DOJ indicts 8 persons on estafa raps over ‘rentsangla’ modus

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted eight persons for 14 syndicated estafa cases in connection with the 'rentsangla' modus operandi which has victimized car owners from different parts of the country.

In resolution dated March 16 but was obtained by the media on Monday, the DOJ found that Rafaela M. Anunciacion, primary respondent, Marilou V. Cruz, Edgardo Ramos, Alfredo M. Ronquillo, Eliseo Cortez, Anastacia M. Cauyan, Sabina D. Torrea, and Leonardo M. Torrea for 14 counts of syndicated/large scale estafa as defined and penalized under Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 1689 in relation to Article 315 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code with conspiracy as a mode of its commission.

The indictments will be for syndicated or largescale estafa, a nonbailable offense, because [t]he estafa or swindling is committed by a syndicate of five or more persons, read the resolution penned by Assistant State Prosecutors Bryan Jacinto Cacha and Anna Noreen Devanadera.

After several transactions, respondents failed to deliver the promised rent only to discover that [complainants'] respective vehicles were actually mortgaged to different individuals without [their] knowledge and consent, the resolution stated and was approved by DOJ Task Force RentSangla chairperson, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Rosanne Balauag, and Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon.

The DOJ said Anunciacion and the other respondents made complainants believe they were engaged in legitimate business.

Ample evidence showed, particularly the stipulations in the various Memorandum of Agreements [between complainants and respondents], that complainants were given the impression that respondent Anunciacion and her associates were engaged in a legitimate rentacar business when in fact, no such kind of business has been registered under their names with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Trade and Industry, or the Business Permits and Licensing Office, San Pedro City, Laguna.

The DOJ further explained that Creative Tempo was merely used by respondents as a facade to show legitimacy.

The company, however, was actually put up for manpower purposes, service/employment, and janitorial services, the resolution pointed out.

[D]eceit is obvious not only from the fact that respondents have represented a fictitious car rental business to complainants but also from the deliberate concealment of their business' lack of sufficient assets or paidup capital no shred of evidence has been presented by the respondents to prove financial capability from the onset to fully comply with their supposed guaranteed returns for the investments.

Car owners Benjamin Cruz, Juvie Sanguyo, Gilbert Valonda, Gina Luciano, Liberty Valmadrid, Alberto Santos, and Jefferson Aquino filed the complaints through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), commonly alleging that respondents enticed them to enter into a rentacar business in exchange for rental fees ranging from P20,000 to P50,000 per month.

Cruz is the owner of a 2016 model Toyota Innova; Sanguyo, Valonda, Luciano, and Aquino are owners of 2016 Toyota Vios units; Valmadrid is the owner of a Ford Ecosport; while Santos is the owner of a Mitsubishi Montero Sport.

Another set of complainants namely, Meruel Tibayan, Lilian Arnaldo, Teresita Mendoza, Glen Guyuram, Ronnie Sosa, Penny Fabro, and Ernesto Caguilla alleged that Anunciacion, through her agents, enticed them to invest in her company, Creative Tempo Staff, Inc. or rentacar business/motor vehicle investment business, in exchange for a guaranteed interest return of investment.

Also in the resolution, the DoJ dismissed the complaint for violation of Section 2 Republic Act Np. 6539 (Carnapping) against respondents for lack of probable cause.

The DOJ stressed the allegation of estafa was highly inconsistent with the crime of carnapping.

[Estafa] imputes deceit and [carnapping] imputes violence, force and intimidation with intent to gain, the resolution stated.

The DOJ explained that carnapping is akin to theft, while in estafa the respondent/accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit.

The charges against other respondents namely, Ramon Anunciacion, Vladimir Cauyan, Carlo Anunciacion, Erico Cruz, and Bienvenido Cruz were likewise dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Under the renttangay scheme, authorities said the suspects would convince car owners to become business associates in a rentacar service and have their cars rented for a hefty profit.

At first, the car owners will get paid but, unknowingly, in the end their vehicles will be pawned to other people and the suspects will disappear, making the victims unable to get their rented vehicles back. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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