MANILADespite recent successful arrests, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to sustain efforts against counterfeiters in Manila amid reports of continued operation in the area.
DILG officer-in-charge Secretary Eduardo M. AAo said the PNP-NCRPO must maintain vigilance and proactivity in dealing with counterfeiters as claims have reached his office that forgery shops along C. M. Recto Avenue in Manila continue to operate.
He said efforts against the decades-long practice of falsifying documents must be persistent as "it is a direct violation of the Revised Penal Code and entails a corresponding sanction under the law".
"We have made some success in our drive against the infamous 'Recto University' but we need to sustain it for this production of bogus documents in Recto has been 'staring at us in the face' for decades now. It is high time that we take decisive actions to, once and for ,all eradicate its operation, and I expect the PNP NCRPO to take the lead on this," AAo said.
"We will ensure that those who are proven culpable of the crime will be penalized," he added.
AAo also urged Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada to support PNP NCRPO in its operations against these counterfeiters who have made a living out of counterfeiting and falsification.
He also directed the DILG Field Office in Manila to strictly monitor the compliance of PNP NCRPO to the Department's directive.
AAo said the Manila Police District recently busted a shop producing fake documents along Recto Avenue through an undercover operation to catch the culprit red-handed, the whole operation recorded using a body camera.
The operation led to the confiscation of 342 fake Land Transportation Office (LTO) license cards, 23 fake LTO receipts, 65 blank LTO receipts, 370 blank PVC cards, and an ID card cutter. Also seized were computers, laminating machines, printers, and scanners.
Other agencies of the government such as the National Bureau of Investigation and the LTO are also proactively waging war against the production of counterfeited government IDs and documents.
"We are warning the people who are engaged in counterfeiting documents, not just in Recto, maging sa ibang bahagi ng bansa (and even in other parts of the country), we are after you," AAo said.
Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code specifies that falsification of documents may be committed by counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting signature or rubric; and issuing in an authenticated form a document claiming to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original.
Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning, among others; causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate; attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them, fall as forms of falsifying documents, among others.
The penalty for the crime of falsification is imprisonment of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods from six months and one day to six years and a fine of not exceeding PHP6,000. (DILG PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency