and Salas were charged at 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.
“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 Eleazar.
“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," he added.
(Our campaign will continue to prevent this kind of modus and to ensure clean and honest elections in 2022.) (SunStar Philippines)