Warning up on counterfeit money after CIDG seizes P100K in fake bills in Cebu
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned against the proliferation of fake peso bills after its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) was able to seize P100,000-worth of counterfeit money from two suspects in Cebu City.
PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Friday that they believe that the money was intended to be circulated for the 2022 elections — to be used for vote-buying schemes.
According to Eleazar, ordinary people would be on the losing end of these schemes as they would be lured into voting for a particular candidate while the money given to them is actually fake.
“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,” Eleazar said in a statement.
Eleazar said he would ensure that these criminals regret what they did as most of the time it is ordinary citizens that suffer from the crimes they commit.
He also reminded the people that the holiday season is approaching, and they should think twice about accepting money from candidates who will buy their votes.
Eleazar advised people to be wary of the bills that they are receiving, while urging them to report to police officers if they happen to receive fake money.
“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,” Eleazar said.
The use of counterfeit money in any transaction could lead to imprisonment, he warned, adding that they should contact the police immediately if they have been victims of counterfeit money or have received it so that action can be taken immediately to arrest the perpetrator.
PNP revealed that the police operation started after CIDG got tips that the counterfeit bills are being readied for the election season.
On October 25, CIDG operatives and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas agents arrested a man named Ival Noval Luado who was allegedly carrying 52 pieces of fake P1,000 bills and 70 pieces of fake P500 bills, totaling P88,000.
Another suspect, identified as Joseph Mercado Salas, was previously arrested for allegedly keeping the fake bills worth P24,000.
The two suspects have been charged before the City Prosecutor’s Office for 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.
Eleazar praised the CIDG, but told the unit to investigate further as more suspects – and counterfeit bills – could be arrested and seized.
“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,” Eleazar said.